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Why the Coexist-ers are so full of crap

Via a blog called Wiser Time, wise stuff indeed:

Coexist.jpg

You've seen these, right? They make me mad. Why? Because they don't really mean what they say.

Let's break it down. We'll call each worldview by the letter it's supposed to represent. So:

  • C = Islam
  • O = Pacifism
  • E = "Gender equality" (=the LGBT agenda)
  • X = Judaism
  • I = Wicca / Pagan / Bah'ai
  • S =Taoism / Confucianism
  • T = Christianity

And let's assume a very broad definition of "coexist": living together without calling for the destruction of each other. Here are the problems with that:

  • C wants to kill E, X, T, and (by implication) O. If they achieved the world they wanted, I and S would also no longer exist.
  • O doesn't allow for effective resistance or defeat of C.
  • E stands in direct opposition to C, X, and T, and accuses those who speak against them of hate speech. Also, they're trying to edge X and T out of public schools in favor of their own agenda. (They're afraid C will be offended, so they get less trouble.) E is actually very, very intolerant.
  • X's existence is threatened not only by C but also by O, who invariably supports C over X.
  • I and S are statistically insignificant and are mainly on there to complete the bumper sticker.
  • T is who the bumper sticker is really arguing against, but poses no physical threat to any of the others.

Historically, T has brought about more tolerance- "coexistence" if you will- than any other movement. But the kind of "coexistence" the people who make this sticker envision is one where at least X and T are completely marginalized.

When I see one of these bumper stickers, I can't help but think... there goes yet another non-thinking, mindless drone.  Pretty much what I think when I see an Obama sticker.

Sue me. 

H/T Larwyn via email.

Crossposted(*).


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Comments (70)

I wish everyone who sports ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

I wish everyone who sports one of those bumper-stickers would coat themselves in BBQ sauce and walk out into the woods to "Co-Exist" with the bears and mountain lions.

The "C" at the beginning of the bumper-sticker looks EXACTLY like a big open mouth, hungry to devour the rest of the "letters". VERY APT!

Whenever I see a 'coexist' ... (Below threshold)
LiberalNItemare:

Whenever I see a 'coexist' bumper sticker tooling around, I wonder why they are driving around pleading for us to coexist in the one place on earth where its actually safe to do so.

If they really want to make a point, shouldnt that bumber sticker be on a car in Iran or one of the other theocracys?

Like most liberal ideas it ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Like most liberal ideas it sounds really nice but once it is given a serious examination we find that it has absolutely no relationship to reality or the world we live in.

To the liberal who, out of ignorance to he world around him, believes that these religions all worship the same god, believe the same things and teach the same values this makes sense.

To the rest of us who understand that these religions do not: believe in the same god (some do not recognize a supreme being at all), that they all assert special knowledge, and therefore superiority, over the others and that they teach different value systems; we understand that this is at the very least silly and at it's worst dangerously naive.

This fits right in with My ... (Below threshold)
914:

This fits right in with My "Save the Polar Bears", sticker. Thanks!

Scratch the surface, and yo... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Scratch the surface, and you'll find that those sporting stickers like that are the most intolerant people in the world. And they'll back stab anyone who doesn't support their view.

I think the C is more of th... (Below threshold)
914:

I think the C is more of the loaner type.

When I see one of ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
When I see one of these bumper stickers, I can't help but think... there goes yet another non-thinking, mindless drone. Pretty much what I think when I see an Obama sticker.

Ah, yes. Anyone who does not think like you is automatically a mindless drone. Interesting logic, Rick.

I suppose that people who drive around with bumper stickers that you AGREE with are NOT mindless drones, right? Pretty convenient.

Maybe judging massive groups of people based upon little bumper stickers isn't the most effective method? Just an idea...

@ryan a:Living her... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned:

@ryan a:

Living here in Vermont, where I seem to be the only Subaru driver not sporting this sticker, I also notice that anyone who does have this sticker has about a dozen others leaving no doubt as to the conformity of their thought patterns.

"Historically, T has brough... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Historically, T has brought about more tolerance- "coexistence" if you will- than any other movement."

Except for those unfortunate 600 years between 1095 and the mid-17th century. Which, of course makes the "T" the least tolerant of the "letters", instead of the "most".

Even recently, anti-communist paramilitaries in Africa and Central America have consciously put themselves under patronage to Saints or under Christ personally, assuming family relationship, usually "brother".

Diem in SVietnam, a Catholic, with his strictly Catholic ARVN officer corps and police, set upon the Buddhist majority in 1962-1963, which hastened his own removal, but not the anti-Buddhist discrimination and killings, which is key to understanding why the ARVN regulars were not so enthused by their Christian warlords in Saigon.


No Ryan. It's because only... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No Ryan. It's because only a mindless drone would put such a stupid sticker on their car. The sticker expresses such an idiotic sentiment that if anyone actually bothered to examine the world views represented upon it they would recognize that the bumper sticker reflects a shocking ignorance of fact. While several of these viewpoints can and do coexist in many places on the earth there are others (chiefly islam) which have for their entire existence refused to do so.

Furthermore the implication of the sticker is tat these different viewpoints and religions can get along peacefully. While they can (with the one exception) get along without killing each other, they will not ever agree with each other because their world views are too widely divergent.

So yes, while a nice idea, it has no relevance to the world we live in.

bryanD...I started to count... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

bryanD...I started to counter-point your bleet, but decided it wasn't worth it. Sorry, but it was just crap.

See if you scrape together enough brain cells to follow this, ok?

In the little cutesy-pie "Coexist" sticker exactly ONE "letter":
- is trying to destroy and/or subjugate ALL the others
- believes women should "enjoy" the status of cattle
- believes suicide bombing is a splendid way to achieve their aims!

The "letter" is the "C", of course: the ISLAMIC Crescent

You stand on a corner in ANY city in the Western world and hand out copies of the Koran.

bryanD, try even POSSESSING a Bible in virtually any Islamic country...let alone trying to hand one out!

Coexist? Hell, the only way they'll even let us EXIST is if we are prone before them. Of course, in the Marines I could hit center-mass 100% of the time from the prone-position at the 600 yard mark.

I know several folks who ha... (Below threshold)
epador:

I know several folks who have sported this sticker in the past. They weren't intolerant or stupid, but idealistic and hopeful. Sad fodder for the real world and the carpetbaggers of idealism, including the fools running this country at this time.

Nice sticker please use it ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Nice sticker please use it in Muslim and Communist countries.
Also please feel free to explain it meaning to the UN. Especially the Star of David.

It seems the UN will not renounce organization that has The destruction as Israel as goal.

I like riding around with USN, USMC, USAF and US Army stickers since those organizations have fought wars which have resulted in people having the freedom to practice those beliefs systems.

Action not Words.

Just the sticker of idealis... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Just the sticker of idealistically foolish man-children--similar to the stereotypical Miss America "world peace" speech.

Don't waste time being annoyed, just discount.

