terrorism, justice, logic

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by WildBlueYonder, Sep 12, 2001.

  1. Captain Canada Stranger in Town Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    484
    Malaclypse

    Randolfo:



    A tiny group of people, from the mountains of Yemen, succeeded in defeating three empires centuries old. And this was achieved by imposing their religious beliefs? DO you not think that perhaps the religion proved attractive, allowing the Arab conquerors to build support? Or was this tiny tribe from Yemen able to impose its beliefs on much of Asia and North Africa? I think if you read accounts of the growth of the Arab world (Which was so decentralised it could bearely be considered an empire), you'll find it was the power of the religion among downtrodden people that so helped contributre to Islam's success.

    I believe we could easily say the same about Christianity. This does not refute my point regarding the link between fanaticism and culture rather than fanaticism and Islam.

    So not entirely conquered or defeated. And presumably, Muslims not entirely fanatic as Christians and Jews were welcome to worship in Palestine.

    If you are trying to suggest that Islam is by its nature fanatic, violent and intolerent, I'll need some evidence. If you're suggesting that Islam was imposed, I'd argue no more so than Christianity. I'm arguing that the major religions are in essence no different - they establish an ethical code through mystical texts that are open to interpretation depending upon the individual. Different interpretations gain popularity relative to the social and cultural circumstances.

    If you want to estimate some kind of body count, I think you'll find Christianity's hands are soaked in the blood of so-called 'infidels'.
     
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  3. Re: Malaclypse

    If you're really that interested in history, check out some books on the subject, both Islamic & Western. That's how I got most of my info, plus talking with some of the protagonists; Greek, Copt, Saudi, Kuwaiti, Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese. I don't expect you to take my word in everything, but I can't type up a history of the Arab conquest either. Arabs did conquer a large area, they had superb tactics, motivation & battle-hardened warriors. Islam per se, has several points that are very seductive, to me as a Westerner. Though I'm not a psychologist, I see several things that I feel would intice a lot of people; 1) the statement that Mohammad was the final & true prophet, 2) the 5 statements of Islam (easy to remember & to the point), 3) that all pray together at specified hours ( I like the fact that even on the street, Muslims get their prayer rugs out & pray) & the fact that it seems to be a warriors' religion.

    Check a timeline, when did each event happen? Are there any correlations? If you are talking about the Western dominance of 75% of the World, that happened after 1492; they got land, gold, silver, slaves. Also, with superb tactics, motivation & battle-hardened warriors. Technology & disease helped too!!!


    I was talking about Arabia itself, these were Arab tribes, Mohammad warred against the Jewish ones, because they did not convert, as he had hoped. If you check out the Quran, Muslims were supposed to pray toward Jerusalem at first, but after this, Mohammad changed it to Mecca. It's hard to find, because the Quran is not chronological, but lengthwise, from longest sura to shortest. "Poll Taxes', were charged on non-muslims, a tax for living in a muslim land, so some converted to escape this & in Bosnia the nobles converted for this reason to (plus they were being persecuted by the Eastern Church for their heretical beliefs). The Ottoman Turks had 'Janisaries', a one child tax on Christian families (kids were raised as muslim warriors). Check the library, good luck!

    Check some history books & timelines. See when the conquering started? To paraphrase Abbott & Costello, "whose on first?"

    I think that statement would offend all of them, since they all feel they are the 'one' true religion.

    I contend that this happened after Imperial Rome converted, why would that make a difference? Because, as a state religion, it had more to lose if all the people did not adhere to its orders. Also, the type of leaders & their mentality changed. Check it's writing, anything by the "Church Fathers", & other histories, or look it up on the Internet too, just use journal &/or college sources, not just anti-Christian sources. All the best, & good reading!!!

