‹‹ Back to the Serious discussions Pages: 1 ... 31 32 33 [34]
Posts: 1013  
Users visited: 460  
Search this topic:  


The original post

Posted by Black Winter on 11.03.2008 at 21:55
Since the old thread had exceeded its limits,here is a new thread to continue some of the previous discutions,please post a logic and a meaningful contributions and try to avoid all kinds of extremism and disrespectful remarks.
I myself will try to contribute meaningfully to clarify some points .



Page 34 of 34

deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  26.06.2014 at 03:12
Written by Ilham on 26.06.2014 at 03:02


Yeah but seriously, I don't think you'd find it very pleasant, I would certainly contradict a number of your arguments. But I base mine on what I see everyday, that might actually help you understand what seem to be... quite against though.



Doesn't bother me that it would contradict me or I wouldn't find it pleasant.

What would the point of debate be if we didn't contradict each other or find some viewpoints "unpleasant"? And if we disagree in the end, it does not matter.

We're not living in the days of the Spanish Inquisition after all and the Earth is round!
Ilham
attention whore*

Posts: 1601

Age: 25
From: Morocco

  26.06.2014 at 03:15
Written by Troy Killjoy on 26.06.2014 at 03:04
I volunteer. So hard.

I'll try not to distract you from forming your thoughts of course.

The fact you chose to separate the two propositions adds a whole new meaning.
Vombatus
Title

Posts: 1311
From: Spain

  26.06.2014 at 03:16
Written by deadone on 26.06.2014 at 02:00

snip


You know, it's quite simple to start listing examples where you can show that religion was bad and evil. It is also easy to do the opposite.
Some examples taken after the ones you posted:

- Thinking modernisation is the product of increasing secularisation is extremely reductive. Protestantism in northern europe is just one example proving the contrary.
- Never met a Christian that struggles to accept the earth is round. Religion is not always stuck in the XII century. Sometimes it is, others not.
- The Renaissance may have started in one place or another, but fact is, it can hardly be dissociated from Christianity in most cases.
- I know some Muslims that don't think polio vaccination is bad. In their minds, if some invisible man wants their kids to have polio, well, they might refuse to do so. Hell, they might even think that the invisible man doesn't want their kids to have polio.



Sooooo, my point is that making never ending lists of examples is boring and useless to generate a debate with substance. It is too easy to turn anything to fit someone's own opinion if that someone is arrogant enough to believe he has the authentic truth. Ultimately, it is desirable to stick your head out your ass when exchanging different opinions...

I dislike discussing "serious stuff" over the internet (and sometimes even in IRL) as it mostly goes like on this thread. There is no substance, incapability to have a "larger picture" and to approach a theme from a macro perspective and not automatically as a for vs. against situation where there can't be shades of grey.
Instead it's all about throwing countless darts to have the illsuion they "win" the "debate" for their personnal satisfaction.

And I'm not refering to anyone in particular. It's just my opinion based on empirical evidence which make me deplore getting too involved in such conversations.
Ilham
attention whore*

Posts: 1601

Age: 25
From: Morocco

  26.06.2014 at 03:20
Written by deadone on 26.06.2014 at 03:12

Doesn't bother me that it would contradict me or I wouldn't find it pleasant.
What would the point of debate be if we didn't contradict each other or find some viewpoints "unpleasant"? And if we disagree in the end, it does not matter.
We're not living in the days of the Spanish Inquisition after all and the Earth is round!

Of course, of course. But what I meant is that it could end up being sterile and just irritating for both of us. But it would be good for myself as well, it has been a long time since I haven't had a stimulating debate about it. It might help me give clearer shape to all the thoughts that just roam without order in my head since I moved back to Morocco.
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  26.06.2014 at 04:04
Written by Vombatus on 26.06.2014 at 03:16

Sooooo, my point is that making never ending lists of examples is boring and useless to generate a debate with substance. It is too easy to turn anything to fit someone's own opinion if that someone is arrogant enough to believe he has the authentic truth. Ultimately, it is desirable to stick your head out your ass when exchanging different opinions...



Lists of examples is a remanant of university days when "backing up" one's arguments with examples etc was critical in essay writing.

And the examples are not necessarily 100% proof of something. Of course the Christians have accepted a round earth (now it's homosexuals, genetic research, abortion, evolution and contraception that they defend against in secular countries). And it's interesting how primitive some elements of Christianity get in third world countries where there's a lot of older principles still being practiced.

And it's true a lot of Muslims will gladly accept a polio vaccine. But it's clear that a sizeable minority of Muslims support a religious based society and are relatively intolerant to other religions or even branches of their own (e.g. current Shia-Sunni conflicts in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Iraq).

The examples are there as examples to illustrate a point.


To be fair many overt Christians I've met have been reasonably fundamentalist types too who preached hard and would look down on anyone who was a non-believer. Many of them were in Croatia and many were my relatives.

In several cases they were the most extreme hypocrites I've ever met too (drunks and stoners and in the case of my relatives not exactly good Christian souls).


Most people in Australia don't go around trying to spread their religion. I think this is how religion should be - a personal choice not brought on by social pressure or worse, through the barrel of a gun.
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  26.06.2014 at 04:09
Written by Ilham on 26.06.2014 at 03:20

Of course, of course. But what I meant is that it could end up being sterile and just irritating for both of us. But it would be good for myself as well, it has been a long time since I haven't had a stimulating debate about it. It might help me give clearer shape to all the thoughts that just roam without order in my head since I moved back to Morocco.



How's Morroco in terms of the types of things being discussed (fundamentalism v secularism, tolerance etc)?

