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Old 13th April 2019, 07:44 PM   #1
Ranb
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"No Religion" Tops Identity Survey

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/us/no...rnd/index.html
Quote:
For the first time "No Religion" has topped a survey of Americans' religious identity, according to a new analysis by a political scientist. The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals in the long-running General Social Survey.
Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University and a Baptist pastor, found that 23.1% of Americans now claim no religion.
All of the religions surveyed on the graph show a downward trend since 1990 while those who identify as no religion (atheists, agnostics and those who reject organism religion) have sharply increased.

Quote:
Whatever the causes, the non-religious represent a growing constituency. Yet this demographic is greatly underrepresented in Washington's halls of power. There is not a single open atheist amid the most diverse Congress in history, according to a Pew study.
i suspect that there are more than a few closet atheists in government though. The crowd I associate with at work and in the community is not exactly embracing those who reject religion. But I still get along.

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Old 13th April 2019, 07:46 PM   #2
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I also suspect there is a large number of closet atheists or people who functionally live as atheists.
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Old 13th April 2019, 08:07 PM   #3
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Interesting that the Mainline Protestants have taken the biggest hit over the years. Anyway you guys are catching up to us in Australia. Our latest census showed "No Religion" to be the biggest group.
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Old 14th April 2019, 12:51 AM   #4
dann
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Congratulations! You are slowly moving away from religion being as important as in a third-world country: Importance of religion by country (Wikipedia)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 14th April 2019, 04:17 AM   #5
dann
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And just to tease the Americans: Cuba seems to the sixteenth least religious country, USA the 44th!
Three things seem to correlate with irreligion: prosperity, social equality/welfare and/or a fairly recent past as a socialist country.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 14th April 2019, 02:42 PM   #6
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It occurs to me that given this is an America wide survey, including those highly religious Bible Belt states, the religiosity of those other states must be considerably lower to produce these results.
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Old 14th April 2019, 04:31 PM   #7
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Once you remove a religions ability to inflict damage on people if they don't follow its diktats it declines.

I remember an old study showed that about 1/3 of people are spiritual and 'need' religion, 1/3 don't and another third like religion but don't pay much attention to it.

For Christians the internet has allowed them to do the unthinkable - study the bible themselves instead of following someone else's cherry picked parts to read. The bible is one the finest reasons to not believe a religion.

Last edited by Hans; 14th April 2019 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 14th April 2019, 07:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
For Christians the internet has allowed them to do the unthinkable - study the bible themselves instead of following someone else's cherry picked parts to read. The bible is one the finest reasons to not believe a religion.
While I'm not disagreeing with what you're saying, the church I went to strongly encouraged people to read their bibles. Like, really strongly. It was their whole thing. We were encouraged to use highlighters and make annotations. AFAIK, not reading the Bible is more of a Catholic thing.
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Old 14th April 2019, 10:34 PM   #9
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My dog tags had the no religion option on them. I had a short debate with the guy taking my info that ended with "put whatever, it don't matter" and when my tags came he got it right.

I am happy more folks are being honest about it than before. Not all that professed really ever practiced the faith in reality.
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Old 14th April 2019, 11:03 PM   #10
dann
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
For Christians the internet has allowed them to do the unthinkable - study the bible themselves instead of following someone else's cherry picked parts to read. The bible is one the finest reasons to not believe a religion.
While I'm not disagreeing with what you're saying, the church I went to strongly encouraged people to read their bibles. Like, really strongly. It was their whole thing. We were encouraged to use highlighters and make annotations. AFAIK, not reading the Bible is more of a Catholic thing.

There wasn't any shortage of Bibles before the internet: This Is the Real Reason Why Hotel Rooms Have Bibles (Reader's Digest)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 14th April 2019, 11:05 PM   #11
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I suspect that, in many --all?-- cases, believing in God is a way of reinforcing what one wants to believe. If I don't like God or his interpreter, I ignore him or switch to another.
Deep down it is the same usual search for an excuse.
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Old 15th April 2019, 03:23 AM   #12
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No, some people like the Christian God, but more (modern) people like his alleged son and his love-thy-neighbour message. They just can't believe the whole story. That probably goes for most cultural Christians. It's not a question of not liking. I've met several Danes who claim that they want to believe, but they just can't.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 18th April 2019, 03:34 PM   #13
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I wonder what percentage of those see Jesus as a historical figure but not as a living God.
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Old 19th April 2019, 01:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, some people like the Christian God, but more (modern) people like his alleged son and his love-thy-neighbour message. They just can't believe the whole story. That probably goes for most cultural Christians. It's not a question of not liking. I've met several Danes who claim that they want to believe, but they just can't.


