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U.S. Burns Bibles in Afghanistan





jwellsy
Where was the outrage and grandstanding when the US government burned a bunch of Bibles?

Quote:

US burns Bibles in Afghanistan

Bibles at centre of row over Christian "proselytizing" in Afghanistan are "destroyed".
Last Modified: 22 May 2009 12:27

US army colonel: 'The best way to deal with it ... was to burn the Bibles'

The US army in Afghanistan has burned Bibles printed in local languages, a US colonel in Afghanistan has said, amid concerns they could have been used to try to convert Afghans.

"My understanding is that the [military] leadership confiscated these Bibles so that they could not be distributed around Afghanistan," Colonel Greg Julian told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

"It was their best judgement at the time, that the best way to deal with it, was to destroy them and I understand that they were burnt."

Al Jazeera broadcast footage earlier this month showing troops apparently discussing how best to convert Afghans to their faith.

'Hunt them down'

Some of the soldiers who appeared in the video have been reprimanded, US government and military officials told Al Jazeera correspondent James Bays.
IN VIDEO

US army burns the Bible in Afghanistan

US troops urged to 'witness for Jesus' in Afghanistan


More videos ...

The video, shot about a year ago, appeared to show military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram discussing how to distribute copies of the Bible printed in the country's main Pashto and Dari languages.


In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, tells soldiers that, as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him".

"The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus ... we hunt them down," he said.

"Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business."

'Out of context'

Questioned about the footage earlier in the month, Julian told Al Jazeera: "Most of this is taken out of context ... this is irresponsible and inappropriate journalism.

"This footage was taken a year ago ... the Bibles were taken into custody and not distributed.

"There is no effort to go out and proselytize to Afghans."

The military said a soldier at Bagram received the Bibles and did not realise he was not allowed to hand them out.

"It's not a preference but, under the circumstances, the leadership made the best decision that they

could to ensure that they weren't distributed among the Afghan population.

"So, unfortunately, this is the route that we went," he said.

Regulations by the US military's central command expressly forbid "proselytizing of any religion, faith or practice".

But in the footage chaplains appear to understand their actions were in breach of regulations

"Do we know what it means to proselytize?" Captain Emmit Furner, a military chaplain, said to the gathering.

"It is General Order Number One," an unidentified soldier replied. "You can't proselytize, but you can give gifts", another said.


Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/05/200952017377106909.html
catscratches
The main difference I see is that this appears to have an actual reason rather than just: "Let's piss off muslims!".

Christians are hardly innocent of moral outrage, though, as is evident of eg. the controversy surrounding Life of Brian. However, Christianity has become more tolerant toward freedom of speech in recent years. One can only hope Islam will follow in its footsteps.
Bikerman
catscratches wrote:
The main difference I see is that this appears to have an actual reason rather than just: "Let's piss off muslims!".

Christians are hardly innocent of moral outrage, though, as is evident of eg. the controversy surrounding Life of Brian. However, Christianity has become more tolerant toward freedom of speech in recent years. One can only hope Islam will follow in its footsteps.


What do you think the reaction on Fox would be to the Iranians having a mass Bible burning? I suspect there would be some outrage....maybe...?
catscratches
Bikerman wrote:
catscratches wrote:
The main difference I see is that this appears to have an actual reason rather than just: "Let's piss off muslims!".

Christians are hardly innocent of moral outrage, though, as is evident of eg. the controversy surrounding Life of Brian. However, Christianity has become more tolerant toward freedom of speech in recent years. One can only hope Islam will follow in its footsteps.


What do you think the reaction on Fox would be to the Iranians having a mass Bible burning? I suspect there would be some outrage....maybe...?
I believe so too. Keep in mind that I was of course making generalizations (and I come from a very secularised country).
Bikerman
Well, if we exclude the US from the statement (because I don't believe the religious in general in the US are now more supportive of free speech), then we also have to consider Africa, South America and Asia - places where the Catholic Church is recruiting like mad, and the Catholic church is not well known for defence of free speech. That leaves Europe which is becoming less religious....
hunnyhiteshseth
jwellsy wrote:
Where was the outrage and grandstanding when the US government burned a bunch of Bibles?

Quote:

US burns Bibles in Afghanistan

Bibles at centre of row over Christian "proselytizing" in Afghanistan are "destroyed".
Last Modified: 22 May 2009 12:27

US army colonel: 'The best way to deal with it ... was to burn the Bibles'

The US army in Afghanistan has burned Bibles printed in local languages, a US colonel in Afghanistan has said, amid concerns they could have been used to try to convert Afghans.

"My understanding is that the [military] leadership confiscated these Bibles so that they could not be distributed around Afghanistan," Colonel Greg Julian told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

"It was their best judgement at the time, that the best way to deal with it, was to destroy them and I understand that they were burnt."

Al Jazeera broadcast footage earlier this month showing troops apparently discussing how best to convert Afghans to their faith.

'Hunt them down'

Some of the soldiers who appeared in the video have been reprimanded, US government and military officials told Al Jazeera correspondent James Bays.
IN VIDEO

US army burns the Bible in Afghanistan

US troops urged to 'witness for Jesus' in Afghanistan


More videos ...

The video, shot about a year ago, appeared to show military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram discussing how to distribute copies of the Bible printed in the country's main Pashto and Dari languages.


