Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Hearty Welcome to Our New Swedish Readers

Ummah Sweden

Earlier this evening (around 2pm our time) a documentary about the Transatlantic Counterjihad was aired by SVT, the Swedish state broadcaster. For an hour or so our blog experienced an enormous surge in traffic, caused almost entirely by searches conducted from .se domains — i.e. in Sweden.

Presumably any number of these curious arrivals from Scandinavia have never visited Gates of Vienna in the past. So we bid you welcome! All you newcomers are invited to take a look around and read for yourselves what we have to say.

My Scandinavian contacts tell me that the SVT program was a hit-piece aimed at sites like this one, and was obviously intended to discredit and damage the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna), in particular Kent Ekeroth. I’m also told that it featured a number of screenshots of Gates of Vienna pages, which presumably sparked all those google.se searches.

With that in mind, I suggest that our new Swedish readers spend some time going through our archives and reading what we have to offer. Fjordman’s essays will be of particular interest, but posts by El Inglés, Paul Weston, and Takuan Seiyo are also worth a look. If you work your way back month by month, you’ll find numerous translations from the Scandinavian languages, plus original essays by Norwegians, Danes, Finns, and Swedes.

When you’ve read a suitable selection of these articles, here are seven review questions you may wish to consider:

1. Now that you have read the actual essays written by contributors to this site, does the description of Gates of Vienna presented by SVT seem to reflect accurately what you have found here?
2. Do our articles incite violence, as asserted by your state broadcaster?
3. Do we, the Islam-critics of the Transatlantic Counterjihad, seem more violent and dangerous than the hundreds of thousands of third-world immigrants that your government has invited into Sweden?
4. You have now acquired a concise working knowledge of Islamic scripture, theology, and jurisprudence. Do you agree with your taxpayer-funded television company that the Sweden Democrats pose a greater danger to Sweden than the Muslim immigrants who inhabit the no-go zones of Malmö, Gothenburg, and the suburbs of Stockholm?
5. Do you think your political leaders truly have your interests, the interests of the indigenous people of Sweden, at heart? Or are they instead serving the interests of supranational organizations, such as the European Union, the United Nations, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation?
6. Be honest: are you comfortable with the idea of living with a majority — or even a substantial minority — of Muslim immigrants in the neighborhoods around you? With their children making up the bulk of the pupils at your local schools? With the Islamic men with their multiple wives and numerous children drawing extensive welfare payments? Or would you prefer that Sweden be mainly populated by “persons of Swedish background”?
7. If you have fair-haired blue-eyed children under the age of ten, what kind of life do you envision for them in, say, the year 2030? How about 2050?

When you have answered the above questions, you can send your answers to SVT, or to your member of Parliament, or to Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But you might just as well fold them up, stick them in a bottle, insert a cork, and throw the bottle into the Gulf of Bothnia, for all the good it will do you.

After reading extensively here at Gates of Vienna, you will have come to understand why the Swedish ruling class is so determined to keep you in the dark about what they have done to your country.

If they ever had to admit the truth — that they have imported thousands and thousands of unassimilable parasitic immigrants into the country, and deliberately destroyed traditional Swedish culture to be more “inclusive” of the newcomers — they would be in a bind. They would have to do something about the problem, or face political ruin.

Doing something about it at this late date would be expensive, difficult, and possibly spark civil violence. Your rulers see no percentage in that course of action, so they prefer to continue blindly down the road they have chosen for themselves, driving their country into ruin whilst they relax in wealthy enclaves, protected from the depravity and degradation they have forced upon everyone else.

The current generation of Swedish leaders will earn themselves a dubious place in history — assuming that there is any history of this period not written in Arabic or Chinese — as the rulers who betrayed their country, who destroyed their homeland, who deliberately obliterated more than a thousand years of proud Swedish history.

And all for what?

They didn’t sell their birthright for a mess of pottage. They gave it away for nothing.

This is what Sweden has come to. This is what all of the West will eventually come to, but Sweden got there first.

You can send this post to SVT, but don’t expect them to broadcast it. The truth is the last thing they want you to hear.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great! To the point.

Hopefully, this could open a lot more eyes.

And for those who would like to follow what the islamically uncorrect Swedes talk about when they're not directed by the MSM...

About the SVT-programme, one commenter points out that what they are broadcasting is a play for the brainwashed Swedish people.

Avpixlat - depixelled
http://avpixlat.info/2011/12/15/martyren-david-baas/

Anonymous said...

Remember the extremist islamist Somali Waaberi in the parliament, Riksdagen

One reader of avpixlat emphazises how dangerous such infiltration is.

This should give you an idea
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNoB9vpYlDw&feature=related

- Swedish..? Swedish parliament?
- Yes. This person has been elected to a seat in the Swedish parliament, Riksdagen.

He thinks muslims should have four wives, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hum i feel sorry for all does that actually belive every thing that SVT said yesterday. So far have i not find anything bad about this site...

George Pal said...

The malicious tinkerers, and their enablers, who would exchange their own ordered society of high-intelligence people sharing the norms of civilization into a disordered society of insidious malingerers, ingrates, and the prodigiously aggrieved, should have to answer for the betrayal of their own nation.

Here's hoping the SVT has just shot itself in the foot. Here's hoping it's the shot heard around Sweden.

Baron Bodissey said...

The following comment was left by “Anonymous”. I couldn’t let it through without redaction, but I didn’t want our readers to miss its refreshing and original sentiments.

———

Anonymous said…

Hahaha. You clearly know nothing about Sweden and u can take your sorry exuse for a brain and stuff up your sorry a** you f***ing pig.

Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello:

I first heard of your site while watching the Swedish TV program last night so I thought that I would pay you a visit.

The Swedes gave their own twist to the story as they ususally do while trying to implement a Swedish Democrat politician as one of these rasist bad boys. This party has been demonized to the point that if one mentions their name to a Swede, their brains shut down and sometimes they physically shake with fear.

I'm not into the fear of folk group law thinking and am not Islamphobic, but do believe in the right for all opinions to be aired. I will listen to any one's opinions or read anything of interest.

Swede's do not even understand the word, democracy. They talk a lot about it, but I have seen little of it while living here.

I'm a bit old fashioned and still believe in freedom of expression and free speech in a tolerant mode rather than this Swedish version of passing totalitarian control for freedom & democracy.

I suppose it's just a bad habit being raised in the Kennedy years and seeing freedom of expression flourish and then being shut down in the 70's.

I figure that hard core terrorists living in Sweden are at least Battalion strength and might be more like 3 to 4 in truth. As they continue to arrive, the press and police have started a war against nationalists or right wing types while giving this other groups free hands.

I can understand the frustration that can occur when one's voice is not hear and one is mobbed by the authorities for holding views different than the party line.

If you visit my blog, you will see my thinking is very different than yours, but if I met you in public I'd happily have a beer or a cup of coffee with you and openly and freely speak my views & hear yours.

Take care,
Mike

Swedish Counter Jihad said...

I have translated some of Idiots guide to islam to swedish
Svensk sida om islam

Dymphna said...

Can't remember the author's name, but a book written, iirc, in the 1950s, "Totalitarian Democracy", well describes Norway and Sweden's form of governance.

Fortunately, a strong thread of ornery opposition is woven deeply into the American tapestry. It will be harder to tame us.

Back in the day, the ornery portions of Europe's peoples fled here and prospered. Will we be able to resurrect their nascent ability to reweave our current tattered cultural fabric...

Anestis canelidis said...

Welcome swedes to Gates of Vienna and hopefully we will all wake up to the threat of fundamental Islam.

Don't forget to check out the articles by Anestis Canelidis (me)
USA

Sagunto said...

Dymphna -

"Back in the day, the ornery portions of Europe's peoples fled here.."

With the "orneriest", like before, going about their stubborn independent business in Holland ;)

Cheers,
Sag

RonaldB said...

Dymphna,

The book is "The New Totalitarians" by Roland Huntford.

http://www.amazon.com/new-totalitarians-Roland-Huntford/dp/0713902604

It was actually published in the '70's, and describes the many social pressures in Sweden to conform and limit free speech, including government control of the media. At that time, someone could probably stand on a soapbox and shout rightist views without being legally harassed.

Flash to the twenty-first century, where dissemination of opinions are not limited by control over printing presses, and the government relies more heavily on jackbooted cop thugs to suppress organized differences of opinion.

Anonymous said...

When you have answered the above questions, you can send your answers to SVT, or to your member of Parliament, or to Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But you might just as well fold them up, stick them in a bottle, insert a cork, and throw the bottle into the Gulf of Bothnia, for all the good it will do you.

So very true, I spat tea all over my monitor reading that sentence, it says it all.

DaffersD

mapinguari said...

wonderful news from Sweden :) I think that the point is not so much to wake swedes up to reality, because they see it clearly everyday, but to inject courage into them so that they can face their nearly stalinist government and they can say "NO, WE DON'T WANT YOU ANY MORE!!!" to their multiculturalist political elite.

Anonymous said...

It's not that they have *sold* their birthright, it is that they have actually *paid* the muslims to take it away from them.

Anonymous said...

The leader of the Norwegian Right wing party, Høyre, Erna Solberg is speaking up for mapping and "fighting hate speech" in public space.

Solberg was as a minister, personally threatened by Krekar. Still something tells you that she isn't talking about islamically correct speech.

She has decided to suggest that the government take her ten points into consideration to combat "racism, intolerance, hate and extremism".

"Muslims are being harassed the same way that Jews were in the 1930s"
Erna Solberg, August 2011

http://www.dagbladet.no/2011/12/15/kultur/debatt/debattinnlegg/hat/ekstremisme/19431522/

babs said...

I suppose it would be a very big job but, I wonder if some of your intrepid translators would be willing to translate and subtitle the TV show.
I would love to see it and understand what they are saying.

Once again, thank you translators and Vlad for all that you do.

Anonymous said...

Oslo labor party in city council
- 11 out of 20 are "minority" representatives

- Leftists shocked after 12 September Oslo municipal elections

Rune Gerhardsen, son of former PM, Einar Gerhardsen, is a bit
surprised that three of the new representatives are from Somalia and Somaliland.

Leftists no longer in control of the results of the elections. Want to change the elections act.

Ap will stop potential immigrant coup


"Minority" representatives do not agree, now that they've figured out how it works, pointing out, as one of them does, that 28% of Oslo's citizens are immigrants, and that it "would be sad" if they were not represented, claiming that this is also essential to "create The New We"

"The New We are Us". T@riq R@madan-speak.. remember, anyone? Also adopted and implemented by Gahr Støre.


Labor party city council representatives 2011-2015

Libe Rieber-Mohn is deputy mayor, though, the wife of Jens
Stoltenberg's best man, who is CEO of DnB, Norway's largest bank, largely state owned.

Anonymous said...

Just an idea - Translation

Why not agree to join in and do one little part of the translation. Say, five or ten minutes? A little job for several translators.

I agree, babs, the translators do a great and important job!

Anonymous said...

Hijacking historical phrases

- Never again, Holocaust
Originally


In islamic times islam is occupying space, and as incredible as it may look, a "tolerance prize" is given to an imam. Why?

An express plot had been dedicated for a muslim victim of Utøya, at the medieval Nesodden church cemetery.

- So, now this cemetery is forever islamic property, or what?


Tolerance prize to priest and imam

- Never again. 22 July.
Balkan imam in Norway
Senaid Kobilica

This is an imam who wears the same hat as Qaradawi.
Assistant to the next in line after Qaradawi?

Anonymous said...

