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Old 7th May 2019, 05:15 PM   #121
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
“The Islam problem.”

Good job, Rupert!




To use the words of a controversial politician in Australia ...... "Please explain."
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Old 7th May 2019, 05:20 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post


To use the words of a [controversial xenophobic] politician in Australia ...... "Please explain."
EFA




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Old 7th May 2019, 06:56 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Wow! Just like that you completely demolish my argument.
Ok then.

Primary schools have had the amount of time they spend on the three Rs reduced by a shocking amount over the decades since I went to one.

Kids are even starting school not nappy trained, and because schools are hotbeds of liberalism, the poor little suckers are bogged down with everything from values to Te Reo (in NZ) and if you want to add in teaching kids about invisible pink unicorns, you may as well forget academic standards entirely.

Even aside from the obvious fact that it would be an unnecessary burden on kids, who the hell would teach it? Teachers would need to be educated in each religion and how to teach the tenets of each without delving into the fact that they're all fairytales.

Even then, who's going to agree on an agenda?

It's not just a terrible idea, it's totally ignorant of reality. I would have thought all that was blindingly obvious, but there you go - I often overestimate people.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
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.
The way you tackle the "islam problem" is to stop calling it a problem. Let them live their stupid religion just as idiot fundies do theirs. Enable more teaching of critical thinking at schools, ban religious schools of any type and insist on secularity at schools. Treat the "islam problem" the same way we treat the "Jewish problem" or the "Buddhist problem" - ignore them.

We have laws and thousands of dickheads in blue to police them - let them deal with any thoughts of illegal acts and just let the muslims live their lives as everyone else does.

If you want to tackle any religion, the only hope is education, and even then, you're largely pushing **** uphill with a teaspoon, because the parents will always have the last word.
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Old 7th May 2019, 09:40 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
... 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.
I'd agree, but the time estimate is millennia off, and counting. More broadly, given that humans normally rationalize and only use reason sparingly, myth makes its cozy home in every person, every generation. Personal identity is comprised of the set of collective myths one's tribal setting provides, so humans are doomed to subscribe to nonsense from the get-go, lifelong.
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Old 8th May 2019, 12:25 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
...so humans are doomed to subscribe to nonsense from the get-go, lifelong.
I'm still embarrassed by the fact that in 1973 I argued that religion would be dead and buried by the 21st century.
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Old 8th May 2019, 02:19 AM   #126
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Are you guys seriously discussing the "Islamic Question" in this thread?

Are none of you just a little bit creeped out by this?
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Old 8th May 2019, 02:42 AM   #127
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I thought the Islamic Question was:
who of Muhammad's wives was the hottest ?
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Old 8th May 2019, 08:58 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
IanS: Appreciate your detailed and well thought out post.


True, it's not a "legal" crime, but that's only because it is the victors who script the mainstream narrative.

(1) 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?


(2) Does that matter? It is their misadventures that birthed Taliban and ISIS as we know them.



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


OK, and I too appreciate your reasonable considered response .

But just on your two main points above (which I've numbered 1 & 2) -


Re Point 1 – There's all the world of difference between the legal responsibilities that a commercial company has to ensure that it's products are not dangerous vs. any democratic nation that takes military action after debates and votes through it's elected parliament.

However if we are talking about the invasion of Iraq, then that decision has of course been a subject of long and quite heated legal debate ever since the US, UK and some other European countries decided it was legal according to UN laws, but where other UN countries and many international lawyers decided any invasion would be illegal. Here.s a quick easy-to-read insight into the opinion from a number of specialist lawyers -

https://www.theguardian.com/politics...leducationnews


As I said earlier, personally I would have waited for Hans Blix to make his final report on whether or not Saddam had any nuclear program. So I thought the invasion was a mistake at least in so far as being too hasty at that particular moment. But in the end it may have been inevitable within the following 3 to 9 months.

However, the crucial factor which had lead the US and UK in particular to invade Iraq, was actually not covered by of those legal arguments that were being drawn from the earlier UN resolutions.. Namely - this was all taking place in the light of what had happened on 9-11. And that really rendered all those legal arguments about the existing earlier clauses arising from Saddam's surrender after his invasion of Kuwait, redundant. When 9-11 happened, almost all democratic nations around the world realised it was no longer possible to leave a military dictator like Saddam in power in the middle east, and especially not where all democratic intelligence services felt sure he was concealing a program of nuclear weapons development.

