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Shakedown

One of the standard talking points from the opponents of the War on Terror is to mock some of the things we proponents believe in and state. I've lost track of how many times I've heard, in a condescending tone, "the terrorists hate us because they hate our freedoms."

I freely admit it sounds pretty shallow and stupid. But that doesn't mean it isn't true.

I would like to challenge anyone to find an alternative explanation for this news story.

A six-member delegation from the government of Pakistan is going to the European Union and telling them that they need to curtail their citizens' right to free speech and give special protection to Islam, exempting it from criticism (I'm sorry, "hate speech"). And if Europe doesn't agree to cave in and be good little dhimmis and recognize that Islamic laws against blasphemy take precedence over fundamental human rights like free speech and free press and other forms of free expression, "bad things" might happen.

Actually, that's a bit too benign. Lemme try that again, quoting the actual article:

The delegation, headed by an additional secretary of the Interior Ministry, will meet the leaders of the EU countries in a bid to convince them that the recent attack on the Danish Embassy in Pakistan could be a reaction against the blasphemous campaign, sources said.

They said that the delegation would also tell the EU that if such acts against Islam are not controlled, more attacks on the EU diplomatic missions abroad could not be ruled out.

As stupid as it sounds, I'd have to say that "they hate our freedoms" sums up the position here. And they're not above using violence -- and the threats of more violence -- to get us to surrender.

Here in the United States, we have some pretty good defenses against that. Not only do we have the First Amendment, we have specific laws that forbid that kind of extortion. They have been mostly used against the Mafia, but I really don't see too many distinctions here. It's still a matter of "do what we want, or we'll kill you."

It's just too bad that the "outlaw hate speech" assholes are so eager to cooperate with those who would use that movement to achieve their own hateful ends.

I think I'm starting to understand what Lenin said: "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." Wrong group, right idea.

Or, in another Soviet-era bon mot, "useful idiots."


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Comments (179)

Here in the United State... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Here in the United States, we have some pretty good defenses against that. Not only do we have the First Amendment, we have specific laws that forbid that kind of extortion.

That's mostly right. Of course, the First Amendment is merely part of a 'living, breathing' document, so maybe we could tweak it to modify the hateful speech of hateful white male Christer xenophobes. After all, certain special 'minorities' should be given 'a leg up'.

/Lefty thought process off

As stupid as it so... (Below threshold)
As stupid as it sounds, I'd have to say that "they hate our freedoms" sums up the position here.

Well, more broadly, they hate anything that isn't Islamic. And when there aren't non-Moslems around to hate, they hate each other.

Radical Islamicists have become very adroit at manipulating "human rights" and multiculturalism rhetoric to advance their agenda and to suppress criticism. And not only have Western governments seemingly not caught on, some (notably the Canadian Human Rights Commission and their kangaroo trial of Mark Steyn) are actively aiding and abetting them.

This is why I think lefties... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

This is why I think lefties have convinced themselves that Islamofacists hate only Bush and republicans. This is not only naive but dangerous. ww

Yet, many on the the Left w... (Below threshold)

Yet, many on the the Left would have us believe that Exxon-Mobil and the National Rifle Association represent the REAL threats to our way of life.

Maybe you should write a le... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Maybe you should write a letter to your congress critters and encourage your government to stop cavorting with these shitheads in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia instead of bleating about how leftists hate your freedoms.

Though I do hate your freedoms. I hate 'em so hard.

Spot on, Jay. And apart fr... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Spot on, Jay. And apart from hyperbolist's ubiquitous babbling, all the comments are as well.

Well, it's nice to see the ... (Below threshold)
Mattnu:

Well, it's nice to see the Pakistani government take a break from supporting the Taliban in the tribal areas along the Paki/Afghani border region long enough to threaten the EU.

I think the desire to contr... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I think the desire to control information comes down to whether the merits of an issue can stand on thier own. The Islamists need to shut out opposing views--they don't want people to be fully informed and for them to be able to see different perspectives and think for themselves.

Of course that thinking is not isolated to Islam. Here in the United States people who support weak, faulty ideas that cannot stand on their own merits want to do the same thing.

Yeah, hb, right ON!!... (Below threshold)
Joel:

Yeah, hb, right ON!! Instead, we should be nuking the sh*theads in Pakistan and cavorting with the the reasonable folks in Iran and Syria who really have our best interests at heart. BTW, you forgot to say that the Iraqis and Israelis are on their own as part of the new and wonderfully improved US diplomacy under the Obamessiah (PBUH)!

Hopeitude and changyness! Sunshine and daffodils! The Age of Utopia is almost here!!

Though I do hate your fr... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Though I do hate your freedoms. I hate 'em so hard.

Well then, you're right where you belong. Tell you what, we'll stay here and you stay in the country that leads the world in being north of the United States...and damned little else.

Now we can all go back to having a happy morning, eh?

There are only two ways to ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

There are only two ways to settle a disagreement: reasoned discussion or violence.

Reasoned discussion must be based on some observable, objective knowledge and adherence to logic. Where there is no observable, objective knowledge or adherence to logic, there can be no reasoned discussion. So the only course of action left is violence.

Religion, because it's based in faith (belief without or in contradiction to other observable, objective knowledge), can only resolve conflicts through violence. So more fundamentally, they hate us (want to do violence to us) because they have no other way to resolve the conflict between our 'values'.

If there's something wrong with what I've said, I would sincerely appreciate someone - using observable, objective knowledge and logic - pointing it out.

Unfortunately I'm not sure ... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Unfortunately I'm not sure the First Amendment will stop such activity here at home.

It's not hard too envision a group of lawyers taking up the interests of islamofacists (parading under a different name, of course) and taking a lawsuit ultimately to a state (and probably the federal) supreme court. We've already seen this. Once there it's not a far leap for judges to muffle desent of such groups out of "fairness".

SCOTUS has already given enemy combatants certain rights, why not go abit further? After all, we're all just children of the world.

_Mike_,I generally a... (Below threshold)
Joel:

_Mike_,
I generally agree with your observation except for this statement:
Religion, because it's based in faith (belief without or in contradiction to other observable, objective knowledge), can only resolve conflicts through violence.

I think that you paint with too broad a brush here--I am a Christian and I do not resolve conflict through violence. However, the religion (or more specifically, the God) in which I place my belief allows for reasoned discussion to resolve issues. I also believe that He will dispense justice at the proper time, a responsibility for which I am ill prepared.

Religious fanatics, however, cannot be wrong, cannot be questioned and feel it is their duty to dispense justice as they see fit. I would correct your statement to read: "Religious fanatics, because of beliefs based in faith (belief without or in contradiction to other observable, objective knowledge), can only resolve conflicts through violence."

Additionally, these fanatics are not merely believers in an organized religion, but any "belief system" in which they may place their faith (i.e: abortion or anti-abortion fanatics, eco-terrorists, etc.).

I believe they would use in... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I believe they would use international law or adherance to some treaty (like they did to bypass the UK's laws to strengthen the EU's authority) as an excuse.

I don't see this so much as... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I don't see this so much as a shakedown as it is an outright threat.

Taqiya!

Hey, our neighbors to the n... (Below threshold)

Hey, our neighbors to the north in Canada are already there with a extra-judicial kangaroo court and witch-hunt tribunal, convicting Mark Steyn of "islamophobia" for repeating in his book what a bunch of other kooky Muslims already said.

They said that the deleg... (Below threshold)
Clay:

They said that the delegation would also tell the EU that if such acts against Islam are not controlled, more attacks on the EU diplomatic missions abroad could not be ruled out.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again in clear terms: Islam is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution. It simply isn't.

they hate us...because they have no other way to resolve the conflict between our 'values'.

Absolutely correct. Extortion culminating in violence is their only recourse. The violence will end when we have sufficiently compromised our Bill of Rights to accommodate an acceptable level of protection of their religion...exclusively. It is quite that simple.

This revolution will not be televised.

Damn, are these people fi... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Damn, are these people fixated on The Godfather, or what? Shades of "an offer you can't refuse".

The drive to limit 'your' f... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The drive to limit 'your' freedoms in the U.S. has been underway for some time. The democrat organization called the 'ACLU', assisted by congress critters like Fat Ted, Hanoi John, Crazy Murtha and Turbin Durbin, are the most dangerous, followed by liberal 'judges' (how can a judge be liberal and be called a judge?), and 'normal' democrats electing enemy agents to congress.

Democrats are not selling them the rope to hang us, they are giving them the rope, with instructions on it's use.

When I say democrats will destroy the country and get us killed I don't mean the old style, for the people, democrats (there's a few dozen of those left) but the 'follow and worship Hussein O style democrats' are not only crazy, they are dangerous. Watch them on the news (sic) any day and you'll see BDS, or some other mental illness, in full force.

Would a raid on the democrat convention turn up more street drugs than a raid on a drug lords warehouse? Most likely.

Joel:I think that... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Joel:
I think that you paint with too broad a brush here--I am a Christian and I do not resolve conflict through violence.

I can't speak for you personally, but consider the areas that still have 'blue laws', whereby it's illegal to work on Sunday, or prohibition the sale of alcohol that still exist in some areas in the U.S. Those are a use of (the threat of) violence to coerce others into obeying religion's irrationally (faith) based beliefs. So there are still remnants of Christianity's violence even today.

Christianity in it's more 'assertive' era certainly was more violent (though not so violent as Islam is, but the difference is only one of degree). The moderation of religion has come from its 'westernization' and not from a more strict adherence to its professed beliefs. This is the problem that that 'radical' Islam has with us... that the 'westernization' effect could moderate Islam. For the true believer, moderation is dilution of the religion... and the U.S. is a prime source for moderating influences. Hence their hostility toward us.

Hey, our neighbors to th... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Hey, our neighbors to the north in Canada are already there with a extra-judicial kangaroo court and witch-hunt tribunal, convicting Mark Steyn of "islamophobia" for repeating in his book what a bunch of other kooky Muslims already said.

Yep.
It would be interesting to hear from a BDS Canadian who is always railing against Chimpy McBushitler taking our freedoms away. I wonder what the Canadian public feels about this.

If only we had someone on this thread who could address this.

That, Mike, is as correct a... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

That, Mike, is as correct as it is articulate, which is to say, rather.

Question for all the chest-pounding cowboys: if one were to grant that Islam is the enemy of the United States, what then ought to be done about it? I don't want to hear "Democrats would bend over and take it!", because that's not a solution. If you were king of the world, what would you do? Kill Muslims until they stop hating your freedom? Build a giant wall around the Middle East? Seriously, if this is the Greatest Threat Ever, as many of you seem to think it is, what should the U.S. do to confront it? Apart from linking to really shitty Victor Davis Priapus Hanson essays on your blog, I mean.

hyperbolist:Quest... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

hyperbolist:
Question for all the chest-pounding cowboys:

Accelerate the spread of western influence in the areas. It's that influence which moderated other religions. It is, however, a long term solution. There is no TV generation (20 minutes + commercials) solution possible.

Mike, (#20)I hate ... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Mike, (#20)

I hate to tell you, but a city voting to prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays is hardly the "...remnants of Christianity's violence even today." If that were the case, it wouldn't be "blue laws" or other such legal prohobitions, but instead would be big burly guys with baseball bats standing at the door to the 7-11 making sure that anyone who walked out with a six-pack had a meeting with the Louisville Slugger.

That whole democracy thing, you understand... A group of people (community) presents an issue, and votes on it. The majority vote for something, that means that the community has approved of it. If enough people feel that the issue or the vote was a bad move, then they can change it.

I'm curious- where is it illegal to work on Sundays? (and is enforced) I'm not asking about a century-old law that simply never got repealed. Where, in the US, the year 2008, are people forcibly forbidden from working on Sundays?

Conservachef:I ha... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Conservachef:
I hate to tell you, but a city voting to prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays is hardly the "...remnants of Christianity's violence even today."If that were the case, it wouldn't be "blue laws" or other such legal prohobitions, but instead would be big burly guys with baseball bats standing at the door to the 7-11 making sure that anyone who walked out with a six-pack had a meeting with the Louisville Slugger.

Really ? What do you suppose would happen if someone attempted to sell alcohol in that area ? Would armed men show up to seize this person and his property ? Certainly. The coercive use of force is violence.

That whole democracy thing, you understand... A group of people (community) presents an issue, and votes on it. The majority vote for something, that means that the community has approved of it. If enough people feel that the issue or the vote was a bad move, then they can change it.

This country is not a democracy. A democracy is what you described. Democracy is simply another name for mob rule. In a democracy, for his supposed teaching of belief in 'false' gods, the majority sentenced Socrates to death.

I'm curious- where is it illegal to work on Sundays? (and is enforced) I'm not asking about a century-old law that simply never got repealed. Where, in the US, the year 2008, are people forcibly forbidden from working on Sundays?

