Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
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07-08-2017, 07:18 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(05-08-2017 08:36 PM)epronovost Wrote:  
(05-08-2017 06:30 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  This is a huge causal leap, the dots don't connect. This is not an excuse for violence or plotting violence, especially against innocent people, likely to be women and children, on an airplane or bus or whatever (some of whom may be Muslim!). I say "excuse" but I know you are not excusing the behavior of terrorists but I believe this is not even an explanation, at least not a rational one. Why don't illegal Mexican immigrants pull this stuff in America?

Its not a rational explanation because the root causes of violence and terrorism aren't very rational either. They are deeply emotional. What terrorist want to fight and kill isn't innocent people, it's the society, the politics and the beliefs of those people. They attack their ''true ennemies'' through normal people. Terrorists don't celebrate the death of their victims, they celebrate its negative impact on the society, the beliefs and the politics they wanted gone in the first place.

If we take the examples of Mexican in America, the minority of them who commit violence in an organised fashion do it through criminal gangs because they are the vehicles, the organisations, the ''communities'' that uses and perpetuate violence in their subculture. In Muslim communities, it's Radical-Islamist groups. In White communities it's neo-nazis and Sovereign Citizens. In Asian communities it's mafias and ultra-nationalist groups, etc. All these groups share the same function, they funnel and instrumentalise the desire for violence and confrontation of individuals and give it a greater purpose and meaning that makes it legitimate or even virtuous in the eyes of those who will perpetrate it.

I meant your explanation is not rational, not that terrorism doesn't have some irrational causes. And your elaboration muddies things even worse. Asian mafia? Mexican drug gangs?

You're making this too complicated. Any rational explanation of this issue must include primarily the fact that Islamic extremists sincerely believe that martyrdom is a virtue, that a pleasurable afterlife awaits those that please Allah, and that non-Muslims are heretics that God demands be subjugated or killed. You can add other causes to this primary cause- mistreatment or racism by the natives, economic displacement, the ill effect of, your words, "following the war in Afghanistan and, especially, the war in Iraq which injected a hefty dose of violence and trauma within Muslim communities and the diaspora of various countries now distabilised or at war" (? Okay, maybe that's in there too). The sizes of these various factors can be argued back and forth but the religious factor should come up fairly fast in these sorts of conversations.
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07-08-2017, 07:23 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(05-08-2017 09:17 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(05-08-2017 05:40 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I'll bite. Why is Australia having problems integrating Muslims into their society?

My point was that his sort of stereotyping is probably going to alienate them.

I kind of knew what you were getting at, I was wondering "to what degree?" To the degree that it explains the violence? All immigrants in world history, including those entering societies of similar ethnic and cultural background (Irish and German to the US) are going to experience alienation, xenophobia, racism, discrimination. I doubt if the Australians were super-nice and accommodating Islamic terrorists would be less inclined to plan attacks. They would be more inclined, smelling the weakness.
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07-08-2017, 08:00 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(07-08-2017 07:23 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  
(05-08-2017 09:17 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  My point was that his sort of stereotyping is probably going to alienate them.

I kind of knew what you were getting at, I was wondering "to what degree?" To the degree that it explains the violence? All immigrants in world history, including those entering societies of similar ethnic and cultural background (Irish and German to the US) are going to experience alienation, xenophobia, racism, discrimination. I doubt if the Australians were super-nice and accommodating Islamic terrorists would be less inclined to plan attacks.

Of course not, which is exactly why I didn't mount that argument. However, you seem to have missed my point that this sort of xenophobia plays exactly into the narrative the extremists in their homelands are shopping around. At some point, some of them are going to say to themselves, "You know, Abdullah was right. These fuckers just hate me because of what I am and not who I am."

If you're going to let someone stay the night in your house, it's best not to slap him before you go to sleep.

(07-08-2017 07:23 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  They would be more inclined, smelling the weakness.

According to whom? You?

It seems like you view them as predatory. I hope I'm wrong about that. I can speak from my own experience and say with confidence that Muslims, like any other large, aggregate grouping, run the gamut from beautiful souls to rotten cunts.
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07-08-2017, 08:46 PM (This post was last modified: 07-08-2017 08:54 PM by epronovost.)
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(07-08-2017 07:18 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I meant your explanation is not rational, not that terrorism doesn't have some irrational causes. And your elaboration muddies things even worse. Asian mafia? Mexican drug gangs?

