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Harrison said #23

 I would feel SAFE in such a community.  I would not feel comfortable; frankly, I would probably spend most of my time trying to show them the irrationality of their religion

 

 

Heh, a dhimmi publicly committing blasphemy, may as well convert and then try becoming a public apostate you chances would be about the same

 

 

And did Mo ever say that the umma should not cover the globe? that is was Allah's will that Islam need not encompass the whole world? What Islamic scholars have said that a worldwide caliphate is not the goal for life on Earth?

Edited by tadmjones

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i think its a question of whose more consistent and the so-called "moderates" are just inconsistent about their religion. I don't think they're the tail that wags the dogs.

 Yes.

 

I disagree.

Should religion be the cause of all this antagonism? A religion cannot 'make' anyone do anything they don't want to do. It's not some magical force that moves people to do good or evil. People use religion to spread whatever 'truths' they believe in, or to manipulate others into doing what they want. I don't think the fault is with Islam- if it didn't exist, terrorists (people who blindly follow orders and promote and use acts of violence) still would. You think they'd be happy and go about normal lives if America was wiped off the planet? Become regular lawn-mowing citizens? No way- they would just find something else to hate and destroy.

 

Edited by mdegges

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It's not some magical force that moves people to do good or evil.

Blatant straw man is blatant. The way in which Islam is the reason for terror has been explained. The word "magic" was never once used.

Are you claiming that their religion is incidental to why Muslim terrorists attack the West?

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Should religion be the cause of all this antagonism? A religion cannot 'make' anyone do anything they don't want to do. It's not some magical force that moves people to do good or evil. People use religion to spread whatever 'truths' they believe in, or to manipulate others into doing what they want. I don't think the fault is with Islam- if it didn't exist, terrorists (people who blindly follow orders and promote and use acts of violence) still would. You think they'd be happy and go about normal lives if America was wiped off the planet? Become regular lawn-mowing citizens? No way- they would just find something else to hate and destroy.

Good point, and the following link supports your conclusion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_the_United_States

 

I don't care to enter the frey as an apologist for religion, tempting as that may be, but to suggest that a skewed sense of justice is the primary motivation for violent behavior.  Whether the perpetrator is a jihadist, crusader, anarchist or politician, their religious or political affiliation is only symptomatic at best.  The root cause of violence is having a us vs them mentality that promotes a dichotomy of justice; us invariably defending our way of life against them invariably appearing as a clear and present danger (to us).

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Should religion be the cause of all this antagonism?

One can use 'religion' to mean the composite of what certain co-worshippers believe; but, there is also religion as philosophy: as a personally adopted concrete philosophy. When a terrorist kills someone, it is primarily because of this personally-adopted philosophy -- primarily because of what he sees as his religion. So, even if Mohammed is blameless and even if he meant Islam to be a religion on peace, the terrorist actor is motivated by the religion he has adopted. Even if one quarrels with his use of the term "Islam", it is still his religion (i.e. his own voluntarily-adopted ideas) that motivate his actions.

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Heh, a dhimmi publicly committing blasphemy, may as well convert and then try becoming a public apostate you chances would be about the same

 

 

And did Mo ever say that the umma should not cover the globe? that is was Allah's will that Islam need not encompass the whole world? What Islamic scholars have said that a worldwide caliphate is not the goal for life on Earth?

 Reread my response; I was specifically referring to hypocritical Muslims.

 

I would not feel safe among self-consistent Muslims, at all; never once have I made an attempt to excuse them.  And yes, many Islamic scholars do advocate a worldwide Caliphate and THEY are evil; so is anyone else who expressly and knowingly advocates the same.

I am not saying that it is not an evil ideology and I am not whitewashing the atrocities which are committed for it, each and every day.  All I'm saying is that the hypocritical ones (while still hypocritical and thusly immoral!) are not a direct threat to us.

 

The peaceful Muslims aren't immediately dangerous any more than Conservatives are likely to start burning people alive, again.  Which isn't to say that it couldn't happen, someday- but not in our generation.

 

A religion cannot 'make' anyone do anything they don't want to do. It's not some magical force that moves people to do good or evil. 

