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NYC Mosque: Respect Property Rights

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As much as many wish to stand on Principle, if the Muslims wins in this we lose.

You're right. But there's something wrong here if you think this means you have to go against your principles. If your principles are in contradiction with your rational selfishness, then I think there's something wrong with the principles. You may have misunderstood or misapplied Objectivism or dropped context somewhere, which I suspect is behind a lot of the "We have an obligation to protect this disgusting mosque" sentiment.

I know when I first found out about this, I was extremely disgusted and enraged that the ideology behind the 9/11 attacks would dare build a mosque so near ground zero. Would dare spit on America like that. But I thought that I had an obligation to respect their property rights, so I opposed the mosque vehemently while protecting the owners' right to build it. You can see this in the thread I started about this issue a while back.

But I've changed my mind about that obligation. After hearing some arguments in the chatroom and being exposed to Peikoff's podcast, and thinking about it for a while (it was quite an uncomfortable position to consider), I've decided that Peikoff is in the right on this issue, and my stance is the same as his.

What changed? I realized I was upholding rights as isolated, sacred things, regardless of context or the right to life that they're derived from. I was thinking about rights the wrong way. I was misunderstanding and/or mis-applying Objectivism.

The mosque IS a symbolic victory for the enemy. It DOES offend and, worse, demoralize Americans. It DOES inspire our enemies with the hope that if they fight harder, they can have victory over us in their lifetime. It's as if the enemy flag were flown on a battlefield where we were defeated.

I'm sure you're familiar with the Star Spangled Banner. Let me throw in a few lyrics from it.

And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner#Early_history_of_the_lyrics

During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort’s smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shell and Congreve rocket[5] barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. By then, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised.

Key was inspired by the American victory and the sight of the large American flag flying triumphantly above the fort.

Do you think that this kind of proud, hopeful inspiration is only an American phenomenon? Do you think fundamentalist Muslims are incapable of drawing such mental fuel from a variation of this that fits them, such as a mosque? This isn't subjective, it's objective. Demoralization and inspiration are objective phenomenon. Emotional drainage and emotional fuel are objective things that can happen to a person. (See Rand's aesthetics.) This mosque has objective consequences. And the consequences are that it will sap Americans emotionally and provide emotional fuel and inspiration to the enemy that we are at war with and that is trying to kill and enslave us.

I don't give a damn about the Imam's intentions or connections. This mosque's existence has consequences. This Imam's property rights do not give him the right to create a threat to American lives.

Everyone else I know who shares this view with me is too sick of this topic to say anything or to keep up with this long-assed thread, so I decided to give the argument, and I'm gonna say the following: The mosque should be stopped. Do whatever you can within the legal system to prevent it. But like Peikoff said, private action shouldn't be taken against it. It should be prevented by, or destroyed by, the government. Rights are not contextless. There is no right to violate another person's rights.

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How?

Where did I say "Abolish all mosques"? Where did I say "Abolish all religious buildings"?

There is only one ideology that I know of that is currently waging physical war against us. Fundamentalist Islam. And there is currently only one mosque that is being built at the site of their initial attack and victory against us. The Cordoba House.

Why did I emphasize that they're waging a physical war against us, when it's the ideology we must defeat? Because rights can only be violated by the initiation of force. There are a plethora of ideologies that are opposed to our way of life, but you can be opposed to something without violating someone's rights over it. Islam is the one whose most serious adherents are now trying their hardest to violate our rights.

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There is only one ideology that I know of that is currently waging physical war against us. Fundamentalist Islam.

Fallacy of reification:

Reification (also known as hypostatisation, concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a "real thing" something which is not a real thing, but merely an idea. (wikipedia)

Just because some of the people holding an evil idea are acting on it, it does not mean you may wage war against all of the people holding that idea, including the ones who are not acting on it. You said it yourself, the crime is acting on the idea, not holding or speaking it.

Trying to circumvent the requirement of establishing whether someone is or isn't guilty of acting on those beliefs, by relying on the fallacy of reification and pretending the idea itself is literally waging war against us is illogical.

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There is only one ideology that I know of that is currently waging physical war against us. Fundamentalist Islam.

An ideology doesnt wage physical war, people do, to think otherwise is collectivism.

There are a plethora of ideologies that are opposed to our way of life, but you can be opposed to something without violating someone's rights over it.

Then why cant you be opposed to the mosque without advocating violating the property owners rights over it?

