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It means little to say, Muslims ignore contradictions, when there are Muslims who don't;

I'm not the one who said that some people ignore contradictions. YOu did, remember? And then I asked for clarifications on who you mean. Do you remember, from two days ago?

If it's not Muslims or the US, then who is it? Let me guess: you don't know. Because everything you post is just meaningless clichés, and whenever someone asks what you mean, it's just followed up with more meaningless clichés.

When you said that some people ignore contradictions, the reason why you didn't say exactly who is because you didn't have anyone specific in mind. You just said it because it sounded like something you heard before.

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I'm not the one who said that some people ignore contradictions. YOu did, remember? And then I asked for clarifications on who you mean. Do you remember, from two days ago?

If it's not Muslims or the US, then who is it? Let me guess: you don't know. Because everything you post is just meaningless clichés, and whenever someone asks what you mean, it's just followed up with more meaningless clichés.

When you said that some people ignore contradictions, the reason why you didn't say exactly who is because you didn't have anyone specific in mind. You just said it because it sounded like something you heard before.

Some people refers to individuals;  Muslims or the US refers to groups.  I can't clarify the individuals I've referred to into the groups you're asking me to place them.  If you want a specific someone who ignores contradictions, why have you kept asking if it's the Muslims, or the US??

OK, how about: William Hickman, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Robert Rudolph, Lucas John Helder, Jim David Adkisson, Andrew Joseph Stack III to name a few domestic terrorists who ignored the contradiction of taking life in order to promote their right to life.

 

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If it's not Muslims or the US, then who is it? Let me guess: you don't know. Because everything you post is just meaningless clichés, and whenever someone asks what you mean, it's just followed up with more meaningless clichés.

Some people refers to individuals;  Muslims or the US refers to groups.

 

Amen!

The principle is individual responsibility, pure and simple.

 

 

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.

 Well, for starters, I'm not disputing culpability.  I am asserting that mysticism breeds violence, but the 9/11 hijackers could blame mysticism until judgment day and they wouldn't get an ounce of sympathy from me (or an ounce less of guilt, objectively).

 

Now, as for whether such violence is caused by mystic premises or runs deeper than that (a sort of chemical predisposition towards violence?) really seems to be the only question left, here.

 

But that concerns the nature of free will and I intend to start just such a thread soon, unless someone beats me to the punch.

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speaking of a threat to the USA, where does stealth jihad fit into this? is it even a legitimate thing?

Do you mean groups like The Muslim Brotherhood, CAIR and the like? I would consider those groups and their actions to be stealth jihad. Isn't Dearborn Michigan practically a muslim enclave? I think the city scholl districts have actually changed the practice schedule of its high school football teams to accomodate the observance of ramadon(sp?)

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Some people refers to individuals;  Muslims or the US refers to groups.

 

Honestly, this doesn't jive.  A muslim is a particular type of individual who believes in and does A, B, and C.  A, B, and C are all essential elements of the religion.  If he rejects one or more of them, is he still a muslim?  Jihad (the 'holy war against infidels' version, not the 'personal struggle against psychological demons' version) is C in the list.  Anti jihadists will not qualify.  This would be akin to being an anti capitalist Objectivist.  Or am I wrong here?

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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.

And where does this core motivation come from? Is this a prime mover? Is this something some people just decide to do, and then seek out a philosophy to rationalize it? Are such people even spread across the humankind? Is this what you have done as well, with Objectivism: except that your core motivation is positive?

Does it follow that people of one age had the inquisition because they had different core motivations from modern Europeans?

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Some people refers to individuals;  Muslims or the US refers to groups.  I can't clarify the individuals I've referred to into the groups you're asking me to place them.  If you want a specific someone who ignores contradictions, why have you kept asking if it's the Muslims, or the US??

OK, how about: William Hickman, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Robert Rudolph, Lucas John Helder, Jim David Adkisson, Andrew Joseph Stack III to name a few domestic terrorists who ignored the contradiction of taking life in order to promote their right to life.

Just to sum up our conversation:

You suggested that the type of justice which creates an "us vs. them" dichotomy leads to conflict. I asked what kind of justice do you have in mind, that doesn't create an "us vs. them" mentality between a free country and rights violators?

You replied that "there is no conflict of justice, only those who ignore contradictions". I asked, "who ignores contradictions?". You replied: "William Hickman, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Robert Rudolph, Lucas John Helder, Jim David Adkisson, Andrew Joseph Stack III".

So, just to be clear: the reason why I am now putting you on ignore is because this exchange proves that we're not speaking the same language. You'll be the only active member on my ignore list, btw.