Re Point 2 – It was not really the general overall population of Iraq or Afghanistan who “birthed Taliban and ISIS as we know them”. In Iraq what happened was that after Saddam was removed from power, and as the US in particular attempted to restore order in Baghdad with plans for democratic elections etc., the remnants of Saddam's military Baathist party, who were ethnically a Sunni minority of about 20% of the Afghan population which had ruled Afghanistan over over 100 years (iirc) re-formed and began to fight a terrorist-style opposition not only against the US occupation but also against the majority Afghan Shia (55%) and Kurdish (20%) sects. In doing that, the re-forming military Baathists were quickly joined by the remnants of Al-Qaeda who had been forced out of Afghanistan and who were now calling themselves Al-Qaeda in Iraq or Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (they were also joined by various disaffected Arab nationalists from the surrounding region) … that quickly developed into something more like an ethnic civil war rather than a fight just against the US/UK occupation.

What we now know as IS or ISIL or Daesh, apparently formed out of that initial re-grouping of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

In Afghanistan, the rise of the Taliban had of course began over a decade earlier in the fighting that erupted into a war with Soviet forces entering Afghanistan as a response to a long history of Islamic terrorist attacks across the Russian/Soviet satellites states such as Kurdistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, and and of course with many Islamist terror attacks inside Russia itself. The Taliban were (afaik) mainly Afghan nationals, but they were of course hard-line religious fundamentalists, and afaik they were said to have been funded and supported from Pakistan through the Pakistan intelligence groups and their national armed services. They probably also included a number of Pakistani Taliban.

Going back into the history of that gets extremely complicated, and is really getting back too far in time. But overall, I think that although the Afghan Taliban were indeed formed from a large section of the Afghan population, they were of course religious fundamentalists who were operating by extreme violence against the rest of the Afghan population. They had started fighting in Afghanistan (apparently funded & equiped/backed by the USA, Saudi Arabia, and iirc by Pakistan) against the existing government that had recently seized power as a communist party backed by the Soviet Union, and which had itself taken power by assassinating the existing monarchy which had ruled in Afghanistan for the previous 50 years. That turned into a 10 year war with the Soviet Union fighting against the Taliban which had by then also been joined by Osama Bin-Laden's Al-Qaeda fighters.

That situation was further confused by the fact that outside of the capital, the country was divided into regions ruled by various different opposing warlords. But to cut all that story short, I doubt if the majority of ordinary Afghans wanted any of those groups to be slaughtering so many of the population in their repeated various claims to power.

Remember that the Afghan Taliban (who are ethnically Pashtun), deliberately decided to seek out Malala Yousafzai, stopped the small school bus in which she was was returning home with a dozen other girls, ordered the girls to identify Malala, and then shot here twice through the brain at 3ft range … and they did that because she had been campaigning on the internet for school age girls to have a school education (which the Taliban opposed for girls, upon religious beliefs from the Koran/Hadiths). How many honest educated (non-imbecilic and non-fundemtalist/Islamic Afghans) do you (ie anyone in the right mind) think really wanted Taliban rulers like that in Afghanistan?.
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Old 8th May 2019, 10:21 AM   #129
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@IanS:

#1 : Given the magnitude of the action, that "haste" was inexcusable. Pardon the Godwinning, but had the Nazis won, Hitler wouldn't have been found guilty. Likewise, I believe the only reason W & Co. have been exonerated (have they even been formally tried at all?) is because they won and won handsomely.

#2 : Had Saddam not been killed, the mess that followed wouldn't have happened. As such, the killers of Saddam bear responsibility for this mess, given the egregious nature of that misadventure.

Also : you keep saying how 9/11 made the Iraq invasion "inevitable". Do you not see that, by the same token, in their eyes, Iraq and all the rest of it makes all these terrorist attacks equally "inevitable"?
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Old 8th May 2019, 10:29 AM   #130
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My short point is : What happened there, the final Iraq invasion onwards right till date, was monstrously unfair. Those unfortunate people do not have the might to take on the West, beyond impotently blowing themselves up and causing some trivial damage in real terms, and that is the only reason the West could get away with it.