Islam is the one whose most serious adherents are now trying their hardest to violate our rights.

This may be true of some muslims, but unless you feel you have a right not to be offended, the Cordoba Initiative appears to be in the clear so far. (unless someone can name which of their rights that particular Imam has violated)

j..

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You may have misunderstood or misapplied Objectivism or dropped context somewhere, which I suspect is behind a lot of the "We have an obligation to protect this disgusting mosque" sentiment. What changed? I realized I was upholding rights as isolated, sacred things, regardless of context or the right to life that they're derived from. I was thinking about rights the wrong way. I was misunderstanding and/or mis-applying Objectivism.

I have just one question here: What specific works of Rand's have you read where she discusses rights and their proper application?

I know when I first found out about this, I was extremely disgusted and enraged that the ideology behind the 9/11 attacks would dare build a mosque so near ground zero. Would dare spit on America like that. But I thought that I had an obligation to respect their property rights, so I opposed the mosque vehemently while protecting the owners' right to build it. You can see this in the thread I started about this issue a while back.

Is it too much to ask that you take some time to get a basic understanding of how Islamic fundamentalism, and particularly these terrorist organizations work, behave, their goals and motivations, and most importantly how they interpret events and actions by both Muslims and non-Muslims before you start making statements like this? You seem to have plenty of time to read and watch things by Peikoff and crew so I do not think that this is an unreasonable expectation given the subject at hand and the manner in which you are debating it. As for the rest of my opinion on your post, you can read Jake & Jay's comments. Further, you are making an improper connection here regarding the ideology and the 9/11 attacks, and I think part of the reason for that is based on your understanding of Islamic fundamentalism as well as the actual religion as a whole and its contrasting differences within it. One of my relatives died on one of the planes that hit the towers, yet I know better than to make this mistake. As such, you should not be making it either.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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Is it too much to ask that you take some time to get a basic understanding of how Islamic fundamentalism, and particularly these terrorist organizations work, behave, their goals and motivations, and most importantly how they interpret events and actions by both Muslims and non-Muslims before you start making statements like this?

Can you suggest some specific resources?

While I certainly agree with Jake's analysis of the reification being committed here, I don't understand why it is necessary to have a deep understanding of how terrorist organizations work, in order to judge them immoral, or to appeal to the government to destroy them. If that is not what you were replying to, then what specific decisions were you suggesting need to be informed by knowledge of the internal workings of terrorist organizations?

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Folks, When quoting other posts in the thread, please start by using the "Reply" button that is just below the specific post, instead of using the "Add Reply" button at the bottom of the page. That will bring in the other person's post as a quote, from which one can remove text to leave just the portion being quoted. One can also use the "Multi-Quote" feature when quoting multiple posts.

Alternatively, when adding the Quote tag "manually", you can add the person's name right after the word "quote" inside the opening tag, something like this:

[quote name='ConfusedOpponents Name' ]... blah blah blah... [/quote]

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Fallacy of reification:

Reification (also known as hypostatisation, concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a "real thing" something which is not a real thing, but merely an idea. (wikipedia)

Just because some of the people holding an evil idea are acting on it, it does not mean you may wage war against all of the people holding that idea, including the ones who are not acting on it. You said it yourself, the crime is acting on the idea, not holding or speaking it.

Trying to circumvent the requirement of establishing whether someone is or isn't guilty of acting on those beliefs, by relying on the fallacy of reification and pretending the idea itself is literally waging war against us is illogical.

Amaroq's sentence was fallacious, but he did not correctly state the case against the building.

The fallacy of reification should not be used to object to every movement from a generality to a particular or vice versa. This is what the philosopher Quine had done:

Willard Van Orman Quine suggests that reification exists potentially in all linguistic categorisations and naming objects, insofar as the recognition of the same object in different spatio-temporal contexts requires abstraction from time, change, interactions, and relations pertaining to the object. Already Heraclitus had observed "it was impossible to step in the same river twice", and this implies that identifying the river involves the imputation or attribution of a constancy which in physical reality does not exist.

Rand is the antidote to this argument against conceptual thinking. The constancy imputed to a river is not a literal and physical equality between the river yesterday and the river today but a similarity within a range, distinguished from the land and other watercourses, and with particularities about the positions of the stones and the height and turbidity of the water omitted. There is also a constancy within Islam. Imam Rauf and Osama bin Laden are of the same river in precisely the attribute that matters when judging men morally: their ideas. Imam Rauf and Osama bin Laden are not the same in judging them legally because their actions differ.

