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Old 11th May 2019, 12:07 AM   #161
Roger Ramjets
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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...
If Sam Harris said that then he is an idiot. AGW isn't a 'tribal belief', and disliking someone who denies that AGW exists and is using his position of power to make it worse is the natural reaction of any rational person.

More Americans and most Republicans now believe in climate change
Quote:
President Donald Trump, who has called climate change a "hoax," dismissed the study compiled by 13 federal agencies, including 300 leading scientists. "I don't believe it," Trump told reporters...

But a majority of the President's party feels otherwise about climate change.
64% of Republicans believe in climate change, compared to 49% in a 2015 Monmouth poll.

Quote:
...and favour gun control
If Sam Harris said that then he is doubly an idiot.

Public opinion on gun control in the United States
Quote:
Polling from the [Pew] research center show that Republicans (79%) and Democrats (88%) want background checks for gun show transactions and private sales. This bipartisan view also is expanded upon for barring mentally ill stricken people from obtaining a firearm with Democrat being (81%) and Republicans being (79%) in favor of this gun control proposal...

In February 2018, 66% of American voters supported stricter gun laws, in a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll with a margin of error of +/- 3.4%, the highest level of support measured since 2008. 70% of American adults supported stricter gun laws, according to a CNN poll with a margin of error of +/- 3.7%. 75% of American adults supported stricter gun laws, according to an NPR/Ipsos poll with a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.
Seems to me that Sam Harris is a lazy thinker who spouts half-baked theories not supported by facts.
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Old 11th May 2019, 01:24 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
@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.

OK, well firstly, as far as I'm concerned we are just talking about various aspects of this entire subject, and I'm not actually arguing about any of it … just trying to have a constructive exchange of views. And really I don't think we are all that far apart. But anyway -

On the issue of it being too “hasty” - I think it was too hasty given that Blix was asking for just a few more weeks or a few months at most, but I was not in possession of (and neither was anyone in this thread in possession of) the vast mountain of vital intelligence and strategic evidence (a narrow time window etc.) etc. that US/UK/Others did have.

Whether or not it was "inexcusable" is really a personal opinion that is very subjective indeed, and certainly from you and I (or anyone here) is hugely lacking in all of that information, detail and intelligence that was being used at the time ... we are really not in a good position here to say that it was anything as simplistic as an "inexcusable" mistake.


On the second point about being exonerated - Bush and Blair have certainly not been "exonerated". On the contrary, there have been countless calls for them to be put on trial or to be executed as war criminals etc. But as I explained earlier, in the UK we had not 1, not even 2, but 3 very detailed lengthy judge-lead enquires into all the aspects and all of the accusations of whether or not Blair and other UK government officials had acted illegally, or misled or deliberately lied to the UK public or lied to the House of Commons etc. .... and although a vast proportion of the UK public (and opposition politicians) did not like it and did not want ever to accept it, the result of all those inquires has been that there was no deliberate deception, lying or misleading, and that not only the UK intelligence services, but also the intelligence services of all the other EU nations were advising that Saddam Hussein almost certainly did have an active program of WMD development (inc. nuclear weapons).

I don't know how many people here were really following the news carefully before and after the invasion, but in the UK we had several public opinion polls before any final decision was made to invade Iraq, and the clear majority public opinion was backing an invasion. It was only after the invasion, and specifically after the huge worldwide violent Islamic terrorist backlash began, with the Islamists (not the west) murdering thousands of people (mainly other Muslims in the regions), that later UK polls now showed a reversal with a big majority now saying the invasion was wrong, unjustified and a war crime etc., … but that was definitely not what most of those same UK public were saying before the event.

And far from "exonerating" the "victors" after the battle, Tony Blair in particular has had his entire political and personal reputation and character completely trashed by many millions of people (eg probably the majority of the UK population), who are themselves (since you mention it) probably guilty of forming their opinions precisely upon that basis (as you mentioned) of being wise only after the event.

And just as one final point on that – in case people have forgotten, the actual invasion of Baghdad, which only took about a week and where Saddam's army had in fact almost all fled before that final occupation of Baghdad, only resulted in a really tiny number of Iraqi civilian casualties (in the few days before the final move into Baghdad, the US had dropped thousands of leaflets telling everyone to stay in their homes for a few days where they would be safe as long as they did not go onto the streets and to the markets etc. … and iirc, the small numbers of civilians that were killed or injured were almost all individuals who defied those warnings and did open their market stalls & shops etc.). The great majority of all the huge number of deaths occurred in the months afterwards when Saddam' Baathists remnants together with an assortment of Al-Q fighters and others like Muqtada al Sada's private religious army, started slaughtering everyone.


Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
#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.

Well iirc Saddam was put on trial by the newly formed Iraqi government (and not by the US or UK forces), where the US and UK asked the Iraqi government not to issue a death penalty for Saddam, but it was that new Iraqi government that decided upon a death penalty.

If you say it's the US and UK that bear responsibility for this “mess”, and if by the “mess” you mean the worldwide uprising of Islamic fundamentalist terrorist atrocities, then I think you are wrong in the way you are deciding blame for things. The people who are responsible for the hundreds of thousands of deaths (actually deliberate targeted mass murders, mostly of unsuspecting members of the ordinary public around the world), are the Islamic religious terrorists such as those who join groups like IS (as well as the very many Muslims living all across Europe who have decided that they too should be plotting mass murder attacks upon the public in France, Germany, UK, Spain etc.).


Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
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"?

As I explained before - I think it was “inevitable” in the sense that, actually at the time of the attack, it would have been almost unthinkable for any western democracy to allow a terrorist attack like 9-11 to pass without them taking action to arrest (or detain by force) Bin Laden. And as we know, neither Bin Laden himself, or the Taliban would agree to be detained and put on trial by the USA. So the choice was either to let Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban continue to make attacks such as 9-11 whenever they wanted to, anywhere around the world, or to enter Afghanistan by force and to remove Bin Laden and Al Qaeda by force.
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Old 11th May 2019, 02:13 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
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.
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
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?
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
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.
I'm guessing this last part was aimed, either partly or entirely, at me. (Apologies if this is not the case, but I'm going to proceed as if it were).
Firstly, I haven't "ducked out" of the thread: I've been busy at work.
Now, as for your larger point: No, I don't agree with it, and yes, you are missing some blindingly obvious things.
Your focus on the "bullying West" is somewhat blinkered. The invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was by Russia, which is not normally considered to be a western country, in the general sense of the word. Russia has also been very obviously involved in the Syrian conflict, and is busily propping up a brutal dictator by brutal means. Does that not somehow create resentment among Muslims? Then there is Iran, which is involved in Syria as well, and is also fighting a proxy war with the Sunni states in Yemen. I can tell you that this is creating considerable resentment among Muslims in the Gulf, especially in Saudi Arabia.
As a general point, you seem to have bought in to the sophisticated and often successful propaganda campaign being waged by the Muslim world, which depicts Muslims as peaceful and innocent victims of unprovoked Western aggression. This is propaganda: the real lessons of history tell us that the West has, in many cases, helped Muslim states militarily (Kuwait; North Africa in WWII; Mali, to name but a few) and financially (Egypt, Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority receive billions of dollars in annual subsidies), not to mention the creation of Jordan out of what was originally supposed to be a Jewish homeland.
The roots of modern jihadism go back to the 1950's, and had nothing at all to do with western 'bullying'. Sayeed Qutub went to America in 1948, and returned filled with hatred for that country, despite having had nothing but good treatment there. He became the father of modern jihadism.
The idea that somehow Muslims are justified in launching attacks against innocent civilians is untenable. Don't get me wrong: I was, and am, opposed to the invasion of Iraq. However, the violence that followed was created by Muslims to a great extent: Abu Musab Al Zarkawi went to great lengths to provoke internecine war between Sunnis and Shia as a way of attacking both Shias and the US. The chaos in Libya is self-created by the Libyans. The violence in Afghanistan likewise. Ditto Yemen.
There is a perception in the Muslim world that the West hates Muslims, and hates Islam, and that there is a massive media campaign agianst both in the West. By accepting and promoting these ideas, you are helping to reinforce this idea, even though it is simply not true.