This is not a monochrome issue, and one needs to tackle the issue from other angles as well. But I don't see a lasting solution unless this unfairness has first been corrected, in some measure. And that probably requires both an unqualified mea culpa, an acknowledgement of these wrongs, and some meaningful punishment for those responsible.
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Old 8th May 2019, 10:40 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Had Saddam not been killed, the mess that followed wouldn't have happened. As such, the killers of Saddam bear responsibility for this mess, given the egregious nature of that misadventure.
How do you figure this?

Iraq was invaded and Saddam was overthrown 2003. He went into hiding. A year later, he was captured, put on trial by the interim Iraqi government, convicted, and ultimately executed for his crimes.

What "mess that followed" would have been avoided by not executing him after his trial and conviction?

The way I figure, the mess followed from the invasion in 2003, not from Saddam Husseins' execution a year later. I figure the mess would have developed about the same regardless of the ultimate disposition of Saddam after his capture and trial.

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Old 8th May 2019, 11:00 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How do you figure this?
Not just Saddam's actual execution, I mean that entire misadventure.

Saddam was no beauty, but at least he kept the fanatics and crazies contained. That balance was toppled over by this crazy crusade undertaken in retaliation for 9/11, with the spurious WMD claims.

The sheer hubris, the arrogance -- and of course, the fact that the enemy were in effect a ragtag bunch without nukes, without comparable weaponry -- that led to the destruction of Iraq's far-from-pretty-but-still-stable power structure is what led, ultimately, to the rise of ISIS and this current spate of terrorism.
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Old 8th May 2019, 11:05 AM   #133
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That and the emboldened democratic movement that led to the Syrian civil war
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Old 8th May 2019, 01:54 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I thought the Islamic Question was:
who of Muhammad's wives was the hottest ?

This is one of life's unanswerable questions.

Due not least to the scarcity of quality photographs and video recordings of said wives.
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Old 8th May 2019, 02:30 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Ok then.

Primary schools have had the amount of time they spend on the three Rs reduced by a shocking amount over the decades since I went to one.

Kids are even starting school not nappy trained, and because schools are hotbeds of liberalism, the poor little suckers are bogged down with everything from values to Te Reo (in NZ) and if you want to add in teaching kids about invisible pink unicorns, you may as well forget academic standards entirely.

Even aside from the obvious fact that it would be an unnecessary burden on kids, who the hell would teach it? Teachers would need to be educated in each religion and how to teach the tenets of each without delving into the fact that they're all fairytales.

Even then, who's going to agree on an agenda?

It's not just a terrible idea, it's totally ignorant of reality. I would have thought all that was blindingly obvious, but there you go - I often overestimate people.
I see ...... it's just all too hard.

Then you wind it up with a thinly disguised insult. A move of desperation indicating a lack of sound argument.
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Old 8th May 2019, 02:46 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post

The way you tackle the "islam problem" is to stop calling it a problem. Let them live their stupid religion just as idiot fundies do theirs. Enable more teaching of critical thinking at schools, ban religious schools of any type and insist on secularity at schools. Treat the "islam problem" the same way we treat the "Jewish problem" or the "Buddhist problem" - ignore them.

We have laws and thousands of dickheads in blue to police them - let them deal with any thoughts of illegal acts and just let the muslims live their lives as everyone else does.

If you want to tackle any religion, the only hope is education, and even then, you're largely pushing **** uphill with a teaspoon, because the parents will always have the last word.

Oh its not a problem then .... that's a relief.

Same as "Jewish problem" or the "Buddhist problem" huh?

Haven't heard of any Jewish or Buddhists suicide bombers of late but maybe I missed it. Of course you did talk of the atrocities being carried out in Myanmar by Buddhist authorities, but I think we dealt with that quite effectively. Buddhism not being the motivation, in the same way as atheism is not the motivation, for the Chinese brutality, (in spite of The Big Dog's repeated yelps).
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Old 8th May 2019, 07:22 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I see ...... it's just all too hard.
Feel free to offer ways it would be possible.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Then you wind it up with a thinly disguised insult. A move of desperation indicating a lack of sound argument.
You're confusing exasperation with insult.

As I've pointed out, the idea of adding religious education to the curriculum is bonkers.