Im A Swede and I can say that the political elite need medical treatment very soon.
regards
The anonymous dead Swede R.I.P

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a good website. The Swedes have been indoctrinated for a long time, well at least since the 70s. The trend towards multiculturalism has accelerated, and it is time to act. The government changed in our Constitution so that we can no longer protect the Swedish culture ... There is much to say, but personally I think that a lot of people was fooled in the election 2006. They thought Mr Reinfeldt would reduce immigration, but as we all know, the Alliance on the contrary opened our country for massimmigration of people we are not compatible with, to express it mildly.

Anonymous said...

Dear Baron and Dymphna,

From SarahSue in Denver, Colorado

This post brings back many fond memories. I ‘discovered’ your site a few years ago. The first thing I did was review the archives. This took many days, and when I was finished, I felt mentally refreshed and invigorated. My already considerable knowledge of islam was greatly enhanced and augmented.

I had a great advantage that many of our new Swedish friends do not have. I already knew what a great threat islam was/is. I learned much of what I knew by constantly finding and reading blogs that gave me valuable information. It would have been so much easier if I had known about Gates of Vienna much earlier when doing my research. One place that I did not go was to main stream media.

Anyone wanting to know the truth about islam, multiculturalism and political correctness, should enjoy having a site with many writers expressing a great variety of opinions. This, in my mind, is the only way to get a balanced view and opinion on how to combat these present day problems.

To our Swedish friends I give this advice. Many of the things you read here will be new. Your first reaction may be to disagree. Rather than disagree and move on, give some of these opinions some thought. I have spent many hours thinking about the issues here and elsewhere. What I needed was time to digest new ideas, new approaches and unique ‘fixes’. What I needed most was time to come up with intelligent responses, regardless of what side I ended up on. I has been a long journey, that has left me a much more articulate and knowledgeable person. People may disagree with my opinions but at least I was able to give them plenty to chew on. I hope that all new visitors take advantage of this opportunity and exposure to new thoughts.

Good luck and happy reading.

SarahSue

Baron Bodissey said...

SarahSue --

Good to hear from you, and thank you.

I agree. I hope that our Swedish readers (and other readers who do not agree with us) will take the time to read the arguments for the other side.

But more than that, I hope that they will take the time to come here and argue their own case, vigorously, reasonably, and logically. I don't mind disagreement; I thrive on disagreement.

Unfortunately, the most cogent argument that is offered against us is usually that we are "racists". At worst, we are "f***ing pigs".

That's all they have. That is what passes for reasoned discourse among our intellectual opponents.

It's pathetic.

Chiu said...

Well, there are long running disagreements that are thoughtful as well as thoughtless.

I personally have engaged repeatedly in the debate over whether it is legitimate to resort to "group identity" tactics in the resistance to Jihad. My theoretical position is that holding individuals accountable for their own actions regardless of their cultural or political affiliations is the only just and moral position.

However, I have to admit that there are strong pragmatic arguments for at least contemplating using cultural and political factors to quickly identify those most likely to engage in certain kinds of behavior. At the level of efficient direction of investigative resources, I have no real problem with that.

The sticky bit is that there comes a point when, due to the proportion of investigative resources relative to violence, one must start making judgments about guilt or innocence based on affiliation rather than evidence produced by investigation. That there is such a point is undeniable...and that parts of Europe may well be near or past it is probable.

But I still hold that, outside of the actual field of battle, it is not necessary. When you declare that the level of violence in a given area has exceeded your capacity to investigate individual responsibility for it, you effectively declare that area a theater of war. Such a designation is right and proper for many situations...for instance I favor that immigration to all Western nations be regulated as if they are at war with at one or more predominantly Arabic, culturally Islamic nations (which many of them are legally, and all of them are in fact).

But the situation inside of a given country is a different matter. To declare that one's homeland has been successfully invaded (rather than making ordinary efforts to prevent such invasion) is a serious business. That is not to say that it should not ever be done, but there is a need for caution.

War is an ugly business. I have no patience with those who hold soldiers in a war-zone to the same standards of conduct expected of people who do not live under the constant threat of enemy attack. But I also have no patience with those that are too eager to see their own nation turned into a battlefield. To deny that war is real is as great an error as to deny that it is cruel. But it is not a greater error.

Every other realistic option should be tried before resorting to widening an existing war. But I have to admit that I am occasionally inclined to be persuaded that Europe is running out of realistic options.

And it is well that I should be open to such persuasion. If we are not open to having our minds changed by the evidence, we should dispense with viewing it. Hopefully those with whom I debate are likewise sometimes awakened to alternatives to open warfare that have not yet been tried. But I personally come here to learn more than to teach.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Egghead said...

Ah, but THE point is that affiliation IS evidence of individual criminality....

Chiu said...

Perhaps in some cases. But in the main I tend to reject this view because, in my experience, if a certain "affiliation" really is correlated to criminality, then it has utility to investigators of the associated crimes.

Simply put, effective investigation of real organized crime essentially requires infiltration of the criminal organization...affiliation with the criminals in the most damning possible way. Would you suggest that police should throw their undercover agents into prison along with all the other members of the criminal organization, because of their affiliation?

If not, then why not? Is it because you exempt police from the very laws that they are tasked to uphold? Unfortunately, there is a tendency for this to happen in practice, where the police have no effective oversight of their actions. In many countries the police/government are simply the largest and most organized group of violent criminals.

But Western civilization is founded on the ideal that it is possible to have rule of law, such that those who enforce the laws are themselves subject to it. We believe that it is possible to have the law apply to the officials of the government as well as to the people.

If associating with criminals in order to investigate and gather evidence of their actual crimes is legitimate, then association cannot of itself be criminal.

Or, put more pointedly, members of the Counter Jihad frequently show a greater awareness of Islamic doctrine and history than do most Muslims. Consider for a moment that all that is necessary to be considered a Muslim is to say, "La ilah illa Allah, Muhammad rasoolu Allah." Of course, it must be done "with conviction" or in sincere belief to count in the eyes of "Allah" (or whatever other beings might have insight into your inner heart and will).

But that is hardly something that we can really judge. Or rather, if you can, then why are you forced to rely on association as evidence of guilt when you can just read minds?


Alternatively, one may be born into Islam and simply fail to go tell the local murder squad that you wish to be killed for apostasy. I personally have done the equivalent, and live under a sentence of death (though not primarily from an Islamic death squad). Yet for all of that I decline to aver that anyone who has not is therefor equally guilty with those who would kill me for my beliefs.

Perhaps I am wrong in this. Perhaps all who associate with my would be murderers by failing to put their lives at risk should be treated as equally guilty. Perhaps I will come to see things that way in time. Perhaps.

But for now, I will hold that association is not evidence of guilt.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

P said...

Nice show on SVT, from some point of view.
So, admins and commentators, you've surely made me feel welcome here on your site. Indeed, welcome enough to make me feel so much at home to leave a comment! Lets get to the meat then.

I've been thinking about religion's role in society, and how and if it has any role to play at all. Here's the problem as I see it:

1. Could anyone here on Gates of Vienna (and lets not address SVT here, since this is after all your site) present an argument - or at least a piece of argument - that can convince atheists that they should bother enough about defending one religion against another? If not, then you have no premise for your conclusion that Islam is a threat. If you do have such an argument, then you have convinced some that religion is an essential part of (christian) society (with all the side-effects, such as rebutting the old teodice-problem and establishing the applicability of the "first-cause" concept, this entail.)

2. Suppose (1) is achieved. Could anyone present another piece of argument - not, to avoid question begging, depending on that presented in (1) - to the effect that, if some particular religion if worth defending, christianity is worth defending. If you have such an argument then you have a fortiori gained supporters equal in amount to those convinced by (1) plus the population of already christians. If not, you will loose that subset of the population which is already christian.

3. Aside from the possible cogency of arguments (1) and (2) - and I must say that (1) is quite tricky to establish, particularly impartially and hence probably for any convinced believer, while (2) is quite a gamble even given (1) - could anyone present a piece of argument convincing any citizen in a country where state and church is separated that he or she should use his or her vote in favor of any party whose main aim is the limitation of immigration of muslims into his or her country? If you have such an argument, then you have an argument that shows that difference in belief-systems - as a ground for citizenship, civil rights, and equality before the law - between groups of people is more important an issue in politics than, e.g., conditions of citizenship, civil rights, and equality before the law. That is, to succeed with (3) you will have to prove a subset of issues to be more important than the set of issues of which they are subsets: that's tricky indeed! If you do not have this argument, then it you must admit that the aim of, e.g., anti-jihad or anti-crusade groups are in fact limitations to the issues politics are concerned with.

The set up is this: argue validly and soundly for 1+2+3 = it is irrational not to sign up for an anti-jihad group; argue validly and soundly for 1+2 but not 3 = it is irrational to support anti-jihadists' being decision-makers; argue validly and soundly for 1+3 but not 2 = it is equally rational to be jihadist as being anti-jihadist; argue validly and soundly for 2+3 but not 1 = it is irrational to be either jihadist or anti-jihadist; argue validly and soundly for 1 alone = it is rational to be religious; argue validly and soundly for 2 alone = fallacy - 2 must gain support from 1; argue validly and soundly from 3 alone = it is rational to regard political issue, e.g., P, important which is implied by political issue Q, but irrational to regard political issue Q important, though it is implied by political issue P = a new definition of rationality.

It seems many people on this site find Islam, Christianity, democracy, and values, and the interaction between these phenomena, important issues. I do so too. Thats why I have worked up this little matrix of inferences. Its a rough challenge for why people should sympathize with the people behind this site, and of course, with their "opponents."

Chiu said...

I don't think that there is a general argument for "atheists" to defend Christianity (or any other serious ethical/moral religion) against Islam. For those atheists/agnostics who prefer Christian values to Muslim values, there could be. But a significant number of atheists prefer Muslim values (namely totalitarian control of society through propaganda and terrorism) to Christian values. They may well view Islam as an enemy, but not the enemy. I imagine that atheists who prefer Christian values to Muslim values can figure out for themselves which to support.

As for the second link, this falls to the same basic difficulty. What religions (if any) are worth defending depends on whether you agree with their basic values or perhaps on whether the religion is 'useful' to you. Atheists who do not themselves hold Christian values but prefer the way a Christian majority will treat them to the way a Muslim majority will treat them would be well advised to defend Christianity against Islam...but many atheists don't actually prefer this. Now there can be mistaken beliefs about how a given majority will treat one, but I think that most atheists would do rather well in Islamic societies as long as they were willing to shut up and pretend to be faithful Muslims. Indeed, given the Muslim doctrine of taqyya, it can be supposed that most Muslims don't believe in Allah half so much as they believe their neighbors might kill them for not being sufficiently Islamic. Some atheists wouldn't fare well under Islam (and societies as a whole don't), but we already see an enormous push by the majority of vocal atheistic groups to defend Islam at the expense of Christianity. I don't see that changing...ever. Atheism and Islam are simply more compatible in their fundamental assumptions about the value and dignity of the individual.

As for the third component...yes. Yes I do. When you are at war, it is normal to tighten your border security and restrict immigration. It is particularly important to restrict immigration of persons that share cultural attitudes of the nation or nations with which you are at war. The Western nations, whether or not they acknowledge it, are at war with the Islamic nations. Thus they should restrict immigration to a handful of persons who are clearly allies of their nations against Islam. That means nobody gets in without renouncing allegiance to Islam and resolving to fight against it.

Continued...

Chiu said...

Of course, this is not a general argument either. Islamic nations have no reason not to admit Muslims who are committed to destruction of the Western nations, after all (well, actually they do have reasons, since if they were to do so the Palestinians wouldn't be usable as a propaganda device). Wait...well, since the Islamic nations also have reasons not to admit Muslims (as opposed to people that actually do useful work), I suppose that the argument does become general after all. Imagine that.