Note that reification is generally accepted in literature and other forms of discourse where reified abstractions are understood to be intended metaphorically,

I would expand this to all of art. Rand's definition of art as "a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments" and her practice of personifying philosophical systems and conflicts in characters is reification in practice. Architecture is also a reification of an idea into concrete form, see The Fountainhead for arguments on that.

Objecting to the Ground Zero Mosque is not a reification fallacy because the Ground Zero Mosque actually is a reification. Furthermore, the location provides extra context beyond what the mere building itself could achieve, and it is the combination of building and location (and only the combination) that crosses the line between abstract advocacy and concrete threat.

Edited by Grames
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Amaroq said:

There is only one ideology that I know of that is currently waging physical war against us. Fundamentalist Islam.

and the replies were:

Fallacy of reification:

An ideology doesnt wage physical war, people do, to think otherwise is collectivism.

I'm not sure if the two of you are being pedantic or just too picky. I don't want to speak for Amaroq but I thought he was clear enough in what he said. This is what he said in the first sentence of the paragraph following the one you both quoted from:

Why did I emphasize that they're waging a physical war against us, when it's the ideology we must defeat?

He uses the pronoun "they" so it is clear that he is talking about people. So hopefully that clears him of the charges of reification and collectivism.

But more to the point: Amaroq's phraseology is appropriate and correct in a deeper sense. Do the two of you deny that the roots of war are ideological in nature? It is true that we are fighting people, but we aren't fighting all people, we are fighting people that hold a particular ideology and the only reason we are fighting against them is because of that ideology. Don't you agree with Amaroq that "it's the ideology we must defeat?"

To be clear, a person's idea's are sacrosanct and beyond the reach of government, however, once they lead to violence or the threat of violence, then those that enforce those idea's must be stopped. In order to stop them they must be shown the futility of their ideas and the full deadly consequences of their ideas must become real to them. In other words, their ideology must be defeated.

Just because some of the people holding an evil idea are acting on it, it does not mean you may wage war against all of the people holding that idea, including the ones who are not acting on it. You said it yourself, the crime is acting on the idea, not holding or speaking it.

Again, I'm not sure if you are nit picking here or if you have the wrong idea. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds as though your position is that the people building the Ground Zero Mosque are not using force against us and so I assume that you would say we have no right to wage war against them. If that is your position then the statement above must be taken in a wider context in which waging war is appropriate against someone. In that context I think the statement is wrong. To be certain you would have to tell me your plan for eradicating totalitarian Islam.

My plan would be to declare war on Iran and bomb them into submission targeting their government, weaponry and infrastructure first. I doubt that that would do the trick and so I'm sure it would be necessary to target their Mosques which are the fountainhead of their ideology. If that doesn't work then all the people in that country are a legitimate target. Many innocent people and many more passive followers of the ideology will be killed.

And if the initiation of force doesn't stop, then the rest of the middle east is a target. So long as the ideology exists and continues to inspire the initiation of force and we are at war, then everyone holding that ideology is a legitimate target. Every person living in a country we are at war with is a legitimate target even if they believe in individual rights.

If I was president I would do as I describe above and I would not allow any Mosque to be built in the US while the war is prosecuted. As it stands, I believe the Ground Zero Mosque will provide spiritual support for an enemy that is killing us. So I support defeating the Ground Zero Mosque using any and all legal means (even the non-objective legal means that we are all subject to currently) and I would ask those who oppose this position to answer a few questions:

- Are we at war?

- If so, then would you have allowed a Nazi march to occur during WWII? Even if these particular Nazis didn't agree with Hitler and thought he was misinterpreting their ideas?

- Further, so I can be assured that you do actually believe in our self-defense, what would you do in this war? Who is the enemy? Do you support total war and the humiliating defeat of the enemy?

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He uses the pronoun "they" so it is clear that he is talking about people. So hopefully that clears him of the charges of reification and collectivism.

No, replacing my quote with a different text and calling me pedantic doesn't clear up anything.

He uses the pronoun "they" to refer to all Muslims. He backs up his charge that all Muslims are at war with the US with reification (their religion is waging war against the US, so they must be waging war too).

To be certain you would have to tell me your plan for eradicating totalitarian Islam.

