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America is inherently violent
JDHURF
JohnH wrote:
JDHURF, In fact I am probably the only other person on this board who understands that the state is violence and agrees with you. I do not agree that around 0.1% of the American population demonstrating against the current war proves much of anything.


We agree on the subject of states, but you should review some of the extensive scientific polling data on the subject of the view of the population (a strong majority of which is peaceful, anti-war and so on).
[img]http://www.atheists.org/images/headerLogo.png[/img] is not a valid Image.
 
catman
JohnH: No problem. By the way, I have read a thick tome about the history of the IWW called We Shall Be All by Dubofsky. It was a very interesting read. I've long been fascinated by the "Wobblies".

Jack London wrote a couple of very interesting books around that time, The Iron Heel and The People of the Abyss, which show the horrors of the period rather well. Some things never change much for those on the bottom.

Regarding WW1, the Treaty of Versailles was patently unfair. Contrary to popular opinion, it wasn't all Germany's fault; it was a victim of the interlocking alliances as much as anyone else. It's too bad Austria-Hungary wasn't still around to blame. The reparations would have extended to 1984 had they been kept on their original schedule. WW2 was a continuation of WW1 IMO. The Weimar Republic had little chance of success, especially after the Depression hit.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Sugarfree
John: lol Would you expect anyone to argue with that? It is obviously not that simple. But even though Mao and Stalin were notorious killers there are many more examples of Christian mass murderers. Hitler is commonly seen as an atheist as well, this is a stupid misconception, he was a christian, i learnt that in history when i was 14 thats how simple that bit of knowledge is. For this reason im not even convinced that Mao and Stalin were atheists, at least not true atheists, i suspect they used atheism as an excuse to remove the influence of religion from people's lives.
As for aggressive mammals, i dont know so much about them, but i dont see why they would fight for territory but restrain themselves from killing each other. I'll look into it if i remember to! Perhaps every group/state/religion can be made to look inherently violent simply because they are.. Just a thought.


*edited due to technical difficulties
Edited by Sugarfree on 12/01/2008 17:29
 
JohnH
I am no longer mystified.

I made the original post in this thread to provoke thought on the readiness of some to equate Islam with violence and leave it that simply. It obviously did not work.

Late at night and ready for bed I realized why.

America is us, not all of us obviously but enough us to be understandable. Their violence is directed to others than us therefore is acceptable and understandable.

Islam is the other, their violence may be directed toward us and therefore must be debated with great vigor.

I am afraid I find this conclusion difficult and shameful.
Edited by JohnH on 12/02/2008 03:59
 
Cynic
Empathy is something we have for those in our MonkeySphere. Nothing new there.
 
seeker
JohnH wrote:
I am no longer mystified.

I made the original post in this thread to provoke thought on the readiness of some to equate Islam with violence and leave it that simply. It obviously did not work.

Late at night and ready for bed I realized why.

America is us, not all of us obviously but enough us to be understandable. Their violence is directed to others than us therefore is acceptable and understandable.

Islam is the other, their violence may be directed toward us and therefore must be debated with great vigor.

I am afraid I find this conclusion difficult and shameful.


John, its just human nature to take our own point of view as valid while discounting others.
 
cheshiredragon
seeker wrote:
JohnH wrote:
I am no longer mystified.

I made the original post in this thread to provoke thought on the readiness of some to equate Islam with violence and leave it that simply. It obviously did not work.

Late at night and ready for bed I realized why.

America is us, not all of us obviously but enough us to be understandable. Their violence is directed to others than us therefore is acceptable and understandable.

Islam is the other, their violence may be directed toward us and therefore must be debated with great vigor.

I am afraid I find this conclusion difficult and shameful.


John, its just human nature to take our own point of view as valid while discounting others.


Which we have clearly seen on a few threads lately. It is really disturbing to see the intelligent few bitching over who's opinion is better than the other.
That's right, I said it...
 
Cynic
... when we should all naturally just accept that the other's opinion is more valid. We're not seeing people fight over whose opinion is better, IMO, CD.