 Values are determined by your philosophy (whether explicit or implicit) and, while it doesn't 'make' anyone do a thing they don't want to, as a form of protophilosophy religion DETERMINES what its followers want to do.

 

It is not magickal; it does move people to do good or evil.  Observe- Hell, observe 85% of human history.

 

 

I don't think the fault is with Islam- if it didn't exist, terrorists (people who blindly follow orders and promote and use acts of violence) still would.

 

 This statement. . .

Your definition of 'terrorist' (which is already a conceptual stumbling block) would include American soldiers- who 'blindly' obey the chain of command and practically breathe violence.  Would you like to reconsider that and try again?

 

I don't care to enter the frey as an apologist for religion, tempting as that may be, but to suggest that a skewed sense of justice is the primary motivation for violent behavior.  Whether the perpetrator is a jihadist, crusader, anarchist or politician, their religious or political affiliation is only symptomatic at best.  The root cause of violence is having a us vs them mentality that promotes a dichotomy of justice

. . . Have I introduced you to this author that I simply adore; Ayn Rand?

Are you aware of the extent to which this directly contradicts the most fundamental Objectivist premises?  If not- I don't really know where to start, but I could suggest a few things for you to read.

 

If you are aware and you think that she was wrong, that's fine; tell me why.  Let's not beat around the bush.

 

 

Even if one quarrels with his use of the term "Islam", it is still his religion (i.e. his own voluntarily-adopted ideas) that motivate his actions.

 Exactly.

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 Reread my response; I was specifically referring to hypocritical Muslims.

 

I would not feel safe among self-consistent Muslims, at all; never once have I made an attempt to excuse them.  And yes, many Islamic scholars do advocate a worldwide Caliphate and THEY are evil; so is anyone else who expressly and knowingly advocates the same.

I am not saying that it is not an evil ideology and I am not whitewashing the atrocities which are committed for it, each and every day.  All I'm saying is that the hypocritical ones (while still hypocritical and thusly immoral!) are not a direct threat to us.

 

The peaceful Muslims aren't immediately dangerous any more than Conservatives are likely to start burning people alive, again.  Which isn't to say that it couldn't happen, someday- but not in our generation.

 

 Values are determined by your philosophy (whether explicit or implicit) and, while it doesn't 'make' anyone do a thing they don't want to, as a form of protophilosophy religion DETERMINES what its followers want to do.

 

It is not magickal; it does move people to do good or evil.  Observe- Hell, observe 85% of human history.

 

 

 This statement. . .

Your definition of 'terrorist' (which is already a conceptual stumbling block) would include American soldiers- who 'blindly' obey the chain of command and practically breathe violence.  Would you like to reconsider that and try again?

 

. . . Have I introduced you to this author that I simply adore; Ayn Rand?

Are you aware of the extent to which this directly contradicts the most fundamental Objectivist premises?  If not- I don't really know where to start, but I could suggest a few things for you to read.

 

If you are aware and you think that she was wrong, that's fine; tell me why.  Let's not beat around the bush.

 

 

 Exactly.

Dude not sure, but you may have at least a minor case of orifice disassociativeness

Edited by tadmjones

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I don't care to enter the frey as an apologist for religion, tempting as that may be, but to suggest that a skewed sense of justice is the primary motivation for violent behavior.

Are you advocating for a justice that only results in non-violent behavior? Please, specify the principles of this justice.

Whether the perpetrator is a jihadist, crusader, anarchist or politician, their religious or political affiliation is only symptomatic at best.  The root cause of violence is having a us vs them mentality that promotes a dichotomy of justice;

Objectivist justice is the punishing and killing of rights violators, for the purpose of preserving individual rights by discouraging and/or preventing future violations.

That automatically creates a conflict between the government of a free nation and rights violators, because there is a strikingly obvious dichotomy between individual rights and ideologies and behavior that violate individual rights.

If you think justice should ignore that dichotomy, my question is, again: what kind of principles of justice should we be using, if not the current ones, which do in fact result in a conflict between free men and Muslim fundamentalists? I'm really curious what your idea of a justice that doesn't create conflict with rights violators is.

Edited by Nicky

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Are you advocating for a justice that only results in non-violent behavior? Please, specify the principles of this justice.

