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What's the REAL enemy... terrorism or irrationality?

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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 05:54 PM
Original message
What's the REAL enemy... terrorism or irrationality?
I see Islamic terrorism as a subset of a greater problem that afflicts humanity. We are awash in irrational belief systems.... religious and secular. In our nation we have powerful institutions who have a vested interest in the continued irrationality of the American People. Billions are spent on ads... corporate propaganda. Politicians rarely have any use for honesty and all too many confuse partisan spin with reality. The Left thinks it's immune but that's just more self-deception. We put the will of the nation's dead founders above the needs of the living.

A common feature of all of the above is that these belief systems... dogmas if you will... are not self-correcting. They are self-justifying. Once someone accepts the basic assumptions of these value systems they deprive themselves of the intellectual tools to disprove the systems themselves.

It's somewhat amazing that MORE don't resort to violence. Perhaps they do. Bush has his own religious and neocon dogma and it drove him to con the world's only superpower into an illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Extremism comes in many forms.

On some level... unless the irrationality is skewed towards pacifism... then it's just an ACCIDENT that more are not violent. If one places their faith in the Koran or the Bible, they leave themselves open to manipulation by the Jim Jones and Bin Ladins of the world who will selectively find verses that suit their own goals.

If God didn't exist... we'd have to invent her to justify all we intend to do anyway.

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Montauk6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Greed and hatred
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. isn't hatred a subset of irrationalty? n/m
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Montauk6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well, in that sense, so is greed...
OK, I vote for irrationality.
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. The real enemy is rationalizing the irrational
That is why someone can come to DU and say they are against women determining their own rights and be warmly welcomed.

It is why people can advocate separate but equal rights for gays and be warmly welcomed.

It is why they can use their religion to discriminate and be warmly welcomed.

It is why they can support the Minutemen and claim they are patriots when they are racists and be warmly welcomed.

Irrationality is seen for what it is...but those than can rationalize the irrational are the most dangerous.
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fooj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. Lack of common sense.
Peace.
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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
6. bull, Cheney ordered 9/11, Bush Sr. ordered Iran hostage-taking, etc.
"Terrorism" is 99.999% government-sponsored to smear the group credited with it. The ones you barely hear anything about are the only naturally-occurring cases, e.g. Eric Rudolph.
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. paranoia
Paranoia is also a form of irrationality.

The LACK of evidence is taken as proof of the conspiracy.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Cheney and Bush are trying to screw us?
The nether regions of paranoia!
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Please.... no red herrings
It's a far cry from a general claim like yours "Cheney and Bush are trying to screw us" to baseless specific charges such as "Cheney ordered 9/11, Bush Sr. ordered Iran hostage-taking...."





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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. try reading Indira Singh's ptech pages
There are some juicy tidbits about Cheney there.
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. I'd like to believe the worst about Cheny....
But I don't yet buy all of her accusations.
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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. wrong
Terrorism to influence political views is well-known, going back to well before the Reichstag Fire. Italy has already uncovered the fact that the acts of terrorism attributed to the Red Brigade (a left-wing organization) were in fact due to a foreign-sponsored right-wing organization. Then comes Operation Northwoods and so on.

The fact is that terrorism mostly comes directly from governments and is used as a tool to influence politics.

The default assumption is not proof. Why is your default assumption that the pack of liars in office aren't lying about 9/11? They lie about everything else.

And there is no mention of a conspiracy. No method of implementation, no specifics. This is one statement and one statement only: that governments are usually the ones carrying out the highly-publicized terrorist attacks, and are assumed guilty until proven innocent (this is not a court of law!). This then is ascribed to the national political leaders in power near the time of the attacks.
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. my post posed philosphical questions that seem to be lost on all here
My intent was NOT to get into a discussion about terrorism per se except to explore the vast arena of irrationality we are surrounded by. My main point is that once someone accepts an irrational belief system then given the right circumstances, they may become violent. In this regard I see little difference in the potential of Muslims and Christians to become violent.

As for your comment about governments, can I assume you're saying that terrorism is "rational"? If so I agree but logic and "rational" thinking is largely dependent on the validity ones core assumptions. Governments are often amoral and therefore terrorism can be seen as just another policy tool. That doesn't mean that all terrorism is government sponsored.