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Honestly, this doesn't jive.  A muslim is a particular type of individual who believes in and does A, B, and C.  A, B, and C are all essential elements of the religion.  If he rejects one or more of them, is he still a muslim?  Jihad (the 'holy war against infidels' version, not the 'personal struggle against psychological demons' version) is C in the list.  Anti jihadists will not qualify.  This would be akin to being an anti capitalist Objectivist.  Or am I wrong here?

My premise is, there's a distinction to be made between a shared belief of members, e.g. Thou shalt not kill, and individual interpretations of that belief, e.g. one may never kill, or one may kill only in self defense.  Your reference to Jihad is subject to the same kind of individual interpretation.  If one Christian interprets Thou shalt not kill as an absolute and another as relative to defense, is the former a Christian and the latter not a Christian?  When I refer to dissidents within a group, I mean those individuals who derive a minority view of the majority position on any particular tenet.  This is true whether the individuals are Muslim or members of the Supreme Court.

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And where does this core motivation come from? Is this a prime mover? Is this something some people just decide to do, and then seek out a philosophy to rationalize it? Are such people even spread across the humankind? Is this what you have done as well, with Objectivism: except that your core motivation is positive?

Does it follow that people of one age had the inquisition because they had different core motivations from modern Europeans?

My premise is that everyone is primarily motivated to survive, i.e. to continue living, and presumes the right to defend themselves.  The unprovoked use of aggressive force is rationalized as defense in order to justify it, and yes there are any number of philosophies that sanction the use of force relative to defense.  Crusaders, Inquisitioners and Jihadists certainly do, and to the degree that their use of force is aggressive and unprovoked, it follows that whatever tenet they rely on justify their actions is contrary to the common understanding of justice responding defense of a right to life.

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Just to sum up our conversation:

You suggested that the type of justice which creates an "us vs. them" dichotomy leads to conflict. I asked what kind of justice do you have in mind, that doesn't create an "us vs. them" mentality between a free country and rights violators?

You replied that "there is no conflict of justice, only those who ignore contradictions". I asked, "who ignores contradictions?". You replied: "William Hickman, Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, Ted Kaczynski, Eric Robert Rudolph, Lucas John Helder, Jim David Adkisson, Andrew Joseph Stack III".

So, just to be clear: the reason why I am now putting you on ignore is because this exchange proves that we're not speaking the same language. You'll be the only active member on my ignore list, btw.

"What we've got here is failure to communicate." ~ The Captain, Cool Hand Luke.

 

There's no conflict of justice because justice implies for all.  Those who attempt to practice justice unilaterally contradict what justice means.  That was my meaning and this is my final attempt to clarify it for you.

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My premise is that everyone is primarily motivated to survive,... ... and yes there are any number of philosophies that sanction the use of force relative to defense.

If everyone's starting point is the same, then only the choice of specific ideology makes the big difference. This choice of ideology makes one person think he must self-immolate, makes another decide he must invent the light-bulb, while a third flies planes into buildings. The enemy is the false ideologies: at our current point in time, militant Islam is a key force of evil and must be treated as such.

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If everyone's starting point is the same, then only the choice of specific ideology makes the big difference. This choice of ideology makes one person think he must self-immolate, makes another decide he must invent the light-bulb, while a third flies planes into buildings. The enemy is the false ideologies: at our current point in time, militant Islam is a key force of evil and must be treated as such.

The practice of RIF (Radical Islamic Fundamentalism) in your 3rd example clearly demonstrates a violation of the right to life, and therefore justifies defensive actions by those who understand and defend this right.  RIF terrorists should be recognized as murders and treated as such; I think we are in agreement here.  However I believe the proper response is to identify terrorists as murderous individuals rather than as the product of corrupted ideologies on the premise that criminals ought to be held accountable for their actions rather than their beliefs.  Murder is murder regardless of motivation.

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The practice of RIF (Radical Islamic Fundamentalism) in your 3rd example clearly demonstrates a violation of the right to life, and therefore justifies defensive actions by those who understand and defend this right.  RIF terrorists should be recognized as murders and treated as such; I think we are in agreement here.  However I believe the proper response is to identify terrorists as murderous individuals rather than as the product of corrupted ideologies on the premise that criminals ought to be held accountable for their actions rather than their beliefs.  Murder is murder regardless of motivation.

Should not one decide how to deal with people based on their stated ideologies?

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What is the proper response to sanctioners of 'militant' Islam?

 I think it would have to depend on the underlying reasoning for their excusing it.

 

If they somehow don't grasp what they're doing or don't have a functional concept of morality then I would make every attempt to explain it to them.

