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Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

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Dachshund
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Dachshund » August 10th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Praise the Lord ! I do believe that we MAY be making progress - REAL progress. The great Foolosop4, PhD ( ripple of golf-clap applause is heard in background) has actually deigned to pronounce from his lofty perch that "reform needed"! Pray tell us , wise one, reform of WHAT ?

Dachshund

Steve3007
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Steve3007 » August 10th, 2018, 2:41 pm

Dachshund wrote:The reason that I do traipse about whatever Western nation I happen to be residing in at the time asking "actual, real-life" common or garden everyday, ordinary Muslims on the metaphorical "high street" whether or not they agree that their sacred scripture contains explicit divinely ordained ( in the case of the Koran) exhortations to perpetrate acts of hate-fuelled, intolerant , aggressive,physical violence against the members of all other religions is that I already know what David Cameron confirms ( in his post above) from his own experience is true. That is, that they (the Muslims I might interview in the manner you recommend) will simply "plead the Fifth", they simply will not give a straight, open and honest answer to the question. Either that, or they will declare that the violence of extremist groups like ISIS has nothing whatsoever to do with true Islam, which is simply NOT true, or that one needs to appreciate the violent verses of their Koran you are referring to can only be properly understood by subjecting them to a complex, "esoteric", convoluted, labyrinthine, numinous, mysterious, mystical, spiritual etc; interpretive process of some kind or another, which again is simply not true.
I presume you meant to say "do not" above.

If you know in advance what people are going to say, why do you bother to talk to anyone?

You clearly and unmistakably advocate slavery and ethnic cleansing. This is an objective fact and there is no point in me asking you what you meant. Right?

David Cooper
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by David Cooper » August 10th, 2018, 5:36 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
August 9th, 2018, 8:32 pm
It seems to me that you don’t understand that you are a propagator of hate and fear. I do not yet know if that failure to understand is genuine of simply a rhetorical device - hatred in the guise of a desire to stamp out hatred.
You have just made an utterly unjustifiable accusation which reveals that you can't even tell the difference between someone who commits a crime and someone who takes the criminal to task for committing that crime. I simply point to the primary sources of hate and condemn them, and I call a spade a spade by calling people who propagate that hate propagators of hate. At no point in doing that am I spreading hate. No one who calls out hate in this way should be accused of hate, and those who do call pointing at hate hate are putting themselves deeply in the wrong by defending the primary hate which is being pointed at. I don't defend any ideology that propagates hate - I stand against them all. If you think that's propagating hate, you are well and truly lost.
The right to possess hate? Are you going to clean the souls of those who by your lights are not pure? Who’s next? How are you going to bring about your ideological purity?
No one has a right to harbour the primary hate that leads to others being harmed when it's acted on. I'm thinking specifically about people possessing the written hate in the holy texts and manifestos of religions and ideologies which gets passed down the generations - that hate should not be passed on, but it should also not be possessed. The chain needs to be broken.
I left out plenty - I certainly don't defend Christianity because it has been responsible for astronomical amounts of killings too.
Is this your answer to the question of who is next?
Next for what? All the pushers of primary hate should be acting to get rid of it at the same time - there is no sequential order for this.
… any religion that makes its followers feel more moral than other groups is likely to lead them to look on others as savages …
Do you not see that this is exactly what you are doing but without the religious justification? You are claiming that you are more moral and can see see that Islam is immoral but they, those savages, cannot.
Do you not see the difference? They set morality in stone, complete with a whole stack of errors which lead to a wide range of atrocities and other abuses which are justified on the basis that they are eternally, divinely right. I don't refer anyone to any holy texts or the manifestos of any ideologies for such a fixed morality. Morality is something that can be calculated through reason, and the answers that are provided that way are open to change as we find better ways to calculate it.
Ten thousand Yazidis being killed by people acting directly on a command in the Qur'an …
The equivocation "by people" has not escaped my notice. These acts were done by ISIL, the self-professed Islamic State, in the name of Allah. The Islamic State is a fringe group. Islam can no more be blamed for their actions than any large group can be blamed for the actions of a fringe group that identifies itself with the larger group. Their acts have been condemned by Muslim clerics:
Similar genocides of Yazidis have been carried out over many centuries by people who were not members of ISIS - what they all have in common is that they were acting on an instruction found in a holy text, carrying it out as they were told to do. Rival interpretations that try to twist things to make out that this action goes against Islam are an irrelevance - when people act on the instructions literally, their actions are directly caused by that text. That text should be removed by those who don't want it to be part of Islam - it is not sufficient just to claim it doesn't mean what it says or to claim that it doesn't apply at times when it clearly applies (by the rules as they are stated).
If you find hate speech in holy texts which causes genocides, , then that hate speech causes genocides.
Do you know what it mean to beg the question? Or what establishing a causal relation means? Or what a tautology is?
If someone claims 2+2=4 means 2+2=5, I say no: 2+2=4 means 2+2=4. Let me remind you what I was responding to. You said, "If we find the same kind of hatred and violence in other religions and holy books then one religion rather than others is not the cause. If we find hatred and violence in the absence of religion then no religion is the cause.

At no point had I said that religion was the cause, but that the primary hate was the cause. I was drawing your attention to that - it doesn't matter a damn whether that primary hate is in a religion, ten religions or fifty ideologies, because all of the religions and ideologies containing primary hate are to blame in that they contain the cause.
Religions are not the cause, and nor are ideologies.
Do you know what it means to contradict yourself?
Indeed, which is precisely why I didn't contradict myself. The cause is the hate speech. The religions and ideologies which contain that hate speech are to blame for promoting that hate.
The cause is the hate …
And what causes the hate?
Prejudice and stupidity. A prejudiced or stupid person can be cured more easily than an ideology or religion, and a religion is the hardest to reform because so many people think they're going against God by tampering with his work.
Violence in video games is an entirely different issue unless there is some kind of moral teaching involved where children are taking values from it which lead to them wanting to abuse others.
What is the same is the claim of a causal relationship, as well as the claim that it does present a kind or moral or rather immoral teaching.
The idea in one case is that people get addicted to behaviours which in the real world are unacceptable, and that may or may not be the case - I have not studied the evidence so I have not formed an opinion on that. In the case of hate speech in holy texts and manifestos driving atrocities, there is an avalanche of evidence which doesn't have an equivalent for video games.
You give up far too easily if you think the hate can't be stamped out. All it needs is for all good people to make a stand against the hate and to throw the bally lot in the bin, and anyone who wants to go on defending that hate (which is the only way the hatred and violence would be maintained) would then have to choose which side they're on and stop pretending to be benign.
This is staggeringly naive. Do you not see the repercussions? “All good people” are not all good. No good person is all good. They are not free of hate or fear or zealousness under the right circumstances. For a non-religious person you sure do have a Manichean view of reality. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
All good people are by definition good. Those who are not all good are not good and are not included in that set. Some good people exist who are all good - your inability to understand that may be based on yourself, but I personally have never done anything bad and I know plenty of other people who have never to my knowledge ever done anything bad. My studies into this as a child (based on what I saw in a primary school class where they mistakenly placed me) determined that about a quarter of boys regularly do bad things, another quarter occasionally do, and the rest show no sign that they would do so, although I can't guarantee that many of them wouldn't pinch inexpensive items if given the chance. With the girls, there was only one who regularly did bad things, a handful who occasionally did, and the rest showed no signs of every doing anything bad. Most people appear to be good, and I'm very confident that they do not care one bit for the survival of the hate that's under discussion here. If those people would stand up against the aggressive defenders of hate, we could collectively reform all these religions and ideologies by removing the hate from them and putting it beyond reach. It is an achievable goal.
I haven't understood anything ...
I agree, You are a naive idealist, and history shows us just how dangerous they can be.
Sure - I'm dangerous because I want to get rid of the hate that drives the violence, while people who defend that hate are safer? Not so. You lose the argument again.

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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Fooloso4 » August 10th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Dachshund:
Praise the Lord ! I do believe that we MAY be making progress - REAL progress. The great Foolosop4, PhD ( ripple of golf-clap applause is heard in background) has actually deigned to pronounce from his lofty perch that "reform needed"! Pray tell us , wise one, reform of WHAT ?
If you look back to January you will find that I was already discussing the issue of interpretation as it relates to reform.

You keep looking for a target to attack and each time it fails you move on to another, or no target at all, just a generic ad hominem.

