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Post 80

Saturday, December 2 - 6:04pmSanction this postReply
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Probably any religion with extensive sacred writings has some ambiguities and inconsistencies therein.  This requires anyone who takes such writings as an authoritative source to do some interpreting, at least enough to resolve the ambiguities and contradictions.  Once they do some interpretation, why not do more?  Thus to understand a religion, it is not enough to cherry-pick passages from its scriptures; we must look at the interpretation.

 

Any religion can probably be made to look worse than it is by cherry-picking from its scriptures.  With my own eyes I have seen something in the Christian Old Testament that says that if a couple are caught fornicating in the city, she must not have cried out for help or she would have been heard, so she is to be put to death.  The man must pay a fine.  A nasty, physically aggressive rule.  But how many Christians still uphold this rule?  How many of them are in the United States?  If we find a Christian who does uphold this rule, should we say this is a problem with Christianity or a problem with that individual?



Post 81

Saturday, December 2 - 9:13pmSanction this postReply
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Doug,

 

Hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered in recent decades by members of various sects of Islam.  Murder is an action and the blame goes to the individual.  But the ideas behind the killings are morally despicable and it really doesn't matter if they are accurate interpretations of the sacred writings or not.  You don't have to do a lot of cherry-picking to find calls for killing or enslaving non-believers and in my mind that makes the sacred writings morally despicable.

 

Why don't you find it a problem that many, many  Muslims, over hundreds of years, have adopted these violent teachings?  Given the fact that this is what we have seen for hundreds of years, why does it matter that it may be a less than perfect translation of the origional intentions (which I don't think it is)?

What I'm asking is why do find it necessary to defend this religion?  Because it is a religion?  Because not all believers practice the violent beliefs?  To me, it is like defending some imaginary perfect communism and then living in denial of the actual history.

 

Objectivism is a philosophy of reason, individualism, and political liberty.  Anyone, anywhere, and at any time, has the right to hold different beliefs, but not force them upon others.  Islam is not just a religion.  It is also a political ideology - complete with courts.  It has a history of conquest and violence that extends from ancient times into today's current events.  I don't understand the psychology of making apologies or in any way absolving this nasty irrational, collectivist, fascist ideology of being other than toxic.



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Post 82

Sunday, December 3 - 5:23amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

Both Islam and Christianity are evil belief systems which, over the course of history, have played an essential role in many murders and other evil acts.  Currently, this is happening with Islam more than with Christianity, but this is because certain backward, violence prone areas of the world are predominantly Muslim.  In other words, we are dealing here with a difference between areas of the world, not between religions.

 

I am not defending Islam or Christianity.  I am defending individual Christians and Muslims, many of whom are non-violent.  They should not be treated as enemies or criminals just because they hold evil, destructive beliefs.  The battle against Islam, Christianity, and the like must be fought in the realm of ideas, not by force.  Only those individuals who can be proven to have committed actual criminal acts should be treated as criminals.

 

Again, I am reacting to Kyrel's implication that the vast majority of American Muslims deserve to be arrested, jailed, executed, or deported, and to your failure to distance yourself from this position.  (It is probably the other way around.)



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Post 83

Sunday, December 3 - 10:03amSanction this postReply
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Doug,  you wrote: 

 

The battle against Islam, Christianity, and the like must be fought in the realm of ideas, not by force. 

 

Ideas are fought with ideas.  Actions that violate rights are fought with force.  We agree on that and I've never advocated otherwise.  But if you have a declared enemy who has initiated force against you, and is continuing to act forcefully against you, those whose actions support that enemy are also acting against you.  In WWII we declared war on enemy nations because they initiated force against us and we treated those who acted in support of those enemies in the same way.  That is what I advocate we do now.  For example, if someone sent money to ISIS, they should be jailed (with the proper laws in place, of course).

 

I oppose Islam as bad ideas and don't advocate taking forceful actions against muslims just because they are muslims.  I do advocate a kind of declaration of war against those specific Islamic organizations that continue to attack us.  Then, to take actions against those who act to support those organizations - not just the actual members of the organizations, and certainly not just those members who have taken an action and been tried and convicted.  

--------------------------------

 

I am reacting to Kyrel's implication that the vast majority of American Muslims deserve to be arrested, jailed, executed, or deported, and to your failure to distance yourself from this position.

 

I believe you are misunderstanding his position.  His position was that a majority of American Muslims supported the use of forceful Jihad and placed Sharia above the constitution.  I would agree that, if we had the proper declaration of war in place, then it would be appropriate to take actions against those who took actions to support forceful jihad and sharia. 

 

Here is an example of the difference that I don't think you are seeing.  Slavery is illegal.  Someone has the right to stand on a street corner and express a belief that slavery should be made legal - that is just an expression of vile ideas.  But if they take an action to implement slavery, or take an action to support someone in violating the laws against slavery, they should be arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned.  I am making that distinction between actions and ideas.  I'm not sure that you are.  You see the idea part okay, but you don't seem to see active support of those taking action on behalf of the ideas as something that needs to be addressed. 

 

During WWII it would have made no sense to limit our government's actions to those individual German, Japanese, Italian soldiers who could be shown to have initiated force against an American.  That would be silly.  The same thing is true today with organizations like ISIS.

 

Do you believe that during WWII it would have been alright for someone to have sent money to a Nazi organization in Germany?  Or for a person to have sent shipping information to target convoys?  Those are things that would have been legal before a declaration of war, but not after.  The declaration of war, if it meets the proper moral and legal standards, is how a nation acts to defend itself against a known enemy. 



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Post 84

Sunday, December 3 - 3:44pmSanction this postReply
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I agree that those who commit treasonable actions during a declared war should be dealt with by government force.

 

But Kyrel was much too sweeping in his accusations against American Muslims, and this seems to tie in with mistaken ideas on his part about Islam.



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Post 85

Sunday, December 3 - 3:54pmSanction this postReply
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In response to my question about culpability if I contribute to an organization that misrepresents itself, Kyrel used the analogy of driving drunk.  But wouldn't a better analogy be one in which I am driving a car, not knowing that the last mechanic to work on it messed up and created a dangerous condition?  The mechanic's mistake or laxness causes an accident that kills a family while I am driving.  How culpable would I be then?  What if it's a rental car and I chose the rental company but not the mechanic?



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