Unfortunately the country is always portrayed here in the media as some sort of exotic tourist spots with luxury resort juxtaposed by people living in the middle ages who try to sell you dodgy carpets.

Of course this is most likely an extremely lame cliche (just like Australia is portrayed as "Sydney and the outback full of aborigines and kangaroos").
Vombatus
Title

Posts: 1311
From: Spain

  26.06.2014 at 04:55
Written by deadone on 26.06.2014 at 04:04

Written by Vombatus on 26.06.2014 at 03:16

Sooooo, my point is that making never ending lists of examples is boring and useless to generate a debate with substance. It is too easy to turn anything to fit someone's own opinion if that someone is arrogant enough to believe he has the authentic truth. Ultimately, it is desirable to stick your head out your ass when exchanging different opinions...



Lists of examples is a remanant of university days when "backing up" one's arguments with examples etc was critical in essay writing.

And the examples are not necessarily 100% proof of something. Of course the Christians have accepted a round earth (now it's homosexuals, genetic research, abortion, evolution and contraception that they defend against in secular countries). And it's interesting how primitive some elements of Christianity get in third world countries where there's a lot of older principles still being practiced.

And it's true a lot of Muslims will gladly accept a polio vaccine. But it's clear that a sizeable minority of Muslims support a religious based society and are relatively intolerant to other religions or even branches of their own (e.g. current Shia-Sunni conflicts in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Iraq).

The examples are there as examples to illustrate a point.


To be fair many overt Christians I've met have been reasonably fundamentalist types too who preached hard and would look down on anyone who was a non-believer. Many of them were in Croatia and many were my relatives.

In several cases they were the most extreme hypocrites I've ever met too (drunks and stoners and in the case of my relatives not exactly good Christian souls).


Most people in Australia don't go around trying to spread their religion. I think this is how religion should be - a personal choice not brought on by social pressure or worse, through the barrel of a gun.


Examples are indeed important to back up one's arguments but useless without a proper explanation or substance to use them efficiently. Which was not the case in the post I quoted you before (hence my rant against "battery of poorly thought examples" in my previous post).

But you did so in this one, which is quite nice as you make more sense....

And I doubt anyone here will refute your last line, probably represents the opinion of everyone excluding the extremists of both sides. I still think that too much importance is accorded to the wrongs of religions, always too much generalization, stereotyping, misusage of terms significants and incapability to see it as one of the many factors involved when something goes right or wrong and not the fundamental reason behind it all.
Ironically, this can be applied to both sides... But I guess it is normal to have the same way of thinking when both are ignorants of one another (which for me is the biggest problem when people have an argument over religion).
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  26.06.2014 at 05:26
Written by Vombatus on 26.06.2014 at 04:55

And I doubt anyone here will refute your last line, probably represents the opinion of everyone excluding the extremists of both sides. I still think that too much importance is accorded to the wrongs of religions



Probably cause at least the hierarchies of religion have not necessarily done much good for humanity over the millenia, regardless of the efforts of grass roots elements such as local church parishes organising charitable institutions for the poor or madrassas set up for actual education.

And in recent decades, the Christian churches have been prominent in the media for their harbouring of pedophiles (even the Salvation Army in Australia up to recent times) whilst slamming homosexuality, abortion etc as well as nutter cults around the world.


Islam has been prominent in the media for terrorism and gross human rights abuses. And some of the practices are confused as Islamic when in fact they might be local customs such as those practiced in some Pakistani and Afghani regions.


Whilst these aren't the work of the majority of the believers*, they are what we the general populace see.

And nothing gets the masses blood boiling more than hypocrisy or torment of defenceless women and children.


*Though to be fair the Catholic Church does indeed appear to be a glorified pedophile club - even the former Pope Benedict XVI was apparently involved in covering up pedophile activity, apparently against his will depending on who you believe. But then the Australian military is also a glorified rape club judging by the thousands of allegations in recent investigations. This kind of fucked up behaviour infects both religious and secular organisations where difference of thought is not permitted and which are effectively closed societies.
Ganondox

Posts: 225

Age: 18
From: USA

  26.06.2014 at 07:51
Written by Rasputin on 23.06.2014 at 19:11

If you are scared of my posts, then you are blind to the real problem. Islam nowhere in the world brings peace, never brings tolerance, never brings freedom and understanding. It breeds murder, torture, hatred, and terrorism. There is not a single place on this planet where the muslims moved to and made it a better place. Everywhere they go, they return it to stone age, which pretty much describes their mentality. Only due to the judeo-liberal lunacy of the Western Culture do people actually believe that any peace could be made and any tolerance could be enforced. And that will bite the West in the end. And yes, I firmly believe when I say "Death to Islam."


How about you STFU instead of proclaiming how culturally horrible countries are that you've never even been to rather than listening to people who actually live their. Actually Islam has brought a lot of good to countries because during the middle ages the muslims were the leading intellectuals in the world, many important mathematicains and scientists were muslims.
IronAngel

Posts: 4338

Age: 25
From: Finland

  26.06.2014 at 12:07
Written by deadone on 26.06.2014 at 02:00


The fact that you call us neo-atheists smacks of a lack of respect towards different attitudes and an inabilty to be as objective as you would like your big words to portray you).



Also the statement about "secularism being an unfortunate product of modernisation" shows a complete lack of understanding about the main drivers of modernisation which was increasing secularisation of society.

Indeed things like modern medicine aren't really condoned from a strictly religious viewpoint as illness is viewed as a test by god(s). Indeed some branches of Christianity ala Jehovah's Witnesses forbid certain medical procedures including such simple things as blood transfusions.