As I said to Spectrum: I do not usually discuss my education because I want to discuss the texts and issues on the merits of the argument. It only came up because he questioned me directly about it. He was not aware of my education and neither are most members here because I do not make an issue of it, even when you accuse me of being uneducable.

I keep pointing to reliable sources, but instead of addressing them you try to attack me personally.

One advantage of written argument is that there is a record of what was said. While you keep repeating the same points and attacking whoever does not agree with you, I have been presenting the work of religious, historical, and political scholars who tell a very different story. One based on facts and history. While I seek to understand, you assume you already do and so simply ignore whatever runs counter to the story you tell, no matter what the source. While you obsess over passages in the Koran as if they will reveal the truth, I have been pointing to the geo-political history of the region. You may imagine it is the struggle between the forces of good and evil and you a brave Christian soldier, things are never so clearly delineated. There is more to the story and you have chosen to remain willfully ignorant of it. Western imperialism helped to create this situation. You want simple answers to complex problems, and that is a problem.

David Cooper
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by David Cooper » August 10th, 2018, 6:14 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 11:26 am
In these situations the usual thing to do is to find expert witnesses but to balance the pro against the anti. We've heard from Spectrum. And you appear to claim some knowledge too. You're both anti. So find some pros. Talk to some Muslim scholars.
If you were dealing with Nazism, where would you source your experts in order to gain a balance of opinion? You could find some Nazis who are open about it being hateful, some others who duck around denying the truth and pretending that it's benign, and some opponents of Nazism who could be accused of being biased, but where are you going to find any opponents of Nazism who can't also be accused of being biased when they are repulsed by what they see? You end up under-representing the group opposed to Nazism by mistakenly classing them all as biased. I read the Qur'an back at the time of Rushdie's Satanic Verses which I read first, and I was disgusted by his book (and still am). I read the Qur'an with an open mind, hoping to find that it was benign. Much of it was, but some parts are vile in the extreme. As soon as I say that, I apparently get classed as biased because I have called some of it exactly what it is. The same thing will happen for everyone else who reads it in the same open-minded way. The only people who will read it and not classify the content correctly for what it is are incompetent.

[Note: the comparison here should not be taken as equating two different groups of people. Nazism has probably had no good people on its side since WW2 (but it certainly did have a lot of naive ones before that), whereas most Muslims are good people.]

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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Greta » August 10th, 2018, 7:03 pm

Dachshund wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 1:32 pm
Praise the Lord ! I do believe that we MAY be making progress - REAL progress. The great Foolosop4, PhD ( ripple of golf-clap applause is heard in background) has actually deigned to pronounce from his lofty perch that "reform needed"! Pray tell us , wise one, reform of WHAT ?

Dachshund
Just because a portion of Fox-trained Yanks fell under the sway of Comrade Trump's nonsense does not mean that overheated rhetoric adds to your credibility on a philosophy forum. It just makes you look like a lightweight, a Twitterer without the word limit.

One look at your posts and people know you are too desperate full of need to provide objective opinions. There is a logical and cool case to be made for changing immigration policies but your babble won't be where people will look.

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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 11th, 2018, 5:33 am

Greta wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 7:03 pm

a Twitterer without the word limit.
Nice one.

His limitations are greater than word limits.

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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Fooloso4 » August 11th, 2018, 8:18 am

David Cooper:
You have just made an utterly unjustifiable accusation which reveals that you can't even tell the difference between someone who commits a crime and someone who takes the criminal to task for committing that crime.
The accusation is entirely justified. Destroying what others hold sacred does not eliminate hate and violence, it is a catalyst for hate and violence. A book cannot commit a crime. Someone who reads the book does not commit a crime (although it is not clear whether you think it is). Someone who destroys those books does commit a crime. Your intention to eliminate hate may be commendable but you err in thinking that hatred can be eliminated by eliminating holy texts. Are you going to have book burnings? Break into people’s homes to rip pages from their books? Are you going to stop there or will you censor all books that contain language you deem offensive to other nationalities or races or ethnic groups on the premise that they are hateful and demeaning?
At no point had I said that religion was the cause, but that the primary hate was the cause.
You said:
The root of the problem is the primary source of the hate, and that's in the holy texts. (08/08/18)
The three major monotheistic religions do not separate their religion from the holy texts of their religion.
Do you not see the difference? They set morality in stone, complete with a whole stack of errors which lead to a wide range of atrocities and other abuses which are justified on the basis that they are eternally, divinely right.
How many Westerners are stoned for idolatry, or blaspheming the name of the Lord, or for lying with a young woman who is betrothed? And yet, they are instructed to do so in the Hebrew Bible. The fact is that modern, enlightened, rational morality takes precedence over what is written in stone.

Similar genocides of Yazidis have been carried out over many centuries by people who were not members of ISIS - what they all have in common is that they were acting on an instruction found in a holy text, carrying it out as they were told to do.
And similar genocides have been carried out over the centuries by people who were not members of any religion. What they have in common might be blood lust or the desire for conquest or to rape and pillage or to revel in strength and power or a lack of regard for the lives of those who are not their own or the belief that these people are nothing more than vermin.
… all of the religions and ideologies containing primary hate are to blame in that they contain the cause.
What religions do not contain “primary hate”?
And what causes the hate?
Prejudice and stupidity.
And this is why you are implicated. Suppose you or your fellow moralist decide that killing and eating animals is immoral, a form of violence and hatred to other living things. Should we be forbidden from eating animals? Suppose you or your fellow moralist decide that the destruction of farmland or woodland is immoral, a form of violence and hatred to the earth, the flora and fauna. Should we be forbidden from building homes, roads, office space, manufacturing factories, and stores? Suppose you or your fellow moralist decide that it is immoral to walk a dog on a leash, or to allow a young child to sleep with its parents or not sleep with its parents, or it is immoral to have children, or to use contraception, or …
In the case of hate speech in holy texts and manifestos driving atrocities, there is an avalanche of evidence …
An assertion is not evidence. It is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. There is more to what leads people to do what they do.
All good people are by definition good.
There is no single agreed upon definition of what is good or what a good person is. Judging someone to be good does not make them good by definition. Your judgment may be wrong, based on insufficient evidence or a questionable notion of what it means to be good.

I have to wonder whether you really do not know this.
Some good people exist who are all good - your inability to understand that may be based on yourself, but I personally have never done anything bad and I know plenty of other people who have never to my knowledge ever done anything bad
.

You are even more naive than I suspected or perhaps just saying whatever you need to in order to try and win an argument.
Most people appear to be good …
Is it their goodness that keeps them from being bad even though they may profess to follow a holy book? Is it that they do not hate even though they may profess to follow a holy book? Do you think they would come to hate you if you were to destroy or alter their holy book?
If those people would stand up against the aggressive defenders of hate, we could collectively reform all these religions and ideologies by removing the hate from them and putting it beyond reach. It is an achievable goal.
And how would you go about doing this?