In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, tells soldiers that, as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility "to be witnesses for him".

"The special forces guys - they hunt men basically. We do the same things as Christians, we hunt people for Jesus ... we hunt them down," he said.

"Get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into the kingdom. That's what we do, that's our business."

'Out of context'

Questioned about the footage earlier in the month, Julian told Al Jazeera: "Most of this is taken out of context ... this is irresponsible and inappropriate journalism.

"This footage was taken a year ago ... the Bibles were taken into custody and not distributed.

"There is no effort to go out and proselytize to Afghans."

The military said a soldier at Bagram received the Bibles and did not realise he was not allowed to hand them out.

"It's not a preference but, under the circumstances, the leadership made the best decision that they

could to ensure that they weren't distributed among the Afghan population.

"So, unfortunately, this is the route that we went," he said.

Regulations by the US military's central command expressly forbid "proselytizing of any religion, faith or practice".

But in the footage chaplains appear to understand their actions were in breach of regulations

"Do we know what it means to proselytize?" Captain Emmit Furner, a military chaplain, said to the gathering.

"It is General Order Number One," an unidentified soldier replied. "You can't proselytize, but you can give gifts", another said.


Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/05/200952017377106909.html


Deja vu of what Europeans did in 16-17th century. Went into areas like Asia, Africa and Americas. Destroyed the local economy and later in the name of humanitarian grounds and by justifications like 'white men burden' , converted them to Christanity. This news is one which surfaced and hence those bibles were burned - but there would have been many more such incidents.
Indi
Funny enough, this tailspins nicely off the article i wrote just yesterday. As i explained in that article, it's not what you do so much as why you do it, although you do have to be sensitive to the symbolism.

In this case, the why is plainly non-belligerent. The guys who brought the Bibles were the belligerents; the guys burning them were the peacekeepers. This is the opposite of the case in Florida, where the guys who provide the Qur'ans are doing so for genuinely innocent and valid reasons (they're bookstores, they sell books, and they sell all religious texts insofar as their stocks allow), but the guys burning them are being belligerent.

As far as the symbolism goes, burning books is an extreme and punitive message, and in both cases - Afghanistan and Florida - that's exactly the message they want to send. But in the case of the Afghanistan Bible burning, the message looks like this: "What you are doing is wrong (like, legally wrong, not just morally wrong, although it was that, too), you knew it was wrong, and you did it anyway. Unacceptable. It's going to sting to see your holy books burnt, but you people did this to yourselves; this is your punishment for your illegal and immoral acts." In the case of the Florida Qur'an burning, the message looks like this: "You say Christianity is a lie? Well, nyah, nyah, we say your religion is a lie. Suck on this."

Motivation matters, as does the symbolic message you intend to send, and the action you take must be inline with both of these things. That is the case for the Afghanistan Bible burning, it is not the case for the Florida Qur'an burning.
ocalhoun
catscratches wrote:
The main difference I see is that this appears to have an actual reason rather than just: "Let's piss off muslims!".

Hey, that's a fine reason!

Really, it's like poking a stick in an ant bed, and watching the ants scramble around and attack the stick... Not very nice to do, but entertaining.
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
catscratches wrote:
The main difference I see is that this appears to have an actual reason rather than just: "Let's piss off muslims!".

Hey, that's a fine reason!

Really, it's like poking a stick in an ant bed, and watching the ants scramble around and attack the stick... Not very nice to do, but entertaining.

Until the ants saw the head off another journalist or charity worker.
ocalhoun
Indi wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
catscratches wrote:
The main difference I see is that this appears to have an actual reason rather than just: "Let's piss off muslims!".

Hey, that's a fine reason!

Really, it's like poking a stick in an ant bed, and watching the ants scramble around and attack the stick... Not very nice to do, but entertaining.

Until the ants saw the head off another journalist or charity worker.

Well, yes, sometimes you get stung.

But really, they would probably saw off the person's head anyway, they'll just tell us it's because of something we did in order to attempt to control us.
Do you really think a general policy of "don't piss off the Muslims, so they won't terrorize us" is a good idea?
(Given what a wide range of things piss them off, we'd basically have to institute Sharia law worldwide to appease them.)
hunnyhiteshseth
Quote:

Given what a wide range of things piss them off, we'd basically have to institute Sharia law worldwide to appease them.


The point is not what pisses them off but rather HOW MANY it pisses off?
Women kissing in public would piss off some few hundred extremists. Burning Quran would piss off hundreds of thousands of Muslim. Its just about numbers. you can't appease everyone but surely you can reduce that number.
truespeed
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
Quote:

Given what a wide range of things piss them off, we'd basically have to institute Sharia law worldwide to appease them.


The point is not what pisses them off but rather HOW MANY it pisses off?
Women kissing in public would piss off some few hundred extremists. Burning Quran would piss off hundreds of thousands of Muslim. Its just about numbers. you can't appease everyone but surely you can reduce that number.


If its just about numbers,aren't something like 80% of Americans against the building of a Muslim community centre close to where the twin towers were,if so many people are against it shouldn't the Imam reconsider his decision to build it there?
Indi
ocalhoun wrote:
Indi wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
catscratches wrote:
The main difference I see is that this appears to have an actual reason rather than just: "Let's piss off muslims!".

Hey, that's a fine reason!