When a law is enacted it is under the threat of force which the law is enforced. Liquor stores in, at least, several southern states of which I'm aware are prohibited from operating on Sunday. So, yes, they are forcibly forbidden from working.

"Pakistan is going to the E... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"Pakistan is going to the European Union and telling them that they need to curtail their citizens' right to free speech."

If the Europeans don't bend over and take a big one up the posterior for their cause; then come to America and make your presentation to the DNC. The Dims will fawn, fall, and fart all over themselves to please you.

They could call a special session of Congress to "pass" laws condemning Americana and exhalting your barbaric, cruel, fourteenth century behavior.

"Seriously, if this is t... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Seriously, if this is the Greatest Threat Ever, as many of you seem to think it is, what should the U.S. do to confront it?"

Well, the first thing *I* would do is make sure you're not on any discussion panel. After that, we could discuss the issue in any fashion that doesn't include hyperbole.

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

To add to Mike's thoughts, I would only say that this "conflict" is of the nature that one side is bent on usurping the other's power. Christianity today, while they would probably like that their morals and tenets were universally observed, does not desire such physical conflict to impose their will. At least in the US, conflict today that anyone has with Christians and Christianity dwells in the realm of ideas and verbal discourse - only rarely in the physical. And when it does take physical form, such as in abortion clinic bombings, it is roundly condemned by the majority of those whom the attackers claim to be a part of.

In the case of Islam fighting the west, one side is religious and the other side is comprised of many religions or none at all. Unfortunately the latter has too many people with their heads in the sand or they're so eager to avoid any conflict, they'll acquiesce to anything - even give up basic rights they've enjoyed all their lives.

Question for all the che... (Below threshold)

Question for all the chest-pounding cowboys: if one were to grant that Islam is the enemy of the United States, what then ought to be done about it?

Islam is NOT the enemy of the U.S. or even the West at large; radical Islam, fundamentalist Islam, Islamo-fascism, whatever you want to call it, is the enemy.

Yet it's people like you who blatantly and maliciously misrepresent the position of those of us on the right as hating all of Islam. We don't.

We clearly make the distinction between those who want to kill us for who we are and those who do not. We also clearly understand that this faction of Islam can NOT be reasoned with, can NOT be negotiated with and can NOT be cajoled or placated or appeased into ceasing their violent actions against "nonbelievers" (aka: pretty much the rest of the planet who doesn't believe in their perverted version of Islam). Why? Because they are religious zealots willing to die for their God. They have proven that thousands upon thousands of times.

If you were king of the world, what would you do?

It's a hypothetical and--surprise, surprise--hyperbole-driven question that doesn't even deserve a response it's so inane.

Just add my 2cents about "r... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Just add my 2cents about "religion" here. We have seen the devastating effect of the fundamentalist atheism (or secularism) in communist countries. Fundamentalist atheism (basically a secular religion) holds the record on genocide so far. It has enslaved billions of people and killed hundreds of millions of people. At least secularism or atheism is not the answer to fanaticism. Since fundamentalist atheists or secularists don't seem to learn from history. And they seem to have more in common with the radical jihadists. Some keen observers have noted the "unholy alliance" between fanatical leftists (or fundamentalist atheists/secularists) and the jihadists.

Propping up the more modera... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Propping up the more moderate regimes in the region (e.g. Jordan) will be for naught insofar as Uncle Sam is intent on being all buddy-buddy with the very un-moderate monsters who control Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, etc. I think that ideological aggression in conjunction with a propensity to have more children bodes very poorly for the moderate Middle/Near Eastern states. And I think that since our superior Western values prevent us from simply massacring people we don't like--even if they want to kill us--there is not a lot to be done about it. Luckily they don't have a navy or air force, and I sold my timeshare in Islamabad years ago. If and when someone with the intestinal and political fortitude imposes some intelligent energy policy on the West, then there will be no further reason to pay attention to these a-holes, except perhaps as humanitarian interventionists.

Propping up the more modera... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Propping up the more moderate regimes in the region (e.g. Jordan) will be for naught insofar as Uncle Sam is intent on being all buddy-buddy with the very un-moderate monsters who control Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, etc.
------------------------------------
Thanks for pointing out the foolishness of Obama and the left in general. We shouldn't buddy with these moderate regimes in the ME, but we should buddy and prop up terrorist regimes like Hamas, Iran, Syria. We should talk to Iran unconditionally and should invade Pakistan. Wonder why such a naive or foolish guy could be nominated by the dem party unless they really like his extremist ideology.

No seriously, Peter F., wha... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No seriously, Peter F., what should be done about radical Islam? What do you want your leaders to do?

Love America Immigrant, just for the sake of conversation, please explain my relationship as an atheist to Islamic jihad.

It's not that "they hate ou... (Below threshold)
Rance :

It's not that "they hate our freedom", but rather that they hate the way that some individuals use that freedom to do things that insult and demean their religion.

Are we all that different in this country? Not that long ago there were the cases of the artist who put the crucifix in the bottle of urine and the man who added elephant dung to his painting of the Virgin Mary. There were cries of "Blasphemy" and death threats.

Note to Conservachef: In Illinois it is illegal to sell cars on Sunday.

The premise of using violen... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

The premise of using violence, or the
promise thereof, enforcing 'blue laws' can be
used as an example against any and all laws.

Chest pounding cowboys. Whe... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Chest pounding cowboys. Where do you find them?
I've been around 'cowboys' most of my life,
and have never run into chest pounders.

When a law is enacted it... (Below threshold)
Suburban Scarecrow:

When a law is enacted it is under the threat of force which the law is enforced. Liquor stores in, at least, several southern states of which I'm aware are prohibited from operating on Sunday. So, yes, they are forcibly forbidden from working.

I'm trying to figure out what your point is, other than demonization of Christianity (because apparently Christianity is the root of laws you don't agree with). If I strip naked and stroll through my hometown streets, armed men and women will appear, forcibly remove me and detain me. They are called police officers. If I resist, they may use violence to arrest me. That's just the way it is because there is an indecent exposure law. All laws are enforced with the threat of "violence". There are consequences to breaking the law.

I may not agree with the law. But to call it "remnants of Christianity's violence" is really stretching. Maybe you can explain how blue laws are any different than nudity laws.

Those are a use of... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Those are a use of (the threat of) violence to coerce others into obeying religion's irrationally (faith) based beliefs. So there are still remnants of Christianity's violence even today.

So you see laws and the threat of their enforcement as violence. So how do you feel about laws against murder, theft, and false witness? These all flow from the OT. What about laws that don't flow from religion such as tax laws, environmental laws, and safety laws? Are these all an extension of humanistic violence?

Christianity in it's more 'assertive' era certainly was more violent (though not so violent as Islam is, but the difference is only one of degree).

Not even close to correct. The more "assertive" era of Christianity is directly tractable to human lust for wealth and power that was only possible by suppressing the Bible. It was the translation of the Bible into the languages of the people that reformed Christianity back to it's true nature. Islam's violence flows from it's fundamental teachings, so no similar reform is possible. It's a fatal mistake to think Islam is just going through some violent stage.

It was Christianity that westernized civilization more than any other factor, and thus, it's Christianity's influence that Muslims hate us for. That's why they call western forces Crusaders.

Maggie beat me to my basic ... (Below threshold)
Suburban Scarecrow:

Maggie beat me to my basic point.

Mike,Ohhh ok. I th... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Mike,

Ohhh ok. I thought they would be fined and then taken before a judge if things kept going. In any event, a law is still not the remnant of Christianity's violence.

And, for the record, I happen to live in one of those Southern States, and there are a large number of businesses that are open on Sundays.

I like your idea of spreading Western influences- I have heard it called "dragging them out of the Middle Ages," before, but you put it a little more eloquently.

Rance, (#33)

I did not know that. I have friends in Aurora, I'll have to bug them about that.

I certainly remember that "art." I remember people saying it was disrespectful. I don't remember death threats. I won't say there weren't any, but do you really want to compare the reaction to those and the reaction to rumors of a burning Koran or the Danish Mo cartoons?

what should be done abou... (Below threshold)

what should be done about radical Islam?

If death and getting to Allah is their greatest wish (and it is, there's no denying that), then help them as quickly as possible. Show them that there are only two ways out of their way of thinking: Abandon it or die.

All groups associated with terrorist activites should be summarily eradicated like the vile human pests they are. No questions asked.

What do you want your leaders to do?

Again, this is a trapping and loaded question, but I'll humor you with one answer: Demonstrate that our will is greater than that of radical Islam's and those countries that promote and support it (aka: Iran, Syria and others). How our leaders go about it--using military, covert operations, diplomatic solutions, etc.--varies greatly depending on the country and situation.

Other than that, I'm not going to speak in vague generalities.

Mac Lorry:So how ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Mac Lorry:
So how do you feel about laws against murder, theft, and false witness?

Violence is only justified as a response to violence. The sale of alcohol, working on the 'Sabbath', etc hardly constitute violence against another person hence the use of violence in these scenario is an initiation of the use of violence.

It was the translation of the Bible into the languages of the people that reformed Christianity back to it's true nature.

Your definition of the 'true nature' is hardly factual. If you want to see the origins of Christianity, look for the death and destruction in the Old Testament. The problem is that Islam is still in its 'Old Testament' mode, if you will.

It was Christianity that westernized civilization more than any other factor, and thus, it's Christianity's influence that Muslims hate us for.

Again, there's no factual basis for this assertion. The 'moderation' of Christianity was largely a deviation from its 'true nature'. It's that very same 'moderation' that Islam hates and fears because they believe that it will cause the same deviation from Islam's 'true nature'.

Your definition of... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Your definition of the 'true nature' is hardly factual. If you want to see the origins of Christianity, look for the death and destruction in the Old Testament. The problem is that Islam is still in its 'Old Testament' mode, if you will.

Christianity is established in the New Testament. The violence in the Old Testament is not a general call to war, it's for a specific time and purpose; the establishment of Israel. Both that time and purpose have passed into history. The call to violence in Islam is both general and for all this age. Sorry to bust your ignorance bubble, but the two are not at all comparable.

Again, there's no factual basis for this assertion. The 'moderation' of Christianity was largely a deviation from its 'true nature'.

Obviously you know little about Christianity, the early history of the Catholic church or the Reformation. You probably don't even know what the true nature of Christianity is. You're trying to make all religion fit your atheist notions.

Islam is NOT the enemy o... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Islam is NOT the enemy of the U.S. or even the West at large
...
Yet it's people like you who blatantly and maliciously misrepresent the position of those of us on the right as hating all of Islam. We don't.

Really?

I've said it before, but I'll say it again in clear terms: Islam is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution. It simply isn't.

It's people like you who blatantly and maliciously pretend away the positions of other people like you.

It's not that "the... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
It's not that "they hate our freedom", but rather that they hate the way that some individuals use that freedom to do things that insult and demean their religion.

RIIIIIGHT... Like that crazy freedom for women to go around showing their ankles and/or wrists.
No burkha?!?... You insult Islam! Off with your head!

...or the cartoons! The ca... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

...or the cartoons! The cartoons!
Infidels must be keeeeeeled!

Brian,We'll exxxxx... (Below threshold)

Brian,

We'll exxxxxxxxxxxxxcuse me for excluding a scant few. Shall I add the disclaimer of "most of us don't"? Happy now?

Weak sauce, Brian. Weak.

Standard, though.

Other than that, I'm not... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Other than that, I'm not going to speak in vague generalities.

Well, yes, you are, insofar as you want to remain on topic. We're talking about a cluster of various faiths (Sunni, Shi'ite, Wahhabi, Suffi) called Islam, which more than one billion people adhere to. The very nature of this discussion presupposes generalizations and a degree of vagueness.

Mac Lorry:The vio... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Mac Lorry:
The violence in the Old Testament is not a general call to war, it's for a specific time and purpose; the establishment of Israel. Both that time and purpose have passed into history. The call to violence in Islam is both general and for all this age. Sorry to bust your ignorance bubble, but the two are not at all comparable.

Yes, that's right... god okay'd the wanton death and destruction because he had told the Israelites that they could have Canaan. Contending it was okay then but not now is not a coherent argument. It's not ignorance that's deadly, it's the certainty that hides your ignorance from you... that is, your irrational belief ('faith').

Yes, that's right.... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Yes, that's right... god okay'd the wanton death and destruction because he had told the Israelites that they could have Canaan. Contending it was okay then but not now is not a coherent argument.

Wheither you believe in God or not, the FACT that there is no general call to war in the OT is significant. No knowledgeable believer is going to claim they are fighting a holy war based on OT teachings. Even you should recognize that difference with Islam.

It's not ignorance that's deadly, it's the certainty that hides your ignorance from you... that is, your irrational belief ('faith').