David Cooper
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by David Cooper » August 11th, 2018, 6:23 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 8:18 am
The accusation is entirely justified. Destroying what others hold sacred does not eliminate hate and violence, it is a catalyst for hate and violence.
If people hold hate sacred, why do you want to defend them? I don't think most of them do hold the hate sacred though - they would prefer it if the hate wasn't there, which is precisely why they deny that it's there or deny that it's hate and try to make it mean something other than what it says. To call it hate when someone calls hate hate puts you into a spiral of stupidity where you become a propagator of hate for calling me a propagator of hate for calling the primary hate primary hate. You end up having to condemn yourself through an extension of your own illogic. I just call for the hate to be removed. I do not condemn the people who propagate the hate - they are victims of the hate and need to be liberated from it.
A book cannot commit a crime.
Hate speech in texts can drive atrocities. The crime is in acting on the hate, propagating it, and in creating it in the first place.
Someone who reads the book does not commit a crime (although it is not clear whether you think it is).
I have read texts with hate speech in them, but their inability to make me follow their instructions doesn't absolve them of their role in generating violence. The reality is that some people read such hate and then act on it by doing what it tells them they should do. That is why that written hate speech should be banned. Spoken hate speech is bad enough, but the written form multiplies its power millions of times.
Someone who destroys those books does commit a crime.
At no point have I said the books should be destroyed. There is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, and there are many good things in some holy texts that contain hate which should be preserved once the hate has been extracted and binned.
Your intention to eliminate hate may be commendable but you err in thinking that hatred can be eliminated by eliminating holy texts.
You're attributing an idea to me that is not mine. I don't have any desire to eliminate holy texts. It is only the hate speech that I want to get rid of.
Are you going to have book burnings? Break into people’s homes to rip pages from their books? Are you going to stop there or will you censor all books that contain language you deem offensive to other nationalities or races or ethnic groups on the premise that they are hateful and demeaning?
Any book containing hate speech should have that hate removed from it. This also applies to any book that might be discussing hate speech in religious texts - once the primary hate is no longer out there in the wild, there is no longer any need for the book that documents it to be out there either. There is no need for total destruction of these materials though - it would be sufficient to keep them in restricted libraries where people are allowed to access them if they have a licence to do so, just like keeping a dangerous virus in a lab for reasons of scientific study, but the hate speech should no longer be out there in general circulation.
At no point had I said that religion was the cause, but that the primary hate was the cause.
You said:
The root of the problem is the primary source of the hate, and that's in the holy texts. (08/08/18)
Indeed, and that produces no contradiction.
The three major monotheistic religions do not separate their religion from the holy texts of their religion.
That would be an argument for banning religions which contain hate speech in their holy texts. If you want to make that argument, that's up to you, but I think it's overkill. I want to see the benign parts retained.
How many Westerners are stoned for idolatry, or blaspheming the name of the Lord, or for lying with a young woman who is betrothed? And yet, they are instructed to do so in the Hebrew Bible. The fact is that modern, enlightened, rational morality takes precedence over what is written in stone.
How many Jews are gassed today because of Nazi texts? None, but a text that generates atrocities at one time is capable of doing so again at another time. A hiatus is not evidence that they have lost their power to kill. We should not be taking chances with any material of that kind, but it's also the case that most of the homophobia that is present today in Christian countries comes from holy hate in that book and the NT. Removing that hate would improve the world, and anyone who wants to keep that hate in free circulation is a threat to peace and security.
And similar genocides have been carried out over the centuries by people who were not members of any religion. What they have in common might be blood lust or the desire for conquest or to rape and pillage or to revel in strength and power or a lack of regard for the lives of those who are not their own or the belief that these people are nothing more than vermin.
Absolutely, but in all these cases they are whipped up to behave in that way by hate speech, most of which is in documents tied to ideologies.
… all of the religions and ideologies containing primary hate are to blame in that they contain the cause.
What religions do not contain “primary hate”?
I haven't found any that I can guarantee are free of primary hate because I haven't read enough of their holy texts to be able to make that judgement. I have read The Satanist's Bible though and found it to contain no primary hate, even though it encourages hate (secondary hate).
Prejudice and stupidity.
And this is why you are implicated.
You asked what causes the hate, and I gave you the correct answer. The hate comes out of prejudice (which often results from selfishness) and from stupidity (where people miscalculate things because they don't think logically).
Suppose you or your fellow moralist decide that killing and eating animals is immoral, a form of violence and hatred to other living things. Should we be forbidden from eating animals?
To start with, I wouldn't drag hatred into an issue where it doesn't fit (people don't hate the animals they eat), but you're moving away from religious and ideological rules into a different field where laws are created and are subject to continual review, not set in stone for perpetuity by authority. I would formulate rules based on reason and allow them to be changed whenever better reasoning creates a need for better rules.
Suppose you or your fellow moralist decide that the destruction of farmland or woodland is immoral, a form of violence and hatred to the earth, the flora and fauna. Should we be forbidden from building homes, roads, office space, manufacturing factories, and stores? Suppose you or your fellow moralist decide that it is immoral to walk a dog on a leash, or to allow a young child to sleep with its parents or not sleep with its parents, or it is immoral to have children, or to use contraception, or …
Again, you're just discussing laws, and we should do what we already do, continually improving them to make them closer to being correct (often by removing the distortions present in them which come from irrational religious inputs).
In the case of hate speech in holy texts and manifestos driving atrocities, there is an avalanche of evidence …
An assertion is not evidence. It is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. There is more to what leads people to do what they do.
Well, you can't absolutely prove that smoking causes cancer or that burning fossil fuels causes climate change, no matter how much smoke is coming out of the gun. We've seen hate speech drive genocide more than enough times to be sure that the hate speech is responsible. To deny it is to play a dangerous game where you reject all evidence for everything. We know why ISIS killed Yazidis because they told us. We know why the Nazis gassed Jews too, and how they used hate speech to demonise and dehumanise them first to make the people who killed them think of them as verminous animals. We know how hate speech was used on radio stations in Rwanda to drive genocide there. We've also seen hate speech being used in France to make people hate certain cyclists as ex-EPO-cheat commentators throw mud at clean athletes for nationalistic reasons, leading to people in the crowd spitting at them and throwing urine over them. Whenever you see lots of people engaging in the same vile activities, hate speech is a major driver of that behaviour.
All good people are by definition good.
There is no single agreed upon definition of what is good or what a good person is.
The failure of philosophers to agree on it does not mean that there isn't a correct definition of it and that I am not using such a definition for my judgements.
Judging someone to be good does not make them good by definition.
All good people are good by definition. If you define them as good people when you create that set, they are necessarily good. If they weren't, you would have placed them in the wrong set.
Your judgment may be wrong, based on insufficient evidence or a questionable notion of what it means to be good.
If you're still referring to "All good people are by definition good", then it's a matter of mathematics, and what I said conforms to the rules of mathematics (and specifically to how it handles sets).
I have to wonder whether you really do not know this.
My judgement of some people may be wrong in that I can't know what they've been up to that hasn't been uncovered, but it's hard for bad people to hide all their wrongdoings, so it's fairly easy to judge most people to be overwhelmingly good. As for a questionable notion of what it means to be good, then absolutely not - I know exactly what morality is, and it will soon be running computational morality modules in AGI systems.
You are even more naive than I suspected or perhaps just saying whatever you need to in order to try and win an argument.
No - if you can't identify with someone who has never done anything bad, that probably means you can't make the same claim about yourself. I have always (from the earliest age) been 100% fairist: not selfish, nor altruistic, but strictly fairist. I have always wanted my fair share of everything that's on offer, but I have also been determined that everyone else should also get their fair share. That has been my principle from the very start, so it's no surprise that I never did anything bad. On a school trip (actually part of a school camp) which led to a small group of unsupervised boys going up a tower in Edinburgh (The Scott Monument), I was the only one who came back from the top in possession of any copper coins because the others threw theirs down at the roofs of cars below, whereas I still had all mine and was thus able to prove that I wasn't involved. One of the other boys was a friend of mine, but he was easily led. I wasn't. That certainly didn't make me popular with the bad lot, but I always stuck to my principles regardless of the abuse that came from them. It is no coincidence that I, someone who always had such high standards, ended up working in artificial intelligence and machine ethics: it's people like me who are most interested in the subject because we understand it's importance, and some of us have also realised that it is fully possible to calculate right and wrong through reason.
Is it their goodness that keeps them from being bad even though they may profess to follow a holy book? Is it that they do not hate even though they may profess to follow a holy book? Do you think they would come to hate you if you were to destroy or alter their holy book?
I think most of them have no affection whatsoever for the hate speech that's in there and that they wouldn't miss it one bit if it was removed. Indeed, I think they'd feel a lot happier with it if it was cleaned up and their religion became 100% respectable. It only needs them to understand that the hate speech is there and that it causes the violence that plagues their lives. However, there is a considerable input of hate from elsewhere which is tied up in much of that violence, and that hate must be dealt with equally - it has to be a level playing field where all sides eradicate the hate from the religions and political ideologies that drive them.
If those people would stand up against the aggressive defenders of hate, we could collectively reform all these religions and ideologies by removing the hate from them and putting it beyond reach. It is an achievable goal.
And how would you go about doing this?
By getting people to understand the problem so that they want to take the action that will solve it. But a large part of that task will involve tackling the Islamophobes who attack Islam out of bias while they defend other hate which they have stupidly bought into. They have to be taught to remove the splinters from their eyes before they try to remove the splinters from other people's. Bruce Lee said that the best style is no style. In the same way, I say that the best ideology is no ideology. I have disowned all the containers of hate that came my way.

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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Fooloso4 » August 12th, 2018, 9:18 am

David Cooper:
If people hold hate sacred, why do you want to defend them?
Holding a text sacred does not mean holding hate sacred even if there are parts of the text that may be held to be hateful.