If they know what they're saying and they truly mean that it's okay to blow up innocent bystanders then I think the proper response would be to spit on them, and then walk away.

 

 

Murder is murder regardless of motivation.

 Yes.

 

But the motivation exists, regardless of culpability.  You don't think that countless individuals spontaneously decided to do the same horrible, twisted things for no reason at all, do you?

 

What is the guiding force behind a man's actions? 

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Should not one decide how to deal with people based on their stated ideologies?

My primary question here is, What entitles us to having a greater share of the right to life over them?  The presumed equal distribution of an inalienable right to life amongst all individuals implies no such distinction exists, and unilateral justice is a contradiction in terms.  I remain open to being persuaded otherwise, but until then I'll continue to believe justice requires the equal distribution of a right to life or degrades to persecution of the unaffiliated.

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But the motivation exists, regardless of culpability.  You don't think that countless individuals spontaneously decided to do the same horrible, twisted things for no reason at all, do you?

 

What is the guiding force behind a man's actions? 

There's enough evidence of coerced terrorism to suggest multiple reasons for deciding to do the same horrible, twisted thing.  The guiding force behind a man's actions is the freewill of all individuals to choose otherwise, and the consequence of being held accountable for ones actions.

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Haven't been able to get online for a couple days, but I wanted to respond to snerd's posts.

The question really comes down to this: Do people choose to do evil because of the facade (a certain philosophy, religious dogma, etc) or is the facade a sanction that gives people the freedom (or the moral go ahead) to do evil? In other words, is religion the catalyst for evil or just the excuse? I think it is a little of both. You ask what the core motivation is. I can only speculate as to what that might be.. maybe it's the personal desire to make a difference in the world (ie: to make a lasting impact even after death).. or maybe it's to avenge the loss of a loved one by turning one philosophy (or one nation) into the guilty party.

 

And where does this core motivation come from? Is this a prime mover? Is this something some people just decide to do, and then seek out a philosophy to rationalize it? Are such people even spread across the humankind?

 

There are many factors- but no matter what the specifics are for an individual, it doesn't change the fact that he has the freedom of choice. He can choose to stone a woman to death or not. He can choose to become a suicide-bomber or not. He can choose to kill an innocent man or not. Whether his motivation comes from vengeance, the pure desire to kill, his socioeconomic status, environmental factors (ie: his family is apart of a terrorist organization), or a combination of these, he has choices. The individual alone should be responsible for the choices he makes- religious dogma is not an excuse. I agree that 'militant' Islam is evil and should be fought. But the individuals who buy into it are not guiltless puppets- they have chosen it.

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My primary question here is, What entitles us to having a greater share of the right to life over them?  The presumed equal distribution of an inalienable right to life amongst all individuals implies no such distinction exists

 

I think this is correct with a few exceptions. For instance, in wartime it's best to target the areas where you know the bad guys live and try to take them out. Innocent civilians will undoubtedly be killed in the process, but it wouldn't make sense to, say, put every person on trial to measure their guilt or innocence before taking any action.

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... ... he has the freedom of choice. He can choose to stone a woman to death or not ... ... The individual alone should be responsible for the choices he makes- religious dogma is not an excuse. I agree that 'militant' Islam is evil and should be fought. But the individuals who buy into it are not guiltless puppets- they have chosen it.

I agree with all this. Devil's advocate too made similar points. I summarize our agreement thus:

1. The individual bad-guy chooses with free-will

2. The individual alone is thus responsible, for his individual actions

This is true, but incomplete. One needs to understand all aspects of the reality in order to deal with it. The final actors who plant bombs are acting out of free will, but that does not mean we should not try to explore the ideology itself or the organizations behind it. Ideologies are abstractions, but they are spread via concrete forms. Some mosque somewhere might have a priest who is teaching falsehoods. The priest lives, so he eats... so, someone else pays his bills. You might find that there is a specific organization -- like the Saudi government -- that pays a good fraction of the budget, and has some ability to stop supporting priests who are clearly stepping over the line... ... and so on. Knowledge of the ideology and organizations can help figure out how new members are recruited, and therefore whom to watch, or on whom one should spy. Even if the mafia-boss has kept his own hands clean for decades, he is still the mafia-boss. The police would be wrong to ignore his existence . Each mafia-man on the street chose his lifestyle out of his free will. That does not make the mafia irrelevant. 

 

What one needs to do depends on one's own motives and role. However, the starting point must be to get as complete an understanding of the phenomena as required for one's purpose.