But again - feel free to try and put a case for how it would be possible, who sets the agenda, and where the resources are going to come from.

At a time when teacher shortages are international and critical.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Oh its not a problem then .... that's a relief.

Same as "Jewish problem" or the "Buddhist problem" huh?
Actually, the analogy most suggestive to me is the Irish Problem.
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Old 8th May 2019, 07:27 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
As I've pointed out, the idea of adding religious education to the curriculum is bonkers.
There's a big difference between teaching religion and teaching about religion.

Religion has had a very large and significant effect on global politics throughout human history. You can't not teach religion's influence if you're teaching history. But it seems that you would have this all swept under the rug. That's not just bad pedagogy, that's revisionist.
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Old 8th May 2019, 07:28 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Actually, the analogy most suggestive to me is the Irish Problem.
...in which religion played an extremely significant role. You can't just not talk about religion when you're talking about the Troubles. You can't.
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Old 9th May 2019, 02:15 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Not just Saddam's actual execution, I mean that entire misadventure.

Saddam was no beauty, but at least he kept the fanatics and crazies contained. That balance was toppled over by this crazy crusade undertaken in retaliation for 9/11, with the spurious WMD claims.

The sheer hubris, the arrogance -- and of course, the fact that the enemy were in effect a ragtag bunch without nukes, without comparable weaponry -- that led to the destruction of Iraq's far-from-pretty-but-still-stable power structure is what led, ultimately, to the rise of ISIS and this current spate of terrorism.
Not quite. It was actually Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, and the subsequent deployment of western troops to the Arabian Peninsula, that sparked Al Qaeda's campaign.
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Old 9th May 2019, 07:07 AM   #141
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Well, there was Al Quaida, then there was the Taliban, and now the ISIS.

Sure, the Al Quaida predated W's cowboy-posse excursion that took out Saddam. And I agree, the Kuwait intervention was a different matter.

But it was the unbelievably short-sighted post-9/11 misadventure, fueled by the false WMD claims, that led ulimately to the dismantling of Saddam's far from benign but nevertheless stable regime, the resultant chaos, the rise of the ISIS , and the current spate of terrorism.

But my larger point isn't this "analysis". There are others here far better informed about these minutiae.

My larger point is this: The situation there is deeply unfair. The West has acted like the school bully, flattening weaker opposition on little real justification other than its might.

How can that not generate resentment? And what long-term solution can we possibly have that does not include (but isn't, of course, limited to) addressing that resentmentment by correcting, in some measure, that unfairness?
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Old 9th May 2019, 10:49 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Feel free to offer ways it would be possible.
In between tutoring math and business, I actually helped students at a community college with their "comparative religion" course. Most of it was just me having good reading comprehension - reading the chapter and helping the student understand it. That course could easily be taught at a primary school level. Just like science and math are also taught at primary schools.


Here's a link to a comparative religion curriculum that can be used with primary school students. At the top-right you see a sample multiple-choice question.



https://www.castlelearning.com/curri...ive-religions/

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Old 9th May 2019, 11:30 AM   #143
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Sam Harris is a bit of a "mixed bag", which is frankly one of the things I like about him. AS he says himself, all too often people believe the same as their "tribe" or "clique". If you believe AGW is real and a danger, chances are you also dislike Trump and favour gun control, etc. This is more true in some countries than others and depends on how polarised a country is, I suppose, but tribal mentality is a part of all humans, so you find this kind of thinking everywhere. Harris seems to genuenly strive to research and make up his own mind independently of what his peers believe. He's also good at changing his mind when confronted with contrary evidence. This is also, amusingly, why many of his listeners were surprised and angered when he suddenly attacked Trump as fiercely as he did. They assumed he would do the expected thing and support Trump because Trump, like him, attacked Muslims.

I've listened to a lot of his podcasts, and while I loved, for example, his attacks on Trump, and his attempts to understand Trump supporters, feel his islam/immigration criticism is a bit too close to far-right rhetoric for my liking, which is why I recently stopped listening to him.

As for islamism and its dangers, I feel the biggest problem is how people, on both sides, tend to talk past each other. For example when someone says islamism is a growing concern in Europe, which it is, and someone else takes this as some sort of attack on islam as a religion or foreigners in general, and reply with statements like "but Christianity has done similar things" or "but I've lived in X, and 99% of people there were friendly and peaceful!".