ETA: One additional thought occurs. I know you have an antipathy to what you call 'minutiae' (and what I would call 'facts'), but can you give an example, other that the Iraq invasion, of the West bullying the Muslim world?
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Old 11th May 2019, 03:22 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
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.
The history of religions are the most dubious of them all! Almost all of it based on hearsay and they introduce dubious witnesses for their testimonies. IIRC Thomas Paine called them out on this in The Age of Reason. Needless to say, a significant chunk of Christian history rests on Eusebius alone.

It boggles my mind how the affairs involving "god" and the miraculous haven't yet been divorced from the historical narrative. Articles should begin with an overview of historicity before delving into the narrative.

Say, for instance, the wiki article for Abraham. Almost entirely consists of references to the book of Genesis, with references to "god" and the miraculous plastered all over the place, mingled with dates, locations, references to contemporary conflicts, etc. And why on the earth is the absolutely unreliable KJV still being utilized? I imagine the religious would protest against rationalizing the Bible, Quran, etc. but this insistence on keeping the narrative intact comes off to me as a flagrant abuse of privileges.

Separating the historical from the religious doesn't come across as offensive to me. The religious narrative would still be there, but with less priority.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
"And then a lot of knights got together and attacked what is now Israel for no reason at all."
Religious motivations aside, political motivation for the Crusades was obvious: power expansion under the camouflage of religion.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
My, my, how do you know all these things? Mind you I am just suggesting education so you can keep your embellishments.
I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who encouraged free enquiry and reason as the only counter to dogma, intolerance, and ignorance. There's a certain book titled The Right of Free Discussion, published anonymously in 1829, which argues similarly. We are long past the point of persecution, the religions have become established and persecution only enables martyrdom.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
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?
People can readily adapt to Islam regardless of their race. It's dissolution of the race concept is based on good relations (see Mohammed's last sermon), guided by the spirit of internationalism and tolerance. How is that terrorism?

Whereas Christianity merely adopts the superficial appearance of anti-racialism, but really splits the race apart by turning a man against his father, mother, son, daughter, etc. If someone in a Christian family doesn't subscribe to the same dogma, he is practically ostracized. Haven't you seen the film Agora where the man insists that he's a Christian while being booed by the crowd? A man can devote his whole life to the cause and one slip up or negligence which brings defamation upon the whole body politic results in his excommunication.

Besides, no one's going to sacrifice themselves for the privilege of singing songs all day and night in a vague, unrealistic paradise (lamb and the lion lie side-by-side). The real life examples (lioness adopts antelopes and leopards) are purely circumstantial. The Muslims on the other hand were promised a real earthly paradise, something worth dying for, within reach, and practical. Same goes for the Communists.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Show me the examples of "obvious prejudice".
I'm new here so I could be misjudging, but you wrote:

Quote:
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.
Why is it the foe of the West?

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Old 11th May 2019, 02:03 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
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".

I suspect you are the one displaying a lack of thread following ability. As Safe-Keeper has so clearly said, nobody is blaming muslims in general. We are just recognising the religion of Islam as the problem.


I suspect this doesn't suit you however, you just want to brand anyone who criticises the religion as being hateful toward the people, so you can shout "racist" at the top of your lungs.
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Old 11th May 2019, 02:26 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post

Snip

I believe it was Thomas Jefferson who encouraged free enquiry and reason as the only counter to dogma, intolerance, and ignorance. There's a certain book titled The Right of Free Discussion, published anonymously in 1829, which argues similarly. We are long past the point of persecution, the religions have become established and persecution only enables martyrdom.
I am certainly on Jeffersons side here, re the "free enquiry and reason as the only counter to dogma", but what is that tosh at the end of the paragraph?

Quote:
People can readily adapt to Islam regardless of their race. It's dissolution of the race concept is based on good relations (see Mohammed's last sermon), guided by the spirit of internationalism and tolerance. How is that terrorism?
I am sure you can find good bits to cherry pick in Islam. Who said this part was terrorism?

Quote:
Whereas Christianity merely adopts the superficial appearance of anti-racialism, but really splits the race apart by turning a man against his father, mother, son, daughter, etc. If someone in a Christian family doesn't subscribe to the same dogma, he is practically ostracized. Haven't you seen the film Agora where the man insists that he's a Christian while being booed by the crowd? A man can devote his whole life to the cause and one slip up or negligence which brings defamation upon the whole body politic results in his excommunication.

Sounds like you are setting up some kind of flimsy argument, showing Christianity to be wanting compared to Islam perhaps? You will have to wait a long time, before you see me coming out waving the Christian banner, but at least they don't kill the backsliders for apostasy.


Quote:
Besides, no one's going to sacrifice themselves for the privilege of singing songs all day and night in a vague, unrealistic paradise (lamb and the lion lie side-by-side). The real life examples (lioness adopts antelopes and leopards) are purely circumstantial. The Muslims on the other hand were promised a real earthly paradise, something worth dying for, within reach, and practical. Same goes for the Communists.

That is the essence of the problem.


Quote:
I'm new here so I could be misjudging, but you wrote:



Why is it the foe of the West?

Best you read some more of the earlier posts. Does 9/11 ring a bell for you?
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Old 11th May 2019, 09:09 PM   #167
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Aside from the thread title, we have:

Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
Are you guys seriously discussing the "Islamic Question" in this thread?

Are none of you just a little bit creeped out by this?
[quote=Thor 2;12683091] Islam does stand out and we must recognise this...

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.
Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
...The Atheist's plan to deal with the Islam problem ....
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Look I think I have been clear that I am talking about the effect of Islam in the West. Now this may seem selfish maybe, but this is where we may be able to do something about the impact of Islam.
This, however, is outstanding:

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
As Safe-Keeper has so clearly said, nobody is blaming muslims in general. We are just recognising the religion of Islam as the problem.
I'm betting you don't even get the irony of saying nobody's blaming muslims in general, just the religion of islam.

Followers of which defines being a muslim.
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Old 11th May 2019, 10:42 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I am certainly on Jeffersons side here, re the "free enquiry and reason as the only counter to dogma", but what is that tosh at the end of the paragraph?
Didn't the Treaty of Tripoli and Napoleon extend religious tolerance towards the Muslim world?

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I am sure you can find good bits to cherry pick in Islam. Who said this part was terrorism?
It's not cherry picking if those good bits come from the actual Mohammed. In addition to a stricter and purer monotheism, excessive fatalism, and a reward/punishment system, one discovers an emphasis on the unknowable deity and attempted rationalizations of existing Jewish-Christian verses. Correct me if I'm wrong, but even the biblical stories have been updated and made slightly more comprehensible.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Sounds like you are setting up some kind of flimsy argument, showing Christianity to be wanting compared to Islam perhaps? You will have to wait a long time, before you see me coming out waving the Christian banner, but at least they don't kill the backsliders for apostasy.
Far from it. I obviously abhor Christianity.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
That is the essence of the problem.
If America wants to match their fighting ardor, their soldiers need something equally worthwhile to die for rather than returning home (which is pretty much what they end up wanting in the end) as disgruntled and unapprepciated veterans fighting for politicians and to fill in the pockets of wealthy one-percenters. Maybe a few zealots care about helping American world expansion, but half of our much lauded ideals aren't even realizable. Muslim terrorists, however much disrepute they bring upon the civilized Muslim world, have a realistic, attainable goal: a new caliph in the Middle East.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Best you read some more of the earlier posts. Does 9/11 ring a bell for you?
Which led to the shameful debacle over WMDs and Saddam Hussein.