"In the little cutesy-pie "... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"In the little cutesy-pie "Coexist" sticker exactly ONE "letter":
- is trying to destroy and/or subjugate ALL the others" -justrand

N'ah. A broad brushload of doody. Islam in toto has always coexisted with other religions. A reading of Islamic history during its great expansions and wars reveals a cardinal fact of Islamic governance over defeated peoples in general: Islam needed taxes. Moslems were not under the tax. Therefore people UNCONVERTED were VERY NECESSARY to finance the Islamic state. Animist allies fought alonside Moslem troops in the 8th century. T H Lawrence mentions pagans among his Arab irregulars during WW2. There are unconverted thousands living in Pakistan and Afganistan right now. An unconverted tribe, and they aren't hiding. We must assume they are tax-payers. I n appaerance they resemble Zuni Indians. Look them up. I mention these places specifically, due to the fierce and intolerant reputation in which these places are held here.
Even Saudi Arabia has churches, albeit tactfully cloistered behind walls. Booze is served in western hotels in the gulf states and elsewhere. There are gay nightclubs in Iran, and the world's largest whorehouse is in Morrocco.

Christian kings and princes were part of many Islamic regimes' social order. Conversions did take place in the balkans more as an economic choice to AVOID THE TAX. However, MOST were granted RELIGIOUS FREEDOM as long as they PAID THEY'RE TAXES. Because HISTORICALLY un-taxed Muslims NEEDED TAX MONEY FROM SOMEWHERE. And in steady supply, thus the CO-EXIST policy.

NOW, as for radical sects and movements of the AlQaeda sort. I won't blame the Islamic religion for their crimes, because most religions have their Inquisitors and fanatics. *Paging Torquemada!*

"bryanD, try even POSSESSING a Bible in virtually any Islamic country...let alone trying to hand one out!"

Untrue. But proselytizing? Yes. Distributing Bibles? Yes. POSSESSION of PERSONAL Bible? No. And that's concerning Saudi Arabia. Most Islamic nations contain native Christian and Jewish communities (taxpayers) who possess many Bibles and Scrolls.

Have you been reading Mark Steyn before bedtime? :-)

Correction: Lawrence and WW... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Correction: Lawrence and WW I.

Also: Are we REALLY talking about the ACTUAL bumper sticker itself, and the nasty, moony printed "C"? In which case, I'm neutral were vinyl graphics are involved.

I just wish Democrats could... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I just wish Democrats could coexist with Democrats:
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) apologized today for referring to President Barack Obama as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect" in private conversations during the 2008 presidential campaign." -WaPo


Negro dialect? Oh, my.

Good thing Harry isn't a dirty racist Repub, or else he'd have to step down from his leadership position.

bryanD: "POSSESSION of PERS... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

bryanD: "POSSESSION of PERSONAL Bible? No. And that's concerning Saudi Arabia"

From the official website of Saudi Arabian Airlines:

A number of items are not allowed to be brought into the Kingdom due to religious reasons and local regulations. These include alcoholic beverages, pork and pork products, prohibited drugs and narcotics, firearms, explosives, edged weapons and pornographic materials.

Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are also prohibited. These may include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others. Makkah and Medina hold special religious significance and only persons of the Islamic faith are allowed entry.

Oh yeah...they're VERY up for the whole co-existence thingee. Oh, and note that ONLY Muslims may enter Makkah and Medina. Yup...they're VERY inclusive!

have you been whacking off to the Victoria's Secret catalog again?

"Sue me."I prefer ... (Below threshold)
max:

"Sue me."

I prefer ridicule and pity.

You sure do know a lot about liberals, though.

Except for those unfortunat... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

Except for those unfortunate 600 years between 1095 and the mid-17th century. Which, of course makes the "T" the least tolerant of the "letters", instead of the "most".

Posted by bryanD | January 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Vote up Vote down Report this comment Score: -7 (9 votes cast)

Just a little quick math - the mid 17th century was roughly 3 maybe 4 hundred years ago, and the al-queda pantie bomber was... lets say 10 days ago.

Just a little perspective.

"Except for those unfortuna... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Except for those unfortunate 600 years between 1095 and the mid-17th century"

The mid 17th century would have been 1650.

1650 - 1095 = 555

They were so intolerant they wiped out a whole half century!

I don't really like bumper ... (Below threshold)
thecomputerguy:

I don't really like bumper stickers at all. What most of them are really saying is some variation of:

"#####...and you don't (aren't, etc) which makes me better than you."

Let me give you some examples:

My kid is an honor student... and yours isn't, which makes me better than you.

I question authority, and you don't, which makes me better than you.

You hate, which is not a family value and I don't, which makes me better than you.

I visualize World peace (whirled peas) and you don't, so I'm better than you.

And so forth. Most of the time when I notice a particularly annoying bumper sticker, I notice that the driver is also driving like an ass - I wonder how they think that helps their message?

I've also noticed that in previous years, the dem political candidate bumper stickers stayed on cars for years (at least around here). The Dukakis/(whoever) bumper stickers were still up alongside of the Gore/Lieberman stickers, which were still on alongside of Kerry/Edwards. It seemed like they all got papered over by Obama/Biden stickers. But I've noticed that most of those are gone now. It used to be upwards of 50% of cars (around here, very liberal area) had them, but most of them are gone...


Come to Boston where these ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Come to Boston where these idiots are still driving around with Kerry Edwards bumper stickers.

To me those say: "I supported Kerry/Edwards, which makes me dumber than you (SO dumb I can't figure out how to remove the stupid thing)."

Living here in Ver... (Below threshold)
ryan a:
Living here in Vermont, where I seem to be the only Subaru driver not sporting this sticker, I also notice that anyone who does have this sticker has about a dozen others leaving no doubt as to the conformity of their thought patterns.

@ Capn Ned:

So you disagree with the idea that different groups of people should attempt to coexist despite their differences?

It sounds to me like you are upholding your end of intolerance quite well. Keep in mind the fact that not everyone holds an extreme political and/or religious position, and that there are people (Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc) who are willing to accept and respect differences.

@ jim m:N... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

@ jim m:

No Ryan. It's because only a mindless drone would put such a stupid sticker on their car. The sticker expresses such an idiotic sentiment that if anyone actually bothered to examine the world views represented upon it they would recognize that the bumper sticker reflects a shocking ignorance of fact.

I think you just mean to say that you disagree with the sentiment. I have a feeling that you would agree with other bumper stickers that appeal more to your political base. Just a guess.

Also, if you think the sentiment is "idiotic" then why did you write that it's a "nice idea"?

Yes, it is idealistic. But without some sort of idealism I am not sure what we have to look forward to. Many human tenets are highly idealistic, but people still strive to achieve them. In fact, I would argue that many American ideas about freedom, liberty, and democracy are highly idealistic. Should we abandon those as well?

While several of these viewpoints can and do coexist in many places on the earth there are others (chiefly islam) which have for their entire existence refused to do so.

So you're telling me that there are not Muslims in the US and Europe who are able to coexist with other religious groups? Are you sure about that?

Try to separate the extremists from the rest, if you can.

Furthermore the implication of the sticker is that these different viewpoints and religions can get along peacefully.

I argue that it is possible for different groups of people with divergent religious and political views to find ways to coexist. It's not only possible, but it happens all the time.

While they can (with the one exception) get along without killing each other, they will not ever agree with each other because their world views are too widely divergent.

Look, there are about 1 billion Muslims around the world. The vast majority has nothing to do with the radical extremists who support, aid, and implement terrorism.

Also, different groups of people do not necessarily have to agree with one another in order to coexist.

So yes, while a nice idea, it has no relevance to the world we live in.

The desire to coexist peacefully and respectfully has NO RELEVANCE to the world we live in? Are you serious?

