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America is inherently violent
Cynic
There's a reason I suggested that Descartes had a problem with his honesty, rather than just being out of his depth, is because of some of the other stuff he's done. He was obviously very smart and made genuine contributions to mathematics. Besides the dubious value of the Meditations, his work with dualism lead to some pretty absurd places, or place, actually -- the pituitary gland.

Descartes used to advise monarchies on these matters, and after explaining about dualism and how the material and spiritual aspects of the world and of ourselves (between the body and soul) were completely and unequivicolly separate from each other, he would then announce that there was in fact an interface, and it was in the pituitary gland.

Were he alive today, I imagine James Randi would make short work of him. But I've always gone back and forth on what I think he was really up to. Descartes and Gallileo were contemporaries. After Gallileo was arrested for his work, Descartes had to halt production of his own book that expressed largely the ideas. And when I say production, I mean it was at the printers ready to go. I like to think that something like that might get under the skin of a man like Descartes, and it's interesting to me that the Meditations followed not long after, with its over-the-top appreciation for his god. Maybe it's the time it was written, maybe it's the translation, but it almost feels like a parody, doesn't it?

So I kind of go back and forth on whether or not Descartes was religious at all, or if he just threw up his hands and decided to hoodwink people. Or maybe he did all that so as to seem unimpeachable, so that he'd get a pass if he wan't to later publish something the church might find heretical. Who knows. Either way, I tend to think his errors were known to him, and he cynically ran with it anyway.
 
cheshiredragon
seeker wrote:
You are somewhere in Texas.


...and this is all I have learned. I am in the land or fairies and elves. Explains all the religion around here.
That's right, I said it...
 
Cynic
The sarcasm isn't lost on me, I'm just curious that you chose to indict the entire board for the difficulty you are having with one poster.


I suppose I didn't make the scope I'm talking about clear: I'm seeing this problem everywhere lately. Here, other boards, in person in various venues, family, etc. While I may have used a pointed example to convey it (that keeps coming back up despite my attempts to play it down), it was intended to be representative, not specific or veiled. So why indict the whole board indeed -- I wasn't limiting my complaint to the board, and therefore wasn't limiting it to any one person.


I think you are reading more into it than it really is Cynic. Just because people throw in a different view diesn't always instantly mean they disagree. Not every different view is mutually exclusive or an attack on the original. This is a good example, you clearly saw my post as an attack while I was merely offering a viewpoint.


I suppose I'm feeling a little sensitive lately, but it's part of the trend. Trends, BTW, are like new cars. Once you own one you start seeing them everywhere and you swear there didn't used to be as many. The difference between an observation and a reply is important sometimes.

When a reply comes in the form of an observation, it carries several inherent implications: one, that it relates directly, two, that it adds to or replaces what is being replied to, and three, that the poster(s) the reply is intended for doesn't understand that yet. (Obviously this doesn't apply to replies intended to support an argument, as obviously gets confused from time to time, innocently enough.) As I said, I suppose I'm getting a little sensitive to it, but anymore it seems like undermining someone's opinion by suggesting that it was formed in a vacuum of ignorance has become the tactic of choice lately, however unconsciously.

Since you brought up my comparison with the racist 'black violence' paradigm I'll start with that. i brought up the parallel because it is an exact parallel, a lot of the discussion about Muslims, in my view, follows the same pattern. I brought it up because I don't think a lot of people (as I indicated above) have really thought about the information they read about this subject and how its presented. The point wasn't that anyone here is or isn't racist but that things that are later understood to be tacitly racist aren't always obvious from the beginning.


That's true, but it stings a little when someone you look up to appears to consider something you've said to be an appropriate springboard to make such a point. If you see what I mean. I surely hesitate to claim it as a significant hardship, but some of us white folks can be fairly tortured by the idea of racism in a paranoid, over-analytical way. I grew up in a school district that was/is overwhelmingly white. The PA state average percentage of black people is 13%, and my graduating high school class had one, half-black, highly affluent kid who was the son of a local television anchor and specifically choose to attend my district himself because we had the best basketball team in the region (state, even) and wanted to be on the team.

Recognizing that people are made the way they are by their cultures is a freeing idea -- right up until you realize you're part of that culture and might not be aware of subtle things youself. Coming from an environment like that, even if you never had so much as an unconscious example of racism in you, you start to wonder if being "not racist" is a conscious thing, where you have to maintain it, guard against evil thoughts and shit. It's disconcerting to have doubts like that for no reason, and it makes me a little touchy about having such a label foisted upon me, however peripherally.