American security has always been top notch, intelligence agencies know how to keep tabs on people. It boggles my mind when the press denigrates them as sloppy and sluggish while the shows and films depict them as competent. Where is the consistent portrayal?
If a terrorist attack is permitted, then there's obviously something to gain from it's aftermath. Whether it really happened or not is irrelevant. Either way, it served as a pretext and now it's a piece of history that will become forgotten by most people, except on memorial days or when it's relevant.

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Old 12th May 2019, 02:05 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
Muslim terrorists, however much disrepute they bring upon the civilized Muslim world, have a realistic, attainable goal: a new caliph in the Middle East.
Do, please, tell me this was meant as a joke.
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Old 12th May 2019, 04:02 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Do, please, tell me this was meant as a joke.
Tell me what would have happened if they were allowed to expand unchecked. It's not out of the question that they could have overrun the Middle East. A comeback or resurgence is always possible. Just because they're on the wane nowadays doesn't mean they're finished off.
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Old 12th May 2019, 05:18 AM   #171
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How are we all coping this Ramanan? Not hyperventilating over iftar displays in your local supermarket or helal product labels? Muttering to yourselves over the women in headscarves you see more and more about your town?
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Old 12th May 2019, 08:12 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
Tell me what would have happened if they were allowed to expand unchecked.
Do you consider this to be a realistic scenario? Because I certainly don't.

Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
It's not out of the question that they could have overrun the Middle East. A comeback or resurgence is always possible. Just because they're on the wane nowadays doesn't mean they're finished off.
Same question. Do you think it likely that every single government in the Middle East will meekly roll over and allow itself to be abolished in favour of a fundamentalist caliphate? Do you think the peoples of those countries, having seen what happened in Iraq and Syria, will do the same? Do you think the rest of the world will sit back passively and let it happen?
None of this is remotely realistic.
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Old 12th May 2019, 11:43 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Do you consider this to be a realistic scenario? Because I certainly don't.

Same question. Do you think it likely that every single government in the Middle East will meekly roll over and allow itself to be abolished in favour of a fundamentalist caliphate? Do you think the peoples of those countries, having seen what happened in Iraq and Syria, will do the same? Do you think the rest of the world will sit back passively and let it happen?
None of this is remotely realistic.
The succeeding generation of youth are mostly passive. What's going to inspire them to join the military to fight fanatics? Mindless shooter games?

The appeasements in WW2 should show sufficiently how entire countries have sat back in the past and did nothing about aggression.
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Old 12th May 2019, 02:15 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post

I'm betting you don't even get the irony of saying nobody's blaming muslims in general, just the religion of islam.

Followers of which defines being a muslim.

Deliberately obtuseness is what I sense in your posts regarding this.

I thought the Safe-Keeper's comparison of the Nazi experience to that of Islam was quite good, (much better than yours about the Buddhists in Myanmar incidentally), and now I suppose we can say with confidence that Nazism has been subdued. The German people are now the friends of their former foes. So how is this? Nazism wasn't modified and moulded into something more palatable, it was just thrown out.

I would like to see Islam thrown out. Mind you I feel the same about other religions also, but at this point of time, Islam is the obvious front runner in giving us grief.
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Old 12th May 2019, 02:47 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
How are we all coping this Ramanan? Not hyperventilating over iftar displays in your local supermarket or helal product labels? Muttering to yourselves over the women in headscarves you see more and more about your town?

I assume you meant Ramadan and halal?

I am doing OK thanks, no hyperventilating going on here. Mind you I will avoid any product labeled as "halal" on principle, being mindful of the manner animals are slaughtered to comply, and the fact that some muslim cleric gets money for certification.

I feel some sorrow for the women in the headscarves and even more for the ones in burkas, (not such a common sight here), but feel gladdened they are probably enjoying greater freedom here, than they would in say Saudi.
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Old 12th May 2019, 02:54 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
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:

However there is limited support it seems:

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.

I agree, mostly, but it isn't really necessary to tell anybody that religion is bad and derivative. Learning about different religions is in itself secularizing as long as it is fairly objective, i.e. not our religion, the correct one, versus their religions, the false ones.
The problem is that it requires a certain level of secularization before something like this can even be suggested, but Australia seems to have arrived there. Congratulations.
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Old 12th May 2019, 03:02 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I assume you meant Ramadan and halal?

I am doing OK thanks, no hyperventilating going on here. Mind you I will avoid any product labeled as "halal" on principle, being mindful of the manner animals are slaughtered to comply, and the fact that some muslim cleric gets money for certification.

I feel some sorrow for the women in the headscarves and even more for the ones in burkas, (not such a common sight here), but feel gladdened they are probably enjoying greater freedom here, than they would in say Saudi.
Glad you are coping with the Muslim invasion of Straya. I applaud your dedication to animal welfare, which I am sure extends to all of your meat purchases.

I feel sorry that Australian Muslim women live in a country where some **** head might try to snatch their headscarves to save them from oppression or shout abuse at them.
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Old 12th May 2019, 03:07 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
Didn't the Treaty of Tripoli and Napoleon extend religious tolerance towards the Muslim world?
So?

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It's not cherry picking if those good bits come from the actual Mohammed. In addition to a stricter and purer monotheism, excessive fatalism, and a reward/punishment system, one discovers an emphasis on the unknowable deity and attempted rationalizations of existing Jewish-Christian verses. Correct me if I'm wrong, but even the biblical stories have been updated and made slightly more comprehensible.
I think perhaps you don't understand the term "cherry picking". That the "bits come from the actual Mohammed" is irrelevant.

I can't correct you for being wrong because I don't know what point you are trying to make.

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Far from it. I obviously abhor Christianity.
Far from what?

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If America wants to match their fighting ardor, their soldiers need something equally worthwhile to die for rather than returning home (which is pretty much what they end up wanting in the end) as disgruntled and unapprepciated veterans fighting for politicians and to fill in the pockets of wealthy one-percenters. Maybe a few zealots care about helping American world expansion, but half of our much lauded ideals aren't even realizable. Muslim terrorists, however much disrepute they bring upon the civilized Muslim world, have a realistic, attainable goal: a new caliph in the Middle East.
Are you suggesting America needs zealots who are willing to blow themselves up too?

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Which led to the shameful debacle over WMDs and Saddam Hussein.
Let's not go there again.

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American security has always been top notch, intelligence agencies know how to keep tabs on people. It boggles my mind when the press denigrates them as sloppy and sluggish while the shows and films depict them as competent. Where is the consistent portrayal?
If a terrorist attack is permitted, then there's obviously something to gain from it's aftermath. Whether it really happened or not is irrelevant. Either way, it served as a pretext and now it's a piece of history that will become forgotten by most people, except on memorial days or when it's relevant.
So what is the point you are trying to make here in response to my post?
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Old 12th May 2019, 03:18 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Glad you are coping with the Muslim invasion of Straya. I applaud your dedication to animal welfare, which I am sure extends to all of your meat purchases.
Well thank you for your endorsement.

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I feel sorry that Australian Muslim women live in a country where some **** head might try to snatch their headscarves to save them from oppression or shout abuse at them.
Yes we most certainly do have some **** heads in OZ and I feel for those women who are abused by them. You would find me coming to their defence if I was present.
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Old 12th May 2019, 06:07 PM   #180
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Yet, in the meantime you play up fears about their religion. A fear that contributes to their abuse by xenophobes.
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Old 12th May 2019, 06:16 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I thought the Safe-Keeper's comparison of the Nazi experience to that of Islam was quite good,...
I just thought I'd copy that for whoever it was didn't realise all muslims were the target of discussion. Your thread, your parameters.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
...(much better than yours about the Buddhists in Myanmar incidentally),
I didn't compare them at all. I noted that Sam Harris hadn't had much to say about the Rohingya, despite vastly more casualties than terrorists are causing.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I would like to see Islam thrown out. Mind you I feel the same about other religions also, but at this point of time, Islam is the obvious front runner in giving us grief.
Compared to say... drone strikes by USA?