 

Consider this from the perspective of the typical American muslim. He wants to live, work, have a family, and so on. He would rather there were no terrorists who start from his congregation or congregations like his, inspired by what they think is the true Islam. He hates being associated with bombings, and looked at with suspicion every now and then. So, how is he to understand the phenomenon of Islamic terrorists? They're people who do what they do from free will, but is that all there is to it?  Is it true that this is something that a certain percentage of the congregation will do, and there is no way to actually do anything about it, because they have free will?

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There are many factors- but no matter what the specifics are for an individual, it doesn't change the fact that he has the freedom of choice. He can choose to stone a woman to death or not. He can choose to become a suicide-bomber or not. He can choose to kill an innocent man or not. Whether his motivation comes from vengeance, the pure desire to kill, his socioeconomic status, environmental factors (ie: his family is apart of a terrorist organization), or a combination of these, he has choices. The individual alone should be responsible for the choices he makes.

I don't understand your reasoning. You just listed a set of factors that you admit contribute to individuals making certain choices. But then you declare that that's irrelevant, and the responsibility for those choices rests solely with the last individual to make a wrong choice, right before the explosion. Everyone else is exempt.

What does the word "responsibility" mean then? The way I define it, "responsibility for X" means that a person's actions contributed to X, to some extent. By that definition, the people who contributed to all those factors you listed are also responsible for the end result.

Either that, or it's not true that anyone else contributed in any way to a suicide bomber blowing himself up. Random people just make random decisions to blow themselves up in random crowded places, with no contributing factors stemming from anyone else's actions or behaviors.

Btw., I strongly disagree with the notion that your list is a realistic list of contributing factors to terrorism. Terrorism, in general, has nothing to do with the things on your list, and everything to do with religion and various collectivist political ideologies. So I'm just pointing out that you're at least acknowledging that there are factors aside from random people making random choices. And yet you declare that no one else is in any way responsible, but the person making the final choice right before the physical act of aggression. The logic of that eludes me.

Edited by Nicky

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I think this is correct with a few exceptions. For instance, in wartime it's best to target the areas where you know the bad guys live and try to take them out. Innocent civilians will undoubtedly be killed in the process, but it wouldn't make sense to, say, put every person on trial to measure their guilt or innocence before taking any action.

Collateral damage is inevitable, but I think there's an ethical parallel between targeting terrorists and say, gang members.  It's unethical to carpet bomb a gang infested neighborhood and so how ethical is it to carpet bomb a terrorist infested village?  There are rules of engagement for any conflict and the apprehension of terrorists needn't be reduced to a life boat situation where anything goes.

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Consider this from the perspective of the typical American muslim. He wants to live, work, have a family, and so on. He would rather there were no terrorists who start from his congregation or congregations like his, inspired by what they think is the true Islam. He hates being associated with bombings, and looked at with suspicion every now and then. So, how is he to understand the phenomenon of Islamic terrorists? They're people who do what they do from free will, but is that all there is to it?  Is it true that this is something that a certain percentage of the congregation will do, and there is no way to actually do anything about it, because they have free will?

I think the normal function of a police force is adequate to establish means, motive and oppertunity so that persons of interest can be identified and linked to the crime of terrorism.  Having a right to life doesn't exempt one from the consequences of committing a crime any more than choosing not to pull the trigger exempts one from the consequences of aiding and abetting those who do.  The slipery slope to be avoided is assigning guilt by association alone.

 

Freewill is nothing more than the acknowledgement that choice is required for action, unprovoked action is required for culpability, and consequence cannot be evaded by following orders.  In this regard, education is the greatest weapon we have to deter future acts of terrorism, and yes, understanding the tenets of organizations claiming the right to kill dissidents is a necessary part of that education.

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The guiding force behind a man's actions is the freewill of all individuals to choose otherwise, and the consequence of being held accountable for ones actions.

 Okay.  Different approach.

 

On any given morning I wake up, get ready for work, get in the car and drive there.  Do I do this because of free will and my ability to choose otherwise?

 

No.  I do it because I know that I want to live which means I must acquire food, which means that I need to hold a steady job, which means that on any specific morning I must follow those steps in order to achieve my goals.

 

ALL human action is purposeful and goal-oriented action.  If you know what someone's goals are then you know, to an extent, what they will do next [the missing factor there would be their view of existence and their current situation; what actions they consider possible or impossible which determine the options they may choose from].

 

But that still leaves the MASSIVE question: how does someone choose which goals to pursue?  Which means: how does an individual choose his own values?

 

The answer is philosophy, and with EVERY individual their goals can be traced back to their underlying premises.

 

The next question to ask yourself, which you must in order to fully apply this, is why anyone would voluntarily decide that self-destruction is good.

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