You're just another babe in the woods when it comes to this issue. Your statement can be said of you as much as of me. You think that what you believe is not by faith only because you have yet to examine your beliefs.

The nature of Christianity flows from the works and teachings of Jesus the Christ. The nature of Islam flows from the works and teachings of Muhammad. Now demonstrate your profound ignorance for all to see by claiming there's no difference.

They said that the... (Below threshold)
Oyster:
They said that the delegation would also tell the EU that if such acts against Islam are not controlled, more attacks on the EU diplomatic missions abroad could not be ruled out.
What this tells me is they are informing the EU that they cannot or will not make any effort to control those within their borders or elsewhere in an effort to thwart attacks. They're essentially saying, "Hey, it's not our problem." Much like a neighbor who won't make any effort to leash his aggressive dog, Pakistan can't control many areas of their own country for fear of being attacked themselves.
Well, technically, the natu... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Well, technically, the nature of Christianity flows from the works and teachings of people who claim to have known Jesus Christ, or known his followers, etc., and it's been filtered through so many languages by so many people with such divergent agendas that I think the only thing we can be certain of re: the teachings of Jesus was that he seems to have been a very empathetic person; and that the world would be better if people emulated his behaviour, e.g. lived more selflessly and less judgmentally of one another.

Well, yes, you are, inso... (Below threshold)

Well, yes, you are, insofar as you want to remain on topic.

I was speaking directly to your question: What do you want your leaders to do? And I answered it: It varies greatly depending on the country and, like you indicated, the various factions with the religion of Islam.

The very nature of this discussion presupposes generalizations and a degree of vagueness.

For some, perhaps, but I don't care to entertain them now as I have this thing called a "job" that I have to tend to, otherwise I would.

And let's reverse the question: What do YOU want our leaders to do about radical Islam? We've yet to hear your opinion on the matter...

I want them to invest an in... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I want them to invest an insane amount of money into energy R&D and nuclear power--like, the entire national budget surplus, for the next fifty years if that's what it takes--and get us the hell off of fossil fuels. Build a dozen nuclear power plants, which will also help offset the loss of jobs when we stop harvesting oil in the tar sands in Alberta. Borrow the required additional monies from China at low interest in exchange for cheaper commodities.

Buying oil from the Middle East enables terrorists. I'm not an economist (obvs), but I know that my government, and to a far greater extent, your government, can and should do more to withdraw money and influence from the Middle East. Let those Saudi f**ks go back to goatherding or whatever they did before our addiction to their oil financed their indoor ski resorts.

and it's been filt... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
and it's been filtered through so many languages by so many people with such divergent agendas that I think the only thing we can be certain of re: the teachings of Jesus was that he seems to have been a very empathetic person

A common myth and one prominently proposed in the 1800's. However the discover of thousands of papyrus leaves containing fragments of the NT in Egypt starting around 1895 has blown that contention out of the water. After 10 years of searching enough of these fragments were found to construct significant parts of all four Gospels and Acts, Paul's Epistles, and Revelations. The leaves belong to the Chester Beatty collection, which is owned in part by the University of Michigan. Some of the fragments are dated to the time when the Apostle John would still have been alive.

When compared to modern translations of the NT, there's virtually no difference that's not explained by the structure of the languages themselves. No one, intentionally or otherwise, could have modified the NT in it's nearly 2000 year history without those modifications being apparent by such a comparison. No one could know what parts of the various books would been found and then left those parts unchanged, yet altered other parts. The NT has been scientifically proven to be virtually unchanged from it's earliest writing. Every testable fact in the NT, such as place, location, distance and varieties of plants has been proven accurate. At a minimum, it's an accurate history of a remarkable man. Combined with fulfilled prophecy I accept it's claim that it's the word of God. Atheists who as diligently examine their own beliefs will be disappointed in what they find.

Actually, the text of the b... (Below threshold)
Joel:

Actually, the text of the bible (OT and NT, 66 books) has been copied down throughout the centuries with more than 99% accuracy ("Evidence That Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell; sorry, I'm at work and don't have the copy with me), with the disputations concerning the specific interpretation of individual words and not affecting the primary message of the Gospel. That message is:
1) God is real; God is perfect and God loves you.
2) Humans are sinful by nature, and no matter what we do we cannot make ourselves righteous before a perfect God.
3) The penalty of our sin is death, or separation from God.
4) Jesus Christ came and lived a sinless life, being both God and human, and died a sacrificial death on the cross as an atonement for the sins of all humans.
5) Those who believe and accept Jesus' sacrifice will spend eternity with God; those who do not will spend eternity separated from God.

People may misinterpret what the bible says to conform to their own views (nonbelievers and Christians alike) but the bible's main message has not changed in the two thousand plus years it has existed in recorded form.

You are correct in saying "that the world would be better if people emulated his behaviour, e.g. lived more selflessly and less judgmentally of one another."

hyperbolist (#51)A... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

hyperbolist (#51)

Actually the translations of the NT are from accurate, first century texts. The oldest copies of some of the New Testament letters date back to around 50-75AD, I believe.

Scholars today have taken those Greek texts and translated them into the various Bibles of today, in whatever language you prefer. It isn't like the kids game where you whisper something down a line and the message gets all jumbled up. In this case there are many copies of very early manuscripts that date back to the correct period, which help prevent corruption of the message.

And I agree that Jesus lived much more selflessly than probably 99.999999% of humanity. However, He did judge men- He was critical of the Jewish scribes, and who can forget the money-changers in the temple?

Joel (#55)Thanks f... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Joel (#55)

Thanks for the book name- I've read a couple of books by Lee Strobel, and I always like expanding my library!

Let those Saudi f**ks go ba... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Let those Saudi f**ks go back to goatherding or whatever they did before our addiction to their oil financed their indoor ski resorts.
-------------------------------------
If we drilled in ANWAR and the oil shales 10 years ago, we would have been free of the Saudi oil. The dems are so fanatical about the env at the expense of national security and the welfare of the poor that even now they still block domestic drilling and nuclear energy development. Thanks again for pointing out the problems that the dems have been causing. BTW, McCain is not better in this regard either. But at least he doesn't want to tax our way to Maxine's utopia.

You are correct in saying "... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

You are correct in saying "that the world would be better if people emulated his behaviour, e.g. lived more selflessly and less judgmentally of one another."
-------------------------------------
This is another good point and we see the consequences of fundamentalist atheism when they took away the basic foundation for selfless living and valuing human lives. The facts show the horrible consequences of fanatical secularism in the 20th century if we care to look at history.

Buying oil from th... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Buying oil from the Middle East enables terrorists. I'm not an economist (obvs), but I know that my government, and to a far greater extent, your government, can and should do more to withdraw money and influence from the Middle East

Last I heard a "new" majority of Americans want domestic drilling and now. By congress just allowing more domestic drilling will drive the price down now with speculators foreseeing future surpluses without even sticking the drill in the ground.

Without looking it up, I do believe the geological survey indicated ANWAR would replace Saudi Oil for a minimum of 15 years alone.

It will take 50 years to completely wean off oil due to the cost of transition, however until "Mr. Fusion" is here we should stay as self sufficient as possible during the transition.

Since we have two candidates now for the general election, both against domestic drilling, who would like to take wagers on who backs off first their initial commitment of no drilling because of the majority swing?

I got $50 bucks that says McCain will back off first.

Obama has to cater first to the far left that harbors' the kooks that sit in trees for months to keep someone from chopping it down.

So anyone think Obama will make the first move to endorse domestic drilling?

P.S. When I said "new" majority, I meant a poll that didn't ask something stupid like "Do you support turning our National Parks over to BIG OIL for rape and plunder of our pristine lands?" You know, crap like that.

"Do you support turning our... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

"Do you support turning our National Parks over to BIG OIL for rape and plunder of our pristine lands?" You know
-------------------------------------
BTW, American "BIG OIL" is small compared to OPEC for example. The problem is not that they are too big, but they are too small to impact the world market. That 's why we drill here and drill now to make American BIG OIL a little bigger!

and it's [the New Testam... (Below threshold)
Clay:

and it's [the New Testament] been filtered through so many languages by so many people with such divergent agendas that I think the only thing we can be certain of re: the teachings of Jesus was that he seems to have been a very empathetic person;

If you want to disreagard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer since the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writing. Because the copies are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy. This process has determined that the biblical documents are extremely consistent and 99.5% accurate. There are presently 5,686 Greek New Testament Greek manuscripts in existence today that were written less than 100 years of Christ's death. Compare that to The Iliad: Only 643 copies exist and the approximate time span between the original and the copy is 500 years. Greek Scholars consider these manuscripts to be 95% accurate. Another point of reference is Thucydides. Only 8 copies survive and the approximate time span between the original and the copy is 1300 years!

I'm sorry, but it is only out of ignorance that someone could say that somehow the manuscript integrity of the New Testament has been compromised. The evidence is overwhelming!

Last I heard a "new" maj... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Last I heard a "new" majority of Americans want domestic drilling and now.

57% of Americans want us to start drilling domestically now. According to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, America's deep seas on the OCS contain 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (the U.S. consumes 23 TCF per year) and 86 billion barrels of oil (the U.S. imports 4.5 billion per year). On Thursday, May 18, 2006, Democrats voted to block U.S. companies from drilling off the coastal United States. So, now Cuba, China, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, India, and others may soon be benefiting from the energy reserves 50 miles off our coast on the OCS.

Clay, your statistics aren'... (Below threshold)
epador:

Clay, your statistics aren't what I've seen serious biblical historians quote, and the current New Testaments most Christians use in the USA are based upon revision that occurred several hundreds of years AD that were part of a power struggle between multiple Christian and Agnostic faiths. Nonetheless, I agree with you and conservaC disagreeing with HB. Which is never hard to do.

and it's been filtere... (Below threshold)

and it's been filtered through so many languages by so many people with such divergent agendas that I think the only thing we can be certain of re: the teachings of Jesus was that he seems to have been a very empathetic person

hyperbolist, that is an extraordinarily uninformed comment. The historicity of the New Testament, and the validity of extant manuscripts, is overwhelmingly in favor of accuracy to the original text. Clay has you on this point.

Also, I'm surprised that you are so uninformed on the substance and validity of the text in light of the fact that the world's most renowned secular Biblical scholar and literary critic is indeed a Canadian, Northrop Frye.

I would remind the Pakistan... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I would remind the Pakistani contingent that while we recognize Pakistan is a nuclear power, So is the EU with France and UK having the ways and means to end any threat from Pakistan in about 45 minutes. An attack on Danish Embassies is an attack on the EU. It is about time we stop bowing to pipsqeeks.

hyper,#47 & 51 wer... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

hyper,

#47 & 51 were good comments for the most part IMHO, but:

"I want them to invest an insane amount of money into energy R&D and nuclear power--like, the entire national budget surplus, for the next fifty years if that's what it takes--and get us the hell off of fossil fuels.

This option exists outside the realm of possibility. I think you'd agree that we can't seem to get a surplus from the Republicans (although this is a strong point for McCain). Do you think there'd ever be a budget surplus with Obama and a Democrat congress? I mean come on.

Or were you talking about Canada's budget supluses? Or the UN's? lol

I do agree that nuclear is the way to go. Unfortunately the Democrats set that technology back by 30 years. I was really looking forward to hovercars, too. Bummer.

And of course, as has been pointed out above, we have plenty of our own oil to drill and we need to drill here drill now (McCain's weaker point, but still orders of magnitude better than Obama). But even so, even though we could stop sending our money to the middle east, that wouldn't solve the problem and no one would loose their indoor ski resorts.

Here's a word of which you may never have heard: fungible

That's not saying drilling our own while we go neclear would lower the world price, but the terrorists did pretty well at $120 a barrel. At $135 a barrel the thought of Obama in charge is horrifying to me.


Clay, your statistics ar... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Clay, your statistics aren't what I've seen serious biblical historians quote,

I've gotta call bullcrap on you, respectfully, mind you. Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, Lord Hubris, B. F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort aren't serious enough for you? Which serious scholars are you referring to? The textual veracity is not even debated anymore by serious scholars. The debate moved to canonization once the liberals were soundly womped by the textual evidence.

the current New Testaments most Christians use in the USA are based upon revision that occurred several hundreds of years AD that were part of a power struggle between multiple Christian and Agnostic faiths.

You'll have to say more since, frankly, you're not making sense to me. Do you understand how the different revisions are developed? Do you know that the earliest manuscripts are used?

There's at least two issues... (Below threshold)

There's at least two issues to consider here. One is that the terrorists are cultural and religious hypocrites. They despise some of the relative sexual license, emphasis on making money and other freedoms in the Western World, but instead of just trying to get "some" like the average world community person, wrap themselves in their religious self-righteousness and think that they're supposed to pass judgement on sinners. The values of terrorists are murder and mayhem. The values of the people they despise are only that of making money and maybe sleeping around a little. What's worse? The hypocrites.

