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Honour Killings in the West
willie
derF, I have just re read your posts in this thread and will put my hands up and admit I may have presumed too much on your position. However, I am not clear now what it is you are arguing. Your first post, the one I overly focused on said...

derF wrote:
I am still of the opinion that Islam is a backwards and violent religion in it's own right without having to make it seem like just a lunatic fringe of fundamentalists (aka terrorists) are solely to blame for all the violence and death.


Yet later you say...

derF wrote:
If those leaders hide behind their religion to perpetrate or allow violence and crime then the religion becomes complicit in the outcome. I know you think otherwise. I don't. They are in effect hijacking the religion for their own ends. Look at it in any light you care to but religion is still playing a role. Religion and the religious are not the same thing. Some who describe themselves as religious use the religion as a spiritual guide others as a tool for material gain.
This seems to say that some people use religion for bad things, not that religion itself is nessesarilly bad. Which I would agree with.

I'm not trying to trip you up, I'm trying to find middle ground.

There is a subtle difference in making the point that islam has been used to justify aberrant acts and using aberrant acts to justify a point on islam.

I'm genuinely sorry you don't care to debate with me. I do try to avoid emotions in debate, which I can see may come across as entrenched. I feel emotions too often get in the way of reason. But it is a fine balance. Cool
 
willie
cynic wrote:
1. No True Scientist argues nurture over nature anymore, but honor killings occur in certain cultures, not across the entire spectrum of human society.

Men do kill women across the entire spectrum of human society. Only in muslim cultures do we call it honour killing.

cynic wrote:
2. Honor killings are a product of Abab culture (not the Muslim religion), yet also occur with great frequency among Indian Muslims.

As you go on to say (I think), culture is everything it contains including the religion. The point is religion per se is not the cause --as the original post in this thread suggests-- Hence Indian muslims kill women as well as Arab muslims (with the label of honour killing) and as well as the rest of us kill women (called acts of passion, perhaps) Etc. Etc.

cynic wrote:
Above an beyond the tortured and incompatible thoughts in points 1 and 2, why are we arbitrarily separating "culture" and "religion"? Both are "culture". Obviously there's a complex threshold interaction at work, where specific levels of certain cultural aspects are required to produce the behavior. That we can tease some of those aspects out and give them a name doesn't exonerate any of them.

I don't think anyone is separating or exonerating, apart from the original post from Neil that separates religion as a cause. Given that he doesn't feel he needs to defend his opinions, we can only guess whether that is what he means.

It seems to me the argument is, in the current climate where extreme theism is countered by extreme atheism, whether moderate views can be heard.

"No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means." -- George Bernard Shaw
Very true. But also... No atheist believes that the Bible means what it says. Yet some atheists are convinced that it says what he means.
 
Cynic
willie wrote:Does anyone agree theists can not be considered moderate simply because they are theist?


I'm not even sure what the statement means. By definition, a theist believes in a god. There's no room for gray in that, except to say that many people don't really understand what they believe. But what happens from there varies hugely. As I understand things, the whole concept of "all theists are extemists" seems to patently false that I suspect I don't know what you're talking about at all.


willie wrote:Does anyone dispute that religion is a neutral vessel?


Religion is only neutral if you stack all your definitions so that it must be. Because religion is culture too, you can't really do that honestly. This topic has been poisoned by this inane need people have to equate fairness with equal merit. To make a blanet statement that "religion is a neutral vessel" is to make a blanket statement that all religions are equally neutral. And to make that statement, we take neutrality to mean that religion has no influence on behavior, which divorces it from the definining aspect of culture.

That religion has influence on behavior is a given. Can anyone dispute people within the same culture but of differing religions behave differently? Yes, we religion -- as well as culture in general can be seen as an enabler of people's inborn inclinations, but once you get past the genetics of it, you're back to culture. Whether on a family, workplace, local, national, or even global level, it's culture that causes trends, because genetically, individuals are more or less even across the board until you add in culture, of which religion is a component.

