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Post Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:36 am
Nodin User avatar
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Jim wrote:
This is a really good article by Sam Harris <the Atheist so he has no dogmatic ax to grind> about some of the realities of Islam that the politically correct amongst us would have us ignore.



Everyone has some form of axe to grind. The fact that Mr Harris is an ardent supporter of Israel might give an idea where his comes from.

The truth of the matter is that were muslims even remorely as violent as he and his ilk propose, any place they resided in numbers would be visible from orbit via the smoke and fire. The truth is far more complex, nuanced and less hysterical. The Number of bombs set off by muslims in Britain in the last 100 years totals 3 - three. The number of bombs set off by Irish republicans can be gauged by the fact that the first was in
1867 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenian_Dynamite_Campaign
with intermittent campaigns upto 2001
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_Great_Britain.

That doesn't of course include bombings and assasinations carried out in Ireland and Europe, which would run into thousands over the last 40 years alone. All that from a small population (rarely over 5 million in-country, 400,000 in NI where the worst violence took place) with a smaller cadre of "militants". There are over a Billion muslims, yet I'm not typing this in a bunker, sitting on my secret pork stash.....

Post Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:50 pm
Jim User avatar
Duke
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Location: Land of Cotton, USA
Slogan: "They may kill you but they won't eat you"
I've read all of Sam's books and more than a few articles and never walked away thinking he was an ardent supporter of anything save Reason and the supremacy of Science as the guide by which decisions should be made.

In "the End of Faith" he made the following comment:

" Jews, insofar as they are religious, believe that they are bearers of a unique covenant with God. As a consequence, they have spent the last two thousand years collaborating with those who see them as different by seeing themselves as irretrievably so. Judaism is as intrinsically divisive, as ridiculous in its literalism, and as at odds with the civilizing insights of modernity as any other religion. Jewish settlers, by exercising their "freedom of belief" on contested land, are now one of the principal obstacles to peace in the Middle East."

He is certainly a Jew himself but I'm not getting the impression he wears rose coloured glasses as a result.

Post Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:25 am
Nodin User avatar
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Jim wrote:
I've read all of Sam's books and more than a few articles and never walked away thinking he was an ardent supporter of anything save Reason and the supremacy of Science as the guide by which decisions should be made.

In "the End of Faith" he made the following comment:

" Jews, insofar as they are religious, believe that they are bearers of a unique covenant with God. As a consequence, they have spent the last two thousand years collaborating with those who see them as different by seeing themselves as irretrievably so. Judaism is as intrinsically divisive, as ridiculous in its literalism, and as at odds with the civilizing insights of modernity as any other religion. Jewish settlers, by exercising their "freedom of belief" on contested land, are now one of the principal obstacles to peace in the Middle East."

He is certainly a Jew himself but I'm not getting the impression he wears rose coloured glasses as a result.


How much being jewish actually influences anyones views on Israel is debatable and wouldn't incline me to prejudge either way. For every Dershowitz theres a Finklestein somewhere. However when I read this, I know where its coming from, and its from behind blinkers rather than glasses.

There are a lot of people who have a tremendous amount of white guilt, and understandably so. They are attentive to every misstep that western governments make in their foreign policies. So, you get this crazy moral parity claim, which obviously the Israelis suffer from the most. The Israelis are confronting people who will blow themselves up to kill the maximum number of noncombatants and will even use their own children as human shields. They’ll launch their missiles from the edge of a hospital or school so that any retaliation will produce the maximum number of innocent casualties. And they do all this secure in the knowledge that their opponents are genuinely worried about killing innocent people. It’s the most cynical thing imaginable. And yet within the moral discourse of the liberal West, the Israeli side looks like it’s the most egregiously insensitive to the cost of the conflict.

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/100757/qa-sam-harris?all=1

Now theres no disputing the Palestinian lot are no saints ,but you're seeing a man there talk about a state that used villagers as human shields as standard policy for 30 years (continuing to do so unofficially), backs a two-tier colonial apartheid system in the occupied territories, enforces curfews and lockdowns by sniper, targeted UN personnel, blown up extended families to get one man, children and supports a shower of beardy fanatics. All of this I've referred to on various fora ad nauseam and is extensively documented by NGO's, the UN and - depending on whose in the state department - the US. Hence I suspect that, for whatever reason, mr Harris has certain "issues" (as of course do the rest of us on certain issues).

Post Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:30 am
Nodin User avatar
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And while my speculation as to the motivation behind his thoughts on the matter is just that, the fact is that the violence generally isn't there to back the view that they're that bad, as illustrated earlier.

Post Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:14 am
Jim User avatar
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Posts: 234
Location: Land of Cotton, USA
Slogan: "They may kill you but they won't eat you"
There is absolutely no doubt he's of the mind that Israel occupies the high moral ground in *some* respects but that opinion, one that I share in a limited degree from an academic viewpoint, is imo rooted not so much in moral vs moral as much as it is in breadth and scope and willingness. Example inverting the participants: If in the course of a year Israel killed 1,000 muslim children and the palestinians killed 50 jewish ones while both sides have committed unspeakable atrocities the greater evil is evidenced by the math. If the jews killed their children at a rate of 3 per day and the muslims killed theirs in 3 events while again both participants have committed unspeakable atrocities the incidence of the greater evil is once again evidenced by the math. In this example, the Muslims occupy the high moral ground in spite of their dubious acts due to the breadth, scope and willingness of their adversary.