The other issue is that American political conservatives just love to thrive by creating some overinflated "boogeyman" to be afraid of and to politically capitalize off of. It's very difficult for the more rationally minded to talk sense to someone who has some irrational fear of some shadowy "phantom". And just like every paranoid issue, there is just enough element of fact or truth to justify the paranoid issue for many.

The truth is that the terrorist philosophy is so bizarre that only very few persons, even in the MidEast become involved with such a crazed and violent mindset. Most persons are repulsed with any thought of promotion of violence against women and children. But just like any crime issue, all societies need to take reasonable, but not paranoid precautions against terrorist crimes, although crimes such as robbery, theft, etc. will always remain far common in every world society and need to top crime prevention issues.

Many American conservatives unfortunately have made the small number of world terrorists into the latest "Red Scare". From my educational background in psychology,social work as well as sociology, I know the social psychology of some is to find the darndest issue to become paranoid with. But with around 300 million Americans, there have only been around 4,000 deaths of Americans worldwide by terrorists if you remove American servicemen involved in police actions in the MidEast, which makes becoming a victim of terrorism probably more remote than winning some lottery prize. Becoming a victim of normal crime is far more likely than becoming a terrorist crime victim. But you would find a difficult time talking some out of this latest paranoia. The best thing a society can do is take reasonable precautions to prevent terrorist crimes like airport and other security measures and go on with your life and expect to die of old age like most persons.

the current New Te... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
the current New Testaments most Christians use in the USA are based upon revision that occurred several hundreds of years AD that were part of a power struggle between multiple Christian and Agnostic faiths.

The individual books that make up the NT are each scientifically provably accurate by comparison with papyrus leaves, some dating to the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. What you are likely referring to is the selection of the books that make up the NT. That occurred around 325 AD when Constantine commissioned Eusebius to produce 50 Bibles for the Churches of Constantinople. At the time there were 1) universally accepted books, 2) disputed books, 3) spurious books, and 4) known forgeries of heretics. Of these Eusebius selected 27 books from categories 1 and 2. In 397 AD the Council of Carthage formally ratified (canonized) those 27 books and no others.

I think you mean Gnostic faith. Agnostic is what Jay Tea says he is, which is a skeptic or maybe just "an I don't know". Anyway, the Gnostic books were known as such in the time of Eusebius and were in his category 4. These include books such as the Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Matthias, Acts of Andrew, and Acts of John.

I've seen TV programs that claim some archeologist discovered an ancient manuscript of the Gospel of Thomas, which tests show is authentic. They are hoping people don't understand that what was found was a genuine ancient manuscript of a known Gnostic forgery. They were known as such in the time of Eusebius and just because the manuscript is now ancient doesn't change the fact that it was a forgery the day it was first written. Such is the desperation to undermine the Bible.

(in the last paragraph of #... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

(in the last paragraph of #67 I meant to type "wouldn't" not "would".)

No seriously, Pete... (Below threshold)
No seriously, Peter F., what should be done about radical Islam? What do you want your leaders to do?

Well, one way you could deal with terrorism is to stick your head in the sand and pretend the threat doesn't exist. See Paul Hooson's comment at #69 for a perfect example of this.

Seriously, if I wanted to w... (Below threshold)

Seriously, if I wanted to write a parody of the stereotypical patronizing leftist know-it-all with his head lodged firmly up his backside, I could not do any better than to simply cut-and-paste #69.

the terrorists hate us b... (Below threshold)
Dave:

the terrorists hate us because they hate our freedoms

Let me ask you the following question? How would you respond if the entire apartment complex your family lived in was bombed and killed by a foreign nation? Would you not be outraged and want to do everything possible to retaliate? Would it matter that the reason they gave was that they suspected an enemy of their country was in the building. The US has done presicely that on numerous occasions. Why would you not expect people living in those countries to react the same way you would?

Well Dave, if I had terrori... (Below threshold)

Well Dave, if I had terrorists living down the street from me, terrorists living next door to me, terrorists hiding out at a local school near me, and my government was giving them money to buy bombs and weapons, I might be inclined to cut that foreign nation a little slack.

OregonMuse,Your ve... (Below threshold)
Dave:

OregonMuse,

Your very naive in thinking that the US would only bomb an apartment building if all of the neigbors were also terrorists.

DaveIs that what O'M... (Below threshold)

Dave
Is that what O'Muse said?

Oregonmuse, certainly terro... (Below threshold)

Oregonmuse, certainly terrorism exists. But I also framed the "threat" in respect to the paranoia of some who view the likelyhood of the actual threat far beyond the odds that it will ever impact them. Has there ever been any in Oregon killed by terrorists in that state? How about Washington? California? In most states? In most cities? So far only about 4,000 American civilians worldwide have become victims of terrorism, out of an American population around 300 million. While the odds of becoming a victim of this type of crime are extremely low, still precautions in airport and other security to prevent these types of rare violence against Americans are prudent.

In Portland, a local water supply at Mt. Tabor had some trash and junk thrown in by prankful teenagers recently, not terrorists, but such pranks call for better security of public water supplies to prevent any possible pranks, or more far fetched, acts by terrorists. Generally, any measure that that keeps crime or pranks low, will also help to prevent the more far fetched examples of terrorism as well.

Here's the last paragrap... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Here's the last paragraph from #67, corrected again (sorry about that):

That's not saying drilling our own while we go nuclear wouldn't lower the world price, but the terrorists did pretty well at $20 a barrel. At $135 a barrel the thought of Obama in charge is horrifying to me.

HughS,OK I exagera... (Below threshold)
Dave:

HughS,

OK I exagerated but only slightly. But did I say anything about their being any other terrorist living nearby or did OregonMuse entirely make that part up?

I will rephrase it.

If a known terrorist was spotted in a hotel of an innocent village. Are you so naive to think that would make the slightest diffence?

Dave,It's the side... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Dave,

It's the side that you leftists would prefer win this conflict that targets innocent civilians, not the US. I wish you leftists would get that through your thick skulls.

But I also framed the... (Below threshold)

But I also framed the "threat" in respect to the paranoia of some who view the likelyhood of the actual threat far beyond the odds that it will ever impact them.

Paul

Put the shovel down.

Who of those that perished in WTC South and North ever thought they would die as a result of aerial attacks by suicide bombers after they had survived the first WTC attack? Your lectures on paranoia are disgusting and evidence that you have no grasp whatsoever of historical context or rational and logical thought.

OK I exagerated but o... (Below threshold)

OK I exagerated but only slightly. But did I say anything about their being any other terrorist living nearby or did OregonMuse entirely make that part up?

O'Muse can explain that. Then you can rephrase it. Then I'll answer your rephrased question about his/her explanation.

P. Bunyan,The poin... (Below threshold)
Dave:

P. Bunyan,

The point is that regardless if we are right or wrong in intervening in other coutries affairs (and many times we do so rightly). Violence begets violence. This does not mean that there is never any justification for violence but one must have this basic understanding.

You can't simply say that just because their are those that hate our freedom all terrorists are solely motivated by that reason.


It is such over-simplifications that prevent us from truely understanding our enemies. And that is dangerous because:

In order to defeat the enemy you must understand the enemy.

O.k. I don't totally agree ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

O.k. I don't totally agree with that Dave, but you make valid points. Just keep that "the US military are the bad guys" shit to yourself.

DaveIt is su... (Below threshold)

Dave

It is such over-simplifications that prevent us from truely understanding our enemies. And that is dangerous because:

In order to defeat the enemy you must understand the enemy.

Your over-simplification(s) is another politician's rationalization. Said another way, the most famous war President of the last century very deliberately killed hundreds of thousands of civilians to win a war that threatened our country.


P. Bunyon,It's ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

P. Bunyon,

It's the side that you leftists would prefer win this conflict that targets innocent civilians, not the US. I wish you leftists would get that through your thick skulls.

We both want to win the war on terror. It's just that many on the right can not see that Bush's war has created more terrorists. And it has nothing to do with them hating our freedom.

P. Bunyon,I'll ton... (Below threshold)
Dave:

P. Bunyon,

I'll tone it down after reading your last response. I appologize to anyone(or those with friends/relatives) in the military.

Generally, any mea... (Below threshold)
Generally, any measure that that keeps crime or pranks low, will also help to prevent the more far fetched examples of terrorism as well.

Uh-huh. Tell that to the 3,000 who died in the WTC on 9/11.

Treating the threat of a terrorist attack as merely a law enforcement matter is what got us into this mess to begin with.

Basically, your argument boils down to, "it can't happen here." That is so bizarrely head-up-ass-ish that it isn't worth taking seriously.

OK I exagerated bu... (Below threshold)
OK I exagerated but only slightly. But did I say anything about their being any other terrorist living nearby or did OregonMuse entirely make that part up?

What happened is that I thought your parable was so completely divorced from reality that I offered one of my own that I thought is closer to what is actually going on in the world.

Dave: "We both want to w... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Dave: "We both want to win the war on terror...Bush's war..."

This is what I think about that.

Treating the threat of a... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Treating the threat of a terrorist attack as merely a law enforcement matter is what got us into this mess to begin with.

Clinton did not treat terrorism as a law enforcement matter. He had special forces in the military dedicated to tracking/killing terrorist.

We both want to win t... (Below threshold)

We both want to win the war on terror. It's just that many on the right can not see that Bush's war has created more terrorists.

Dave,
Bush created more terrorists where?

During the 1990's we witnessed incremental terrorism from WTC I,the African Embassay bombings in Tangier , the Khobar Towers bombings that murdered our USAF personel, and the attack on the USS Cole and the never mentioned (by the MSM) disaster in Somalia.

Bush's war has done nothing if not point the terrorists (those are the "more" you reference) to the tip of the American sword.

Violence begets vi... (Below threshold)
Violence begets violence. This does not mean that there is never any justification for violence but one must have this basic understanding.

Right, and this is why violence (i.e military action) can never be the entire solution to the problem of terrorism.

Bush, believe it or not, knows this and so is trying to create in Iraq an alternative in the Arab world to the despotic regimes and resultant poverty and corruption that is the breeding ground for jihadis.

You say all he's doing is creating more terrorists. I think that remains to be seen. What he wants is a stable, prosperous, democratic Iraq where people can live their lives in peace and where the temptation to jihad is low. I want this enterprise to succeed. Do you?

What happened is that I ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

What happened is that I thought your parable was so completely divorced from reality that I offered one of my own that I thought is closer to what is actually going on in the world.

No one really knows whats going on in many of these middle eastern countries. It could be as you stated or could be the terrorist was also terrorizing the village he was found in.

Clinton did not tr... (Below threshold)
Clinton did not treat terrorism as a law enforcement matter. He had special forces in the military dedicated to tracking/killing terrorist.

I wasn't referring to Clinton, but rather to Paul Hooson's risibly naive policy proposals.

Clinton did not treat... (Below threshold)

Clinton did not treat terrorism as a law enforcement matter. He had special forces in the military dedicated to tracking/killing terrorist.

Tell that to Jaime Gorelick....but in the meantime, tell us more about the Special Forces he deployed.

And keep in mind, Dave, that using clandestine Special Forces is a far cry from congressionally authorized use of our military in a full scale war.

Hugh S.Bush cre... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Hugh S.

Bush created more terrorists where?

According to the administration's own National Intelligence Estimate on "Trends in Global Terrorism: implications for the United States," in April 2006 "the Iraq War has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists...and is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives."

So Dave do you think defeat... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

So Dave do you think defeating the United States will discourage the terrorist recruits?

According to the admi... (Below threshold)

According to the administration's own National Intelligence Estimate on "Trends in Global Terrorism: implications for the United States," in April 2006 "the Iraq War has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists...and is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives."

Thank you Dave....and where are those terrorists now? What was the denouement of their 'cause celebre' ? I mentioned the tip of the American sword, but you somehow ignored that, as does much of the mainstream celebrity worshipping media.

Bush, believe it or not,... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Bush, believe it or not, knows this and so is trying to create in Iraq an alternative in the Arab world to the despotic regimes and resultant poverty and corruption that is the breeding ground for jihadis.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Unfortunately Bush's policies are doing the opposite. The biggest mistake I feel Bush made has to do with his lack of diplomacy. He was down right insultful to many of our tradional allies in the lead to war. He also denied re-construction contract to countries that did not support war. Then when the snot hit the fan we had too few troops to control the resulting chaos.

He was down right in... (Below threshold)

He was down right insultful to many of our tradional allies in the lead to war. He also denied re-construction contract to countries that did not support war. Then when the snot hit the fan we had too few troops to control the resulting chaos.