But you already know this don’t you?
To call it hate when someone calls hate hate puts you into a spiral of stupidity where you become a propagator of hate for calling me a propagator of hate for calling the primary hate primary hate.
Let me try one last time to explain this to you. It is not that calling hate is hateful. What would be hateful is the actions taken when trying to eliminate hate. You have not been forthcoming with what you might do in order to eliminate hate. You condemn unnamed religion:
many poisonous religions
And say:
anyone who wants to remain allied to that hate should be removed from society
One way in which they are so allied is through:
The primary hate in holy texts of religions
You say:
they just need to purge it of all the bad parts
What are we to make this? What does this mean? How is it to be done? What if some (as many good people will) refuse to have texts that are sacred to them defiled by you deciding which parts are and are not acceptable? Do they remain allied to hate if they tell you to keep your hands off their texts? Do you lock them up?

You say:
unless something systematic is done
And:
No one should be signing up to any ideology that contains such hate in the first place
What is this systematic thing you propose to do? Do you separate the ideology from the religion? Should people be prevented from membership in a religion whose texts contain hate? Are you proposing a systematic reform or religion via censorship?

You say:
most Muslims genuinely don't understand that they are propagators of hate
What if they personally reject every passage you think they should? Is that enough? Will you require them to speak out even if this means not only ostracism but violence toward them?

You say:
All conflicts are driven by hate, and the sources of that hate can be found in ideologies of one kind or another.
Are there ideologies of one kind or another that are not sources of hate? Your ideology will certainly lead to conflict if you require religious believers to denounce their religion in part or in whole. They will hate you for what you are doing even if you are not driven by hate.
The reality is that some people read such hate and then act on it by doing what it tells them they should do.
This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. The reality is that you cannot show that they would not have acted violently if they had not read that book or any book or any speech with “primary hate”.
At no point have I said the books should be destroyed. There is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, and there are many good things in some holy texts that contain hate which should be preserved once the hate has been extracted and binned.
At no point have you said how this should be done. By force? Something can be destroyed without total destruction. You will not persuade millions of people to destroy their sacred texts.
You're attributing an idea to me that is not mine. I don't have any desire to eliminate holy texts. It is only the hate speech that I want to get rid of.
The term ‘text’ refers not only to the whole but to the parts.
Any book containing hate speech should have that hate removed from it.
How are you going to go about doing that? What if you are met with resistance, as you certainly will?

The three major monotheistic religions do not separate their religion from the holy texts of their religion.
That would be an argument for banning religions which contain hate speech in their holy texts. If you want to make that argument, that's up to you, but I think it's overkill. I want to see the benign parts retained.
You will find that in each of those religions you will meet with strong resistance to your program. Their identification with their texts means that altering their texts is an attack on them and their religion. It does not matter whether you see it that way or not. That is the way they will see it.
A hiatus is not evidence that they have lost their power to kill.
These practices have been rejected. Jews and Christians have condemn them as morally unacceptable. Isn’t that what you wanted?
We should not be taking chances with any material of that kind ...
Do you really think you can sequester every mention of these practices? To what lengths will your zealotry take you?
… but it's also the case that most of the homophobia that is present today in Christian countries comes from holy hate in that book and the NT.
We have no idea what attitudes toward homesexuality would be if were not for the Bible, but even if what you say was true, it is clear that public attitudes and laws are changing, just as laws and attitudes about stoning have changed. And all this has happened without you editing the texts.
Absolutely, but in all these cases they are whipped up to behave in that way by hate speech, most of which is in documents tied to ideologies.
For the majority of history there has been no documents and with the advent of writing most people still could not read. People tend to value what others in their culture or clan value. Many ideologies may emerge in a culture but whether an ideology is widely accepted or not reflects the values and beliefs of the people.
… and from stupidity (where people miscalculate things because they don't think logically).
You are catching on. Now if you could only connect the dots. You are miscalculating the consequences of your unilateral call to censor the sacred texts of religion and censure those for whom the texts are sacrd. There is no doubt that many would see this as a hateful act of aggression and the consequences would be horrendous. Whatever your intentions are makes no difference to the way they would react.
To start with, I wouldn't drag hatred into an issue where it doesn't fit (people don't hate the animals they eat
Animal rights activists would disagree. Not only the eating of animals but the conditions under which they are raised are seen as a blatant disregard for their welfare. Whether you would use the term hatred is not relevant. They think it is wrong and that only good would come from eliminating such barbaric practices.
but you're moving away from religious and ideological rules into a different field where laws are created and are subject to continual review, not set in stone for perpetuity by authority.
Ideological rules are not set in stone and religious practices can and do change even though the texts are not re-written.
I would formulate rules based on reason and allow them to be changed whenever better reasoning creates a need for better rules.
And this is what has been happening continually since the begin of religion. Instead of acknowledging this you call it a hiatus. As has been pointed, religion in the West has been dramatically changed by the Enlightenment thinkers. They did not alter texts, not simply because they had respect for what others hold sacred, but because they understood the consequences of doing so. What they did is change the way people think. If you care to end hatred and violence then don’t do what will provoke it. Change the way they think. If you value reason then use reason to change attitudes.
Again, you're just discussing laws
I am not discussing laws, I am discussing moralists who want to unilaterally forbid what they find to be immoral whatever that might be.
Well, you can't absolutely prove that smoking causes cancer or that burning fossil fuels causes climate change …
There is more than enough scientific evidence to have established a causal relation.
We've seen hate speech drive genocide more than enough times to be sure that the hate speech is responsible.
Saying it over and over again does not establish a causal link. If someone kills those you love and leave you unprotected in a dangerous, politically unstable world, without food or shelter, and the same happens to everyone in your homeland, then perhaps you would not hate since you are all good, but plenty of others would. As would the following generation. This and not a book is what led many in Islam to hate. If Western imperialists had not destroyed the region, the world would be a different place today. But do not take my word for it. The report from the Washington Institute that I provided (https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/pol ... cs-on-terr) gives an unbiased synopsis of events. Did you read it? There are many others as well that explain how Western imperialists are complicit.

To deny it is to play a dangerous game where you reject all evidence for everything.
You are right about the dangerous game of rejecting evidence, but that is exactly what you are doing. Look at the events and circumstances. Hitler did not rise to power on ideological grounds, but because he found a scapegoat, someone to blame for the economic crisis and thus a solution, eliminate those they blame.
Whenever you see lots of people engaging in the same vile activities, hate speech is a major driver of that behaviour.
Whenever you see lots of people engaging in the same vile activities, it is hatred not hate speech that drives them. One must look deeper in order to see why they hate, and what you will find is a sense of economic and political powerlessness and fear that things will get worse not better.
The failure of philosophers to agree on it does not mean that there isn't a correct definition of it and that I am not using such a definition for my judgements.
It is not a failure of philosophers, it is a simple fact that people do not agree as to what is and is not good. You have criteria by which you judge people good or not. That criteria forms your definition, that is, what is in and out of the bounds of goodness.
All good people are good by definition. If you define them as good people when you create that set, they are necessarily good. If they weren't, you would have placed them in the wrong set.
Since we may define them as good people according to very different criteria, the members of the set will be different. One set of good people will contain members who are members of the set of bad people according to different criteria. The same person would be both good and bad.
My judgement of some people may be wrong …
That is right. And so, if you mistakenly put these people in the set of all good people, they do not become something they are not because you put them in the wrong set.
so it's fairly easy to judge most people to be overwhelmingly good.
It is fairly easy to be fooled as well, not only by others but by yourself.
I know exactly what morality is …
Yes, I am not at all surprised you think you do.

The moralist has since ancient times been a comic character, wildly overestimating his abilities, stumbling and bumbling, convinced of the correctness of his actions because they are his actions. This evokes laughter, but comedy can turn to tragedy when his ineffectual schemes and plans do not simply backfire, as inevitably they must, but provoke others to act in violent and destructive ways.

Socrates benefitted those he spoke with by allowing them to see that they do not know what they think they know, thus keeping them from making comic and tragic mistakes. But I am no Socrates and even Socrates could not get some to see themselves as they truly are. I have nothing more to say.

