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cpwm17

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Name: Paul
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Mar 31, 2010, 03:20 PM
Number of posts: 3,829

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Nobody, religions are objectively wrong and from just what you wrote there

you just despise religion. Nothing is wrong with that, as long as you keep it in perspective, meaning, you don't think religion is the main cause of evil in this world or that people from certain parts of the world are inferior to others.

Evil comes from selfishness, though religion does make a good rationalization for selfishness and evil: create your own god that supports your own positions and then claim god support your positions. It's a good scam for some people.

Most evil is not closely related to religion and religious motivated evil is no more wrong than evil motivated by other rationalizations. There are a lot of a good people in this world (religious and not) mixed in when some not so good people (religious and not). This is universal.

I remember that, now that you mention it.

It was one of his better moments. As far as I know, he stuck to the WMD's story to the very end, which is rare.

I'm a big fan of atheism as far as it atheism goes, but since atheism is just the lack of belief in gods, that leaves a lot of potential to have widely divergent views in many issues, and a lot of potential for some not always rational but rather zealous people to grab a lot of undeserved attention for themselves.

I first noticed this is the alleged "humanist" movement. There are quite a few rather pro-war folks that like to call themselves "humanist." I used to subscribe to the Free Inquiry magazine, a publication of the Council for Secular Humanism. I thought it had potent.

Christopher Hitchens happened to write for the magazine. Paul Kurtz was editor in chief. In the magazine, Paul Kurtz openly supported the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Palestinians at Israel's birth. He also promoted Alan Dershowitz in the magazine, a self-proclaimed "humanist" and actual sociopath. I also listened to a podcast of Paul Kurtz's "humanist" organization once, and the guy who did the podcast explicitly said that he liked war.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Kurtz

I think any movement that self-proclaims they are morally superior almost inevitably is the opposite. They may start out good, but the crazies tend to take over, drunk on their self-proclaimed superiority.

A movement that produces, defends, and promotes such characters as Sam Harris

and Christopher Hitchens is deeply flawed.

The self-definition of a "truther" is going to be very different than what a "truther" is in reality. A new atheist will identify himself very differently than an outside critic that recognizes what they are really about in practice.

"New atheists" way over-estimate the importance of not believing in a god and not possessing a religion. They don't understand the dominant sources of evil in this world. They are very dismissive towards those that believe differently, often dehumanizing believers in the process. They are often very full of themselves.

This out-of-proportion belief in the importance of atheism, like any other similar irrational belief, can lead in dangerous directions. The high percentage of those that support and defend extreme evil actions in the "new atheist" movement is evidence of that.

I wouldn't call PZ Myers a "new atheist".

This could be a word definition issue, but many people divide atheists between liberal (progressive) atheists (DU types) and "new atheists" which tend to support bigotry and war.

PZ MYers and Sam Harris aren't fans of each other.

From PZ Myers just a couple days ago:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/11/24/jebus-sam-harris-again/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+freethoughtblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28FTB%3A+Pharyngula%29

As expected, every time I highlight some reactionary idiocy from Sam Harris, I wake up to a chorus of his fan boys urgently typing at me to tell me the rallying cry of the Harrisites everywhere: HE DIDN’T REALLY SAY THAT. Yeah, he did. He really does prefer Republican nutjob Ted Cruz over any of those ‘leftists’ he despises on foreign policy, because Muslims.

But at least it was Cruz, right? He didn’t say anything nice about Ben Carson, I would hope? Sorry to break your illusions, but another reader also told me I had to listen to his recent interview with British neocon, Douglas Murray. He was kind and told me I could skip almost all of it, and just zip up to the 1:56 mark.

"Given a choice between Noam Chomsky and Ben Carson, in terms of the totality of their understanding of what’s happening now in the world, I’d vote for Ben Carson every time. Ben Carson is a dangerously deluded religious imbecile, Ben Carson does not…the fact that he is a candidate for president is a scandal…but at the very least he can be counted on to sort of get this one right. He understands that jihadists are the enemy."

Yeah, that’s right. Ben Carson is a religious imbecile, but according to Harris, he’s better qualified than some damn leftist on the basis of his foreign policy expertise, which consists of hating Islam almost as much as Sam Harris does.


Douglas Murray is the one that Sam Harris interviewed on his podcast:

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]
http://www.amazon.com/NeoConservatism-Why-We-Need-It/dp/1594031479
Neo Conservatism: Why We Need It is a defense of the most controversial political philosophy of our era. Douglas Murray takes a fresh look at the movement that replaced Great-Society liberalism, helped Ronald Reagan bring down the Wall, and provided the intellectual rationale for the Bush administration's War on Terror. While others are blaming it for foreign policy failures and, more extremely, attacking it as a Jewish cabal, Murray argues that the West needs Neo-conservatism more than ever. In addition to explaining what Neo conservatism is and where it came from, he argues that this American-born response to the failed policies of the 1960s is the best approach to foreign affairs not only for the United States but also for Britain and the West as well.

