1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured It's not about terrorists, it's about theocracy

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by icehorse, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. JoStories

    JoStories Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    4,377
    Ratings:
    +1,374
    Religion:
    Spiritual
    true but keep in mind that most of this kowtowing has more to do with the oil they have than truly supporting their regime. Would you be interested in going back to having no oil or gas? No cars, wood heat only, no electricity, etc. Most Americans would implode I think. And therein lies the problem, IMO. We are too damned spoiled. To imagine having to walk 10 blocks in NYC is unconscionable. To have no ability to turn on the heat or air conditioning, etc. We are spoiled to the point of insensibility.
     
  2. FearGod

    FearGod Freedom Of Mind

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    15,702
    Ratings:
    +2,054
    Religion:
    Human
    God never said that women aren't allowed to drive cars but not to be trade by men to be forced into
    sex by men(pimps) to gain few dollars, i mentioned driving car just as an example that Sharia laws
    depends on the legislation system that one government suggest, so such laws has nothing
    to do with Islam but it's the work of some scholars and that doesn't mean that they're always
    right, still they're just humans and can do mistakes.

    Iran for example see no problem for women to drive the car whereas it isn't the same for Saudi Arabia
    and both countries have the Sharia law.
     
  3. Sonofason

    Sonofason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,362
    Ratings:
    +459
    It's not about terrorism. And it's not about theocracy. It's about cultural diversity. There is nothing inherently wrong with isolated pockets of Sharia loving people establishing Sharia Law upon it's own members. If this isolated family, group or nation should acquire new members, whether by reproduction or immigration, it should be understood and expected that all new members shall be compelled to assimilate and to comply with all the rules that have been established. Cultural diversity is the problem. Cultural diversity is the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society. This definition for cultural diversity is of course somewhat flawed, because ethnicity has absolutely nothing at all to do with culture, and ought not even be a part of a definition for cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is the existence of a variety of cultural groups within a society, and has absolutely nothing at all to do with the ethnicity of its members. Cultural diversity is at the heart of all of today's conflicts. It is the cause of all conflict. It is the cause of all wars. And yet for some strange reason it is often thought to be a good thing for a nation to be culturally diverse. America strangely prides itself on its cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is the cause of all of the conflict that exists today, and no good ever comes from it.

    If you want to keep a beautiful lawn, you must prune out the weeds.

    Assimilation is the key to peace. So then, what culture, along with its rules, shall we all be compelled to conform to? The world is getting smaller, and cultural diversity doesn't work. It is time for a NWO. Who will own it? Who will do the pruning necessary to bring peace?
     
  4. The_Fisher_King

    The_Fisher_King Trying to bring myself ever closer to Allah
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,245
    Ratings:
    +723
    Religion:
    Islam
    Evidence?

    Some, perhaps even many/most, but crucially not all Muslims.

    Islaam is no more a monolithic religion than pretty much any other religion. There are multiple different versions of Islaam.

    This is certainly what some Muslims aspire towards, but not all of us.
     
  5. The_Fisher_King

    The_Fisher_King Trying to bring myself ever closer to Allah
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,245
    Ratings:
    +723
    Religion:
    Islam
    My kind of theocracy wouldn't have a fundamental problem with this.
     
  6. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    72,204
    Ratings:
    +28,130
    Religion:
    God is in the Rain
    Clearly cultural diversity is not the cause of all wars. I would hesitate to say it causes most wars.
    Probably because even before the Europeans arrived it was a land of cultural diversity with the many different Native groups practicing their own ways. And ever since the Europeans arrived, and eventually Africans and Asians, it has always been a land of many different cultures ranging from English, German, Dutch, French, African, Chinese, Irish, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and more. Of course these groups are known for forming their own communities, but American has always been a place of cultural diversity. Even different regions of America have different cultural norms and practices. The Bible Belt is way more religious than other parts, Indiana is very much a smoking state, and New York tends to be more Cosmopolitan.
    Bull. Our vanishing middle class and stagnating/declining wages are causing more conflict than cultural diversity. The CIA dealing crack caused more conflict than cultural diversity. American military adventurism is causing way more conflict and international tensions than cultural diversity. Laws such as NAFTA are causing more conflicts than cultural diversity.
     