I understand your cynicism, but in the end I do think that we cannot simply accept the status quo as an unavoidable reality.


ust a little quick math - t... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

ust a little quick math - the mid 17th century was roughly 3 maybe 4 hundred years ago, and the al-queda pantie bomber was... lets say 10 days ago.
Just a little perspective.
20. Posted by LiberalNitemare

"They were so intolerant they wiped out a whole half century!"
21. Posted by jim m

And my salient point was so sound that I've reduced 'em to cipherin' widda burned stik.
------------------------------------------
"...have you been whacking off to the Victoria's Secret catalog again?"
18. Posted by Justrand

VS with it's underwire bras and armored panties? Decidedly, no.

byrandIslam is ver... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

byrand

Islam is very tolerant as long as you admit to being a slave and pay money you are ok.

The Dhimmi is the Arabic term that refers to its non-Islamic embracing population that has the ignominious dishonor of living in Islamic conquered lands. In a similar manner to the Jewish reference to a non-Jew as being a goy, so too the term dhimmi refers to non-Muslims. However unlike the Jewish term, goy, and much more important, the dhimmi is a distinctly subjugated second class non-citizen almost slave who is subjected to dictatorial deprivation of any legal and human rights since he is a non-Muslim permanent resident in a Muslim state.
Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued
In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring "concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury", the ambassador replied:

It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.

We tried the whole negations and Peace thing.

What was the method used to end USMC and USN.



Malik: Ever since the earliest Islamic conquests dating back to the 7th century AD when Invading Muslim armies overran neighboring communities, many of them Christian, there has been systematic persecution of Christians. Setting aside the anecdotes of tolerance that adorn so much of the specialized (and romanticized) literature on Islamic history, the real story is a sordid one of the systematic reduction of vanquished peoples and members of other religions to second-class status at best--mainly reserved for Christians and Jews--and physical elimination at worst. So this is quite an old story indeed.

bryanD, you are still tryin... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

bryanD, you are still trying to reconcile your statement that the Saudi's have no problem with people possesing Bibles...and yet the Saudi Arabian Airlines' website states:

A number of items are not allowed to be brought into the Kingdom due to religious reasons and local regulations. These include alcoholic beverages, pork and pork products, prohibited drugs and narcotics, firearms, explosives, edged weapons and pornographic materials.

Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are also prohibited. These may include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others. Makkah and Medina hold special religious significance and only persons of the Islamic faith are allowed entry.

Care to retract your ealier bullshit statement?

Ryan,It's nice in ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ryan,

It's nice in the sense that any Utopian fantasy is 'nice'. It would also be "nice" if we could invent a warp drive and travel to he stars with cheap clean energy derived from crystals. However, only idiots actually think that Star Trek is a real possibility.

"So you're telling me that there are not Muslims in the US and Europe who are able to coexist with other religious groups? "
Actually, yes. I believe that if given a choice they would choose to tear down our society and replace it with an islamic one, much like what they are doing in Britain and France and parts of Michigan. I take them at their word when they describe themselves as muslims first and Americans after that. And that is your moderate majority thank you very much.

As to the rest, my point is that other religions and viewpoints (I wouldn't call LGBT a religion)only coexist peacefully in the sense that they will still argue and criticize and condemn and dislike or even hate each other. They just won't try to kill the others like the muslims do. To think that anything else can occur is to misunderstand these religions in a very foundational way.

"Islam is very tolerant as ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Islam is very tolerant as long as you admit to being a slave..."
27. Posted by hcddbz

Your own text contradicts your statement.
"...second class non-citizen ALMOST slave who..."

Obviously written by an ax-grinder. And poorly.
No hyperlink?

"These ****MAY****[ed] include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others"-JUSTRAND

Again, fibbing 'round the edges. And around the globe. From worldwide pandemic of bomb and scimitar wielding robots out to destroy all religions not of Islam, you're reduced to arguing customs inspections policy of a the state airline of an arch-conservative theocratic state that "MAY" choose to disallow something. See your own text.
It frankly reminds me of the sheet everyone had to read before landing in the Philippines during the Marco years.

"Care to retract your ealier bullshit statement?"
28. Posted by Justrand

That's funny. "MAY" be. Just kidding. No.

"I understand your cynicism... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"I understand your cynicism, but in the end I do think that we cannot simply accept the status quo as an unavoidable reality"

Let's put it this way: Ideals are a good thing. They challenge us to be better than we are today.

In most cases ideals are unachievable. However, that does not mean that we should give them up or that they aren't worth fighting for. It is desirable for people of differing viewpoints to accept the fact that others see the world differently than they do and to accept the fact that these other people have a right to live their lives and be perfectly wrong in how they see the world.

It happens to be the case here that these different viewpoints are mutually exclusive and adherents to one faith believe that theirs is the true way and that the others are false.

To ask for a world where all these beliefs viewed each other as equally valid is ultimately to ask that they no longer exist. Ultimately the "Coexist" sticker is at it's core highly intolerant as it is asking for each religion to surrender its central belief, the belief that it explains life and the universe better than anything else.

Jim,"Ultimately th... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jim,

"Ultimately the "Coexist" sticker is at it's core highly intolerant as it is asking for each religion to surrender its central belief, the belief that it explains life and the universe better than anything else."

Interesting. So the call for tolerance is actually highly in intolerant? That's YOUR interpretation, of course. I see your point though.

As I see it, the idea behind mutual respect and coexistence is that nobody has to "surrender" their beliefs at all. But then, people would have to be open to the idea of multiple truths and ways of explaining life, morality, and so on.

But that idea isn't often very popular for some reason or another. Apparently it's often not enough to believe for oneself...hence the continued focus on what everyone else thinks as well.

Coexistence, as I see it, is about accepting the possibility that there are different--yet equally respectable--ways to explain life and the universe.

Sounds good to me, overall. Although, there are limits to this kind of relativistic thinking.

Bryan -From the U.... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Bryan -

From the U.S.- Saudi Arabian Business Council:
http://www.us-sabc.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3355

Travelers to the Kingdom may not carry alcohol, firearms, pork products, religious items, or pornographic materials. Prescription drugs should be carried in their original labeled containers. Until recently, photography was prohibited in the Kingdom.

From the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

The public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is not permitted; nor is an intention to convert others.
Wikipedia suggests that:
Religious items for religions other than Islam, including Bibles, crucifixes and any religious literature, are technically forbidden

but that you might get away with bringing in a Bible for personal use.

However since the UK F&CO goes on to state:

The Saudi legal system differs in many ways from the UK. Suspects can be held without charge and those detained have in the past not been allowed legal representation. The Saudi authorities have detained witnesses and victims of crimes. If you require consular assistance our staff will seek to visit you as soon as they are aware of the case. However, in some instances they have not been permitted to do so immediately or have had limits applied to access once granted. We have raised our concern about reports of mistreatment of some suspects during their detention.

you may want to think twice about any personal exercise of belief.

But Bryan we know that you won't believe any of this so I urge you to go pack a suitcase with Bibles, liquor and pornography and hop on that flight to Saudi. Let us know how that works out for you. We'll still be here when you get back in a couple of years (if you get back)

bryanD, I had to read your ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

bryanD, I had to read your last post multiple times to see if you were/are really stupid enough to think that a country HIGHLIGHTING religious symbols they "may" exclude, and identifying cities ONLY Muslims may visit are REALLY trying to "co-exist".

They are tolerant of NOTHING except THEIR own "faith". The Koran even implies that non-Muslims aren't fully human!