I think what we're seeing is far more sad that that. We're seeing potentially collaporative and progressive discussions that could easily lead to a complete and working theory of a complex issue turned into bitter pettiness because some of us have had the audacity to fail to argue the other's side for them. How many discussions have eventually boiled down to petty spats over whether one or the other party 100% excludes the other's point of view as having any merit? And in retrospect, how many of those discussion lead that way because one or the other parties got bent out of shape because their own point of view wasn't also mentioned in the explaination of the others? How many discussions have been immediately derailed by someone breaking out their full-bore hyperbole machine without the slightest provocation?

That's what's pathetic, right there. Someone suggests an idea and suddenly, merely because it didn't come pre-packaged with everyone else's idea built into it, suddenly it's "outrageously preposterous". Could have said, "hey, how about this aspect? Let's see how it relates!" But no, the whole thing is outrageouly preposterous and the whole discussion devolves into an arm-wrestling match just to get our perspective seen as valid at all, let alone a part of the puzzle.

And it happens EVERY FUCKING TIME, I swear.

This whole "Islam is Evil" versus "we all brought this upon ourselves and Islam is peaceful" battle is being waged all over the internet right now. (I hope no one was under the illusion that they were being original.) Just the other day a well-respected member of the American Atheists NoGodBlog comment crew (can't really call it a forum) quit in disgust because the Blog owner (Dave "I don't know how I get all these feet in my mouth" Silverman) said something disparaging about Islamic terrorists in Mumbai without also mentioning how evil Jews were too in close enough proximity.

Dave Silverman was raised Jewish -- give him a fucking break if we isn't as rabidly anti-semetic as he is disgusted with rampant senseless killing. But it all totally misses the point. It wasn't an appeal to show compassion to the plight of the Muslims. It was an appeal to also flame the fans everywhere out of some need for a proper tit-for-tat rule following. The answer is somewhere in the middle, but if you try to start in the middle, you get flamed on all sides.
Edited by Cynic on 12/02/2008 16:46
 
Sugarfree
Cynic, a little healthy banter is just what some people need Wink I too wish that we could all compromise and find some middle ground to agree on but you know as well as anyone this will never happen. Im surprised to hear you say this stuff Cynic. Its not pathetic, its just who we are, and if it happened every time philosophy wouldnt have progressed as far as it has. Some of us are very passionate about things, and as a result we act irrationaly, thats part of human nature. Bentham i think, or.. er, someone like that - an economist i think he was - would agree.
 
catman
I wish that more of us could simply agree to disagree, not taking it so personally. There have been entirely too many people becoming bent out of shape with outrage and either flaming or quitting. Sure, some opinions are more rationally founded than others. Get over it! Calling names or flouncing off proves nothing. Losing one's cool isn't the way to make a good case for whatever it is.
Edited by catman on 12/02/2008 19:04
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
cheshiredragon
I'll meet you -way on that Cynic. I went the simple answer route. You just detailed it more than I did. Like catman says, it is better to just let it go (onto credit for SF) after a good healthy banter. I have a enough shite to deal with on a daily basis that is right in front of me and directly affects me, than to argue with someone I barely know. Even though I have known MANY of you for the better part of uhhh almost 4yrs now; I have no plans to continue an argument with anyone here beyond a few posts. Good example is a thread that was here not too long ago. One member, not pointing fingers, is so hellbent on their idea that they think their opinion is right no matter what. Even when that person has no personal experience with the issue, never ran any of their own tests and doesn't even post research backing up their statements. I take things online with a grain of salt since I can easily separate myself from it. That is why I stayed out of the thread I speak of cause I knew exactly who was going to chime in and exactly what they were going to say. That is how predictable they are. If things get heated on a message board and members turn to idiots over the most simple things; I'll be gone in an instant
That's right, I said it...
 
Cynic
Sugarfree wrote:
Im surprised to hear you say this stuff Cynic. Its not pathetic, its just who we are, and if it happened every time philosophy wouldnt have progressed as far as it has. Some of us are very passionate about things, and as a result we act irrationaly, thats part of human nature.


I'm not convinced philosophy has ever gone anywhere.

We all have our reasons for entering discussions, but my reason is usually to hash things out and see if my current opinion is worth anything. Resistance isn't just good for that, it's essential. But there's resistance and then there's resistance.