Really, it's like poking a stick in an ant bed, and watching the ants scramble around and attack the stick... Not very nice to do, but entertaining.

Until the ants saw the head off another journalist or charity worker.

Well, yes, sometimes you get stung.

And sometimes, innocents who are trying to do some good get stung because you wanted some entertainment.

ocalhoun wrote:
But really, they would probably saw off the person's head anyway, they'll just tell us it's because of something we did in order to attempt to control us.
Do you really think a general policy of "don't piss off the Muslims, so they won't terrorize us" is a good idea?
(Given what a wide range of things piss them off, we'd basically have to institute Sharia law worldwide to appease them.)

It baffles me how people can't separate the morality of an action from the results. Do you really think that "pissing off" people is right or wrong dependent on how they react? If not, why would you think that i would believe that.

i don't care that Muslims would saw heads off regardless of what i do: that doesn't mean that it's okay to do whatever the hell i want just because i'll get the same result no matter what that is. There are still things that are right and wrong, Muslim response be damned.

Pissing people off for entertainment is wrong, no matter who the people are, no matter what they have done, no matter what they might do.

No, i don't think "don't piss off the Muslims, so they won't terrorize us" is a good idea. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about pissing people off for your entertainment. There are many good reasons to piss Muslims off, and i openly encourage pissing them off when you have a good reason, no matter what the threatened response. When i deliberately piss off Muslims for the sake of free speech, i do so with the knowledge that i - or others - may suffer from retribution. If it ever happened that someone else got murdered because of something i did, that would be tragic, and i would feel terrible... but i would be able to look the victim's family in the eye and say that i had to do what i did, and that i will continue to do it, in order to eventually make sure no one else ends up like their loved one.

What would you say to the family of the person that gets murdered because you pissed someone off for some giggles?

truespeed wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
Quote:

Given what a wide range of things piss them off, we'd basically have to institute Sharia law worldwide to appease them.


The point is not what pisses them off but rather HOW MANY it pisses off?
Women kissing in public would piss off some few hundred extremists. Burning Quran would piss off hundreds of thousands of Muslim. Its just about numbers. you can't appease everyone but surely you can reduce that number.


If its just about numbers,aren't something like 80% of Americans against the building of a Muslim community centre close to where the twin towers were,if so many people are against it shouldn't the Imam reconsider his decision to build it there?

No, the numbers don't matter.

The reason is the only thing that matters. i don't give a flying ****** that i'm pissing off millions of Muslims every time i mock their beliefs. i do what i do for very important reasons, and what i do has to be done by someone. i mock their beliefs in order to take the power away from those beliefs, so that they don't get taken seriously, and can no longer be used to do the evil things they are currently being used to do.

i actually don't get any amusement out of doing it (although, technically, if i did, there would be nothing wrong with that, because i still have a valid reason regardless... i would not be doing it for amusement, i would be doing it for good reasons and just getting amusement as an incidental benefit). i do like coming up with really nasty criticisms - the raunchier and more blasphemous the better - but i derive pleasure from the deconstruction of the belief system, not from hurting the people who adhere to it. It's just like how i love to come up with really funny jokes to really slam Canada,* but obviously i don't get any pleasure out of hurting Canadians. Luckily, most Canadians aren't so hypersensitive that they actually get hurt by jokes or criticisms of Canada.

* wrote:
An American, an Indian and a Canadian were all killed together in a terrible multi-car collision, the angel Gabriel brought them all to the Pearly Gates in front of St. Peter. St. Peter said, "Look, we've got a bit of a backlog here, so i'll tell you what: i'll let you into Heaven without going over your sins - no questions asked - if you just give me $50."

Later the American was strolling around in Heaven, enjoying paradise and eternal bliss, and he ran into Gabriel again. Gabriel asked how he got in so quickly, and the American explained about St. Peter's deal.

"Wow, that's great!" Gabriel said, "So where are the other two?"

"Well," the American said, "Last I saw, the Indian was haggling the price with St. Peter."

"And the Canadian?"

"He was waiting for the government to pay."

-----------------------------------

(Or, if you just want a short one)

Why did the Canadian cross the road?
To get to the middle.
hunnyhiteshseth
truespeed wrote:

If its just about numbers,aren't something like 80% of Americans against the building of a Muslim community centre close to where the twin towers were,if so many people are against it shouldn't the Imam reconsider his decision to build it there?


80%? What is the source of this information? Well that is a personal property of Imam. He may do whatever he wants to do with his property.
The problem in both instances- Burning Quran & Issue of round 0 Moosque is that we are confusing Terrorism with Islam. The principal opposition of ground 0 mosque is that since terrorist were muslims so dont build mosque there. The principal support for burning quran is that since terrorist are muslim so burn quran to take revenge. And here lies flaw in both arguments.
Terrorism has no religion. Period.

Indi wrote:

No, the numbers don't matter.


Well here we have a difference of opinion. I think numbers matter in a practical sense after all what is democracy but following what majority wants.
truespeed
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:


80%? What is the source of this information? Well that is a personal property of Imam. He may do whatever he wants to do with his property.
The problem in both instances- Burning Quran & Issue of round 0 Moosque is that we are confusing Terrorism with Islam. The principal opposition of ground 0 mosque is that since terrorist were muslims so dont build mosque there. The principal support for burning quran is that since terrorist are muslim so burn quran to take revenge. And here lies flaw in both arguments.
Terrorism has no religion. Period.