Still, I will and do co-exist with them and everyone else. Don't f**k with me or my family and you can go right on breathing! Nuff said!

jim, again:"It's n... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim, again:

"It's nice in the sense that any Utopian fantasy is 'nice'. It would also be "nice" if we could invent a warp drive and travel to he stars with cheap clean energy derived from crystals. However, only idiots actually think that Star Trek is a real possibility."

Well, there are all sorts of cases in which we strive for ideals despite the realities of actual human behavior. Our Declaration of Independence, along with our Constitution, has MANY highly idealistic aspects...but we certainly do not ditch those, do we? The same can be said for the 10 Commandments and other moralistic rules/guidelines. People often fall short of the ideal, yet they keep trying to achieve them. That's pretty common across many societies.

"Actually, yes. I believe that if given a choice they would choose to tear down our society and replace it with an islamic one, much like what they are doing in Britain and France and parts of Michigan."

Well, I think your version of the situation is a little on the extreme side. I am skeptical of the idea that all US Muslims are as unified, dogmatic, and like-thinking as you assert.

"To think that anything else can occur is to misunderstand these religions in a very foundational way."

Maybe. Or maybe there are so many practitioners of religions like Islam, Judaism, and Christianity that it's difficult to make blanket statements about them. Maybe part of the problem is that A) people tend to assume that belonging to a certain religion means that people under that system all think and act the same; and B) religion and political motives often get confused with one another.

Just as is the case with Christianity (which has a whole series of different divisions and sects), Islam is not some uniform system that is practiced the same in all times and places. Islam in Morocco is different from Islam in Indonesia.

"people would have to be op... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"people would have to be open to the idea of multiple truths"

From Dictionary.com:

TRUTH
1. the true or actual state of a matter.
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4. the state or character of being true.
5. actuality or actual existence.
6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.
8. (often initial capital letter) ideal or fundamental reality apart from and transcending perceived experience: the basic truths of life.
9. agreement with a standard or original.
10. accuracy, as of position or adjustment.
11. Archaic. fidelity or constancy.

Ryan, The notion of there being "multiple truths" is absurd on its face. There cannot be mutually exclusive "truths" to how the universe was created and whether or not a supernatural god exists and what his nature is.

There is only one truth. We can all have different beliefs as to what that truth is and those beliefs are generally reliant on faith of some kind and so are not objectively provable.

This idea of "multiple truths" is nothing more than a way to avoid the uncomfortable truth that someone is wrong (possibly even everybody). As such the idea of 'multiple truths' is a refuge for idiots and cowards - people too weak to decide the matter for themselves and take a stand or too afraid to admit to what they believe and defend it.

jim m "But Bryan we kn... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim m "But Bryan we know that you won't believe any of this so I urge you to go pack a suitcase with Bibles, liquor and pornography and hop on that flight to Saudi."

Funny you should mention that, I've done exactly that [minus the Bibles, porn and liquor] via a 5 mile causeway between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

In that 5 miles there are no less than 6 checkpoints all designed to find such things.

The funny part is the return trip across that same causeway.

Same 6 checkpoints but much, much less severe, in fact I've seen female passengers in cars driven by boyfriends/husbands and they progressively lose more and more of the traditional garb as they get closer to Bahrain.

On the Saudi side they are completely covered save for the eyes, on the Bahrain side its jeans, low cut tank tops and GASP.... tramp stamps.

Religious hypocrites they are.

So defense of Islam is part... (Below threshold)
klrtz1:

So defense of Islam is part of liberal orthodoxy now? Yikes!

Goes well with the liberal hatred of Christianity though.

Ryan-I am not disp... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ryan-

I am not disputing that ideals are a good thing. They are. Period.

It's when we adopt ideals that require reality to be something that it is not a good thing.

You make this mistake yourself:

As I see it, the idea behind mutual respect and coexistence is that nobody has to "surrender" their beliefs at all. But then, people would have to be open to the idea of multiple truths and ways of explaining life, morality, and so on.

You say the should not have to surrender their beliefs, but then ask that they accept that a mutually exclusive school of thought is every bit as correct as theirs. You miss the point that all religions believe that they are the right way and that they have something that the other religions don't. To accept that another religion is equally valid is to nullify one's own faith.

In other words you ask for an impossibility.

In order for you to have what you want these religions have to cease to exist as they do today, which is my whole point. The bumper sticker is advocating for the destruction of what these religions are in order to force the viewpoint of the owner.

The wackos with those silly... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

The wackos with those silly COEXIST bumper stickers are so full of wild blueberry muffins their a few corndogs short of a picnic

Jim,"There cannot ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jim,

"There cannot be mutually exclusive "truths" to how the universe was created and whether or not a supernatural god exists and what his nature is."

Actually, if there is no real objective proof one way or another, then it is very possible for various mutually exclusive claims to truth. In fact, that's exactly the case that exists in the various religions of the world.

"There is only one truth. We can all have different beliefs as to what that truth is and those beliefs are generally reliant on faith of some kind and so are not objectively provable."

When I referred to "multiple truths" I was referring to exactly what you are talking about here. Various groups have their particular versions, and since these beliefs are often a matter of faith, and are not objectively provable, I do not see the point of one group attempting to assert the idea that they possess the only ticket in town. Hence my argument for mutual respect, or coexistence.

"As such the idea of 'multiple truths' is a refuge for idiots and cowards - people too weak to decide the matter for themselves and take a stand or too afraid to admit to what they believe and defend it."

If truth in religion is a matter of faith, and cannot be objectively proven one way or another, then how do you expect people to "take a stand" and "defend" their beliefs???

When it comes down to faith, it's pretty pointless--in my opinion--to start arguing about who is right and who is wrong. It's also an endless discussion.

"You say the should not have to surrender their beliefs, but then ask that they accept that a mutually exclusive school of thought is every bit as correct as theirs."

Well, if it's all unprovable, then the only hope for coexistence is some kind of tolerance or acceptance of the fact that there are other ways of explaining reality, life, and the universe. This does not mean that Christians have to accept the truth(s) of Hinduism by any means...it means that these different groups have to find a way to accept the idea that their answers might not work for everyone. Easier said than done.

"You miss the point that all religions believe that they are the right way and that they have something that the other religions don't."

I disagree. MANY religions are absolute in this manner, but not all of them. Some religions are more syncretic than others, and some are more closed.

"To accept that another religion is equally valid is to nullify one's own faith."

In some cases, yes, in others, not really. It depends. But then, there is a reason why certain religions clash with one another more than others do. Claims to absolute truth often lead to conflict and violence.

"In order for you to have what you want these religions have to cease to exist as they do today, which is my whole point."

Do they really have to cease to exist as they do today in order to live side by side with people who think differently? So your argument is that coexistence is impossible? Does that mean that you personally are unwilling to coexist with people who have different beliefs than yourself?

"The bumper sticker is advocating for the destruction of what these religions are in order to force the viewpoint of the owner."

Hmmm. How I see it is that NO SINGLE viewpoint is privileged over any other--so I don't see it as a case in which the car owner is attempting to force their beliefs on others. In fact, the whole message seems to be about accepting difference (agreeing to disagree).

Again, your interpretation sounds pretty extreme to me. Coexistence means, basically, living peacefully despite disagreements. The only change that needs to happen is that certain religious groups have to find a way to accept the existence of others who think and believe differently.