That (the highlight) might just be a “figure of speech" though ... ie, they may just mean that they think it would be nice if there was a loving creator and a heaven, but as educated people in the 21st century they can no longer believe in claims of the supernatural (such as gods and miracles etc.). I expect a lot of people might say that if you put it to them directly like that.
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Old 19th April 2019, 03:41 AM   #15
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No, it's real!
Did you think I'd let them stop there?
I ask them to elaborate, and they usually say something along the lines of wishing that they were able to believe because of the harmony or serenity that they seem to think that it brings true believers.
I usually tell them that I don't think that the apparent serenity is real. I think it's a front to hide their insecurities. They seem to know that they're lying to themselves.
And I tell them what Phil Zuckerman found out about dying Christians and non-believers when he interviewed somebody working at a Danish hospice: Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment, p. 46.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 19th April 2019, 05:01 AM   #16
IanS
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, it's real!
Did you think I'd let them stop there?
I ask them to elaborate, and they usually say something along the lines of wishing that they were able to believe because of the harmony or serenity that they seem to think that it brings true believers.
I usually tell them that I don't think that the apparent serenity is real. I think it's a front to hide their insecurities. They seem to know that they're lying to themselves.
And I tell them what Phil Zuckerman found out about dying Christians and non-believers when he interviewed somebody working at a Danish hospice: Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us about Contentment, p. 46.

OK, but that sounds like the same thing. That is - they think some aspects of the religion seem beneficial or helpful (in your example "serenity"), but where they say they still don't believe the central foundational claims of the religion are true (supernatural Intelligent creator/designer, miracles, heaven and hell etc.).

They are probably educated enough, and generally reasoned and rational enough, to know that just because the religion often seems to bring happiness and contentment to the lives of the believers, that's probably not such a good thing in the end if the hope/happiness/serenity/etc. is derived from seriously false beliefs ("seriously" false, because we are talking about beliefs that are claiming to reveal things as fundamental as the true nature of the universe around us and the true meaning of all life itself).

In the end I suppose we all have our own reasons for why we either believe or do not believe in any religions (or indeed why we believe or disbelieve anything). But what we have now learned from modern science over the last 200 years (or more), is that it's essential to have really good reliable evidence for anything where you hold strong beliefs about things that are important to you &/or important to the lives of others around you. And whilst the worldwide internet has become a very powerful tool which brings that evidence and explanation quickly and easily to everyone, that same power of the internet has been increasingly misused to present more gullible users with all manner of false evidence, deliberate disinformation, and dangerous conspiracy theories of every imaginable type.
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Old 19th April 2019, 11:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
My dog tags had the no religion option on them. I had a short debate with the guy taking my info that ended with "put whatever, it don't matter" and when my tags came he got it right.
Mine proclaimed me "A Negative Presbyterian", which was unintentionally correct.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
There wasn't any shortage of Bibles before the internet: This Is the Real Reason Why Hotel Rooms Have Bibles (Reader's Digest)
I hereby apologize on behalf of my great-grandfather, who was a founding member of The Gideons and who, according to his obituary, introduced a motion at their first national meeting that they take it as a mission to place Bibles in hotel rooms. Like all the early Gideons, he was a "travelling man".
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Old 19th April 2019, 11:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
My dog tags had the no religion option on them. I had a short debate with the guy taking my info that ended with "put whatever, it don't matter" and when my tags came he got it right.

I am happy more folks are being honest about it than before. Not all that professed really ever practiced the faith in reality.
I went through several sets with "No Preference". I didn't much like that, it sounded like I was religious, but didn't much care what religion. Later I got them to change it to "None".
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Old 19th April 2019, 12:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I suspect that, in many --all?-- cases, believing in God is a way of reinforcing what one wants to believe. If I don't like God or his interpreter, I ignore him or switch to another.
Deep down it is the same usual search for an excuse.
Ypu can say that about a hell of a lot of secular beliefs...poltical ideologies in particular.
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Old 20th April 2019, 02:03 PM   #20
dann
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
They are probably educated enough, and generally reasoned and rational enough, to know that just because the religion often seems to bring happiness and contentment to the lives of the believers, that's probably not such a good thing in the end if the hope/happiness/serenity/etc. is derived from seriously false beliefs ("seriously" false, because we are talking about beliefs that are claiming to reveal things as fundamental as the true nature of the universe around us and the true meaning of all life itself).