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2001
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  5. Captain Canada Stranger in Town Registered Senior Member

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    I clearly exaggerate in my claims to make a few points. However, in your claims I don't you feel you have particularly addressed, or supported your basic argument. To take this back to where it began:

    Perhaps couched in language that suggests these statements do not reflect a personal belief on your part, but nonetheless these are the basic points I am arguing over.

    I argued that:

    Your response:

    I did not argue that Arabs did not conquer large areas of territory. The argument you respond to is entirely different to the one I am making. What I was saying (perhaps I misled you?) was that Islam began among a very small group of people. Arabs descended from the mountains of Yemen in support of Mohammed and the new faith. I make the point to illustrate that pure imposition of the religion was not possible unless there was fertile territory for conversion (as you yourself state). Tactics and motivation were vital - but what is motivation if not belief? Can such high levels of belief be imposed? I suggest that territorial conquest was not the simple fact behind Islam's growth - it goes hand in hand with its attractiveness to the tribes of the middle east.

    With Islam being both a political and religious system, the two do go hand in hand. It is difficult to distinguish. But were the Copts, Christians, Sumarians, Persians etc. entirely converted at the point of a sword or through economic complicity?

    As I say, Islam is a political as well religious doctrine. Surely success of the religion would indicate the adoption of a particular political system. Yes, this was partly through conquest, but the longevity of the system suggests something more than imposition.

    As for the other claims over Islam's fanaticism, violence and tolerance - I still say a modern phenomena in essence, brought about by the disappearance of any Muslim empire of stature. Through history I would challenge anyone who claims it was more so than Christianity. Read Saladin's accounts of the first crusade - the world's first Jihad with Christians offered a place in heaven. Read accounts of religious tolerance - I accept with some economic charge, but the Quran is explicit in its respect of other faiths, and has allowed worship at Holy sites in Palestine by all. Read accounts of the first crusade in 1090, the slaughter of just about anyone by fanatical religious warriors form Europe.

    Islam isn't perfect by any means, but to return to your initial post once more:

    I think this a gross exaggeration. Look at the Sufis of the 19th century - the sophisticated culture and art - use of eroticism through religion, taboo in Europe - tolerance - cultural development of the enlightened Islam that proved so attractive to Europeans. The maintenance of ancient philosophical texts - the springboard for the Renaissance itself. Open-mindedness. Have these changed? Perhaps. Is it due to the intrinsic nature of a '600th Century' (sic) religion, unwilling to accept change? No. You can challenge me to 'read history', but then can't we all? The accounts we read always differ, there is no truth in history (read Collingwood, Hegel) in my opinion. And that's what it comes down to in the end - opinion. We can start comparing the depths of our literary experiences (shall we list books we've read?) and define the argument on that basis, but until the points of debate are actually addressed in a substantive way, the argument gets nowhere.

    What is your argument exactly? Do you have one? Are we talking at cross purposes? A fail to detect a consistent line of argument in your posts in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2001
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  7. Sucks, I didn't know I needed one point? Anyway, some things are just stream of conscienceness, others reaction to 9-11, and in the background; wondering if 9-11 was the first 'shot' of Armageddon, or the last 'shot' of a dying way of thinking?

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  8. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    2,478
    You know, although I'm an atheist, I've been tempted to reread the Book of Revelations. We were told to look for an enemy from the east, and all this time we've been eyeballing the old USSR. Hmmm. The antichrist is supposedly known by the mark on his head. Does Garbage bin Laden ever take off his turban? The turban has become quite a symbol recently. Is that the mark? I know all of the incidents relayed in Revelations is just as vague as Nostradamus and can be applied to multiple events throughout human history, but it still has me thinking.

    No doubt about it, though. This is the biggest thing our generation has ever faced. Are we up to it? Can we Americans face the demands of a war where the enemy is on our very soil? We haven't had to face anything like this for something like a hundred years. This isn't a Cold War, where Reds are under every bed like childhood monsters in the closet, spying on our every move. These are people in the crowd whose one purpose in life is to kill us. Can we win this war without going stark raving paranoid?