No.  I believe that crime will occur as a consequence of human behavior under any form of justice, including Objectivist justice, because violence is a non-disposable facet of human behavior.

 

Objectivist justice is the punishing and killing of rights violators, for the purpose of preserving individual rights by discouraging and/or preventing future violations.

That automatically creates a conflict between the government of a free nation and rights violators, because there is a strikingly obvious dichotomy between individual rights and ideologies and behavior that violate individual rights.

If you think justice should ignore that dichotomy, my question is, again: what kind of principles of justice should we be using, if not the current ones, which do in fact result in a conflict between free men and Muslim fundamentalists? I'm really curious what your idea of a justice that doesn't create conflict with rights violators is.

A dichotomy of justice between individual rights is a contradiction in terms.  Unprovoked actions of aggression towards others isn't consistent with justice for all.  That is not to say that an inalienable right can become alienable as the consequence of violent behavior; the right to life is inherent, or it's not.  Ones right to life presumes the equal right of others to defend their lives.

 

There's no conflict of justice; only those who ignore contradictions... and there are consequences for that.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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No.  I believe that crime will occur as a consequence of human behavior under any form of justice, including Objectivist justice, because violence is a non-disposable facet of human behavior.

 

A dichotomy of justice between individual rights is a contradiction in terms.  Unprovoked actions of aggression towards others isn't consistent with justice for all.  That is not to say that an inalienable right can become alienable as the consequence of violent behavior; the right to life is inherent, or it's not.  Ones right to life presumes the equal right of others to defend their lives.

 

There's no conflict of justice; only those who ignore contradictions... and there are consequences for that.

Who's ignoring contradictions? The United States? Or Muslims?

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No.  I believe that crime will occur as a consequence of human behavior under any form of justice, including Objectivist justice, because violence is a non-disposable facet of human behavior.

You said that a justice that creates an us vs. them dichotomy is wrong. I asked you what kind of justice you believe in that doesn't create that. Why are you dodging the question?

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Who's ignoring contradictions? The United States? Or Muslims?

Your question primarily asks, is a political entity more rational than a religious entity?  As the population of both groups contain dissidents, one can presume that both groups have been guilty of ignoring contradictions.

 

You said that a justice that creates an us vs. them dichotomy is wrong. I asked you what kind of justice you believe in that doesn't create that. Why are you dodging the question?

Terrorists adopt and depend on a dichotomy of justice in the form of us vs them; us being presumed innocent and them being presumed guilty.  This can't be rationally supported by any common understanding of justice; unilateral justice being a contradiction.   The slippery slope they embrace is the very one we should avoid; the presumption of guilt by population.

 

I believe ethical reciprocity avoids a dichotomy of justice by forming ethical evaluations which hold ourselves accountable, i.e. perform justice; the presumption being that everyone has a right to life, and those who transgress, e.g. terrorists, are guilty.  The United States war on terrorism is justified because terrorists have unjustly attacked American lives according to any standard of respect for a right to life.  If terrorists kill others because it's their ethical expectation for others to kill them, then we should work very hard to be better delivers of justice than them.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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One can use 'religion' to mean the composite of what certain co-worshippers believe; but, there is also religion as philosophy: as a personally adopted concrete philosophy. When a terrorist kills someone, it is primarily because of this personally-adopted philosophy -- primarily because of what he sees as his religion. So, even if Mohammed is blameless and even if he meant Islam to be a religion on peace, the terrorist actor is motivated by the religion he has adopted. Even if one quarrels with his use of the term "Islam", it is still his religion (i.e. his own voluntarily-adopted ideas) that motivate his actions.

 

Thanks- that's a great point. I think the key here is that his motivations are 1) voluntary (meaning, he has consciously chosen to believe in a subjective view of the world), and 2. personal (meaning, his views are not necessarily shared by others of the 'same' religion). This shows that the real blame lies with the man who has consciously and voluntarily accepted destruction and death as the standard for life.

 

This statement. . .

Your definition of 'terrorist' (which is already a conceptual stumbling block) would include American soldiers- who 'blindly' obey the chain of command and practically breathe violence.  Would you like to reconsider that and try again?

 

Feel free to tack on 'for political gain' or 'to assert power over others'- imo it's a given that doesn't need to be explicitly stated.

