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Post 80

Saturday, December 2, 2017 - 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, 2017 - 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, 2017 - 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, 2017 - 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, 2017 - 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, 2017 - 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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Post 86

Thursday, January 4 - 12:53pmSanction this postReply
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As I understand taqiya, it involves not lying about Islam, but lying about whether one is a Muslim.  (Or, if lying to other Muslims, lying about which branch of Islam one belongs to.)  Thus a Muslim practicing taqiya might claim to be a Christian, a Jew, or conceivably even an Objectivist, but would not tell lies about Islam.  Also, taqiya can be practiced simply by keeping one's mouth shut, rather than actually lying.  



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Post 87

Thursday, January 4 - 2:04pmSanction this postReply
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Taqiyya seems to be practiced by most of the Islamic sects (e.g., several of the major Shia sects, the Sunni, Druze, Alawite, etc.)

 

Here is a quote from a prominent Islamic scholar (taken from Wikipedia):

"Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it. We can go so far as to say that the practice of taqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream...Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era."

 

One scholar wrote: "...believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly." He quotes Muhammad's companion, Abu Ad-Darda', who said "we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them," and Al-Hasan who said "the Tuqyah is acceptable till the Day of Resurrection." [from Wikipedia]
 
But what is more important than the fact that it is widespread, and more important than what this or that scholar or spokesmans claims is HOW the lying is practiced. 

 

Doug wrote, "As I understand taqiya, it involves not lying about Islam, but lying about whether one is a Muslim."  Not true - this is NOT how it is used.

 

It is constantly used to lie about whatever the user wants to lie about.  Islamic terrorists lie about their intentions so that they can carry out their plans.  Islamic politicians and diplomats lie about their policy intentions to achieve their goals.  Islamic organizations that approve of violent jihad often lie and say they don't.  Islamic apologists ignore all of this.

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

 

The drive to establish a caliphate has been fairly steady, and often successful... since before 700 AD, and until 1925, only about 400 years exist during which there was no caliphate..  We are talking about a violent history of conquest - and we are supposed to believe this is being done by a peaceful religion whose practitioners only lie when under mortal threat?  Give me break.



Post 88

Thursday, January 4 - 11:58pmSanction this postReply
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Regarding Islam and takiya: What could be more evil than a philosophy where lying is advocated and practiced as a principle? Only an illiterate lowlife grifter, thief, rapist, enslaver, and murderer would create such a thing. But that's what Mohammad was.



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Post 89

Friday, January 5 - 4:25amSanction this postReply
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Don't all terrorists lie about their intentions so that they can carry out their plans?  Don't all politicians and diplomats lie about their policy intentions to achieve their goals?

 

Even Ayn Rand said "morality ends where a gun begins".



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Post 90

Friday, January 5 - 7:36amSanction this postReply
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Even Ayn Rand said "morality ends where a gun begins".

 

Doug, Ayn Rand was talking about the person being threatened with the gun being free to lie.  NOT THE THUG!  Sheesh!

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

 

Don't all terrorists lie about their intentions so that they can carry out their plans?  Don't all politicians and diplomats lie about their policy intentions to achieve their goals?

 

And that makes lying okay?  What it tells me is that lying is a practice that makes certain kinds of evil more possible.



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Post 91

Friday, January 5 - 4:01pmSanction this postReply
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As I understand taqiya, it means that a Muslim being threatened with a gun, or otherwise threatened with loss of life or property, is free to lie about being a Muslim.  It does not in any way encourage, condone, or intend to aid thugs.

 

I am not saying lying is OK.  I am saying that lying is not at all unique to Islam and that lying classes of people, such as terrorists, politicians, and diplomats, should not be used to judge larger groups.



Post 92

Friday, January 5 - 8:18pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

Here is a full paragraph from Wikipedia, from which you quoted selectively:

 

Regarding 3:28, Ibn Kathir writes, "meaning, except those believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers. In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly." He quotes Muhammad's companion, Abu Ad-Darda', who said "we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them," and Al-Hasan who said "the Tuqyah is acceptable till the Day of Resurrection."[22] 

 

Note that it does not apply to disbelievers in general, but only to disbelievers who give believers reason to fear for their safety.



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Post 93

Saturday, January 6 - 5:53amSanction this postReply
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Christianity has a history of violent conquest too, as seen in the crusades and in the Spanish demanding that conquered people in the Americas and elsewhere adopt Catholicism.

 

All religions, including Islam and Christianity, are evil, destructive, and fundamentally anti-American.

 

It does not follow that the "vast majority", or even close to a majority, of their misguided adherents are evil or violent or fundamentally destructive or fundamentally anti-American. 

