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If you realize that race and religion are different, how could you call condemnation of Islam "racism?"

Because the majority of Arabs are Muslims, everbody knows that. Of course some other races are muslim but they don't even compare to the arab population.

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Oldsalt, I would adjust this to say "culture of Islamic fundamentalists", because not all adherents of Islam want world domination, an Islamic state, and to murder anyone who is not a Muslim, any more than all Christians want to end their lives in a standoff with the FBI and be burned to death as per the Branch Davidians at Waco. Some of Prae's arguments are directed against the premise that ALL Muslims are murderers, which is incorrect. There are probably as many shades of adherence to Islam as there are practitioners, and if a Muslim does not intend to violate my rights, they should be free to practice their religion and live their life free from interference.

Finally somebody agrees with me.

Prae: it does if the government violates individual rights to the necessary degree. Obviously there are, again, shades of this (I would not advocate invading Washington D.C. because it levies taxes on me...), but for example, a dictatorship is not a legitimate government and has no rights, and can be morally overthrown at our discretion and replaced with a government that protects individual rights. This does not mean we must always do it, or that it's the only way to do it, only that we have the right to do it.

This I certainly don't agree with. But that is all I can say, that governments have a right to exist without interference unless they clearly attack another government.

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And what about the few honest rational individuals which are being ruled by the Islamic government?

Don't THEY have a right to be governed by a better government?

Should we just let that matter go just because the majority wants an Islamic government? Not to mention that an Islamic government is more dangerous than a secular one to America.

Of course the people have the right to be ruled by a better government, we all do. That is why anyone can leave their country. The Berlin Wall was put up because the best minds in East Berlin were running into West Berlin. The wall couldn't even stop them.

A government is for the people, and typically it serves the majority. If the majority want an Islamic government who are we to say "sorry, that is irrational."

And not all Islamic governments are dangerous to the United States. None of the governments in the middle east can even compare to U.S.S.R., Germany during the '30s and '40s, and Japan during the '30s and '40s.

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The proper function of a government is NOT to serve whatever the majority wants; it is to protect individual rights, including both freedom of religion and freedom from religion. That is why the US was set up as a secular constitutional republic, not a democracy.

People have the right to live their lives, even if it is by worshipping a fictional god. I would never be in favor of banning religion, and certainly never be in favor of toppling governments so that people couldn't worship god anymore. These people should be allowed to determine how they are going to live, whether we disagree with it or not.

Nobody is suggesting that religion be banned. We are opposed to theocracies, which both violate the rights of their own citizens and in many pose cases pose a threat to ours.

PS oldsalt for President!

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Prae said:

These people should be allowed to determine how they are going to live, whether we disagree with it or not.
People do not have the right to "determine" that they are going to live without rights. There can be no such thing as the right to live in a dictatorship.

The fundamental right possessed by man -- the right from which all others flow -- is the right to be free from the initiation of force. Thus, it is a contradiction to assert the right to exist in a society the permits the initiation of force. It amounts to claiming the right to violate rights.

Therefore, we have the right to forbid the initiation of force by anyone, anywhere, at anytime -- we have the right to impose freedom. The only question is whether it is in our best interests to do so.

P.S. I agree, Janet for President.

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This I certainly don't agree with. But that is all I can say, that governments have a right to exist without interference unless they clearly attack another government.

That is absolutely false. No institution that violates individual rights to the extent that a dictatorship does has a right to exist. To claim otherwise is to claim that it has the right to violate any and all individual rights. (!)

In otherwords, you're claiming that people have the right to be dictators provided that they not use their dictatorial powers to invade another country. Or, if you still don't get the implication of your argument: that people have the right to enslave, loot, plunder, kill, rape, etc...others who are citizens of their own country. :blink: Not only that, your very argument blatantly denies the right of individuals to OVERTHROW dictators who have not invaded other countries.

Unless you maintain that absurd position, you had better read up on Objectivist ethics.

"There is no such thing as the right to enslave."

--Ayn Rand

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That is absolutely false.  No institution that violates individual rights to the extent that a dictatorship does has a right to exist.  To claim otherwise is to claim that it has the right to violate any and all individual rights. (!)

In otherwords, you're claiming that people have the right to be dictators provided that they not use their dictatorial powers to invade another country. Or, if you still don't get the implication of your argument: that people have the right to enslave, loot, plunder, kill, rape, etc...others who are citizens of their own country.  :blink: Not only that, your very argument blatantly denies the right of individuals to OVERTHROW dictators who have not invaded other countries.

Unless you maintain that absurd position, you had better read up on Objectivist ethics.

"There is no such thing as the right to enslave."