Edited by mdegges

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Alrighty, then.

 

Nicky- You're on the right track but I think you're missing the point.  Not that I disagree with anything you've said here, [for the record, I do agree] but that I doubt you see how deep the issue goes.

 

Mdegges- What is a 'terrorist'?

The concept almost exclusively refers to Muslims who want to kill everyone; any arguable 'Non-Muslim terrorists' are borderline cases, at best.  But let's put even that aside, for a moment, and consider 'terrorist' as inclusive of bomb-chucking anarchists and eco-maniacs, as well; all such underhanded guerilla fighters.

 

What is the defining characteristic of a terrorist?  Not violence and absolutely not obedience; the defining trait is the deliberate slaughter of civilians, for the purpose of hurting their government (if such a distinction is even made).

Terrorism IS the act of slitting an innocent man's throat in order to punish someone else; this is the key distinction between terrorism and all other forms of bloodshed, as well as the reason why terrorists almost invariably take credit for their actions. 

After all, there's no reason to blow up an elementary school unless you can rub the grieving parents' noses in it.

 

As such, there would still be terrorists without Islam- but ask yourself what the line of reasoning must be, behind killing A for the sake of B, and then ask yourself why the vast majority of terrorists ARE Muslim.

In short: there would still be terrorists without Islam, but nowhere near as many; to imply that one is simply incidental to the other is to say that ideas have nothing to do with actions.

 

And that's all I have to say about that.

 

Devil's Advocate- You said that the professed beliefs of any number of dangerous people is merely symptomatic of an underlying condition; the "us versus them" mentality.

 

What is an "us versus them" mentality?  Presumably one in which any and all ideological dissenters are labeled as the enemy, which represent a direct threat to one's continued existence (as the rest would logically follow from that).  Yes?

Consequently, for such a mentality, any disagreement from anyone at all is equivalent and interchangeable with physical violence.

 

I think this would be an accurate description of the condition, but what would cause it?  Specifically: WHY would someone treat reason (within context: persuasion) as if it was a bullet, and vice-versa?

An inability to grasp the nature of reason and the distinction therein.  Which would be called- MYSTICISM!!  [And this, Nicky, is the extent of it]

 

What you describe with the pejorative "us versus them" is the mind of a concrete-bound MYSTIC who, faced with the existential crisis of logical discourse, finds no alternative but a pipe bomb.

And THAT is why your distinction [islam isn't the problem; it's an us-versus-them mentality] disturbs me.  It is a dichotomy between two halves of the same thing.

 

Tadmjones-  I didn't quite catch that; would you be so kind as to phrase it as a syllogism?

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 A mystic has no concept of reason (or, in the very best mystics, an underdeveloped and malnourished little approximate); the defining trait of mysticism, in all of its various forms, is that reality (that which one perceives) and consciousness (he who perceives it) are smeared together into one dysfunctional glob.  There is no difference, for a consistent mystic, between observation, introspection, goal-driven action or prayer; all are one and one are all in a sort of fuzzy, gobbledygook flux.

This is the reason why knowledge-without-experience, divine revelation, et cetera et cetera ad nauseatum are so prolific throughout the mystic schools of thought; if there is no difference between an object and the sight of that object (or the THOUGHT of that object) then reason is superfluous.

 

And more: without that distinction, one CANNOT properly form the concept of rational analysis; what would separate it from dreaming?

 

This means that, when faced with any sufficiently convincing argument, your average bible-belt Christian has no choice but to blank out (walk away, quote random scriptures haphazardly or simply crack a joke); if he does not then his consciousness and his entire world, as HE knows them, begin to dissolve.

 

Muslims simply have the tendency to react with guns, instead.

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Thanks- that's a great point. I think the key here is that his motivations are 1) voluntary (meaning, he has consciously chosen to believe in a subjective view of the world), and 2. personal (meaning, his views are not necessarily shared by others of the 'same' religion). This shows that the real blame lies with the man who has consciously and voluntarily accepted destruction and death as the standard for life.

Yes, the views of muslims will differ. Even the few thousand Objectivists have have differences, so its natural that the major religions will have various denominations and sub-groups, with various ideologies.

