My Brother the Islamist
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16-09-2012, 02:58 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
(16-09-2012 10:10 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Where we disagreed is where I said that if those "grotesqueries" are not pre-existing, it doesn't matter. They will be imported.

This is where I feel we diverge. The fact that the grotesqueries are in their holy books is far more dangerous than their not being there.

I don't know from whence they would otherwise get them or give them sacred power.

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16-09-2012, 03:22 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
Chas makes a good point:

Fun-da-mentals basically just do on instruction.
The Koran is the absolute law. No questions.
The Koran says......so you do. No questions.
If the Koran says that fresh and salt water don't mix, then they do not.
No need to test that theory. It doesn't matter. The Koran is correct. The facts are wrong if they do not agree with the Koran.
If the Koran says martyr yourself for Ali, then that's what you do.
Any Muslim not willing to martyr themselves will go to hell.

Compare this to the abortion doctor slayers in the US. The Bible says that abortion is murder (they say). Then you MUST act. If you don't act you are not a true Christian. You will go to hell. You did not protect the unborn as commanded by God.

While the belief exists, all killing commanded by the belief will continue.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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16-09-2012, 03:27 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
(16-09-2012 03:22 PM)Thomas Wrote:  Chas makes a good point:

Fun-da-mentals basically just do on instruction.
The Koran is the absolute law. No questions.
The Koran says......so you do. No questions.
If the Koran says that fresh and salt water don't mix, then they do not.
No need to test that theory. It doesn't matter. The Koran is correct. The facts are wrong if they do not agree with the Koran.
If the Koran says martyr yourself for Ali, then that's what you do.
Any Muslim not willing to martyr themselves will go to hell.

Compare this to the abortion doctor slayers in the US. The Bible says that abortion is murder (they say). Then you MUST act. If you don't act you are not a true Christian. You will go to hell. You did not protect the unborn as commanded by God.

While the belief exists, all killing commanded by the belief will continue.

The only difference is that you will be hard pressed to find an Islamic theocracy that will openly condemn Islamic fundamentalists.

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16-09-2012, 03:39 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
Hey, Chas.

Quote:This is where I feel we diverge. The fact that the grotesqueries are in their holy books is far more dangerous than their not being there.

Blink

Uhhhhhhhh, but.... I already agreed.

I Wrote:If there are cultural traits that they can manipulate that are already in place then it makes their job easier....

I already said that I agreed that those "grotesqueries" you spoke of are manipulated by fundamentalists and that if they are pre-existing, it makes their job easier. I also agree that there is room for reform, ie, it would not be entirely disagreeable to me if these "grotesqueries" were removed....

Huh

OK. I'm gonna attempt to unpack what you're trying to say.

The grotesqueries are in their holy book. Agreed?

It is far more dangerous/it makes the job of the fundamentalist easier that they're there. Agreed?

What I'm trying to say is that extremism is extremism. It is a phenomenon that is not restricted to Islam. Can we agree on that?

Whether we do or not, it's my story and I'm sticking to it Cool

Now, extremists, not just Islamic ones, any of them, will use any cultural trait they can get their hands on, religion, holy books, nationalism, custom, historical context, you name it. How bout that one? We on the same page there?

If extremists do not have a holy book with "grotesqueries" in it, they aren't just gonna throw up their hands and say, "Dang! We could have had us a sweet dictatorship! Oh well, you win some, you lose some." Agreed?

If they don't have those "grotesqueries" they will figure something out. Because that's what they do. Agreed?

So what I'm saying is that sure, it makes their job easier that they're there but it sure as hell doesn't make it impossible if they aren't. Agreed?

So while I wouldn't necessarily put the same "poisonous" label on the Qur'an, or on Islam itself, I do think that they're both problematic and that change may be a good thing. I say "may" primarily because changing elements within a system does not necessarily make it better. Systems have emergent properties that we only know about when it's in operation, thus, we don't know what the outcome will be until we make the change.

Also, I look at something like Sharia and I think to myself, "Well that's just poo. I sure as fuck wouldn't want to live under it." Works great for some people though and they can go right on loving it for all I care. That's their thing. My cultural bias tells me, "Well, if Islamics just chucked the whole Sharia thing, I would not be unpleased," but my training in the dynamics of human systems tells me that I can't know if it will necessarily be a good thing until they try it out. I also look at Islam in general and I have to admit, y'know, because it's factual, that while Sharia is there, nested within Islam, not all Muslims want to live under Sharia. So yeah, it's certainly one of those "grotesqueries" that extremists can manipulate to their advantage (a million examples of that being given in the documentary; one of the more profound ones to me being the English convert who embraced Sharia because it prohibits drugs, the same one's that led to his sister's overdose at 18 years of age), but I also know that it's pretty much harmless in it's recessive form.

