The Politics of Blind Hatred

islamofascism.jpg

I just read this interesting article by Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, about the inherent falsehoods of Islamofascism. Definitely worthwhile reading.

The Politics of Blind Hatred
Who Are the Fanatics?
September 5, 2007
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

President Jimmy Carter was demonized for pointing out in his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, that there are actually two sides to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Distinguished American scholars, such as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have suffered the same fate for documenting the excessive influence the Israel Lobby has on US foreign policy.

Americans would be astonished at the criticisms in the Israeli press of the Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinians and Arabs generally. In Israel facts are still part of the discussion. If the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, could replace Fox “News,” CNN, New York Times and Washington Post, Americans would know the truth about US and Israeli policies in the MIddle East and their likely consequences.

On September 1, Haaretz reported that Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, which represents 900 Congregations and 1.5 million Jews, “accused American media, politicians and religious groups of demonizing Islam” and turning Muslims into “satanic figures.”

Rabbi Yoffie is certainly correct. In America there is only one side to the issue. An entire industry has been created that is devoted to demonizing Islam. Books abound that misrepresent Islam as the greatest possible threat to Western Civilization and seek to instill fear and hatred of Muslims in Americans. For example, Norman Podhoretz proclaims “World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism.” Daniel Pipes shrieks that “Militant Islam Reaches America.” Lee Harris warns of “The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West.”

Think tanks have well-funded Middle East programs, the purpose of which is to spread Islamophobia. Fear and loathing pour out of the Middle East Forum and the American Enterprise Institute.

In the US it is acceptable, even obligatory in many circles, to hate Muslims and to support violence against them. Pipes has been described as a “leading anti-Muslim hate propagandist.” He is on record advocating the use of violence alone as the solution to the Muslim problem. This won him the endorsement of the Christian Coalition, AIPAC, and the Zionist Organization of America for appointment to the board of the United States Institute of Peace.

President George Bush used a recess appointment to appoint this man of violence to the Institute of Peace.

Pipes advocates that the Muslims be beaten into submission by force, the view that has guided the Bush administration. To brainwashed and propagandized Americans, Pipes appointment made perfect sense.

Podhoretz believes that Islam has no right to exist, because it is opposed to Israeli territorial expansion, and that America must deracinate Islam, which means to tear Islam up by the roots.

While neoconservatives, Christian Zionists, and the Bush administration embrace unbridled violence against Muslims, Lee Harris warns that America is much too tolerant and reasonable to be able to defend itself against Muslim fanaticism. America’s “governing philosophy based on reason, tolerance, consensus and deliberation cannot defend itself against a [Muslim] strategy of ruthless violence.”

Islamophobia overflows with such absurdities and contradictions.

Harris tells us that the Enlightenment overcame fanatical thinking in the West, leaving the West unfamiliar with fanaticism and helpless to confront it. Harris, who fancies himself an authority on fanaticism, is deaf, dumb, and blind to Communism and National Socialism and is completely ignorant of the fact that neoconservative fanatics are the direct heirs of the Jacobins of the French Revolution, itself a fanatical product of the Enlightenment.

If Americans did rely on reason, tolerance and deliberation, they might free their minds of shrill propaganda long enough to consider the “Muslim threat.” Muslims are disunited. Their disunity makes them a threat to one another, not to the West.

In Iraq most of the fighting and violence is between Sunni and Shi’ite Arabs and between Sunnis and Kurds. If Iraqis were unified, most of the violence, instead of a small part of it, would be directed against the American troops, and the remnants of a US defeated army would have been withdrawn by now. However much Iraqis might hate the American invader and occupier, they do not hate him enough to unite and to drive him out. They had rather kill one another.

Iran, the current focus of demonization, is not Arab. Iranians are the ancient race of Persians. Indeed, Iran would do itself a favor if it changed its name back to Persia. For eight years (1980-1988) the Iranians and Iraqis were locked in catastrophic war with horrendous casualties on both sides. Despite its military exhaustion, Iraq was considered a “threat” by the American Superpower and was bombed and embargoed for the decade of the 1990s, one consequence of which was 500,000 deaths of Iraqi children.

Not content with the complete crippling of Iraq by the Clinton administration, the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 and has been dealing more death and destruction to Iraq ever since.