What makes it a large component, IMO, and what makes religions distinct and unequal from each other is the extent to which they can reinforce themselves. Back when Christianty was worse than it is today, it none-too-coincidentally was also much more self-reenforcing. The trouble in Arab and Indian worlds (to name a few) is much the same. Reenforcibility is a nontrivial part of the function that makes shit like honor killings work.

Again, it comes back to honesty, which has nothing to do with what we'd like to be true.
 
Cynic
willie wrote:
Men do kill women across the entire spectrum of human society. Only in muslim cultures do we call it honour killing.


willie wrote:
The point is religion per se is not the cause --as the original post in this thread suggests-- Hence Indian muslims kill women as well as Arab muslims (with the label of honour killing) and as well as the rest of us kill women (called acts of passion, perhaps) Etc. Etc.


It's a question on which women and why. Without that focus, aren't we just conceding defeat and apathy? We might ask ourselves -- why women? Why aren't we focused on woman killing men for whatever reason? Again, that comes down to culture. Culture evolves in response to stimuli, just like anything else.

willie wrote:
I don't think anyone is separating or exonerating, apart from the original post from Neil that separates religion as a cause.


You see considerably less bias against women in cultures where the notion that women are inferior or below status of men isn't pushed so hard. Many would argue that the bias against women in religion comes from the bias against women in the predominant culture that spawned it. And they're right. Others would argue that bias against women in modern society comes from the bias against women in religion. And they're right.

While religion is culture, one of the things that makes it stand apart is it's inherent need to stagnate culture so that it can continue to propegate. It must reenforce itself and whatever other aspects of culture that might diminish it -- else it wouldn't exist. Religion, like the rest of culture, evolves with the times, but only begrudgingly. When women want the right to be treated and seen as comeplete and uncontested equals, it's religion that people turn to for justification. It's not "well, no, 'cause that's just the way it is", it's "no, because the bible tells me so -- and that's just the way it is".

So can we blame religion? Of course we can. While the predominant culture can be anti-woman just as easily as anti-man, it's religion that resists change. Religion isn't this abstract thing that can just be layered on top of whatever culture happens to be there. It's attached like a lamprey, a parasite, both destructive and absolutely dependent on its prey to exist.

To exclude religion from blame is like blaming the lung cancer of 90% of chain smokers on their genes and giving the smoking a pass, just because it doesn't always do that.

willie wrote:
It seems to me the argument is, in the current climate where extreme theism is countered by extreme atheism, whether moderate views can be heard.


In the current climate, I doubt a moderate view would be recognized. In the current climate, a man declaring that a light can only be on or off would be labeled an extremist, even though his view on that is compelely justified and he has no honest way of looking at it. If the man were more englightened, people would insist, he'd recognize that electricity is on or off, and can in fact be halfway on, and that the reality of light or dark is mediated by the integrity of the circuit, the bulb, and that bulb's requirements and status.

At the bottom of all this, I think people need to recognize that the Christianity of today is not the same Christianity of the dark ages, just as the cultures of today are not the same as in the dark ages. There isn't just this amorphous lump called "Christianity" whose expression is entirely based upon that culture that stumbles upon it. And more so, people need to recognize that this applies to Islam as well, and it it happens to currently resemble the dark ages more than the modern one, that's a problem with both the culture that underlies it and the current version of the reilgion itself.

Balanced does not equal fair.
 
JDHURF
Cynic wrote: No True Scientist argues nurture over nature anymore, but honor killings occur in certain cultures, not across the entire spectrum of human society.


Youíve confused the concept. There used to be a heated debate about nature versus nurture, but that argument no longer rages because it has been so very clearly established that it is a mixture of the two; epigenetic theory reigns supreme.
It is equally true that with specific areas the effect of the environment upon development outweighs the effect of innate attributes and vice versa, but there is no debate about the larger general dispute about nature versus nurture.

Honor killingís occur in many various cultures, yet occur for specific reasons that are directly related to the specific culture.

Cynic wrote: Honor killings are a product of Abab culture (not the Muslim religion), yet also occur with great frequency among Indian Muslims.