The religious types are still against genetic research despite it's potential for improving the lives of everyone on this planet.

But then Christianity also struggled with the concept the Earth is round and had a tendency to imprison or burn people who thought against traditional Christian thought.


The Renaissance started in Italy but it was often in the more secularised parts of Italy ala the Venetian Republic which had a love-hate relationship with the Papacy.

And the industrial revolution started in northern Europe where secularised thought was far more widespread.

Modern freedom is the result of secular thought too especially via the American and French revolutions


And indeed as soon as education levels improve, religion loses it's hold on people (exceptions aside).

One of the few things ol' Karl Marx got was that religion is the opium of the masses.


I am disrespectful because you fail to show any respect or, more importantly, intellectual integrity and nuanced reasonability in your views. But frankly, "neo-atheism" is not an insult - it is a phenomenon recognized and researched by the scholarly community, and it can be fairly easily identified.

1) I don't know what you mean when you say medicine is unacceptable from a "strictly religious point of view." There is no one "strictly religious point of view." There are many points of view, among individual people and particular groups as a given moment in history. The majority of doctors and patients in the world's history have been religious. (And Jehovah's Witnesses are not considered a branch of Christianity - shows what you know, I guess.) There are nutjobs who refuse vaccination on entirely non-religious grounds, too.

2) Christianity never struggled with the concept that the Earth is spherical; clearly your expertise comes from Internet memes or something? Classical Antiquity knew that the Earth was spherical, and Augustine of Hippo (4th century), the most influential theologian of Christianity, accepts it without problem. (See De Civitate Dei, XVI:9). You might be thinking of geocentrism, but nobody was burned or imprisoned on that account. Pre-eminent 20th century philosophers of science Pierre Duhem and Karl Popper, though, have actually argued that Galilei legitimately lost the scientific debate given the evidence and the paradigm of his time. If your only source is Bertolt Brecht's play, it's best not to judge. I don't know where the impression that the church imprisoned and burned people who "thought differently" comes from; burnings were relatively rare in the Middle Ages, and when they did happen, they were often by secular parties (like the Spanish Inquisition, headed by the crown rather than the papacy whose original Inquisition was much more humane and useful, and the witch trials).

3) I am not sure what you mean by secularism. Sometimes you seem to relate it to challenging religious hierarchies (which is the general scholarly meaning) and sometimes you seem to think it has to do with a person's relationship to religion. The former is probably true of Renaissance humanists. To say that the Renaissance was a secular phenomenon, though, is a stretch. The humanist who probably had the greatest influence on European culture, though not Italian, was enthusiastically religious - Erasmus. Neither was the Renaissance some great turning point in Western history - that is a Renaissance and Enlightenment charicature that they liked to present to set it apart from the "Dark Middle Ages" which, in fact, were perfectly continuous into the Renaissance period. Historians have recognized this for about a century now. It is also ironic that the Reformation is very much an Early Modern phenomenon, closely connected to secularism, and yet it's the thing that spawned the most radical and typically anti-intellectual splinter movements that control things like the American media these days. The idea of an independent parish supported by its members and lead by a single charismatic pastor is very much an expression of secularism.

4) Using the French Revolution as a shining example is exactly what I meant above about secularism going wrong. I think most people who know what happened will agree it was a travesty. People were executed for not adhering to the revolutionaries' dogmatic beliefs. The church was robbed of its lawful possessions and people were prevented from practicing the religion they individually wanted. A new national cult of Reason was established. It was a fanatic movement, driven by dogmatic hate against monarchy and Catholicism, not a civilized victory for human rights. Yes, it was connected with the more temperate British Enlightenment philosophy and you might connect it to positive consequences later on, but it was by no means an hour of glory for secularism. Modern France with its emphasis on negative freedom of religion (that is, you are not allowed to express your religion) is not a good example of a civilized modern state that respects the rights of its citizens

5) The hypothesis that education rids people of religion is a dogmatic fantasy. That's not what has happened. Attendance at organized religious institutions has decreased, but at the same time shopping for your own spiritual needs has become dramatically popular and on the other hand, a certain part of society seeks to stick to old traditions even stronger to deal with the rapid (and not always good) changes in scoeity. I am a medievalist, not too familiar with the sociology of modern religion, so I can't go into much depth on this. But there are a lot of genuinely religious people in Europe, and there is no empirical evidence to suggest they're going anywhere. You might say they're not "really" religious because they don't conform to your narrow concept of a fanatic Bible Belt born-again Christian who does not believe in evolution, or an unemployed welfare immigrant Muslim who can't fit in and copes by clinging to his religion for self-worth, but that just shows you don't have a very balanced view of the full spectrum of religion. Marx had an attitude. Just because he had a memorable quote does not change the fact that his theories have failed to stand the test of empirial reality.


I think the bottom line is, you'll find a lot of arguments one way or the other. No matter how diverse the truth may be, there's probably still more shades of gray you have not considered. The key to a fair and reasonable understanding of anything is a combination of curious sympathy and cool detachment. What irks me is that you (and many other poster here) seem to have an attitude that guides your interpretations and makes you attack something with examples that aren't really as simple as you make them out to be. If you're not genuinely curious to understand, say, Islam with all its aspects and different flavors as generously as you can but instead set out to prove some negative opinion you already have, how can we take you seriously? That makes you a politician, not a scholar.
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  27.06.2014 at 03:46
Written by IronAngel on 26.06.2014 at 12:07


3) I am not sure what you mean by secularism.


Primarily separation of religion from society and in particular government and economics.

I think it also applies to freedom of religion (or lack thereof).



