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We don't that it wasn't an attempt to divert the national media attention from the ongoing Russian-collusion investigation. It's the sort of thing that works for Frank Underwood.

(Bad taste, you might say? Yes, but someone told me I should be more fun. Trick or Treat.)

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4 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

If he shouted "allah 'akbar", as was widely reported, the genre of his motives aren't hard to guess.

He was probably hungry, and was asking the way to the Aloha Snackbar.

 

3 hours ago, Repairman said:

We don't that it wasn't an attempt to divert the national media attention from the ongoing Russian-collusion investigation. It's the sort of thing that works for Frank Underwood.

(Bad taste, you might say? Yes, but someone told me I should be more fun. Trick or Treat.)

The Russia investigation has been ongoing since January. Was the Vegas Shooting a diversion, too? I think that we should investigate every murder that has occurred and received media attention. Clearly Putin is involved.

Happy Halloween, made scarier by the religion of peace.

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11 hours ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

Happy Halloween, made scarier by the religion of peace.

All joking aside, Islam is a scary religion, and the senseless deaths of eight Americans should be regarded with the same sobriety as 3000 deaths. Among Westerners, "Alluah Akbar" has become commonly associated with mayhem, the battle cry of an irrational and deadly Jihad. Nonetheless, it is the faith of choice for millions of people around the world, many living in the United States. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of American Muslims are as rational as their Christian and Jewish counterparts. They are not an organized army. They are individuals, and as their generations are more exposed to our culture, I believe more will abandon their faith, just as many Christians and Jews have abandoned theirs. While you've brought up the subject of Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, after an entire month of analysis, no one is any closer to understanding the motive of his crime. I do not wish to "psychologize" the pathology of any mass murder; I am not qualified for that. However, how do we know that he did not have an inspired revelation from his spiritual friend(s)? Please don't construe this statement as a hypothesis; it is not. I'm merely saying that religions other than Islam have inspired violence. Religion in general can be a catalyst for self-destruction.

I wish for a future where religion is a subject studied in history books, as a means of understanding the past. Presently, people no longer have to conceal their atheism as they did in the not-so distant past. Faith versus atheism is a false set of alternatives; the focus needs to be on rationality, a belief in objective reality. We may never know why Stephen Paddock went berserk; we only know that his actions were irrational to the extreme. On the other hand, we have plenty of evidence that religion has played a role in organized mass murder in America, before as well as after the Colonial Period, from September 11, 2001, to the crimes of the KKK, to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, to the hanging of Quakers.

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7 hours ago, Repairman said:

All joking aside, Islam is a scary religion

What's important to remember, at times like this, is that your life is under greater threat from at least 100 different things, than it is from Islam. Thousands of different things, if you break down big categories like "poisoning" into smaller, more specific ones.

Some, you probably aren't even aware of...and no one on the news has ever mentioned them to you. Like here's a good one:  tetanus. Nasty little bacteria. Should be significantly more scary to the average westerner than Islam.

Edited by Nicky

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57 minutes ago, Nicky said:

What's important to remember, at times like this, is that your life is under greater threat from at least 100 different things, than it is from Islam. Thousands of different things, if you break down big categories like "poisoning" into smaller, more specific ones.

Some, you probably aren't even aware of...and no one on the news has ever mentioned them to you. Like here's a good one:  tetanus. Nasty little bacteria. Should be significantly more scary to the average westerner than Islam.

We could make a long list of preventable scary things, including automobile accidents. But the incident that happened in New York yesterday was no accident.

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On 11/2/2017 at 3:05 AM, Repairman said:

We could make a long list of preventable scary things, including automobile accidents. But the incident that happened in New York yesterday was no accident.

Neither is tetanus.

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9 hours ago, Nicky said:

Neither is tetanus.

No accident? Are you suggesting tetanus victims contract the disease intentionally? Tetanus is preventable with vaccine; death by Jihad warrior is not. In America, tetanus is rare; terrorists or mass murderers, Muslim or non-Muslim, also are rare in the US. Nonetheless, Muslim terrorists act out in part from inspiration derived from their Holy Koran. I find this disturbing, others find it scary, especially when people are being told that Islam is perfectly harmless. The Muslim terrorist is in part motivated by his religion. What motivation does a tetanus virus act upon, other than its nature as a virus? What exactly is your point?

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Facts are such pesky things.

In the United States:

Total number of murders in 2016: 17,250

Total number of alcohol related traffic deaths in 2016: 10,497

Total number of terrorist deaths in 2016: 68

In 2008-2016, There were 90 deaths from Islamic terrorists, 79 from right wing terrorists, and 7 from left wing terrorists.

In the years 1970-2016, terrorists killed 3,663 people, most on 9/11.

Terrorism isn't even close to being the biggest evil in the world, and all the hysteria in the world will not change that.