You're making this too complicated. Any rational explanation of this issue must include primarily the fact that Islamic extremists sincerely believe that martyrdom is a virtue, that a pleasurable afterlife awaits those that please Allah, and that non-Muslims are heretics that God demands be subjugated or killed. You can add other causes to this primary cause- mistreatment or racism by the natives, economic displacement, the ill effect of, your words, "following the war in Afghanistan and, especially, the war in Iraq which injected a hefty dose of violence and trauma within Muslim communities and the diaspora of various countries now distabilised or at war" (? Okay, maybe that's in there too). The sizes of these various factors can be argued back and forth but the religious factor should come up fairly fast in these sorts of conversations.

According to psychiatrist working to reabilitate and de-indoctrinate terrorist, the answer is no, religion is mostly a cosmetic. Religious belief is what gives the group its cohesion and allow its member to assess and enforce loyalty within the group. Religion, in that case is extremely powerful because it comes with a vast array of ritual, beliefs and practices. It offers a nice narrative, but isn't the motor behind violence. People do't kill because they think they will go to heaven, people kill for very mundane and ''earthly'' reasons and justify and reassure themselves of the good of their action by convincing themselves that God is on hteir side and wants them to win. The causes, the motivations, behind terrorism are pretty much the same than behind any form of organised violence.

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/11/terrorism.aspx

http://www.vocativ.com/251306/psychology-terrorist/

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07-08-2017, 09:06 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(07-08-2017 08:00 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(07-08-2017 07:23 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I kind of knew what you were getting at, I was wondering "to what degree?" To the degree that it explains the violence? All immigrants in world history, including those entering societies of similar ethnic and cultural background (Irish and German to the US) are going to experience alienation, xenophobia, racism, discrimination. I doubt if the Australians were super-nice and accommodating Islamic terrorists would be less inclined to plan attacks.

Of course not, which is exactly why I didn't mount that argument.

Ok I apologize if that seemed insulting or patronizing to ask but I find it's better to get things out explicitly...there will be some people who literally believe stereotyping or other racist or bad behavior accounts for pretty much the full reason for terrorism, assigning little or no blame to the terrorists. Of course they had to blow up that plane, look how awful they were treated!

Quote: However, you seem to have missed my point that this sort of xenophobia plays exactly into the narrative the extremists in their homelands are shopping around. At some point, some of them are going to say to themselves, "You know, Abdullah was right. These fuckers just hate me because of what I am and not who I am."

If you're going to let someone stay the night in your house, it's best not to slap him before you go to sleep.

No I understood the point and agree, just was wondering, again, to what degree you were implying. The slapping better be pretty goddamned hard!

(07-08-2017 07:23 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  They would be more inclined, smelling the weakness.
Quote:According to whom? You?

I will walk that back a bit. I do believe that better, more welcoming treatment of refugees and immigrants would have the effect of creating resistance to the pull of radicalism. I should have been more specific, I do believe there are inams that are totally irredeemable assholes (who of course will never martyr their precious selves but want to manipulate others into doing so) that really do despise and want to wipe out the western style democracies, and your heads in the sand if you (not you, Thump, generic you) think they can be appeased by niceness.

Quote:It seems like you view them as predatory. I hope I'm wrong about that.

I don't know...I just made Junior Grand Wizard of my local chapter...and my robe fits so nice and really accentuates my shoulders...I don't know if I'm ready to give that up.
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07-08-2017, 09:38 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(07-08-2017 08:46 PM)epronovost Wrote:  According to psychiatrist working to reabilitate and de-indoctrinate terrorist, the answer is no, religion is mostly a cosmetic. Religious belief is what gives the group its cohesion and allow its member to assess and enforce loyalty within the group. Religion, in that case is extremely powerful because it comes with a vast array of ritual, beliefs and practices. It offers a nice narrative, but isn't the motor behind violence. People do't kill because they think they will go to heaven, people kill for very mundane and ''earthly'' reasons and justify and reassure themselves of the good of their action by convincing themselves that God is on hteir side and wants them to win. The causes, the motivations, behind terrorism are pretty much the same than behind any form of organised violence.

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2009/11/terrorism.aspx

http://www.vocativ.com/251306/psychology-terrorist/

If I'm a Catholic and I go to communion and eat the little cracker and drink the little juice is it safe to say religion had nothing to do with it? I was just...satisfying my need for in-group solidarity with ritualistic etc. etc.