Have we got a bodycount on those two handy?
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Old 12th May 2019, 09:14 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
So?
You're risking antagonizing the civilized Muslim elements while overlooking the actual source of our woes: our ethics, which stem from Christianity and Judaism.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I think perhaps you don't understand the term "cherry picking". That the "bits come from the actual Mohammed" is irrelevant.
The Catholic Church interpolated a significant chunk of John 8 and 1 John 5:8. It's not out of the question that the Quran has received similar treatment. If the Muslims threw out the dogma of an infallible Quran, they'd gain an upper hand against Christendom. Every religion should be self-critical. Dogmatic/intolerant only when necessary (self-defense).

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Far from what?
You said I was trying to make Christianity out to be lacking compared to Islam. In some respects, that is true. The confusing formulations given for the Trinity dogma are sheer absurdity and even the formulations for god are woefully inadequate, devoid of inspiration and awe, lacking in every aspect, with their choice expressions of arbitrary labels: infinite, eternal, supreme, ultimate reality/source, omnipotent, etc. They miss the mark just as much as the pantheists who they so abhor.

Whereas the Muslim does not dare to define god, but manages to elicit a sense of wonder all over the world, in not only their writings, but also in architecture. God expressed in simplicity, a purer monotheism.

But in spite of it's aforementioned defects, Christianity is still the only religion in the West which has accounted for people's needs and no better substitute has been found.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Are you suggesting America needs zealots who are willing to blow themselves up too?
I'm saying the soldiers need better motives than defending the country's interests (or rather, the interests of political parties) and wanting to return home to their families.

Last edited by ehhz; 12th May 2019 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:06 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
The succeeding generation of youth are mostly passive. What's going to inspire them to join the military to fight fanatics? Mindless shooter games?
Apart from the members of the generation of youth who are flocking to the banner of jihadism, that it.
You can't have this both ways.

Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
The appeasements in WW2 should show sufficiently how entire countries have sat back in the past and did nothing about aggression.
So you are saying that Nazi Germany still controls most of Europe, and Japan controls the Pacific, then?
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:15 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
You're risking antagonizing the civilized Muslim elements while overlooking the actual source of our woes: our ethics, which stem from Christianity and Judaism.
You do realise that Islam stems from Christianity and Judaism, right?


Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
The Catholic Church interpolated a significant chunk of John 8 and 1 John 5:8. It's not out of the question that the Quran has received similar treatment.
If by this, you mean that the Quran has been altered since its "revelation'", then, no, you are utterly wrong.
Have you heard of the Satanic Verses? There was a small kerfuffle over this when Salman Rushdie suggested that some of the verses had been erroneously added.


Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
If the Muslims threw out the dogma of an infallible Quran, they'd gain an upper hand against Christendom.
How? I fail to see how a flexible approach to a belief in a nonexistent entity gives an advantage over a flexible approach to a belief in a slightly different nonexistent entity.

Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
You said I was trying to make Christianity out to be lacking compared to Islam. In some respects, that is true. The confusing formulations given for the Trinity dogma are sheer absurdity and even the formulations for god are woefully inadequate, devoid of inspiration and awe, lacking in every aspect, with their choice expressions of arbitrary labels: infinite, eternal, supreme, ultimate reality/source, omnipotent, etc. They miss the mark just as much as the pantheists who they so abhor.

Whereas the Muslim does not dare to define god, but manages to elicit a sense of wonder all over the world, in not only their writings, but also in architecture. God expressed in simplicity, a purer monotheism.
Sorry, but this is utter bilge. You really need to do some research into Islam before you make any more ridiculous statements like this one.
https://99namesofallah.name/
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:20 AM   #185
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Islam is a warlike religion and with the Arab mentality Christian churches are in danger around the world.
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:57 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
So you are saying that Nazi Germany still controls most of Europe, and Japan controls the Pacific, then?
It might as well, considering the modern obsession with Nazis. Europe is still held back by it's past.
Not to mention how a bunch of German scientists and politicians were enlisted by the US government and how modern Germany enjoys a flourishing economy.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
You do realise that Islam stems from Christianity and Judaism, right?
While it's true that Islam owes it's existence to Christianity (the need for Mohammed's conquests wouldn't have arisen otherwise), it's untrue that Islam is a Jewish sect since it has been largely cultivated by the Arabs.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
If by this, you mean that the Quran has been altered since its "revelation'", then, no, you are utterly wrong.
Have you heard of the Satanic Verses? There was a small kerfuffle over this when Salman Rushdie suggested that some of the verses had been erroneously added.
What? Which verses did he mention?

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
How? I fail to see how a flexible approach to a belief in a nonexistent entity gives an advantage over a flexible approach to a belief in a slightly different nonexistent entity.
The Catholic Church makes concessions to modernity in it's policies, but never dispenses with it's dogma (i.e. condemnation of abortion, a longtime staple of the Catholic package). It does not permit direct alteration of the Bible, but can get around what has been written around the scriptures. It has set itself up for collapse in the long run. The Copernican revolution is still ongoing. It's not out of the question that the Church could reinforce geocentricism if it came into power again. Even a modern man like Stalin heeded Lysenko's bizarre theories.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Sorry, but this is utter bilge. You really need to do some research into Islam before you make any more ridiculous statements like this one.
By "infinite, eternal, supreme, ultimate reality/source, omnipotent", I meant more than mere titles. I was alluding to the creeds of the churches.

Besides, the titles listed on that site are meant to be read and pronounced in their original language.

Last edited by ehhz; 13th May 2019 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:39 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
If Sam Harris said that then he is an idiot. AGW isn't a 'tribal belief', and disliking someone who denies that AGW exists and is using his position of power to make it worse is the natural reaction of any rational person.

More Americans and most Republicans now believe in climate change


If Sam Harris said that then he is doubly an idiot.

Public opinion on gun control in the United States
Wow. Way to completely misinterpret what I wrote.

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Seems to me that Sam Harris is a lazy thinker who spouts half-baked theories not supported by facts.
That's the polar opposite of what I said, but okay.
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:42 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I just thought I'd copy that for whoever it was didn't realise all muslims were the target of discussion. Your thread, your parameters.
...what?
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Old 13th May 2019, 07:29 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
Reading comprehension hiccup, apparently. Not even sure how it happened. Mea culpa .

Uncommonly gracious in these parts to acknowledge this so readily. Appreciate it.

And extra points for the humor.

And for actually reading (re-reading?) my posts -- else, without that reference to my posts, that humor wouldn't have been humorous -- move right on to the top of the class! :---)
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Old 13th May 2019, 08:03 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
OK, well firstly, as far as I'm concerned we are just talking about various aspects of this entire subject, and I'm not actually arguing about any of it … just trying to have a constructive exchange of views.

Understood.

It’s actually comical, how wrapped up people here sometimes get in vigorously pushing their own arguments, as if any of these discussions ultimately matter. (Well, they do matter, if the discussion is done right, in terms of testing one’s own opinions against others’, but in a larger context I mean.) No one outside of here -- and few even inside of here -- really cares which opinion ‘wins’ some JREF/ISF argument-fest, after all.

I’m afraid in this instance I’m very much one of these “people” I spoke of, in that I’d got kind of carried away into pushing my own argument kind of single-mindedly.


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And really I don't think we are all that far apart.

I’m afraid I’m returning -- one last time, as far as my exchange with you -- to my “single-minded” argument here : but, since you bring this up yourself, I have to say, I’d gotten the impression that your views were different than mine. Perhaps I was mistaken in inferring that from your posts.