  7. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,015
    Ratings:
    +13,132
    "Force" in what sense? In the sense of fighting wars to spread secularism? Yes, I agree: that's dangerous. "Force" in the sense of active and persistent secular discourse, criticism of theocracy and certain cultural norms, and intellectual movements? Then I disagree; I'd be all for the latter kind of "force."

    We disagree on this as well, then. As I said, I believe in moral objectivism, and part of that is my belief that secularism is objectively better than theocracy. As far as I'm concerned, a system based on modern scientific knowledge, logic, and the premise that the well-being of conscious creatures is of utmost importance is objectively and completely superior to a system based on books written centuries or millennia ago.

    This is one of the reasons I think proselytism-heavy religions like Islam and Christianity have been so successful in terms of spreading and gaining new converts. Those religions don't teach, "Look, we believe we [the religions] are superior, but that's just our subjective belief, and we can't say that we are objectively better than any other religions." They assertively and actively work from the belief that they are objectively superior. Until more secularists start doing the same with secularism, theocracy will continue winning in many parts of the world, in my opinion.
     
  8. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,349
    Ratings:
    +3,285
    Religion:
    Anglo-Saxon(esque) Heathenry
    I'm not. Sure, less people die, but the effect is still the same.

    Besides, agian: who are we foreign devils to barge into their lands and start telling them that they're doing everything wrong and that they need to adopt our way of life because it's better?

    I don't, because I regard it as inherently imperialist, and potentially fascist. It's also something that's absolutely central to theocracy, and is the reason why theocracy is such a problem.

    Consider that Daesh also believes in moral objectivism.

    If secularism also adopts moral objectivism, it will ultimately end up functioning just like a theocracy.

    I don't believe it's objectively better, because objects aren't involved; subjects are.

    Then again, I don't believe in objectivity in general.

    And that razing Light of Rome will continue to destroy, under new excuses.
     
  9. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,015
    Ratings:
    +13,132
    Again, "interfering" in what way? Militarily? Yes, I'm against that too. "Interfering" by trying to spread certain cultural and ethical concepts? I'm all for that as long as those concepts adhere to certain criteria.

    "We shouldn't tell other countries what to do" is the kind of logic that would give free rein to people like Kim Jong-un and Stalin to do whatever they wanted to their people without attempts from anyone to stop the tyranny and abuse of human rights. Silence is hardly the more ethical solution to such abuses, in my opinion.
     
  10. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,015
    Ratings:
    +13,132
    I don't know much about neoconservatism to say how much my views match it, if they do at all. I do realize that some of my views are similar to common conservative views, though.
     
  11. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,015
    Ratings:
    +13,132
    I'm not sure how you went from "active and persistent secular discourse, criticism of theocracy and certain cultural norms, and intellectual movements" to "barge into their lands."

    With moral objectivism, it becomes less a matter of "our way of life" and more a matter of "the most ethical way of life." The word "our" personalizes morality so much that it makes some people hesitant to actively try to spread secularism in theocratic cultures. Maybe it's "our [secularists']" way of life, but that doesn't mean it isn't objectively superior either.

    One of the things I find unfortunate about the "fascist" argument used by many moral relativists, especially liberal ones, against moral objectivism is that many of those liberals (I'm talking generally, not about you) could be argued to act in a fascist manner themselves when they shut down and attack any and all harsh criticism of other cultures as "racist," "supremacist," etc. I'm not sure what to call that. Counter-fascism, maybe? Or reactionary supremacism? In any case, people will inevitably end up defending and supporting a certain concept of morality, especially if they have to fight wars to defend their way of life (defensive wars, that is, not ones like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars). I see nothing wrong with coming out and saying that their views are morally objectivist in one way or another without hesitation while they're at it.