 

If we make an issue of Muslims upholding taqiya, we must be clear on what it means.  A Muslim can uphold taqiya and take it to mean that lying is only permissible when threatened with loss of life or property, and then only to lie about whether one is a Muslim, not about Islam itself.  I see no evidence that significant numbers of Muslims, especially American Muslims, take it to mean anything more.



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Post 94

Saturday, January 6 - 10:02amSanction this postReply
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Doug, you choose to see Islamic sanctioned lying in the most favorable light possible.  That's your choice.  You accept the statements of those Islamic scholars that support your views instead of looking at the way huge numbers of muslims are actually using lies to plot and kill and enslave.  That's your choice. 

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If we make an issue of Muslims upholding taqiya, we must be clear on what it means.  A Muslim can uphold taqiya and take it to mean that lying is only permissible when threatened with loss of life or property, and then only to lie about whether one is a Muslim, not about Islam itself.  I see no evidence that significant numbers of Muslims, especially American Muslims, take it to mean anything more.

 

Islam sanctions lies.  You want to accept statements made by some Islamic scholars that this is only under the very limited conditions they mention.  And you ignore the reality around us where there is a steady stream of lies coming from a great many Muslims.  Why would you choose to not see all of the actual lies and instead believe a spokesperson for a religious/political ideology that sanctions lies?

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

 

And, you apparently didn't see the difference between being a victim who is under threat of gun and the the thug who is holding the gun.  How do you explain that?  That really astounded me!

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

 

I have no idea why you have this passionate drive to apologize for Islam.  In post #81 I wrote:

 

"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."

 

Note that I distinguised between actions, in which case the actor is morally culpable, and the ideas which need to be judged on their merit.  A person may adopt an ideology that is bad, but take no actions that are bad.  In that case the people aren't evil even if the ideas are, so your statements implying that is what I said are false.  You seemed to imply that Islam is American, or at least that to be opposed to Islam is Anti-American.  I'd say  that any advocacy of placing Sharia law above the constitution is anti-American at its very root.



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Post 95

Saturday, January 6 - 3:52pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

There are lots of lies coming from Christians too.

 

A Christian or Muslim who lies may well be violating the principles of his or her religion.

 

Kyrel made an issue of taqiya, so I thought it best to clarify the concept.

 

I do see the difference between a victim under threat of a gun and a thug holding the gun.  You misunderstood what I was saying.  I am saying Muslims can be victims too.  I am saying taqiya applies only in the case where a Muslim is being victimized to an extent that threatens his or her life or property.  I am saying that permitting lying under such duress is not evil.

 

I have already discussed some of the points in your post.  In particular, please reread the second sentence of my post 93.



Post 96

Saturday, January 6 - 9:15pmSanction this postReply
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It may be worth while to take a step back from the details of this discussion, and try to focus on the forest, and not just various individual trees. My common sense and general observations tell me Muslims in the media, and in person, lie far more often than do Christians, Jews, Mormons, agnostics, atheists, etc. They do this both regarding their religion and in general. It isn't even close. So I think takiya (or "brazen, shameful, unjustified lying") is an important part of Islam, and this fact damns the Muslim people and philosophy immensely.



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Post 97

Sunday, January 7 - 5:20amSanction this postReply
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Kyrel,

 

You gave examples of what you said were Muslim lies in post 34, and I gave you an answer in post 37.  You don't really have a good case.



Post 98

Sunday, January 7 - 3:22pmSanction this postReply
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Doug,  you wrote:

 

There are lots of lies coming from Christians too.

 

There are not tens, even hundreds of thousands of people being killed in the name of Christianity.  Christians aren't chanting "Death to America".  Christians don't have holy scripture that tells them to lie.  Why are you bringing up Christians?
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A Christian or Muslim who lies may well be violating the principles of his or her religion.

Many, many Muslims believe that it is moral to lie in the pursuit of jihad.  Islamic leaders have urged followers to deceive non-believers.  Islamic scripture promote lying.  On the other hand, the Bible makes it clear that Christianity sees lying as a sin.  Again, why are you bringing up Christians? 

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

 

...Muslims can be victims too.  I am saying taqiya applies only in the case where a Muslim is being victimized to an extent that threatens his or her life or property.  I am saying that permitting lying under such duress is not evil.

You have decided what Taqiyya applies to - despite the repeated, public evidence of Islamic fundamentalists using lies to futher jihad... and to do so by initiating violence.  That's your choice.



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Post 99

Sunday, January 7 - 6:44pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

 

I'm not convinced that there is as much difference between Christianity and Islam as you suggest.

 

Please reread my posts numbered 10, 12, 19 (third paragraph), 30, 80, 82, and 93.

 

To what extent do Islamic fundamentalists represent Muslims in general, especially American Muslims in general?



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