That doesn't seem to bother them.
At this point in the conversation, I usually recommend that they do drugs!
If you want the kind of serenity that logical thinking tells you that there's no actual reason for, then the right combination of opioids and hallucinogenic mushrooms is the way to go! (I assume; I don't speak from experience.)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st April 2019, 02:19 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That doesn't seem to bother them.
At this point in the conversation, I usually recommend that they do drugs!
If you want the kind of serenity that logical thinking tells you that there's no actual reason for, then the right combination of opioids and hallucinogenic mushrooms is the way to go! (I assume; I don't speak from experience.)

That all sounds to me like a change of subject.

I would not recommend anyone to take mind altering drugs unless it's a matter of medical pain relief.

Most people would like to have the opportunity of a fantastic after-life in heaven, and I expect most Christians and Muslims do believe that will happen for them, and they find that a great reasurance during their lives.

Atheists obviously think that any such after-life is extremely unlikely (but if they did actually find themselves in a heavenly situation after death, then they would probably think that was fantastic).

Unfortunately there is a huge price to pay for that heavenly belief. Namely that Christians and Muslims believe that people do not really die! They think people continue to have the same sort of conscious existence in a heavenly life of fantastic pleasure and contentment …

… that's one of the main problems with Islamic fundamentalist suicide bombers – they really do think they are going to “paradise”, they are not actually going to die! When they blow up countless victims in the London 7-7 tube bombings, the 9-11 airliner attacks in the US, the Madrid train bombing, the Bali night club bombing etc., they really do think that their victims, blown to pieces (heads, arms and legs ripped off), are not actually dead! … they are merely going to a place where Allah will decide whether they can enter an after-life of wonderful endless paradise.
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Old 21st April 2019, 05:17 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
That all sounds to me like a change of subject.

I would not recommend anyone to take mind altering drugs unless it's a matter of medical pain relief.

Neither would I! It is meant as a joke, and I know that the people I'm talking to won't think I'm earnest about the recommendation.

Quote:
Most people would like to have the opportunity of a fantastic after-life in heaven, and I expect most Christians and Muslims do believe that will happen for them, and they find that a great reasurance during their lives.

No, they don't. Not really. They hang on to life and are just as scared - probably even more so - of dying as the rest of humanity.

Quote:
Atheists obviously think that any such after-life is extremely unlikely (but if they did actually find themselves in a heavenly situation after death, then they would probably think that was fantastic).

It's not extremely unlikely. It's impossible.

Quote:
Unfortunately there is a huge price to pay for that heavenly belief. Namely that Christians and Muslims believe that people do not really die! They think people continue to have the same sort of conscious existence in a heavenly life of fantastic pleasure and contentment …

No, they don't. The average Christian seems to know that people really do die. At least they do where I'm from. This is a link to a post where I quote from the book Society without God by Phil Zuckerman where he interviews a hospice worker about the dying - Christians as well as non-believers: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...8#post12307718

Quote:
… that's one of the main problems with Islamic fundamentalist suicide bombers – they really do think they are going to “paradise”, they are not actually going to die! When they blow up countless victims in the London 7-7 tube bombings, the 9-11 airliner attacks in the US, the Madrid train bombing, the Bali night club bombing etc., they really do think that their victims, blown to pieces (heads, arms and legs ripped off), are not actually dead! … they are merely going to a place where Allah will decide whether they can enter an after-life of wonderful endless paradise.

They know very well that their victims are going to die. That's the whole point. They are much more like school shooters: They are full of hate, against themselves and against others, and they've come to the conclusion that life's not worth living, maybe because they feel that they've screwed up to the point where they don't see any other solution, and now they want to go out with what they consider to be a blaze of glory, taking as many of their alleged enemies with them as they can.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st April 2019, 04:52 PM   #23
IanS
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Originally Posted by dann View Post


No, they don't. Not really. They hang on to life and are just as scared - probably even more so - of dying as the rest of humanity.

They may be scared of dying, but what I said was that most Christians and Muslims do believe they will have the opportunity of a fantastic after-life in heaven. They may be scared that they have not met God's standards and will be sent to Hell. But the whole point of Christian and Muslim religious belief is that God exists in a heaven where he can grant them a wonderful after-life.



It's not extremely unlikely. It's impossible.


Well then you are less cautious about claiming facts and certainties than I am. And one thing to note about that – as most senior scientists will tell you; the more genuine scientific education that people have & the more that we really understand about this world, the more humility we have & the less likely we are to make claims of certainty like that.