Nevertheless, there are common aspects that give the broad concept (e.g. "Muslim", "Christian") meaning. When one names a smaller sub-class and qualifies it (e.g. Orthodox Mormon), one is looking at a group where the members' ideology is much more uniform. There is a certain brand of militant-Islam that was common to all the 9/11 hijackers. They were all individuals, but they did share a certain ideology. There are many others who share that ideology. It does not matter what we name it: some will call it "true Islam" others will call it "a corruption of Islam" or a "fake Islam". The name is not primary: the ideology is really out there, and there are people who believe in it and actively spread it. In this sense, the ideology is a threat to the U.S.

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Devil's Advocate- You said that the professed beliefs of any number of dangerous people is merely symptomatic of an underlying condition; the "us versus them" mentality.

 

What is an "us versus them" mentality?  Presumably one in which any and all ideological dissenters are labeled as the enemy, which represent a direct threat to one's continued existence (as the rest would logically follow from that).  Yes?

Consequently, for such a mentality, any disagreement from anyone at all is equivalent and interchangeable with physical violence.

 

I think this would be an accurate description of the condition, but what would cause it?  Specifically: WHY would someone treat reason (within context: persuasion) as if it was a bullet, and vice-versa?

An inability to grasp the nature of reason and the distinction therein.  Which would be called- MYSTICISM!!  [And this, Nicky, is the extent of it]

 

What you describe with the pejorative "us versus them" is the mind of a concrete-bound MYSTIC who, faced with the existential crisis of logical discourse, finds no alternative but a pipe bomb.

And THAT is why your distinction [islam isn't the problem; it's an us-versus-them mentality] disturbs me.  It is a dichotomy between two halves of the same thing.

A us vs them mentality creates a dichotomy of justice by substituting individual actions for group associations; ones guilt or innocence then being presumed according to membership.   The problem is, dissidents within any group stand accused of the very offense they oppose.  Any practice of justice that tosses the baby out with the bath water ought to be suspect.  Justice isn't just-us, and doesn't require diminishing or alienating from others in order to be practiced without contradictions.

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in #39 harrison said

Tadmjones-  I didn't quite catch that; would you be so kind as to phrase it as a syllogism?

 

 

if you mean my comment as #32

Dude not sure, but you may have at least a minor case of orifice disassociativeness

 

 

That was a slight, I was suggesting that your post 'sounded' like someone talking out of the their ass, I apoligize for the snarkiness, but of course not for the content that precipitated it as it was yours.
 

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A us vs them mentality creates a dichotomy of justice by substituting individual actions for group associations; ones guilt or innocence then being presumed according to membership.

 I would define THIS as being symptomatic of a deeper problem [mysticism] but, yes, it is a disturbingly common phenomenon.

 

Incidentally, mysticism breeds and necessitates violence and ultimately causes such a mentality (such guilt-by-association) and it is in this way that it connects back to the definition of terrorism; killing A to prove a point to B.

Which ties right back into what Mdegges was saying.

 

The problem is, dissidents within any group stand accused of the very offense they oppose.

 Huh?

Which dissenters, from which groups (presumably militant ones?) are opposing and accused of what?

 

 

Any practice of justice that tosses the baby out with the bath water ought to be suspect.  Justice isn't just-us, and doesn't require diminishing or alienating from others in order to be practiced without contradictions.

 "Tossing the baby out with the bathwater" implies indiscriminate punishment (or indiscriminate leniency).  I'm still not sure exactly what you're trying to reference, in reality, but justice requires the strictest discrimination; any concept of 'justice' which allows for babies to be thrown out with bathwater, is a monstrous inversion to say the least.

 

Justice does necessitate an us-versus-them methodology, though; specifically where 'us' denotes those who respect individual rights and 'them' denotes those who don't.  If 'us' or 'them' is replaced by any other person or group on Earth it automatically becomes unjust.

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Yes, the views of muslims will differ. Even the few thousand Objectivists have have differences, so its natural that the major religions will have various denominations and sub-groups, with various ideologies.