Palestine has been under Israeli occupation for decades. Israel has simply stolen most of Palestine, and the remaining Palestinian enclaves are ghettos policed by the Israeli army.

The rulers of Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates are Sunni Arabs. They are more afraid of Shi’ite Arabs than of Israelis. Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan are ruled by bought-and-paid-for American puppets. The Turkish military is also in the American pocket and suppresses any Islamist influence in the civilian government. Afghanistan is a disunited country of tribal peoples, each holding sway in their area. The Taliban were attempting to unify Afghanistan, and the Bush administration’s fear that the Taliban might succeed was the reason for the US invasion of Afghanistan. The US allied with the defeated Northern Alliance, in part a remnant of the old Soviet puppet government, and turned Afghanistan back over to warlords.

When the facts are considered–Muslim disunity and the absence of modern technology, navies, and strategic reach–the Bush/Cheney/neoconservative/Zionist propaganda that “we must fight them over there before they come over here” is such a transparent hoax that it is astounding that so many Americans have fallen for it.

To the extent that there is any Muslim threat, it is one created by the US and Israel. Israel has no diplomacy toward Muslims and relies on violence and coercion. The US has interfered in the internal affairs of Muslim countries during the entire post World War II period. The US overthrew an elected government in Iran and installed the Shah. The US backed Saddam Hussein in his aggression against Iran. The US has kept in power rulers it could control and has pandered to the desires of Israeli governments. If America is hated, America created the hate by its arrogant and dismissive treatment of the Muslim Middle East.

There is no such thing as Islamofascism. This is a coined propaganda word used to inflame the ignorant. There is no factual basis for the hatred that neoconservative Islamophobes instill in Americans. God did not tell America to destroy the Muslims for the Israelis.

In America today blind ignorant hate against Muslims has been brought to a boiling point. The fear and loathing is so great that the American public and its elected representatives in Congress offer scant opposition to the Bush administration’s plan to make Iran the third Middle East victim of American aggression in the 21st century.

Most Americans, who Harris believes to be so reasonable, tolerant, and deliberative that they cannot defend themselves, could not care less that one million Iraqis have lost their lives during the American occupation and that an estimated four million Iraqis have been displaced. The total of dead and displaced comes to 20 percent of the Iraqi population. If this is not fanaticism on the part of the Bush administration, what is it? Certainly it is not reason, tolerance, and deliberation.

The Bush supporter will ask, “What about 9/11?” Even those who believe the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report should understand that in the official account the attack was the work of individuals, none of whom were acting in behalf of Muslim governments and none of whom were Iraqi, Afghan, or Iranian. 9/11 provides no justification for attacking Muslim countries.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

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38 Comments

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38 responses to “The Politics of Blind Hatred

  1. LOL, interesting op-ed piece, but only partially accurate.

    Ask someone from Kashmir about the “satanic figures” of the Middle East. You’ll get a whole new perspective on what it means.

    Although I would never state that our rat trap media has any intention of giving “balanced information”, there are certain unavoidable historic facts about the Middle East, and the Muslim/Islamic faith:

    1. War is what they understand, all of recorded history for that area of the world shows that they have continually attempted to subvert anyone/any nation who is not of their “kind” , especially religiously.

    2. Failure to subjugate to their will, ends in destruction, even for their own.

    3. The Islamic faith is beyond being based upon fallible premises, it is predicated on racism, ethnocentrism, and hatred. Reading the Q’uran is quite similar to reading a murder fiction.

    4. Hatred begets hatred. Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing. But they can’t have that, it’s their way, or nothing. India is going to find itself in a consuming war in the next half century.

    5. Europeans, especially since the end of WWII, are more responsible for escalations of violence between Muslims and non-Muslims than any other group. It is interesting to go back and look at how the imperialism of European countries carved up the Middle East. Tells a slightly different story.

    6. There is always someone to hate/dislike, right now, it looks as though “Christian Cracker” rates right up there with “Muslim Habib”.

  2. eric

    I think you are right with your Christian ranking on the same level with the Muslim at least politically. In general, I don’t see much difference between the two worlds. I take them point for point:

    1. War is what they understand . . .

    US policy has always been based on black and white, be it communisism or terrorism. Our only means of confronting anyone is based on threats, embargos and attacks. Remember, the US military budget is twice the size of all of other nation’s military spending together.

