[ExI] Religions and violence

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Thu Jul 29 03:22:54 UTC 2010

Ok, John Clark.

You have few points right, but not as many as you think (IMHO, of course). 
I would say, you tend to be 50% right. Try to improve a little, eh?

On Mon, 26 Jul 2010, John Clark wrote:

> On Jul 23, 2010, at 6:38 PM, Jeff Davis wrote:
> > 
> > The Jews are successful because their historical coincidences
> > pushed them in the direction of mercantilism and finance capitalism.[...]
> > Islam has followed a course more in line with religious conservatism.
> > That this has held Muslims "back"
> I could not agree with you more, although the same ideas could be 
> expressed more concisely as "Islamic culture sucks".

As has been already stated, Islamic culture saved a lot of ancient (in a 
sense of ancient Greece and Rome) wisdom for us. True, there was also 
burning of the books. So, some people burned the books, because of their 
Muslim faith. And some people (because of the same faith) read those Greek 
maths texts (I have once heard, that while in Europe at the time some 
people could understand Greek, still they were unable to understand what 
all this means). They have been extending the knowledge, even building 
flying apparatus on occassion. In their finest years, Islamic scientists
and thinkers did whatever one would expect from any other enlightened 

So, if you want to tell things like "Islamic culture this or that", it 
would be great if you were more specific. Is it about their whole culture, 
absolutely? No woman, no kitchen, no jewelry, no calligraphy of Islamic 
origin is good enough for you? Do you differentiate Islam of Saharan 
Beduins from Islam of Iranian women professors? Do you realize there are 
3-7 milion Muslims in USA? Even if you say that American Muslims suck, not 
my problem. But we have a Muslim minority in Poland (Tatar descendants, 
among others) and I don't think they suck (not as a whole, at least).

> > But -- and you knew this was coming -- where is it written that
> > smartness, or wealth, or Nobel Prizes is the metric by which to judge
> > one group "better" than another?
> Well, I'll write it right here if you like, I'll write that smartness 
> and wealth and Nobel Prizes is a pretty God damn good metric for judging 
> one group BETTER than another, especially when it includes much more 
> personal freedom, and I don't even need weasel quotation marks. 

One other metrics comes to my mind. Origin of words. A number of words in 
technology, science and engineering comes from Greek and Latin. Some words 
come from Arabic and even Persian (surprisingly many of them). I believe 
there are even some words from Sanskrit and Chinese (but I cannot recall 
any ATM).

Are there any words coming from Hebrew? I am curiuos, really. Yiddish, as 
a High German dialect, does not count.

> And I was wondering if your aversion in labeling one group better than 
> another extend to all groups, would you refuse to stand up and say most 
> groups are superior to the Nazi group?

I would. You forgot to specify a criteria. So I propose, that you compare:

- unemployment rate
- number of police officers killed on duty
- number of financial scandals involving banks, insurance and other such 
- number of drug abusing teens
- number of suicidal jerks shooting people on the streets until they get 
gunned down by the SWAT

in Nazi Germany and contemporary USA.

Also, you can tell me, who had the first rocket capable of reaching space? 
Sure, that were suborbital flights actually, but if we take that space 
begins at 100km (officialy defined limit of Outer Space, or Karman 

And while I say all this, I don't count myself among Nazi supporters, 
it's just that I understand the world is a bit more complicated than 
simply black and white.

> > rebranding the Nobel prize as the Capitalist Megadeath prize, then 
> > that 165 to 6 comparison doesn't quite feel as impressive as before.
> Yes but who would be so anti-intellectual as to call the Nobel prize the 
> Megadeath prize? Well I can think of one group and it starts with the 
> letter "I".

Care to give me example of members of "I" group expressing this point of 
view? Care to explain if they are representing anybody but themselves?

> > It's no crime to want to live the way you and yours have lived since
> > before you can remember.
> But it is a crime to force others to live as if it were the twelfth 
> century. I just don't get it, why do some otherwise freethinking people 
> in the west feel they are obligated to make excuses for intellectual and 
> moral midgets? These same people don't hesitate to point out the 
> slightest flaw in their own culture, but they pretend they don't see the 
> elephant in the living room, the hideous evil in Islam.

Are you sure anybody _is_ forced? From what I know, people enforced to do 
anything form opposition. Where are anti-islamic guerillas? Even in Soviet 
Union, there were uprisings (with victims on both sides). Where are 
anti-islamic uprisings? Have you heard of any? If not active fighters, 
there were also many cases of sabbotage during WW2 - so, maybe guys are 
sabbotaging their Islamic regimes?

I'm not excusing anybody. But I like questions.

It seems that most of Muslim people like their way of living. What I hear 
about are some people who had bad luck of living in bad place. Based on 
what information I have, it is impossible to tell if their cases are 
typical or not. In our own culture, it happens that wife is beaten by 
drunken husband. It is bad. It is not typical. In more civilised countries 
it is actually persecuted.

> > The Western world is in full-throated Muslim-hating mode
> No that is not true, but I wish it was. Instead the western world is in 
> full-throated suicidal self hatred mode with a vast supply of half baked 
> excuses for the atrocities of Islam.

I don't feel like self-hatred. I wonder why anybody would want to change 
from self-hate to Islam-hate. Probably some suicidal type that you write 
about. If someone needs hate to live, pity on him. And give him a shovel, 
he will need it.

> > I know it is a weakness of human nature to become
> > emotionally invested in inconsequential tribal spats,
> > but people who want to be transhumanists need to be
> > able to get past that
> If Islam wins this tribal spat NOBODY is going to become transhuman.

I doubt it. Even if agressive Islam wins, which I doubt too, I don't think 
it will make it to last so long.

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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