David Cooper
Posts: 224
Joined: April 30th, 2018, 4:51 pm

Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by David Cooper » August 12th, 2018, 5:00 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
August 12th, 2018, 9:18 am
If people hold hate sacred, why do you want to defend them?
Holding a text sacred does not mean holding hate sacred even if there are parts of the text that may be held to be hateful.
I want the hate eliminated. You say it can't be eliminated because it's in sacred texts - your specific words were "Destroying what others hold sacred". I say the hate isn't sacred and can therefore be removed without destroying anything sacred, but if they do count the hate as sacred (as your words imply), then no one should be defending any such people who hold that hate as sacred. If the people you are defending don't hold that hate as sacred though, then there should be no problem with eliminating it. So why do you have so much difficulty with this? Let's just get rid of all the damned hate.
Let me try one last time to explain this to you. It is not that calling hate is hateful. What would be hateful is the actions taken when trying to eliminate hate. You have not been forthcoming with what you might do in order to eliminate hate.
The actions needed to destroy the hate are simply to eliminate the hate - you go through every copy of every manifesto and holy text obliterating it to remove its ability to do harm (if the owners are determined to keep the documents) or you bury them and replace them with safe versions.
You condemn unnamed religion:
many poisonous religions
And say:
anyone who wants to remain allied to that hate should be removed from society
Those who want to go on spreading poison should be kept apart from everyone else until they desist. Decent people should not have to live amongst people who are openly hostile towards them due to holy or ideological hate. If they secretly harbour such hate, that's a different issue - they may still be dangerous, but at least they aren't spreading it and it will die out with them. You can't stop someone being a Nazi internally if they keep it hidden, but as soon as they start exposing that part of their nature to others in an attempt to propagate their hate or team up with others to act upon it, they can and should be stamped on hard.
One way in which they are so allied is through:
The primary hate in holy texts of religions
You say:
they just need to purge it of all the bad parts
What are we to make this? What does this mean?
It means exactly what it says - get rid of the hate by removing it at source.
How is it to be done?
Marker pen. Paint. Scissors.
What if some (as many good people will) refuse to have texts that are sacred to them defiled by you deciding which parts are and are not acceptable?
The texts are already defiled by the hate that they contain. Obliterating that hate will not defile them if it's done in a way that respects the rest.
Do they remain allied to hate if they tell you to keep your hands off their texts? Do you lock them up?
If they refuse to have the hate that defiles their texts removed, it means they are allied to that hate, and that makes them a threat to humanity. If they want to cling to that hate, they should not be fully free members of society. Bear in mind though, that we're moving into a future world where most criminals won't need to be in prison - they will be able to wear devices that control them and allow them to live relatively normal lives without endangering others. The same tech will be able to control those who run on hate.
What is this systematic thing you propose to do?
Systematic eradication of the hate in holy and ideological texts.
Do you separate the ideology from the religion? Should people be prevented from membership in a religion whose texts contain hate? Are you proposing a systematic reform or religion via censorship?
Religions are often ideologies tied to a God and that needn't be dismantled. What matters is removing the hate so that what's left is a benign religion/ideology. Those who genuinely oppose hate will be happy with the new version of their religion/ideology. Those who want to cling to the hate-containing version are a threat to others because they seek to maintain the hate which generates atrocities.
What if they personally reject every passage you think they should? Is that enough?
Absolutely, and no one has any right to demand that they reject the rest.
Will you require them to speak out even if this means not only ostracism but violence toward them?
I would not expect them to stand up against powerful, armed haters in places where they have insufficient power to beat them militarily, but wherever the conditions make it safe for the transformation to be made, it should be made. Intelligent military devices will make this more practical within a decade even in the most dangerous countries once we can monitor everyone and find out who's still pedalling hate and who's rejected it.
Are there ideologies of one kind or another that are not sources of hate?
I wouldn't be surprised if there are some, but there are often many documents which become part of an extended manifesto and they would all need to be checked to see if they are benign. That's a big task, but it can be done as a collective effort. The opponents of an ideology are usually better placed to identify the hate in it than the followers, but then it needs to be judged by people who are neutral (or by AGI in the future which will do the job impartially).
Your ideology will certainly lead to conflict if you require religious believers to denounce their religion in part or in whole. They will hate you for what you are doing even if you are not driven by hate.
The only thing I want them to denounce is the hate, and most of them claim they aren't fond of that hate (if they're prepared to admit that it's hate). What remains of their religion or ideology will be better than it was before because the removed content will all be of negative value.
The reality is that some people read such hate and then act on it by doing what it tells them they should do.
This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. The reality is that you cannot show that they would not have acted violently if they had not read that book or any book or any speech with “primary hate”.
That is simply not the case. ISIS conducted genocide against Yazidis specifically because the instruction in the holy text told them to do so - they would not have done so otherwise. The genocides in Rwanda were driven by hate propaganda on radio stations - there would have been no genocide there otherwise. The cause and effect in these and hosts of other cases are well established. Hate speech kills, and you are denying reality.
At no point have you said how this should be done. By force? Something can be destroyed without total destruction. You will not persuade millions of people to destroy their sacred texts.
Those who are not allied to the hate will gladly have it obliterated in order to enhance their copies of sacred texts. It is not destruction of anything good. Those who oppose the eradication of the hate that's in their possession should be prosecuted just as people who possess illegal weapons are prosecuted.
The term ‘text’ refers not only to the whole but to the parts.
Removing the parts that are hate is not destruction, but enhancement.
Any book containing hate speech should have that hate removed from it.
How are you going to go about doing that? What if you are met with resistance, as you certainly will?
The resistance would only come from those who are allied to the hate. They need to be stamped on. There could be a few scholars who want to continue to have access to it, but they could be given a special licence to do so (which would only be granted to the most peaceful of people), and they would be banned from passing on knowledge of the hate that they are studying.