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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. and I don't claim all terrorism is government-sponsored
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 09:27 PM by wli
I merely say that acts of terrorism should be assumed to be government-sponsored until proven otherwise, particularly when they're highly-publicized or large-scale.

I expect that smaller acts of terrorism such as the arson of churches with predominantly-black congregations and bombings of abortion clinics are not government-sponsored because they're small-scale, not anywhere near as hyped by the MSM, and the perpetrators were apprehended with little fanfare.

ON EDIT: The philosophical question wasn't really seen to be relevant. It's fine to say it, but it wasn't enlightening or interesting or anything like that. It largely ended up serving the cause of apologists for grossly corrupt administrations.
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. The philosophical question wasn't really seen to be relevant?????
I happen to believe that a nation SHOULD have a vested interest in the rationality of its own citizens. But then rational citizens are a threat to our irrational economic and political institutions. It's a chicken and egg situation.

If I were drawing up a plan of where I wanted to see this nation be in 50 years... I would not just be thinking about implementing true democratic reforms, or taming capitalism... I'd want to see some change in the human psyche. After all for today's dysfunctional human institutions to exist they have to be supported by the vast majority of the citizenry.

If there's ever to be societal evolution to match our technological innovation... there has to be a concerted effort to FINALLY free the human mind from the era of irrational belief systems.

So in my book... few things are more relevant than dealing with this issue since it's the source of all that is pathological with humanity.
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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. you didn't phrase your "philosophical question" in any such way
Edited on Thu Jul-28-05 10:11 PM by wli
Rather, you said "Paranoia is also a form of irrationality. Lack of evidence is seen as evidence of the conclusion."

There is no paranoia here. We're living under a corrupt regime, state-sponsored terrorism is the norm in terrorism, and the immediate consequences in terms of most probable explanations for events are as I described. It's probabilities, not proof. If you took it to a court of law, it would be naming the government as a suspect, and perhaps the minimalistic research I've done as circumstantial evidence.

The philosophical question didn't get anywhere near so articulated.

To respond to what you've now posed, a nation should have a vested interest in the rationality of its own citizens, yes. And general agreement with the rest of your statement above.
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I never thought....
I never thought of the government angle on terrorism interjecting itself into the discussion I intended.

Perhaps I set myself up for that in my original post.
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NAO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
8. Religious Dogma and the subsequent intolerance...some historical data
Robert G. Ingersoll made the following statement in his lecture Heretics And Hericies, which sums it up pretty well:

According to the theologians, God, the Father of us all, wrote a letter to his children. The children have always differed somewhat as to the meaning of this letter. In consequence of these honest differences, these brothers began to cut out each other's hearts. In every land, where this letter from God has been read, the children to whom and for whom it was written have been filled with hatred and malice. They have imprisoned and murdered each other, and the wives and children of each other. In the name of God every possible crime has been committed, every conceivable outrage has been perpetrated. Brave men, tender and loving women, beautiful girls, and prattling babes have been exterminated in the name of Jesus Christ. For more than fifty generations the church has carried the black flag. Her vengeance has been measured only by her power. During all these years of infamy no heretic has ever been forgiven. With the heart of a fiend she has hated; with the clutch of avarice she has grasped; with the jaws of a dragon she has devoured; pitiless as famine, merciless as fire, with the conscience of a serpent: such is the history of the Church of God...

Give any orthodox church the power, and to-day they would punish heresy with whip, and chain, and fire. As long as a church deems a certain belief essential to salvation, just so long it will kill and burn if it has the power. Why should the church pity a man whom her God hates? Why should she show mercy to a kind and noble heretic whom her God will burn in eternal fire? Why should a Christian be better than his God? It is impossible for the imagination to conceive of a greater atrocity than has been perpetrated by the church. Every nerve in the human body capable of pain has been sought out and touched.

Let it be remembered that all churches have persecuted heretics to the fullest extent of their power. Toleration has increased only when and where the power of the church has diminished. From Augustine until now the spirit of the Christians has remained the same. There has been the same intolerance, the same undying hatred of all who think for themselves, and the same determination to crush out of the human brain all knowledge inconsistent with an ignorant creed.

Heretics And Hericies
http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_inger...
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ulTRAX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-28-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. thanks for that.....
http://www.infidels.org is really an amazing site!!
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