It's not that I think compromise is particularly useful. There's a reason it has negative connotations as well, after all. Compromise is probably a poor choice of words. I mean if consensus is that two trains of thought are not mutually exclusive, then it seems obvious that the next step is to join forces and see how they work together. I'd expect anyone truly passionate about a subject to want to jum on that and ride it to conclusion, but somehow irrationality and ego always prevents it.
 
seeker
Its useless to get bent out of shape over disagreements, especially ones that occur on the internet.

One of the interesting things about the internet is that people forget about social convention. Arguments are taken well beyond where they would go in a face to face discussion. People tend to be less considerate because they don't have the visual and audio clues that they would have in a real discussion, words on a screen don't always give a clear idea of reactions. Sometimes people end up coming across a lot stronger than they mean to.

 
JohnH
I think we have danced around a truth/fact/probability without quite hitting it.

cynic has basically presented it without using the same words I would.

People are far too ready to reduce complex human behavior into simple causal relationships. X happened because of Y. No, it is responded, X happened because of Z. Both arguments probably have some validity but the proponents chose to argue that their point is primary. In the process real understanding of what might be going on is lost to both the proponents.

Sex is pleasurable. This fact has important and obvious benefits for the species. In what small percentage of human sexual interaction is procreation a consideration for the partners. Human interaction is complex. Try to understand that and try to consider it in any discussion of human interaction.

Edited three times due to poor english. Grammar nazi's please attack.
Edited by JohnH on 12/03/2008 06:10
 
Sugarfree
catman wrote:
I wish that more of us could simply agree to disagree, not taking it so personally. There have been entirely too many people becoming bent out of shape with outrage and either flaming or quitting. Sure, some opinions are more rationally founded than others. Get over it! Calling names or flouncing off proves nothing. Losing one's cool isn't the way to make a good case for whatever it is.

He who loses his temper, loses the argument. I cant remember who said that.. I suppose i did, just now Grin
 
Sugarfree
Cynic: In the thread i started about the arrogance of philosophers i discussed the Ontological argument of Thomas Aquinas and the subsequent arguments of Gaunillo (who i didnt mention come to think of it...), Descartes and Kant. If these arguments arnt evidence for progression within philosophy i dont know what are. Even though Kant and Descartes would never compromise with each other, the debate is now open for anyone to read into and choose a position, whether in line with one of them, or somewhere in between.
 
Cynic
If Descartes were an honest man, he never would have made it past the first meditation.
 
seeker
Hmmm, abuse on a philosophical level.
 
seeker
Cynic wrote:
... when we should all naturally just accept that the other's opinion is more valid. We're not seeing people fight over whose opinion is better, IMO, CD.


Why is it either/or? Can't we consider the possibility that both views are partially valid?

Cynic wrote:I think what we're seeing is far more sad that that. We're seeing potentially collaporative and progressive discussions that could easily lead to a complete and working theory of a complex issue turned into bitter pettiness because some of us have had the audacity to fail to argue the other's side for them. How many discussions have eventually boiled down to petty spats over whether one or the other party 100% excludes the other's point of view as having any merit? And in retrospect, how many of those discussion lead that way because one or the other parties got bent out of shape because their own point of view wasn't also mentioned in the explaination of the others? How many discussions have been immediately derailed by someone breaking out their full-bore hyperbole machine without the slightest provocation?


That's a pretty broad brush Cynic. I doubt you are saying everyone on this board acts that way. If there is/are some specific person(s) then let's be specific. They may not even be aware of how they are percieved.

Cynic wrote:That's what's pathetic, right there. Someone suggests an idea and suddenly, merely because it didn't come pre-packaged with everyone else's idea built into it, suddenly it's "outrageously preposterous". Could have said, "hey, how about this aspect? Let's see how it relates!" But no, the whole thing is outrageouly preposterous and the whole discussion devolves into an arm-wrestling match just to get our perspective seen as valid at all, let alone a part of the puzzle.

And it happens EVERY FUCKING TIME, I swear.


Again this is a rather broad brush.

Cynic wrote:This whole "Islam is Evil" versus "we all brought this upon ourselves and Islam is peaceful" battle is being waged all over the internet right now. (I hope no one was under the illusion that they were being original.) Just the other day a well-respected member of the American Atheists NoGodBlog comment crew (can't really call it a forum) quit in disgust because the Blog owner (Dave "I don't know how I get all these feet in my mouth" Silverman) said something disparaging about Islamic terrorists in Mumbai without also mentioning how evil Jews were too in close enough proximity.