I should clarify that it's only books which actually encourage the reader to act on the hate, as with holy texts and manifestos. A work of fiction in which two sides use hate speech against each other would not be included, although some vulnerable individuals who might take it as reality would need to be blocked from reading such a book. However, a work of fiction which quotes banned hate would have to have that removed from it if there's any risk that its survival there would lead to it being retained in the religion or ideology that it came from by this back door route.
The three major monotheistic religions do not separate their religion from the holy texts of their religion.
Fine, but they need to separate the hate from the benign. If their God is good, the hate does not belong there and they should be keen to remove it.
You will find that in each of those religions you will meet with strong resistance to your program.
Only if they are emotionally attached to the hate.
Their identification with their texts means that altering their texts is an attack on them and their religion. It does not matter whether you see it that way or not. That is the way they will see it.
If that's the way they see it, then they are dangerous. They propagate the hate that drives atrocities and they cannot be allowed to go on propagating it.
These practices have been rejected. Jews and Christians have condemn them as morally unacceptable. Isn’t that what you wanted?
If they have rejected things which the texts have not clearly labelled as things to be rejected, those things should be removed from the texts. If Nazis say they reject all the hate of their ideology and yet insist on retaining it, they have clearly failed to reject it and cannot be trusted. Nor can later followers of their ideology be trusted even to claim that they reject that hate - it may inspire them to act upon it. The same applies to all other ideologies containing such hate.
Do you really think you can sequester every mention of these practices? To what lengths will your zealotry take you?
Do you think a maniac with a gun collection should be allowed to keep one machine gun? Would you deserve to be called a zealot for wanting to take even that one off him? No. I expect the good followers of all these ideologies to want to remove every single little bit of hate from them. If they don't, they are clearly not genuinely opposed to that hate.
We have no idea what attitudes toward homesexuality would be if were not for the Bible,
Progress towards tolerance has clearly been delayed by this holy bigotry.
but even if what you say was true, it is clear that public attitudes and laws are changing, just as laws and attitudes about stoning have changed. And all this has happened without you editing the texts.
And yet the hate continues to drive the abuse of homosexuals, so why don't we just cut it off at source and pull the rug out from under the feet of the abusive people who get their justification from the texts?
For the majority of history there has been no documents
History began with documents. Before that time we have prehistory.
and with the advent of writing most people still could not read.
There were plenty of bigots who did the reading for them and passed on the hate.
… and from stupidity (where people miscalculate things because they don't think logically).
You are catching on. Now if you could only connect the dots. You are miscalculating the consequences of your unilateral call to censor the sacred texts of religion and censure those for whom the texts are sacrd.
I'm asking good people to modify their own religions by eliminating the hate. Why should they are they incapable of doing this if they are genuinely opposed to hate?
There is no doubt that many would see this as a hateful act of aggression and the consequences would be horrendous. Whatever your intentions are makes no difference to the way they would react.
You are making the assumption that they will defend the hate with great vigour, and if they do, then they are manifestly not good people. I believe they are better than that, and all it needs is for the plan to be put to them so that they can decide whether they're defenders of hate or opponents of it. Most of them claim to be against it, so they should side with me on this issue.
Animal rights activists would disagree.
If they think that people who eat animals hate the animals that they eat, then they in almost all cases wrong.
Not only the eating of animals but the conditions under which they are raised are seen as a blatant disregard for their welfare. Whether you would use the term hatred is not relevant. They think it is wrong and that only good would come from eliminating such barbaric practices.
Most people want the barbaric practices eliminated, but democracy is poor at offering them the controls needed to do anything about it - all they can do is avoid eating certain products and sign petitions to try to stop others having a hand in the abuse of animals. The only relevance of this to the discussion though is whether there is hate speech in ideologies relating to this. If there is, it needs to be eliminated.
Ideological rules are not set in stone and religious practices can and do change even though the texts are not re-written.
When a prophet dies, his rules are set in stone until another prophet of at least the same status overturns them. The same applies to the creator of an ideology. However, if good people want to follow an ideology which contains hate, they are duty bound to remove that hate from the ideology so as to produce a benign version of it which they can sign up to without endorsing the hate.
I would formulate rules based on reason and allow them to be changed whenever better reasoning creates a need for better rules.
And this is what has been happening continually since the begin of religion. Instead of acknowledging this you call it a hiatus.
Religions can moderate and then turn back to being fundamentalist again - the way to prevent that regression is to eliminate the hate so that it cannot be returned to.
As has been pointed, religion in the West has been dramatically changed by the Enlightenment thinkers. They did not alter texts, not simply because they had respect for what others hold sacred, but because they understood the consequences of doing so.
Dramatic change without any change in the documents is not a mark of stability. They did not understand the consequences of leaving the hate in place, and the hate continues to generate abuses and atrocities.
What they did is change the way people think. If you care to end hatred and violence then don’t do what will provoke it. Change the way they think. If you value reason then use reason to change attitudes.
If you leave the hate speech in religious texts, you will always have people going back to the direct message of the texts in an attempt to do their ideology by the book. If the followers of ideologies and religions are already good people, they don't need to change their attitudes - they just need to make their ideologies/religions benign to get rid of the terrorism that they repeatedly generate.
I am not discussing laws, I am discussing moralists who want to unilaterally forbid what they find to be immoral whatever that might be.
If you say, "Suppose you or your fellow moralist decide that..." (which is how the part I was responding to began), you are discussing the kind of morality that adjusts when it's shown to contain errors rather than being a fixed ideology. If you want to discuss a fixed ideology where the errors are locked in, then don't include me in it.
Well, you can't absolutely prove that smoking causes cancer or that burning fossil fuels causes climate change …
There is more than enough scientific evidence to have established a causal relation.
The evidence that hate speech drives genocide is even stronger.
Saying it over and over again does not establish a causal link.
Denying it over and again doesn't destroy the established causal link.
If someone kills those you love and leave you unprotected in a dangerous, politically unstable world, without food or shelter, and the same happens to everyone in your homeland, then perhaps you would not hate since you are all good, but plenty of others would. As would the following generation. This and not a book is what led many in Islam to hate.
The Yazidis were harming no one - they have been on the receiving end of repeated genocides by people who are acting solely upon the hate speech in holy texts which demonise them and call for their extermination.
If Western imperialists had not destroyed the region, the world would be a different place today. But do not take my word for it. The report from the Washington Institute that I provided (https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/pol ... cs-on-terr) gives an unbiased synopsis of events. Did you read it? There are many others as well that explain how Western imperialists are complicit.
Of course they're complicit in a lot of the wars - they're acting on their own holy hate.
You are right about the dangerous game of rejecting evidence, but that is exactly what you are doing.
You're the one rejecting evidence. I blame all the causes of the conflicts, but you want to protect some of them because they're "sacred" hate.
Look at the events and circumstances. Hitler did not rise to power on ideological grounds, but because he found a scapegoat, someone to blame for the economic crisis and thus a solution, eliminate those they blame.
And in doing so, he set up an ideology whose hate led to millions of people being murdered.
Whenever you see lots of people engaging in the same vile activities, it is hatred not hate speech that drives them.
Without the hate speech, there is no transmission of the hate and no amplification from people whipping each other up to to point where coordinated violence emerges.
One must look deeper in order to see why they hate, and what you will find is a sense of economic and political powerlessness and fear that things will get worse not better.
Lovely, but you then have to ask how that translates into hatred of people who are not to blame. The hate under discussion here is hate of blameless individuals, and that requires serious errors of thinking in the people who are doing the hating. For a whole lot of people to make the same big error, that has to be spread by hate speech. Few would think of abusing homosexuals if they weren't guided to do so by transmitted hate - the natural reaction is to be amused at the idea of homosexuality rather than to become full of hate. It takes effort to demonise and dehumanise people.
It is not a failure of philosophers, it is a simple fact that people do not agree as to what is and is not good.
That failure to agree on what is correct is a failure. There is a correct answer to all moral questions, regardless of how hard it can be to calculate what it is. For people to be set on different answers and to reject each others answers necessarily depends on some of them being in error.
You have criteria by which you judge people good or not. That criteria forms your definition, that is, what is in and out of the bounds of goodness.
I have identified a method which can be followed to determine right and wrong as closely as they can be determined, but it will take AGI to apply it - human minds are simply not up to the task of crunching the numbers correctly.
Since we may define them as good people according to very different criteria, the members of the set will be different. One set of good people will contain members who are members of the set of bad people according to different criteria. The same person would be both good and bad.
Incorrect. Some of those sets would simply be mislabelled.
My judgement of some people may be wrong …
That is right. And so, if you mistakenly put these people in the set of all good people, they do not become something they are not because you put them in the wrong set.
The set of good people is not a set that I can guarantee putting all the right people into - it is not me that would have to make the selection for it, but such a set exists nevertheless.
so it's fairly easy to judge most people to be overwhelmingly good.
It is fairly easy to be fooled as well, not only by others but by yourself.
Indeed - it may be wrong to think that most people are overwhelmingly good, so I may be overly positive in my judgement. But I can continue to make that judgement without making the mistake of relying on it being true. I am not naive though - I can still guard against the possibility that most people who say they're opposed to hate are actually allied to hate , so I do not put my trust in hope alone. I can also put them on the spot by asking them to demonstrate that they are opposed to hate by getting rid of all the hate that they currently propagate. If they refuse to do so, then I will make a new judgement about whether they're really so good.
I know exactly what morality is …
Yes, I am not at all surprised you think you do.
If anyone can show a situation where my system for calculating morality doesn't fit, they would be more than welcome to do so, but all the ones working in the field of machine ethics who have tried to do so have failed miserably. I'm still looking for more "experts" to give this a go, but all I'm finding are irrational people who go directly against mathematics when they're pushed any distance at all. They are an absolute shambles.
The moralist has since ancient times been a comic character, wildly overestimating his abilities, stumbling and bumbling, convinced of the correctness of his actions because they are his actions. This evokes laughter, but comedy can turn to tragedy when his ineffectual schemes and plans do not simply backfire, as inevitably they must, but provoke others to act in violent and destructive ways.
Morality comes out of reason and mathematics and is all about harm management. The kinds of moralist you speak of are not good thinkers, but simpletons who tie themselves to ill-thought rules which approximate to something deeper which they are incapable of digging deep enough to see.
Socrates benefitted those he spoke with by allowing them to see that they do not know what they think they know, thus keeping them from making comic and tragic mistakes. But I am no Socrates and even Socrates could not get some to see themselves as they truly are. I have nothing more to say.
Well, at the moment you're attacking something you haven't seen, so you're prejudging something on the basis that you've only ever seen white swans and that there are therefore no black ones.

Dachshund
Posts: 512
Joined: October 11th, 2017, 5:30 pm

Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Dachshund » August 13th, 2018, 10:30 am

As I have been repeatedly asked by a number of contributors to this thread to address the issue of violence in the Old Testament, I will now do so. In order to keep this post as succinct as possible, I decided that I should try to identify what the most important/ troublesome/pressing issues relating to the question of violence in the Old Testament seemed to be, then limit what I have to say here to an analysis of these issues only, in order, as I say, to keep things as "short and sweet" as possible. After giving the matter some thought, I decided that there were three key issues/(questions) I should discuss; these are:


(1) "HOW IS THE VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT DIFFERENT TO THE VIOLENCE OF ISLAMIC JIHAD ?"

(2) "WHAT ARE MOST PROFOUNDLY VIOLENT EPISODES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND HOW CAN THEY BE JUSTIFIED ?"

