[ExI] Religions and violence.

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Mon Aug 2 16:52:00 UTC 2010

On Sun, 1 Aug 2010, samantha wrote:

> Tomasz Rola wrote:
> >
> > On the other hand, one could hardly disagree with these Hitler's words:
> >
> > "I want everyone to keep what he has earned, subject to the principle that
> > the good of the community takes priority over that of the individual. But
> > the State should retain control; every owner should feel himself to be an
> > agent of the State ..."
> I disagree vehemently with this!  The "community" is only a collection of
> individuals.  It has no special rights that trump those of the individuals it
> is composed of.  The widespread belief that it does is precisely what makes
> horrors such as Nazism possible.  It is what is destroying even that one time
> symbol of deepest appreciation of the individual and individual rights,
> America. 

And now I also am controversial.

I have interpreted the above quotation out of context of whatever else 
Hitler did/said (and without counting how many people have been killed 
because of his inspiration). My understanding was that everybody 
(including individuals) should pay attention to the fact, that he is 
not alone and in fact a part of community. Unless he wants to be in a 
community of one. Which of course he can. How about founding his own 
hospital, because, well, health insurance is all about community sharing 
risks and expenditures? 

As of individualism in America, well while I've been never interested in 
looking for hard facts, my understanding is, it is as rare in America as 
anywhere else, including Antarctica. But it's optimistic that there are 
more individualists in USA than on the Moon and Mars combined (did I 
mention that I am optimist under my hard skin?). The fact that 
individualism is praised by everybody has nothing to do with reality.

And in rare cases this very same individualism takes such monstrous form, 
that the whole country, both big and rich, and admirable in many aspects, 
gets endangered of being drowned to the bottom with financial crisis. If 
the guys who did this were individuals, I would rather see them 
controlled, just a little. So that they don't shit into bank accounts of 
all of us.

> > Sounds like good presidential candidate, isn't he?
> >   
> I hope this is sarcasm.

It was... partially. If you didn't know the candidate's name was Hitler, 
maybe you would feel surprised about his words, but not as offended as you 

> > Mr Clark, my philosophy is, everybody should get what he deserves. But
> > before I tell what he deserves, his case should be examined. Otherwise I am
> > no better than a mob.
> >
> Unless given your adulation for the above the mob says he deserves X in which
> case you think your individual opinion is not relevant, no?

Why you think so? My individual opinion is always relevant, but 
realistically, it will not always be paid attention to by other people.

> > It is nothing like being weak minded. Quite the contrary, I think it is weak
> > thing to go by, flow with the current, without questioning things and agree
> > with everybody around without objection, just because "everybody does so".
> You sound like a healthy individualist there.

So maybe I am one. Surprised?

> > > > > writer Naguib Mahfouz who's novel is banned in most of the Islamic
> > > > > world for blasphemy.
> > > > >         
> > > > Well, Nobel Prize wouldn't be worth much if it wasn't controversial.
> > > >       
> > > I'm not talking about being controversial, I'm talking about using force
> > > to prevent someone from reading a novel from a Nobel Prize winner. Are you
> > > really sure you want to defend this?
> > >     
> >
> > No. I am sure that I am for allowing people to choose by themselves. I
> > consider this to be an error on the part of Islamic authorities. 
> The first error is even allowing such "authorities" in the first place.  But
> by the Hitler quote above that you admire I suppose you are in principle find
> with any claimed "voice for the community or collective" "authorities".

Great. First of all, who should disallow such authorities? You mean, there 
is somebody on this planet who has the right to insist how people in 
other, independent countries should make their own choices? How is this 
different from what those bad authorities do? Because it is "us" telling 
"them" - so this is better than "them" telling "us"?

And yes, I am not sure about it but from what I heard it were people in 
those countries themselves, who chosed their authorities (at least, they 
allowed them to rise). Even in Afghanistan, there was communist (i.e. 
definitely non-islamic) government. How did it fail? There was no support 
for it. And there was support for Talibans. So they took over. And they 
were bad. But they were supported, at least for some time. So, if their 
own people supported them and allowed for their taking power, what we 
should do?

We can _suggest_ them that being intollerant and violent is a bad thing 
and they are doing disservice to themselves with it. We should execute (or 
otherwise neutralise) terrorists who come to us, trying to force us to 
their way by violence (we can kill them abroad too, if this is the best 
way of dealing with them). Other than this, we don't have much to say 
about the lives of ordinary folk (unless they themselves ask for help). My 
personal limits are, when there is a country wide hunger and concentration 
camps (or when there is another suggestion that masses are being forced 
to something they don't like). However, from what I see, in such case 
almost nobody blows the whistle (and this repeats over and over, during 
last 100 years).

> > As I have mentioned in one earlier post, such overreaction is a sign of
> > weakness or lack of confidence. This might be connected with possible
> > cultural shock, that Islamic world experienced after WW2.
> Are you making excuses for an inexcusable breach of human rights?  Why? 

Am I excusing them? If I say, for example, that drug abusers and criminals 
come from dysfunctional families, is it excusing?

One can deal with criminals, and new ones will keep coming. If you don't 
want to understand the roots of the problem, you will not solve it. Prove 
me wrong. Really, I will be delighted to improve.

There was (and is) a lot of unexcusable breach of human rights in a number 
of countries. Some (not all) of those countries are Islamic. There are 
also countries, from which I don't hear about such breaches and again, 
some of them are Islamic. So, bad things happen in some Islamic countries 
and don't happen in some other Islamic countries.

Is it logical to blame _all_ Islamic countries? Is it just? If you accept 
not being just and right, what is your entitlement to survival?

> > > > the very fact that Islam is dysfunctional shouldn't stop me from
> > > > analysing it.
> > > >       
> > > But it should stop you from defending it.
> > >     
> >
> > I am not defending it. I refuse to attack it before I find good reason for
> > this. That's a big difference. But it does not prevent me from condemning
> > terrorists (of all kinds), for example.
> >   
> Have you looked at it much at all?

I have looked at it, not much, because my time is to be devoted for 
something else. But at least I have found some time to refute some of my 
beliefs about them.

>  Irrational religion (is there another kind?)? Check.

Other people's belief is not my problem (unless they believe they should 
come to me with pitchforks and burning torches). If you really believe
irrational religion is main problem of this world, maybe you should start 
cleaning your own backyard first?

> Militantly intolerant?  In many parts of the world, Check.
> Anti-individual rights?  Mostly, Check.   What exactly do you need to examine
> beyond this? 

Uhum. Like, how many of them are actually guilty of this? Estimates say, 
there is 1-1.5 bilion of Muslims. If they all wanted our death, we should 
be already screwed long ago.

> > I have no intention of moving this debate anywhere. Mr Clark, if you want to
> > escape from belief, you cannot use belief-based arguments. So, if you would
> > like to prove that God does not exist, you should use rational arguments.
> *sputter*  It is up to asserters to prove God does exist. Not the other way
> around. 

You can prove me whatever you want. Either God's existance or 
nonexistance. You are welcome. When you actually show me the proof, I will 
accept it (if I find it acceptable - my criteria are crearly stated, I 

Before any side shows me the proof of their being right, I refuse to 
choose sides. My choice. It is also my choice to bend more towards one 
side, mostly because I consider myself a humanist in the first place, and 
"capitalist" next (well, not big capitalist I am really, having not so 
much capital). I see no problem with this. I have seen a lot of good 
people who leaned towards the same side so I am in a good company.

> What?  That leads me to think I am wasting my time typing this.

Ah, let's not be so precise. Who is wasting time, whatever.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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