That's brilliant, Dave....if this was a multiple choice question.

Bush was down right insultful to many of our tradional allies in the lead to war because they were being bribed by Saddam in the Oil for Food fiasco.

Why should the US give re-construction contracts to the very allies that were accepting bribes from our enemy?


Then when the snot hit the fan guess what: when snot hit the fan Bush made a change and put Patraeus in the field. Happens all the time in war. Ask Lincoln,ask FDR, ask Truman.

What is down right insultful is the refusal of certain people to acknowledge the millitary success of our troops.

Dave, I don't know if you'r... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Dave, I don't know if you're ignoring my #99 question or if you just haven't gotten around to answering it yet, but I'm off to bed so I'll tell you what I think before I go.

I think the same people who were celebrating the day the WTC Towers fell will be cheering in the streets again on November 4th if Obama wins. The resultant victory of the terrorists over the United States in Iraq will lead to Islamofascist terrorist recruiting at levels that are orders of magnitude greater than anything the inital years of the liberation of Iraq caused.

Add to that $135 dollar oil and you have a dire world conflict brewing. That's what Obama means to the war on terror.

So Dave do you think def... (Below threshold)
Dave:

So Dave do you think defeating the United States will discourage the terrorist recruits?

Of course not. If McCain can convince that we can win the war in Iraq I will vote for him.

The question and I do not have the answer to it is:

How long should we stay in? What if McCain serves 8 years and things are no better? What if after 20 years its still the same. It would break both our milatary and economy to do so.

Not all wars can be one and one should not stay in a war simply out of the desire to not admit defeat. I am not saying we have reached that point but in order to continue their has to be some measure of progress. I don't see enough of it under Bush. Maybe McCain can pull it off. Its a thought that has kept me up late at night on few occasions. I don't want to lose the war either.

So Dave do you think def... (Below threshold)
Dave:

So Dave do you think defeating the United States will discourage the terrorist recruits?

It probably would encourage terrorists. I also feel continued violence leads to more terrorists. You could be right in your assessment of how much it would encourage new recruits. I'm just not convinced we can win Iraq. If you want read my post# 104. Goodnight- Im going to bed too.

HughS,Bush was ... (Below threshold)
Dave:

HughS,

Bush was down right insultful to many of our tradional allies in the lead to war because they were being bribed by Saddam in the Oil for Food fiasco.

The Oil for Food scandal was not uncovered until August 13, 2004. The Iraq war began on March 20, 2003. Bush could not have known about the bribes.


Why should the US give re-construction contracts to the very allies that were accepting bribes from our enemy?

Again Bush did know about the bribes at this time.


Had Bush given contracts to countries that did not initally support the war, with good diplomacy he could have also gotten those nations to send security forces(after the fall of Bahgdad). Intead we had too few troops to maintain the peace.



Then when the snot hit the fan guess what: when snot hit the fan Bush made a change and put Patraeus in the field.

The snot hit the fan shortly after Bahgdad fell, well before Patraeus.


My re-collection on all of the details of who was involved in the oil for food scam is a littly fuzzy. But my re-collection is they were foreign(and U.S) companies- not governments. This being the case I don't think a private companys involvement in accepting bribes would have any impact on governments desision to go to war.

Dave, I think you r... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Dave,
I think you recollection is quite faulty and spotty for you convenience I think. It didn't take much brain to know that the European leftist governments at that time were willing to sell out Israel for oil. Russian/China/Germany/France had big contracts with Saddam way before 2003. We probably knew about the oil-for-food bribery already but didn't have the hard proof to prove it.
Bush 's biggest mistake were to treat the dem politicians as honorable American who would put national interest above partisan politics in terms of foreign policy. He should have treated them as "liars" as demanded by the left. He should have prepared for the betrayal of the liberal left in terms of their willingness to serve as a propaganda arm for the terrorists in the Iraq war.

I also feel continued viole... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

I also feel continued violence leads to more terrorists.
-------------------------------------
Your feeling doesn't alter the facts. The facts on the ground show that appeasement and inaction led to more violence. WW2 was a huge lesson. Clinton inaction and appeasement after the first WTC attack led a series of terrorist attacks and eventually to 9/11. Liberal appeasement encouraged the terrorists to fight on. No wonder they cheered on the dems in election, esp Obama. It is sad that Osama and other terrorists sounded like liberal talking points when they spoke.

BTW, Carter appeasement led... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, Carter appeasement led to the Mullah and we are still paying the price of that appeasement today. Obama is running for Carter 2nd term and his extremism is even worse. He shared the anti-Is and anti-American views of Carter at the very least. Obama is even willing to entertain a genocide in Iraq in his determination to push for American defeat in Iraq. That is not a surprise given his long association with radical anti-semites and radical leftists.

We'll exxxxxxxxxxxxxcuse... (Below threshold)
Brian:

We'll exxxxxxxxxxxxxcuse me for excluding a scant few. Shall I add the disclaimer of "most of us don't"? Happy now?

That you be honest and truthful? Yes, very happy.

Weak sauce, Brian. Weak.

Yes, we know you think truthfulness is weak. Nice to get a confirmation, though.

Oh, and it's "excuuuuuuuuuse me!"

If we drilled in ANWAR a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

If we drilled in ANWAR and the oil shales 10 years ago, we would have been free of the Saudi oil.

More ignorance. ANWR was estimated to be able to provide 5% of the US consumption for 12 years. And that's based on holding steady at 1996 consumption numbers.

Without looking it up, I... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Without looking it up, I do believe the geological survey indicated ANWAR would replace Saudi Oil for a minimum of 15 years alone.

As noted above, wrong. Saudi Arabia provides the US with 14% of our oil. ANWR wouldn't even cut that in half, and only for 12 years. And again, that's at 1996 consumption numbers.

Bush created more terror... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Bush created more terrorists where?

Overall, the number of what the U.S. government considers "significant" attacks grew to about 655 last year [2004], up from the record of around 175 in 2003

Right there.

During the 1990's we witnessed incremental terrorism from WTC I,the African Embassay bombings in Tangier , the Khobar Towers bombings that murdered our USAF personel, and the attack on the USS Cole and the never mentioned (by the MSM) disaster in Somalia.
Bush's war has done nothing if not point the terrorists (those are the "more" you reference) to the tip of the American sword.

As you conveniently omit London, Madrid, Philippines, ...

More ignorance. ANWR was... (Below threshold)
Clay:

More ignorance. ANWR was estimated to be able to provide 5% of the US consumption for 12 years. And that's based on holding steady at 1996 consumption numbers.

The ignorance rests with you.

The US is the only developed country in the world that restricts access to its offshore resources. The U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates that the outer continental shelf contains nearly 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. (The U.S. consumes roughly 7.5 billion barrels of oil and imports 4.5 billion per year. Natural gas consumption is at 23 trillion cubic feet annually) The MMS estimates are conservative due to the fact that the government does not know exactly how much energy lies beneath the OCS because it has been illegal to look. According to MMS, it has been more than 20 years since any exploration activity has been conducted on the Alaska and Atlantic OCS, and "no meaningful" exploration offshore Central and Northern California, offshore Oregon and Washington and the South Florida Basin, has been conducted since the 1960's.

In 1980, Jimmah Carter and the Congress set aside 1.5 million of ANWR's 19 million acres for potential oil development, subject to Congressional approval. This area is often called the "1002 Area" because it was set aside in Section 1002 of the law. It is located on Alaska's Northern Coastal Plain. According to U.S. government estimates, the mean estimate of the oil beneath ANWR's northern coastal plain is 10.4 billion barrels, or, nearly half of the total proven reserves of the entire United States. At peak production, ANWR could produce approximately 1 million barrels of oil per day, which is roughly equal to the amount the entire state of Texas produces each day, and about as much as we currently import from Nigeria. Moreover, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently estimated that ANWR energy production would be the single largest producing oil field in America and the entire Northern Hemisphere.

"It's just that many on ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"It's just that many on the right can not see that Bush's war has created more terrorists."

I totally disagree. They were always there. An external threat just changed their focus from terrorizing their immediate neighbors into submission to those they deemed a threat to their power. Now they're facing those who actually fight back, not those they have already cowed and suppressed.

Another factor that makes it seem like there are more terrorists is media attention. For example, CNN's blind eye to what was happening in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands dead at the hands of terrorists. Hussein's regime operated by terrorizing the populace. Terrorism doesn't always result in death. More often it results in acquiescence. Look at Iran's MO. A great many of their people are terrorized by their government.

And Dave, your suppositions are based on an assumption that all the other occupants of the apartment building do not actively harbor that one terrorist. Take for example Zarqawi's final showdown. The media breathlessly reported that there were women and children present. Though they were likely powerless to stop Zarqawi's actions, I'd wager they had no such desire. The children are another story. But what is one to do? Leave him be because he's surrounded himself with children?

In a great many instances where homes were bombed the occupants of that home willingly aided and abetted those in their midst. Regardless of how many times the media paints a different picture that gets swallowed up by the public, these aiders and abettors are guilty too.

Dave:The Oil for ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Dave:
The Oil for Food scandal was not uncovered until August 13, 2004. The Iraq war began on March 20, 2003. Bush could not have known about the bribes.

Bwahahaha! Dave was shocked, shocked that these nations were cheating! Man, you are Obama-like in your naivete.

Actually, we did know these regimes were cheating. It was the cheating, the delaying tactics and the call for lifting sanctions (all perpetrated by our 'friends'!) that led to war. The Left made Saddam feel safe against us. If he thought we were serious about war he may have given up.

Funny, The impeach-Bush-for... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Funny, The impeach-Bush-for-war-crimes BDS was partially responsible for starting 'Bush's War'.
Wonder how they sleep at night?

Funny, The impeach-Bush-for... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Funny, The impeach-Bush-for-war-crimes BDS crowd was partially responsible for starting 'Bush's War'.
Wonder how they sleep at night?


/edit

As you conveniently o... (Below threshold)

As you conveniently omit London, Madrid, Philippines, ...

Thanks for bringing that up, Brian. Let's add some dates to those ataacks:

Bali 2002
Madrid 2004
London 2005

And since then? What accounts for the lack of additional attacks of this magnitude since then? I posit that those same terrorist organizations and their sponsors have been dying on the tip of the US sword in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Re: #104 & 105Dave... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Re: #104 & 105

Dave,

I firmly believe we can win and I think that "I don't see how we can win" is a remarkably weak argument. It is, in my opinion the most tragic consequence of the Democrats abandoning our allies and letting the Communists claim victory in Viet Nam.

I can, however, easily understand how you "don't see enough" success "under Bush". The propaganda wing of the Democrat Party (A.K.A., the mainstream media) either simply does not report the success of the United States or if they can't totally censor it from the public they go to all lengths to downplay and/or misrepresent it like the Speaker of the House crediting Iran for the success of the "Surge".

The fact that Iraq is seldom in the headlines anymore is proof that we are winning.

Now, I do anticipate a surge in terrorism in Iraq as the election nears. The terrorist, willfully aided and abetted by the American leftist media, will do their best to swing public opinion against completing the victory in Iraq in an effort to get Obama elected. It might work, but I pray to God that it doesn't.

If you truly want the US to win you should vote for McCain without hesitation. If you vote for Obama, you are guaranteeing that the terrorists will win.

The mean estimate for the 1... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The mean estimate for the 1002 area is 7.7 billion barrels. But fine, let's go with your 10.4 billion.

At peak production, ANWR could produce approximately 1 million barrels of oil per day, which is...

No matter how many italics you use, that's still just 5% of the US consumption. And still far less than the 14% we import from Saudi Arabia. And would still only last 12-16 years. And is exactly what I previously said. Thanks for helping me to debunk the previous uninformed statement.

I totally disagree. They... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I totally disagree. They were always there.

Yeah, they were always there... just not committing terrorism. What an odd statement. If the crime rate tripled in your city, would you argue that it really didn't because the criminals were always there, just not committing crimes?

And since then?... (Below threshold)
Brian:

And since then?

And since then there have been 7700 non-Iraq acts of terrorism. In 2006 alone. Do you need a list?

What accounts for the lack of additional attacks of this magnitude since then?

Your ignorance. In 2006 there were 29 "high-casualty attacks that killed 10 or more people" outside of Iraq.

Are you really arguing that worldwide non-Iraq terrorism has not dramatically increased since 2003?

Brian, Let 's stop ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Brian,
Let 's stop pulling another Obama on this. I will leave it as an exercise for you to figure out your trademark Obama spinning style. THe US geological survey estimated that there could be 18 billion barrels in ANWR, which is about 30 years of Saudi oil. If we can use only half of that, it is still 15 years. Even using your spin, we cover 5% of 15% from Saudi, that is huge in itself. On top of that if we can drill offshore CA and FL, we would be free from Saudi oil by now. In case you don't know about oil shale, go look it up. The somewhat conservative estimate is about 1 trillion barrels. If we retrieve a fraction of that, we may make American tiny oil a little bigger. If we can take advantage of all that potential, we can become oil exporter! Let 's not pull another Obama again.