The honor killings that occur within Arab culture stem from the cultural fact that Arab culture traces lineage along the motherís line. If thereís any ďhanky pankyĒ as Atran phrased it, the entire line has been corrupted and these lines are taken very seriously. Much of this has been imputed into Islam. Just as various geographically specific cultural practices and beliefs were imputed into various forms of Christianity and so forth.

Cynic wrote: Above an beyond the tortured and incompatible thoughts in points 1 and 2


There is absolutely nothing incompatible in the two premises, but for the second part of premise one which you invented.
[img]http://www.atheists.org/images/headerLogo.png[/img] is not a valid Image.
 
Cynic
Unless you're suggesting that behavioral practices between regions of the world can be primarily attributed to differences in genes and not culture, we should just agree that it is nurture moreso than nature that causes honor killings. (No one ever suggested that it wasn't a mix.) All genes being equal, it's environment that matters.

To what do you ascribe honor killings in India?
 
seeker
willie wrote:

Does anyone agree theists can not be considered moderate simply because they are theist?

This really comes from Sam Harris notion that moderate theists enable more rabid theistic elements by their tacit acceptance of religious principals they may be unaware of or rationalize away. Unfortunately its an easy formulation to mis-state.

I agree with Sam Harris' notion but I wouldn't say that theists can't be moderate
 
JDHURF
Cynic wrote:To what do you ascribe honor killings in India?


Same concept:

Most honor killings occur in countries where the concept of women as a vessel of the family reputation predominates, said Marsha Freemen, director of International Women's Rights Action Watch at the Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.


http://news.natio...lling.html
Edited by JDHURF on 11/21/2008 21:16
[img]http://www.atheists.org/images/headerLogo.png[/img] is not a valid Image.
 
derF
Willie wrote: derF, I have just re read your posts in this thread and will put my hands up and admit I may have presumed too much on your position. However, I am not clear now what it is you are arguing. Your first post, the one I overly focused on said..There is a subtle difference in making the point that islam has been used to justify aberrant acts and using aberrant acts to justify a point on islam.

I'm genuinely sorry you don't care to debate with me. I do try to avoid emotions in debate, which I can see may come across as entrenched. I feel emotions too often get in the way of reason. But it is a fine balance.


I am NOT arguing, I am debating. I am looking for others opinions and trying to arrive at a conclusion that I feel is balanced.

Good to see that this thread has refocused on the original thread title. Honor Killings. As these threads sometimes do, they get sidetracked and misinterpreted and redirected. Over the course of this thread I have heard defense (ok not defense but rationalization) of Honor Killings with such ideas as, "There is murder of females in all societies." And that is true. Women are murdered by males all too often for any manner of reasons. But the thread topic is Honor Killings.

The thread has pointed out that many religions have shown tendencies toward violence. In this case, specifically toward women. Granted. But the thread is about Honor Killings.

It is argued that religion is not to blame and to some extent I would give some ground in that direction. But, I look at it differently than many of it's defenders. (Look I know you are not defending Honor Killings you are just pointing out your opinion that religion is not to blame for it.) But I look at it from another angle.

I think of Religion (in this context) as a firearm. No firearm ever killed a person all by itself. It needed to be armed, aimed and triggered. Religion acts like a firearm in the right hands. Although religion itself did not murder these innocent women, some of whom did nothing more wrong than to be unable to overpower their male rapist, it makes it easier for the assassin to commit his atrocity with relative impunity. Nearly all of these honor killings go unpunished because the leaders where the killing was committed do nothing to halt it. Islam = Rulers = complicity.

I am endlessly amused to find that I am defending myself over my supposed attacks on religion, when in truth, my only intent was to defend women. Go figure.
Edited by derF on 11/22/2008 02:42
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
seeker
derF - The edit you made in quoting willie threw me a bit. Aren't the early statements you made about Islam in particular part of the reason for the turn this thread took?