Quote:
Neither was the Renaissance some great turning point in Western history - that is a Renaissance and Enlightenment charicature that they liked to present to set it apart from the "Dark Middle Ages" which, in fact, were perfectly continuous into the Renaissance period. Historians have recognized this for about a century now.


So my University history lecturers are all wrong?

And Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau and Locke were nothing but hacks who contributed nothing to human thought then?

The last 500 years has seen far more modernisation in the Christian world than the whole period 313- 1500 when the Popes ruled Europe.

And as religion was more and more pushed into a closet over the last 200 years, we've seen drastic improvements in living conditions and human rights (hey you can be gay in Europe and not put in prison).

And religion has been set aside in that period with virtually no role in government






Quote:

4) Using the French Revolution as a shining example is exactly what I meant above about secularism going wrong. I think most people who know what happened will agree it was a travesty. People were executed for not adhering to the revolutionaries' dogmatic beliefs.


The French revolution was not a single event. It lasted for a period of 10 years (up to Napoleon taking over).

The original French revolution in 1789 was mainly by moderates like Lafayette and it's goals were mainly human. Like most revolutions zealots ended up taking over and it spiralled into bloodshed by 1791.

But ending feudalism, embracing freedom, and ending things like a 10% tax to the Church from extremely poor peasants was a good thing.

Or should they have just chugged along and let the vast majority of the population rot in filth whilst the nobility and bishops lived in extreme wealth?



Quote:
The church was robbed of its lawful possessions


That it had gained through hundreds of years of oppression and collusion with tyrannical aristocracy. Indeed this was one of the reasons for the Protestant Reformation (which largely and often bloodily failed in France).



Quote:
Yes, it was connected with the more temperate British Enlightenment philosophy and you might connect it to positive consequences later on, but it was by no means an hour of glory for secularism. Modern France with its emphasis on negative freedom of religion (that is, you are not allowed to express your religion) is not a good example of a civilized modern state that respects the rights of its citizens


Most French people agreed with these principles. It's only the coming of large Muslim migrants that it's become an issue.




Quote:
The hypothesis that education rids people of religion is a dogmatic fantasy. That's not what has happened. Attendance at organized religious institutions has decreased, but at the same time shopping for your own spiritual needs has become dramatically popular and on the other hand, a certain part of society seeks to stick to old traditions even stronger to deal with the rapid (and not always good) changes in scoeity.



Actually the growth of "shopping for spiritual needs" has come at a time when Western societies (or at least English speaking ones) have been reducing education standards and cut public education funding. For example 50% of all Australians are functionally illiterate i.e. can't read enough to cope with day to day activities. We weren't even taught evolution at school but then history was Captain Cook, Gallipoli and a guy with a donkey.

So believing in ghosts, spirits, aliens and wierd amalgamations of Christian elements is common in the lower social welfare classes where I come from.

And my experience of religion in Croatia is pure hypocrisy - they replaced Socialism with Catholicism. Catholicism is used as a source of differentiation from Orthodox Serbs and Bosnian Muslims.

I went to a church fete when I was last there - it was the Feast Day for the Saint. I'm an atheist and I was shocked at what I saw: women dressed up as hookers, kids shooting BB guns in the back of church and lots of consumption of beer and wine.



Quote:
But there are a lot of genuinely religious people in Europe, and there is no empirical evidence to suggest they're going anywhere. You might say they're not "really" religious because they don't conform to your narrow concept of a fanatic Bible Belt born-again Christian who does not believe in evolution, or an unemployed welfare immigrant Muslim who can't fit in and copes by clinging to his religion for self-worth, but that just shows you don't have a very balanced view of the full spectrum of religion.



Thanks for just making up a completely baseless assumption.

I'd say the "quiet believer" is a true believer. And they fit far better into secular society than the fanatics as they keep their religion to themselves and respect the values of others as such.

A fanatic on the other hand is anathema to modern secular values such as freedom of religion because they believe everyone should believe in the same thing as the fanatatic and everything else is wrong.

Quote:
Marx had an attitude. Just because he had a memorable quote does not change the fact that his theories have failed to stand the test of empirial reality.


Hence I said one of the few things he got right.




Quote:

I think the bottom line is, you'll find a lot of arguments one way or the other. No matter how diverse the truth may be, there's probably still more shades of gray you have not considered. The key to a fair and reasonable understanding of anything is a combination of curious sympathy and cool detachment. What irks me is that you (and many other poster here) seem to have an attitude that guides your interpretations and makes you attack something with examples that aren't really as simple as you make them out to be. If you're not genuinely curious to understand, say, Islam with all its aspects and different flavors as generously as you can but instead set out to prove some negative opinion you already have, how can we take you seriously? That makes you a politician, not a scholar.



I'm certainly no scholar and am far closer to politician.

My actual real view about secularism v religious societies is far more political and also far more instinctual. It's about competition for power and protection of what I've got.

I don't want to live in a religious society because I like a lot of stuff that's not acceptable to zealots - booze, scantly dressed babes, heavy metal music and I'm an atheist. I go to churches to see beautiful architecture and art, not pray to invisible men.


I worry about increasing religiousness of society as a threat to myself and my way of life.

And it's not just Islam - it's also things like Australian Federal Government funding religious chaplains at school, increasing government hostility against homosexuals and conservative government policies against women and the closeness of some political leaders with church leaders as well as declining standards of education.

The government is also doling out more funding to Christian charities and schools, some of which are known for discriminating against non-believers for employment opportunities or even service delivery.