Muslim immigrants, I suppose, have faced a lot less criticism for things European Christians would've been scolded for, by virtue of them being a vulnerable minority. I welcome the discussion that's taking place now about hijabs, Islamic influence on society, terrorist threats, and so on. In a democracy, everything should be subject to discussion and criticism, and all cards should be on the table.
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Old 9th May 2019, 11:38 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
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.
I really liked his one podcast episode where he explained just what the whole "they hate us for our freedoms" line really meant. The one where he talked to this guy, I forget who, who talked about, for example, how men in certain Islamic countries would grow up looking at women in burkhas, and looking at our societies, where girls could be dressed however they wanted and young men and women could form relationships at will, with a kind of furious envy. Which I can understand perfectly well.

ETA:
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post

My larger point is this: The situation there is deeply unfair. The West has acted like the school bully, flattening weaker opposition on little real justification other than its might.

How can that not generate resentment? And what long-term solution can we possibly have that does not include (but isn't, of course, limited to) addressing that resentmentment by correcting, in some measure, that unfairness?
This is special pleading.

Consider three scenarios. A kid is bullied, and is angry and resentful. He works up the courage to tell his parents or his teacher.

A kid is bullied, and is angry and resentful. One day he gets a rock and hits his bully in the head.

A kid is bullied, and is angry and resentful. He beats up the bully's little sister as revenge

All three scenarios have the same lead-up, but you will notice that the bully's actions, and probably background and thought process, are very different.

It's this free will, this difference in how the kid chooses, based on personality, cultural norms, and expectations, to react that makes the difference between Allied resistance fighters blowing up Nazi trains, and Palestinians blowing themselves up on buses full of school children -- or between writing a letter to the editor or demonstrating peacefully in the streets, or assassinating a politician, burning cars, or bombing a restaurant.

The way you compare a military invasion to terrorist attacks, and say that certain provocations towards a given group of people makes terrorist attacks from them inevitable, illustrates my point incredibly well.
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Old 9th May 2019, 12:30 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
...in which religion played an extremely significant role. You can't just not talk about religion when you're talking about the Troubles. You can't.
I wasn't trying to, but the Final Solution - such as it is - had nothing to do with religion. Both sides finally realised that having one's home streets as a front line in a battle lasting 700 years wasn't that clever and decided to put the guns down.

Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
My larger point is this: The situation there is deeply unfair. The West has acted like the school bully, flattening weaker opposition on little real justification other than its might.

How can that not generate resentment?
There are a few of us who have been saying that for decades. I see some people still don't quite understand it.

It's not getting any better, with Trump/Pompeo/Bolton looking like they want to create the next generation of terrorists in Iran.

Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
In between tutoring math and business, I actually helped students at a community college with their "comparative religion" course. Most of it was just me having good reading comprehension - reading the chapter and helping the student understand it. That course could easily be taught at a primary school level. Just like science and math are also taught at primary schools.
Ideals v reality.

The idea might be quite sound, and the resource very useful, but in the real world, Donald J Trump has more chance of being unanimously named America's Greatest President than something like that getting into the curriculum.

And please - science & maths are subjects with correct answers. The comparative religion course will always be open to challenge by every religion on the basis that it doesn't represent their religion accurately.
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Old 9th May 2019, 12:34 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by The Atheist
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I see ...... it's just all too hard.
Feel free to offer ways it would be possible.
.......

As I've pointed out, the idea of adding religious education to the curriculum is bonkers.

But again - feel free to try and put a case for how it would be possible, who sets the agenda, and where the resources are going to come from.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Ok then.

Primary schools have had the amount of time they spend on the three Rs reduced by a shocking amount over the decades since I went to one.

Kids are even starting school not nappy trained, and because schools are hotbeds of liberalism, the poor little suckers are bogged down with everything from values to Te Reo (in NZ) and if you want to add in teaching kids about invisible pink unicorns, you may as well forget academic standards entirely.

Even aside from the obvious fact that it would be an unnecessary burden on kids, who the hell would teach it? Teachers would need to be educated in each religion and how to teach the tenets of each without delving into the fact that they're all fairytales.

Even then, who's going to agree on an agenda?