.


The percentage i heard on our news,i think it said 79% i just rouned it up to 80,i will try to find a link/story later.

The reason the Imam gave for not moving it was..

Quote:

“If I knew that this would happen, that this would cause this kind of pain, I wouldn’t have done it,”

“If we move from that location, the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse,” he said. “The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack. And I’m less concerned about the radicals in America than I am about the radicals in the Muslim world.”


Link

So even though he knows the majority of Americans disagree with it,he is unwilling to move it because of upsetting the minority in the "muslim World" as he calls it,so he is allowing the extremists abroad to dictate what gets built and where in the USA.
catscratches
Which is worse than allowing the American extremists to get it moved?
deanhills
Indi wrote:
When i deliberately piss off Muslims for the sake of free speech, i do so with the knowledge that i - or others - may suffer from retribution. If it ever happened that someone else got murdered because of something i did, that would be tragic, and i would feel terrible... but i would be able to look the victim's family in the eye and say that i had to do what i did, and that i will continue to do it, in order to eventually make sure no one else ends up like their loved one.

So what you are basically saying then is that you are pissing Muslims off "for a noble cause" and if a anyone happens to die as a result, it never was personal, it was for this wonderful noble cause? And that makes the loss of life OK? Sounds familiar to you?
Indi
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
Well here we have a difference of opinion. I think numbers matter in a practical sense after all what is democracy but following what majority wants.

Right and wrong are not determined by democracy. Very few things are determined by democracy.

deanhills wrote:
Indi wrote:
When i deliberately piss off Muslims for the sake of free speech, i do so with the knowledge that i - or others - may suffer from retribution. If it ever happened that someone else got murdered because of something i did, that would be tragic, and i would feel terrible... but i would be able to look the victim's family in the eye and say that i had to do what i did, and that i will continue to do it, in order to eventually make sure no one else ends up like their loved one.

So what you are basically saying then is that you are pissing Muslims off "for a noble cause" and if a anyone happens to die as a result, it never was personal, it was for this wonderful noble cause? And that makes the loss of life OK? Sounds familiar to you?

Yes. What do you think you are you getting at? That because some people claim to be hurting people "for a noble cause" when they are clearly not, everyone claiming to be hurting people for a noble cause is just as wrong?

Can't you tell the difference between truth and lies? Do you swallow everything anyone tells you about their motivations? Just because someone says they have a noble cause, it doesn't mean that they do.

i say i have a "noble cause" (technically, i said i had a "good reason", not a "noble cause" - that was your insertion, but i'll roll with it), but i can back it up, in vast and clear detail, using reasonable, logical arguments. Not everyone who claims to have a "noble cause" can. Those who say they have a noble cause, but can't back it up, are quite simply liars.

This is not rocket science. If two people are caught speeding by the cops, and both claim to have a good reason for doing it, but one actually has a good reason (they were trying to get to the hospital quickly because their passenger is in great peril) while the other doesn't (they were late for work), that doesn't make both wrong.

Now, if you want to argue that i don't have a good reason for pissing off Muslims for the sake of free speech, go ahead. The devil about that, though, is that if you try, the mere act of trying proves me right and makes you a hypocrite... because by expressing your opinion you would be implicitly assuming that you have the right to do so. *drumroll* i can't take credit for that, though; nothing i did created that little philosophical trap. That happens because the right to free expression is THAT fundamental, THAT universal, and THAT important. To argue against it creates a philosophical logical break the same way that saying "i do not exist" does: you can't say that, because the mere act of saying it proves it untrue... similarly you can't argue against free speech because the mere act of doing so proves that you need it.

Doesn't stop people from trying, though. It's an exercise in futility because the extremists can't win. One way or another, given enough time, they will lose. The problem is, they are going to cause a lot of suffering and misery until they do.
epspk
one word: RELIGULOUS. (Religion+Rediculous)
LittleBlackKitten
I wonder if we'd feel any different if WE got occupied and they burned the declaration of independance for such a "noble cause"...

They have absolutley no right whatsoever no matter the reason to burn spiritual or important documents of other countries, races, religions, or peoples, even if its a document that speaks on the desrtuction of others. It's not a hard stretch to say that paper is paper; ink is ink; but it's the ACTIONS we need to be aware of, not the papers people circulate; not bibles; not anything written, because it's just that; written.
Bikerman
No right?
Does that mean that if I legally purchase a book I should not be entitled to burn it?
Whilst I am strongly against ANY sort of book burning (I have a large collection of books and I am a bibliophile) I would certainly not say that people had no right to do so, and I don't see how that case could be made, really...
deanhills
Indi wrote:
Can't you tell the difference between truth and lies? Do you swallow everything anyone tells you about their motivations? Just because someone says they have a noble cause, it doesn't mean that they do.