    And what if Daesh also believes in moral objectivism? I'm not sure if there's a name for this logical fallacy, but the fact that a particular group or groups of people who are murderous, violent, irrational, etc., adopt a certain belief or beliefs doesn't automatically invalidate those beliefs. Many far-right Islamists who supported bin Laden strongly believe in giving to charity (at least to help Muslims) and in showing respect to one's parents. Does that make those beliefs bad just because they are adopted by supporters of bin Laden?

    As far as I can see, the reality of the world is such that all cultures will have to fight wars at one point or another in their history. As far as that goes, it's not a matter of whether or not to fight; it's a matter of which wars one is willing to fight and which causes one is willing to defend with their life. Saying that moral relativism will avoid wars strikes me as too optimistic and utopian to function effectively in the real world.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. FearGod

    FearGod Freedom Of Mind

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    15,702
    Ratings:
    +2,054
    Religion:
    Human
  13. Sonofason

    Sonofason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,362
    Ratings:
    +459
    Please name a war that is not a result of a clash of culture? Then name the cause of that war. And then I will prove you wrong.
     
  14. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,349
    Ratings:
    +3,285
    Religion:
    Anglo-Saxon(esque) Heathenry
    Empathy, that's how. Because no doubt, that's how they feel about our antics.

    For the record, I'm not talking about the governments, whom I don't give a fig about. I'm talking about the people.

    That's the thing: it IS ours. We came up with it, we implemented it, we're trying desparately to maintain it (with debatable success), and we've been trying to spread it to the rest of the world, rather than just living it as a model, and letting them come to it on their own terms and in their own time (which was always the more effective method, anyway). Calling it objective is giving it an authority that's just as artificial as that which comes from saying a book was written by God.

    I'm not trying to shut you down, nor do I want you to stop arguing your point. I'm presenting arguments for your consideration, just the same as you are for me.

    For context, I'm using the word "fascist" in the sense of the word's origin. It comes from that popular parable of one-stick breaks, many-sticks don't. That is, the Italian word for "fasten", like a group of sticks all "fastened" together in Unity, and stronger, more resistent to being broken as a result. Hence the chilling One People, One Nation, One Leader.

    You seem to be using the word in the more colloquial sense, that being the synonymity between fascist and Orwellian.

    In this case, it's not just that they hold the same belief. (The name of that logical fallacy is Guilt By Association; a popular example being Vegetarianism is evil because Hitler was Vegetarian.) Moral objectivism is one of the core motivators of their actions, and of similar actions by others in the past.

    Hypothetically, fascism could function as an effective form of government that isn't oppressive or harmful.

    Appropriate, because that's pretty much exactly how everything you've been arguing comes off. We're both naive idealists in the others' eyes. (Incidentally, though, I don't believe in Utopia, because the line between utopia and dystopia is very, very thin.)

    I never said that moral relativism will avoid wars, and I certainly don't believe it will. To say so would be to imply that, using my wording, Rome somehow introduced war to the places it conquered, which it most certainly DID NOT (heck, I'll be the first to admit that the conquered lands tended to have higher standards of living, and better protection from other invaders; when the Romans left Britain, we showed up and rather violently supplanted the native culture ourselves. "What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us" is the skit I watch whenever I feel my fight-the-empire fire starts burning too bright). However, they did frequently tend to replace the cultures they conquered with their own, and Caesar himself is directly to blame for the burning of the Library of Alexandria.

    And the other thing is, neither will moral objectivism avoid wars (heck, that one can, and does, actively motivate wars... note that I didn't say cause, becuase it doesn't do that).

    If the ultimate goal of this whole thing is to avoid war, nope. This has nothing to do with that. Regardless of whether we're moral objectivists or moral relativists, there will always be war as long as there's not enough to go around. The majority of war is driven, first and foremost before anything else, resources. I'm not talking about this to get to a point of avoiding all war.
     
  15. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,349
    Ratings:
    +3,285
    Religion:
    Anglo-Saxon(esque) Heathenry
    The First Punic War.