Would you say, then, that you agree with my essential argument? To recap, and to make sure we don’t speak across each other, the short point I’ve been making here is this: The both-their-eyes-for-an-eye-and-every-tooth-in-their-mouth-as-well retribution (what else can one call it?) wreaked specifically (and mistakenly to boot) on Iraq following 9/11 is something that I see as scandalously disproportionate, and wholly unfair. Analogies are always iffy, but it’s like some neighborhood kid punches your kid in the face, so you go out and kill that kid and his parents and raze their house to the ground, because not only did that kid there ‘dare’ to raise their hand against your child, but they also allegedly possess guns -- and it turns out, afterwards, firstly, that they did not possess guns at all ; and secondly, in as much as you have a whole gun rack full of all kinds of guns yourself, your outrage and/or concern at their possessing guns is highly hypocritical in the first place. (Generic “you”, let he hasten to add : I might just as well have used a generic “I” instead.) Not only is the false WMD claim on which the whole post-9/11 Iraq misadventure either plain dishonesty or else incompetence, and therefore culpable, given the extent of damage caused ; but also, if we look at the larger picture, then this whole episode is deeply unfair, and any resentment that “they” may feel on account of what happened is perfectly justified. So that any long-term solution will probably be wise to incorporate measures, within limits and reason of course, that might assuage this sense of resentment. And such measures will probably include a re-opening of the investigations of those days to properly establish individual culpability of the people involved.

Would you say you agree with this position of mine? And it is perfectly fine if you’re undecided, or simply do not care to engage with this specific argument, while at the same time continuing to touch on other aspects of this issue.


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But anyway -

On the issue of it being too “hasty” - I think it was too hasty given that Blix was asking for just a few more weeks or a few months at most, but I was not in possession of (and neither was anyone in this thread in possession of) the vast mountain of vital intelligence and strategic evidence (a narrow time window etc.) etc. that US/UK/Others did have.

Whether or not it was "inexcusable" is really a personal opinion that is very subjective indeed, and certainly from you and I (or anyone here) is hugely lacking in all of that information, detail and intelligence that was being used at the time ... we are really not in a good position here to say that it was anything as simplistic as an "inexcusable" mistake.

While I agree with the points you make, in the portion I’ve quoted above, I’m afraid I disagree with the conclusion you draw, the highlighted bit. Which is fine, no reason for us to have to agree on everything, but here’s why I disagree : Even if it is shown that those claims hadn’t been deliberately misleading, nevertheless, there can be no doubt that it was a very regrettable decision that unleashed irreparable damage on massive scale to that region. If the leaders themselves aren’t culpable, then surely someone very high up in intelligence must inevitably be culpable (for incompetence if for nothing else) for pushing wrong intelligence without either realizing or else without making clear to the political leadership that this intelligence (about Iraq’s WMDs and about Iraq’s involvement in and/or support to in 9/11) was less than iron-clad.


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On the second point about being exonerated - Bush and Blair have certainly not been "exonerated". On the contrary, there have been countless calls for them to be put on trial or to be executed as war criminals etc. But as I explained earlier, in the UK we had not 1, not even 2, but 3 very detailed lengthy judge-lead enquires into all the aspects and all of the accusations of whether or not Blair and other UK government officials had acted illegally, or misled or deliberately lied to the UK public or lied to the House of Commons etc. .... and although a vast proportion of the UK public (and opposition politicians) did not like it and did not want ever to accept it, the result of all those inquires has been that there was no deliberate deception, lying or misleading, and that not only the UK intelligence services, but also the intelligence services of all the other EU nations were advising that Saddam Hussein almost certainly did have an active program of WMD development (inc. nuclear weapons).

I don't know how many people here were really following the news carefully before and after the invasion, but in the UK we had several public opinion polls before any final decision was made to invade Iraq, and the clear majority public opinion was backing an invasion. It was only after the invasion, and specifically after the huge worldwide violent Islamic terrorist backlash began, with the Islamists (not the west) murdering thousands of people (mainly other Muslims in the regions), that later UK polls now showed a reversal with a big majority now saying the invasion was wrong, unjustified and a war crime etc., … but that was definitely not what most of those same UK public were saying before the event.

And far from "exonerating" the "victors" after the battle, Tony Blair in particular has had his entire political and personal reputation and character completely trashed by many millions of people (eg probably the majority of the UK population), who are themselves (since you mention it) probably guilty of forming their opinions precisely upon that basis (as you mentioned) of being wise only after the event.

Not enough, IanS, not enough by a long shot.

To begin with, it is the US that bears the lion’s share of the blame, since the UK was merely -- no offense intended by the imagery -- merely throwing in its voice (and its might, such as it is) with the rest and specifically with the “lion” in question -- so that what happened to Blair is far less significant than what happened to W. And nothing happened to cloWn-in-chief, nothing at all, not really.

And even where Blair is concerned, do you really think that “(having) his entire political reputation … trashed” is anywhere close to sufficient, given that he spends his days in comfort and ease? He wasn’t even sacked from his position, he merely faded away at the end of his full term. If post-9/11, the top leadership at Al Quaeda had merely changed leaders, with the erstwhile top dog having his “political (and military) career (eventually not immediately!) trashed” while still living in luxury and splendor (relative to sitting in a prison cell and eating prison food and perhaps partaking of less than pleasurable prison sex), would that have been considered enough by the US, who bore the brunt of 9/11? If it wouldn’t, then how could Blair’s political eclipse begin to compensate “them” for the far greater damage “they” had to endure?


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And just as one final point on that – in case people have forgotten, the actual invasion of Baghdad, which only took about a week and where Saddam's army had in fact almost all fled before that final occupation of Baghdad, only resulted in a really tiny number of Iraqi civilian casualties (in the few days before the final move into Baghdad, the US had dropped thousands of leaflets telling everyone to stay in their homes for a few days where they would be safe as long as they did not go onto the streets and to the markets etc. … and iirc, the small numbers of civilians that were killed or injured were almost all individuals who defied those warnings and did open their market stalls & shops etc.). The great majority of all the huge number of deaths occurred in the months afterwards when Saddam' Baathists remnants together with an assortment of Al-Q fighters and others like Muqtada al Sada's private religious army, started slaughtering everyone.





Well iirc Saddam was put on trial by the newly formed Iraqi government (and not by the US or UK forces), where the US and UK asked the Iraqi government not to issue a death penalty for Saddam, but it was that new Iraqi government that decided upon a death penalty.

I acknowledge your far more detailed knowledge about all of this than mine own, and all of this is interesting enough, but still, it is basically the cowboy posse that W put up, and that Blair joined in with, that dismantled Iraq’s power structure, isn’t it? Like, directly? Nothing you’ve said here changes that, does it now? Despite the legitimate damage inflicted following Saddam’s Kuwait misadventure, Saddam was doing fine till then, and keeping the place (comparatively) safe and stable. It is when Saddam was -- entirely mistakenly, as it turned out -- blamed for 9/11 and suspected of possessing WMDs and ‘punished’ for that alleged crime by having his regime flattened (and his throat stretched), that that place devolved into chaos, out of which chaos rose the ISIS.

Might something like ISIS, perhaps under another name, still have happened, even if the West had not taken out Saddam’s Iraq? Could be, who knows? But fact is, this is what did happen, and what followed, did follow. I’m afraid ISIS is on W, and on W’s cronies.


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If you say it's the US and UK that bear responsibility for this “mess”, and if by the “mess” you mean the worldwide uprising of Islamic fundamentalist terrorist atrocities, then I think you are wrong in the way you are deciding blame for things. The people who are responsible for the hundreds of thousands of deaths (actually deliberate targeted mass murders, mostly of unsuspecting members of the ordinary public around the world), are the Islamic religious terrorists such as those who join groups like IS (as well as the very many Muslims living all across Europe who have decided that they too should be plotting mass murder attacks upon the public in France, Germany, UK, Spain etc.).