i say i have a "noble cause" (technically, i said i had a "good reason", not a "noble cause" - that was your insertion, but i'll roll with it), but i can back it up, in vast and clear detail, using reasonable, logical arguments. Not everyone who claims to have a "noble cause" can. Those who say they have a noble cause, but can't back it up, are quite simply liars.
So what would the difference be between the terrorists who sacrificed their own lives by flying into Twin Towers and your reasons? They also see their reasons as based on the truth without a shadow of the doubt. What they do have in common with your thinking is that both have destruction written into as a consequence of their actions. Almost the equivalent of the crusaders on their way to Jerusalem, not at all thinking that their actions would eventually have the devastating consequences they did have with the massacres in Jerusalem. No doubt when they enthusiastically ventured out in the name of Freedom, there were pure thinking individuals like you, who thought they had truth on their side and were deeply convinced they were going to save the world. But people are really primitive at their core, you may be one in a million and genuinely superior in your thinking, but what you ignite in others who are not in the same intellectual class as you are may have consequences that you could never fully imagine. Leninism and Stalinism are also very good examples.
Indi
LittleBlackKitten wrote:
I wonder if we'd feel any different if WE got occupied and they burned the declaration of independance for such a "noble cause"...

Ugh, let's just drop the "noble cause" line. It was only introduced as a sneaky way to be insulting, and it has nothing to do with the discussion.

No one involved in this discussion has a "noble cause". The US burnt the Bibles for a GOOD REASON - outlined above - not a "noble cause". If the US was invaded and occupied and someone burnt the Declaration of Independence just to spite Americans, that would not be for a GOOD REASON (spiting people is not a good reason to do anything, particularly not destroying historical artifacts, even if you hate what the artifact stands for).

You see? Everything is crystal clear when you use the right words. Muddy phrases like "noble cause" do nothing but sow confusion. And that was what it was intended to do.

deanhills wrote:
Indi wrote:
Can't you tell the difference between truth and lies? Do you swallow everything anyone tells you about their motivations? Just because someone says they have a noble cause, it doesn't mean that they do.

i say i have a "noble cause" (technically, i said i had a "good reason", not a "noble cause" - that was your insertion, but i'll roll with it), but i can back it up, in vast and clear detail, using reasonable, logical arguments. Not everyone who claims to have a "noble cause" can. Those who say they have a noble cause, but can't back it up, are quite simply liars.
So what would the difference be between the terrorists who sacrificed their own lives by flying into Twin Towers and your reasons? They also see their reasons as based on the truth without a shadow of the doubt.

? Did you not read what i just wrote... in fact what you just quoted? Every answer to every question you keep asking over and over is right there.

deanhills wrote:
What they do have in common with your thinking is that both have destruction written into as a consequence of their actions. Almost the equivalent of the crusaders on their way to Jerusalem, not at all thinking that their actions would eventually have the devastating consequences they did have with the massacres in Jerusalem. No doubt when they enthusiastically ventured out in the name of Freedom, there were pure thinking individuals like you, who thought they had truth on their side and were deeply convinced they were going to save the world. But people are really primitive at their core, you may be one in a million and genuinely superior in your thinking, but what you ignite in others who are not in the same intellectual class as you are may have consequences that you could never fully imagine. Leninism and Stalinism are also very good examples.

Yeah, see, you're clearly not reading anything i'm writing, because i've already shown why that whole rant above is complete nonsense. In fact, i could sum the whole thing up in the two words that you deliberately excised when you challenged me: GOOD REASON. Not "noble cause": that was a bullshit phrase you inserted that never had anything to do with anything i've said. GOOD REASON.

There are only two way you can possibly compare me to terrorists or crusaders. The first is if you can argue that they had a GOOD REASON to do what they were doing. NOT that they thought they had a good reason... that they did have a good reason. The second is if you can show that i don't have a good reason.

What you seem to be trying to get at is with your meandering rants about Leninism and "Stalinism" (By the way, you really shouldn't try to use examples that you don't really know anything about. ^_^; The fact that some nasty people co-opted Leninism doesn't make Leninism bad anymore than the fact that some terrorists co-opted Islam makes Islam bad. And... "Stalinism"... i don't think it means what you think it means. ^_^;), is that i don't have a good reason. So, prove it. Show me where my reasoning is wrong. All you've done so far is whine and moan that what i'm doing is wrong, and comparing it and me to totalitarianism, terrorism and who knows what else. Well, i've stated clearly why that's nonsense: because i have good reasons for doing what i do, while they don't. Either i'm right or i'm wrong, but you aren't even trying to ask that question: you're just dropping names and allegations and vague hints that maybe, somehow, someway, possibly, i am no different from a terrorist or totalitarian. Are you too afraid to address my reasons directly?