Nevertheless, there are common aspects that give the broad concept (e.g. "Muslim", "Christian") meaning. When one names a smaller sub-class and qualifies it (e.g. Orthodox Mormon), one is looking at a group where the members' ideology is much more uniform. There is a certain brand of militant-Islam that was common to all the 9/11 hijackers. They were all individuals, but they did share a certain ideology. There are many others who share that ideology. It does not matter what we name it: some will call it "true Islam" others will call it "a corruption of Islam" or a "fake Islam". The name is not primary: the ideology is really out there, and there are people who believe in it and actively spread it. In this sense, the ideology is a threat to the U.S.

 

This is really the only counter in this thread that makes sense.

 

When I said that a terrorists motivations are personal, I meant that they are not shared by the majority of others in his religion. True, militant Islam is a real branch of Islam (and probably has a number of sub-branches), and it is dangerous and should be fought. But shouldn't the primary fault lie with the men who accept this philosophy? My posts on this page were meant to convey that. There's a reason why terrorists or others who do evil believe in these sorts of philosophies. All the philosophy does is give them the facade of a sanction to do whatever evils they want (ie: bomb innocent people, kill dissenters, etc). 

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There's a reason why terrorists or others who do evil believe in these sorts of philosophies. All the philosophy does is give them the facade of a sanction to do whatever evils they want (ie: bomb innocent people, kill dissenters, etc).

Is this really true? If it is, then what is the real underlying factor? What is it that they are rationalizing away by the use of this facade?

The two typical suspects for core motivations are:

  • environment-independent psychological issues (but, how would we then explain the geographical and cultural clustering?); and,
  • socio-economic status (but, again, there are millions of others in a similar socio-economic state who have no motivation to blow up the West)

Is there some other core-motivation you're thinking of?

 

Also, suppose someone challenges you saying that you only adopted Rand's ideology because it suited you psychologically, or socio-economically, or from some other such motive, how would you answer them?

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Your question primarily asks, is a political entity more rational than a religious entity?

No, my question asked who's ignoring contradictions, Muslims or the US. It was a simple question. You only had two option to choose from. You still managed to not even get close to answering it.

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No, my question asked who's ignoring contradictions, Muslims or the US. It was a simple question. You only had two option to choose from. You still managed to not even get close to answering it.

My answer was and remains that the existence of dissidents in both groups prevents a blanket condemnation of either group.  Members of both groups ignore contradictions and co-members who disagree, i.e. dissenters, work to correct them.  This is true whether the group is political, religious, secular or a family.  It means little to say, Muslims ignore contradictions, when there are Muslims who don't;  and a comparrison by population to the US, with its share of individuals who ignore contradictions, is equally meaningless.

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Incidentally, mysticism breeds and necessitates violence and ultimately causes such a mentality (such guilt-by-association) and it is in this way that it connects back to the definition of terrorism; killing A to prove a point to B.

Which ties right back into what Mdegges was saying..

It's an overstatement to assert that mysticism breeds and necessitates violence.  Some mystics are violent certainly, but as a result of being human, which includes seculars who are also violent.  I believe this is what mdegges has been saying, summarized in post #45.  Individuals are culpable for violent actions because they are the ones who choose to act violently.  One doesn't evade culpability by claiming, The Devil made me do it.

 

 Huh?

Which dissenters, from which groups (presumably militant ones?) are opposing and accused of what?

Please refer to my previous response to Nicky, #48

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Is this really true? If it is, then what is the real underlying factor? What is it that they are rationalizing away by the use of this facade?

The two typical suspects for core motivations are:

  • environment-independent psychological issues (but, how would we then explain the geographical and cultural clustering?); and,
  • socio-economic status (but, again, there are millions of others in a similar socio-economic state who have no motivation to blow up the West)

Is there some other core-motivation you're thinking of?

 

Yes, I believe mdegges is fundamentally correct.  The core motivation is unprovoked violent intent that attempts to rationalize aggression as a legitimate defense.  There are any number of political/philosophical facades that a hateful individual might adopt in order to deflect personal wrongdoing with the claim that they were only following orders.  The point is that regardless of whatever facade one embraces, the choice to act violently is primarily an issue of individual freewill, i.e. to do or not to do, and not dependent on any particular philosophy, environment-independent psychological issues, or socio-economic status.

 

A just defense of the right to life depends on rational identification; who is the transgressor; who is the victim.  Identification by group to establish individual guilt or innocence miscarries justice and delivers persecution.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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