Brian, Clinton 's a... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Brian,
Clinton 's appeasement after 1st WTC led to 9/11. Why don't we have another attack on the US soil so far? Why did the terrorists have to attack in Africa or other forsaken soft-targets around the world? The terrorists are weak now that they have to attack other Muslims. Are you trying to pull another Obama to deny that we are winning in Iraq now?

Mac Lorry:The nat... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Mac Lorry:
The nature of Christianity flows from the works and teachings of Jesus the Christ.

The entire body of which is nothing more than hearsay that often contradicts itself. You should at least understand the arguments you attempt to make - what you've presented is nothing more than the logical fallacy referred to as an appeal to authority.

And to answer your earlier assertion. It was free inquiry that moderated Christianity. That began in ancient Greece, supposedly with Thales of Ionia and after being squelched by religion was reborn again with Galileo (who the church also persecuted for believing what saw instead of the dogmatic views of the church... but as opposed to Christianity, even if Galileo never existed, it doesn't change the validity of the theory of planetary motion attributed to him). It is free inquiry that Islam hates because of what its moderating effect on other dogmatic schools (i.e. religions).

It is free inquiry that Isl... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

It is free inquiry that Islam hates because of what its moderating effect on other dogmatic schools
-------------------------------------
Good point. This is the same with fundamentalist atheism or secularism. It hates free inquiry and freedom in general. It seeks to totally impose its worldview on people. In the atheistic view, matter comes before thought. So free inquiry in principle may be a fiction of the chemical reactions in your brain. In Islam, the believers have to be totally subjected to Allah. Maybe the foundation of free inquiry is rooted in the christian belief of free will? Someone more knowledgeable can help on this point further.


THe US geological survey... (Below threshold)
Brian:

THe US geological survey estimated that there could be 18 billion barrels in ANWR

The relevant number isn't how much oil there is (and your numbers are wrong even for that), it's how much is estimated to be "recoverable". Get your facts straight before you make bogus claims.

Brian, Are you stil... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Brian,
Are you still trying to deny that we can be free from Saudi by drilling in ANWR and off-shore CA, FL, and the gulf coasts? Do you need me to point out your trademark Obama spinning style?

BTW, I am using your number... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, I am using your number and we can still cover 5% of the 14% from Saudi. And we have about 8 billion barrels of proven oil source off the US coasts. I am amused by the Obama style spinning from the left. They think that we can do a massive investment in green technology which will create million jobs instantenously. Yet at the same time, they don't thing we can improve drilling technology to produce more oil from ANWR. The same people want to release the oil reserve (about 1-3 days of US consumption) to reduce oil price. Yet they are doing the best to talk down a much bigger reserve in ANWR for example. No wonder Obama can talk on both sides of his mouth and his supporters can faint at his rallies!

I hate to post this because... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I hate to post this because I believe Brian's posts don't rise to the level of being worth the effort, but I'd like to point out a couple of historical facts.

When the Prudhoe Bay oil field was first discovered it was estimated to have 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil. The had expected it stop flowing in 20 years. Now, 30 years later it's still going strong and current estimates are that there will be at least 25 billion barrels recovered before the wells stop.

But I doubt Brian has the intellectual capacity to grasp historical fact.

The reality is that we don't really know how much oil is out there, but it always turns out to be a hell of a lot more than the initial estimates so just ignore the Marxists like Brian who use practically meaningless guesses as "facts" to prove their anti-American points.

"Yeah, they were always ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Yeah, they were always there... just not committing terrorism."

Yes, they were. You've narrowly defined terrorism as a bomb in a marketplace. More widely defined, it is an act that is designed to instill enough fear in a populace (or even one individual) to get others to bend to your will. Beating, raping, disfiguring and whatnot isn't enough for you to take notice and admit they too are acts of terrorism.

In your world though, the US has created more terrorists - not Iran. From your own link, Brian:

Among countries, Iran remains the biggest supporter of terrorism, with elements of its government backing groups throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, giving material support and guidance to Shiite insurgent groups that have attacked Sunnis, U.S. and Iraqi forces, the report said.

We made them do it, right?

LAI:It [atheism] ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
It [atheism] hates free inquiry and freedom in general. It seeks to totally impose its worldview on people.

You're projecting other meaning on to 'atheist' that aren't there. I think you've confused atheism with communism. The two very much are not the same. What atheism means is the understanding that the beliefs of religion are not based in objective fact but on, at best, heresay... believing in that heresay requires 'faith' (belief without knowledge or in contradiction to other knowledge). If you're a Christian, then you've most likely chosen (consciously or not) to disbelieve in the god's of the ancient Greeks, for instance. Why ? Is it because you don't find evidence of their existence compellling ? For that same reason, I don't believe in the Christian god or (Jewish or Muslim god, etc).

Ultimately, the question of the validity of a religion (or any belief system) gets back to epistomology ('what are the valid methods for obtaining knowledge?').

The two very much are not t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

The two very much are not the same. What atheism means is the understanding that the beliefs of religion are not based in objective fact but on, at best, heresay... believing in that heresay requires 'faith' (belief without knowledge or in contradiction to other knowledge).
-------------------------------------
Mike,
You are not following your very standard here. You are projecting your own meaning of religion. I think you are confused between superstition and rational belief. Atheism in the end is a belief system as Christianity or Buddism. Communism is just the logical conclusion of atheism if you take some time to think through it. In other words, communism is atheism in practice. The Greeks (especially Plato) believe that Mind proceeds Matter. This directly contradicts atheism. In atheism, matter is the ultimate reality. Matter, random chance, and natural laws are the ultimate reality. In other words, Matter comes before Mind. In atheistic worldview, thought came from the chemical reactions from your brains. So free inquiry has no theoretical basis in atheism.

Sure, I simply look at the facts on the ground and see whether a theory fits the facts or not. Nothing is perfect or no perfect knowledge in this world. I looked at the facts of the major belief systems in the world: Atheism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddism... For all its faults, objectively Christianity have given us the constitutional democracy that is the best political system so far (esp the American creed that all people have inalienable rights granted by the creator). Atheism in the form of socialism/communism ultimately brought dictatorship and unprecedented horror even as recent as the 20th century and now. Also there is no theoretical basis for concept like "free inquiry" or "human rights" etc... If you care about those concepts, then atheism is not the "correct theory". If you want to use the Greek assumption of Mind before Matter, that is a better starting point. If you want to talk about the Greek gods, the more modern Kantian argument based on justice has shown that the Greek gods cannot be the basis for the Great Mind (in Greek belief) behind the universe. This is another example. I can see the theoretical basis for "selfless living" in this world in Buddishm, Christianity etc... But I don't see a theoretical basis for selfless living in atheism.

Just objectively looking the facts/data and following logical conclusion based on first principle, I found that atheism doesn't fit the facts. The logical conclusion of its theoretical framework will lead to horror in practice. That has been proven in practice even up until now.

LAI:Your post is m... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:

Your post is mistaken badly on many fronts. Most specifically on what atheism is and is not.

In atheistic worldview, thought came from the chemical reactions from your brains.

Actually, no. A-theism (i.e. the antithesis of theism) means simply the disbelief in supreme beings (whether those beings are in 'heaven' or on earth). The assorted other beliefs you're attempting to lump onto anti-theism are independent of whether one believes in super beings and are thus unrelated.

"selfless living"
Christianity (and Judaism) hold that to live for the benefit of others is one of the highest moral values. If you take that belief and extend to one step to the belief that not only should you live for the benefit of others but that you must - you have communism.

Mike, Sounds like y... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
Sounds like you are confused and mistaken on many fronts. So as an atheist, you don't believe in a supreme being who created you. How do get here? A cosmic accident! There is no creator and no other life after this one. YOu are a product or mindless evolution. In other words, you are simply a biological machine. What intrinsic meaning or value of an accident? If this is the only life you have, why do you want to be nice to other people? Mainly for self-preservation! If you can be the fittest who survived like Stalin or Mao, you can do what you want to maximize your pleasure in this life. What 's wrong with that? Is survival of the fittest the logical conclusion of atheism?

AGain, take some time think through your first principles/assumptions. Then follow these first principles/assumptions logically to its conclusion and see where it leads you.

Christianity (and Judaism) hold that to live for the benefit of others is one of the highest moral values. If you take that belief and extend to one step to the belief that not only should you live for the benefit of others but that you must - you have communism.
AGain, you really don't understand the basics and simply project your lack of understanding/prejudices. The basic tenets of christianity include the understanding that man is imperfect and prone to do "sinful" things like abusing power as long as they are on this earth. That 's why we need divided government to limit the effect of man 's "sinfulness". Only God, who is an all-wise and good creator, can establish utopia or heaven. So "communism" is only possible in heaven. It will never be possible on earth given man 's imperfection and "sinfulness". That 's why the early settlers in America abandoned "communism" as soon as they learned the consequences of this wrong understanding.

On the other hand, atheism is based on mindless evolution. Logically, why does it stop with man? In principle, evolution should continue to produce the next product after man (super race). If you understand the process of evolution, you should be able to perfect it. Since humans are nothing more than biological machines, you can tweak it to make "perfect" people and society, ie communism. In other words, communism is simply a atheistic belief than human beings can build their own "heaven on earth" without God. Plenty of historical examples of this atheistic thinking: Hitler 's super race, Stalin/Mao/Pol Pol genocide to build a new society from the ground up.

Interesting rules of debate... (Below threshold)

Interesting rules of debate you follow, LAI. You get to define just what you are and what you believe in, as well as telling the other side just what they believe in, what it means, AND why they're wrong. I bet that makes it easy to win arguments.

I call myself an agnostic, and have for years. I thought I had a pretty clear grasp of precisely what I mean by that, but I'll defer to an expert. Could you please tell me, in exact terms, just what I do and do not believe in, and why I'm wrong there, too? I'll be sure to take careful notes.

Alternately, I could do just what you did, tell you what you have to believe in (and don't), and go into precise detail why you're wrong. Wouldn't that be fair, by your rules?

J.

LAI:You made one acc... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
You made one accurate statement throughout that post. The rest are other, unrelated misc that you're heaping on in attempt to 'win'.

So as an atheist, you don't believe in a supreme being who created you

That would be correct. Anti-theism (atheism), by itself, says nothing about why we exist. It simply concludes that theory's based in a super being(s) aren't supported (or more precisely aren't logically valid).

As I said before, it really boils down to a question of epistemology. Not to pick on Christianity (but simply using it as a proxy for all religion), it relies on hearsay as the basis for 'knowledge'. That is, the validity of the religion rests entirely on the validity of the word of other humans.

As I said before, it really... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

As I said before, it really boils down to a question of epistemology. Not to pick on Christianity (but simply using it as a proxy for all religion), it relies on hearsay as the basis for 'knowledge'.
------------------------------------
Good point again, Mike. That 's why I think atheism is based on hearsay as a basis of knowledge. Atheism as you described is not self-consistent as a theory. "Free inquiry" and "human rights" has no basis in atheism. So are you willing to start with the first principle of matters at the ultimate reality and follow it through logical deduction (and not grabbing concepts out of thin air). For example, chemical evolution or abiogenesis is nothing more than hearsay for example.

JT,
I believe in Mind before Matter as a starting point for a consistent worldview that explain the world in the most consistent manner. In this world view, science is kind of reverse engineering to discover the great design (eg. the universe) by the great designer. Also the concept of human rights and free inquiry can be explained in a self-consistent manner in this framework. Humans are special because they were endowed with inalienable rights from the the Creator which cannot be taken away by other human beings.

In the atheistic worldview, we are all biological machines in the end (the ultimate reality). What is the intrinsic value of an accident (ie. human life)?



LAI:Good point ag... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
Good point again, Mike. That 's why I think atheism is based on hearsay as a basis of knowledge

Oh, please!

Do you believe in Eurynome, Buddah, or the miriad of other deities of other religions ? Is your disbelief in their existence based on heresay ?

Of course, not. Neither is my disbelief in your god based in hearsay. Talk about lack of consistency!

Mike, I don't belie... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
I don't believe in the hearsay of chemical evolution or abiogenesis. I don't believe in that creative evolution fairy tale. I don't see it and noone can show it in the labs! That 's why I don't buy atheism and its hearsay. I simply follow the logic of your argument here. Again, are you willing to start with matter as a starting point and follow your first principle in a logical manner? That 's standard logic as a basis for knowledge?