It's as simple as this: either you take my reasons on directly to show why i really am like a terrorist or totalitarian, or you'll be exposed as a snivelling hate-monger who is using nasty names and unpleasant allusions to insult me while hiding behind a thin, false veneer of reasoned speech. Frankly i really don't care if you want to call me nasty names or say that i'm no better than a terrorist or totalitarian because you don't like what i believe but can't actually challenge those beliefs directly, but if you're going to do that, at least have the balls to be up front about it, really.
deanhills
By the same token it would appear that you are also not reading what I am writing Indi. Whether good reason or noble cause you may think the terrorist's reasons are not good, but the terrorist thinks exactly the same of your "good" reasons. You do have something in common however, and that is that both of you think that it is OK to sacrifice human life when there are "good reasons" for it. My point is that in the end it does not matter at all whose reasons are good or bad when there are people who could be killed as a result of your chosen course of action. If a mother has lost a child as a result of your actions, she is definitely not going to be interested in your lengthy explanation about freedom of speech and "good" reasons.
Bikerman
This is utter tosh.
What Indi (and I) are doing is exercising free speech, deliberately and thoughfully. We have threatened nobody, done violence to nobody and put nobody in harm's way. If a nutcase kills someone because they don't like what I say then how can that be my fault? If a mother has a child killed then in what way is that my responsibility? I said nothing about her or her child - if some nutcase takes it upon himself to do violence to others then the only person with any guilt is the nutcase.
You, on the other hand, put EVERYONE in harms way. Don't speak out because someone might get hurt. The logical progression of that is that if someone DOES say something which others find offensive then they are in some way to blame if they, or others, are attacked and/or killed. The blame is therefore shifted from the actual perpetrator to the victim which can only serve to further encourage the perpetrators. Thus everyone is actually in more danger, not less.
The only person that any Muslim I offend can justify hurting is ME and your craven and frankly nauseating attempts to shift blame make you an apologist for those who would commit attrocity.
There are plenty of examples in history of what happens when a bully is appeased. World War 2 is a fairly good example.

It is also interesting to note that both Indi and I would support you (or anyone else), putting ourselves at risk, if your words offended someone and they attacked you. I have no doubt in my own mind that if the situation was reversed you would walk on, muttering to yourself 'I told you so'.

PS - if you genuinely think that exercising free speech is in the remotest way comparable to flying an airplane into a building then you have some very serious issues which you should get help for.
Indi
deanhills wrote:
By the same token it would appear that you are also not reading what I am writing Indi. Whether good reason or noble cause you may think the terrorist's reasons are not good, but the terrorist thinks exactly the same of your "good" reasons. You do have something in common however, and that is that both of you think that it is OK to sacrifice human life when there are "good reasons" for it.

Oh i'm reading what you're writing. You're repeating the same silly "argument" over and over. It's not going to get any less wrong with repetition. Furthermore, you are now adding a new, and pretty shameless and pathetic emotional appeal. i will deal with that separately. But first, the "argument" that you keep repeating.

Clearly explaining this to you is going to require even simpler terms than i've used already, so i'm going to have to do this step-by-step from very basic principles.


Do you understand that not all beliefs are equal? Yes/No

See, the silly "argument" that you keep repeating is basically this: i believe my reasons are good, the terrorists believe their reasons are good, therefore both our beliefs are of equal merit, and so i'm no different from the terrorists.

But not every belief is of equal merit. Some beliefs are just plain wrong. If i believe that paper is made from trees, but you believe that paper comes from angel farts, our beliefs are not equal. Mine is based on evidence gained from observations of reality, coupled with reasonable trust placed in sources that i have a rational reason to be confident in, which are then corroborated many times over. Yours is based on... i dunno, maybe what some cleric or 1500 year old text told you. They're not equal beliefs.

Or, if i believe that 317 is a prime, and you believe that 317 is an even number, our beliefs are not equal. You're wrong. Period. There is no possible rational interpretation in which you are right.

Ok, so, now do you agree that not all beliefs are equal? If yes, then we can move on to the next step.


Do you believe that the terrorists have a good reason for their actions? Yes/No

You keep saying that i believe the terrorists don't have a good reason for their actions, and i don't. You also say that the terrorists probably don't believe i have a good reason for my actions, and you're probably right, they probably don't. But what you keep avoiding is what i called you out on before. i called you a coward because you refuse to say what you believe, and i'm calling you a coward again. We're not talking about theoreticals or hypotheticals or other imaginary situations. YOU are accusing ME of being equivalent to ACTUAL TERRORISTS. Those are actual, real people involved, so we can test their actual real positions and not talk in terms of nebulous possibilities. So stop being such a coward, and stand up for what you believe, if you actually believe in anything at all besides just taking sneaky potshots at me. Lay it out for us: don't tell me whether the terrorists think they have a good reason, or whether i think the terrorists have a good reason - any idiot could get the answer to either of those - tell us whether you think the terrorists have a good reason for their actions.

i'm going to assume that you're not too stupid to realize that just because the terrorists think they have a good reason, that doesn't mean they do. You do realize that, don't you? You do realize that just because someone thinks the have a good reason, that doesn't mean that they do?

i'm going to assume so. i'm also going to assume that you don't believe the terrorists have a good reason, despite what they think. If Allah wanted the people in the Twin Towers dead, he shouldn't have needed a group of violent ignoramuses to get it done.

So now comes the next obvious question.


Do you believe that i have a good reason for my actions? Yes/No

Once again, you've told me what i think, you've told me what the terrorists think, but you've refused to tell me what you think. You've heard my argument before, and you can hear it again if you can make it worth my while to repeat it. i know you don't like it, but i also know that you've never been able to come up with a sound argument against it.

i'm going to assume that you're not hiding some killer rebuttal, just waiting for the right moment to whip it out. i'm going to assume that because you haven't countered my reasons, you can't counter them. That means, assuming you are a rational person, that you agree that they are good reasons.

So let's recap where we are now:


By this point, you have probably agreed that:
  1. Not all beliefs are equally valid - some beliefs are right, and some are wrong.
  2. Just because someone believes they are right, that doesn't mean that they are. You have to look at the reasoning underlying the belief to determine its rightness.
  3. The terrorists are wrong. Even though they say they have good reasons for their actions, they don't.
  4. i am not wrong so far as you can prove. You have heard my reasons and cannot find a flaw in them.