No, they don't. The average Christian seems to know that people really do die. At least they do where I'm from. This is a link to a post where I quote from the book Society without God by Phil Zuckerman where he interviews a hospice worker about the dying - Christians as well as non-believers: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...8#post12307718


Your link (to your earlier post with the quote) says the opposite of what you say here. Firstly it only talks of 3 discussions that someone called “a Dane” says he had with some patients in a hospice, where he says the Christians were afraid of dying BECAUSE “they are afraid that God does not take them into heaven”. And that's actually the exact opposite of what you claimed for it!


They know very well that their victims are going to die. That's the whole point. They are much more like school shooters: They are full of hate, against themselves and against others, and they've come to the conclusion that life's not worth living, maybe because they feel that they've screwed up to the point where they don't see any other solution, and now they want to go out with what they consider to be a blaze of glory, taking as many of their alleged enemies with them as they can.


Then you are not just disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with Islamic suicide bombers who leave a so-called “martyrdom video”, or else who are intercepted before carrying out their attack (and then subsequently have all of their evidence and opinions examined and exposed for all to see & hear in court), and indeed with countless interviews with Islamic fundamentalists inc. recent captured ISIS fighters who finally surrendered in Syria (there's lots of film of their interviews on YouTube) …. where all of them (virtually every last one of them), when they mentioned anything at all about themselves dying in their Jihad, all of them claimed they would go to paradise or claimed that God willing they would be judged to enter paradise.
..

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Old 21st April 2019, 05:10 PM   #24
Venom
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
While I'm not disagreeing with what you're saying, the church I went to strongly encouraged people to read their bibles. Like, really strongly. It was their whole thing. We were encouraged to use highlighters and make annotations. AFAIK, not reading the Bible is more of a Catholic thing.
Originally Posted by dann View Post
There wasn't any shortage of Bibles before the internet: This Is the Real Reason Why Hotel Rooms Have Bibles (Reader's Digest)
Bible widely available, but not enough Biblical criticism, in both senses of the word.
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Old 22nd April 2019, 02:01 AM   #25
dann
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
..

And yet they surrendered! Why?!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd April 2019, 03:26 AM   #26
IanS
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And yet they surrendered! Why?!

Who surrendered?
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Old 22nd April 2019, 05:52 AM   #27
dann
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Your Islamic fundamentalists!

Originally Posted by IanS View Post
... with countless interviews with Islamic fundamentalists inc. recent captured ISIS fighters who finally surrendered in Syria (there's lots of film of their interviews on YouTube) …. where all of them (virtually every last one of them), when they mentioned anything at all about themselves dying in their Jihad, all of them claimed they would go to paradise or claimed that God willing they would be judged to enter paradise.
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd April 2019, 10:35 AM   #28
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,844
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Your Islamic fundamentalists!

Well what sort of comment is that??

They are not "my" Islamic fundamentalists. I don't own any fundamentalists! Why did you think they are “mine”?

Look - as you must surely know, the vast majority of IS who had once ruled over much of Syria had already been killed. In the end those that remained (including incidently their so-called “Jihadi Brides”, along with their quite numerous children) were reduced to a very small area of just one town named Baghouz, where in the last week or two when the last of them finally surrendered or were captured, they were in an impossible position with very few effective weapons left to continue any sort of resistance against the huge forces amassed against them, often already injured and starving and with almost no shelter from the bullets, missiles and bombs ... and even then, in that final month or so, most of them choose to die fighting!

And that's apart from the fact that they are not merely trying to kill themselves for no reason. Instead they are prepared to die if by doing so they can kill as many non-believers as possible. And in their final situation as that last group of IS jihadists in Baghouz, they were no longer in a position to kill the forces ranged against them. In that situation, their main tactic is to continue their jihad by other means after they are captured … ie they hope to restart IS as a major force once more in the near future … and in the meantime they intend to be as much trouble and as a big a drain on the resources of their captors as possible. They are still hoping & intending to continue their war.

Apart from that, many western analysts also say that amongst the mainly hard-core fundamentalists there are quite a lot of local people who had been drawn into IS because of poverty and because of physical threats … ie they were being paid and fed by IS when otherwise they & their families were starving to death, and where others would have been killed if they not agreed to join IS … so those less fundamentalist fighters probably were never intending to get themselves deliberately killed in battle.

But you must know all of that (unless you are trying to produce some sort of conspiracy theory), so whey are you still arguing about it.
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