 


 

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On 11/1/2017 at 9:05 PM, Repairman said:

We could make a long list of preventable scary things, including automobile accidents. But the incident that happened in New York yesterday was no accident.

 

11 hours ago, Nicky said:

Neither is tetanus.

It think its normal to be much more alert to risks that are caused by the malicious intent of others. Drunk drivers probably kill many more people each year than terrorist drivers do, but the difference is culpable-negligence vs. malafide intent. And, I wouldn't be surprised if bad drivers kill even more than drunk ones. Even in that type of negligence, I suspect that negligence caused by acts of omission cause less anger than those caused by positive acts of commission. Does it make sense to use this range: acts of nature that we have not being able to predict on one extreme, and malafide human actors at the other extreme? Does it make sense for some purposes, but not for others?

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5 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

 

It think its normal to be much more alert to risks that are caused by the malicious intent of others. Drunk drivers probably kill many more people each year than terrorist drivers do, but the difference is culpable-negligence vs. malafide intent. And, I wouldn't be surprised if bad drivers kill even more than drunk ones. Even in that type of negligence, I suspect that negligence caused by acts of omission cause less anger than those caused by positive acts of commission. Does it make sense to use this range: acts of nature that we have not being able to predict on one extreme, and malafide human actors at the other extreme? Does it make sense for some purposes, but not for others?

Terrorism certainly qualifies as an act of commission. And while I must agree with everyone (including Nicky and Invictus2017) that there are a great many things more threatening than religion-inspired acts of violence, Islam is a massively popular religion, one that includes verses intended to inspire violence. People practicing Islam peacefully pose no threat; the people practicing Islam violently are very threatening, and yet both groups are being true to their faith. To be sure, I consider an appropriate defense against anything that may threaten me. Nonetheless, it is normal, if not rational, to fear that which threatens me. The automobile accident is far more likely to cost me my life. I fear the event of a head-on collision, and I take appropriate actions to prevent such a tragedy. What prevention can one take against the suicidal/homicidal maniac? Other religions have inspired violence, but could you tell me one that has inspired as much carnage in the past seventeen years as Islam? 

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17 minutes ago, Repairman said:

could you tell me one that has inspired as much carnage in the past seventeen years as Islam?

Nope.  But....

 

The Northern Ireland mess resulted in 3,568 deaths in 1969-2010, slightly less than the total number of terrorism deaths in the US over a slightly shorter period.  And Northern Ireland is rather smaller than the US....

 

Christians.  Another religion of peace. Yeah for peace!

Blame religions and pseudo-religions (like communism) for mass murder if you will.  But don't single out any particular one of them.
 

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Looks like our terrorist buddy was let into the United States from Uzbekistan under a "diversity visa." And this is how we're repaid. Should the diversity visa exist? What selfish purpose does "diversity" serve the United States? How can we prevent terrorists from abusing it, as happened in this case?

15 hours ago, Nicky said:

Neither is tetanus.

I honestly don't understand what point you're driving at by saying that "other things kill people too." Are you saying that we should not be concerned that this man was deliberately let into the country under a "diversity visa" ... because tetanus exists?

Let the doctors worry about tetanus. It's our politicians' job to protect us from political threats... of which terrorism is clearly one. That is the proper role of government, to protect our rights from violation by others.

2 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Does it make sense to use this range: acts of nature that we have not being able to predict on one extreme, and malafide human actors at the other extreme? Does it make sense for some purposes, but not for others?

See above. It's the job of doctors and hospitals to worry about tetanus; that's what they do. It's our politicians' job to worry about malafied human actors. That is the proper role of government, to protect our rights from violation by others.

2 hours ago, Repairman said:

What prevention can one take against the suicidal/homicidal maniac?

In the case of this terrorist, not let him into the country in the first place.

Quote

Blame religions and pseudo-religions (like communism) for mass murder if you will.  But don't single out any particular one of them.

I will single out Islam because Islam is uniquely violent in the world today, and is uniquely violent compared to Christianity. No other religion inspires the kind of carnage that Islam inflicts on the world. That's not to say that other religions are good, but just that they are better behaved.

Muslims seek to flee Muslim countries and come to Christian countries.

There is no exodus from Christian countries into Muslim ones.

Christian countries allow Objectivists the freedom to spread our message.

If we were members of this board in Muslim countries, we'd be executed.

I'm sorry but there's no comparison. Christianity is a decent religion, as far as religion goes. Islam is a deplorable, depraved religion.

Edited by CartsBeforeHorses

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38 minutes ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

I will single out Islam because Islam is uniquely violent in the world today, and is uniquely violent compared to Christianity. No other religion inspires the kind of carnage that Islam inflicts on the world. That's not to say that other religions are good, but just that they are better behaved.

Every religion has this potential.  And mostly they do it to those they regard as their own.  You are in essentially no danger from any Muslim, unless he is a common criminal who happens to be Muslim.