So now, it's time for you to take a long, hard look at your own argument. i'm going to repeat it: "So what would the difference be between the terrorists who sacrificed their own lives by flying into Twin Towers and your reasons? They also see their reasons as based on the truth without a shadow of the doubt." and "Whether good reason or noble cause you may think the terrorist's reasons are not good, but the terrorist thinks exactly the same of your "good" reasons. You do have something in common however, and that is that both of you think that it is OK to sacrifice human life when there are "good reasons" for it." Evaluate your own words critically, and tell me if they don't sound stupid.

What is the difference between the terrorists and me? i have good reasons, they don't. They also see their reasons as good? They're wrong. They think i'm wrong but they're right? They're still wrong. What part of any of that is still not sinking in by this point? Don't tell me what i think, or what the terrorists think - stop being a coward and say what you think, and why. Do you think the terrorists are right? Do you think my reasons are invalid? If so, then step forward and prove it.

Now, there's only one more thing to deal with at this point - the most recent addition: the shameless play at emotion.

deanhills wrote:
If a mother has lost a child as a result of your actions, she is definitely not going to be interested in your lengthy explanation about freedom of speech and "good" reasons.

And. She. Is. Wrong.

She will be upset, so that is only natural. That doesn't make her position sound. She is wrong, plain and simple, and the fact that she is hurt - or that she has good reason to be upset - is irrelevant. That just explains why she is being irrational, it doesn't make her rational.

deanhills wrote:
My point is that in the end it does not matter at all whose reasons are good or bad when there are people who could be killed as a result of your chosen course of action.

And your point is completely stupid. If there is a good reason to kill someone, or to do something that might result in deaths as an unavoidable by-product, then you should do it. So long as you have a good reason, you should do it.

You want examples? Fine. Strap in.

You're the operator of a drawbridge, and you see on one side of the bridge that a young kid has taken control of someones' car, and is now driving recklessly out of control toward the bridge. On the other side of the bridge, is a big parade. If that kid gets across the bridge, he's going to plough into hundreds of bystanders. You can stop the kid by opening the drawbridge, but then the kid will die. The kid obviously doesn't know any better - they're too young - but they need to be stopped. So you open the drawbridge, killing the kid, but saving dozens upon dozens of others. Now, the kid's mother is obviously going to be very upset... and will probably hate you and refuse to even listen to your reasons. She. is. wrong. You did what you had to do. You killed her child for a good reason, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. And yes, despite what you said, the reason matters.

Or, for a more indirect case closer to my own:

You have to decide whether or not to institute mandatory immunizations for some terrible disease. If you don't make everyone take the immunization, one single carrier could allow the disease to live long enough to outlast the immunization's effectiveness, and hundreds or even thousands could die. If you do make everyone take the immunization, you will end the disease forever... but there is a very small chance that a few people could die from the vaccine. So you decide to do the immunizations, and a couple people die. Once again, the victims' mothers are very upset. Once again, that's sad, but it doesn't make what you did wrong. You had a good reason - and again, that matters, despite what you say.
deanhills
Indi wrote:
See, the silly "argument" that you keep repeating is basically this: i believe my reasons are good, the terrorists believe their reasons are good, therefore both our beliefs are of equal merit, and so i'm no different from the terrorists.
Indi, you did not read what I was writing. I'm not commenting on the merit of your belief versus the merit of the belief of the terrorist. To be truthful, I'm completely indifferent to your beliefs. I'm looking at it coldly and soberly. You have X belief. The terrorist has Y belief. The terrorist thinks it is OK to kill people as he is in a holy war. You're in a "freedom of speech" war. You will obviously not go out to murder people, but it is quite conceivable if you go out to fight publicly, that there will be people who will be completely bowled over by your "reasons" and do your bidding. Next thing a terrorist picks on one of the people, and they die. You said (and this is where this debate started) that you would be able to face the family and feel OK that you can explain your reasons to them. I don't think you are guiltless when you had full knowledge that the consequences of your actions could have caused loss of life, and regardless still went down your war path. The end is a loss of a life that could have been prevented. That loss of life can be laid at your door. In the end that course of action is no different from the terrorist's path. He feels justified in what he is doing as much as you feel justified, albeit with more remorse than he could ever dream to feel. But the consequences for others are still exactly the same. People dying.
Indi
deanhills wrote:
I'm not commenting on the merit of your belief versus the merit of the belief of the terrorist.

And what i have been repeating to you over and over... is that the answer to your "challenge" is BASED on the merits of the two beliefs.

The terrorist is wrong because his belief has no merit.

i am not, because my belief has merit.

i can't make it any clearer than that.

i can't believe that you think all beliefs are equal. i don't think you're that stupid. i think you are fully aware that someone who has the belief that drinking drain cleaner will kill them has a belief with more merit than someone who has the belief that drinking drain cleaner will turn them into a superhero. i think you know why one belief has more merit than the other - because one is based in reality and vetted by reason and evidence, and the other is not.

deanhills wrote:
I'm looking at it coldly and soberly. You have X belief. The terrorist has Y belief. The terrorist thinks it is OK to kill people as he is in a holy war. You're in a "freedom of speech" war.