This is also happening at least in the USA - all the battles about teaching of Creationism at public schools, Christian led anti-abortion campaigns etc etc.
One might say how does this affect me? Well if the government becomes increasingly religious orientated and trains future generations to be more religious. then the threat to my lifestyle increases.

Or Poland and some of the discrimination against metal bands for their beliefs.
IronAngel

Posts: 4338

Age: 25
From: Finland

  27.06.2014 at 11:45
Increasing respect for immigrants' (as well as natives') rights to positive freedom of religion (the freedom to practice your religion, as opposed to freedom from religion) would not lead to tighter moral control on you; not at least as long as pluralism is embraced and the whole spectrum of society is represented. If anything, the freedom for anyone to live out their lives as they want, in public as well as privately, should make tolerance a practical necessity because everyone's getting something out of it. (It might create personal tensions, of course - but things like Muslim holidays at work are entirely fine by me, if they make up for them by working on an equal number of Christian holidays or something. When you choose to celebrate really shouldn't be an issue.)

I just don't understand the hostility in public discourse against religious motives in politics; they're motives like any other, and in a democracy we're not supposed to scrutinize why someone votes the way they do. Maybe support homosexual marriage because they don't want unnecessary legal distinctions or maybe they support it because they believe God created everyone equal and deserving to be loved (certainly a stance real people have) - it does not really matter what their motive is. As long as we subscribe to a democractic society, it's the majority opinion (tempered with expert judgement on things like the constitution and human rights) that determines what goes on. You can't just shut out 50% of the population because they're too religious for your tastes.

And yeah, your university lecturers probably were wrong about the Renaissance and Middle Ages, unless they were renowned medievalists. I mean, it's one of the more stubborn myths of history, but it has been challenged at least for a hundred years now in the academia. It lives on through immensely popular and influential but outdated works like Jacob Bruckhardt's. If the Middle Ages were dark, it's only because the Renaissance and Enlightenment painted them so and because we've known next to nothing about it - given that much its source material is still lying in archives, uncatalogued and in handwriting and abbreviated Latin that few can read (as opposed to the widely edited and originally printed works of Classical Antiquity and Early Modern Era, respectively), it's no surprise people still don't know a whole lot about it. But really, if ever there was a period where religion made an impact for the better and which we can draw on for perspective on the modern world, it's the Middle Ages (granted, I am a medievalist like I said). Descartes certainly was a hack who contributed a lot, but mostly by virtue of his popularity and novel presentation of old ideas (much like Renaissance humanists, you'll note that he himself likes to stress how original he is to create the illusion; not unlike Kant, by the way, though obviously the latter is an intellectual giant). In fact, Early Modern philosophy lost sight of some pretty central topics of medieval philosophy that set it back in some areas (especially logic) until the 20th century. Rousseau's influence has mostly been negative, I think, and I'm not sure what the Christian Deist Locke has to do with secularism.
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin

Posts: 3522

Age: 24
From: India

  27.06.2014 at 19:17
Written by deadone on 25.06.2014 at 01:45

Written by Cynic Metalhead on 23.06.2014 at 20:25

Nothing to follow from above but I can darn sure that Islam isn't bad religion.


The problem with Islam is that it's societies have not shoved it in the closet.

Yes. Damn right.

Actually, new generation isn't gentle to accept the outlines of Islam principles. Education has brodened the mind of muslims. Let me honest out here, either it's one of those young people who're staunch about Islam and act normal or guys who're angry, pissed off and be like "it's Islam or nothing" stand view. For me, both are disillusional. Rich Muslims are breaking the boundary and letting their young daughters and sons to get out of the house and explore life while middle and lower class Kashmir-es divided into getting quality education and start building empire or domesticated in house for whatever reasons they believe in. It's all about GOOD EDUCATION- fireball burning out here to be honest. Handful of people have close mindset and thinks about spreading terrorism but are living in minority. Otherwise, that shit wore out of Kashmir way back. I've heard(just heard) that sometimes they get orders to put their young sons to join militancy and continue Jihad which again for me is bullcrap. But, parents have started worrying about their wards' career. I don't know if Islam has something to do get bad patches from terrosim or not. But, again people believe in it.

It's true that just like privatisation and globalisation boomed in India in 1991, here people are getting out of the system and believing in freedom which I'm afraid wasn't existed before. They're now accepting westernization and living life just like any foreigner lives.
----
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  30.06.2014 at 03:01
Written by IronAngel on 27.06.2014 at 11:45

Increasing respect for immigrants' (as well as natives') rights to positive freedom of religion (the freedom to practice your religion, as opposed to freedom from religion) would not lead to tighter moral control on you; not at least as long as pluralism is embraced and the whole spectrum of society is represented.


Sure, until certain groups become majority and start wanting to make everyone live their own way.

That's what we're doing right now here in Australia. We are secular and can drink booze and watch porn and listen to metal because most people in society believe in individual freedom.

That's what people all around the world are doing. Society reflects values of individuals and individuals also reflect society.

So once you start making society more religious, that will affect freedom as religious types start influencing laws and pro-religious values start becoming basis of society.


And when they hold power, highly religious socieites are generally not tolerant. Indeed look at the Arab world or fundamentalist Christian societies in US or whatever.

The more the people are religious, the greater the chance for zealotry, much like increased nationalism in Europe in the 19th century led to the Mussolinis, Hitlers etc and increased popularity of Communist/Socialist ideology led to the Lenin's, Stalin's, Pol Pot's, Mao Ze Dongs etc.

And indeed the growth of Islamic fundamentalism.



Basically it's all about demographics and numbers/


To put it simply try being an openly gay atheist in rural Pakistan or the Bible Belt in the US compared to say the cosmopolitan cities of the world ala Paris and London.