--Ayn Rand

The people living under a dictatorship (although the argument was originally based around a theocracy) have the responsiblity to decide if they are going to live there. It may seem absurd that somebody would decide to live in Iraq or any other middle eastern country, but they are religious and these governments cater to that religion. They can practice with all of their brethren without fear of christian influence.

The only people who have the right to overthrow a government are the citizens themselves (unless of course the government had declared war etc.).

Since this argument is just going in a circle I'd like to ask a question of you who are arguing against me. Why is it so that America has to be the country that liberates all of these dictatorships?

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Prae: You have not answered a single point of my arguments. Did you even read what I wrote? You continue to assert your position without argument or reason to back it up. The mere assertion of something is not an argument.

How do you define racism? What is the difference between what an individual thinks and what race he is?

What is a "right" and what constitutes a valid right?

On what premise do you assert that any form of government is valid if most of the people want it? (This is John Kerry's argument, by the way, for the enslavement of Viet Nam.)

What is the definion of a lie? What is the difference between a lie and an error?

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Prae,

The reason the argument is going nowhere is because you are trying to support assertions that are blatantly opposed to Objectivism. Since this is the Objectivist Forum it should come as no surprise that there will be an opposing position. Some have even gone out of their way to point out some reading material to show you the error you are making. That is about all we can do.

Back to the topic........

I agree this is pretty disgusting. I wonder if the film may get some attention now to somewhat negate nastiness of the murder. Anyone know where to see this film?

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The people living under a dictatorship (although the argument was originally based around a theocracy) have the responsiblity to decide if they are going to live there. It may seem absurd that somebody would decide to live in Iraq or any other middle eastern country, but they are religious and these governments cater to that religion. They can practice with all of their brethren without fear of christian influence.

The only people who have the right to overthrow a government are the citizens themselves (unless of course the government had declared war etc.).

Since this argument is just going in a circle I'd like to ask a question of you who are arguing against me. Why is it so that America has to be the country that liberates all of these dictatorships?

I, or any else here for that matter, never stated that America has to be the country that does so.

You, on other hand, haven't answered my question: how can you possibly claim that a dictatorship has the moral right to exist? In other words, how can you claim that a government has the right to violate rights of its own citizens, provided that it doesn't violate the rights of the citizens of another country?

How does the fact that a majority of Muslims want to institute a rights-violating theocracy MORALLY JUSTIFY that theocracy's violating the rights of others, particularly non-muslims or dissenting muslims in the theocracy?

I'll stop reprhasing my qustion from this point on if you still don't answer it.

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Prae,

The reason the argument is going nowhere is because you are trying to support assertions that are blatantly opposed to Objectivism.

<snip>

Back to the topic........

I agree this is pretty disgusting. I wonder if the film may get some attention now to somewhat negate nastiness  of the murder. Anyone know where to see this film?

erik: I agree with your assessment of the argument with Prae. However...

You say back to the topic. I think that multiculturalism has everything to do with Van Gogh's murder and it isn't out of place in this thread.

Read this round-up of some of the European papers and of what is happening in the Netherlands as a result of the murder:

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/11/st...dutch-blog.html

The politically correct policies of Dutch multiculturalism has disarmed the government and is keeping them from dealing with the increasing problems they are facing from their Muslim population.

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How do you define racism?  What is the difference between what an individual thinks and what race he is?

Racism: Discrimination or prejudice based on race. (Dictionary.com)

'What an individual thinks' is their thought processes. Race is their ethnic origin.

On what premise do you assert that any form of government is valid if most of the people want it?  (This is John Kerry's argument, by the way, for the enslavement of Viet Nam.)

On what premise do you assert that the majority of the people in a country are not entitled to the government that they desire?

What is the definion of a lie?  What is the difference between a lie and an error?

Lie:

1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.

2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

(Dictionary.com) I like these two definitions.

Error: An act, assertion, or belief that unintentionally deviates from what is correct, right, or true.

So I guess it comes down to whether was a liar or whether he was just ignorant. And which would actually be better, an ignorant president, or a liar?

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On what premise do you assert that the majority of the people in a country are not entitled to the government that they desire?

That the individual has inalienable rights because he is a human being. And that therefore, no majority, no matter how great, has the right to institute a government that will violate any of his rights.

And by the way, you still haven't answered the question. You just dodged it.

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I, or any else here for that matter, never stated that America has to be the country that does so.

I never said you did, but I did want a response. Now you haven't answered MY question.

You, on other hand, haven't answered my question: how can you possibly claim that a dictatorship has the moral right to exist?  In other words, how can you claim that a government has the right to violate rights of its own citizens, provided that it doesn't violate the rights of the citizens of another country?

Because any citizen can leave. Also the citizens can overthrow their own government. The citizens are ultimately responsible for themselves and for their own future, we certainly are not.