Name any action that a person of any religion can do that you would describe as being done for religious reasons. You choose the religion and the action. Or is there no such thing?

Heading off to bed...won't be sleeping but will be satisfying my species' need for eyelid-descending temporary unconsciousness. (sorry I'm in full dickhead mode right now)
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07-08-2017, 10:15 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(07-08-2017 09:38 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  If I'm a Catholic and I go to communion and eat the little cracker and drink the little juice is it safe to say religion had nothing to do with it? I was just...satisfying my need for in-group solidarity with ritualistic etc. etc.

Name any action that a person of any religion can do that you would describe as being done for religious reasons. You choose the religion and the action. Or is there no such thing?

Heading off to bed...won't be sleeping but will be satisfying my species' need for eyelid-descending temporary unconsciousness. (sorry I'm in full dickhead mode right now)

In my opinion, there is, very broadly, two great types of religious people. There are the belief motivated religious people and the culturaly motivated group of people. basically, it's the difference between the priests, the theologians and the apologists vs the simple believers. Simple believers aren't religious because they believe in mythology. They believe because it gives them a group identity and rituals to reinforce it. In those circomstances, religion isn't only or mostly a belief, it's an identifier and a practice. Some, usually those exposed to heavy indoctrination or facing trauma, might shift to the other group.

Priests and especially apologists see religion as much more than a bunch of rituals, poorly defined morality and practices, but as an actual vehicle to a fundamental truth about the world we live in. To them religion is much more than an identifer and a practice, it's a path to knowledge and truth. They are the one's who firmly believe in the mythological claims and narrative and are motivated by it. To them God isn't just this fuzzy, ill defined, feel-good, nebulous, semi-present, superfriend. He is something very real, with very precise goals and desires.

Of course, the vast majority of religious people sit in the first category. They will ''Cherry Pick'' their belief and practice in religion to various extend, will respect the ritual, but won't formalise themselves to much with all of the mythology and might even outright reject some part of it (example: ''I am Christian, but I think it's perfectly OK to be LGBTQ and feminist'' or ''My God isn't a warmonger violent God, he is a God of peace and love''). For a Catholic of that type, the communion is nothing more than a social ritual. They might not even understand what's transubstantiation or absolutly don't care about it. For the Catholic priest or apologist, transubstantiation is extremely important as it's a fundamental way to commune with the Holy Spirit and thus perceive God.

Amongst you Islamist terrorists, it's the same thing. Most of them adopt the codes and the rituals of radical Islam as it gives them a sense of identity and self worth (a thing they lacked before), while others, almost systematically their leaders or completly indoctrinate self deluded veterans, are genuine believers who are truly motivated by religious belief.

How do you make the difference between the two? Beside asking them and getting to know them, I have absolutly no clue.

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08-08-2017, 12:41 AM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(07-08-2017 09:06 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  Ok I apologize if that seemed insulting or patronizing to ask but I find it's better to get things out explicitly...there will be some people who literally believe stereotyping or other racist or bad behavior accounts for pretty much the full reason for terrorism, assigning little or no blame to the terrorists. Of course they had to blow up that plane, look how awful they were treated!

I like nuance. I think that in most stories both sides have a voice. On this forum, given the rarity of Muslim voices, and with my experiences living five years in Muslim countries -- without a single kidnapping! -- I think I have a little to offer that way, egotistical as that might sound.

(07-08-2017 09:06 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  The slapping better be pretty goddamned hard!

... or the arms had better be held open honestly.

(07-08-2017 09:06 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I will walk that back a bit. I do believe that better, more welcoming treatment of refugees and immigrants would have the effect of creating resistance to the pull of radicalism. I should have been more specific, I do believe there are inams that are totally irredeemable assholes (who of course will never martyr their precious selves but want to manipulate others into doing so) that really do despise and want to wipe out the western style democracies, and your heads in the sand if you (not you, Thump, generic you) think they can be appeased by niceness.

Appreciated. Of course there are those who will never be mollified, but I'd be willing to bet they're in the extreme minority.

(07-08-2017 09:06 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I don't know...I just made Junior Grand Wizard of my local chapter...and my robe fits so nice and really accentuates my shoulders...I don't know if I'm ready to give that up.

