[extropy-chat] 'a process of non-thinking called faith' 2 (2)

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 1 21:11:02 UTC 2006

Lee, it's good to hear from you again, engage with you again.  Too bad
the subject isn't something where your talent for uniquely
unconstrained thinking could deliver a richer yield.

Nevertheless life is good.

On 11/30/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:
> Jeff writes
> > Islam has been on the defense, legitimately so, against western
> > aggression, domination and expansion for a long time.
> What about the entire history since 632.

Sadly, you seem inclined (Where's your "different drummer" style on
this subject?) to add your voice to the "All-Muslims-are-evil!"
deracinated mob.  Why go back to the heyday off Islamic expansion?
It's not the current day or the current state of Islam.

> They've changed
> much less than we have in the interval. In most instances
> (except the Balkans) that Moslem armies conquered, the
> native religion and culture got stamped out.

If I accepted this assertion as true, which I don't,  (I seem to
recall that Jews lived happily in Muslim societies, and were respected
as fellow "peoples of the book" --  this one exception, to my mind,
casts doubt, on your blanket assertion -- I would counter that most
invading cultures replace the local religion with their own.  It's
neither unusual nor restricted to Islam.
> > The most recent spasm of western aggression beginning in Nov of
> > 1917 and continuing with substantial ferocity to this day.
> But it's NOTHING LIKE their successful aggressions. Lebanon used
> to be a Christian country, as recently as the 1950's or 1960's.

Huh?!!  Lebanon used to be part of Syria before the Brits and French
carved the area up as their spoils after WW1.  (Notwithstanding the
feeble legitimacy associated with the "League of Notions" farcical
moment in history.)  But beyond the questionable legitimacy of
separating "the" Lebanon from Syria, there's the simple fact that the
slight majority the Maronite Christians enjoyed at one time was
converted to a minority status not by Islamic aggression but rather by
a higher Islamic birth rate.  Do you really want to argue that the
miracle of birth is an Islamic imperialist conspiracy?

> Look, the only reason that Moslem armies were able to overrun
> Spain in 711 (or the reason that Spanish armies eventually won it
> back---a slow process taking 800 years), was that their armies
> were stronger.

> The contest between the west and Islam---raging on for so many
> centuries culminating in the near loss of Vienna on two occasions
> separated by 150 years or so---has been strangely quiet the last
> two hundred years.

"[The Ottomans] reached their zenith of power with Suleyman the
Magnificent whose armies reached Hungary and Austria. From the 17th
century onward with the rise of Westem European powers and later
Russia, the power of the Ottomans began to wane."

> The reason for this is absolutely overwhelming
> Western military superiority.

> What grounds do you have for thinking
> that *their* behavior would be any different than it was, were only
> the military positions reversed?

None.  But the fact is the positions ARE NOT REVERSED.   You
disappoint me Lee with argument so feeble: the evil of the Bush/neocon
cabal is to be overlooked because the evil of Islam WOULD BE JUST AS
BAD IF Islam were in some other state (more akin to its long gone
heyday) than a vast ineffectual pre-modern provincialism.

Please Lee, return to shining a light on the unexplored philosophical
realms of tech, human culture, and human nature.

> When the British and French assumed political control over the
> middle-east, why was the Muslim culture left untouched? Why
> didn't the west do the same thing to the middle east that it had
> done centuries earlier to North America?

Perhaps because Islam couples religious zeal to patriotism, making
defense of nation the same as defense of faith.  The soldiers of Islam
fight fiercely because they believe surrender is an act of apostasy,
and martyrdom (keeping the faith) results in "going to heaven".

The wife and I are enroute to our winter stomping grounds in Baja's
East Cape region, so I'll be out of touch even more than usual.

Best, Jeff Davis

               "Everything's hard till you
                     know how to do it."
                              Ray Charles

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