    I think we can. We Americans are a pretty adaptable, resilient bunch. With all the different cultures that live here, we have to be.
     
  9. Captain Canada Stranger in Town Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    484
    #

    In that case I dread to to contemplate what those thoughts may be...

    A little over-dramatic don't you think?

    For a country that has numerous 'militia' and 'patriot' training camps littered across the backwoods which have vowed war on the federal government, why does it only become a war when they come from abroad? I realise that the scale of the attack was unprecedented, but it was only so due to the planning and organisation of the terrorists, not their numbers.

    I think it's all a little over the top. After the brief fireworks display in Afghanistan this will simply become an ongoing covert operation against a limited group of radicals.

    Can the US handle it? Well I've no doubt they can kill a lot of people and damage a lot of hardware. But a solution requires a political rather than military response. If the US accepts that, perhaps they can. If not, it will only breed more violence - but then we are destined to repeat the mistakes of history rather than learn from them. Where's the imaginative solution gone?
     
  10. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,235
    Captain Canada ...

    I truly feel that were any of the "numerous 'militia' and 'patriot' training camps" Muslim or Black they would have been dealt with a long time ago.

    What really bums me out is that logic seems to play no part in our (the US of A's) response to terrorism. First, we fail to learn from the Israelis regarding aircraft security (they haven't had a hijacking since '67, I believe) and then ignore the fact the even with their long experience with terrorism and excellent humint they have not be able to eliminate terrorism even though they have been able to selectively assassinate many of the planners and leaders.

    Hell; we couldn't find Saddam and 'neutralize' him back then, I doubt that we'll be able to find Osama now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2001
  11. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,478
    Capt. Canada-
    Maybe I did get a little overdramatic. I often let my thoughts run away from me. You're right. The irresponsible militias (the ones with the overaged guys running around in the woods playing like they could have won VietNam if they had just been put in command) are as dangerous as anything the Taliban can throw at us. Of course, there are plenty of responsible militias out there. They just don't receive as much press.

    If you mourn the loss of an "imaginative solution", it sounds to me like you have one. What is it?

    Chagur-
    Hussein is still in command because of the UN. We got forced into accepting the goal of just driving him out of Kuwait, which we did. Our original goal was to take him out, which we weren't allowed to do because the UN was pulling the strings. Since Iraq hadn't hit us directly, there wasn't much of a leg for us to stand on. Now that we've been hit directly, the UN has no leg to stand on. Right now, they're doing what they should be doing. They're running the refugee camps and making sure the food and supplies are getting to the Afghanis that are just trying to get out of the way.
     
  12. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,235
    Oxygen ...

    I take it then that all the bombing of Baghdad and the surrounding area was to just give our pilots practice taking out command and control centers and the city's infrastructure?
     
  13. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    2,478
    Chagur-

    The purpose of such tactics is to cause the enemy to expend his manpower in defending his homeland, thereby causing him to pull troops from the occupied sector, to cause as much chaos as possible on his homefront, and to remove his ability to make war. Whacking Hussein would have been nice, but we were not allowed to make it a priority.
     
  14. Captain Canada Stranger in Town Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    484
    If the US decides to get a little 'payback' on Iraq (which reminds me - payback for what exactly? Is Hussein's mere presence so annoying that it's enough to justify the deaths of 500,000 Iraqis through sanctions and bombing?) then the US will (and everyone else) will suffer. The middle east is at boiling point and there really is little virtue in turning the heat up right now.
     
  15. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,478
    At this point I see no justification in dragging Iraq into the war. If they choose to get involved against the anti-terrorist forces, however, I am in favor of taking them out. Iraq's best chance right now is to remain neutral.
     
  16. machaon Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    733
    Pzzaboy/KalvinB



    Yes guys, It sure was a good thing we managed to get another bomb dropped before peace made it inadvisable to do so.
     

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