No no, absolutely not, neither of what you say is what I mean. I’m referring neither to the fundamental basic original cause for Islamic terrorism nor to the technicality of Saddam’s trial and ultimate execution.

What I’m speaking of -- and pardon me if my earlier posts addressed to you did not make this adequately clear -- is something far more specific and focused than the fundamental original basic cause of Islamic fundamentalism, and something way more general than the technicality of Saddam’s trial and his subsequent execution.

I’m speaking of the post-WTC Iraq war, I'm speaking of the the post-9/11 dismantling of Saddam’s regime by the West, carried out by the West on two mistaken assumptions, first that Iraq was behind 9/11, and second that Saddam possessed WMDs, and the subsequent chaos that that entire region was reduced to, out of which rose ISIS.

And I repeat, it could be, perhaps, that even without this cowboy-posse misadventure, something like the ISIS may still have arisen, for all we know. But the fact is that it is the West that did, indirectly, by overthrowing Saddam’s regime, make it possible for ISIS to grow to its subsequent stature and influence.


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As I explained before - I think it was “inevitable” in the sense that, actually at the time of the attack, it would have been almost unthinkable for any western democracy to allow a terrorist attack like 9-11 to pass without them taking action to arrest (or detain by force) Bin Laden. And as we know, neither Bin Laden himself, or the Taliban would agree to be detained and put on trial by the USA. So the choice was either to let Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban continue to make attacks such as 9-11 whenever they wanted to, anywhere around the world, or to enter Afghanistan by force and to remove Bin Laden and Al Qaeda by force.

Firstly, IanS, it is Iraq and Saddam I was speaking of, not Bin Laden and Afghanistan.

And secondly, I question this not-just-an-eye-but-the-entire-*******-face-for-an-eye logic. If flattening entire countries is considered justified and “inevitable” response following the (relatively) wholly trivial damage inflicted on 9/11, then -- even leaving aside the fact that the wrong country was taken down! -- we can hardly then sit and moan on about similar retribution planned by the other side (even if the actual execution of that retribution takes the form of pathetic and impotent suicide attacks, given their incomparably lesser might), at least not if we care to be at all consistent. If we are prepared to accept the West’s response as “inevitable” -- and I don’t think it was inevitable that wiser heads, counseling restraint, might prevail -- then surely it is hypocritical, surely it is special pleading, not to think of such damages as “they” hurl back at “us” as equally inevitable?


----------


I do appreciate the depth of analysis you bring to this discussion, IanS -- and I say this without the least bit of sarcasm, and with genuine appreciation -- but I don’t see, really, that it actually affects the conclusion one is led to, as far as my specific argument.

But yes, I take your point, that you aren’t necessarily arguing that specific issue, but only generally discussing what happened there. Apologies if I’ve been unnecessarily single-minded in pushing forward my own POV here. I remain curious about your opinion on the very specific point and argument I’ve raised here, but it’s fine if you wish to discuss this on more general terms and don’t want to weigh in on that specific opinion/POV/conclusion I draw and on the suggestion I put forward here consequent to that conclusion (of having at least a smidgen of justice done, and, importantly, having that justice -- hitherto starkly absent -- clearly seen to be done).
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Old 13th May 2019, 08:43 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
I'm guessing this last part was aimed, either partly or entirely, at me.

Not at you specifically.

It often happens here that people discuss issues, and especially when they’re on opposite sides of some particular argument, they jab back and forth with repartees and counter-arguments when they can, but neglect to express agreement -- or at least to concede that they aren’t able to defend their disagreement, to defend their differing opinion -- when they can’t. That is what I’ve said I find disconcerting, in a general way.

But yes, in as much as the context for that particular comment of mine -- which, in retrospect, was unnecessary and might perhaps have best been left unsaid -- is this thread and my discussions here, I guess you’re right in thinking this is “partly” about you, no matter how small that part.


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(Apologies if this is not the case, but I'm going to proceed as if it were).
Firstly, I haven't "ducked out" of the thread: I've been busy at work.
Now, as for your larger point: No, I don't agree with it, and yes, you are missing some blindingly obvious things.

Eh. Would you have come back to this thread in any case, even if I hadn’t written that post (and if you hadn’t ascribed to it the meaning that you did)? If you wouldn’t, then surely you had indeed, in effect, “ducked out”, and only came back goaded by that comment of mine? And if you would indeed have come back, then, in “proceeding as if it were”, what exactly are you saying or doing differently now than you would have if I hadn’t written that comment or if it hadn’t been aimed even partly at you? Surely the views that you present here, now, are not in any way based on whether or not that comment of mine was directed at you? :---)


(By the way, if it isn’t clear, that was just an -- attempted -- joke, to lighten the mood as it were, a parody of the meta nitpicks that one often sees made in discussions here. Made entirely in jest. Hence that smiley. Of course, that’s just a single-use card, and if one tends to say that sort of thing other than only very occasionally then one goes from being skeptic-having-fun-or-at-least-trying-to to being a “duck”head.)


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Your focus on the "bullying West" is somewhat blinkered.

You know, I agree, although not for the reasons you put forward here. Like I’ve been saying to IanS just now, I’m afraid I’ve been arguing my point rather single-mindedly, which is kind of (but not entirely) ridiculous, given how wholly inconsequential this discussion (between us) ultimately is, and indeed all discussions on here ultimately are. So yes, my argument was (intentionally, and perhaps unnecessarily) blinkered, focused, single-pointed. But not wrong, for all that, not per my lights.


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The invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was by Russia, which is not normally considered to be a western country, in the general sense of the word. Russia has also been very obviously involved in the Syrian conflict, and is busily propping up a brutal dictator by brutal means. Does that not somehow create resentment among Muslims? Then there is Iran, which is involved in Syria as well, and is also fighting a proxy war with the Sunni states in Yemen. I can tell you that this is creating considerable resentment among Muslims in the Gulf, especially in Saudi Arabia.

IanS has said to me that he isn’t arguing the particular issue I bring up, but only generally discussing this issue. If that is what you also are doing, then sure, that’s informative, all of that you say here. But since you preface this paragraph by saying you don’t agree with me and that you think I’m “missing some blindingly obvious things”, that does not seem to be the case. So that I have to point out, here at this point, that you may have misunderstood my argument.

I’m not claiming for a minute that it is Western “bullying” that is the architect of the whole terrorist thing going back way into the dim past. I was focusing specifically on the post-9/11 flattening of Saddam’ regime in Iraq by the West : that is what I believe and have said is “deeply unfair”, and based ultimately on little more than disproportionate might on one side (and therefore akin to “bullying”).

As for Russia’s actions creating resentment in the minds of the Muslims in Afghanistan and Syria (and, hell, why not in Uzbekistan as well), well, I’d say that’s classic whataboutism : “No miss, I wasn’t bullying that scrawny kid, sure I beat him up yesterday, but then Moe flattened him last week and I did no different, so no, I wasn’t bullying him!”


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As a general point, you seem to have bought in to the sophisticated and often successful propaganda campaign being waged by the Muslim world, which depicts Muslims as peaceful and innocent victims of unprovoked Western aggression. This is propaganda: the real lessons of history tell us that the West has, in many cases, helped Muslim states militarily (Kuwait; North Africa in WWII; Mali, to name but a few) and financially (Egypt, Pakistan and the Palestinian Authority receive billions of dollars in annual subsidies), not to mention the creation of Jordan out of what was originally supposed to be a Jewish homeland.

Without any offense or put-down intended, I have to point that out for the strawman it is. I haven’t said that ever, nor do I even think that Muslims are particularly “peaceful” when compared to other folks, nor that all of what ails them stems for Western aggression, and nor that Western interests are necessarily and always allied against that of individual Muslim countries or even against the Muslim world generally (if at all there even exists a homogeneous Muslim world in the first place).