It's pretty clear that you are against the idea behind the sticker, and I can respect that. At the same time, I am pretty sure that I more than likely do not share your particular theological beliefs. But that does not mean that I cannot respect or accept with your worldview. So what's wrong with that? Do you think that I am "weak" because I am willing to accept and respect the fact that you have certain beliefs and/or truths that I may not subscribe to???


It reminds me of one of tho... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

It reminds me of one of those "character" commercials on USA, where the girl from Royal Pains states "I believe in all paths to God."

As if she really believes crashing an airliner into a building is a valid path to God. It's one of those feel-good statements that reveals how vacuous the speaker is on the issue they choose to speak about.

It's annoying that a station with such great shows has such insultingly stupid ad campaigns.

If truth in religi... (Below threshold)
jim m:
If truth in religion is a matter of faith, and cannot be objectively proven one way or another, then how do you expect people to "take a stand" and "defend" their beliefs???

I did not say that there was a total lack of evidence or reason to adhere to one faith over another. I simply stated the fact that you cannot irrefutably prove one over the other. In the same way you cannot irrefutably prove or disprove the existence of God. (the atheists will deny that hey cannot prove His nonexistence, but it remains the case never-the-less)

But that does not mean that I cannot respect or accept with your worldview.
I neither ask you to accept or respect it. In turn I ask that I not be required to respect or accept anyone else's viewpoint. I accept their right to be wrong. I can respect their rights to believe what they believe and practice their religion without interference. But I do not have to respect their faith or their decision to belong to it. I regard it as highly offensive that I be required to accept a religion that I hold to be false as having equal validity to my own. I can respect an individual and that individual's right to chose and practice their own religion. I should not be required to respect the actual choice or the object of that choice.

By the same token I utterly reject a world view that is in conflict with my own beliefs. Again, I can respect an individual and their right to hold that viewpoint, but to ask me to grant it some greater form of acceptance or to validate that it is true, when I believe sincerely otherwise is wrong.

Various groups have their particular versions, and since these beliefs are often a matter of faith, and are not objectively provable, I do not see the point of one group attempting to assert the idea that they possess the only ticket in town. Hence my argument for mutual respect, or coexistence.

But the people who believe it DO see the point in persuading others.

This does not mean that Christians have to accept the truth(s) of Hinduism by any means...it means that these different groups have to find a way to accept the idea that their answers might not work for everyone.

Yes, sort of. I can accept that they have chosen a different set of beliefs. I will continue to believe that my set is superior and I will not accept the notion that I cannot continue to attempt to persuade them of their error. Like it or not there are many religions which require the same of their followers, and as I said before, I completely accept your right to be wrong.

Again, your interpretation sounds pretty extreme to me. Coexistence means, basically, living peacefully despite disagreements.

But that is the whole point of the main post above. The bumper sticker is a farce because the "C" desires the eradication of all the other letters. The bumper sticker denies that basic reality and typically puts the onus to 'coexist' peacefully on the others represented on the sticker and not on the one group who refuses to play nice.

I suppose the differences that we have is that you say that truth is relative so why bother trying to persuade anyone to believe the same way that you do. To which I respond: why are you bothering to try to persuade me that I am wrong or intolerant, when my intolerant truth is every bit as valid as yours?

Why not just accept the truth of my views and respect my viewpoint? Clearly by arguing with me you are doing neither.

Unless of course you believe that arguing with me is the appropriate way to demonstrate respect for my viewpoint. Unfortunately, I may hold it to be the opposite, so you see this whole notion of tolerance and respect for 'multiple truths' is a load of crap.

Muslims consider tolerance of other religions to be subjugation and taxation of people for their beliefs. In some areas they believe that it is appropriate to abduct the daughters of 'infidels', rape them and force them into marriages where they are forced to convert to islam.

Since there is no agreement with them on what respect and tolerance mean the whole thing is pointless.

To be truly honest and refl... (Below threshold)
Dr Carlo Lombardi:

To be truly honest and reflect reality the bumper stickers should read "Hey, Muslims-Coexist!"

Does that mean tha... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:
Does that mean that you personally are unwilling to coexist with people who have different beliefs than yourself?
I take it that he would be unwilling to coexist with people who attempt to force his beliefs into their own mold, or at least make sure he can't express them. Openly.
How I see it is that NO SINGLE viewpoint is privileged over any other
So that is your viewpoint, while his viewpoint is that there are viewpoints that are privileged over others. Thus, your viewpoint is self refuting, as it cannot hold both yours and his with equal regard, even though by its own rule it must. You have basically stumbled upon one of the few premises in philosophy that is readily disproven.

I don't mean to state that there are not multiple truths. I tend to believe that when God created us in his image, that meant that we were creators, not just of our physical world, but our moral one as well. However, that does not mean that truth is not bounded, that it does not follow immutable laws as surely as our atoms do. There are things that are absolutely wrong, and there are truths that oppose, and one must win while the other retreats.

byranD.For 1st def... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

byranD.

For 1st definition of slavery
Islamic slavery was officially declared illegal in the Arabian Peninsula in 1962.

However I point you to modern day Sudan where Christians are enslaved to Islamic northern part of the country.


For the Second definition I point you to the Qur'an
which was used to justify Islamic slavery and is still used today to take the rights of others in Islamic land.

1 slave Pronunciation: \ˈslāv\ Function: noun Etymology: Middle English sclave, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus, from Sclavus Slavic; from the frequent enslavement of Slavs in central Europe during the early Middle Ages Date: 14th century 1 : a person held in servitude as the chattel of another 2 : one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence 3 : a device (as the printer of a computer) that is directly responsive to another
Yusuf Ali: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.[Qur'an 9:29 (Translated by Yusuf Ali)]


Now if you are a good slave to your Islamic masters please do not say any thing against it.

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;" [Surah Al-Maidah 5:33].

In Islam, a person who has committed blasphemy can either be killed or crucified, or his opposite hands and feet can be cut off, or he can be exiled from that land. On the other hand, in other religions there is no other option except capital punishment. Islam at least has four options of punishment for an act of blasphemy.

"To which I respond: why ar... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"To which I respond: why are you bothering to try to persuade me that I am wrong or intolerant, when my intolerant truth is every bit as valid as yours?"

I am not trying to persuade you of anything; I am just asking you what you think and presenting my own opinions. Relax. It's just discussion...is that okay?

"Why not just accept the truth of my views and respect my viewpoint? Clearly by arguing with me you are doing neither."

I do respect your perspective on this. I meant no disrespect by asking you questions and engaging in conversation with you. If you feel that I was disrespectful then I apologize. Last time I checked the whole point of these sorts of sites is discussion, debate, and conversation.

"Unless of course you believe that arguing with me is the appropriate way to demonstrate respect for my viewpoint. Unfortunately, I may hold it to be the opposite, so you see this whole notion of tolerance and respect for 'multiple truths' is a load of crap."

I definitely do not think that the notion of tolerance is a load of crap, so we can agree to disagree there.

"But that is the whole point of the main post above. The bumper sticker is a farce because the "C" desires the eradication of all the other letters."

My whole point is the fact that pretending that the "C" stands for all Muslims--as if they all think and act the same in all times and places--is somewhat ridiculous. SOME MUSLIM groups seek to eradicate all other faiths, but not all of them. Again, it's pretty important to separate out the radicalized and politicized uses of Islam from the rest. Makes sense to me at least.