    That was caused by some bored Italians in Sicily literally causing trouble for no other reason than teh lulz.
     
  16. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    20,015
    Ratings:
    +13,132
    Of course some people will resist attempts to change the cultural status quo. Many others, however, will embrace the new ideas.

    One of the things I have noticed concerning secularism and atheism in the Middle East is that many Arab atheists draw inspiration from the works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, but mainly Dawkins. As far as we both know, Dawkins has never killed a single person, yet his ideas have reached many people overseas and inspired them to abandon religious dogma in favor of secularism.

    This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. Many people hate Dawkins and strongly oppose his ideas and even regard them as blasphemous, but that doesn't mean he hasn't succeeded in spreading secularism among thousands, if not millions, of people.

    Came up with what? I believe that a model of morality built around the premise that the well-being of conscious creatures is the primary goal of morality is not really something that any particular culture has "come up" with; I think it is universally applicable, unlike dogma that persecutes and targets specific groups.

    I edited my post earlier to clarify that I was talking generally, not about you. Sorry for not being clearer at first.

    Yes, I'm using it in the more colloquial sense, not the strictly etymological one.

    And I think that moral relativism helps enable human rights abuses and crimes in many places under the banner of non-intervention and "not forcing a particular way of life on other cultures." It seems to me that some cultural norms and traditions are just not worthy of respect or preservation. I believe that something like female genital mutilation is objectively bad, not just something we should turn a blind eye to as long as it happens in another country because we shouldn't "barge into" other countries and try to combat it through raising awareness and spreading knowledge about its harms.

    Fair enough. I believe you're wrong about my views, but I'm sure you believe the same about mine. We wouldn't be having this debate otherwise. :D

    What makes you sure that the majority of wars are driven by resources? What resources were the primary motivator for Hitler and his regime, for example?

    One of the puzzling things about morally relativistic far-left liberalism is that the cultures it so vehemently opposes changing or "intervening" in are the same cultures that oppose liberalism and, in many cases, persecute far-left liberals or even liberals in general. Let's consider this:

    1) How many liberals got up in arms about Sam Harris's characterization of Islam as the "mother lode of bad ideas" (which I don't entirely agree with and find more than a little hyperbolic)?

    2) On the other hand, how many liberals strongly objected to the treatment of Hamza Kashgari and Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia?

    I really don't know the answer to the above questions myself, but what I do know is that there's an all-too-prevalent apathy to human rights abuses happening in many parts of the world because "it's not our business." And another question to think about: how many of the liberals saying that "[they] should respect other cultures and ways of life" are staying mostly or entirely silent on things like the practice of child marriage in some countries?

    Moral relativism can enable and in some cases even encourage blatant violations of human rights and well-being. Countries can stay silent on a country like North Korea or Iran, and then what happens? It turns into a bona fide time bomb that can blow up in their faces at some point.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,349
    Ratings:
    +3,285
    Religion:
    Anglo-Saxon(esque) Heathenry
    From what I've seen of his arguments about religion (among other topics not related to his profession), I regard him as naive and severely ignorant in terms of sheer diversity of thought. His success is not, to me, a sign of the overall quality of his arguments or notions. I'm glad that Arabs have been able to get access to his works, though.

    If you're wondering, however, I'm not necessarily talking about the Middle East. I recently saw the third Ip Man movie (which I thought was decidedly disappointing), which made me remember the fantastic second movie, which I think did an EXCELLENT job of depicting Western civilization's behavior with others. That's the context I'm talking about.

    Consider, after all, that these Arab atheists could be seen as simply swapping the Qur'an for The God Delusion, thus we're not substantively much different than before.

    Ours, as far as I can tell, was the first culture to start writing about these notions of secularism. Hence, we came up with it. But if it's everyone's well-being that we're talking about, secularism does not have a monopoly on that goal. Heck, it's not even really intrinsic to secularism, as Communist countries have demonstrated. As I understand it, secularism is simply a separation of religion and state politics.