On the other hand, you'll lose half of your productive effort to Christian-inspired taxation.

 

(I'm not defending this guy, or even Islam.  But rationality demands perspective.  And this focus on a tiny number of terrorists, in the face of overwhelmingly greater threats, is anything but rational.)

Edited by Invictus2017
real post lost, had to re-enter

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1 hour ago, Invictus2017 said:

Every religion has this potential.

Then where are the suicide bombings in the name of Buddha, Jesus, or Moses? Where is the oppression of religious minorities in Norway, Germany, Italy, or any other majority-Christian countries?

If every religion has the potential for the same depravity as Islam, then why aren't they living up to it? Answer: because the philosophy of those religions is different. Let's play spot the difference. One of these things is not like the other, one of these things does not belong:

Christianity: Turn the other cheek, love thy neighbor as thyself
Judaism: Keep to yourself, follow the ten commandments and a bunch of other rules
Buddhism: Attain nirvana through meditation
Hinduism: Do good deeds and be reincarnated into a higher life-form
Islam: Kill the infidel

Quote

And mostly they do it to those they regard as their own.  You are in essentially no danger from any Muslim, unless he is a common criminal who happens to be Muslim.

Statistically you are correct. Brb, making a post about car crashes, criminality, and cancer.

Edit: and here it is. Huh, looks like terrorism is objectively different from all of those things, from a sense of life perspective. Looks like, unlike almost every other risk to life, there is nothing which can be done by an individual to mitigate his risk of dying of terrorism.

Quote

On the other hand, you'll lose half of your productive effort to Christian-inspired taxation.

In what way are the taxes in the United States Christian-inspired?

Most evangelicals vote Republican, and they're a party which is consistently in favor of lower individual and corporate taxes.

Atheists vote 69% Democrat, and they're a party which wants to raise taxes.

Source: Pew Research

The correlation isn't as clear-cut as you're making it.

Quote

(I'm not defending this guy, or even Islam.  But rationality demands perspective.  And this focus on a tiny number of terrorists, in the face of overwhelmingly greater threats, is anything but rational.)

Rationality does demand perspective. In this thread, the perspective is about radical Islam and how to prevent it in the United States. Our politicians cannot stop heart disease or car crashes. They can stop terrorism. That is their job. Shouldn't they do their job?

We can talk about the greater threats in the thread that I just made about calamity. And we can talk about the welfare state in threads about the welfare state. In here, let's please keep the focus on Islam because that's what this thread is about.

Edited by CartsBeforeHorses

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4 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

I think its normal to be much more alert to risks that are caused by the malicious intent of others.

Not sure why that would be. Personally,  I don't see the upside in getting killed by a bear (or a bacteria) instead of a person. But sure, maybe evil humans are more scary on a primal level. Still, if we just look at killings caused by malicious intent...Islamic terror is still a several orders of magnitude smaller threat, in the US, than all kinds of categories of threats that get neglected.

I think a better explanation for why collectivists focus on this threat over others is that this is perceived to be an external threat. An internal threat is seen as a threat to individuals. An external threat, even if the damage it causes is small compared to internal threats, is seen as a threat to something far more important than individual victims: it is seen as a threat to the group as a whole.

And, of course, the "solution" to external threats is far more appealing to the collectivist mindset, because it allows them to view the world as two clearly defined collectives pitted against each other. With internal threats, you have to be rational, figure out exactly which individual is responsible for the crime, etc. etc. It's tedious, unimportant work.

There can be 20 murders in a city, in a weekend, and it barely even makes the news. Forget doing something to prevent it, they solve what, 50% of murder cases, in the US? So half the people responsible don't even get caught. And no one cares. Meanwhile, eight people killed by a Muslim immigrant in NYC: we get to really do something about it. We get to put millions of "them" on terrorist watch lists, tens of thousands on no fly lists, and ban entry from entire countries.

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6 hours ago, Invictus2017 said:

Blame religions and pseudo-religions (like communism) for mass murder if you will.  But don't single out any particular one of them.

I believe I covered that in this post:

On 11/1/2017 at 11:52 AM, Repairman said:

  Religion in general can be a catalyst for self-destruction.

I wish for a future where religion is a subject studied in history books, as a means of understanding the past. Presently, people no longer have to conceal their atheism as they did in the not-so distant past. Faith versus atheism is a false set of alternatives; the focus needs to be on rationality, a belief in objective reality. We may never know why Stephen Paddock went berserk; we only know that his actions were irrational to the extreme. On the other hand, we have plenty of evidence that religion has played a role in organized mass murder in America, before as well as after the Colonial Period, from September 11, 2001, to the crimes of the KKK, to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, to the hanging of Quakers.