The problem with all "rational" arguments is that the ends to which they are directed are ultimately beyond the ability of reason to decide. Would you rather live in a Christian society or an Islamic society? That depends on basic values that cannot be decided by appeal to reason. Some atheists, had Islam not been ready at hand, should have had to invent it. In fact, some actually did invent comparable ideologies during the time that Islam was not seen as a significant force in the world. Other atheists have marked their time trying to reinvent Christianity (with at least some success, the majority of Christians today place the atheistic value of "altruism" above the Christian value of love, for example).

In Islam, those with a ferocious disdain for morality are free to obtain unlimited power over society, and immunized against ethical criticism by the use of retaliatory force. Change "Allah" to "the State" or "Destiny" or whatever and it is exactly like many an atheist ideology. The choice to prefer it may be irrational if that is not what one wants, but that does happen to be what the most vocal and historically important atheists do want.

"De gustibus non est disputandum", as the saying goes. You cannot make rational arguments for or against matters of taste. If someone desires an ultimately totalitarian society, there is no possible rational argument against supporting Islam (though there can still be irrational argument in favor). If one desires a free society, there is no reasonable argument in favor of it (though there can still be unreasonable arguments against it).

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Egghead said...

P: Atheism is its own anti-God religion.

P said...

Thanks Chiu for a remarkable answer!

To recap:
I asked in my above post if anyone could argue validly and soundly pro (1) that any religion, from an atheist perspective (to avoid question-beggin), is worth defending against another religion, (2) that christianity in particular is worth defending in that sense, and (3) that a citizen in a secular nation should give his or her vote or voice to a party or group speaking out on a set of issues that is a subset of some issues while not giving his or her vote or voice to a party or group speaking out on the whole set. (I then set up the logical relations between these arguments and explained how these relations pertain to the (ir)rationality of joining jihadists or anti-jihadists – where the Gates of Vienna-group positions itself on the latter side of the fence.)

Chiu answers on (1):
“I don't think that there is a general argument for "atheists" to defend Christianity (or any other serious ethical/moral religion) against Islam.”

Here Chiu seems commits himself to the view that there’s a class of religions (ethical/moral) that is disjoint from another singleton-class of religions (in Chiu’s view Islam). Chiu doesn’t, in a non-question begging way, propose a disjointedness-indicator between these classes. On a charitable interpretation, Chiu’s reason is that Islam is a unethical/amoral (religion). Now, on this interpretation, (i) Chiu is wrong and, (ii) if the first class of belief-systems are indeed moral/ethical and (as Chiu regrettably admits below) systems of values, then he has in effect conceded that the disjointedness-indicator between the belief-systems is a matter of valuation, thus not an epistemic issue, and therefore double-edged and Chiu turns out arguing pro any religion (including Islam).

With regard to (2), Chiu answers:
“Atheism and Islam are simply more compatible in their fundamental assumptions about the value and dignity of the individual.”

Althoug Chiu also suggests that free-spoken atheists would probably have a hard time (fundamentalist - my insertion of charity) living in Islamic nations, what the above citation reveal is Chiu’s explanation of why atheists are prepared to defend Islam rather than Christianity. Now, aside from the truth-value of this claim (and it is surely disputable to say the least – indeed, Chiu contradicts that view when saying that atheists see Islam as an enemy but not necessarily as the enemy) what Chiu is doing is defending Islam. My take was that this was not his point, but I cannot make sense of his statement in any charitable way.

P said...

Furthermore, on (3), Chiu answers:
“When you are at war, it is normal to tighten your border security and restrict immigration. … The Western nations, whether or not they acknowledge it, are at war with the Islamic nations. Thus they should restrict immigration to a handful of persons who are clearly allies of their nations against Islam.”

Notice that to settle the issue of why any citizen should prefer a party of group speaking out on a subset of issues (e.g. immigration) of which other groups or parties are speaking out but as issues in a wider set, Chiu introduces substantial politics. Chiu does not address the point with (3), he even speaks of what is normal – opening up for a naturalistic fallacy (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moore-moral/#1, see non-naturalism entry). Furthermore, Chiu makes an empirical claim, that western nations are at war with Islamic nations. For empirical claims we want proof that satisfies the concept on which the claim hinges. Chiu provide no such evidence. As an empirical fact, there is no such evidence.

Lastly, Chiu has something to say about rationality and reasonableness.

“If someone desires an ultimately totalitarian society, there is no possible rational argument against supporting Islam (though there can still be irrational argument in favor). If one desires a free society, there is no reasonable argument in favor of it (though there can still be unreasonable arguments against it).”

This is confusing. First of all, rationality and reasonableness denotes entirely different properties (this is widely agreed in the literature defining these concepts). While ‘rationality’ denotes the disposition of doing what maximizes utility in, e.g., a prisoner’s dilemma-game, ‘reasonableness’ denotes the disposition of acting in a morally appropriate manner. Secondly, and relatedly, there surely are (un)reasonable as well as (ir)rational arguments pro and con totalitarian as well as free societies – in the case of reasonableness it boils down to what moral system one accepts; in the case of rationality it has to do with what position one. Thirdly, Chiu no doubt puts his finger on an important point: when it comes to governance-preferences arguments are arguments about values, as noted. And arguments about values are not (at least for most atheists) non-epistemic – above all, non-objectivistic. Non-epistemic, non-objectivist issues are matters of choice. Arguments about matters of choice, abiding in the rhetorical dimension of standard argumentation theory, are not sensitive to output- or process-reasonableness or rationality but to winning the. If this is Chiu’s point, as it apparently is, then Chiu concedes that the argument of whether islam or chritianity, or any other belief-system, is good or bad has to do not with who is right but with choice. And in that case, and it follows from the above, Chiu does not defend any particular religion or belief-system but religions and belief-systems in general, including islam. And if that is the case, and it follows from the above, it turns out I am the one objecting to Islam (and Christianity and any other religion), not Chiu.

P said...

Ps. Egghead: How do you mean?

Egghead said...

P: Well, are you going to argue that atheism is a pro-God religion?

Or, are you going to claim that atheism is other than a religion?

It is impossible for an Islam-informed person to take your stance on Islam and religion seriously.

Islam is a Satanic religion with the goal to enslave all humanity and destroy all truth and beauty.

If you want to use your intellect to defend Islam, then you should closely examine your own motives.

Please thoroughly read and digest the following sites:


The Center for the Study of Political Islam: Statistical Islam


The Religion of Peace

Hitler versus Mohammed

Chiu said...

The assertion that "rational" and "reasonable" have absolutely distinct and non-overlapping definitions is...not rational or reasonable, whichever accepted definitions of either term we use.

Yes, "rational" is a more limited term than "reasonable", which is quite natural (there I go again with the "naturalistic" arguments) since "reason" has been in the English language a few centuries longer than "rational". But both terms are rooted in the same concept, that of logical processes for deriving an answer to a question.

I didn't commit to a definition of "serious ethical/moral religion" as excluding Islam (or even atheism), only as excluding any religion that atheists would necessarily be compelled to defend against Islam (I made the point that most atheists would be hard pressed to make a case for defending their atheism against Islam...arguing for atheism when all it's going to accomplish is getting your head cut off doesn't seem very reasonable to me). I simply wanted to avoid making a categorical statement about all religions when I only meant religions that have some kind of core principles that would be incompatible with another religion.

I don't categorically exclude anything that might be called a religion from being something that atheists might generally feel compelled to defend against Islam. There could be (and are) sects within Islam that exempt believers from the necessity of engaging in personal risk to prove themselves faithful Muslims, for instance. I think that atheists would feel compelled to defend such a religion against being obviated by Islam by two things. First, it isn't very dangerous, Islam already has such sects (and eliminating them is functionally impossible, Islam requires the submissive as well as those who enforce submission). Second, failing to do so could make submitting to the demands of Islam excessively dangerous. But such a sect within Islam can hardly be considered a serious ethical/moral religion.

This is a minor point, but since it was the substance of the accusation made against me I tried to explicate it. A more intelligent reader might have understood the distinction between religions that make claims that are serious enough to risk one's life over and religions that make no such claims.

Of more importance is that atheism itself, insofar as it requires the adherent to risk life or serious inconvenience to defend it, is not something that all atheists must defend against Islam. Only the private atheism which risks nothing could compel every atheist to defend it against Islam (or give up being an atheist even in private). This was my essential point.

Continued...

Chiu said...

The suggestion that saying that Islam and atheism are similar in their valuations of the dignity and worth of the individual constitutes a defense of Islam is suspect. It requires two assumptions that are unsupported. First, it requires that I defend the atheistic valuation of individual dignity and worth. I do not. Second, it requires that mere similarity to the atheistic position (which I do not defend) would be sufficient for me to defend Islam, which would only be the case if Islam's view of the individual were the only important assertion of Islam. This is also not the case.

That is two very large (and entirely untrue) assumptions which were neither explicitly stated nor defended.

The third point, revolving around the idea that policies of restricting immigration during wartime depends on the naturalistic fallacy rather than resulting from the obvious needs of fighting a war, is just silly. I have elsewhere written about why it is illogical to continue unrestricted immigration of people sharing the culture of nations with which one is at war, but generally few reasonable (or rational) people would need someone else to point out why it is an exceedingly stupid idea to import the very people that are trying to destroy your nation.

As for the suggestion that there is no evidence that Western nations are at war with Islamic nations, I will admit that a reasonable person could be ignorant of the specific circumstances and events which constitute definitive evidence that Islamic nations are waging an existential war against the Western nations and that, insofar as the Western nations attempt to continue their existence, they are thus necessarily at war with Islamic nations. However, I do not believe that such a person could be commenting on Gates of Vienna with an awareness of the subject matter of the site.

Thus the claim that there is no evidence that Western nations are at war with Islamic nations is a flat out lie. It is not a mistake, or an earnestly held opinion. It is an absolute falsification of the writer's personal knowledge of the situation.

The combined total of these errors is sufficient for a reasonable person to conclude that, having caught out my opponent on them, I am under no further obligation to address any other points raised from that quarter.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

P said...

1. Why should I argue that atheism is a pro-God religion?

2. Yes, atheism is other than religion. Importantly, religion is other than "atheism", and it is up to religious people to relate to atheism not the other way around.

3. I don't take stance on religion. I reject taking stance on religion. The burden of proof lies on those who wants to defend religion in general or one religion in particular. I argue against religion in general, not against either Islam or Christianity in particular

4. I'm sure that's not the intention of muslims. In fact I know it isn't.

5. I'm not defending Islam, as said in previous comment. I have closely examined my own motives. They're, simply, in this context, to dispatch any religion from society, and, of course, to dispatch any unwarranted generalizations - especially when they are used to disparage groups of people.

6. (a) I don't trust Internet-sites' information on such sensitive topics if they are not indisputably impartial, officially accounted for (as, e.g., tax-funded), and non-private; (b) the real problem is exactly interpretability - religion allows for an indefinite range of interpretations, and these sites propose some that are probably non-refutable; (c) as already said in previous comment, my argument is not substantial, it is formal, it provides logical structure with empty slots, slots in this context held by religious concepts; (d) as historical fact, "Islam" on these sites can be substituted, e.g., "Christianity" or "Communism" or "Liberalism" salva veritae. These sites report contingent, empirical and non-confirmed "facts", and has nothing to do with formal and rational arguments against religion. They are, furthermore, atrocities of the all too human disposition to generalize.

P said...