Islam is totalitarian. There is no difference between Islam and totalitarian Islam. And the plan to eradicate it would be to start removing Muslims from the face of the Earth, until they either all renounce their religion or they're all dead. Then continue on with Catholicism, which is also a totalitarian religion (I can back that up with very recent comments from the Pope, urging political leaders to enforce his religion on their people).

I have no desire to eradicate either, because most of their followers are peaceful. If you wish to ask about a plan to win the war on Islamic terrorism instead, you should start a different thread. I'll answer it if I can think of anything constructive to say. But this thread is about a group of Muslims building a religious facility in New York, not about terrorism. I have seen no evidence that they are guilty of being terrorists or conspiring with any terrorists (not denying they could be, I heard rumors about the Imam's ties to various groups, but seen no evidence).

Again, I'm not sure if you are nit picking here or if you have the wrong idea. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds as though your position is that the people building the Ground Zero Mosque are not using force against us and so I assume that you would say we have no right to wage war against them. If that is your position then the statement above must be taken in a wider context in which waging war is appropriate against someone. In that context I think the statement is wrong.

That is my position and I do also agree with the way you phrased it: "We have no right to wage war against people who are not using force against us."

What specifically is wrong with it? Where would the right to wage war against someone not using force against you come from?

)

So long as the ideology exists and continues to inspire the initiation of force and we are at war, then everyone holding that ideology is a legitimate target.

There are plenty of Americans holding that ideology as well. Does your plan involve modifying the Constitution to allow killing American citizens on ideological grounds?

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I am amused. My smaller post (#203) was just addressing IAmMetaphysical's concern that my argument would result in abolishing all religion. The closest anyone has come to touching my main post (#201) is CapitalistSwine challenging my understanding of rights and telling me I don't know enough about the intricacies of Islam to make the kinds of blanket statements I did.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Rand's rights are what you'd call negative rights. (As opposed to positive rights, aka entitlements.) The right not to be infringed or violated. To be free to act on your own judgment as long as you do not violate anyone else. Do I have to appeal to Ayn Rand as an authority or is this explanation good enough for you? Rand induced the entirety of Objectivism from reality, and if you're an Objectivist, you can too. I don't need to defend myself by quoting her, though I do recognize her as an authority that can be trusted and deferred to. (She and Peikoff are the two philosophic authorities I trust most.) If you're going to challenge my understanding of rights, maybe you could point out an actual problem that you see with my understanding of rights in something I've said. (I don't remember precisely what VoS or OPAR said about rights, and I haven't gotten C:UI in the mail yet. But I've had them thoroughly explained to me in the chatroom, and I am at least fairly certain that I understand rights correctly, if not very certain.)

As for Islam. Well, I'm not sure where to start. All you've said so far, CS, is that I don't understand the multitude of intricacies and factions within Islam. Therefore..?

What about Islam invalidates the things I've said? Can you name a group that is waging war against us that would be perfectly okay with the idea of us destroying the mosque? Name a "Faction of Islam" that is at war with us who wouldn't mind if we stopped the mosque. If you can't, then they must give a pretty big damn about it, and the mosque's existence at that location must have the consequences that I listed in my bigger post.

I think everyone else (who has jumped on my smaller post, not my bigger one) has been addressed by Marc K. (Thank you Marc.) Is anyone even going to touch the actual arguments I gave in my bigger post? Do any of you disagree with any of the many things I said (in post #201), and have good reasons for your disagreements?

Grames, I'm curious. You said I didn't correctly state the case against the building. I was making my case against the building, so I may have left out some arguments that Peikoff himself gave against the building. Can you provide some constructive criticism for me?

Edited by Amaroq
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but Rand's rights are what you'd call negative rights. (As opposed to positive rights, aka entitlements.) The right not to be infringed or violated. To be free to act on your own judgment as long as you do not violate anyone else.

Why arent these right extended to the law abiding individuals trying to open the mosque? What laws, what constitutional jurisdiction is the government to use to deny law abiding individuals of their property rights? Should they make a new law? It boils down to this: The mosque is in bad taste, its not an initiation of force. I do wish I could wake up tomorrow and see the world rid of "the religion of peace", but denying property rights in America is not the proper first step in waging the war on Islam. This all seems so simple to me, Ill not waste my time explaining my position in further detail.

j..

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To be clear, a person's idea's are sacrosanct and beyond the reach of government, however, once they lead to violence or the threat of violence, then those that enforce those idea's must be stopped. In order to stop them they must be shown the futility of their ideas and the full deadly consequences of their ideas must become real to them. In other words, their ideology must be defeated.