How does the fact that a majority of Muslims want to institute a rights-violating theocracy MORALLY JUSTIFY that theocracy's violating the rights of others, particularly non-muslims or dissenting muslims in the theocracy?

I'll stop reprhasing my qustion from this point on if you still don't answer it.

Isn't this basically the previous question asked differently. I might as well answer it again. If the majority of citizens desire a theocracy then they should have it. If it by chance begins to violate the rights of dissenting opinions then the people who wish to should leave. If christians are being persecuted in Iraq then they should leave Iraq. It doesn't make any sense for them to be over there if there is violence against christians.

I know that this particular aspect of self-determination and democracy is looked down on by Objectivism but I don't really care. We live in the real world.

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Because the majority of Arabs are Muslims, everbody knows that.

So what? That's a non-sequitur.

Try to separate race from ideas. It makes no difference if 100% of Muslims are Arabs or 1%. It is the IDEAS of Islam that we attack, no the racial makeup of those who practice it.

It makes no sense to lump race and religion into a "package deal." They are two distinct and unrelated concepts.

Do you understand what I'm saying here?

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I never said you did, but I did want a response. Now you haven't answered MY question.

The question you asked me PRESUPPOSED that I thought America had to be the one to oust the dicatorships. Since your presumption is false, the question is invalid and deserves no answer.

I know that this particular aspect of self-determination and democracy is looked down on by Objectivism but I don't really care. We live in the real world.

Indeed, we live in the real world. And in this real world, self-determination and democracy are only means of tyranny. And tyranny in Objectivism is IMMORAL and EVIL. And what is evil and immoral will never be practical in this real world.

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So what? That's a non-sequitur.

Try to separate race from ideas. It makes no difference if 100% of Muslims are Arabs or 1%. It is the IDEAS of Islam that we attack, no the racial makeup of those who practice it.

It makes no sense to lump race and religion into a "package deal." They are two distinct and unrelated concepts.

Do you understand what I'm saying here?

They are related. Their religion permeates into every aspect of their lives. Islam is a major part of who they are. When you attack Islam you attack the most stable and fundamental thing in their lives. Islam is inseperable from their race.

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The question you asked me PRESUPPOSED that I thought America had to be the one to oust the dicatorships.  Since your presumption is false, the question is invalid and deserves no answer.

The question is not invalid, stop dancing around it and just answer it.

I wanted to see what everyone here thought of the question, but you were the only one who responded to the question. I did not presuppose anything of you, because I was asking the question of many people.

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They are related. Their religion permeates into every aspect of their lives. Islam is a major part of who they are. When you attack Islam you attack the most stable and fundamental thing in their lives. Islam is inseperable from their race.

Is Objectivism inseparable from MY race? By the way I'm part Inuit and part Pacific Islander. :)

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What's your's? :)

The question was not meant as sarcasm. I really want to know how much you have studied Objectivism.

I suggest you either read or re-read The Virtue of Selfishness, specifically the essay entitled Racism.

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The question was not meant as sarcasm. I really want to know how much you have studied Objectivism.

I suggest you either read or re-read The Virtue of Selfishness, specifically the essay entitled Racism.

I started to read VOS. I guess I didn't enjoy it because it is gathering dust on my bookshelf.

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The question is not invalid, stop dancing around it and just answer it.

I wanted to see what everyone here thought of the question, but you were the only one who responded to the question. I did not presuppose anything of you, because I was asking the question of many people.

let's analyze your question:

"Since this argument is just going in a circle I'd like to ask a question of you who are arguing against me. Why is it so that America has to be the country that liberates all of these dictatorships?"

A "why" question asks for a reason, a cause or a purpose. For instance, the question "why did you vote for President Bush?" already presupposes the statement "you voted for President Bush" and is asking the reason(s) for your choice, not which candidate you voted for.

Similarly, the question above presupposes the statement "America has to be the country that liberates all of these dictatorships" and is asking for the REASON for this presumption. It didn't ask "Should America do so?" It already assumed the answer to be "yes" and asked a further question "Why?"

Now tell me you didn't presume anything false.

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let's analyze your question:

"Since this argument is just going in a circle I'd like to ask a question of you who are arguing against me. Why is it so that America has to be the country that liberates all of these dictatorships?"

A "why" question asks for a reason, a cause or a purpose.  For instance, the question "why did you vote for President Bush?" already presupposes the statement "you voted for President Bush" and is asking the reason(s) for your choice, not which candidate you voted for.

Similarly, the question above presupposes the statement "America has to be the country that liberates all of these dictatorships" and is asking for the REASON for this presumption.  It didn't ask "Should America do so?"  It already assumed the answer to be "yes" and asked a further question "Why?"

Now tell me you didn't presume anything false.

Okay, should america do so?

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