    I appreciate the clarification. :)

    And yes, I've also seen plenty of arguments from "my side" that is evocative of fascist regimes, both in the colloquial sense and the etymological sense.

    That's really the reason I'm playing Devil's Advocate. There's no such thing as a viewpoint that cannot be corrupted and used to suppress and harm other people. That's one reason why I'm not a moral objectivist. No matter what system of "objective morality" is on the table for discussion, it can and will be corrupted.

    I don't believe these matters to be objectively bad, because I don't believe in objectivity. But trust me, that does not mean I'm in favor of things like genital mutilation (male, female, OR intersex which is the kind our culture does with almost no questioning yet by non-intersex people), foot-binding, or systems of caste. I merely recognize that my being against these things is because they run contrary to my values, and I naturally place greater importance on my own values when there is such a clash.

    Because war is expensive, both in terms of money and life. It's not something that's (usually) declared lightly, despite what propaganda machines would have people believe about the Enemy, because the potential loss is really, really high if it goes poorly.

    Keep in mind, resources, here, includes land.

    Gooooooodwiiiiiiiiin....

    Actually, World War I might be the better counter-example here, since it was boiled by an unstable socio-political situation in Europe, and sparked by a series of complicated alliances responding to an event in an Eastern European country that has nothing to do with the rest of us. I'm not sure if there were any real resources gains by the Allied powers beyond what was robbed from Germany by that war's end.
     
  18. idav

    idav Being
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    18,986
    Ratings:
    +3,302
    Religion:
    Pantheist
    That is pretty thorough.

    I'm not sure tolerance needs to be done in the form of extreme pacifism. There should be some disagreement if the other side isn't being so tolerant and objective. Is the problem really that without liberals choosing a violent means they will always lose to those who will not play nice or fair? Can non-violent means have effective solutions? I think a lot can be accomplished out of love rather than reprimand.
     
  19. Sonofason

    Sonofason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,362
    Ratings:
    +459
    Nope, that's not it at all.
    "The primary cause of the First Punic War was the dispute regarding whether Rome or Carthage would control Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, which was at that time under Carthaginian control."
    https://www.reference.com/history/were-causes-first-punic-war-bf77b47f38df7a05

    What I have argued is that all war is the result of cultural diversity. Where there is cultural diversity there exists differences in the beliefs of people. And that causes wars. People who have differences of opinion are culturally different from one another. That is what cultural diversity is. Cultural diversity is: the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society.
    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=cultural+diversity+definition
    note: (the words "or ethnic" I've deleted from the definition, because it doesn't belong there in the first place.)

    Now, a cultural group is a group of individuals all sharing the same beliefs concerning some idea or issue. We can be members of one cultural group, and not members of another. Cultural groups can be further subdivided into subgroups which are of course cultural groups themselves. Every subgroup is a separate group. Protestants are not Methodists. While they both might agree that Christ is the Son of God, they are not in complete agreement, and those disagreements can be and often are a source of conflict between these two groups.

    "Rome was in desperate need of greater land to expand the republic into since its population was burgeoning; the Romans thus wanted Sicily as a Roman suburb. Carthage, on the other hand, wanted to keep Sicily for farming and fishing purposes."
    https://www.reference.com/history/were-causes-first-punic-war-bf77b47f38df7a05

    You see, the First Punic War did not begin as a War. It began as a disagreement. It was the result of differences of belief and opinion about how Sicily ought to be run, and who it should benefit? It began as a local conflict, because people living in the same region had different cultural views regarding the utility of Sicily.

    There has never, not ever has there been a war fought as a result of agreement between peoples...not ever. It is always the result of cultural diversity.
     
  20. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    10,676
    Ratings:
    +6,103
    Religion:
    spiritual anti-theist : )
    One counter argument is that apologists can play a sort of shell game with the definition of religion. My sense is that Dawkins attacks the most common, central premises of most religions, and this seems like a reasonable approach. E.g. "religions use supernatural explanations" is a claim that is predominately true, even if it's not 100% true.
     
    #80 icehorse, Jun 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...