"By the same token I utterly reject a world view that is in conflict with my own beliefs. Again, I can respect an individual and their right to hold that viewpoint, but to ask me to grant it some greater form of acceptance or to validate that it is true, when I believe sincerely otherwise is wrong."

I can understand your position here. I suppose I was only arguing that people should find a way to accept the existence of other faiths and allow them to live their lives. I did not mean to imply that you actually have to incorporate or accept the beliefs themselves. It's more about accepting and tolerating others' rights to live their lives according to another set of guidelines and beliefs (up to a point).

"I regard it as highly offensive that I be required to accept a religion that I hold to be false as having equal validity to my own. I can respect an individual and that individual's right to chose and practice their own religion. I should not be required to respect the actual choice or the object of that choice."

No offense intended. You're not required to do anything.

"I can accept that they have chosen a different set of beliefs. I will continue to believe that my set is superior and I will not accept the notion that I cannot continue to attempt to persuade them of their error."

Again, this makes sense and I respect your position on this.

JSchuler,"Thus, yo... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JSchuler,

"Thus, your viewpoint is self refuting, as it cannot hold both yours and his with equal regard, even though by its own rule it must. You have basically stumbled upon one of the few premises in philosophy that is readily disproven."

Well, life is sometimes full of contradictions. Either we learn to deal with them, or we become overly concerned with being "right" all the time. So don't assume that I think I have all the right answers, because I don't. And I do not claim otherwise.

"However, that does not mean that truth is not bounded, that it does not follow immutable laws as surely as our atoms do. There are things that are absolutely wrong, and there are truths that oppose, and one must win while the other retreats."

I agree that there has to be an end to relativistic truths...otherwise there is no such thing as right and wrong. The issue is finding a way for different societies to agree on these matters.

JSchuler,By the wa... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JSchuler,

By the way, when I say that there has to be an "end" to relativistic truths, I mean that there are limits to relativism. All knowledge and experience cannot be completely relative, since there would be no way to judge or evaluate societies.

"To be truly honest and ... (Below threshold)
914:

"To be truly honest and reflect reality the bumper stickers should read "Hey, Muslims-Coexist!"


Hey,Muslims-Coexist!" They do if Your one of them!

The beauty of America is th... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

The beauty of America is that people can practice their religion as long as it does not infringe on our legal system.

Marriage in the US is mostly still between one man and one women. We do not recognize multiple partner marriage even though it is permitted in some religions.

We do not allow Honor killing.

Attack on person is not permitted.

Now those with the stickers in the USA are not brave or daring.
They need to take it to
Saudi Arabie
Sudan,
Pakistan
Iran
Egypt

"Now those with the sticker... (Below threshold)
914:

"Now those with the stickers in the USA are not brave or daring.
They need to take it to
Saudi Arabie
Sudan,
Pakistan
Iran
Egypt"

Yes, but the sticker's would need to be slightly altered to...

"Kill All Infidels"

Now Im sure they would be a big hit.

What about the "establishme... (Below threshold)
Patty:

What about the "establishment of religion" in the US Constitution?
We have no "state" religion so that we CAN coexist.
Just powers are derived here from the consent of the governed, that's all of us.
Therefore only an "apostate" Muslim can sign on to our Constitution and accept our government. A true believer of Koran "must" fight to establish their Muslim theocracy. That puts them in opposition to our very form of government. So, why are they here?
It is because their "religion" tells them that they must take over the world, and then, and only then, there will be peace. Where will non-Muslims be when that happens?
Either under submission to Muslim rule, or in the peace of the grave.

Well, life is some... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:
Well, life is sometimes full of contradictions. Either we learn to deal with them, or we become overly concerned with being "right" all the time. So don't assume that I think I have all the right answers, because I don't. And I do not claim otherwise.
Yes, but when something is self-contradictory, when it destroys itself before it is even given a context to exist, it is false. Truth is bounded by rules, and the rules do not fit the statement you made.

Now, if all that you mean by "coexist" is that one society should not go off willy-nilly and start bashing in the brains of other societies, that's fine, but largely meaningless in Western society, as such a debate was won long ago. If that's the meaning, then other commentators are right that the above bumpersticker only has purpose in areas like the middle east.

But, as they are displayed in the US, that's likely not the message they're sending. Instead, the analysis of Wiser Time is probably closer to the truth, in that this is a targeted message at the dominant society (middle class christian) to stop defending itself from incursions by competing society. Going back to the USA example, their "pledge" asks people to simultaneously "stop fighting the culture wars" and support "gay rights," as if the gay movement wasn't a central part of the war they're telling people not to fight.

The "defense" that the bumpersticker is complaining about isn't that the dominant society is using violence, but that it speaks out and questions the value of other cultures.

The thing is, speaking out and questioning are exactly the methods that are necessary to affirm or discover truth. It's why the First Amendment exists in the first place. It's why we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion and freedom of the press, because ideas must be challenged in order to have confidence that they are true.

In that context, the "coexist" bumpersticker is arguing against truth. Don't offend, don't challenge, don't confront, don't know.

bryanD, ryan a, et al...</p... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

bryanD, ryan a, et al...

Remember Timothy Treadwell? He should be your hero!

Timmy decided to "Co-Exist" with the grizzly bears up in Alaska. He determined he would NOT attack them, and that he would respect their different ways in all regards.

I still wonder if, as Timmy and his dim-witted girlfriend were being eaten by the bears, it occured to Timmy that the BEARS had never agreed to "Co-Exists" with HIM!

p.s., if Timmy had NOT been eaten by the bears I am certain he would be sporting a "Co-Exists" bumper sticker on his Prius.

By the way, when I... (Below threshold)
jim m:
By the way, when I say that there has to be an "end" to relativistic truths, I mean that there are limits to relativism. All knowledge and experience cannot be completely relative, since there would be no way to judge or evaluate societies.

This is what jschuler and I have pointed out that you are having it both ways. This is the central problem of relativism. You claim that all truth is relative and then you claim that,'well there is an end to relativism...' meaning that there is ONE truth which ISN"T relative and that is the prime truth that all 'other' truth is relative.

It's just weak thinking really. You are choosing to claim equivalence of different viewpoints for the purpose of avoiding the necessity of evaluating those claims. There are 4 different valid conclusions you can make with conflicting truth claims; 1) A is correct, 2) B is correct, 3) A and B are both incorrect and 4) I do not know (care) enough about either A or B to make a conclusion.

By choosing to declare that they are equally true you are choosing to avoid making that decision. The main reason for choosing this way is to avoid offending one or both of the alternatives.

Christianity and islam cannot both be true. Jesus Christ cannot be both the Son of God and be just another good man. Mohammad cannot be the foremost prophet of allah and also be an illiterate mass murderer.

To claim that both are equally true is beyond silly. It is an insanely stupid departure from logic and honesty that can only be explained by a cowardly desire to please all parties and avoid offending one or both by making an honest conclusion regarding their claims.

Relativism is a philosophy that works only if you never think about the logical extensions of your positions and you don't mind standing for a position that is logically inconsistant.

Its interesting to juxtapos... (Below threshold)
Dark Eden:

Its interesting to juxtapose this thread with the one immediately below it:

Now, word is coming out of Afghanistan that an Af/Pak warlord, both to feed his lust (which includes both pedophilia and rape) and to fund his war chest, arranged to have local women raped, with the rapes filmed and distributed for profit. When word leaked out that he was involved, he responded by murdering the participants, both the men who carried out the raping and filming, and the innocent young girls who were brutalized. He also destroyed all the videos, or so he thought. In fact, a video landed in the hands of one Imam who actually has a conscience and prepared a video speaking out against these loathsome moral transgressions.