As far as Muslims being peaceful as opposed to the war-mongering West, well, I personally am very sure that if it is ‘they’ that had possessed the West’s weaponry and disproportionate might, then they’d probably have been far more ruthless and far more aggressive and far more “bullying” in terms of using that might.

But that, that qualification, that sentence of mine right above, is simply hypotheticals. It does not change the fact that it is the West that does posses this disproportionate might, and that it has used it as it has. (And, to repeat, I’m referring specifically to the post-WTC dismantling of Saddam’s regime at Iraq by the West on the twin allegations of instigating and/or supporting the WTC attacks and of possessing WMDS, both of which allegations turned out to be false.)


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The roots of modern jihadism go back to the 1950's, and had nothing at all to do with western 'bullying'. Sayeed Qutub went to America in 1948, and returned filled with hatred for that country, despite having had nothing but good treatment there. He became the father of modern jihadism.
The idea that somehow Muslims are justified in launching attacks against innocent civilians is untenable. Don't get me wrong: I was, and am, opposed to the invasion of Iraq. However, the violence that followed was created by Muslims to a great extent: Abu Musab Al Zarkawi went to great lengths to provoke internecine war between Sunnis and Shia as a way of attacking both Shias and the US. The chaos in Libya is self-created by the Libyans. The violence in Afghanistan likewise. Ditto Yemen.

I’ve never suggested that the “roots” of modern Jihad go back to the West’s aggression. So, as far as my argument itself, which is about something far more specific, all of that’s something of a non sequitur.

But leaving my “argument” aside for the moment, and purely in terms of information on and analysis of “the roots of modern Jihad”, what you say here is both informative and insightful, and I appreciate it. (No sarcasm intended when I say that, let me clarify, to pre-empt any possible misunderstanding!)


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There is a perception in the Muslim world that the West hates Muslims, and hates Islam, and that there is a massive media campaign against both in the West. By accepting and promoting these ideas, you are helping to reinforce this idea, even though it is simply not true.

ETA: One additional thought occurs. I know you have an antipathy to what you call 'minutiae'

Okay, this is where you post moves from being reasoned and reasonable argument, and well-argued disagreement, and devolves to being plain messed up.

How, pray tell, do you know of this alleged antipathy of mine, and what’s more “know” of it with such certitude as to announce it in such confident tones?

For the record, no, this alleged antipathy you speak of is entirely as non-existent as the Iraqi WMDs.


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what you call 'minutiae' (and what I would call 'facts')

Minutiae are indeed facts, always so. If they’re fiction, lies, concoctions, then that is what they are, and not minutiae.

Perhaps I should defend my use of that word here.

I started out by making one single, short point on this thread. Some detailed information and analysis has been presented back to me, in response to my argument (or at least, quoting my argument) : which information and analysis, while insightful, had little bearing on my argument per se, and ended up merely obfuscating -- probably not intentionally, but still – the issue.

To that extent that I saw these details as factual, certainly, and insightful as well, but irrelevant to my particular argument, to that extent I thought of them, and referred to them, as “minutiae”.

IanS has clarified that he isn’t really arguing this single issue that I somehow seem to have ended up latching on to, but merely generally sharing his viewpoint on this. Absolutely, then, those qualify as “facts”, plain and simple, and I wouldn’t refer to his posts as “minutiae”, not any more, not after that clarification of his.

You, on the other hand, seem to be directly addressing the issue I raised. At least you that is what you yourself clearly and unambiguously say here.

Well, when in addressing whether the post-9/11 misadventure in Iraq is akin to “bullying” -- in addressing whether the attacks on that specific geography over that specific period of time, qualifies as “bullying” -- you present more detailed background about the genesis of modern Jihad and other factors that contributed towards bringing about modern Jihad, well then such detail, while no doubt “factual”, is legitimately described as “minutiae”, because it does not detract from, nor even direct address, my argument at all.

If like IanS you wish to discuss just those details about modern Islamic terrorism, without reference to my argument, then not only am I all ears, but also in full agreement with you. And nor will I then refer to what you're saying as minutiae or as non sequiturs.


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can you give an example, other that the Iraq invasion, of the West bullying the Muslim world?

How is that at all relevant? What has that to do, at all, with my argument? You’re simply shifting goalposts here. (Always assuming that your request for additional examples was not just some random request wholly unconnected with what we’ve said to each other thus far.)

I’m saying the post-9/11 Iraq misadventure was akin to “bullying”. If what I say is correct, then it remains correct and remains bullying even if there is zero other instance of similar bullying. And if what I say is incorrect, then it remains not correct and “not bullying” even if I can present twenty other instances which are legitimately described as “bullying”. The question isn’t whether the West habitually or repeatedly “bullies” the Muslim world, but only whether it has “bullied” that specific portion of the Muslim world in that specific instance.

But since you ask, yes, absolutely, I’ll go ahead and present one other example here, and end this already overlong post by briefly trying to defend this example.

Look at all of these efforts that have long been made, and continue to be made, in trying to get Iran to bury its nuclear program.

Now let me, right off, emphasize that not for a moment am I in support of Iran having nukes, absolutely not! In purely strategic terms, in simple survival terms, it would be nothing less than catastrophic. Nevertheless I assert -- and will try to argue -- that the West’s protracted opposition to Iran’s nukes is nothing other than “bullying”.

Think for a minute about who it is that speaks, when the US makes alarmist noises about Iran’s nukes. The US is the country that is sitting its ass on a ******** of nukes, enough to blow up the world many times over. And, having itself collected, over long years, this obscene pile of murderous weaponry, it wants to make sure that Iran doesn’t follow suit? By what justification, other than plain might?

And don’t even speak of “rogue nations” here. Quite apart from the No-True-Scotsman aspect of such an argument -- which argument I quite realize you haven’t yourself made, I say this simply to pre-empt one possible objection to what I’m saying -- all the other “rogues”, as far as use of nuclear weaponry, are only if-then-maybe-perhaps rogues, that is, hypothetical rogues. The one single actual and clearly proven “rogue”, as far as nuclear weaponry, is the US itself! It is the one single country that has actually used nukes, not once but twice.

And nor can the US’s use of those nukes, back in WW2, be defended on any grounds other than on a might-is-right basis. Like I’d said to Thor2 a while back in this thread, whether someone causes huge devastation by setting off nukes through cold rational calculation and self-interest, or whether they do it for religious reasons that appear crazy to us, is probably simply a largely (if not quite entirely) irrelevant detail. And as far as cold rational calculation of self-interest : Why, after all, is Iran to be denied the capability to pursue its self-interest by possessing nukes, that the US possesses in heaps and has actually utilized in the past?

I repeat : I don’t for a moment support Iran having nukes. But even as I say this, I realize that what I’m saying is unfair, and I’m clear that I’m saying this despite knowing very well that this is unfair. The US gets to keep its murderous toys, that it has actually toyed with murderously in the past, and Iran doesn’t get to acquire similar toys of its own, because the US is stronger, and it can get the others to gang up on Iran, and because it will pull Iran up by the collar and break its nose after school hours if Iran doesn’t fall in line, as indeed it has already done with other kids in the past. What is this approach if not “bullying”?

And absolutely, purely in strategic terms, because survival is definitely more important than being moral or fair, therefore I personally don’t advocate assuaging the “resentment” of the Muslim world by giving them nukes. But I do advocate assuaging their “resentment” by taking more limited and more reasonable measures, more responsible measures, such as by clearly acknowledging that the post-9/11 Iraq misadventure was nothing less than a train wreck, and by ensuring that those responsible for that particular train wreck are given -- and are clearly seen to be given -- meaningful punishment, personally, for their role in that misadventure.
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Old 13th May 2019, 01:42 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Yet, in the meantime you play up fears about their religion. A fear that contributes to their abuse by xenophobes.