So anyway, I doubt I'm alone in this, or even in a minority on it, so to speak. Racism isn't just fading away, it's actively unpopular, which distinctly different than being absent. And that makes it everyone's unconsious or conscious concern, not just whites. I have a a hard time believing, then, that the majority of these very same people are "universally" racist against Islamists, and so I guess I don't see the parallel as being so parallel.
 
seeker
Cynic wrote:

I suppose I didn't make the scope I'm talking about clear: I'm seeing this problem everywhere lately. Here, other boards, in person in various venues, family, etc. While I may have used a pointed example to convey it (that keeps coming back up despite my attempts to play it down), it was intended to be representative, not specific or veiled. So why indict the whole board indeed -- I wasn't limiting my complaint to the board, and therefore wasn't limiting it to any one person.


Fair enough. Personally though I see value in the discussion provided we can avoid going over the top with it, in fact I'd say that's why the discussion is being repeated in so many venues.

Cynic wrote:
I suppose I'm feeling a little sensitive lately, but it's part of the trend. Trends, BTW, are like new cars. Once you own one you start seeing them everywhere and you swear there didn't used to be as many. The difference between an observation and a reply is important sometimes.

When a reply comes in the form of an observation, it carries several inherent implications: one, that it relates directly, two, that it adds to or replaces what is being replied to, and three, that the poster(s) the reply is intended for doesn't understand that yet. (Obviously this doesn't apply to replies intended to support an argument, as obviously gets confused from time to time, innocently enough.) As I said, I suppose I'm getting a little sensitive to it, but anymore it seems like undermining someone's opinion by suggesting that it was formed in a vacuum of ignorance has become the tactic of choice lately, however unconsciously.


You always have to be careful with intent. In this discussion I've tried mainly to keep out only because my position is already perhaps too well known freom previous discussions. i tried to keep to limited responses, more to push the discussion in a thoughtful direction that to be directly confrontational. Here it was mainly to see what accomodation you had made in your view to the issues I brought up, the point being to get to the the reason, not just of your own strong feelings about the matter but those of the other participants in the discussion.

Cynic wrote:
That's true, but it stings a little when someone you look up to appears to consider something you've said to be an appropriate springboard to make such a point. If you see what I mean. I surely hesitate to claim it as a significant hardship, but some of us white folks can be fairly tortured by the idea of racism in a paranoid, over-analytical way. I grew up in a school district that was/is overwhelmingly white. The PA state average percentage of black people is 13%, and my graduating high school class had one, half-black, highly affluent kid who was the son of a local television anchor and specifically choose to attend my district himself because we had the best basketball team in the region (state, even) and wanted to be on the team.

Recognizing that people are made the way they are by their cultures is a freeing idea -- right up until you realize you're part of that culture and might not be aware of subtle things youself. Coming from an environment like that, even if you never had so much as an unconscious example of racism in you, you start to wonder if being "not racist" is a conscious thing, where you have to maintain it, guard against evil thoughts and shit. It's disconcerting to have doubts like that for no reason, and it makes me a little touchy about having such a label foisted upon me, however peripherally.

So anyway, I doubt I'm alone in this, or even in a minority on it, so to speak. Racism isn't just fading away, it's actively unpopular, which distinctly different than being absent. And that makes it everyone's unconsious or conscious concern, not just whites. I have a a hard time believing, then, that the majority of these very same people are "universally" racist against Islamists, and so I guess I don't see the parallel as being so parallel.


Racism has become less overt but I don't agree that it is any more unpopular than in previous eras. We still live in an era when minorities go to jail far more frequently that Caucasians, where they still tend to earn less over their lifetimes etc. The public face has changed and certainly some things are better but not everything is done.

The big problem these days is that racists have learned to try to present their arguments in a different way. It's no longer publically acceptable to profile black people as potential criminals but targeting black neighborhoods as potential gang centers or drug centers is still a major part of our police effort with the result that the rate of incarceration of young black males is as high as ever. The ugly fact is that if you are black or hispanic in this country your likeliehood of incarceration is much higher than of you are Caucasian.

Racism is a subtle thing, its really easy to buy into because it plays on frustrations people have. I wish I could say I'm not racist at all but the fact is I catch myself saying and thinking things I regret, its part of the package. If the thought that you might be buying into a racist portrayal of a group of people stings then you should be encouraged, I think the real racists are the people who never feel that sting.

The fact is that when you start running down that road of thinking that people are monolithically inclined to act in certain ways then I do think you should at least be considering whether you are thinking in a racist way.
 
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