The final thing I'm trying to say is that grotesqueries or no, extremists will find a way. Build a better mouse trap and they build a better mouse. No matter how many grotesqueries you remove from the script, they will use something. Also, the bar that separates them from the moderates is not fixed. That which constitutes an extremist is always changing. Because of all of this (and more) we will never rid ourselves of extremists. The only thing we can do it make it harder for them to look credible. If getting rid of Sharia all together does that, then I'm all for it. There's no guarantee though. But even that being said, even if we cut out every last grotesquery in the Qur'an, or the Qur'an itself, or Islam itself, that will not eliminate extremists. Nothing will. Make their job harder, likely (although anything could happen, for example, there could be blow back from the act of removing it), but eliminate them? No it will not.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-09-2012, 04:00 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
(16-09-2012 03:39 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chas.

Quote:This is where I feel we diverge. The fact that the grotesqueries are in their holy books is far more dangerous than their not being there.

Blink

Uhhhhhhhh, but.... I already agreed.

I Wrote:If there are cultural traits that they can manipulate that are already in place then it makes their job easier....

I already said that I agreed that those "grotesqueries" you spoke of are manipulated by fundamentalists and that if they are pre-existing, it makes their job easier. I also agree that there is room for reform, ie, it would not be entirely disagreeable to me if these "grotesqueries" were removed....

Huh

OK. I'm gonna attempt to unpack what you're trying to say.

The grotesqueries are in their holy book. Agreed?

It is far more dangerous/it makes the job of the fundamentalist easier that they're there. Agreed?

What I'm trying to say is that extremism is extremism. It is a phenomenon that is not restricted to Islam. Can we agree on that?

Whether we do or not, it's my story and I'm sticking to it Cool

Now, extremists, not just Islamic ones, any of them, will use any cultural trait they can get their hands on, religion, holy books, nationalism, custom, historical context, you name it. How bout that one? We on the same page there?

If extremists do not have a holy book with "grotesqueries" in it, they aren't just gonna throw up their hands and say, "Dang! We could have had us a sweet dictatorship! Oh well, you win some, you lose some." Agreed?

If they don't have those "grotesqueries" they will figure something out. Because that's what they do. Agreed?

So what I'm saying is that sure, it makes their job easier that they're there but it sure as hell doesn't make it impossible if they aren't. Agreed?

So while I wouldn't necessarily put the same "poisonous" label on the Qur'an, or on Islam itself, I do think that they're both problematic and that change may be a good thing. I say "may" primarily because changing elements within a system does not necessarily make it better. Systems have emergent properties that we only know about when it's in operation, thus, we don't know what the outcome will be until we make the change.

Also, I look at something like Sharia and I think to myself, "Well that's just poo. I sure as fuck wouldn't want to live under it." Works great for some people though and they can go right on loving it for all I care. That's their thing. My cultural bias tells me, "Well, if Islamics just chucked the whole Sharia thing, I would not be unpleased," but my training in the dynamics of human systems tells me that I can't know if it will necessarily be a good thing until they try it out. I also look at Islam in general and I have to admit, y'know, because it's factual, that while Sharia is there, nested within Islam, not all Muslims want to live under Sharia. So yeah, it's certainly one of those "grotesqueries" that extremists can manipulate to their advantage (a million examples of that being given in the documentary; one of the more profound ones to me being the English convert who embraced Sharia because it prohibits drugs, the same one's that led to his sister's overdose at 18 years of age), but I also know that it's pretty much harmless in it's recessive form.

The final thing I'm trying to say is that grotesqueries or no, extremists will find a way. Build a better mouse trap and they build a better mouse. No matter how many grotesqueries you remove from the script, they will use something. Also, the bar that separates them from the moderates is not fixed. That which constitutes an extremist is always changing. Because of all of this (and more) we will never rid ourselves of extremists. The only thing we can do it make it harder for them to look credible. If getting rid of Sharia all together does that, then I'm all for it. There's no guarantee though. But even that being said, even if we cut out every last grotesquery in the Qur'an, or the Qur'an itself, or Islam itself, that will not eliminate extremists. Nothing will. Make their job harder, likely (although anything could happen, for example, there could be blow back from the act of removing it), but eliminate them? No it will not.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

You seem to be lumping together 'extremists' and 'religious fundamentalists'. I am not, nor do I find it useful to do so.