Your analogy of religion as a firearm is not a bad one but religion isn't the only firearm. The tools religion makes available, ie demonization, bigotry etc, those tools that make it like a firearm, are all available for anyone to use. Its more obvious when we talk about something like honor killings because we can see the specific application of those tools in a seemingly religious context.

When you say something like:

derF wrote:
I am still of the opinion that Islam is a backwards and violent religion in it's own right without having to make it seem like just a lunatic fringe of fundamentalists (aka terrorists) are solely to blame for all the violence and death.


you are basically using the same kinds of tools by painting all Muslims as violent, backwards etc. You are basically trying to 'defend women' by attacking an entire society, moreover singling out one society when many, including our own, are culpable.

What If I suggested that taking women from third world countries and forcing them into prostitution was bad and that, because the US does little about it that it means all people in the US are morally culpable and thus morally bankrupt? Is that fair to you or others here in the US? Is it even fair to our government?
 
JDHURF
derF wrote:
I am endlessly amused to find that I am defending myself over my supposed attacks on religion, when in truth, my only intent was to defend women. Go figure.


I don't see the humor when such comments as the following are what, for me personally, initiated the dispute in the first instance:

derF wrote:
One could argue that the Muslims are continuing their struggle to rule the world but are just using a far more subtle tactic.


It's disingenuous for you to argue that you only wrote about defending women when you intertwined your posts with vulgar generalizations such as the one above. What's further disingenuous is that - although, admittedly, I haven't read the entire thread - no one so far as I can tell ever defended the heinous practice of honor killing.
Edited by JDHURF on 11/22/2008 15:35
[img]http://www.atheists.org/images/headerLogo.png[/img] is not a valid Image.
 
derF
JDHURF wrote:
derF wrote:
I am endlessly amused to find that I am defending myself over my supposed attacks on religion, when in truth, my only intent was to defend women. Go figure.


I don't see the humor when such comments as the following are what, for me personally, initiated the dispute in the first instance:

derF wrote:
One could argue that the Muslims are continuing their struggle to rule the world but are just using a far more subtle tactic.


It's disingenuous for you to argue that you only wrote about defending women when you intertwined your posts with vulgar generalizations such as the one above. What's further disingenuous is that - although, admittedly, I haven't read the entire thread - no one so far as I can tell ever defended the heinous practice of honor killing.


JDHURF you may be a lot of things, and well educated and well spoken would be included in the list. But you are just a lousy judge of character. You have actually convinced yourself that I am hateful and bigoted toward the Muslim people. You and Willie seem to have difficulty separating debate from argument. With me it is just throwing out different ideas to consider but with you guys it is a point of contention, an argument. JD you too have convinced yourself that your conclusions are incontrovertible and that renders every thread you involve yourself in into an argument. I sometimes find myself unsure which end of the spectrum you inhabit. Left wing? Sometimes. Right wing? Occasionally. Anywhere near the center? I don't think so.
Edited by derF on 11/23/2008 02:42
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
JDHURF
derF wrote: JDHURF you may be a lot of things, and well educated and well spoken would be included in the list. But you are just a lousy judge of character. You have actually convinced yourself that I am hateful and bigoted toward the Muslim people.


Thanks for the kind words, but I wasnít passing judgment on your character. I explicitly said on the first page of this thread that ďyouíre alright by meĒ and that I only had a problem with some of your comments, not you as a person.
I believe that you just take every criticism of any of your posts as a personal attack, but thatís just not the case.

derF wrote: You and Willie seem to have difficulty separating debate from argument. With me it is just throwing out different ideas to consider but with you guys it is a point of contention, an argument.


This is not about discerning debate from argument (not that thereís a serious difference here that negates the comments you posted), itís about posting comments and then pretending that either you didnít or that you donít agree with them, although you wonít admit so outright.

derF wrote: I sometimes find myself unsure which end of the spectrum you inhabit. Left wing? Sometimes. Right wing. occasionally. Anywhere near the center? I don't think so.


You have to call me a radical to divert from ever addressing your comments that I have repeatedly disputed but that you wonít even acknowledge?