(3) "HOW CAN THE VIOLENCE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT BE RECONCILED WITH THE THEMES OF LOVE AND TOLERANCE THAT DOMINATE THE NEW TESTAMENT ?"

Let's start with (1), i.e; "How is the violence in the Old Testament different to the violence of Islamic "jihad" ?

In Islam, the Arabic term "jihad" - which literally means "struggle" - can be interpreted in a number of different ways, for instance, as "inner" spiritual struggle, or as defensive struggle; but there are many passages in the Koran where "jihad" can be justifiably construed as offensive (physical) struggle. The "Wars of Conquest" led by the prophet Mohammad after he began to report divine revelations in Medina are a good example of "jihad" parsed in the later sense, (as are the so-called "Sword Verses" (9:5 and 9:29) of the Koran, and well over 160 additional passages in the Koran that deal directly/ explicitly with the matter of waging offensive warfare in the name of Allah (God)). These wars were, as history confirms for us very much full-blooded, expansionist campaigns, and not defensive "jihads". (And) this is simply not the case, (at least, not in the main) with the warring Israelites described in the Old Testament. These Hebrew tribes were not trying to conquer vast swathes of territory like Mohammad and his mujihadeen, rather, they were only concerned with one single patch of land, that is, the "promised land" - the land that God had promised to Abraham, and they were focussed initially on coming into that land to establish a presence and defend it; they certainly weren't trying to build an empire in the way Mohammad's Islamic armies were.

Secondly, It's important to note that, under ordinary circumstances, it was not permitted for the ancient Hebrew tribesmen to just go out and kill any person who was not a Hebrew. In fact, If you read the Pentateuch ( the first five books of the OT), it tells us how the Hebrews were required to be welcoming and hospitable to strangers and foreigners in their land. So the instances in the Old Testament where it it is [/b]documented ( recorded) that they were required to go out and annihilate the the whole population of a particular town, for example, are not to be understood as instances where they had been ordered to simply go out and kill anybody indiscriminantly. Rather, they were particular situations, and they were always linked to grave depravity on the part of the people who were the objects of that violence. So, it was not just any old (random) town that had this kind of extreme sentence ( i.e. "the Ban") passed on it, but only those particular towns that were inhabited by gravely immoral people, people who had, for example, sacrificed their own children in pagan worship or who practiced beatiality, or who had , in the past, actively harmed Israel. So, my point is , firstly, that the violence that was applied by the Hebrew tribes of the OT - the ancient Israelites - was not, in short, simply expansionist or indiscriminate (i.e. lacking any kind of moral justification whatsoever) as was the case with the violence ( of "jihad") that was brought to bear on (all) non-believers by Mohammad's muslim armies in the "Wars of Conquest".

In the paragraph above I mentioned "the Ban", and this brings me to the second of the three issues I wished to address, namely, "What were the most profoundly violent episodes in the Old Testament and how can they be justified ?" There is no doubt that the most extremely violent passages in the OT are those that describe the Israelites be ordered to put "the ban" on their enemies. To put "the ban" on an enemy meant to totally annihilate every single man, woman, child and animal among them . Thus, when God told Saul to put "the ban" on the Amelekites, He meant for Saul to go out and slaughter every Amelekite, literally every single man, woman, child and animal - i.e. to totally exterminate them. Many Christians, past and present have struggled with passages like these in the OT. How , they wonder, could their God ever command Saul (and others, Joshua, for ex) to perpetrate such horrifically violent and cruel actions ?. To continue. What happened in the case of Saul being commanded ( by God) to enforce "the Ban" is that he did, we are told, in the OT kill most of the Amelekites - he did defeat them, but he keeps a lot of their livestock for himself, and he also keeps King Agag (the Amelekite King) for himself ( we aren't told why, precisely, he keeps Agag, perhaps for ransom, etc, we simply don't know). Next we are told that Samuel the prophet comes in and abraids Saul, after which, it says (in the OT), he took out his sword and (quote) "hacked Agag to pieces". Why does Samuel do this, we wonder; why does he apply this kind of shocking violence? The reason Samual does this, is to drive home the message that if you are going to fight evil, then it is important to do the job properly, and not by "half measures", that is, when you are dealing with evil you should not play with it or toy with it in any way, rather, you must always strive to fight it it all the way down. (And) some forms of evil are so profound that they must be "hacked to pieces", that we must put "the Ban" on them. So, this is one way that we can understand the requirement for an application of such extreme violence as "the Ban" in the OT.

The next point is this... It is interesting that even though these extraordinary violent episodes in the Old Testament typically have Moses as their principle subject ( In Exodus, for instance, we have Moses putting his arms up in the air for as long as he is praying that the battle goes well for the Israelites as they endeavour to put the Ban on the Amelekites) they were, in fact, all written after Moses' time, i.e; after Israel was already settled in the land, and consequently they may very well not be intended to be applied in the way we might suspect by reading them in a merely superficial manner; that is, by reading them literally as an account of historical journalism. It may well be the case that these violent passages in the OT are allegorical, and intended to represent the spiritual struggle to fight evil "all the way down". This was, in fact, the conclusion of Origen of Alexandria (c 184 - c 253), an early Christian scholar/ascetic/theologian, who has been described as "the greatest genius the early Church ever produced". Origen told us that we should read these passages in a metaphorical, allegorical, symbolic manner as being about the spiritual fight/struggle; i.e. when we read of the Israelites being commanded by God to place "the Ban" on their enemies, we should not interpret this to be literally communicating an order to carry out ethnic cleansing/ genocide, but rather as being a symbolic way of representing the very radical incompatibility of paganism ( i.e. of pagan immorality) with the worship of the one true (Biblical) God. To repeat, Origen argued that when God is said to have commanded the Israelites ( Saul, for example) to place "the ban" of the enemies of Israel, we should not read this as being a divine exhortation for pagans like the Amelekites to be literally (physically) exterminated, but rather as being an allegorical/metaphorical/symbolic expression of the necessity for us to do whatever it takes to completely separate ourselves from the presence evil (the morally bad) in our lives - of the need to always strive tofight the evil that we may encounter/experience in our lives "all the way down". This, BTW, is also the current view of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and I think the stance the Commission' has taken in stating that the extreme violence we read of in the OT is not intended to be interpreted in a primarily literal manner, cannot be dismissed as merely an attempt to by the Church to conveniently de-fang some of the most notoriously difficult/troublesome passages of the OT by brushing them all neatly away "under a hermeneutical carpet" so to speak, but that is an eminently plausible conclusion, a conclusion that is, in fact, supported by a number of very reasonable lines of argument; one of which I will briefly explain now below.

Today, we are obsessed with historicity in a way that ancient people, like those of the Old Testament were not; that is to say, we are fixated with the very strict, literalistic reading of text, whereas the ancients were far more comfortable with allegorical/ symbolic ways of reading/interpreting the meanings of the written word as it was (materially/physically) recorded in their own texts. Now, it is a well-known fact the ancient Israelites were a warlike people. This was simply their nature. They were forever involved in fighting with their enemies; it's no secret that they were , in short, a very bellicose lot. Now, suppose that you're a Hebrew scribe - a professional "wordsmith" - that's your occupation, that's what you do for a living, and imagine now that you're trying to express the almighty truth of God (Yahweh) through a poetic allusion. What are you going to reach for ? If you're writing for a warlike group of people like the Israelites, it would be very likely , wouldn't it, that you might decide to reach for a militaristic metaphor, something along the lines of, say : "Yahweh FIGHTS for His People !!" - "Yahweh FIGHTS the enemies of Israel !!" And how does Yahweh fight them ? Well, if you're trying to describe an all-powerful, all-sovereign God, what are you going to say ? Will it be something like: "Yeah, well, you know, He killed, like, 1/2 of Israel's enemies"; or "Yeah, that's our God, He killed , you know, about 1/3 or so of the Philistines." No, of course you're not ! If you're a Hebrew poet trying to use a militaristic metaphor to express what Yahweh's (God's )power is really like, what you're going to say when you write your account is far more likely to be something along the lines of how He (Yahweh) absolutely wiped the enemies of Israel out, how He whacked them right out of the "ball park"; how Yahweh insisted on staging a total rout!; that He "King Hit" them; that He - the one, true God, absolutely, totally, crushed/ annihilated/eliminated/exterminated them - slayed all of them - that He commanded every last wretched one of them to be put the sword and they were ! THAT'S the kind of thing your more than likely to be going to say when you (the professional scribe) write it down for the official record, isn't it ?. You're going to say that He (God/Yahweh) put "the Ban" on the bad guys, BIG TIME. And isn't this exactly what you would expect the attitude of your all- powerful, almighty God to be if you were a warring mob of people like the ancient Israelites of the OT? Of course it is ! They wont want to be reading anything that depicts their God as some kind of a wimp - they'll want to hear that HE's was a hard-core dude , that He - their Yahweh ! - was a fighter whosehad fire in His belly, a Heart of Steel and an Iron fist ! They'll want to hear all about how bad guys who messed with the God of Israel came to rue the day- how they never reckoned on the kind of violent fury He would unleash on them for their wickedness !