Oh, but Chiu, I was hoping (and you almost made me believe) we were having a serious argument. I hope there are prospects that you will at least consider the following (although I also suspect we are stuck in an argument of values, in which case my previous comment still apply):

You say (i) that the notion of “serious ethical/moral religion” might well include atheism and Islam, and that that notion only excludes religions that atheists would “necessarily be compelled to defend against Islam.” You also say that, (ii) by the notion “serious ethical/moral religion” (the very same notion), you don’t exclude anything “that atheists might feel generally compelled to defend against Islam”. In other words, atheism and Islam might both, according to you Chiu, (i) be serious ethical/moral religions, but at the same time, according to what you write, (ii) a serious ethical/moral religion might be anything that atheists might be compelled to defend against Islam. Since Islam might be a member, according to you, of the class of “serious ethical/moral religions” while a “serious ethical/moral religion” is anything atheists might defend against Islam, it strictly follows that: atheists and Muslims - that is, members of a possibly serious (ethical/moral) religions – might be compelled to defend against atheism and Islam. Likewise, it follows strictly from what you say that, Muslims - that is, members of a possibly serious religion - might be compelled to defend against, e.g., Christians, since Christianity qualify for your definition of “serious ethical/moral religion”, and vice versa.

As you see, Chiu, you’re back in the rhetorical box. In the rhetorical box there’s no more reason to defend Christianity from Islam than Islam from Christianity. If Islam and Christianity are put on equal logical footing, as you apparently would have it, and on that point we agree, then only choice of values, or upbringing, can justify what side to defend. Now, that’s the nicety of defending one religion against another: there’s no conclusion as to which side is right. And this is were another bafflement strikes.

You say that atheism might be a member of the class of serious religions. You would have to stretch the concept ‘religion’ beyond breaking point to make that claim, or else deflate that concept to vacuity. If atheism and other belief-systems, such as Christianity or Islam, are family-members, to mimic Wittgenstein, then there’s either no sense in calling one belief-system a religion and another not a religion. But surely you must agree, Chiu, that there are lacunas separating atheism from Christianity or Islam.

... continuing ...

P said...

Furthermore you say, Chiu, that you have written elsewhere (where?) that it is illogical for nations to accept immigration from nations at which they are currently at war. You say this is no (naturalistic) fallacy. Now then, isn’t it an open question whether it is justified to restrict immigration in such circumstances? I can ask the question whether it is, so can you Chiu. Hence it is most emphatically not illogical to allow such immigration. Or else you will have to develop a whole new kind of logic. Mayhap you meant that it is “irrational”, from a group (or nation) perspective, to allow such immigration. That’s an entirely different claim. Do not, for all in the world, confuse logic with reason!

And, lastly (though there’s plenty of objections in store), Chiu, I am not interested in saying that you are wrong. Perhaps I wish I could (that wish, which is probably reciprocative, is part of our problem.) But it is simply intellectually crooked to label one’s opponent “silly” and suggesting that he or she is unreasonable. You made that comment, referring to me, when discussing whether there are evidence that the so called “western countries” are at war with Islam - you claimed they are whether they want to admit it or not. Well, your redefinitions keeps spiraling away from reality. War is a state of nations created by status function declarations. No such declaration has been made. You, Chiu, can call it war if you like, under some made-up description. You can also avoid argument by calling your opponents silly and choosing for yourself when they are refuted. That’s no doubt personally effective. Make-belief and pretend-play are powerful capacities if you want to create your own reality. Children to it at age 1, I hope we’re beyond it.

Egghead said...

I have decided that the P of your moniker stands for propaganda!

You say that YOU know the intentions of Muslims! What makes YOU knowledgeable of or expert about any Muslim's intentions - let alone all worldwide Muslim's intentions? Talk about illogical, irrational, unreasonable - and just plain silly!

Oh, but ISLAM. We can ALL easily ascertain the intentions of Islam which are clearly expressed in the Koran, Sura, and Hadiths. Are YOU too cowardly to read and learn the STATISTICAL information that shows that the intentions of Islam are to murder and enslave non-Muslims - especially apologists like YOU?

Oh, and your claim that you only trust indisputably impartial, officially accounted for (as, e.g., tax-funded), and non-private sources leaves me breathless with your willingness to act as a most useful idiot for whatever leader happens to mislead YOU. Would you have believed Hitler's propaganda in World War II just because it was tax-funded?! Give me a break!

P said...

Well now,

1. I say I know the intentions of Muslims, yes. That is of course a doubtful claim, whoever makes it, on that I hope we agree (we are not mind-readers after all). The claim is: there’s no sense ascribing intentional states to groups as groups. There’s no irreducible entity, ‘group’, that has intentional states. Methodological individualism cannot be done away with, or maybe it can, but then that is what you should argue. Therefore, yes, until you have such an argument I know there’s no such intentional states as you propose instantiated in a group of people, ‘Muslims’, since your proposal is metaphorical, at best, for aggregates of intentional states.

2. Same thing as (1), but worse for you I’m afraid. You ascribe intentional states to a belief-system, Islam. Belief-systems do not express intentional states, people do. People can intend to follow or accept a belief-system, of course. But, once more, people intend, groups as groups and belief-systems do not.

3. Related to (2), I’m sure you know, Egghead, that when it comes to the Tora, the Bible, the Koran, etc., we are dealing with quite indefinite possible interpretations. If you are inclined to literalism, then that is what you should argue. If you are inclined to literalism, then explain how it is possible there’s substantial disagreement between people with deviating interpretations of any given text.

... continuing ...

P said...

4. You made me shiver a little with your analogy with Hitler and tax-funded media. There’s a possibility I would surrender to the Nazi propaganda, a lot of people did. But then again, the Nazi propaganda wasn’t interest-free, it was produced by a party that was the only party in Germany and that physically abused their opponent. And, if you had read my answer above with some care, then you would have noticed that I’m against generalizations of people. The Nazis of Germany in the thirties were quite apt to generalizations of people, especially generalizations based on narrow “evidence” of genetic divergences. They were also quite apt to ad populum-, ex authoritae-, and naturalistic fallacies in their ideology. So, no, although the Nazi propaganda was tax-funded (remember I proposed tax-funding as an example of something that might rise the reliability of information) I would not, from my statement above, be committed to accept that propaganda.

5. Egghead, you are certainly right that I do not strictly know the intentions of Muslims. This limitation we have in common. But your reasons, Egghead, for believing that I’m wrong about Muslims’ intentions, are ontologically and linguistically ludicrous. You commit yourself, Egghead, to literalism as well as some kind of view about groups as individuals with their own agential, intentional, doxastic, etc. capacities.

6. In conclusion, Egghead – and yes, I will soon give you a break – when it comes to reasonableness, rationality, and silliness, not to mention logic, traits you claim that I lack, you have a whole lot to settle before bringing home your arguments (if you’re proposing any). And, Egghead, it seems you conceive of every argument here as concerning Muslims and Islam. They don’t. In fact, from my side, none do. I’m only saying that your reasoning has serious formal flaws, egghead. I’m not interested in saying that you’re wrong egghead.

Sagunto said...

Hi P -

"You ascribe intentional states to a belief-system, Islam. Belief-systems do not express intentional states [..]".

I have just one single point I'd like you to consider, before I leave you and @Eggy to it.

Before revisiting this site, you might want to get yourself acquainted with Islamic doctrine. Read the foundational txts, perhaps pick up a book on Islamic jurisprudence ("Reliance of the Traveller" springs to mind), and start appreciating what this abstract category "belief-system" actually covers here.

Then come back and see if you still feel justified in using such generalizations like the one I quoted.

Simply put: you're not stupid, you simply lack knowledge. The good thing is, that it can be mended.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag

P said...

Hi, and thanks.

One again, this isn’t about Islamic doctrine (neither positively nor negatively). It’s about a single and simple formal argument that no one here seems to get. Perhaps the book you recommend disclose all horrible things about Islamic faith. It might, it might not; that’s beside the point.

The point is, if you want to say “Group G is responsible, or merit blame, because of attitude a” then it must be the case that (i) almost every member of G openly (‘intragrouply’) express acceptance of a, (ii) it be common knowledge among members of G that (i) is openly expressed, and it be common knowledge among members of G that (ii). This is at least one of the best analyses we have of group-attitudes.

This is not the case with Muslims supposedly accepting Satan (whatever that means), aiming at enslaving humanity and destroying beauty (or whatever else has been suggested here). This is no group-ethos of Islam, just as it is not the group-ethos of communists to send dissidents to Siberia, or the group-ethos of inhabitants of Houston to communicate with space shuttles. But, you might say, “Many Muslims explicitly accept what their leaders say”. That might be true, it might be false (I’ve never met a Muslim accepting the ethos of, e.g., the present regime in Syria, Usama Bin-Laden, or any suicide bomber). Many nurses accept what their managers say when their managers’ ethos is to save money. Those nurses don’t want to save money; that’s not the content of their intentions. Or should we hold nurses responsible for the lack of vacant beds in hospitals?

I’m afraid that what you’re all saying is, “Don’t bother us if you don’t have a substantial argument about Islam.” (And if I were to defend Muslims you would tell me to read a heap of books.) In that case, say so, and I wont bother you. But then admit at least that there’s gaps in your reasoning. I’ll admit that I don’t know what a book says if you admit that you don’t necessary and sufficient conditions to treat something as a group-action.

Chiu said...

This entire site and everything it's about should have already communicated the message "Don’t bother us if you don’t have a substantial argument about Islam."

Now, I'll make my own position very clear. I don't subscribe to Islam, in any of it's existing interpretations. This has nothing to do with however many people in the world may be Muslims or whatever, I just find the religion useless on its face.

Second, I have no use for those that support preferential treatment of anyone based on their espoused religion, particularly if that religion is Islam, but also in the case of any other simple avowal of religion.

But, this does not mean that I am opposed to taking extra care about clarifying the moral position of someone that professes a philosophy or religious tradition that is known to have certain elements antithetical to ordinary ethical thought. For instance, if someone is an atheist, I think it only reasonable to clarify whether they are a nihilist. Because that is a position that is fairly uncommon outside of atheist circles. The same applies to Muslims and the various teachings which condone terrorism, rape, pedophilia, robbery, fraud, perjury, etc. I think it only reasonable to take extra care to investigate those who espouse Islam to see if they espouse (or actually practice) things that are among the prominent teachings of Islam.

If someone says your four-year old daughter is "sexy", then being motivated to find out what they meant (and particularly whether they meant what it sounds like they meant) isn't permissible only on the basis that everyone in history that ever referred to a child as "sexy" then went on to molest that child. For some things, the mere suggestion that someone wants to do them is sufficient to invest some effort in extra precautions.

If someone says they want to pattern their life on Michael Jackson, I would regard that as a warning not to let them alone with my children or lend them money for "necessary" surgery. If someone says they regard Muhammad as the example of the best any man can be, I feel some concerns about what parts of his example they intend to follow.

This is nothing to do with denigration of an entire group of people, and everything to do with the individual act of a person saying "I am a Muslim" and finding out exactly what that means. Because in the real world we cannot read minds and we have to make decisions about how to use limited information-gathering resources, so that we can then make more informed decisions about is likely to the best course of action.

The defining aspect of war is the extent to which one must act with imperfect knowledge because the quantity of violence in the situation precludes more ordinary decision-making processes. Wars existed before nations began establishing procedures for declaring them...nobody would ever have come up with such a procedure if it hadn't been for the prior existence of wars regardless of such declarations. But discussing Islam in the context of war isn't just for the purpose of illustrating the problem of imperfect knowledge, rather the discussion of Islam is taking place because there is a condition of war already in existence with respect to the interactions of Islamic nations with the West.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

P said...