Quote:

I just don't understand the hostility in public discourse against religious motives in politics; they're motives like any other, and in a democracy we're not supposed to scrutinize why someone votes the way they do. Maybe support homosexual marriage because they don't want unnecessary legal distinctions or maybe they support it because they believe God created everyone equal and deserving to be loved (certainly a stance real people have) - it does not really matter what their motive is. As long as we subscribe to a democractic society, it's the majority opinion (tempered with expert judgement on things like the constitution and human rights) that determines what goes on.


Sure democratic society tempered with expert judgment on constitution and human rights. In reality laws are only worth to the extent people are willing to adhere to them.

Countries like Pakistan are meant to be mainly secular with all of the above. Doesn't stop people killing female family members who have "dishonoured" them or attacks on Christians and other minorities.



Also the religious organisations have not done much over the centuries to make themselves respected by the public in the West. And indeed there is a constant flow of child abuse scandals on one hand and support for terrorism on the other.

And then the work of religious types to undermine other people's freedom (e.g. contraception, sexuality, abortion etc).



Quote:
You can't just shut out 50% of the population because they're too religious for your tastes.


What happens when 50% of thoe people become 51% and then decide to deprive the other 49% of their individual freedom?






Quote:
Descartes certainly was a hack who contributed a lot, but mostly by virtue of his popularity and novel presentation of old ideas (much like Renaissance humanists, you'll note that he himself likes to stress how original he is to create the illusion; not unlike Kant, by the way, though obviously the latter is an intellectual giant). In fact, Early Modern philosophy lost sight of some pretty central topics of medieval philosophy that set it back in some areas (especially logic) until the 20th century. Rousseau's influence has mostly been negative, I think, and I'm not sure what the Christian Deist Locke has to do with secularism.


I think you're mistaking your personal opinions for accepted facts

In fact Roussaeu and Locke are both highly regarded in Political Science.


Their writings are the basis for the modern state and the relationship between people and state and civil society.



I assue as a medievalist you have a " it better in those days" mentality?

Personally give me modernity, modern wealth, modern convenience and modern life expectancy of 80+ compared to short, brutish lives filled with war, plague, famine and abject poverty.
Ilham
attention whore*

Posts: 1601

Age: 25
From: Morocco

  30.06.2014 at 03:14
Deadone, you asked me a few questions. I was getting around to them. But I see you deleted them. I'm here .
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  30.06.2014 at 05:11
Written by Ilham on 30.06.2014 at 03:14

Deadone, you asked me a few questions. I was getting around to them. But I see you deleted them. I'm here .



The post about how is Morrocco is still there!

I'm still interested.


I think I've slightly derailed the topic from Islam to general concept of religious impact on society.
Ilham
attention whore*

Posts: 1601

Age: 25
From: Morocco

  30.06.2014 at 13:59
Written by deadone on 30.06.2014 at 05:11

The post about how is Morrocco is still there!

I think I didn't have eyes turned on when I said that. Sorry.
Fritillaria
Evil Butterfly

Posts: 1242


  30.06.2014 at 20:45
Written by IronAngel on 27.06.2014 at 11:45

Early Modern philosophy lost sight of some pretty central topics of medieval philosophy that set it back in some areas (especially logic) until the 20th century. Rousseau's influence has mostly been negative, I think, and I'm not sure what the Christian Deist Locke has to do with secularism.

But actually modern philosophy is all about being no centralized, they're deprived of a center in nature, like what Nietzsche says : "God is dead" . Some interpreted god is a metaphor of center, and the center is deprived of human's life and mind, god here is not just a religious figure.

And really ? Rousseau influences was negative ? why ?! Locke has nothing to do with secularism ? but isn't he one of those first scholars who suggested empirical way of thinking rather than imposing things to people ?

However, I asked all these out of my curiosity, I got your point somehow, still I loved to discuss these things that I asked above though I know they're not that relevant to the whole thing you were discussing here.
----
Soundtrack of my life : Evil Dead
"He replies that he is stronger than the wolves, because he stands alone."
IronAngel

Posts: 4338

Age: 25
From: Finland

  01.07.2014 at 01:28
Written by Fritillaria on 30.06.2014 at 20:45

Written by IronAngel on 27.06.2014 at 11:45

Early Modern philosophy lost sight of some pretty central topics of medieval philosophy that set it back in some areas (especially logic) until the 20th century. Rousseau's influence has mostly been negative, I think, and I'm not sure what the Christian Deist Locke has to do with secularism.

But actually modern philosophy is all about being no centralized, they're deprived of a center in nature, like what Nietzsche says : "God is dead" . Some interpreted god is a metaphor of center, and the center is deprived of human's life and mind, god here is not just a religious figure.

And really ? Rousseau influences was negative ? why ?! Locke has nothing to do with secularism ? but isn't he one of those first scholars who suggested empirical way of thinking rather than imposing things to people ?

However, I asked all these out of my curiosity, I got your point somehow, still I loved to discuss these things that I asked above though I know they're not that relevant to the whole thing you were discussing here.


"Modern philosophy" is a pretty varied field, and not even only between the dichotomy of the "continental" and "analytical" schools. Nietzsche isn't exactly a modern academic - I'd go for Quine, Kripke, Searle, Goldman for relevant philosophers representative of the current field. In any case, with the exception of Leibniz, logic did not really advance (in fact, it regressed) since Descartes until Frege and Russel.