We find the idea of putting "the Ban" on an enemy to be an exceedingly distasteful/offensive metaphor today, in 2018, but then again, it must be emphasised that we live in an entirely different kind of culture to the one that the Israelites of the OT lived in. So, if I may now "cut to the chase" on this particular issue, let me simply say this, namely;... with respect to the the episodes of profound violence that it describes, we, the modern - day readers of the Old Testament should not be so very obsessed with interpreting what was written so long ago in a strictly literal sense, that is, as its being a precise, historical, journalist description/representation of exactly what actually happened, but rather, in the sense that what we are reading is, in fact, a poetic ( allegorical/symbolic) evocation of the power and sovereignty of God rendered through the use of a militaristic metaphor that was commensurate with the cultural ethos of the time.

Before the inevitable objections are posted declaring that what I have said above regarding the "the Ban" ( which is, as I say, undoubtedly the most profound violent aspect of the Old Testament), is nothing more my own biased subjective, personal opinion, or that the Catholic Church (i.e. the Pontifical Biblical Commission I referred to) is never going to be credited, no matter what I might say, with ever having the capacity to conduct a purely dispassionate, rational, objective investigation into the question of violence re the application of "the Ban" in the Old Testament, I would like to state that the point of view I have just presented above is also unequivocally endorsed by the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia of Religion (2016) which states:

" The greatest ethical challenge arises from the Old Testament presentation of the Ban. This practice entailed the complete annihilation of the enemy along with the all the enemy's possessions that might otherwise be captured as the spoils of victory. The Hebrew verb "haram" connotes this practice (New Revised Standard Version, "utterly destroy; Deut. 7:2), and the noun that derives from it "herem" refers to "persons or objects set apart for destruction" (Deut.7:26). Such persons or objects were designated as sacrificial gifts to God, in exchange for God's help in securing victory in battle... It seems certain that the Israelites practiced the Ban as their neighbours did (e.g. Numbers. 21: 1-3). Nevertheless, the notion of "utterly destroying" the enemy in the conquest story seems to be an emblem of pure religious devotion and not an actual record of killing people or an intention to do so. One sign of the symbolic character of the Ban is its appearance in Deuteronomy 7:2, in which Moses presents the Ban as a precondition for Israel to occupy the land. Deuteronomy 7:3-5, however, explains what "herem" means in two stipulations, neither of which involve taking life... Thus, the Ban in Deuteronomy seems to be "a metaphor for religious fidelity" that does not involves the taking of life... This further confirmed by the fact that the conquest story presents some Caanitites - two prominent groups... who are said to have survived the attack and continued to live unharmed in Israel's midst after the conquest...the very presence of these groups illustrates that the Ban was not something that was actually carried out according to the strict rules laid out in Deut 7:1-5 and Det 20:10-20..."

This, BTW is merely an extract from the Encyclopaedia's entry on "the Ban" in the OT and its symbolic nature. If you wish to read the whole piece it is easy enough to google up, so I will leave it where I have done for now.

This brings me to the final issue of the three I said I would discuss, that is: " How can the violence of the Old Testament be reconciled with the themes of love and forgiveness that dominate the New Testament?"

OK. To explain this, I will defer again to the teaching of Origen of Alexandria. Origen was familiar with the problem of the seeming inconsistency between the apparently violent, capricious and tyrannical God of the Old Testament and the infinitely loving, merciful and compassionate God of the New Testament a long time before the so-called "New Atheists" - individuals like Christopher Hitchins and Sam Harris starting telling us all about it. Origen's observation was, briefly, that we must read the ENTIRE Bible ( i.e. both the Old Testament and the New Testament) from the standpoint of the LAST (the FINAL) book of the Bible. He is, in fact, referring specifically the the Book of Revelation, Chapter 5. Here we have the great scene of the visionary up in the heavenly space, and he see a scroll comes out - a great scroll that is sealed by seven (7) seals. The scroll is intended to stand for the WHOLE of the Bible, it is meant to represent the WHOLE of God's revelation. The sealing means that is is going to be hard to open and read - that it will be difficult to interpret. Who will unlock it, we wonder ?) And thus indeed we hear (in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 5) this voice saying... "Who will unlock...who will unseal the scroll?" Then, out comes a little lamb, and not just a little lamb, but a little lamb who has been slain. Revelation actually says, "A lamb standing as though slain." That is, a figure of UTTER weakness, mildness and meekness is the one alone who can open the seals on the great scroll. The point made is thus very clear and very important, namely, that the ONLY standpoint from which we should read the WHOLE of the Bible is from the standpoint of Christ crucified. The "lamb standing as though slain", is, of course, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, precisely through His suffering on the cross. So, in short, Origen's point is this...if ,therefore we read the Bible in such a way, that we see God as cruel or capricious, or in such a way that we see He encourages us to be violent, we are IPSO FACTO misreading it. This is an absolutely, critically important point, and not just in the 2nd century when Origen presented it, but also today, so it is, I think, worth repeating...i.e. if you read the Bible in such a way that that it leads you to say, "Hey, violence is a good thing! I should be more violent !" or that "God is hateful and violent", you have IPSO FACTO misread it, because you have not read it from the standpoint of the "lamb standing as though slain;", that is, in the light of the crucified, non-violent, loving, compassionate and forgiving, Lamb of God.



Kindest Regards

Dachshund

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Karpel Tunnel » August 13th, 2018, 10:59 am

It's lovely that you made this enormous effort. But regardless, the Bible has managed to justify the killings of more people than the Koran. Maybe that's because Christians make better weapons. And in the last few decades many more Muslims have been killed by Christians than the reverse, and often the motives were casually evil.

I can't stand Islam and find very little in it of value.
The Bible has some stuff I like, but not much.

Dachshund
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by Dachshund » August 13th, 2018, 11:41 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
August 13th, 2018, 10:59 am
It's lovely that you made this enormous effort. But regardless, the Bible has managed to justify the killings of more people than the Koran. Maybe that's because Christians make better weapons. And in the last few decades many more Muslims have been killed by Christians than the reverse, and often the motives were casually evil.

Thank you KT, but if you want to start talking about body counts ( which I do not think is very helpful) - that is, if you want to get into the business of talking about comparing the total number of individuals who have been killed by Islamic mujihadeen vs the total number of individuals killed by Christian soldiers ( for example by those who fought for God in the Crusades) or killed/tortured in the name the Christian Church ( e.g. during the Inquisition) from say the 7th century up to today, then the fact is that Islam has a lot more blood on its hands (statistically speaking). (And) I can, BTW, demonstrate this for you pretty quickly, if you are interested.

Regards


Dachshund

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LuckyR
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Re: Why the West must ban Muslim immigration

Post by LuckyR » August 13th, 2018, 11:50 am

Dachshund wrote:
August 13th, 2018, 11:41 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
August 13th, 2018, 10:59 am
It's lovely that you made this enormous effort. But regardless, the Bible has managed to justify the killings of more people than the Koran. Maybe that's because Christians make better weapons. And in the last few decades many more Muslims have been killed by Christians than the reverse, and often the motives were casually evil.

Thank you KT, but if you want to start talking about body counts ( which I do not think is very helpful) - that is, if you want to get into the business of talking about comparing the total number of individuals who have been killed by Islamic mujihadeen vs the total number of individuals killed by Christian soldiers ( for example by those who fought for God in the Crusades) or killed/tortured in the name the Christian Church ( e.g. during the Inquisition) from say the 7th century up to today, then the fact is that Islam has a lot more blood on its hands (statistically speaking). (And) I can, BTW, demonstrate this for you pretty quickly, if you are interested.

Regards


Dachshund
So we are reduced to arguing who gets the gold and the silver among deadly religions? Heck flip a coin. But one pulling rank on the other is disingenuous (at best).
"As usual... it depends."

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