A real world example: This morning I read a piece about polio vaccinations being denied to appx 250,000 children in a rural area of Pakistan citing the shenanigans of the hunt for Bin Laden as justification by raggedy goofs with guns. While certainly true (shenanigan's) the morals in play should make this one a no-brainer; the children in any situation are the greater good in any locale vs an evil on a much smaller scale that absent current proof of current shenanigans has to be imagined to even be considered in the first place and their very own should be doubly so. The previous parallel example of the IRA would have made the right choice here in their darkest moment. Sadly I am old enough to have actually seen a couple of cases of polio wild in the field, it's a no-brainer, I assure you.

I'm a little disappointed but simultaneously not all that surprised that this subject has red herring'd it's way into the last 70 years of history, narrowed the geographic scope and serendipitously ignore's the previous 1300 years or so in which the events are remarkably similar save for the different names and/or peoples and the doxiology that has remained unchanged from it's creation that invariably is cited as a justification at some point in time as a way of explanation for same.

As with the children from my example, there is an over-arching dilemma that the ethics of mathematics quickly points out an answer to as long as one is willing to remove one's head from the sand long enough to consider some inconvenient truths.

Post Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:59 am
DCRocks User avatar
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Slogan: All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing
Rampage wrote:
That's odd...
Because I remember a few hunderd thousand, bombing, invading and occupying other nations based on lies and crap resulting in hunderd of thausands of casualties


Rampage, I cant speak for other nations, but in case you missed it, even despite the claims of the right wing nuts jobs, the US is NOT a christian nation :-)
“If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.”

You have Enemies? Good. It means you've stood up for something in your life.

Post Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:33 pm
Jim User avatar
Duke
Duke

Posts: 234
Location: Land of Cotton, USA
Slogan: "They may kill you but they won't eat you"
Actually no, for those of us who don't rely on a gallup poll of 500 people for our information there is a more nuanced study

Look Here Dumbass

This is about 4 years out of date, in it you'll find that roughly 65% of the population identifies themselves as some form of denominational Christian and of those 40% of them are regular attendees at whatever functions their denominations see fit to pitch. There are a large bloc of what I call "nominal christians" (roughly 15% of the population) that claim the mantle but have no dogma they adhere to and no group they identify with and for all intents and purposes are not involved in the process and/or give the answer that they felt the pollster wanted to hear which is born out by the fact that, when queried, 69% of the population believed in a personal god of some type which is a better marker of what is actually going on imo and supports the 65% figure once you add in the non-christian denominations.

Only reason it's not lower is that the Catholics are seeing some nice growth due to immigration but if you ask the average protestant when Catholics are not in the room and/or they don't need their support for something they'll advise you that Catholics are pagans so including them in the figures could in fact be questionable which would drop the number to a more believable 40% or so.

Post Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:16 am
Jim User avatar
Duke
Duke

Posts: 234
Location: Land of Cotton, USA
Slogan: "They may kill you but they won't eat you"
"Oh...it's not hard to find ...PAGE 1 named HIGHLIGHTS"

But apparently hard to read and even harder to digest. Didn't they teach these skills in the Aryan academy your mother was ever so grateful her goose-stepping little man was wisked off to daily so she could get a moments peace?

If you were something approaching normal intellect I'd show you. But you're not so why waste the time. Here's a novel thought, maybe if you re-read the post and looked in the study for the information I shared I'd revise my estimation of your talents. If you need me to take a big crayon and circle the relevant parts I'd be glad to oblige, just say the word.

Post Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:46 am
Nodin User avatar
The Borg
The Borg

Posts: 271
Jim wrote:
There is absolutely he ethics of mathematics quickly points out an answer to as long as one is willing to remove one's head from the sand long enough to consider some inconvenient truths.


I'm afraid we'll have to differ. At the end of the day, I just don't see the capacity for violence in muslims generally to match that predicted/portrayed by Mr Harris et al. The dead bodies, quite thankfully, aren't there. Nor - be it in outbreaks of iconoclasm or generalised stupidity - do I see anything unique about them. That isn't to say there aren't specific problems (Sunni jihadists linked with wahbaism) etc, but Islam in total is not the existential threat that its supposed to be.

Post Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:50 am
DCRocks User avatar
Grand Duke
Grand Duke

Posts: 763
Location: Washington DC
Slogan: All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing
Nodin wrote:
but Islam in total is not the existential threat that its supposed to be.


Think you need to do a quick review of daily attacks committed in the name of Islam...

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

Enough bodies there for you Nodin?
“If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.”

You have Enemies? Good. It means you've stood up for something in your life.

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