It's not just a terrible idea, it's totally ignorant of reality. I would have thought all that was blindingly obvious, but there you go - I often overestimate people.

You're welcome.

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Old 9th May 2019, 02:25 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Oh its not a problem then .... that's a relief.

Same as "Jewish problem" or the "Buddhist problem" huh?
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post

Actually, the analogy most suggestive to me is the Irish Problem.

Oh, you didn't suggest that before but non the less, you didn't/don't think there was/is a problem in Ireland then?
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Old 9th May 2019, 02:27 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There's a big difference between teaching religion and teaching about religion.

Religion has had a very large and significant effect on global politics throughout human history. You can't not teach religion's influence if you're teaching history. But it seems that you would have this all swept under the rug. That's not just bad pedagogy, that's revisionist.

Exactly, thanks arth.
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Old 9th May 2019, 03:13 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Sam Harris is a bit of a "mixed bag", which is frankly one of the things I like about him. AS he says himself, all too often people believe the same as their "tribe" or "clique". If you believe AGW is real and a danger, chances are you also dislike Trump and favour gun control, etc. This is more true in some countries than others and depends on how polarised a country is, I suppose, but tribal mentality is a part of all humans, so you find this kind of thinking everywhere. Harris seems to genuenly strive to research and make up his own mind independently of what his peers believe. He's also good at changing his mind when confronted with contrary evidence. This is also, amusingly, why many of his listeners were surprised and angered when he suddenly attacked Trump as fiercely as he did. They assumed he would do the expected thing and support Trump because Trump, like him, attacked Muslims.

I've listened to a lot of his podcasts, and while I loved, for example, his attacks on Trump, and his attempts to understand Trump supporters, feel his islam/immigration criticism is a bit too close to far-right rhetoric for my liking, which is why I recently stopped listening to him.

As for islamism and its dangers, I feel the biggest problem is how people, on both sides, tend to talk past each other. For example when someone says islamism is a growing concern in Europe, which it is, and someone else takes this as some sort of attack on islam as a religion or foreigners in general, and reply with statements like "but Christianity has done similar things" or "but I've lived in X, and 99% of people there were friendly and peaceful!".

Muslim immigrants, I suppose, have faced a lot less criticism for things European Christians would've been scolded for, by virtue of them being a vulnerable minority. I welcome the discussion that's taking place now about hijabs, Islamic influence on society, terrorist threats, and so on. In a democracy, everything should be subject to discussion and criticism, and all cards should be on the table.

Yes I agree with your sentiments regarding Harris, and feel frustration at his being continually misrepresented as being this or that, when he is just trying to tackle problems honestly. One of his greatest attributes I think is his lack of bias.

No matter how clearly I have tried to show that I see Islam, the religion, is the foe here and Muslims should be treated with compassion and understanding, I know many here will not buy it. I sense this is the same issue faced by Harris.

Yes and as you say the statements like "but Christianity has done similar things" or "but I've lived in X, and 99% of people there were friendly and peaceful!", just pour in. When you try to counter by saying "but we are talking about here and now" and "we have many examples of Jihadist recruits recruits coming from those friendly and peaceful families" you are ignored. Those with the mindset that Muslims are victims* just don't, and won't, hear this. Bias is the barrier.

We have to wonder at the strength of the bias. Even when the words of the Jihadists from their mouthpiece Dabiq are quoted. Clearly stating that the hatred caused by Western aggression is secondary, to the hatred they feel towards Westerners for their lack of belief in Islam, we still hear the continued bleating to the contrary.



*Muslims are primarily a victim of the religion imposed on them.
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Old 9th May 2019, 03:25 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Oh, you didn't suggest that before but non the less, you didn't/don't think there was/is a problem in Ireland then?
Obviously.

My point was that if you want to solve the "islam problem", it's going to happen organically, as the solution to the Irish problem was when people finally got sick of blowing each other up and having funerals for the dearly departed.

It wasn't educating them, a reduction in religion, or any outside act, but the growing realisation on both sides that the Troubles were more trouble than they're worth.

You can see the way it works when kids go to schools which are a mix of people & cultures. I'm in the perfect melting pot, where our suburb is exactly that. You can see the devout little muslim girls going to school and wondering why the hell they're following a restrictive and stupid religion. I've watched several girls - who went to school with my daughter for 13 years - leave the religion because it's not compatible with the life they see around them. They want to party and have fun, not be held captive behind a bloody burqa.