_Mike_ is probably a bit to... (Below threshold)

_Mike_ is probably a bit too polite to respond appropriately, LAI, but I'm not. Mainly because, as this page's editor, I get to decide just what is and what is not appropriate -- and your arrogance has pissed me off enough to take off my normal, civilized gloves. It's not something I do cheerfully, especially against someone who is usually a staunch supporter of most of what I write.

In this so-called "debate," LAI, you are asserting that you not only get to define your position, but that of your adversary. Then you define his position as easiest for you to refute, inform him just what he must and must not believe, and pronounce his beliefs (as defined by you) as "wrong." That is the height of arrogance, and as someone whose belief system is fairly close to what _Mike_ pronounces, it angers me nearly as much.

I saw a definition of Christianity a while ago, LAI, that stuck with me. It's not the nicest thing, but I think it's worth repeating to you as an example of the kind of arguing you're doing:

The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Let's see... that covers everything from Genesis right through the Gospels. And it glosses over some of the more psychotic elements of the God of the Old Testament, like sending bears to kill children who mocked one of His prophet's beard, his obliteration of two whole cities because He didn't care for their lifestyles, and near-absolute genocide of the entire human race.

Wrap it up in whatever mysticism and inspirational language and references to God's inherent goodness you like, LAI, that's one interpretation of Christianity in an all-too-appropriate nutshell.

You wanna continue this game, LAI? I am an agnostic, and I've come to that conclusion through literally years of thought and deliberation and study. That means I have a lot of ammo to bring to the fight, and you've shown that politeness just doesn't work. I make a point of never attacking anyone's beliefs -- unless they attack mine first, and show that they have no respect for what I believe. Cross that line, and all bets are off.

You're way past that line.

Or you can just drop this right now, and everyone walks away.

Your call.

J.

Jay Tea
Main Page Editor

Hi JT, I simply ap... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Hi JT,
I simply apply the logic of not-believing hearsay. Mike used christianity as a proxy for religion and talk about hearsay. So I simply apply the same logic to atheism and its hearsay about chemical evolution or abiogenesis. That 's the point I am trying to get at. You have to be consistent and be williing to apply the same standard to atheism as well. Is that fair enough? Can I say that I don't believe in atheism because of its hearsay? Or this standard cannot be applied to atheism?

BTW, Mike was happy about t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, Mike was happy about the atrocities committed in the name of religion. So I am trying to point out the atrocities committed in the name of atheism as well. Same standard again.

No, LAI, that is NOT what y... (Below threshold)

No, LAI, that is NOT what you were doing. You were -- repeatedly -- trying to redefine the terms of the argument (and, in the process, defining what Mike "must" believe in). It's a cheap and dishonest tactic, and one I've run into before.

When I was in college, I knew this evangelical guy (who bordered on cult leader) who had an interesting opinion on taking the Lord's name in vain. If I was frustrated and said "Jesus Christ, that's ridiculous!" I was affirming my faith in Christ -- why else would I use His name, unless I believed in Him? The fact that the casual blasphemy is a very common cultural thing and has no bearing on my beliefs, but my upbringing, was irrelevant. I shut him up by asking him what it signified when I said "Holy shit!"

Further, I only consider holding someone responsible for the deeds committed by others in the name of a shared belief when that person is evangelizing, or claiming some innate superiority for their beliefs. I don't recall Mike ever doing that, merely categorizing himself.

For example, I am, genetically, pretty much a good match for Hitler's "Aryan master race." I utterly reject those claims, but I can't reject my genetic stock. (As much as I'd like to -- I have several medical conditions that are genetic in origin.) But because I fit that mold, should I be held accountable for the actions of my "cousins?"

Hell, no.

I will grant you that believers and non-believers have each committed their share of atrocities. But it's damned few of the non-believers who organize and attempt to bring the entire world to their way of thinking, and proclaim that their system of beliefs has all the right answers.

J.

But it's damned few of the ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

But it's damned few of the non-believers who organize and attempt to bring the entire world to their way of thinking, and proclaim that their system of beliefs has all the right answers.
-------------------------------------
This is contrary to the facts JT. The non-believers impose their belief on billions of people in communist countries by torture and death! In this country, the non-believers are using the imperial court to impose their will on the believers here. They even want to impose their fairly tale of creative evolution in schools and shut down any dissenting views.

BTW, I can see Catholic priests/nuns voluntarily taking care of the poor, the lepers, the orphans etc... I can see Buddisht monks living a celibate and simple life according their belief. I don't see many atheists voluntarily go to live among the poor/the lepers/the orphans to help them.

JT, According to yo... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

JT,
According to you to say that christianity as any other religion is based on hearsay! That 's nice of you.

Hi JT, Just to give... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Hi JT,
Just to give you another the point to think about. Here is the "cheap" and "dishonest" the atheists have been using to change the term of the debate to "convert" the world to their thinking. All religions are based on hearsay (ie. superstitions). Only anti-theism (or atheism) is based on rational thinking. Mike may not know it and he simply repeated a known "cheap"/"dishonest" tactic used by the fundamentalist atheists. Another point is that you should follow the logical consequences of your assumptions. Using the atheistic assumptions, I don't know why you should be upset about what Hitler or Stalin did. Looks like they simply followed to logical consequences of that assumption. An atheist may share their views, but then he/she shouldn't say that other people base their beliefs on hearsay while he/she cannot even be self-consistent in their worldview.

LAI:BTW, M... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:

BTW, Mike was happy about the atrocities committed in the name of religion.

What the hell ? Kindly quote precisely what prompted you to draw this conclusion ? Do your beliefs not forbid dishonesty ?

LAI:
Using the atheistic assumptions, I don't know why you should be upset about what Hitler or Stalin did.

That's quite a tacit confession that only your fear (belief) in god prevents you from being a truly evil person.

LAI,
You've proven a number of things over the course of this exchange; however, none of them reflect well on either you or you religious beliefs.

Mike, Here was what... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
Here was what you wrote
I can't speak for you personally, but consider the areas that still have 'blue laws', whereby it's illegal to work on Sunday, or prohibition the sale of alcohol that still exist in some areas in the U.S. Those are a use of (the threat of) violence to coerce others into obeying religion's irrationally (faith) based beliefs. So there are still remnants of Christianity's violence even today.
Christianity in it's more 'assertive' era certainly was more violent (though not so violent as Islam is, but the difference is only one of degree).

I think you protested too much. You projected your own prejudice onto others and you tried a "weak" version of moral equivalency here. So how is Christian violence compared to atheistic violence? (far worse and more recent) now? I simply showed you the facts and followed your arg so far. JT is simply has a blind-spot about his "baby" (agnotism).

How about belief based on hearsay? So only atheism is not based on hearsay? Using your very own standard, can we say that atheism is based on hearsay?

I am still waiting for you to follow through with the logic of your arguments. You haven't answered the args I have raised at all so far. Simply dodging it won't do anything, but "cheap" pretention.

Mike, BTW, are you ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
BTW, are you so secure that you have to dismiss other people 's belief as hearsay? Are you willing to apply your standard to atheism as well?

LAI, I behave in a moral fa... (Below threshold)

LAI, I behave in a moral fashion because I have determined -- based on a literal lifetime of experiences and observations -- what is moral and not moral, and have chosen to act in a moral fashion. I don't do it out of any sense of fear of punishment. (And before you ask, religious tenets have played a factor in that -- just not an absolute role.) As Mike noted, your beliefs seem to include a tacit admission that if it wasn't for your belief in a vengeful supreme being who will punish you if you don't follow His rules.

I do NOT believe that humanity is innately evil, and needs a stern, paternal supernatural force to impose its own sense of morality on us upon pain of eternal torment. I believe we have our own way of determining right and wrong, both individually and as a society, and abiding by those principles.

There are a host of good, sound, moral principles that have a religious origin, and I have nothing against them. There are also a lot of -- to be blunt -- stupid ones as well, and they should be discarded by those who choose to not ascribe to the associated faith.

I once wrote a piece looking at the Ten Commandments from an agnostic perspective. I decided that three ought to be (and are) backed up by laws, four are damned good ideas that should be enforced by social pressures, one good idea that works well without any religious overtones, and two that are purely religoius and have no business being backed by law.

So if you need to believe in a supreme power that will punish you for all eternity if you don't believe yourself in order to keep from running amok, so be it. I'll be sure to keep an eye on you should your faith ever begin to slip. I'll be content to continue deciding the precise definition of morality -- using my own judgment and that of society -- and living by it, simply because it is the right thing to do. I don't NEED the threat of eternal damnation to make me behave myself; I have the need to sleep at night that makes me toe the line.

Finally, LAI, my beliefs (or lack of it) don't NEED your approval or endorsement. I believe in them, I believe in my right to determine them and abide by them, and I don't need or care to submit them for your approval. And I certainly don't feel the compunction to convince you to accept them yourself, or need to discredit yours, to validate my own beliefs.

I think you need to look at your own behavior, and ask yourself why you see people like Mike and me such a threat to your own beliefs. Just because we choose to not accept them and not abide by them doesn't mean they are invalid, merely that they don't "work" for us. Neither of us are calling for the abolition of your beliefs, only that we be allowed to not live by them. And I have already shown that if you will not respect my beliefs, I am willing and prepared to disrespect yours with at least as much vehemence as you show for mine.

J.

JT, I don't care wh... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

JT,
I don't care what you believe either. But when you want to call other people 's belief irrational and dogmatic, then can I use your own standard on your own belief? Can I point out the inconsistencies and the dogmatism (and all the facts you conveniently ignored)? Does the basis of knowledge start first with the examination of assumptions and following through with logic? If Mike or you want to follow your own inconsistency/irrational belief, that is up to you. I simply use and apply the same standard to atheism here. Why are you so defensive of atheism?

JT, Following your... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

JT,
Following your logic, each person has has his/her own way to determine his or her own morality. Hitler and Stalin had their own way to determine their own morality. So intrinsically, there is nothing wrong with their actions. It may be wrong to you, but it may not be wrong for other people! There is no objective standard here. That 's simply an observation of the consequences of atheism in practice (just as Mike can make an observation about violence in christianity).

From my issue with 'Blue la... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

From my issue with 'Blue laws' you conclude that

"Mike was happy about the atrocities committed in the name of religion."

?

Thank you for again demonstrating your poor reasoning skills and /or your dishonesty. Further either you don't understand the definition of hearsay or are intentionally using it wrongly in a poor attempt to equivocate.

I've repeatedly defined what I mean by atheism, which is the accepted meaning (words are simply symbols / labels for concepts); yet, you've continued to attempted to misrepresent what I said in some misguided attempt to 'win'. I'm not out to 'win' but rather to find out what is true. For the dogmatist, the only object is 'winning'.

It's impossible to have an honest debate with a dishonest person. It's also impossible to have a productive debate with someone who apparently understands the form of an argument but not the substance.

You've engaged in both.

Mike, You are disho... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
You are dishonestly avoiding the argument at hand. You were actually trying to attempt a moral equivalency argument. Who was talking about the blue laws? Do the blue law encourage people to blow you up for example? It is exactly the "broadbrush arg" you are using and now complaining about.
I understand the need to distract from the argument at hand when you don't want to follow the logic of your arg. For all your ad-homen (and JT's), the fact remains that using the atheistic assumptions, you cannot say what Stalin or Hitler did was wrong. I followed the substance of your def: no supreme being. You and I are here by chance. There is no intrinsic purpose or value to our existence. Your "morality" works for you or JT, but it doesn't work for Hitler or Stalin. Everyone has his or her own "morality". You can not judge them by your own standard. That 's simply the consequence of atheism in practice. I don't see you address that arg yet.

Mike, Also I tried ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
Also I tried to point out to you the clear example of how atheism has been trying to resolve problems through violence in communist countries for example. Just to show that fundamentalist atheism is just another form of fanatical religion, using your own definition.

LAI:Who was talki... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
Who was talking about the blue laws?

Hello, McFly ?

wizbangblog.com/content/2008/06/11/shakedown.php#comment-747534

You cited my previous mention of blue laws as to why you were claiming that 'Mike was happy about the atrocities committed by religion'.

You've done nothing redefine my position but parrot back my arguments with a few words changed demonstrating that you're not capable of an honest, productive discussion.

Also I tried to point out to you the clear example of how atheism has been trying to resolve problems through violence in communist countries for example.

A complete nonsequitor. There are a number of problems with your point. However, the primary problem is that even if I were to grant you the (flawed) point that does not make Christianity true... That's also false dilemma. Whether atheism is true or false or good or bad says nothing about the validity of Christian belief. It's telling that you haven't attempted to defend Christianity on its own merits but by poorly attempting to redefine atheism and claim that its bad... which has no bearing on whether the Christian religion is true.

Mike, You are not ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
You are not even honest enough to acknowledge your own args here. Let me summarize your args for you here:

(1) All religions are based on hearsay and fanatical in their practice, ie, resorting to violence for disagreement.