This I can agree with. But the tacticts involved with in defeating Islam as an ideology would have to be from a similar playbook as the one used to defeat imperialist Japan. Unfortunately, Im sure thats not going to happen. Waging a war from the inside out against the priciples that this country was founded on isnt the pragmatic solution though.

j..

on edit: with regard to the mosque, I think it would be great if construction workers refused to work there, but that probably wont happen either.

Edited by JayR
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but Rand's rights are what you'd call negative rights.

Consider yourself corrected. I would most certainly not call them that.

I am amused. My smaller post (#203) was just addressing IAmMetaphysical's concern that my argument would result in abolishing all religion. The closest anyone has come to touching my main post (#201) is CapitalistSwine challenging my understanding of rights and telling me I don't know enough about the intricacies of Islam to make the kinds of blanket statements I did.

IAmMetaphysical answered your main post fully, in post nr. 202. There really is nothing more to say. You have tried to refute his answer with a reification, and that was that. And even if no one had addressed your main post, why would you feel the need to point that out? Does anyone owe you to answer your points? What if we don't think they're worth answering, are you going to keep protesting until someone does?

This I can agree with. But the tacticts involved with in defeating Islam as an ideology would have to be from a similar playbook as the one used to defeat imperialist Japan. Unfortunately, Im sure thats not going to happen. Waging a war from the inside out against the priciples that this country was founded on isnt the pragmatic solution though.

The US did not fight an ideology in WW2. They fought the people who physically supported the war against us, in the name of that ideology (the people participating in the Japanese and German war machines). Today, those people are the Islamic regimes across the Middle East, their paramilitary proxies (Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda etc.), and their economic and military infrastructures, not American Imams. They are using physical force, this Imam is not. He is, by all accounts, a law abiding American citizen.

If we left him alone, and went after the people actually connected to terror, we'd be just fine. His ideology would be defeated (because those who practice it would be defeated, and those who preach it left without practitioners), and ours would be left intact.

Going after the people who speak the ideology would mean the exact opposite: we hand them victory by default, by abandoning our principles.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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The US did not fight an ideology in WW2. They fought the people who physically supported the war against us, in the name of that ideology (the people participating in the Japanese and German war machines). Today, those people are the Islamic regimes across the Middle East, their paramilitary proxies (Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda etc.), and their economic and military infrastructures, not American Imams. They are using physical force, this Imam is not. He is, by all accounts, a law abiding American citizen.

Yes, thats my point. A proper war was what I was referring to when I said "Unfotunately, Im sure thats not going to happen". See "the war on terror" as a pathetic example of fighting an ideology when you should be fighting specific semi-localized legitimate enemies.

j..

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I just wanted to update and let Amaroq and others who have referenced me know that I am in fact returning to address the questions asked of me and the points made. However I want to make sure I write up a sufficient and well elaborated post before doing so as I have noticed that most of my "on the spot" posts on this specific subject have been I have found, been a waste of time, and is in fact why I hesitated to even involve myself in this discussion again on this thread, since there is an awful lot of "talking past one another" on this whole general issue. I am just quite busy at the moment and I don't want to write a half-assed response.

This I can agree with. But the tacticts involved with in defeating Islam as an ideology would have to be from a similar playbook as the one used to defeat imperialist Japan.

This is one of my big beefs about this whole foreign policy thing. The nature of Islam, and particularly totalitarian Islam which is practiced by the Wahhabist sect and the majority of terrorist groups, is nothing like that of Imperial Japan of WW2. That belief system was institutionally-bound (we destroyed their government and the philosophical structure of it's legitimacy, and therefore ended the ideology from having any level of legitimacy that could produce a noteworthy threat), this one is not, and so I think it is a grave mistake to treat this as the same, as I think we would find that we will get the opposite result from what we are expecting. I have not seen anyone address this disagreement of mine properly. I would like to have a discussion about this point in particular, but it would depend on if someone would be willing enough to do so that they would start a new thread specifically on that subject, since I fear that discussing it hear will just derail the main purpose of this thread. I have read both Winning the Unwinnable War by Elan Journo/Yaron Brook and many sections of Nothing Less than Victory by John Lewis and this just makes zero sense to me how these two can be compared as being even slightly similar.

Yes, thats my point. A proper war was what I was referring to when I said "Unfotunately, Im sure thats not going to happen". See "the war on terror" as a pathetic example of fighting an ideology when you should be fighting specific semi-localized legitimate enemies.

j..