No, you're not looking at it coldly and soberly. ^_^; You're deliberately squinting to avoid seeing the whole picture. X and Y are not equal beliefs. There's the answer to your whole repeated challenge. Right there. Right in front of your face. X is right, Y is wrong. Problem solved.

Want more details? Okay, let's stick with symbols.

Me: i have belief X which causes bad result D (deaths).
Terrorist: they have belief Y which also causes D.

So, for Indi (I): I + X => D
For the terrorist (T): T + Y => D

Now if X and Y and equal, then I and T are equal, and that has been the entire argument you have been repeating over and over and over.

But X and Y are NOT equal. Deny it all you want, or simply refuse to consider it because you're pretending to be "cold and sober". One is rational and valid, the other is crap.

Therefore, since X is not equal to Y, I cannot be equal to T. QED.



Now, you're really not going to like what i'm going to do next, but remember, you brought this on yourself.

Because, you see, you're playing with apples and oranges here. My belief is not that people should die, nor does it lead anyone who holds that belief to kill. My belief leads other people - irrational, psychotic extremists - to respond violently. That means that it is in no way comparable to the terrorist belief who thinks that people should die - that belief is that people should die, and it leads who ever holds that belief, not other people, to kill. So you can't really compare the two beliefs, as much as you would like to.

Buuuuuuut. ^______^ We can do something to fix the comparison so it is more valid. Heh heh heh.

What we can do, is find a belief that has the same characteristics as my own. We need a belief held by non-murderers, that leads extremists to murder. Well, what do you say we use Islam? ^_^

So here's the new comparison.
On the one hand, you have me, with my belief in free expression, which is not violent in and of itself, but, when practised openly, may possibly lead to violence, which you claim i should be guilty of.
On the other hand, you have you, with your belief in Islam, which is not violent in and of itself, but, when practised openly, may possibly lead to violence. (You can't deny that there are Islamic extremists. They may have other agendas, but the plain fact is that Islam is not guiltless in the terrorist acts of Islamic terrorists.)

But here's the rub. If you are right that i should be guilty of all the deaths caused due to by belief - even though i don't agree with them, i didn't do them personally, and they are not a direct product of my belief but rather of an extremist reaction to it. Then.......................................

By extension, you should be guilty for all of the deaths caused by your belief - Islam - even though you don't agree with them, you didn't do them personally, and they are not a direct product of your belief but rather of an extremist reaction to it.

In other words, if i am guilty of everyone that dies because i practice my belief (free expression) - even when they are killed by psychos reacting wrongly to my beliefs - then you must also be guilty of everyone that dies because you practice your belief (Islam) - even when they are killed by psychos reacting wrongly to your beliefs.

How you you feel about that, murderer? ^_^

(One should really be more careful assigning guilt. Every time you point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you (just look at your hand as you point).)

deanhills wrote:
You said (and this is where this debate started) that you would be able to face the family and feel OK that you can explain your reasons to them. I don't think you are guiltless when you had full knowledge that the consequences of your actions could have caused loss of life, and regardless still went down your war path. The end is a loss of a life that could have been prevented.

No, that is completely false. The whole point of what i said is that the loss of life could NOT be prevented. i did what i did with full knowledge of the possible consequences... BECAUSE I HAD TO. Go back and read it. i said: "i do what i do for very important reasons, and what i do has to be done by someone." (Emphasis in the original.)

i am guiltless for two reasons. The first being the obvious: i didn't kill the (hypothetical) person. The (hypothetical) pissed off Muslims did. They didn't have to. They just did. The second reason is more important: i am guiltless because i took the only reasonable course of action, and the death that resulted from that choice, while tragic, was completely unavoidable. i had to do what i did, just like the drawbridge operator had to open the bridge to save the crowds, and the health officer had to order the immunizations to save the population. The deaths that resulted from these decisions were not unavoidable. That doesn't make them less tragic, but it does make the people who caused them guilt-free.
jeanleryenierga
What was exactly the real reason for the US to burn the bibles in Afghanistan? It would be lighter to piss a bible than burning it. The motivation of such action may have a complementary allotment in not respecting the bible.
Indi
The motivation for the action was about not respecting criminals and their contraband. Those bibles were snuck in - at the cost of the US military - and used for illegal acts.

The host country wanted the bibles gone, and so did the US military. But neither of those groups wanted to pay for shipping them back (the US military had already unwittingly paid to ship them there). So, they destroyed them.

If you don't want to see your holy book destroyed, don't use it to commit crimes.
liljp617
jeanleryenierga wrote:
What was exactly the real reason for the US to burn the bibles in Afghanistan? It would be lighter to piss a bible than burning it. The motivation of such action may have a complementary allotment in not respecting the bible.


The real reason is they shouldn't have been there and nobody wanted to pay to have them sent elsewhere. Respect is earned.
ThePolemistis
Bikerman wrote:
No right?
Does that mean that if I legally purchase a book I should not be entitled to burn it?
Whilst I am strongly against ANY sort of book burning (I have a large collection of books and I am a bibliophile) I would certainly not say that people had no right to do so, and I don't see how that case could be made, really...


Depends if the book was by Microsoft Smile
Abhishukla
i don't know more about politics and what is going around the globe this days,
though we come to end of another year.. we should not fight among our self but i think we should work for any global causes.
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