If you would pay attention, you would see that I am suggesting ways to deal with Islam in a subtle manner, by crippling the propagation of all religions. If there are some xenophobes on this forum, seeing that Islam is my primary focus, they may find something to fuel their hatred, that is all.
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Old 13th May 2019, 01:59 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I just thought I'd copy that for whoever it was didn't realise all muslims were the target of discussion. Your thread, your parameters.
Islam, the religion, is the topic of discussion. Muslims, the ones afflicted by this malaise, are the ones we must try and help. This is for their benefit as well as ours.


Quote:
I didn't compare them at all. I noted that Sam Harris hadn't had much to say about the Rohingya, despite vastly more casualties than terrorists are causing.
Sam didn't mention the genocide that is happening and has happened in many other parts of the world either, because it has no relevance.


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Compared to say... drone strikes by USA?

Have we got a bodycount on those two handy?
Back on to this one again are we?
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:27 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
You're risking antagonizing the civilized Muslim elements while overlooking the actual source of our woes: our ethics, which stem from Christianity and Judaism.
Please look at my response to Sideroxylon ^.

"The source of our woes: our ethics" ??? Some explanation is needed here I think.

You may find some resistance to your idea that our ethics have their roots in Christianity and Judaism on this forum. Rather that our ethics have evolved in spite of the influence of these religions.

Quote:
The Catholic Church interpolated a significant chunk of John 8 and 1 John 5:8. It's not out of the question that the Quran has received similar treatment. If the Muslims threw out the dogma of an infallible Quran, they'd gain an upper hand against Christendom. Every religion should be self-critical. Dogmatic/intolerant only when necessary (self-defense).
If the Muslims threw out the dogma of an infallible Quran that would be a good thing. Mind you I think the collapse of Islam would follow quickly. Another good thing.


Quote:
You said I was trying to make Christianity out to be lacking compared to Islam. In some respects, that is true. The confusing formulations given for the Trinity dogma are sheer absurdity and even the formulations for god are woefully inadequate, devoid of inspiration and awe, lacking in every aspect, with their choice expressions of arbitrary labels: infinite, eternal, supreme, ultimate reality/source, omnipotent, etc. They miss the mark just as much as the pantheists who they so abhor.
No argument about the obvious absurdity of Christianity.

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Whereas the Muslim does not dare to define god, but manages to elicit a sense of wonder all over the world, in not only their writings, but also in architecture. God expressed in simplicity, a purer monotheism.
Wow!


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But in spite of it's aforementioned defects, Christianity is still the only religion in the West which has accounted for people's needs and no better substitute has been found.
Your a bit all over the place here. Islam is no better substitute then? Seem contrary to what you were implying in your previous post. Mind you I think atheism is a better substitute than any religion.

Quote:
I'm saying the soldiers need better motives than defending the country's interests (or rather, the interests of political parties) and wanting to return home to their families.
Any suggestions for this then? Should the West be trying to guaranty paradise with virgins and boys serving wine to its troops?
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:34 PM   #195
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How do you propose “helping” them?
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Old 13th May 2019, 02:47 PM   #196
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By easing them out of their bondage to the religion.

I have made this comment many times now in different ways.
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:37 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
How do you propose “helping” them?
Cultural and religious colonialism.

Because that always works.
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Old 13th May 2019, 06:46 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
By easing them out of their bondage to the religion.

I have made this comment many times now in different ways.
But what would that accomplish? Would Iran stop development of nuclear weapons? Would the USA and other Western countries stop interfering in oil-rich countries?

Seeing this in terms of religion-only is naive. If a Muslim country invaded Australia, I would not be surprised to see resistance here in terms of terrorism and suicide bombings, some even expressed in terms of defending Christianity. Simply moving the Australian population away from Christianity wouldn't be the solution, though.
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Old 13th May 2019, 11:39 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If you would pay attention, you would see that I am suggesting ways to deal with Islam in a subtle manner, by crippling the propagation of all religions.
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
By easing them out of their bondage to the religion.
I have made this comment many times now in different ways.
If you insist on weaning them off of Islam, then you have to first prepare an equivalent substitute. Religion obviously supplies a mental need for those people. How did Marx put it? Opium. You must trade one addiction for another.
You gotta admit, the Nazis achieved some initial success with their Positive Christianity. In Mein Kampf, Mr. Adolf literally singled out the Protestants for proselytizing and he imbued his early speeches with references to Christianity up until the 1930s, securing the trust and complacency of a Protestant majority.
Thomas Jefferson pointed out in one letter how a reform of Judaism could only be effected after reading up on the commentaries (Talmud, Kabalah). You can't wean people off of a religion until you first understand their mentality. They will never allow an outsider to interpret their faith, you must familiarize yourself with it to be acknowledged.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
"The source of our woes: our ethics" ??? Some explanation is needed here I think.
You may find some resistance to your idea that our ethics have their roots in Christianity and Judaism on this forum. Rather that our ethics have evolved in spite of the influence of these religions.
People kick out Jesus, Paul, even relegate the Old Testament to a marginal and irrelevant position, but always come back to these in times of desperation for "inspiration". Of course the Christians and right-wingers are the last to practice what they teach while the liberals and lefties adhere to Jesus' ethics and even confront Christians with these ethics.

Read up on what Nietzsche said about pity. He even called out Schopenhauer on this. Speaking of Schopenhauer, he showed up Kantian ethics for what it was, based on it's treatment of animals as "things".

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If the Muslims threw out the dogma of an infallible Quran that would be a good thing. Mind you I think the collapse of Islam would follow quickly. Another good thing.
True, from one angle. But it'd also make a greater impression of the Islamic world. Here we would have the Arabs disposed to sacrifice their dogma for increased cooperation while the Christians and Jews cling to their absurdities and feign allegiance.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Your a bit all over the place here. Islam is no better substitute then? Seem contrary to what you were implying in your previous post. Mind you I think atheism is a better substitute than any religion.
Well it's obviously not suited for everyone, but it's well-established for the Middle East.

I think agnosticism or deism would be better off than atheism. The deism of the Founding Fathers is nowadays misunderstood.

Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Any suggestions for this then? Should the West be trying to guaranty paradise with virgins and boys serving wine to its troops?
They could introduce polygamy as a privilege for the best performing soldiers. The Muslims owed their historical successes to a rapid build-up of numbers.

Last edited by ehhz; 13th May 2019 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 14th May 2019, 02:09 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
It might as well, considering the modern obsession with Nazis. Europe is still held back by it's past.
Not to mention how a bunch of German scientists and politicians were enlisted by the US government and how modern Germany enjoys a flourishing economy.
Irrelevant dodge. Please answer the question.


Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
While it's true that Islam owes it's existence to Christianity (the need for Mohammed's conquests wouldn't have arisen otherwise), it's untrue that Islam is a Jewish sect since it has been largely cultivated by the Arabs.
Irrelevant dodge with a side portion of strawman.


Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
What? Which verses did he mention?
I have no intention of spoonfeeding you so you can try to dodge my points again. Google it. It's not that hard.

Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
The Catholic Church makes concessions to modernity in it's policies, but never dispenses with it's dogma (i.e. condemnation of abortion, a longtime staple of the Catholic package). It does not permit direct alteration of the Bible, but can get around what has been written around the scriptures. It has set itself up for collapse in the long run. The Copernican revolution is still ongoing. It's not out of the question that the Church could reinforce geocentricism if it came into power again. Even a modern man like Stalin heeded Lysenko's bizarre theories.
Irrelevance, inaccuracy and speculation, all wrapped in one neat package.

Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
By "infinite, eternal, supreme, ultimate reality/source, omnipotent", I meant more than mere titles. I was alluding to the creeds of the churches.
Nope. You said that Muslims did not label god in the same way that Christians do. That is clearly not true.

Originally Posted by ehhz View Post
Besides, the titles listed on that site are meant to be read and pronounced in their original language.
Utterly irrelevant.
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