    2. Failure to subjugate to their will, ends in destruction, even for their own.

    Sounds like the US. If they don’t agree with us, we’ll attack. Maybe we’ll try and embargo for a few years, but we always threaten to attack. We say we want democracy, but isn’t that also just another form of our religion versus their’s? And when we don’t like what their people vote for (ie, Iran), we threaten to attack, or (like Iraq), we threaten to stay longer.

    3. The Islamic faith is beyond being based upon fallible premises, it is predicated on racism, ethnocentrism, and hatred.

    How does that differ from Christianity (many are called, few are chosen). You are saved or you go to hell. Conversion to Islam is very easy. Western religions in general are pretty hard to believe. They are about absolute dictators and punishment.

    What is so annoying is that radical Christian fundamentalism plays such an important political role in the US. Imagine that issues like abortion and gay marriage may become important political issues in the upcoming US elections. Wow!!! Those are really important to the future of our country.

    4. Hatred begets hatred. Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing…

    Only the US is allowed to have the weapons. In what way was Iraq really a threat to the US? If we were really fighting terrorism, why didn’t we spend all of our efforts on Afghanistan?

    5. Europeans, especially since the end of WWII, are more responsible for escalations of violence between Muslims and non-Muslims than any other group…

    I agree. The Middle East is a mess because of European colonialism and WWII. Look at how many problems can be traced back to European colonialism and forced borders in Africa, the Middle East, India, and Eastern Europe (including the former Yugoslavia). I think we’ll continue to pay for these for the near future.

    6. There is always someone to hate/dislike.

    As you always say, history repeats itself. Nations, empires, and their people and politicans always act according to their perceived best interests. We are the same as the rest of them.

  3. ReWrite

    It is hard to find a more violent religion than Christianity both currently and historically. There is no region of the world that they didn’t inflict violence on.

    And there is no nation, right now, that loves war more than the US- which is at least perceived by much of the world as a Christian-fundamentalist country.

    At the end of the day, all religions are the same- they are xenophobic elitists that want you to join their club or you risk judgment, 2nd class citizenship or extinction.

    “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.”

  4. eric

    ReWrite,

    I agree with how the US is now perceived as the biggest war-monger the world knows, and I would go on to stress again that we are seen as a nation that does not understand the idea of negotiation or diplomacy but only threats and war. People always say this to me in Europe, “if the US doesn’t like you, they threaten to attack you.” The US only understands the big stick.
    In terms of Western religion, think about the Jesus in the New Testament and his lack of compassion and zero sense of social justice. In his own words,

    “If anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha than for that town.”

    People will be damned, and if you don’t follow, he don’t care and nor should you.

    So much for solidarity, forgiveness and unconditional love.

  5. ReWrite

    Trifling. I think Jesus had a few quotes that religous people should embrace, this one i think is the best:

    Matthew 5:43-48:
    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”

    I actually think pagans do a much better job of this than religious folk.

    And if you read a little bit earlier in Matthew you will see one of the most annoying Christian contridictions. In reference to the criminal justice system (in particular the death penalty), people talk about “an eye for an eye.” Now that is some serious selective reading.

    The “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” was a “law of Moses”, or “the law” under the OLD covenant that God had made with the people of Israel (See: The Old Testament: Ex. 21:24, Lev. 24:20 and Deut. 19:21). Jesus clearly rebuked that Old Covenant Law when He said “You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (See: New Testament: Mth. 5:38,39). Jesus brought about the fulfillment of God’s new covenant with us that was foretold about in the Old Testament (See: Jer. 31:31-33, Is. 42:1-7, Is. 61:8, Mth.26:28, Mk. 14:24, Lk. 22:20, & Heb. 10:9). Jesus did away with the laws of Moses when he nailed them to the cross (See: Col. 2:14, also Heb. 8:7-13).

    Meanwhile for the past 30 years we have public policy in place based a poor reading of the Bible. Which is particularly weird to me b/c i find that many religious people tend to read the same book (or set of books) over and over again. Maybe they should have a reading comp class in Sunday school.

  6. eric

    ReWrite,

    It’s all marred by persistent threats of damnation. Where is the compassion? Turn the cheek, but remember you will be rewarded, they will burn. And even the so-called loving quotes were not revolutionary or new, but rather recycled versions of what other figures both Eastern and Western had taught 100s of years previously.