Dave Silverman was raised Jewish -- give him a fucking break if we isn't as rabidly anti-semetic as he is disgusted with rampant senseless killing. But it all totally misses the point. It wasn't an appeal to show compassion to the plight of the Muslims. It was an appeal to also flame the fans everywhere out of some need for a proper tit-for-tat rule following. The answer is somewhere in the middle, but if you try to start in the middle, you get flamed on all sides.


I think its not very realistic to expect all people to be completely objective about this subject. Even we as rationalists are immersed in a culture that is bound to take sides in what is percieved and sold as a people reclaiming their rightful lands. A lot very rational people have a difficult time thinking about Israel as just another state whose past is probably grossly exaggerated if not an outright falsehood.

This isn't the old site though, we don't have to absolutly win every battle so that theists will go away. Sometimes you gain more by just letting the other guy rant and not buying into it than you do by trying to out-rhetoric them.
 
Cynic
seeker wrote:
Cynic wrote:
... when we should all naturally just accept that the other's opinion is more valid. We're not seeing people fight over whose opinion is better, IMO, CD.


Why is it either/or? Can't we consider the possibility that both views are partially valid?


After reading -- and responding to! -- my rant below about people not recognizing or acting on obvious cases of synergy, do you honestly not smell the sarcasm here?

That's a pretty broad brush Cynic. I doubt you are saying everyone on this board acts that way.


Then why bring it up? You doubt I was saying everyone, and as it turns out, I wasn't. No one ever means everyone, even when they say it.

This is exactly what I mean. Someone puts time and effort into trying to articulate a point and what they get in return is a superficial complaint at right angles to the obvious intention of the argument. Slippery slopes and strawmen are one thing, but sometimes I wonder if such an accusation would be assigning too much credit.


Again this is a rather broad brush.


Hey, I'm entited to my own hyperbole too. Cool

Here's the thing though. I didn't say everyone did it -- and obviously wouldn't have meant it if I had. I said it happens every time. There's a difference. It so happens it just happened again. It's like arguing with my wife, where every point is met with something that inevitably boils down to "your absolute statement has exceptions". People talk ill of herding cats, but at least they can be herded. And if you pull out a laser pointer, they'll damned well follow it too. Humans, you just end up burning the point into their retinas out of spite.

So I (try to) make some point about a trend I see and don't like and rather than talk about it, I'm immediately what I'm faced with is talk about the brush I'm using, which basically means "your absolute statement has exceptions". If I'd actually made an absolute statement, I'd be forced to agree, but...


I think its not very realistic to expect all people to be completely objective about this subject. Even we as rationalists are immersed in a culture that is bound to take sides in what is percieved and sold as a people reclaiming their rightful lands. A lot very rational people have a difficult time thinking about Israel as just another state whose past is probably grossly exaggerated if not an outright falsehood.


And again, at what point did I suggest it was realistic to expect all people to be objective? Never. "Cynic, your absolute statement has exceptions." Third base, woooooooo! "Everyone's" first assumption seems to be that they other person doesn't just have a differing opinion, but is in fact insane and incapable of flexible thinking, so obviously it's reasonable to assume the worst and respond accordingly.


This isn't the old site though, we don't have to absolutely win every battle so that theists will go away. Sometimes you gain more by just letting the other guy rant and not buying into it than you do by trying to out-rhetoric them.


But this isn't supposed to be tic-tac-toe, let alone global thermonuclear war. It's supposed to be chess -- at least! My stated goal is to learn. Do you see how "just letting people rant" doesn't accomplish that? Or how suggesting that an attempt to defend the legitimacy of a given point of view is necessarily tantamount to spewing rhetoric isn't insulting? Or, if we're on the subject of insulting, equating someone's observation as an old tyme racist pardigm that's too comfortable to allow to slip away, just because the view expressed doesn't also include a full list of solutions and a top 100 list of probable influential causes?

Anyway....

It's difficult to know what an objective opinion is sometimes. Like the legitamcy of the concepts of the "state" of Isreal or Palistine. Talk to enough people and you'll discover that neither ever existed there. Or they both did. Is it more objective to look back over the whole of known history and make some sort of determination from that? Or is it more objective to ignore all that as irrelevant and focus only on what is?
 
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