Agreed

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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Grames, I'm curious. You said I didn't correctly state the case against the building. I was making my case against the building, so I may have left out some arguments that Peikoff himself gave against the building. Can you provide some constructive criticism for me?

You wrote:

There is only one ideology that I know of that is currently waging physical war against us. Fundamentalist Islam.

Are you familiar with "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"? Same thing here. Islam does not kill people, muslims kill people.

Wikipedia gives an example of the Reification (fallacy) using religion:

Phrases

"Religion attempts to destroy our liberty and is therefore immoral." (attributes intention to religion)

This is easily fixed up as "Religion taken seriously and practiced consistently by people leads to the destruction of our liberty and is therefore immoral."

Law and war have in common that both are directed when in action against particulars. Crime is not fought in the abstract, criminals must be arrested, convicted and imprisoned. War is not fought in the abstract, individual human beings have to be coerced or killed. Imam Rauf does not fall into the category of either criminal or combatant.

If in an existing suburban housing development a new neighbor moves in and starts dairy farming and stinking up the whole area, he can be sued and stopped. Some here would say that the farmer's property rights were violated, but in fact it was the property rights of his neighbors that had priority and were violated.

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Consider yourself corrected. I would most certainly not call them that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights

IAmMetaphysical answered your main post fully, in post nr. 202. There really is nothing more to say. You have tried to refute his answer with a reification, and that was that. And even if no one had addressed your main post, why would you feel the need to point that out? Does anyone owe you to answer your points? What if we don't think they're worth answering, are you going to keep protesting until someone does?

IAmMetaphysical's post #202 didn't actually address anything in my post. He just misunderstood me and concluded that I was arguing to abolish every religious building in America. I addressed that misunderstanding. (Though I should not have had to.)

So I named the enemy as fundamentalist Islam instead of saying "fundamentalist Muslims", and that somehow invalidates everything I said? War has to be not just against the people, but against the ideology that inspired them to war against us. I'm kind of ignorant of history, but if I'm not mistaken, your kind of thinking (We are only at war with people) at the end of WWI contributed to the starting of WWII. The Germans were only physically defeated. They were allowed to retreat, regroup, and keep the same ideas that inspired them to fight in the first place. If their ideology had been fought and defeated, WWII might not have started. For an example of this, I refer to the occupation of Japan after we nuked them. We forced a separation of church and state on them and did not allow their religion to be part of their government anymore. The result is that Japan has been a peaceful nation ever since. Contrast this with how we acted towards the Germans when WWI ended. (If someone knows history better than me and sees a mistake, feel free to correct me.)

You're free to not answer my argument if you wish. But I established that the mosque is a threat to American lives, and that because of this, it shouldn't be allowed to be built. If I were on your side of the debate, I would consider it a major challenge that can't be left unanswered.

Edited by Amaroq
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So I named the enemy as fundamentalist Islam instead of saying "fundamentalist Muslims"

That's not the problem at all. You didn't name the enemy fundamentalist Islam (which would be fine), instead you personified fundamentalist Islam, and said it is actively waging physical war against us (which is not fine). And I replied that that's illogical.

Had you said all fundamentalist Muslims are actively waging physical war against us, I would've asked you what evidence you have of that very concrete charge, with regards to this particular fundamentalist Muslim Imam. I assume the answer would've been none, and that would've been that.

Had you said some fundamentalist Muslims are waging physical war against us, and therefor all such Muslims are enemy combatants, I would've replied: that does not follow.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights

Some libertarians[citation needed] and political scientists make a distinction between negative and positive rights (not to be confused with the distinction between negative and positive liberties). According to this view, positive rights permit or oblige action, whereas negative rights permit or oblige inaction.

I'm not a Libertarian (or a political scientist).

So I named the enemy as fundamentalist Islam instead of saying "fundamentalist Muslims"

That's not the problem at all. You didn't name the enemy fundamentalist Islam (which would be fine), instead you personified fundamentalist Islam, and said it is actively waging physical war against us (which is not fine). And I replied that that's illogical.

Had you said all fundamentalist Muslims are actively waging physical war against us, I would've asked you what evidence you have of that very concrete charge, with regards to this particular fundamentalist Muslim Imam. I assume the answer would've been none, and that would've been that.

Had you said some fundamentalist Muslims are waging physical war against us, and therefor all such Muslims are enemy combatants, I would've replied: that does not follow.

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