I've got a couple of pinewood crosses soaked in creosote if you're interested.
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08-08-2017, 04:58 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(05-08-2017 01:18 AM)morondog Wrote:  So an Islamic extremist who goes nuts per the OP after years spent living in Australia, means that the entire Muslim population of Australia
a. bears collective guilt
b. must apologise.
Apologize, no. But they must be aware that their system of magical thinking has real world consequences; sometimes very negative consequences. Your hypothetical Islamic extremist didn't wake up one morning and invent Islam. That was done for him, and given to him by a host of others.

Quote:Sorry that makes zero sense. I don't feel guilty when some white guy shoots people in Joburg. I sure as fuck am not giving him tacit approval.
When did "white guy" become a religion?

Quote:Why the fuck suddenly is religion different?
Different from what? Reality?
Do I really have to answer that for you?

Quote:If I was Muslim I'd feel absolutely zero complicity or affinity for some crazy fuck using religion as an excuse to kill people. Why the fuck should I apologise for such a person? They are nothing to do with me.
And that's what most people seem to believe.

The fact that their professed belief in an invisible super-being who sometimes orders human beings to kill other human beings for supernatural reasons, not withstanding. Except it's the collective sum of their individual religious beliefs that perpetuate that ridiculous and dangerous system, whether or not they personally choose to act on those beliefs, in that way.

In 2003 my country (by accident of birth) invaded a sovereign nation on the flimsiest of excuses, woven together by a tapestry of lies. The result was a decade-long conflict that left somewhere between 100,000 and a half-million dead; another quarter to a half million injured, many permanently disabled; at least a half-million refugees; and a country in turmoil that lapsed into civil war. I didn't start that war; I didn't approve of that war; I didn't directly support that war in any way. Yet I bear some responsibility for it, because MY country's politicians told the lies that started the conflict; MY country prosecuted and maintained the conflict; and some of MY tax dollars went to fund it.

Yep, I feel guilty about the Iraq war, and that has motivated me to do what I can -- however little it may be -- to try to take steps to see that nothing like that can happen again. It's called "cleaning your own house".

And we were actually making some headway. But unfortunately, on January 20, 2017 the sewers seem to have backed up into the White House. Well, shit happens; we'll deal with it, somehow.

Quote:I do think there's somewhat of a feedback loop going on here. Muslims are treated with suspicion, fueling feelings that they are second class citizens, fueling extremism, fueling further suspicion.
No doubt that is true.

But I still see the underlying problem as religion itself.

And I am not singling out Muslims; I purposely included Christian examples as well. I'll give you another one: every adult Catholic bears some of the responsibility for the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, and the extensive Vatican cover up. Because without the millions of rank-and-file Catholics filling the pews, there would BE no Catholic Church; no Vatican; no priests. Those abusers didn't invent the institution of the Catholic Church; they just took advantage of inherent flaws in the existing system -- a system which again places more importance on supernatural approval than on real world issues.

It's a variant, really, on the old slogan, "what if they gave a war and nobody came?"
What if a child-abusing priest didn't have a Catholic Church to hide behind?
What if they gave a jihad, and there were no Muslims?

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08-08-2017, 05:16 PM
RE: Sydney Terrorist Airplane Plot: ISIS Bomb Attack Thwarted
(05-08-2017 02:44 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(04-08-2017 01:58 PM)Dr H Wrote:  When a Christian shoots a doctor and claims he did it based on Scripture, every Christian must share a little bit of the guilt for that act for lending their support to the mythological system which motivated the act: the system is validated by their participation in it.
I disagree. It is not fair to hold one Christian to account for another Christian's cherry-picking. You and I both know that Quakers and WBC can both found their sects on biblical verse. The same holds true with Islam as well, and any other religion, because when you have such an innately subjective thing as religious faith, every holy book is a Rorschach blot.

Let me be clear: my quarrel is not with any particular religion, but with religion itself.

Yes, you can cherry pick religious texts and found both benevolent and malevolent sects based on your pickings.
All that proves is that the pickings are rich and complex.

By the same token, you can find some incidental good in most egregious situations.
World War II ended the Great Depression, and resulted in an extended period of post war economic boom, that raised a lot of people out of poverty and established a middle class. The German Nazis created game preserves that may have ended up saving endangered species.

I don't see that this means that WWII was a good thing, or that we should be more tolerant of Nazis. There are other, less egregious ways to achieve similar ends. The same is true for whatever good religion has done. Religion served a purpose in the social evolution of humanity, but that purpose was done centuries ago; religion now works to our detriment far more than to our advantage. It is time to give it up.

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"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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