I put the 'poisonous' label on the Bible and Qur'an precisely for their grotesqueries. Without them, there could be no dangerous religious fundamentalists. There would be no edicts to kill the infidel, or dehumanize women with the approval of God/Allah. The religious justification is a powerful one, possibly more powerful - and certainly less rational - than a political one.

Without those books and the fundamentalism they generate or support, there is a class of violence that would not, could not, exist.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-09-2012, 04:34 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
Hey, Chas.

Oh. Well then there's the disconnect right there Smile

All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. Similarly, all religious fundamentalists are extremists but not all extremists are religious fundamentalists.

Quote:I put the 'poisonous' label on the Bible and Qur'an precisely for their grotesqueries.

Well, yeah, I got that much. I just wasn't willing to make the same value judgement as you.

Quote:Without them, there could be no dangerous religious fundamentalists.

I suppose that's true by definition. Kind of like, there are no single bachelors.

Quote:There would be no edicts to kill the infidel, or dehumanize women with the approval of God/Allah.

I suppose that's true. But what I'm saying is that there will never be no culture. All cultures, religious, secular or miscellaneous, have extremists. And all extremists are gonna do some pretty whack shit.

Quote:The religious justification is a powerful one, possibly more powerful - and certainly less rational - than a political one.

I accept that you believe that, but without some data to support it, it doesn't go past being a belief.

Quote:Without those books and the fundamentalism they generate or support, there is a class of violence that would not, could not, exist.

As a black man, I have to report, with a heavy heart, that that is horse pucky Sad

We will never be without extremists. They are an unfortunate feature of culture. They aren't always hyper violent, but they're always there. Also, the degree of their violence is not the result of their beliefs alone. There are a number of other factors involved in that system, including, but not exhaustively: economic crisis, scarcity, encroachment, population, birth rate, militarisation, military power, deprivation, oppression, geopolitical situation, historical context...

As I've been saying (accepting that we've now discovered this extremist/religious fundamentalist disconnect) the goal is not to eliminate extremists because that goal is untenable. The goal is minimising their credibility and ability to recruit/grow their power base. If chucking the Qur'an does that, then I'm all for it. But we won't know how effective it will be until we try. It may very well backfire.

OK, onto this disconnect.

I view them all as extremists because there is a single cultural group to which they are all members but the extremists/fundamentalists represent the extreme segment of that group, not a group in and of themselves. For example, the Tea Party are extremist Republicans, not their own entity in and of themselves. The IRA was the extreme reaction to English occupation. The FLQ was the extreme section of the Quebec separatist movement. Biblical literalists are an extreme version of Christians. The Islamists in the documentary were extremist Muslims, not their own cultural group independent of the mother group.

So what do you feel is the difference between and extremist and a religious fundamentalist?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-09-2012, 04:51 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
(16-09-2012 04:34 PM)Ghost Wrote:  So what do you feel is the difference between and extremist and a religious fundamentalist?

Divine blessing, permission, direction.

This is the powerful, completely irrational, root of the problem. This makes them qualitatively different from other extremists.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-09-2012, 04:54 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
Hey Ghost is this you?




Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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16-09-2012, 04:54 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
(16-09-2012 04:34 PM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:The religious justification is a powerful one, possibly more powerful - and certainly less rational - than a political one.

I accept that you believe that, but without some data to support it, it doesn't go past being a belief.

Which part requires data? That religious beliefs are irrational and political ones are not?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-09-2012, 04:55 PM
RE: My Brother the Islamist
Hey, Chas.

Holding their breath and swimming underwater makes dolphins qualitatively different than cows, but they're both mammals Cool

At any rate, we could go round and round I am sure for some time arguing about what makes an extremist and what makes a fundamentalist, but at least we now know that we're operating with different definitions.

I'd actually like to hear more about this qualitative difference because I don't feel that I fully grasp your distinction neither do I feel that I can apply your model practically as of yet.

ON EDIT: The idea that one is more powerful than the other. That's demonstrable.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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