Kind of puts the whole coexist thing into perspective. That C really does want to eat and consume and destroy all the other letters, but let's focus on getting the T to shut the hell up and stop being so evil.

JSchuler,"Yes, but... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JSchuler,

"Yes, but when something is self-contradictory, when it destroys itself before it is even given a context to exist, it is false. Truth is bounded by rules, and the rules do not fit the statement you made."

If religious truth is a matter of faith, and is basically unprovable from most standpoints, then the claim to absolute truth by various religious groups sets up a series of contradictory truths. My point is that I do not see the purpose of attempting to validate one truth over another, since it's a matter of personal faith, belief, and choice. Hence the existence of many contradictory belief systems all at once.

I understand your point about logic, but religion is not bounded by logic, let alone objective measures of truth/validity.

"Now, if all that you mean by "coexist" is that one society should not go off willy-nilly and start bashing in the brains of other societies, that's fine, but largely meaningless in Western society, as such a debate was won long ago."

Ok. To me coexist means exactly that: find a way to live together despite disagreements. So now you're claiming that western society already coexists? So then, why all of the negative reactions to the sticker, if this is an idea that we already accept??? If this is something that we have already incorporated, why is this whole post all about claiming that the notion of coexistence is bullshit?

"If that's the meaning, then other commentators are right that the above bumpersticker only has purpose in areas like the middle east."

So it does not apply here in the US, for example, because we all get along? Is that your point?

"The thing is, speaking out and questioning are exactly the methods that are necessary to affirm or discover truth. It's why the First Amendment exists in the first place. It's why we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion and freedom of the press, because ideas must be challenged in order to have confidence that they are true."

Sure, ideas can and should be challenged. But what happens when the debate gets to the point where what is "true" is a matter of faith, and where logical reasoning and objective testing cannot be employed? Again, the issue with religion is that the "truths" of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and all other religions exist outside of natural law for the most part--and it becomes impossible to prove one over another. The attempt to assert absolute truth, then, can lead to conflict. Hence the need for these different groups to find a way to coexist and tolerate differences of opinion and belief. Otherwise there will be perpetual conflict.

"In that context, the "coexist" bumpersticker is arguing against truth. Don't offend, don't challenge, don't confront, don't know."

I see it a little differently than you, but I see the point you are making. I am not looking at this in terms of who is correct and who is incorrect; I am thinking of coexistence more in pragmatic terms of mutual respect and acceptance. For Christians to respect the rights of Hindus, for example, they do not need to believe anything that Hindus claim.

Also, I am not arguing that there should simply be absolute and blind acceptance of anything and everything that different religious and political groups "believe". Differences are worked out through challenges, through debate, and through some form of dialog.

Reminds me of a joke. St. ... (Below threshold)
BluesHarper:

Reminds me of a joke. St. Peter at the Pearly Gates answers the question, "what's on the other side of that wall?".

Shhhh..., St Peter says. The Catholics think they are the only ones up here.

(I'm a born and raised Catholic)

Jim,"This is what ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jim,

"This is what jschuler and I have pointed out that you are having it both ways. This is the central problem of relativism. You claim that all truth is relative and then you claim that,'well there is an end to relativism...' meaning that there is ONE truth which ISN"T relative and that is the prime truth that all 'other' truth is relative."

Well, truth is sometimes dependent on perspective, culture, and faith. Let's say that person A was raised to believe in God A. And person B was raised to believe in God B. Now, there is no way to prove absolutely that either God A or God B is the "real" god, and both person A and B believe according to their individual faiths in their respective religions. So who is right? Whose religion is MORE TRUE? This isn't a matter of logic, it's a matter of relative truth, of context, of history, of circumstance, and ultimately, of personal belief and faith.

If the positions of A and B are untestable in any objective sense, what should we do? Keep fighting about the unprovable, or find ways to accept and live with differences?

Still, there have to be some end points to relativistic thought, since some beliefs can infringe on the rights/lives of others. And this, to me, is where relativism has its end points. And this is where a lot of debate about human rights and religious rights comes up.

"It's just weak thinking really. You are choosing to claim equivalence of different viewpoints for the purpose of avoiding the necessity of evaluating those claims."

Right. It's weak thinking to admit that it's ultimately impossible to determine who is "really" right in a religious sense. If religious truth is a matter of faith, then no amount of evaluation can really prove that one is more correct than another. It comes down to faith and belief. And the argument about who is right can be endless and circular.

"There are 4 different valid conclusions you can make with conflicting truth claims; 1) A is correct, 2) B is correct, 3) A and B are both incorrect and 4) I do not know (care) enough about either A or B to make a conclusion."

Ok, so you feel that you have the right answer. What happens when you run into another person who also feels very strongly that they have the right answer? What happens when neither of you can really "prove" that your religious belief is the right one??? What then? Should each try to convert the other? Should there be mutual respect? Should you two just go to war?

You keep resorting to logic, as if religious belief is bounded by some kind of mathematically provable formula.

"Christianity and islam cannot both be true. Jesus Christ cannot be both the Son of God and be just another good man. Mohammad cannot be the foremost prophet of allah and also be an illiterate mass murderer."

Ok, so they cannot both be true at the same time. However, since the acceptance of each is a matter of faith and belief, there is no way to really locate the "real" truth that you seek. It comes down to personal faith. Hence the existence of two contradictory and unprovable truths. Now what?

"To claim that both are equally true is beyond silly. It is an insanely stupid departure from logic and honesty that can only be explained by a cowardly desire to please all parties and avoid offending one or both by making an honest conclusion regarding their claims."

First of all, religious belief is not necessarily bounded by logic. You seem to keep missing that point.

Second, how is it a departure from honesty? If neither religion A or B can be objectively proven, and if adherence to either is a matter of personal faith, then how could it be dishonest to admit that each one is equally plausible (or implausible) at the same time?

Faith cannot be proven, and it cannot be tested. Yet you think that it's dishonest and illogical to avoid making an impossible claim?

When it comes to Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and all of the other world's religions, who is right? Since there is no way to prove who is right, and since belief is a matter of faith, I do not see the point in engaging in an endless debate about the unprovable. Maybe it boils down to pragmatism.

"Relativism is a philosophy that works only if you never think about the logical extensions of your positions and you don't mind standing for a position that is logically inconsistent."

So then, what are the "logical extensions" of faith and belief? In my opinion, faith is not bounded by human logic or science. Many aspects of many religions are "illogical" from a scientific standpoint, but that does not mean they are untrue.

Justrand,"Remember... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Justrand,

"Remember Timothy Treadwell? He should be your hero!"

Funny, but kind of a stupid example for the present discussion.

Treadwell was a fool, and didn't know what the hell he was doing. I understand the fact that you are attempting to undermine my position with this example and assert the idea that I am advocating some kind of naive and idealistic acceptance of difference. Not the case.

There is a difference between mutual respect and blind stupidity. If Treadwell actually had any knowledge and respect for the real behaviors of those bears, then he would not have done what he did.