Locke was thoroughly religious, and that's why I criticized using him as an example of progressive secularism. He thought the existence of God was a demonstrable truth, he wrote a commentary the epistles of Paul, and he based his moral theology on Natural Law, in other words (his words), the will of God. Certainly he was an individualist and wanted to separate the spheres of faith and reason, but that made him no less Christian and it certainly wasn't new - that's more or less the via moderna programme of the 14th century scholasticism, simply with different emphasis.

I imagine we could debate Rousseau's influence. But assuming his political philosophy did have a direct impact, it does not seem to me a positive one. He espoused totalitarian collectivism thinly veiled by the supposed freedom of the "general will", after all. He has been taken to be an ideological influence behind the more extreme developments of the French revolution and fascism. (I doubt that a single thinker would have such decisive impact, but that goes for his positive influence as well; surely he has a lot to answer for before he can take credit.)

My point was, however, that many Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers had an agenda that caused them to tarnish the reputation of preceding centuries and their religious "darkness", which does not stand up to scrutiny. Intellectual life in the Middle Ages was lively and diverse, and there was rarely very tight control imposed on academics. Even when deviant intellectuals were condemned for their opinions (and it happened primarily for theological and moral questions, not regarding other sciences), they could usually go on writing. At worst, if their University didn't want to shelter them, they'd have to move somewhere else. People like Giordano Bruno are so famous because they were the exception - and he wasn't executed for his Copernican theories but for running around Europe stirring trouble, writing about magic, and ignoring lawful injunctions. The various periods within the Middle Ages, like any other age, had their particular historical contingencies and universal constants, and they were not categorically better or worse than the 16th or 18th centuries, for example. Moreover, "religion" does not work in a single direction in any society, but rather it's a dimension that pervades most aspects of most people's lives in a multitude of permutations. It would be equally correct to say that Christianity was the cause for human rights thought in the 14th century and that Christianity was the reason for Cathar persecutions. But both are such general statements (whose Christianity, in what way, when, and why?) that they're not really worth much.

Deadone: I do not think things were better in the Middle Ages. That would be pretty naive. But as a historian I do think we should be aware of our limited perspective and give credit to the societies and people of the past who adapted to their particular circumstances and probably did it much better than we now think. To think that there was at some point a dark age of religious oppression and stagnation not only ignores what the sources themselves represent, but also underestimates the people who, if evolutionary biology is anything to go by, were potentially just as intelligent as we are.

As for your comment on the demographics: I think you exaggerate. Why would that happen in a modern society? Especially if your theories of secularism are true, these religious fundamentalists should become secularized when they make a place for themselves in society. But in the hypothetical situation that fundamentalist Muslims did take over society democratically, how can you object to that and still hold onto our values of civilized, democratic society? If they do achieve the support necessary for changing your constitution, aren't you required to accept that? Rousseau and Locke would certainly say so.
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  01.07.2014 at 03:13
Written by IronAngel on 01.07.2014 at 01:28


Locke was thoroughly religious, and that's why I criticized using him as an example of progressive secularism. He thought the existence of God was a demonstrable truth, he wrote a commentary the epistles of Paul, and he based his moral theology on Natural Law, in other words (his words), the will of God. Certainly he was an individualist and wanted to separate the spheres of faith and reason, but that made him no less Christian and it certainly wasn't new - that's more or less the via moderna programme of the 14th century scholasticism, simply with different emphasis.


Most people then were religious - mass atheism/non-religiousness is a relatively new thing in Western society.


But they went a long way to contributing to separation of church from state.




Quote:

I imagine we could debate Rousseau's influence. But assuming his political philosophy did have a direct impact, it does not seem to me a positive one. He espoused totalitarian collectivism thinly veiled by the supposed freedom of the "general will", after all. He has been taken to be an ideological influence behind the more extreme developments of the French revolution and fascism. (I doubt that a single thinker would have such decisive impact, but that goes for his positive influence as well; surely he has a lot to answer for before he can take credit.)


I don't agree with this.

And you're ignoring a lot of other developments that were directly or indirectly influenced by Rousseauian thought - development of social benefits, income equalisation schemes, etc etc - basically a lot of the social democratic stuff that is the cornerstone of modern Western states.

By the way society itself is a form of totalitarian collectivism. Societies have overarching values that undermine the freedom of the individual.

The extreme example given before still applies: "try being an openly gay atheist in Bible Belt USA." In USA indeed one has a right to be gay and an atheist but overarching social values might prevent that through economic (e.g. getting a job), social (e.g. ostrascisation) and even violent repurcussions.




Quote:

Intellectual life in the Middle Ages was lively and diverse,


Provided you weren't one of the illiterate masses kept in the dirt by a feudal system propped up by the Church.

Or a Protestant in Catholic areas or a Catholic in Protestant areas or a Cathar or a Jew or a Muslim or a woman or a pagan.

Or to use your own words "writing about magic."


Quote:


Deadone: I do not think things were better in the Middle Ages. That would be pretty naive. But as a historian I do think we should be aware of our limited perspective and give credit to the societies and people of the past who adapted to their particular circumstances and probably did it much better than we now think. To think that there was at some point a dark age of religious oppression and stagnation not only ignores what the sources themselves represent, but also underestimates the people who, if evolutionary biology is anything to go by, were potentially just as intelligent as we are.


Of course they were as intelligent as we are.

However the political-social powerbases of the day were nasty and didn't allow freedom of any sort.

And the Church was a big part of propping those regimes up - after all it kept the bishops in power and the Church fabulously wealthy.




Quote:
As for your comment on the demographics: I think you exaggerate. Why would that happen in a modern society? Especially if your theories of secularism are true, these religious fundamentalists should become secularized when they make a place for themselves in society.