Like I said earlier, ban religious schools and let the kids mix - it's a "problem" that's more likely to cure itself, as opposed to some bloke on the internet designing a grand strategy.
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Old 9th May 2019, 03:27 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post

We have to wonder at the strength of the bias. Even when the words of the Jihadists from their mouthpiece Dabiq are quoted. Clearly stating that the hatred caused by Western aggression is secondary, to the hatred they feel towards Westerners for their lack of belief in Islam, we still hear the continued bleating to the contrary.
This is indeed pretty weird. I mean, we do look at underlying reasons and backgrounds for everything from illnesses and social problems (alcoholism, depression, teens not finishing high school, and so on) to extremist political groups (alt-right, thug youngsters burning cars, neo-nazis, etc.), but I feel it goes way overboard with islamists. It's like they have no responsibility for their actions, it's just "poor little muslims were treated badly by whites/the USA/Israel/colonial powers/what have you, no wonder they got mad and killed all these innocent people!".
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Old 9th May 2019, 04:40 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Stop blaming muslims in general.
Show me where anyonne in this thread has "blamed muslims in general", please.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Does he cast the same criticism at Buddhists?
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Body count says....
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
How are muslim extremists more extreme than...
Sorry for the godwin, but let's imagine this reasoning in a different context.

Bloke in London in 1939: So what to do with Nazi Germany? They clearly want war! You know, I'm with Churchill when he says...

His drinking buddy: bah, always with the Nazis. What about European colonialism, or Stalin's ambitions for expansion? You're so one-dimensional!

Bloke: yeah, those things are obviously also bad, but about Hitler and his Nazism...

Buddy: if you look at our history for an arbitrary number of centuries, Christians have killed millions of people! Look at the inquisition! Look at slavery! What about the forceful conversion of whole countries?

Bloke: but we're talking about Nazi Germany, right now.

Buddy: I'll have you know my brother has lived in Germany for three years, and 99% of the people there were right nice and friendly, just going about their lives! Most wouldn't dream of physically harming a Jew!

Bloke: yes, there's probably a lot of good people in Germany, but I meant the Nazi leadership. That "Kristallnacht" business was dreadful, and they've already gobbled up Austria and the Sudetenland!

Buddy: aw, they're just upset by the horrible things we did to them during and after the Great War! Anyone would get militant and extremists after going through something like that. I say, let's stop talking so much about Nazis being dangerous, we might just offend them!


Before the red herrings come, yes, I know islamists haven't done, and probably won't do, nearly as much damage as did the Nazis. That's not the point of the metaphor.
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Old 9th May 2019, 05:35 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
This is special pleading.
No it isn't, not unless you tag on this strawman of your own creation to my argument. You're mistaken if you think I am, for one moment, actually justifying these terrorist attacks.

Nor am I necessarily criticizing your reading comprehension. It could be that my own post was somewhat lacking in clarity, which is easily corrected by my restating my case again.

But I'm loath to hijack Thor2's thread any further.

While not off-topic -- my posts in this thread simply suggest one important way to "cope" with the threat represented by Islam in the specific form of Islamic terrorism -- nevertheless what I speak of is, after all, just one measure amongst many, albeit I believe an essential one.

You could re-read all my posts on this thread, and if you still believe you see some special pleading in my approach, then perhaps you could discuss that directly (not by contrived analogy), and I'll be happy to re-examine my position on that basis.
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Old 9th May 2019, 05:50 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
There are a few of us who have been saying that for decades. I see some people still don't quite understand it.
I'm glad you agree.

What I'm saying is so obvious, that I'm surprised that more people don't agree. There are clearly people here far better informed than I on the minutiae of the situation there in the Middle East, and it's kind of disconcerting to have them pitch in into the discussion (about my specific argument), have me address their specific objection, then have them duck out without either taking their case on further or expressing agreement with my argument. Which of course is their right, but it leaves one wondering if there is something blindingly obvious that one is somehow missing.
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Old 10th May 2019, 12:05 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
My point was that if you want to solve the "islam problem", it's going to happen organically, as the solution to the Irish problem was when people finally got sick of blowing each other up and having funerals for the dearly departed.
Yes, the Muslims should sort out their own affairs without outside interference.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It wasn't educating them, a reduction in religion, or any outside act, but the growing realisation on both sides that the Troubles were more trouble than they're worth.
Precisely this. No amount of education, scolding, threatening, or censoring is going to yield results. There is a real risk of inflaming waning fanaticism, as Luther once did. Best to let falsified or irrelevant religions die on their own.