How about this? All I have ever disputed with you here, and I didnít call you any names (go back and actually read my posts, I explicitly said that youíre alright with me), was your comment about Muslims wanting to rule the Earth.
If you were just throwing it out there for the hell of it, as odd as that would be in my view, just for debate or whatever, and donít actually agree with it, just say so. If you do agree with it, defend it. Either way, you still havenít addressed that which was being disputed in the first place:

derF wrote: One could argue that the Muslims are continuing their struggle to rule the world but are just using a far more subtle tactic.


What was that all about?
[img]http://www.atheists.org/images/headerLogo.png[/img] is not a valid Image.
 
derF
JDHURF wrote:
derF wrote: JDHURF you may be a lot of things, and well educated and well spoken would be included in the list. But you are just a lousy judge of character. You have actually convinced yourself that I am hateful and bigoted toward the Muslim people.


Thanks for the kind words, but I wasnít passing judgment on your character. I explicitly said on the first page of this thread that ďyouíre alright by meĒ and that I only had a problem with some of your comments, not you as a person.
I believe that you just take every criticism of any of your posts as a personal attack, but thatís just not the case.

derF wrote: You and Willie seem to have difficulty separating debate from argument. With me it is just throwing out different ideas to consider but with you guys it is a point of contention, an argument.


This is not about discerning debate from argument (not that thereís a serious difference here that negates the comments you posted), itís about posting comments and then pretending that either you didnít or that you donít agree with them, although you wonít admit so outright.

derF wrote: I sometimes find myself unsure which end of the spectrum you inhabit. Left wing? Sometimes. Right wing. occasionally. Anywhere near the center? I don't think so.


You have to call me a radical to divert from ever addressing your comments that I have repeatedly disputed but that you wonít even acknowledge?

How about this? All I have ever disputed with you here, and I didnít call you any names (go back and actually read my posts, I explicitly said that youíre alright with me), was your comment about Muslims wanting to rule the Earth.
If you were just throwing it out there for the hell of it, as odd as that would be in my view, just for debate or whatever, and donít actually agree with it, just say so. If you do agree with it, defend it. Either way, you still havenít addressed that which was being disputed in the first place:

derF wrote: One could argue that the Muslims are continuing their struggle to rule the world but are just using a far more subtle tactic.


What was that all about?


Oops sorry don't know what happened there. One could argue that the Muslims are continuing their struggle to rule the world but are just using a far more subtle tactic. Does that mean all of them? No. Does that mean some of them? Yes. I am sure there are some who see an opportunity for themselves in that eventuality. Are they real Muslims or are they just using Islam as a front to further their own means? I fail to see how that statement seems so incendiary to you. In truth one could argue any point one would care to. When I took debate in school it was common practice to take turns supporting both sides of the debate. Did that mean we agreed with it? No. It was just hoped that new ideas and talking points would arise.
Edited by derF on 11/23/2008 22:25
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
JDHURF
Either you forgot to paste your response or you are still hoping that you don't have to take responsibility for your own posts.
[img]http://www.atheists.org/images/headerLogo.png[/img] is not a valid Image.
 
willie
cynic wrote:
As I understand things, the whole concept of "all theists are extemists" seems to patently false that I suspect I don't know what you're talking about at all.
I'm talking about the increasingly popular, often subconscious, opinion that all theists are extremists being patently false.

cynic wrote:
It's a question on which women and why. Without that focus, aren't we just conceding defeat and apathy? We might ask ourselves -- why women? Why aren't we focused on woman killing men for whatever reason? Again, that comes down to culture. Culture evolves in response to stimuli, just like anything else.
That is a very good point, and the reason I made a post about context. The OP in this thread (with the attached baggage of Neil's previous statements) highlights more aberrant acts of religion and states how society is 'reluctant to act' due to political correctness and fear of religion. My argument, at least, has been that it is not so simple as to blame religion per se and that efforts are being made to challenge these aberrant acts, without fear or political correctness (or apathy) --Hence my links to Government Acts and the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (for starters). Not a single person has commented on these. Why aren't we focused on woman killing men? I guess it's not as emotive. Why aren't we focused on those efforts to tackle aberrant act? Same I guess, not as emotive. C'est la vie.