To make sense of what has been said since my first post:

We are agreed on point (1) in that post – that there’s no argument (for a non-believer to avoid question-begging) proving that one should defend one particular religion against another. We are also agreed on point (2) in that post – that there’s no argument (same qualification as in (1) applied) proving that Christianity in particular should be defended. We are agreed on (1), I take it, from Chiu’s extant use of examples in his last post. We are agreed in (2), I take it, largely for the same reason but also from his second point that he has “no use for those that support preferential treatment of anyone based on their espoused religion” (even if he ads that this applies in particular to Islam.) It sure is a good thing that we’re so far agreed, or at least beginning to converge.

That said, on my point (3) from my first post – that is, if we should vote or give voice to, e.g., Brittish Defence League or the Swedish Democrats or the agenda of this site, then there should be an argument proving that it is reasonable to vote for or give voice to a group or party speaking out on a sub-set of issues in the political range of issues – has not been much touched upon. Instead the point has led to a discussion of what defined a state of war. According to Chiu’s last post, war is defined as “the extent to which one must act with imperfect knowledge because the quantity of violence in the situation precludes more ordinary decision-making processes”, and he adds that wars existed long before wars were declared, and that therefore my definition of war, from some posts up, that war is “a state of nations created by status function declarations” is wrong. I will return to this later.
Before my answers, I would like to note that even if someone were to present the argument from my first post, point (3), it doesn’t follow that we have reason to commit ourselves to some anti-Islam ideology, since that conclusion does not follow from (1) + (2). Also notable is that proving (3) requires some extraordinary, even revolutionary, logics.

... continuing ...

P said...

Now, to my answers.

First of all, I would like to thank Chiu for answering because he made some hint above that he wouldn’t. Secondly, it is good that we are starting to understand each other or at least converge toward a common standpoint.

Third, and this is more substantial, there slips into Chiu’s reasoning sometimes the notion of ‘use’, as in “I just find the religion [Islam] useless on its face”, and “I have no use for those that support preferential treatment of anyone based on their espoused religion”. Chiu explains approval in terms of use. Explaining the approval of something or someone as the use it or the person affords is problematic. Most people approve of what they are not in current use of, e.g., public health care or access to collective traffic or a local grocery store. Of course, when not using something we need not approve of it, but only do so in the particular event of or posterior to use. But that doesn’t avoid the problem, because then we are limited to approving of or disapproving of Islam only in use or posterior to use. But neither I, nor Chiu, use Islam or have used it: hence we cannot approve or disapprove of it. Others have used and use it, for sure. Some of those that do or have done have had positive or negative experiences of it, so some who have used or are using Islam (practicing it) approve of it. Hence it is not useless; therefore worth of approval by some. Now we might say that for some particular non-user it is useless. But that’s quite uninformative with regard to approval if approval is thought of in terms of use. We might instead say that some are negatively affected by others’ use of Islam (and this is the common conception, I believe). But in that case we cannot think of approval in terms of use no more, and we (or at least Chiu) must come up with some other reason for not approving of Islam. We might say, then, that Islam is not useless but nonetheless not worthy of approval because of negative utility – that is, Islam doesn’t maximize happiness and minimize pain – from killing of innocent. But in that case we come down to sheer numbers and we are committed to approve of Islam if it turns out that the amount of happiness practicing Muslims feel are greater than the amount of pain Islam inflicts. This route would be tantamount to approving of a group of sadists’ torturing an innocent just because the formers’ pleasure exceeds the latter’s suffering. Not appealing.

... continuing ...

P said...

Fourth, to return to the notion of ‘war’, you’re right Chiu. War existed before anyone declared war. My definition was in that sense historically wanton, declaration of war as defining war is a post hoc definition of a social phenomenon. But, as of today, there’s an order among nations that says that nations are at war in the everyday and legal sense only if governments declare that they are, no matter how it once has been. Now, you might have in mind with “war” something else than the everyday and legal sense. If so, you might want to make that sense clear, and also who accepts that sense – it is certainly not the “Western nations”, as you have claimed above. Furthermore, your definition of war (quoted, topmost section) is too wide. Any person, random collection of people, or even a cat, running past a sidewalk scuffle, would count as being in a state of war on your definition. Indeed, I would be at war with when, e.g., my wok fryer is set on fire from heated oil and I have no time for ordinary decision making but simple must do whatever to put the fire out. So war, on that definition, would include a bunch of things quite far from what we actually have in mind. Cats would be at war with thugs, and some would be at war with their domestic appliance (or even with their own earlier clumsiness).

Fifth, on the nihilism-atheism note from Chiu’s last post. I think I am an atheist (at least I don’t believe in any God or what any holy book I have read says (even reasonably metaphorically)), but I am no nihilist. Nihilism is quite a misnomer for everyone denying the existence of value. I do not believe that value exists, that is, I am not a realist with regard to value, that’s different from nihilism. I do not believe in fixed evaluator-independent values, that’s different from nihilism. I believe in subjective preference-orderings and preference-satisfaction, that’s different from nihilism. Nihilism is the denouncement of value across the board, and arguing for its plausibility is hard. In this connection, you claim that Islam “condone terrorism, rape, pedophilia, robbery, fraud, perjury, etc.” Do you know how extremely harsh penalties Muslims are subject to for these crimes? For example, according to strict Sharia, being convicted of robbery means getting your right hand cut off!

Lastly, I completely agree with almost all of Chiu’s intuitions expressed in his last post. You should navigate with care around someone calling your four-year-old “sexy” (as in US beauty shows – yes I have seen and heard it), whoever it might be, or around someone who tries to imitate the official life of Michael Jackson while being your children’s nanny. But note, and happily I think I and Chiu finally agree on this, all of these examples should leave an empty slot of agents. The “you” and “someone”, etc., are default-blanks to be filled by instance. This is formal principles, not substantial.

Chiu said...

Frankly, if you are an atheist who holds to the view that "values" are not "real", then to anyone else you are a nihilist.

Your unwillingness to be honest about your nihilism is just an example of nihilistic denial of the value of honesty.

Even if you were not a nihilist, some atheists are so there can never be any general arguments effective in persuading all atheists to do or believe anything. Nihilism precludes the value of logical argumentation just as throughly as it precludes all other values. Your own finessing on the point of 'values' not being 'real' means that you don't feel compelled to follow the rules of logical inference when you don't like the result...which I could already tell from your other posts.

Your inability to apply ordinary decision-making skills to mundane situations like a pot on fire or a crowd doesn't apply to anyone of normal mental capacity not impaired by indulgence in nihilism-by-any-other-name. Nor will it protect you from Muslim terrorists who are determined to harm reasonable people...they are committing acts of war, which means that they don't bother themselves to make sure you are one of the reasonable people they wish to kill. At some point, despite your nihilistic rejection of rational decision making, you'll either side with them or against them, driven by your survival instincts.

Which is really the only argument that atheists generally ever understand.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Egghead said...

Thank you to Chiu for having the patience to try to 'debate' the issues with P.

However, I must say that, from all of his comments, P appears to have already chosen the side of Muslims!

Indeed, P seems highly interested to 'inform' us of how enlightened he is - when he is so sadly and obviously unschooled - and, worse yet, unwilling to learn - about the fundamentals of Islam (pun intended!).

P: If you knew anything other than mere propaganda about Islam, you would be unable to be so glib.

Your 'logic' is pure sophistry. For you to presume that anyone at this site agrees with any of your self-serving premises is arrogant and unwarranted.

Here are a few points for you to ponder before WE lose patience with YOU:

1. Islam is much more than a religion. Islam is a complete political, financial, and legal system that strictly dictates all human behavior via Sharia Law.

2. Under Sharia Law, Muslim men are legally superior to Muslim women, and Muslims are legally superior to non-Muslims - with non-Muslims considered non-humans who MUST be reverted to Islam or punished due to their denial of the supremacy of Allah, Mohammed, and Muslims.

3. Under Sharia Law, Muslims may dispense 'justice' to non-Muslims at will and without trial. Thus, Muslims who murder, maim, torture, kidnap, rape, and rob non-Muslims are religious heroes following in the footsteps of their ideal man Mohammed who performed all of those actions.

4. As a non-Muslim, YOU are still subject to Sharia Law. Muslims fully expect that YOU will submit to Sharia Law. Frankly, so do I!

P said...

Of course I’m a nihilist to anyone who doesn’t care about the diversity of positions with regard to values. To those people I say, “I am not a nihilist” and then give reasons why. If those people, in this case Chiu, wants to argue against my denial, then to be successful they should call my reasons into question. Chiu merely iterates that I am a nihilist. That is not arguing, that is dogma.

I’m saying, “I’m not a nihilist” because I believe that subjects evaluate preference-satisfaction. I’m saying, “I’m not a nihilist”, and I don’t believe in ontologically irreducible values. There’s nothing inconsistent in that.

We might accept that what “most people think” about phenomena is right and tell anyone who provide carefully considered reasons for thinking otherwise that they’re wrong. In that case people might as well still believe the earth is flat, that witches has to be burnt, etc. How long will you reiterate that people are nihilists without considering the diversity of positions regarding value? Or might you consider that there’s more to value theory than its ontological (ir)reducibility?

Yes, maybe most atheists are nihilists (in your sense at least). That’s an empirical claim. Were it to turn out correct that they are, even in the stronger sense, then it is still wrong that you can’t persuade atheists “to do or believe anything”. I speak to many atheists every day and, believe me, they hold vast amounts of beliefs as well as desires. And, believe me, they really do do very much.

You say nihilism “precludes the value of logical argumentation”. Well, if logical arguments are values, then you’re right. But the antecedent is false, and the implication therefore not valid. The proof is: the antecedent, the “if…” clause, is a piece of reasoning, a cognitive process instantiated in the cerebral cortex. And, rest assured, I do not have values in my head, especially not if they’re supposed to be ontologically irreducible! Id est, you’re wrong.

Inability to apply ordinary decision-making in event of violence, such as a fire or a sidewalk-scuffle, has nothing whatsoever to do with nihilism, but with the acuteness of the situation. You said that’s the definition of war. My examples show it can’t be right. If you want to change subject, fine. But then you say that nihilists (and you’re still claiming I am one!) will not protect one against Muslim terrorists committed to acts of war. Here you re-confuse then notions ‘value’ and ‘use’ (see above post). As I have already done the details on that subject I will spare you here. The point is your claim, “you'll either side with them [Muslims terrorists] or against them, driven by your survival instincts.”

P said...

My instincts, indeed. That’s advancement. The core issue here has much to do with instincts. Generalizations of people-traits (e.g., of Muslisms) probably are evolutionarily connected with instincts. Once we had to generalize edible berries from poisonous to survive, whose children were really yours to care for, etc. Part of this process is discrimination: you find out “that berry made me sick, that other satisfied me”, that is an evolutionarily discrimination function. Then you find out “berries of that kind make me sick, that other kind satisfies me”, that is a generalization function. Both are important for survival. As you say, Chiu, important instincts. Your reasoning reveal an inclination to the latter function, that is generalization, as when you speak of Muslims, atheists, nihilists, etc., as I have shown. You overlook the discrimination-part (I don’t doubt you’re capable of it at a very general level) where there’s diversity (of people, events, and perhaps even berries). Because of it, you give way to war mongering. My instincts, you say. Indeed, my instincts tell me to discriminate with care, and then generalize with even more care, for we do not live in a (socially) static world.

Thank you Chiu, you’ve made me think of matters I haven’t thought, read or written about for years. Although we seem to have left issues of religion with agreement, issues of what war, nihilism, and survival instincts are interesting.