Except that they don't!

If that was true the US Bible Belt would not exist. If that was true there would be no Branch Davidians or other cults. Or ongoing high levels of religiousness and anti-secularism amongst Muslims (with obviously a very small minority being swayed to take up arms).

However for the most part, fundamentalism is contained due to most people in the west being content with secular society.

But start increasing religious education in schools and start promoting emphasis on certain religious values whilst opposing other "anti-religious" values (e.g. secularisation, homosexuality, rights of women etc) and it's a slippery slope towards fundamentalism or at least potential for fundamentalism as younger generations get brought up more religious.








Quote:
But in the hypothetical situation that fundamentalist Muslims did take over society democratically, how can you object to that and still hold onto our values of civilized, democratic society? If they do achieve the support necessary for changing your constitution, aren't you required to accept that? Rousseau and Locke would certainly say so.



So we should accept if Group A got voted in democratically and then changed constitution to get rid of democracy, personal freedom and human rights? Reminds me of a certain Austrian in Germany in the 1930s.




Personally I don't give a fuck about democracy/right to vote. Having worked in the government managment for 10 years I can tell you democracy is a sham at least here in Australia. True power is behind the scenes - in high levels of bureaucracy and in the politicial-business-bureaucracy networks. I've seen elected ministers undermined by departmental bureaucrats (hell we've occassionally done it when politicians have made dumb decisions) or take no interest in the running of their departments. The decision making processes have been so undermined with red tape and stakeholder interference (e.g. unions) that it's next to impossible to make meaningful decisions. Very often politicians lie through their teeth (last government) or offer no different alternative to the ones in power. They also don't outline their positions in their electoral campaigns (saying you're going to increase number of doctors is not a health policy).



If we have to have elections to keep the peace, then so be it.


What I do care about is the continued maintenance of our current secular society and all the true freedoms it gives.

I'm not talking about the pointless voting of tweedle dee/tweedle dum politicians, but rather the ability to be free in all other aspects of life - opportunities for education and employment, pursuit of business and commercial interests, hobbies, sexuality and yes religion or lack thereof.


If people want to be religious, then that's their right. But they should never be allowed to impose their beliefs on others.
Ganondox

Posts: 225

Age: 18
From: USA

  01.07.2014 at 07:24
One question to ask is, is a focus individual freedom actually better? You're tying secularism to individualism, but it should be noted that it can bed aruged that individualist cultures are actually worse off for the average individual because they lack social support, for example mental illness is much, much more rampant in individualist societies as a result. While religions often place less emphasis on personal freedom, they also put more focus on doing more to help others. It's not black and white at all.
deadone
Mainstream Whore

Posts: 3203
From: Australia

  01.07.2014 at 08:20
Written by Ganondox on 01.07.2014 at 07:24

One question to ask is, is a focus individual freedom actually better? You're tying secularism to individualism, but it should be noted that it can bed aruged that individualist cultures are actually worse off for the average individual because they lack social support, for example mental illness is much, much more rampant in individualist societies as a result. While religions often place less emphasis on personal freedom, they also put more focus on doing more to help others. It's not black and white at all.



People have families, friends etc for support. There's also professional services.

As for rampant mental health, that's a baseless allegation. It could be people are more willing to speak out about their illness than somewhere where they might suffer persecution.

Indeed in the more religious past the mentally ill were sygmatised and the truly ill hidden in asylums or behind locked doors.



Also secular countries are usually filthy rich so can afford to treat mental health far more than a lot of more religious inclined countries who are often poor and struggle with treating basic disease let alone mental illness.



I work in mental health by the way.


And collectivist groups do tend to hide things more and people are less willing to speak out against bad things due to fear of "rocking the boat." Individuals are often punished for not adhering to group values or for speaking out against group activities.


Indeed pedophilia was often not reported in 1950s-70s due to people not talking about it due to greater emphasis on collective.

I know of instances where pedophiles were known to community but no-one reported to police because it was close knit community and speaking out against a neighbour or relative was viewed as bad form. Indeed charges weren't laid until 40 years later (it was someone I knew).

And the massive amounts of allegations about Christian pedophile rings was also not reported until modern era because it was not acceptable to speak out against Church in the period before the 1970s.



As for religion helping, sure it does. But there's a lot of dodginess involved. The rather timid Church of England for example has been embroiled in child sex scandals as well as been involved in such nasty things as taking children away from their parents because they were poor or black (all with government sanction).

Even the Salvation Army has been rocked with massive allegations of widespread child abuse.


And back to topic, there's been a lot of evidence of Islamic charities being used for fundamentalist purposes including madrassas being used as recruitment grounds for terrorists. And in extreme fundamentalist Islamic countries ala Saudi Arabia women are excluded from education and employment opportunities and even such basic things as driving cars. It'd be interesting to know how much (or little) access to health care they have.
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist

Posts: 17561

Age: 23
From: Canada

  01.07.2014 at 08:27
Alright guys this conversation is now happening right over here.

Let's keep this thread specifically about Islam - if you want to talk about religion in a broader sense then you should check out the above link.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.

Advertise on Metal Storm
Pages: 1 ... 31 32 33 [34]


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Serious discussions Discordianism 3 11.05.2009 by jupitreas
Serious discussions Theory: Religion Causes War 2.5 19.09.2007 by {aud}devil
General forum Mormonism 2 30.11.2011 by SuicidalCyco
General forum Your views on religion? 1.5 24.01.2012 by Zealot644
Albums Seeds Of Iblis - Jihad Against Islam 1.5 05.09.2012 by Ellrohir