Coexistence, in this case, would require an astute knowledge of the behavioral patterns of bears, and a pragmatic understanding of how one should behave in their territory (not camping with food in your tent is a good start). There is a reason why park rangers where always on Treadwell's case: he was always doing stupid shit and putting himself in danger because of his naive understandings about the behavior of those large furry omnivores that he mistook for teddy bears.

If religious truth... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:
If religious truth is a matter of faith, and is basically unprovable from most standpoints, then the claim to absolute truth by various religious groups sets up a series of contradictory truths.
Partially correct. There are matters of theology that are unprovable: is there a God? Are there many gods? Does he/she/they care about humanity, etc., etc. I'm not interested in arguing those points because a) they're matters of faith, and thus not vulnerable to reason and b) they're largely not functional except within the religion itself.

However, religion isn't just about the prayers you say and what holidays you celebrate. Religion also provides a moral code that their followers are obligated to obey. It is here that religion must be challenged and debated. It is here that some religions are found wanting.

So now you're claiming that western society already coexists? So then, why all of the negative reactions to the sticker, if this is an idea that we already accept???
Re-read my post. The problem is that "coexist" can be taken in different ways. If it is taken in the way you propose, the bumpersticker may as well not exist in the West, as it's nothing more than conventional wisdom. So, if that's as far as you want to go, you can stop right here. We agree! It wouldn't be the first time something trite was pasted to the backside of a Stanza.

The problem we have is that "coexist" can be taken in another way, and many of us believe, in the current PC culture that fights to control our thoughts, that it is something far more dangerous. That it is a message demanding passivity.

For Christians to respect the rights of Hindus, for example, they do not need to believe anything that Hindus claim.
Correct. But, you chose the easy instance to make your points. What about for Islam to respect the rights of others? Islam does call for non-believers to be subjugated, to pay a tax, etc. What then? Well, something has to give. The question is, do you subjugate all other religions so Islam doesn't have to change, or do you subjugate Islam so all other religions don't have to change. May Muslims have subjugated Islam, putting ideas of pluralism ABOVE the Koran. Unfortunately, many others haven't. Either way, joining hands and singing kumbaya isn't going to make the conflict disappear.
JSchuler,"However,... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JSchuler,

"However, religion isn't just about the prayers you say and what holidays you celebrate. Religion also provides a moral code that their followers are obligated to obey. It is here that religion must be challenged and debated. It is here that some religions are found wanting."

Agreed. This is most definitely the crux of the matter, and where there is a need for dialog and debate.

"The problem we have is that "coexist" can be taken in another way, and many of us believe, in the current PC culture that fights to control our thoughts, that it is something far more dangerous. That it is a message demanding passivity."

I definitely do not think people should just sit back and be passive and just accept everything that comes along. People should stand up, debate, express their views, and argue for what they think is right. At the same time, it's probably a good idea not to be overly reactionary. There has to be room for disagreement--and ultimately some form of respect--in all of this.

"What about for Islam to respect the rights of others? Islam does call for non-believers to be subjugated, to pay a tax, etc. What then? Well, something has to give. The question is, do you subjugate all other religions so Islam doesn't have to change, or do you subjugate Islam so all other religions don't have to change. May Muslims have subjugated Islam, putting ideas of pluralism ABOVE the Koran."

Excellent point. As you say, many Muslims have put pluralism ahead of absolutism and dogmatism, and this is something that is important to keep in mind. However, there are many who have not done so, and this of course has resulted in violence and conflict. In the cases in which there is extremism and unquestioned dogmatism, something does have to give, you're right. That is what I meant when I said that there are end points to relativism, especially when human rights are violated in the name of religious or political beliefs.

"Either way, joining hands and singing kumbaya isn't going to make the conflict disappear. "

I agree with you 100 percent on that! Don't mistake me for someone who is making some kind of idealistic and naive claim about all of us getting along. At the same time, people have to be open to dialog and mutual respect if we're actually going to be able to find realistic ways to coexist. This means that all of our disagreements may not be solvable. It might be more important to find ways to address the bigger issues (human rights, etc) in order to deal with the conflicts that arise amidst different religious groups.

Then we have reached an acc... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

Then we have reached an accord. Huzzah!

You might find this interes... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

You might find this interesting...

In his childhood, Toronto writer Kamal Al-Solaylee recalls a cosmopolitan, secular family from southern Yemen. Today his sisters and brothers are close-minded Islamists. As one middle-class clan loses its own struggle with extremism, so goes the country

From Bikinis to Burquas.

In a black photo album tucked inside an old filing cabinet, I keep more recent family photographs, from my visits to Sanaa, or ones they send in the mail. I don't believe that even my closest friends have seen them. The rare times I look at them, I see only a family that has betrayed its secular, intellectual history and has either chosen or been forced to accept intolerance instead.

One photograph from April, 2006, particularly infuriates me. My family's penchant for group photos never wavers, but this time my eldest brother voices his concern about my sisters being photographed in their "indoor" clothes.

"What if the men who work at the photo-developing shop get to see your sisters in short sleeves or without a head scarf?" he asks, as if it's something I should have thought about myself. This is the same brother who is standing behind me in that 1975 picture I love so much.

My sisters immediately see his point. I'm stunned. We reach a compromise. I can pose with my sisters and mother if they wear the hijab , or at least long sleeves and skirts. I fake a smile as my heart breaks. The last thing I want is an argument on my last night in Sanaa.

I haven't seen my family since.
The extremists are patient. First, a simple head veil in public. Then more and more restrictive ideas, until the concept of a family photograph without the women being veiled is incomprehensible.

Well, I guess you could say it's a 'progressive' religion - things get progressively more and more restrictive.

Now, one thing that I find almost ridiculous - if the folks pushing the idea weren't so damn serious about it - is to point out the Crusades and intolerance in Christianity in the past as somehow mitigating or excusing Islamic behavior currently. What is missed is one simple fact -

Christianity as a whole learned better, and turned away from violence. Go to a mainstream Christian church today, and you'll find very, very few pastors or clergy preaching how the unbelievers deserve death or subjugation. You won't find a Methodist pastor preaching that homosexuals should be stoned - or Catholic priests proclaiming that countries that don't follow Catholic doctrine should be destroyed.

Islam has not - at least, not yet. I don't know what, if anything, will get them to a point where the militant followers of their theology will allow for the existance of competing religions, but it's going to take one hell of a lot more than some unbeliever slapping a bumper sticker on his car.

JSchuler,"Then we ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

JSchuler,

"Then we have reached an accord. Huzzah!"

Yes, I believe we have. Thanks for the discussion.

Not!T... (Below threshold)
Ahnold T2:

Not!


T

This is the Coexist bumper ... (Below threshold)
Don:

This is the Coexist bumper sticker I live by:

http://i33.tinypic.com/30xgyfb.jpg

The call to COEXIST is iron... (Below threshold)
John:

The call to COEXIST is ironic because we'd probably already be doing that if those symbols didn't exist.

Let's just ditch the imaginary friends, and then maybe celebrating our shared humanity won't be such a chore.

"Historically, T has brough... (Below threshold)
Alex:

"Historically, T has brought about more tolerance- "coexistence" if you will- than any other movement."

BULLLLLLSHIIIIIITTT

Seriously though, I agreed with everything up until the pandering to Christianity. Historically, this religion has been the most intolerant. Even today, it's only in the Western world that Christians are moderate. In Africa, they're still burning "Witches" at the stake.
You also didn't mention Zionism, which is the Jewish name for Nazism.




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