Chiu said...

Fancying up your nihilism by saying that values aren't "ontologically irreducible" doesn't change the nihilistic implications of asserting that they have no real existence.

As for your survival instincts...it seems that they have led you to choose Islam over Western civilization. Well then, I suppose that soon enough we will see whether your survival instincts are any good. I think that you've made one hell of a fool's choice.

P said...

First, on nihilism. Chiu, ‘values are not ontologically irreducible’ means they doesn’t exist independently of evaluation in external reality. It has nothing to do with fancy, it is an idea developed throughout the last two and a half millennia. It might appear fancy to someone speaking about value without understanding the domains complexity. Keep on reiterating if you want, but on this point you are wrong. If you want to investigate value theory further, I’m happy to assist. If you simply want to be ignorantly right then there’s no point discussing values any more.

Second, on survival instincts. Chiu, any careful reader of our discussion will agree that I don’t choose Islam (or any other uncritically held belief-system). You even agreed with this a couple of posts up.

Third, on the same point. If you think I’ve made a fool’s choice, then that stands for you of course. If it stands for you, then don’t suggest anything else when arguing about the worth of people. Indeed, don’t accuse your opponent of nihilism if you yourself intends to leave an argument on value exclaiming “I think…”

In conclusion (on these three points only), (i) there’s nothing to your claims about nihilism; (ii) your arguing is ad hominem and impossible to follow since it lacks any puff of stringency or compatibility between posts; and, (iii) you’re not defending your standpoint, merely repeating them (in)finitely.

Endnote, my first post’s points (1) and (2) remain either non-argued against or accepted. Is there no one able to take this seriously? Come on, as most of you say, this might be about life and death! Can’t you then get to the bottom with the alleged conflict?

P said...

Now to Egghead, whose post I almost missed.

As to how “unschooled” I am, and as to how much I try to inform you about my “enlightenment.” Well, I might be schooled, that’s up to someone else with an appropriate standing to decide. I do have a couple of Masters and Bachelors; Value Theory, Theory of Knowledge, Argumentation Theory, Philosophy of Language and Deontic Logic, and am working on a Ph.D. in Cross-cultural Norm Understanding. I’m not interested in boasting, but since you seem to be interested it appears relevant to play with open cards. I might humbly insists that although I might not be enlightened or schooled I’m at least not hopelessly “unschooled”.

As to my ‘siding with Muslims’, that’s proved false many times here. You have to come up with some reason for claiming that.

As to my logic being “sophistry”, that’s a contradiction. Sophism is widely held to be the art of winning arguments, in particular the teaching of that art. Sophistry doesn’t touch logics (perhaps it touches informal logic), that is its defining characteristic. Perhaps you mean exactly that; that I am not presenting logical arguments – therefore my reasoning is sophistry? That’s provably wrong. I opened this discussion with a formal argument and have since kept insisting over and over again that I’m interested in your arguments’ structure, not its substance. So you’re wrong.

As to my knowledge of Islam being attained from “propaganda”. First, I haven’t even told you from where I have attained my knowledge about Islam, so you’re not in a position to tell. Second, define propaganda. Third, once again, since I’m no sophist – that is, I’m interested in your arguments’ formal structure, please be attentive – whether we’re discussing Islam, Christianity, dogmatic Communism, dogmatic Capitalism, or whatever, the same argument applies mutatis mutandis.

As to your paragraphs from Sharia Law. First, you have to give references. Second, when you condemn Islam (in part for it’s laws) does that include Muslims, and, if so, then how do you define Muslims (e.g., by birth, practicing, non-moderate, citizen in certain country, etc.)?

Sagunto said...

"I do have a couple of Masters and Bachelors; Value Theory, Theory of Knowledge, Argumentation Theory, Philosophy of Language and Deontic Logic, and am working on a Ph.D. in Cross-cultural Norm Understanding. I’m not interested in boasting.."

LOL! So don't.
Many over here might have degrees of some sort. No one's interested.

I provided you with some info about how to educate yourself with regard to Islamic doctrine. I suggest you do yourself the favour and pick up on my kind advice ;)

So sorry @Eggy, having to interrupt again, I will now unsubscribe from this thread.

Cheers,
Sag

P said...

Read carefully, Egghead brought the issue up. So I answered.

Egghead said...

P: You are an aggravating fellow BECAUSE you purposely miss the important points and persist in arguing irrelevancies.

The important point about your being unschooled is that you are obviously ignorant about ISLAM.

One example of your ignorance is when you said, "...according to strict Sharia, being convicted of robbery means getting your right hand cut off!"

Those schooled in Islam know that Islam and Sharia Law are nuanced with regard to 'justice' dispensed to Muslim men - and everyone else.

Indeed, Sharia Law exhorts Muslims to extract jizya payments from the non-Muslim infidel - which Muslims see as tribute but non-Muslims see as fraud.

You challenge me to provide you with references about the most basic tenets of Sharia Law, yet you dismissed me out-of-hand when I gave you references in a prior comment.

If you are asking me to give you Western-government-generated references about the core tenets of Sharia Law, then you are going to be waiting a long time because the United States government and other Western governments provide only propaganda and studiously avoid the realities of Islam and evil Muslim plans for non-Muslims.

Whether you accept my or Sagunto's suggestions for references, you really need to educate yourself before you leap into telling us banalities about Islam.

The topic at hand is NOT whether all religions are equal. No one gives a care - because Islam is more than a religion. Islam is a repressive and abusive form of human governance being imposed on the West against the will of its indigenous citizens.

The topic at hand is how to save Western civilization and citizens from the depredations of Islam.

You need to catch up with the conversation because we are all several steps ahead of you. We respectfully ask you to gather the requisite knowledge to participate with us in helping to save Western civilization.

There is NO neutral with Islam. Ignorance will enable Islam to rule the world under Sharia Law.

We will teach if you will learn.

Start Here: Statistical Islam

P said...

Egghead, I’m persistent in answering your questions and claim; you’re persistent in ignoring mine. For example:

You claim: “P appears to have already chosen the side of Muslims!”

I answer: “whether we’re discussing Islam, Christianity, dogmatic Communism, dogmatic Capitalism, or whatever, the same argument applies mutatis mutandis”, as well as, “As to my ‘siding with Muslims’, that’s proved false many times here. You have to come up with some reason for claiming that” referring to, e.g., my “I'm not defending Islam, as said in previous comment” in turn referring to my “Could anyone here on Gates of Vienna … present an argument … that can convince atheists that they should bother enough about defending one religion against another?”

And so on it goes.

Examples of your ignoring my questions and claims:

My query: “when you condemn Islam (in part for it’s laws) does that include Muslims, and, if so, then how do you define Muslims (e.g., by birth, practicing, non-moderate, citizen in certain country, etc.)?”

Your answer: “You are an aggravating fellow BECAUSE you purposely miss the important points and persist in arguing irrelevancies. … you are obviously ignorant about ISLAM.”

My claim: “when it comes to the Tora, the Bible, the Koran, etc., we are dealing with quite indefinite possible interpretations. If you are inclined to literalism, then that is what you should argue. If you are inclined to literalism, then explain how it is possible there’s substantial disagreement between people with deviating interpretations of any given text.”

Your answer: for example, “Islam is much more than a religion. Islam is a complete political, financial, and legal system that strictly dictates all human behavior via Sharia Law.”

And so on it goes.

In the last post you did answer one of my questions. I said “As to your paragraphs from Sharia Law … you have to give references” and you answered “If you are asking me to give you Western-government-generated references about the core tenets of Sharia Law, then you are going to be waiting a long time because the United States government and other Western governments provide only propaganda and studiously avoid the realities of Islam and evil Muslim plans for non-Muslims.” However, your persisting in using the word “propaganda” is another point you’ve kept ignoring throughout our discussion. I’ve asked you several times to be more explicit on what you mean by “propaganda.” You haven’t come clear about it once.

... continuing ...

P said...

Now you claim that “Western governments” produce propaganda about Islam, and that the sites you refer to do not. First, without defining propaganda your claim is empty (as the rest of your claims about propaganda.) Second, if you mean to accuse me of being mislead by government “propaganda” then your accusation is misdirected. I’ve never said that I trust governments. I’ve only said that one necessary condition for trusting information is that it is interest-free and can be accounted for as interest-free by disclosing how it is funded, who is responsible for providing it, etc. I do not trust any side uncritically. Most of all I trust the Muslims I meat almost every day (of course, most of those are not trained in Pakistani camps. But those who are so trained cannot be supposed to set a general Muslim-agenda – you’ve ignored defining who is Muslim and who is not.) How many Muslims do you meet and speak to on an everyday basis?

You say, “The topic at hand is how to save Western civilization and citizens from the depredations of Islam.” You know, a lot of citizens in the so called “West” are Muslims, many are atheists attacking every religion (even on your definition of Islam), some are Christians who see Islam as a sister-religion, and of course some see Islam as a threat. Whose reality do you think will further a prospering humanity? Those people advocating war? That would be historically inadequate. And do not try to say “Muslims advocate war!” because they don’t. Remember that over the last decades it is so called “Western” nations that have bombed “Muslim” nations, condemned the democratic vote in of Muslims and denied “Muslim” nations entry in the U.N. Perhaps a subgroup of Muslims, fundamentalists, do advocate war. But then again, how do you define “Muslism”?

Lastly you say, “We will teach if you will learn.” What will you teach? That Islam is a tool for world-governance and oppression of non-Muslims? I’ve got that point already. What is there for me to learn? From our discussion, including Chiu, it seems I have to learn to simply accept your standpoint without asking questions. Even when I provide you the structure of an argument that will further your cause you get annoyed (rather than grateful) because you can’t cope with inability to provide the argument. That is exactly sophistry, what you accused me of above, once again without answering my counterclaim.

P said...

Since earlier commentators to the post by Baron Bodissey (top-most) with whom I have discussed, turned out unable to provide arguments pro-Gates of Vienna-agenda that I requested in my own first comment, I now turn to Baron Bodissey.

First of all, Mr. Bodissey makes the following claim
“If they [the Swedish ruling class] ever had to admit the truth — that they have imported thousands and thousands of unassimilable parasitic immigrants into the country, and deliberately destroyed traditional Swedish culture to be more “inclusive” of the newcomers — they would be in a bind. They would have to do something about the problem, or face political ruin.”

I will make one empirical claim, provide one formal consideration, and one classification, and then present a counterclaim on Bodissey’s claim:

(1) The Empirical Claim: people immigrating to Sweden are not “unassimilable”. If they were unassimilable, then there would be no reason for, e.g., the Swedish Democrats, to hold immigrants responsible for not assimilating – since they are unassimilable. Many immigrants might not be assimilated, but assimilable. What Bodissey must consistently mean is that most, “thousands and thousands”, of immigrants don’t want to assimilate. That’s not true. Most immigrants, at least almost any immigrant whose voice is heard, wants to assimilate.
People immigrating to Sweden are not “parasitic”. A parasite is lexically defined as, “An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.” In Sweden: a great percentage of entrepreneurs are immigrants; the birthrate in Sweden is low and therefore the workforce and tax-payers will reduce – immigrants are in this connection of help to Sweden.

Bodissey speaks of a Swedish “ruling class”. Supposing his expression has any referent at all, which is doubtful, it does not follow that, if the “ruling class” indeed is committed to disastrous immigration-politics, then the immigration-politics has to be overturned. Since Bodissey’s argument hinges on the existence of a “ruling class” (which is empirically speculative), what follows is that the “ruling class” has to be overturned.