(2) When someone pointed out the "broadbrush" arg you were using, you tried to make a moral equivalency to show that the blue law is a modern example of christianity resorting to violence!

I think JT is the owner of this blog. This is his house and I respect his right of ownership. But I think you are hiding behind JT for your "dishonesty"!

OK, let 's follow the logic... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

OK, let 's follow the logical conclusion of christianity and Buddhism for example and let 's use JT 's "redefinition" of "Christian God" as a vengeful deity. If you believe in that and have a fear of punishment, at least it serves as a deterrent to people when they are attempting Stalin or Hitler 's style of utopia building. The same with Buddhism: people believe in re-incarnation and punishment in next life. So it helps to deter people from doing "bad" things in this life. You may think it is weak and not strong, but LOGICALLY it serves as a deterrent if most people believe in it. Again, nothing will be perfect, but if it works for enough people, it will help a lot in this life! Now if enough people follow the logical conclusion of atheism, you will have someone like Hitler or STalin if they gain enough power. JT or you can determine your own morality. So do Hitler or Stalin. And this life is meaningleass and accidental in any case, so you need to get the most out of it if you can (especially if you can kill a lot of people for your "pleasure" and get away with it in this life). That 's why communism is the logical conclusion of atheism in practice.

Another point, I point you to an "observable" fact about the violence committed by atheism and the hearsay of creative evolution for example. Now using your own standard or arg, can we conclude that atheism is also a fanatical religion based on hearsay?

Mike, In case you w... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
In case you want to nitpick, here is what you wrote
Christianity in it's more 'assertive' era certainly was more violent (though not so violent as Islam is, but the difference is only one of degree).
People were talking about the atrocities (ie. terrorism) committed by radical Islamists (or Jihadists). Were you trying to bring out the "attrocities" committed in the past to make a moral equivalency with modern attrocities committed by radical Islam?

LAI:(1) All relig... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
(1) All religions are based on hearsay and fanatical in their practice, ie, resorting to violence for disagreement.

Where did I refuse to acknowledge this ? Was it in the same alternate reality that no one mentioned 'Blue Laws' ? Was it the same alternate reality where you read that 'Mike was happy about the atrocities committed by religion' ?

LAI:
LOGICALLY it serves as a deterrent if most people believe in it.

Again, whether your belief in super fairies has some utility says NOTHING about its truth or falsehoood. Was is that so hard to understand ?

Again, you've chosen to try to defend Christianity through nonsequitors.

Either you're a complete moron or your English is so poor that you can't write coherently (and those aren't mutually).

Were you trying to bring... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Were you trying to bring out the "attrocities" committed in the past to make a moral equivalency with modern attrocities committed by radical Islam?

Apparently since your method of 'discussion' involves redefining the opposing position (i.e. atheism is communism), claiming that things that did happen didn't (who said anything about blue laws), and things that didn't happen did (why do you refuse to acknowledge that you believe all religions are based hearsay), I don't see why what I was or wasn't trying to 'bring out' should matter to you now. Why change now ?

Mike, Now you are t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
Now you are trying to "redefine" my arg in a "cheap/dishonest" way (using JT 's terminology). I repeatedly said and argued that communism is a LOGICAL consequence of atheism in practice and I explained to you why. Now you are trying to use ad-hominen attacks (by hiding behind JT's posts) "dishonestly" again. I believed I represented your arg fairly and accurately in this thread. I also explained to your my statement "Mike is happy to talk about attrocities committed by religion" by using your own statements and arg. OK, now I assumed that you have acknowledged that using your own standard, atheism is simply another fanatical/dogmatic religion that is based on hearsay (in other words, I have shown the invalidity of atheism using your own definition). If you have objection to that conclusion, please let me know.

Now let 's move forward to christianity. Again, regardless of what I believe, I am trying to argue as an "objective" observer by following the facts and logic. Let me use the well-known justice arg by a famous agnostic, Immanuel Kant. The arg goes sth like this. In order to have real meaning in life, we need to have perfect justice in the universe. We all can observe that there is no "perfect" justice in this world. You can see people like Stalin or Mao who lived a really "evil" life (by killing millions of people etc...) but received no justice in this world. Also some people are born rich, some people are born poor etc ... So in oreder to have real justice in the universe, there must be life after death and there must be a supreme judge. This judge must be perfectly just so that no one can bribe him for example. This judge must have perfect knowledge so that no one can fake or hide evidence from him. Finally this just be all-powerful so that no one can escape from his judgement. These three attributes of the supreme judge surprisingly are three of the most important attributes of the "christian God". In summary, according to Kant, in order for justice to have real meaning, we need to have (1) life after death and (2) a supreme judge who is perfectly just, with perfect knowledge, and perfect power. Otherwise, justice is simply an illusion and life has no real meaning.

That 's your two starting points. You can choose either one, but you need to follow it the logical conclusion. In you choose the atheistic assumptions, then concepts like justice, human rights etc... are illusions (or concepts you grab out of the air). Logically, if you follow the atheistic assumptions, your thoughts are simply results of the chemical reactions in your brain (which is the ultimate reality).

I am not sure I have shown the "validity" of theism (or specifically christian theism) to your complete satisfaction, but at least I have shown that it is a RATIONAL CHOICE based on "observable facts" and logic. It is also rational to reject theism, but it is IRRATIONAL to accept concept like justice. Again, I do not intend to stop JT or you from rejecting theism and follow agnotism or even to use concepts like justice or human rights like a RELIGOUS crutch to help you cope with the unpleasant consequences of atheistic assumptions. You are free to follow this IRRATIONAL belief if you so choose. But then don't try to argue that the belief of other people are based on hearsay (or irrational). That 's all.

LAI:I also explai... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
I also explained to your my statement "Mike is happy to talk about attrocities committed by religion" by using your own statements and arg.

Here's your precise statment:
BTW, Mike was happy about the atrocities committed in the name of religion.

When I asked you to justify how you arrived at the conclusin that I was 'happy about the attrocities', you simply quoted where I cited Blue Laws as modern instances of religion using force/fiolence to achieve its goals. Where in that did I express happiness ? Again, either you're being dishonest or are ignorant or both.

LAI:
In order to have real meaning in life,we need to have perfect justice in the universe.

I don't need to pick apart your recitation of Kant's argument because the whole thing is predicated on the above statement. The foundation is flawed hence the whole thing falls apart. That is, the statement is arbitrary. What is 'real meaning' in life ? Why is it something that's objectively necessary ? Why does 'real meaning' require 'perfect justice' ?

That's the problem when you pick an arbitrary starting point, you haven't answered anything but simply made a baseless assertion, assume it true, and run from there. It explains nothing.

Sure, what I meant to write... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Sure, what I meant to write was
BTW, Mike was happy to talk about the atrocities committed in the name of religion.
Sorry for my quick typing! Is it good enough now? The point is that you are happy to use past "attrocities" in the past to justify your moral equivalency with radical Islam. You even tried to use the blue law as a modern example of christianity resorting to violence!

Mike,
Believe your arbitrary starting point if you like. Kant was honest enough to really try to argue the real meaning of justice and meaning (not just grabbing concepts out of the air). Kant made his choice of agnotism but honest enough to follow its logical conclusion. Your starting point is no less arbitrary than mine or Kant or other people. At least I have shown that you still want to follow an "irrational belief" in atheism using your very own standard. It is your choice.


What is 'real meaning' in l... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

What is 'real meaning' in life ? Why is it something that's objectively necessary ? Why does 'real meaning' require 'perfect justice' ?
-------------------------------------
Mike,
Since you asked "why", then can I ask you a question, "why are you here on earth?".

Now, I started with an observable fact about the "universal" desire of people for justice or fairness. Some people were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Some were born poor. Some people get rich/powerful by being "evil". Some played by the rule and got shafted in life. So what is the meaning of this life? In the atheistic worldview, one 's life is accidental. Some won the lottery. Some got killed in an accident. There is no inherent meaning to an accident. As you can see, "justice" and "meaning" are interrelated. Without perfect justice, there is no real meaning.

Anyway, I think I have done enough for you to show that theism is a RATIONAL CHOICE. As JT mentioned, honestly, I don't need to demonstrate the validity of "christianity" to you. You can believe whatever you want, but please do not try to argue that the beliefs of other people are based on hearsay.


LAI:Now, I sta... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
Now, I started with an observable fact about the "universal" desire...

And there it is. You said it precisely.

You based your beliefs on a desire - a wish.

You based your beliefs on a... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

You based your beliefs on a desire - a wish.
-------------------------------------
Oh, I see. People do not care about justice and fairness. People do not want justice or fairness in life. Can you follow the logical conclusion of your statement here?

BTW, what you wrote is a pe... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, what you wrote is a perfect example of the "cheap/dishonest" tactic that JT was talking about. Also it is a perfect example of your point about "form and not substance"! Are you trying to play with words and not addressing my point about an observable fact about human experience?

LAI:Oh, I see. Pe... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
Oh, I see. People do not care about justice and fairness. People do not want justice or fairness in life. Can you follow the logical conclusion of your statement here?

Your arugment was that because people desire justice that god exist.
(wizbangblog.com/content/2008/06/11/shakedown.php#comment-748440)


To support this, you claimed (I quote you):
This judge must be perfectly just so that no one can bribe him for example. This judge must have perfect knowledge so that no one can fake or hide evidence from him. Finally this just be all-powerful so that no one can escape from his judgement.

What people desire does not affect what is objectively real. Why start with a desire for justice ? Why not a desire for pudding ? Why not a desire for a Supreme Pizza ?

Because you desire it does not make it real.

LAIOh, I see. Peo... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI
Oh, I see. People do not care about justice and fairness. People do not want justice or fairness in life.

Again, you're attributing things to me which I never even came close to saying. Dishonesty indeed.

What I said specifically (pay attention) is that what people desire has no affect on whether there is or is not a god.

Here's the post should you get confused.
wizbangblog.com/content/2008/06/11/shakedown.php#comment-748830

Mike, It is objecti... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
It is objectively real is that people want to have justice or fairness in life. That 's an observable fact. Again, it doesn't mean that there is a supreme judge. People may have an illusion about justice. That 's what Kant 's argument is all about. You don't have to accept the existence of a supreme judge as a consequence of the observation about desire or quest for justice in life. You are free to reject the theistic starting point. But then you have to conclude that justice is simply an allusion people have since you can't have no real justice. The same with concepts like human rights or free inquiry etc... You are free to choose one of the two starting points. But it is irrational to choose one starting point and refuse to accept its logical consequence.

All I am saying is that theism is as much as rational choice as atheism if not more so.

What people desire does not... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

What people desire does not affect what is objectively real. Why start with a desire for justice ? Why not a desire for pudding ? Why not a desire for a Supreme Pizza ?
------------------------------------
LEt 's use this example of yours. You can observe that people have a desire for pizza. So pizza is real and the pizza maker is also real unless people have an illusion about pizza. OK, it is quite rational to think that people 's desire for justice means that justice is real. Using Kant 's argument, in order for the concept of justice to have real meaning, you need to have a supreme judge.

LAI:You can obser... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
You can observe that people have a desire for pizza. So pizza is real...

The argument boils down to "I desire it therefore it exist", which is false.

The reason that pizza is real is not because people desire it, but because it is objectively observable.

I could have a desire for magic flying monkeys who perform yard work, but that does not mean they are real.

Parmenides was wrong. We can think of that which does not exist.

Mike, Justice is ev... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
Justice is even more pervasive and fundamental than pizza. One key role of government is the administration of justice. That 's why we have judges! Justice is a key organizing principle of human society. Just look at the Department of Justice and our court system from top to bottom. It is objectively real by simply looking at human societies across ages and countries. I thought this should be obvious.

LAI:Justice is ev... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

LAI:
Justice is even more pervasive and fundamental than pizza. ...

Now, taking you at what you said..

You started with 'desire' and concluded with 'god exist'. That was the starting and ending point of your argument.

The argument you presented can be summarized as 'desire hence god'.

Mike, Again, you ca... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
Again, you can play with words as much as you want to deny the obvious. OK, you score a point on my using the words "desire for justice"! Can I change it to "justice as an organizing principle of human society is objectively real and an observable fact"?

Mike, Let me summar... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mike,
Let me summarize my arg so far:

(I) I started with 2 observable facts:
(1) Justice as an organizing principle of human society is objectively real.
(2) There is no "real justice" in this world.

(II) Following the logic of Kant 's arg, I arrived at one of two starting points:
(1) In order for justice to have real meaning, there needs to be (a) life after death and (b) a supreme judge with perfect knowledge, perfect justice, and perfect power.
or
(2) Real justice is an illusion. Jungle justice (or survival of the fittest) is the logical consequence of no supreme judge.




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