Besides, Islam is one of the few world religions which can still merit humanism. Get rid of it's excesses, certain dogma (i.e. infallible Quran), and it readily becomes adaptable for everyone.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
You can see the way it works when kids go to schools which are a mix of people & cultures. I'm in the perfect melting pot, where our suburb is exactly that. You can see the devout little muslim girls going to school and wondering why the hell they're following a restrictive and stupid religion. I've watched several girls - who went to school with my daughter for 13 years - leave the religion because it's not compatible with the life they see around them. They want to party and have fun, not be held captive behind a bloody burqa.
It's clear which side of this debate has the greater credibility. The testimony based on observation and experience, not bloody logic arguments and obvious prejudice.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Like I said earlier, ban religious schools and let the kids mix - it's a "problem" that's more likely to cure itself, as opposed to some bloke on the internet designing a grand strategy.
Agreed. What is even the point of teaching people about the history of religions? That time could be spent educating them in the law, teaching them the differences between good and evil rather than installing in them the idea that knowledge of evil is harmful and they must only know about the good. Knowing the distinction between good and evil prevents people from spiraling into crime.
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Old 10th May 2019, 12:13 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
Agreed. What is even the point of teaching people about the history of religions?
Because the history of religions is the history of the world. You can't separate them. You can't teach world history without teaching how religion has affected it.

"And then a lot of knights got together and attacked what is now Israel for no reason at all."
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Old 10th May 2019, 06:39 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Sorry for the godwin, but let's imagine this reasoning in a different context.
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Old 10th May 2019, 07:12 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
No it isn't, not unless you tag on this strawman of your own creation to my argument.
Reading comprehension hiccup, apparently. Not even sure how it happened. Mea culpa .
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Old 10th May 2019, 02:10 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
Yes, the Muslims should sort out their own affairs without outside interference.

Oh yes of course, how silly of me. We just have to cop it sweet in the meantime and duck for cover when bombs go off.

Quote:
Precisely this. No amount of education, scolding, threatening, or censoring is going to yield results. There is a real risk of inflaming waning fanaticism, as Luther once did. Best to let falsified or irrelevant religions die on their own.

My, my, how do you know all these things? Mind you I am just suggesting education so you can keep your embellishments.


Quote:
Besides, Islam is one of the few world religions which can still merit humanism. Get rid of it's excesses, certain dogma (i.e. infallible Quran), and it readily becomes adaptable for everyone.

Flummoxed by this one. And who is going to get rid of these excesses and so on in a reasonable time frame without too many being killed in the meantime?


Quote:
It's clear which side of this debate has the greater credibility. The testimony based on observation and experience, not bloody logic arguments and obvious prejudice.

Show me the examples of "obvious prejudice".

Quote:
Agreed. What is even the point of teaching people about the history of religions? That time could be spent educating them in the law, teaching them the differences between good and evil rather than installing in them the idea that knowledge of evil is harmful and they must only know about the good. Knowing the distinction between good and evil prevents people from spiraling into crime.

Again with the "no to education" thing with a few more assumptions about what we, (the believers that this approach has merit), want to teach kids.
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Old 10th May 2019, 06:56 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Show me where anyonne in this thread has "blamed muslims in general", please.
Mate, have you been following the thread?

Scroll back up from here and see how many times you encounter the "islam problem". Note, it's not the "islamic terrorist problem" or the "islamofascist problem".

Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
That's not the point of the metaphor.
Hard to figure what your point was, actually.

I think I could make a Nazi analogy work, but you'd need to have a Germany that was stolen off Germans by the Jews and their allies first.

Even better - go and check out the frequency of terrorist activity in the late 1980s then compare it to the late 2000s. Note in a 20 year time span, muslim terrorists have gone from virtually none to a major portion of attacks and see if you can figure what was different in the '80s.
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