Douglas Murray is British and he complains about all the brown immigrants to Great Britain, which is expected for someone Sam Harris supports since Sam Harris has said: "The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists. To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization."

But since Sam Harris has said and believes: "Unless liberals realize that there are tens of millions of people in the Muslim world who are far scarier than Dick Cheney, they will be unable to protect civilization from its genuine enemies." some white fascist doesn't seem that bad.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Sam_Harris

Yea, there is a battle between the neocon "new atheists" represented by Sam Harris and others

and the liberal (progressive) atheists represented by Cenk Uygur and others. The neocon atheists certainly swarm all of Cenk Uygur's videos criticizing Sam Harris, including this one. They think Muslims are subhuman.

Sam Harris blames the Iraqis for the failure of our unprovoked war against them:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/bombing-our-illusions_b_8615.html
The war in Iraq, while it may be exacerbating the conflict between Islam and the West, is a red herring. However mixed or misguided American intentions were in launching this war, civilized human beings are now attempting, at considerable cost to themselves, to improve life for the Iraqi people. The terrible truth about our predicament in Iraq is that even if we had invaded with no other purpose than to remove Saddam Hussein from power and make Iraq a paradise on earth, we could still expect tomorrow’s paper to reveal that another jihadi has blown himself up for the sake of killing scores of innocent men, women, and children. The outrage that Muslims feel over U.S. and British foreign policy is primarily the product of theological concerns. Devout Muslims consider it a sacrilege for infidels to depose a Muslim tyrant and occupy Muslim lands—no matter how well intentioned the infidels or malevolent the tyrant. Because of what they believe about God and the afterlife and the divine provenance of the Koran, devout Muslims tend to reflexively side with other Muslims, no matter how sociopathic their behavior. This is solidarity born of religious delusion, and it must end—or a genuine clash of civilizations will be unavoidable.

In the 20th Century there was a lot of killing by a lot of different groups.

Muslims didn't come close to standing out as more brutal than other groups:

If we're going to be pointing fingers of blame for the savageness of the Century -- and you know you want to -- raw numbers are probably not enough. There have been plenty of episodes of concentrated brutality that don't show up on the list above simply because the affected population is so small. Meanwhile, a major reason that Russia and China stand so prominently at the top of the list is that they have so many potential victims to begin with. Therefore, I've taken all the episodes of mass killing of the 20th Century and divided them by the population of the country that suffered the losses.

The 25 highest percentages of national populations killed during periods of mass brutality (20th Century):



If you look carefully at the chart with the intention of determining which race, religion or ideology has been the most brutal, you'll see a pattern emerge. It's quite a startling pattern, so I'd rather you find it by yourself. Go back and take a second look. I'll meet you at the next paragraph after I explain that, honestly, I did not manipulate the data. I simply took the most likely death toll (military and civilian) among the natives of each country (such as all the South Vietnamese -- ARVN soldiers, civilians and Viet Cong -- who were killed in the Vietnam War), and divided it by the population of that country (prewar). I didn't take, say, only the military dead, or only the victims of genocide. I didn't arbitrarily decide to split one horror into two in order to make each seem smaller (the only borderline case is that I calculated the Russians dead from WW2 and Stalin separately. A judgement call.), or eliminate countries of a certain size. No, I had no predetermined point to prove. I did the math and let the chips fall where they would. (Here are the raw numbers if you want to check behind me.)

That's why I was so startled to discover that there is absolutely no pattern to the chart. If I had simply picked 25 countries out of a hat, I could not have gotten a more diverse spread than we've got here. We've got rich countries and poor countries; industrial and agrarian; big and small. We've got people of all colors -- white, black, yellow and brown -- widely represented among both the slaughterers and the slaughterees. We've got Christians, Moslems, Buddhists and Atheists all butchering one another in the name of their various gods or lack thereof. Among the perpetrators, we've got political leanings of the left, right and middle; some are monarchies; some are dictatorships and some are even democracies. We've got innocent victims invaded by big, bad neighbors, and we've got plenty of countries who brought it on themselves, sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind. Go on -- take a third look. Find any type of country that is not represented among the agents of a major blooding, and probably the only reason for that is that there aren't that many countries in that category to begin with (There are no Hindu or Jewish countries on the chart, but then, there's only one of each on the whole planet, and they're both waiting in the wings among the next 25.).

In a way, it's rather disheartening to realize that we can't smugly blame the brutality of the century on the Communists, or the imperialists, or the Moslem fundamentalists, or the godless. Every major category of human has done it's share to boost the body count, so replacing, say, Moslem rulers with Christian rulers, or white rulers with black rulers, is not going to change it at all.