However, my question is, why the focus on aberrant acts of religion to the point of denigrating common humanist values...

Although the other discussion is very interesting --if a little too close to philosophy for my comfort. Pfft

Which I very apologetically am going to reduce to one sentence.

cynic wrote:
To exclude religion from blame is like blaming the lung cancer of 90% of chain smokers on their genes and giving the smoking a pass, just because it doesn't always do that.
Not being one to exclude religion from it's share of blame I quite agree... and you have beautiful eyes.
 
willie
derF wrote:
I am NOT arguing, I am debating. I am looking for others opinions and trying to arrive at a conclusion that I feel is balanced.

Good to see that this thread has refocused on the original thread title. Honor Killings. As these threads sometimes do, they get sidetracked and misinterpreted and redirected.
If we are being pedantic, the thread is' honour killings in the west' and the OP is suggesting society is complicit by overlooking these crimes. Your argument --sorry debate-- has only touched on the worst practices of the worse religiously biased rulers.

Other than that I have no real quarrel (argument or debate Pfft ) with your penultimate post, other than to say, that by saying religion is 'not solely to blame' is not the same as saying 'it is not to blame'. The latter has never, as far as I can see, been an issue.

And you have an engaging smile.
Edited by willie on 11/24/2008 10:04
 
derF
Well, this thread panned out better than I anticipated. My apologies to all for my tardy, missing or disjointed replies. Been dealing with some health problems as of late that have really sapped me.

Willie Wrote: If we are being pedantic, the thread is' honour killings in the west' and the OP is suggesting society is complicit by overlooking these crimes. Your argument --sorry debate-- has only touched on the worst practices of the worse religiously biased rulers.

Other than that I have no real quarrel (argument or debate smiley ) with your penultimate post, other than to say, that by saying religion is 'not solely to blame' is not the same as saying 'it is not to blame'. The latter has never, as far as I can see, been an issue.

And you have an engaging smile.


Thanks for that Willie. I like a good debate and often come up with points that support both sides. There are not a lot of things that I am absolutely convinced that I am 100% correct on. One is that we are god free and entirely on our own. But that has nothing to do with mercy killings.

Seeker Wrote:

When you say something like:
derF wrote:I am still of the opinion that Islam is a backwards and violent religion in it's own right without having to make it seem like just a lunatic fringe of fundamentalists (aka terrorists) are solely to blame for all the violence and death.



you are basically using the same kinds of tools by painting all Muslims as violent, backwards etc. You are basically trying to 'defend women' by attacking an entire society, moreover singling out one society when many, including our own, are culpable.

What If I suggested that taking women from third world countries and forcing them into prostitution was bad and that, because the US does little about it that it means all people in the US are morally culpable and thus morally bankrupt? Is that fair to you or others here in the US? Is it even fair to our government?


While I don't agree with your conclusion of my post I can see how you would come up with it. Let me put it this way. Christian and Jewish practitioners come from more well to do societies and Muslim countries are mostly poor and third world. It is easier to fill the mind of a has not with hatred and violence than it is to convince someone well off that they should engage in some sort of violence to improve their lot.
Edited by derF on 11/25/2008 01:10
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
catman
derF: I'd say that your concluding paragraph above contains a couple of huge generalizations. I wouldn't say that Israel is all that much more 'enlightened' than some Muslim countries. Maybe it depends on what you mean by 'enlightened'.

Many of the 'third world countries' seem to have a big chunk of the filthy lucre these days. Have you seen Dubai lately? Great Mother of Pearl!
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
JDHURF
derF wrote: I fail to see how that statement seems so incendiary to you.


Obviously. Try interchanging Muslims with Jews and then tell me you donít see the vulgarity.
Edited by JDHURF on 11/25/2008 03:42
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