Bodissey also speaks of “traditional Swedish culture”. Sweden’s culture is entirely a mix of influencing cultures. Our architecture is imported, our law is Christian; there’s hardly any Swedish food-culture, art-culture, dress-code – the so called “Swedish culture” has for at least a thousand years been influenced by foreign cultures. (By the way, this is the case with every country around the world. Indeed, we would probably not have the science of today if not the Muslims had conserved ancient Greek texts during the European dark ages which later were rediscovered and gave birth the Renaissance in Europe.)

P said...

(2) The Formal Consideration: it is entirely unclear whether Bodissey speaks of immigrants or Muslims. In fact, he speaks of both. If he speaks of immigrants, then we have a lot of Finnish, Italian, English, American, Danish, etc., “parasites” in Sweden. If he speaks of Muslims, then my above point (1) apply. Suppose, though, that I am wrong on (1), then it is false that Muslims (not immigrants) contribute to Swedish society but not true that Muslims are unassimilable (that is false on logical grounds) or parasitic. It does not follow from Bodissey’s claims that Muslims are parasitic. What follows is that they are non-contributors. That settled, a whole bunch of Swedes (and immigrants) turn out non-contributors on equal footing with Muslims. Many Swedes are unemployed, for example, and in some sense therefore not “contributing”, but that have nothing to do with their faith.

(3) The Classification: Bodissey’s worry that Swedish culture is being ruined is all a matter of values. What values one endorse has to do with what choices one do. What one chooses cannot be true or false. When something is not true or false arguing pro or con is not a matter of being right or wrong. When one cannot be right or wrong one has to appeal to, e.g., emotional or popular trends to win an argument. It is not clear that Bodissey’s claim is a mere matter of evaluation though (see (1) above). But if it is an empirical claim then it is Bodissey who has the burden of proof, since he is the one proposing it. If he proves it (that there is a unique original Swedish culture or has been the last millennia, that Muslims (or immigrants?) are parasites, that there is a Swedish “ruling class” etc.), then there is still a question of values – that is, is what is proved to exist in threat and not only changing? If it is in threat, what threatens it? If there is some particular threat, who stages the threat? Now, to get from the first question to an answer on the last that reads “Islam” needs support from thousands and thousands of arguments, proof, and unfortunately rhetoric. Bodissey provide none. Even if the answer to the last question would read “Islam” by transitivity from the answers to the prior questions, Bodissey still has to argue about values, and that argument is not truth-functional – hence the conclusion would still not be, “Islam is wrong”.

P said...

(4) A counterclaim: As noted above, the culture of any particular nation is a function of historical cross-cultural influences. (Try to think of one single geographic are on Earth where the culture of that area’s inhabitants has reached any certain stage in history in isolation. You can’t.) Now, how, when, and why, Bodissey, in the evolution of culture, are you, or anyone else (including me) to say that any change in that culture is a threat, considering that you seem to approve of some culture (“Western” or “Swedish” I take it)? You might say, “Well, who are you to claim that it is not a threat?” But the difference between you and me is that your claim, and the claim of racists in general (this is no accusation, but your claims empirically brush racism), lead to discrimination of people based on origin or faith, while mine do not. Therefore your claims would lead to unequal treatment of people, whereas mine do not. So it is up to you to answer, if it is to follow that we should give up such a fundamental (“Western” and Christian) human value as equality. Furthermore, what commentators here have had difficulty to do, you will have to define what a Muslim is. We all know what an immigrant is, but I suppose you’re not against immigration in general.

Endnote: Also, please, for your argument’s sake, read my first comment here.

Chiu said...

Asking for an argument why you should be on someone's side is already a pretty good indicator that you aren't on their side already. Since that was (by your own admission) the absolute closest you've come to not siding with Islam, I think that we can let that one rest. You are already a dhimmi, and when the time comes you'll have no ethical reservations whatsoever about swearing your allegiance to Allah.

Of course you won't really mean it. But that doesn't change which side you've chosen.

It just means that you've chosen it for a particularly contemptible reason, is all.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Egghead said...

P: Your problem - since YOU came to us and YOU then complained about our comments, it is YOUR problem - your problem is that YOU erroneously think that YOU are setting the parameters of our discussion.

YOU are wrong. We commenters will discuss those issues that we feel are relevant to increase the knowledge and goodness of you and other readers.

YOU may discuss what you want, and I will reply as I feel called.

So, for any interested readers, P's claim that Western science is based on the mythical contributions of Muslim science 'conservators' and 'scientists' is patently absurd - and is part and parcel of that taqiyya lying strategy that Muslims use to confuse non-Muslims about the pure destructive force that is Islam.

P's claims closely follow typical talking points of Western Muslims - and P is beginning to sound suspiciously like a practicing Muslim who is probing our site.

In answer to P's disingenuous question as to what is the threat of Islam in the West, the threat of Islam in the West is the same as the threat of Islam in the East - namely, wholesale evil inflicted upon legally helpless Muslim women and children and legally helpless infidel men, women, and children.

P is clearly aware "that Islam is a tool for world-governance and oppression of non-Muslims," but P seems utterly unconcerned by this fact - as only a practicing Muslim could be.

Egghead said...

P: Your problem - since YOU came to us and YOU then complained about our comments, it is YOUR problem - your problem is that YOU erroneously think that YOU are setting the parameters of our discussion.

YOU are wrong. We commenters will discuss those issues that we feel are relevant to increase the knowledge and goodness of you and other readers.

YOU may discuss what you want, and I will reply as I feel called.

So, for any interested readers, P's claim that Western science is based on the mythical contributions of Muslim science 'conservators' and 'scientists' is patently absurd - and is part and parcel of that taqiyya lying strategy that Muslims use to confuse non-Muslims about the pure destructive force that is Islam.

P's claims closely follow typical talking points of Western Muslims - and P is beginning to sound suspiciously like a practicing Muslim who is probing our site.

In answer to P's disingenuous question as to what is the threat of Islam in the West, the threat of Islam in the West is the same as the threat of Islam in the East - namely, wholesale evil inflicted upon legally helpless Muslim women and children and legally helpless infidel men, women, and children.

P is clearly aware "that Islam is a tool for world-governance and oppression of non-Muslims," but P seems utterly unconcerned by this fact - as only a practicing Muslim could be.

P said...

Chiu has accepted that I'm not uncritically siding with any side (although he is still stuck in the idea that therefore I'm not siding with Islam. It is true that it follows from my not siding with anyone that I'm not siding with Muslims). He then goes on that I'm a 'dhimmi' (=a non-Muslim in an nation with Islamic law receiving protection by the law).

I'm not living in such a nation, therefore Chiu is wrong. I'm living in a secular country with Christianity as official religion, but am still required, in absence of an active choice on my part, to pay taxes to the church.

Chiu resorts to speculative predictions and attitude-ascriptions: "when the time comes" I (P) will have no "ethical reservations for swearing" my "allegiance to Allah", although I "won't really mean it".
Say again, when what time comes? And, then again, who is susceptible of swearing any allegiance, I who am sceptic about the real conflict, or Chiu who is convinced there's a hidden war going on between the "West" and Islam? Furthermore, on what basis do you, Chiu, ascribe mental states to me, non only with regard to the present but also with regard to some unspecified future? Intrapersonal predictions we all know to be hard, but you claim to be doing interpersonal predictions without any background knowledge, thats unbelievable (really meaning conceptually unbelievable).

goethechosemercy said...

P:
As a non-theist, you are not concerned with what is sacred or profane. That continuum does not exist to you, and so you content yourself with what is true or untrue.
If you theorize about religion, you are wasting your time.
If truth is your business, study philosophy, and theorize from philosophical or may I say, even sophist grounds about philosophical propositions only.
You have not read the scriptures and documentary content of Islam, nor have you read any of the medieval commentary on that content.
You have not read Muslim history from the point of view of the minorities or majorities Muslims bitterly oppressed.
You know and care nothing of the cultural genocides carried out by Muslims in imitation of their thuggish "prophet".
You claim that it would be desirable to "dispatch religion".
Good luck with that project-- it is historically myopic and futile.
You may as well dispatch love, hate, identity, Communism, Democracy, Monarchy, sex and gender, Republicanism, etc. etc. and etc.
Now I have just criticized one of your thoughts.
Muslims would not be content with that-- they would go after you personally either in words and later in actions.
You will not blithely and merely "dispatch" Islam, I assure you.
You will not theorize it out of existence with the profundity of whatever truth you find.
Now I've made several claims that may seem spurious to you, but you can check their validity after you have, in fact, read through and understand the content of Islam, its religious and non-religious aspects, and seen how people put the imperatives of the prophet and his rightly-guided into practice.
We have no room for nothing but theorizing here-- people really are suffering because of the imperatives of Islam and the brutal will the Ummah has shown in carrying them out on an international scale. The time for quiet thinking is long passed away-- We in the West destroyed our quiet time when we brought the culture of chaos into our countries in the name of an over-reaching tolerance and altruism.

Chiu said...

I for one do not believe these protestations of ignorance about the advance of Islam and its methods of enforcing compliance. And I have to laugh at the suggestion that talk about the non-irreducible ontology of moral values could be considered thought at all.

P said...

Egghead says: “since YOU came to us and YOU then complained about our comments, it is YOUR problem - your problem is that YOU erroneously think that YOU are setting the parameters of our discussion.”

Yes, I came to you, although as is clear from my first post I didn’t complain about anyone’s comments. I presented a frame for an argument for you to run with. You haven’t.

Egghead says: “YOU are wrong. We commenters will discuss those issues that we feel are relevant to increase the knowledge and goodness of you and other readers. YOU may discuss what you want, and I will reply as I feel called.”

Egghead, I might be wrong about much, but I’m obviously not wrong about your failing to address criticism.
Yes, you’re certainly free to discuss what you want. If you can’t cope with me, ignore me, as you’ve been doing for this whole “discussion”. But don’t, then, propose that I’m wrong or that you will “increase the knowledge and goodness” of me and other readers, because you’re not. In fact, you can’t even argue for your cause, you’re only wearing it out. (For new-comers, see the above discussion beginning with my first post 12/17/2011 9:38 PM).

Egghead says: “P's claim that Western science is based on the mythical contributions of Muslim science 'conservators' and 'scientists' is patently absurd”.

This is not patently absurd, you should read some history Egghead. Scholars agree that:

“The Aristotelian science as a systematic whole ruled by demonstration, made available together with Euclid, Ptolemy, Hippocrates and Galen, paved the way for al-Farabi to build up the project of a curriculum of higher education, … Both the cross-pollination of the Aristotelian and Neoplatonic traditions of the Kindian age, and the rise of a complete system of rational sciences in the light of Farabi's educational syllabus of the philosopher-king, lie in the background of Avicenna's program to provide the summa of demonstrative science—from logic to philosophical theology—as a necessary step for soul to return to its origin, the intelligible realm (Endress 2006). When Averroes, two centuries after the end of the age of the translations, resumed the project of building up the demonstrative science as a systematic whole, he had recourse to the Greek sources in Arabic translation which were available in the Muslim West” (D’Ancona, Stanford 2011).

P said...

Egghead says, “P's claims closely follow typical talking points of Western Muslims - and P is beginning to sound suspiciously like a practicing Muslim who is probing our site.”

Let it sound whatever way to you Egghead, your claim is extraordinarily speculative. You can accusse anyone of using ‘taqiyya’ (= a practice emphasized in Shi'a Islam whereby adherents may conceal their religion when they are under threat – why do I have to explicate your claims?) without proving your point. That’s nonsense. It is ad hominem – it is entirely uninteresting what I believe if as a matter of fact you’re unable to make your case.