Predominately the discussions centers around Muslims rather than Islam.

As an atheist, I have no love for Islam, or any other religion. I don't understand religious thinking or why religion should be admired.

But the discussions generally center around the behavior of Muslims. Muslims are people. All evidence indicates that they are not uniquely bad or more prone to violence. They tend to be rather conservative, which isn't my cop of tea, but beyond that, they are pretty much like most people in this world.

One major difference: Muslims are uniquely vilified:

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/eye-opening-graphic-map-of-muslim-countries-that-the-u-s-and-israel-have-bombed/
This “three-decade war for domination of the Middle East” becomes apparent when we consider how many Muslim countries the peace-loving United States and her “stalwart ally” Israel have bombed:...

Under Barack Obama, the U.S. is currently bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. According to some reports (see here and here), we can add Iran to this ever-expanding list. [Update: An Informed Comment reader named Shannon pointed out that in fact the United States bombed Iran in 1988 during Operating Praying Mantis, an act that “cannot be justified” according to the International Court of Justice.]

Thanks to American arms and funding, our “stalwart ally” Israel has bombed every single one of its neighbors, including Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Israel has also bombed Tunisia and Iraq (how many times can Americans and Israelis bomb this country?).

The total number of Muslim countries that America and Israel have bombed comes to fourteen: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia.


There have been throughout my entire life efforts to dehumanize Muslims in the US. It has been very successful. The US treats them like cannon fodder. Various pro-war interests like the results.

It's strange that many people that support US aggressive wars or politicians that support aggressive wars complain that Muslims are particularly violent. Self awareness is a virtue, American exceptionalism is not.

Exactly!

It's only through a selective interpretation of history and current events that people from a Muslim background are determined to be more violent. The facts don't back that up. Bill Maher is clearly a bigot.

It is often people that support aggressive wars or support politicians that support aggressive wars by the US that make this claim.

Bill Maher has stated that Muslims are more violent and the way to deal with Muslims is with violence. That's why he likes Netanyahu, a lover of violence.

http://www.vox.com/2015/1/30/7951309/islam-violence

Predominantly, Muslim countries average 2.4 murders per annum per 100,000 people, compared to 7.5 in non-Muslim countries. The percentage of the society that is made up of Muslims is an extraordinarily good predictor of a country's murder rate. More authoritarianism in Muslim countries does not account for the difference. I have found that controlling for political regime in statistical analysis does not change the findings. More Muslims, less homicide.


In the 20th century Muslims did not lead the world in violence, not even close. At this moment in history there are some problems in parts of the Muslim world, much of it caused by outside forces, especially the US. Certainly no one in the US that supports any candidate for president that supported the aggressive war against Iraq has any standing to condemn Muslims for being violent - screw that tribal American exceptionalism crap.

The mythical special privilege granted to Islam strikes again.

In reality, it's the other way around. Muslims receive special condemnation. They are vilified as a group when it is they that are often victimized as a group - look at all of the Muslim majority nations the US has recently bombed.

There are Muslims that behave badly, but it is they that are collectively guilty. They are not people or individuals, but a collective mass of Islam. So when someone defends them as a people, they are accused of defending the worst of Islam.

The US, a Christian majority nation

has murdered millions of innocent people in the world during my lifetime. Why don't you blame Christians, as a group, for these atrocities? That wouldn't be fair, of course, even though a large percentage of Americans, and Christians, supported these atrocities.

The unprovoked attack against Iraq was supported by huge number of Americans, including the media. Shouldn't that be held against us far more than what you posted should be held against Muslims?

This logic makes no sense: Muslims are magically more guilty for violence commited by other Muslims than other groups.

The 20th century is famous for its brutal wars and mass killings, most of it not by Muslims. I fact, Muslims were under represented in the mass murder of the 20th century.

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/eye-opening-graphic-map-of-muslim-countries-that-the-u-s-and-israel-have-bombed/
This “three-decade war for domination of the Middle East” becomes apparent when we consider how many Muslim countries the peace-loving United States and her “stalwart ally” Israel have bombed:...

Under Barack Obama, the U.S. is currently bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. According to some reports (see here and here), we can add Iran to this ever-expanding list. [Update: An Informed Comment reader named Shannon pointed out that in fact the United States bombed Iran in 1988 during Operating Praying Mantis, an act that “cannot be justified” according to the International Court of Justice.]

Thanks to American arms and funding, our “stalwart ally” Israel has bombed every single one of its neighbors, including Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Israel has also bombed Tunisia and Iraq (how many times can Americans and Israelis bomb this country?).

The total number of Muslim countries that America and Israel have bombed comes to fourteen: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia.


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