 

1 hour ago, Nicky said:

I think a better explanation for why collectivists focus on this threat over others is that this is perceived to be an external threat. An internal threat is seen as a threat to individuals. An external threat, even if the damage it causes is small compared to internal threats, is seen as a threat to something far more important than individual victims: it is seen as a threat to the group as a whole.

If I'm a collectivist for seeking a more secure, comfortable, and rational society, count me in.

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1 hour ago, Nicky said:

We get to put millions of "them" on terrorist watch lists, tens of thousands on no fly lists, and ban entry from entire countries.

It's easy to criticize the solutions offered by others as ineffective, and I would agree that much of what you mention is ineffective. That said, it's much harder to offer a solution of your own. It's easy to fly around, untethered, and snipe at "collectivists;" it's much harder when you have to stand on and defend your ground.

I haven't heard a single solution offered by you to the growing problem of terrorism in the US. No ground where you stand. I've heard minimization of the problem, but minimizing terrorism and comparing it to other things does not make it go away as a problem. It just makes us feel better about it. Yet the problem still remains. Emotions are not tools of cognition, and elation is not a national security strategy.

What is your solution? What would President Nicky do about terrorism? She certainly couldn't go in front of the American people after a terrorist attack and say, "Oh, it's no big deal, tetanus kills more people." We elect politicians to protect us from the violation of our rights, not stand around and equivocate.

Also, all it would take is one terrorist to get his hands on a nuclear weapon, or a dirty bomb, and all of a sudden terrorism is a much bigger problem than tetanus. Just because it's not a big problem today, doesn't mean that it couldn't be tomorrow.

What is your solution to terrorism?

Edited by CartsBeforeHorses

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I did my bit for perspective and sanity, and I have nothing material to add.

As for this terrorist, I prefer Roark's answer to Toohey:  "But I don't think of you."  Evil is not important, not unless it happens to significantly affect my life, and neither this scum nor his brothers-in-murder are likely to affect my life even a little.  Unless, of course, public hysteria about terrorism is used as an excuse to tighten up the American police state.  But whose fault would that be?

All of which is a long-winded way of saying, "I'm outta here".  I need to return my attention to where it belongs, on ways of making a better future.

Edited by Invictus2017
copyediting

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5 hours ago, Invictus2017 said:

I did my bit for perspective and sanity, and I have nothing material to add.

As for this terrorist, I prefer Roark's answer to Toohey:  "But I don't think of you."  Evil is not important, not unless it happens to significantly affect my life, and neither this scum nor his brothers-in-murder are likely to affect my life even a little.  Unless, of course, public hysteria about terrorism is used as an excuse to tighten up the American police state.  But whose fault would that be?

All of which is a long-winded way of saying, "I'm outta here".  I need to return my attention to where it belongs, on ways of making a better future.

Alright, I know you said that you're out of here but hopefully you will read my final words.

We should all focus on problems that are relevant to us as individuals. Only the individual can make that determination for himself, however. I focus on immediate threats to my survival in my working hours, but what I focus on in my free time is entirely up to me.

For you, our unjust criminal justice system is your main priority. As it should be, it has affected you personally. However, it would be immoral of me to say, "Well, you might be concerned about this, but nobody else should be because only 1% of the population is ever wrongfully accused in the way that you were."

It would also be a fallacy, because as Qui-Gon Jinn says, there is always a bigger fish. There is always a greater problem potentially lurking in the background from the problem that is being discussed. However, that does not make the smaller problem go away. You have not addressed any potential way to stop terrorism which does not result in a police state, and if you do not then your floating freedom project will not last very long, because terrorists, looters, and all manner of ill-intentioned individuals will target it.

Anyway, I will be making a larger post on this so hopefully if you don't read this reply, you will read the other discussion.

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For whatever it's worth, I think it's fine to take seriously terrorism -- and to work to stop it -- even in a world that continues to suffer tetanus, et al. But any proposed methods to address terrorism which violate individual rights should be rejected, whether or not we believe we have other methods available to us.

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3 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

For whatever it's worth, I think it's fine to take seriously terrorism -- and to work to stop it -- even in a world that continues to suffer tetanus, et al. But any proposed methods to address terrorism which violate individual rights should be rejected, whether or not we believe we have other methods available to us.

Good, we're on the same page about that. I'm glad that you don't subscribe to the fallacy of relative privation, where you appeal to a greater problem. Appealing to a greater problem doesn't make the lesser problem go away.

That being said, what is your proposal for how we should fight terrorism and prevent events like the one which occurred in New York?

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51 minutes ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

Alright, I know you said that you're out of here but hopefully you will read my final words.

I get notified when quoted....
 

53 minutes ago, CartsBeforeHorses said:

You have not addressed any potential way to stop terrorism which does not result in a police state

The burden is on you to explain why lone-wolf terrorism should be treated specially. By the evidence, it needs no special treatment; ordinary police work is sufficient.

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