I’ve asked Egghead time over time over time and again to prove some grain of an argument of himself or at least answer my questions. He has not. In the future, Egghead, when you’re not in a position to argue don’t get involved. If you don’t “feel called” then your free to rest your case. I care about reaching some clarity, not about answering the same groundless accusation every time you have something to say.

P said...

Goe (for short if I may) says, “If you theorize about religion, you are wasting your time.
If truth is your business, study philosophy, and theorize from philosophical or may I say, even sophist grounds about philosophical propositions only.”

I’d be glad if I could keep to Philosophy. Problem is, there’s people theorizing about religion to hypothesize about war and politics (Chiu and Egghead among others). So, there’s no such clear-cut delimitations, Geo. But I can’t say that truth is my business. Truth would be nice, although it is hard even looking for. Commentators to my suggestions seem to be convinced that they’re right, though. So I’ll keep presenting a healthy offset.

Geo says, “You claim that it would be desirable to ‘dispatch religion’.
Good luck with that project-- it is historically myopic and futile.”

Now, what’s myopic about trying to dispatch religion? There’s a bunch of nations worldwide where state is separated from church. Of course faith still has influence over those nations (it is, e.g., deeply rooted in their legal systems), but there’s absolutely nothing myopic about that. Indeed, it is and has to be a very long-term plan if it is to succeed. For the same reasons, why is it historically futile? Even if it were historically futile and myopic, then so were democracy, women’s vote, and the abolishment of slavery once. Would you tell people for such rights that they were futile and myopic?

Geo says, “I've made several claims that may seem spurious to you, but you can check their validity after you have, in fact, read through and understand the content of Islam, its religious and non-religious aspects, and seen how people put the imperatives of the prophet and his rightly-guided into practice.”

But I have. I take it that Geo is not a Muslim – he is not practicing Islam (am I right?). Neither am I. Should I see how Muslims put the imperatives of their prophet into pratice? But I do, almost every day, and, believe me, they’re acting exactly like any religious people. Sometimes speaking of God, but most of the time working hard.

Now I would like to ask you something Geon. How do you define “Muslim”? Do they have to be strict enough believers, or is it sufficient that they are citizens in a Muslim nation? Next, suppose you’re right about Muslims (by chosen definition) how do you suggest we handle Islam? Does handling Islam include handling Muslims, and, if so, which Muslims?

P said...

Chiu says, “I have to laugh at the suggestion that talk about the non-irreducible ontology of moral values could be considered thought at all.”

Oh, wait. There’s something fishy here. Are you sure I said that? If you’re right, and are still speaking about nihilism and my explanation of why I am no nihilist, then I should say not, “values are ontologically non-irreducible”, but, “values are ontologically reducible” (which really amounts to the same meaning but is less cumbersome). Sorry if I wasn’t perspicuous.

You also say, “I for one do not believe these protestations of ignorance about the advance of Islam and its methods of enforcing compliance.”
I’m not sure what you mean. I suppose you mean that my protestations against the claim that Islam is advancing and enforcing compliance are wrong, or at least that you do not believe the content of my protest to be probably true. Well, in the last news flash pertaining to that topic it was the “West” that was sending troops to Muslim nations, not the other way round. There was one single suicide bomber in Stockholm who killed only himself. The “West” excludes Palestine from the U.N. A right-wing radical in Norway killed about 70 innocent Norwegian youths in his “defense” of the “West”.

Egghead said...

Yes, I am DEFINITELY thinking that P is a Muslim.

P's abject failure to consider any idea that challenges his uniformly positive and propaganda-driven opinion and defense of Muslims reveals his Islamic leanings.

Here is a list of Fjordman's related articles in reverse chronological order:

Fjordman: To President Obama: Regarding Islam and Science

Why Christians Accepted Greek Natural Philosophy, But Muslims Did Not

Fjordman Essay: Islam, the West and Our "Shared Heritage"

Socratic Dialogue versus Islamic Dialogue

Al-Guardian Wrong Again: Islam and Science

Fjordman: The Truth about Islamic Science

P said...

Egghead, I’m not going to answer your first two points. I refer you and other readers (but you in particular) to read the above discussion. Then you will see why.

I’ll just restate two questions that you keep failing to answer, while I’m answering you (perhaps because I’m sincere, while you’re not).

(1) Define ‘Muslim’;
(2) Define ‘propaganda’;

Feel free to answer and explicate, but if you do not then, for the advancement of our current discussion, your two first points are only damaging.

As to your reference to what others have said (I regret that you couldn’t, as usual, be more specific on these sources - I’ve had to do my own research), I take it you mainly have these passages from Fjordman in mind:

(A) “In the Islamic world, Greek natural philosophy was never fully accepted, and what initial acceptance there had been was largely nullified by the highly influential theologian al-Ghazali (1058-1111). He regarded natural philosophy as dangerous to Islam and was even skeptical of the concept of mathematical proof, one of the most important and unique contributions of ancient Greek scholarship to the modern world.”

(B) “It is true that a number of Greek works were translated to Arabic, especially in the ninth century when a group called Mu’tazilites attempted, without lasting success, to reconcile Islamic with logic.”

(C) “Ibn Rushd is chiefly remembered for his attempts at combining Aristotelian philosophy and Islam. According to Ibn Warraq, he had a major influence on the Latin scientists of the thirteenth century, yet ‘had no influence at all on the development of Islamic philosophy. After his death, he was practically forgotten in the Islamic world.’”
I’ll begin answering with a question: Do you have any arguments of your own?

... continuing ...

P said...

Now to Fjordman (and I’m going to simply take his facts for granted as true, which is a great unargued head start for Fjordman).

Considering (A), what we learn is that Greek natural philosophy was never fully accepted by influential Islamic thinkers. Of course, religious has never accepted non-theologian philosophers’ ideas. The reason why renaissance European thinkers had to use Muslim interpretations and translations of Greek natural philosophy was exactly because those texts, expect parts of Aristotle’s works, were in danger in Christian Europe during the dark ages. So (A) tells us that religion is a threat to free thinking (applying to both Christianity and Islam - because, remember, philosophers and scientists were threatened to silence, accused of heresy, and banished by the Church.) So (A) is no defense of one religion against another, it is a defense of secularism. (See my point (1) from my post 12/17/2011, 9:38 PM.)

Section (B) tells us more or less the same as (A). Neither were there any lasting success to reconcile Christianity with Logic. Indeed, Christian theologians had to distort Aristotle’s works to make them acceptable to the Church. Also, in Europe, as in the Muslim world during that time, when it came to explaining intricacies as ‘the first cause,’ ‘the source of knowledge,’ and ‘natural rights’ (William Occam, Aristotle, Georg Berkeley, David Hume, Rousseau, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, et. al.) the post-Aristotelians were in many cases hardly pressed to invoke the concept of ‘God’ so as not to displease the Church. This has been a serious impediment of Christian and even post-Christian thought. So (B) is no defense of one religion, or of Christianity in particular, when it comes to free thinking; it is a defense of secularism. (See my points (1) and (2) from my post 12/17/2011, 9:38 PM.)

As to section (C), it consolidates my earlier point (12/25/2011, 5:24 PM) that there was exchanges between Muslim and Christian thinkers, and that some of the science of today is thanks to such exchange. Now, if those Muslim thinkers influencing Latin thinkers were not accepted by their Muslim leaders, then that proves not specifically Islam to oppress science and Logic, since the same were true of most Christian thinkers. What (c) tells us is that philosophers, scientists, and in general free thinkers, have throughout history had to struggle against religious oppression. So (C) is no defense of one religion, or Christianity in particular, when it comes to free thinking; it is a defense of secularism. (See my points (1) and (2) from my post 12/17/2011, 9:38 PM.)

... continuing ...

P said...

I said in the beginning of this post that I was going to simply accept as true what Fjordman has written. That is truly a head start left not argued for. Earlier I have myself presented sources contradicting Fjordman (see my 12/25/2011, 5:24 PM). There’s no reason to uncritically accept Fjordman’s claims as true. It has to be carefully settled. What I have done here is to argue that even if Fjordman is correct, it does not follow that one particular religion should be promoted at the expense of another. What follows from Fjordman’s claims, if true, is that all religion is equally bad from the point of view of free thought.

You might have noticed that at the end of each interpretative section I have referred to earlier posts of mine. The reason for that is that I want this discussion to keep as much to the point as possible – the point of providing formal arguments pro one religion con another and pro parties and groups restricting their ethos or policies to one issue relevant in today’s society instead of a larger set of issues. People here at Gates of Vienna never answered my main point but started airing speculative accusations. Well, Chiu did give a sincere attempt, but when I criticized that attempt he too, regrettably, surrendered to ad hominem-arguments, though not as ragged as Egghead’s.

I’ve tried to make a single point to further the discussion of the alleged “war” between the “West” and Muslims. It seems fruitful discussion is unwanted here at Gates of Vienna (at least by its commentators). Especially the obstinate building-up of reiterations of unfounded accusations (that miss the point) from Egghead really blocks any advancement of the issues discussed on this site.

P said...

Ps. And, by the way, I’m still waiting for Baron Bodissey (who posted the article on which we are discussing) to answer to my calling into question of that article.

Egghead said...

P: "...all religion is equally bad from the point of view of free thought."

Me: Yes, but Islam is the most EVIL religion from the point of view of little girls' and women's clitorises. There is vastly more at stake here than free thought. Western societal survival and physical freedom are at stake here.

Indeed, Islam instructs Muslims to torture and murder non-Muslim men and sexually enslave Western women and children - as soon as feasible by superior Muslim strength.

To answer P: I do indeed have arguments of my own, but YOU asked for sources. See how you change your emotional requirements based depending on the outcome that you desire?

Soul searching: P, why do you desire an outcome that favors Islam? Any introduction of Islam into the West must perforce (pun intended) favor Islam as a religion because Muslims work assiduously via both violent and non-violent means to establish Sharia Law, and Sharia Law establishes Muslim men as a favored legal class over Muslim women and children and all non-Muslims.

To acknowledge P's ability to change:

You have changed from saying that "we would probably not have the science of today if not the Muslims had conserved ancient Greek texts" to "there was exchanges between Muslim and Christian thinkers, and that some of the science of today is thanks to such exchange." There is a huge difference between Western science being dependent on Muslim conservators - versus - Western scientists basing some science on cross-cultural exchanges with 'Muslim' thinkers.

In reality, past 'Muslim' science thinkers were most likely either undeclared ex-Muslim apostates or non-Muslim dhimmis living under newly-introduced forcible Muslim rule.

The longer any conquered society stays under Muslim rule, the less scientific innovation occurs due to Islamic theology that 1) mandates that any and all criticism of Allah and Mohammed (himself an Islamic natural 'scientist' with patently absurd theories and conclusions) is forbidden upon pain of death, and 2) establishes the professions of imams, jihadis, and 'martyrs' as most valuable to the interests of the ever-expanding Muslim ummah, and 3) rewards jihad 'raiding' from fellow 'theologically bad' Muslims and non-Muslims over personal hard work.

Chiu said...

I would have to say that the denial of ontologically irreducible truths about right and wrong are the worst possible enemy of free thought. Thought requires that there be both significance and regularity to the outcomes of posing different questions about moral courses of action. The rejection of one or another 'fundamental' moral value may be necessary for moral reasoning to be made valid (I like deconstructing "altruism") but the abolition of all possible foundational moral ideas creates a separation of reason and morality pragmatically identical to nihilism.

If you think that what Muslims do to women and girls is bad, wait till you see what secularists will do to them if they ever get power.

Baron Bodissey said...

This comment thread has officially jumped the shark. I'm closing it.