    And we can’t forget that it was the Puritans and early settlers’ Christian bravado upon which Manifest Destiny was founded, giving them all of the justification to take and keep all that crossed their paths. Sounds like burglary (lacrency + trespass).

  7. Game on!!!

    First let’s start with the primary idiotic claim of the Q’uran:

    The whole Qur’an is from God; discrepancies or contradictions would indicate it is not divine

    * 3:7 And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:”

    * 4:82 Do they not consider the Q’uran (with care)? Had it been from other Than God, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.

    Just letting you know that their book is divine, straight from the hands of “God” … lmmfaorotfl … my ass … “God” … LMMFAOROTFL

    God intends to enforce Muhammad’s religion until it prevails in this world; Muslims can act for God

    # 48:28-29 It is He Who has sent His Apostle with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is God for a Witness. Muhammad is the apostle of God; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other.

    # 58:21 God has decreed: “It is I and My apostles who must prevail”: For God is One full of strength, able to enforce His Will.

    # 59:2-4 It is He Who got out the Unbelievers among the People of the Book from their homes at the first gathering (of the forces). Little did ye think that they would get out: And they thought that their fortresses would defend them from God! But the (Wrath of) God came to them from quarters from which they little expected (it), and cast terror into their hearts, so that they destroyed their dwellings by their own hands and the hands of the Believers, take warning, then, O ye with eyes (to see)! And had it not been that God had decreed banishment for them, He would certainly have punished them in this world: And in the Hereafter they shall (certainly) have the Punishment of the Fire. That is because they resisted God and His Apostle: and if any one resists God, verily God is severe in Punishment.

    # 59:5-7 Whether ye cut down (O ye Muslim!) The tender palm-trees, or ye left them standing on their roots, it was by leave of God, and in order that He might cover with shame the rebellious transgresses [the unbelievers defeated in battle]. What God has bestowed on His Apostle (and taken away) from them – for this ye made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry: but God gives power to His apostles over any He pleases: and God has power over all things. What God has bestowed on His Apostle (and taken away) from the people of the townships,- belongs to God,- to His Apostle and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; In order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Apostle assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear God; for God is strict in Punishment.

    That’s right!!! Only “God’s” power can give them the ability to overcome the non-believers, the Infidels. Again, “God” … LMMFAOROTFL. Cosmic Pimp maybe, God … oh hell no.

    Amputations and slaughter of unbelievers: God is acting through the Muslims when they do this

    8:12-13,17 Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.” This because they contended against God and His Apostle: If any contend against God and His Apostle, God is strict in punishment. … It is not ye who slew them; it was God

    This must be the beauty and tolerance of the Q’uran? I must not understand it because I’m a filthy non-believer … this one is even better … you can’t even blame them for doing it, (total lack of accountability anyone?)

    God wanted Muslims to exterminate non-Muslim army

    3:152 God did indeed fulfil His promise to you when ye with His permission Were about to annihilate your enemy,- until ye flinched and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed it after He brought you in sight (of the booty) which ye covet.

    The importance of military fighting for Islam

    # 2:216 Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not.

    # 2:217 They ask thee concerning fighting in the Prohibited Month. Say: “Fighting therein is a grave (offence); but graver is it in the sight of God to prevent access to the path of God, to deny Him, to prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and drive out its members.” Tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter.

    # 4:84 Then fight in God’s cause – Thou art held responsible only for thyself – and rouse the believers.

    Fight the non-Muslims to submission or conversion

    # 8:38-39 Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily God doth see all that they do.

    # 9:5 But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    # 9:29 Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya [tribute] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

    # 9:123 O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that God is with those who fear Him.

    # 47:4 Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been God’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of God,- He will never let their deeds be lost.

    If you want more, let me know … the Q’uran is chock full of hate, ethnocentricism, misogyny, pretty much any deplorable human trait you can think of, it’s got it.

    As far as Christianity, it had its dark era, and is nothing close to it at this point. Violent fundamentalism is reduced to petty dialectics at this point, in highly selective groups of small numbered morons.

    Not to mention, having read the Bible, I’ve never seen any verse where it promotes killing people just because they weren’t “believers”. One of the things that I’ve respected about the Jewish faith, they couldn’t care less if you believe or not.

    Sadly, religion will never leave us, but what the hell, no absurdity, no existence.

  8. eric

    Like I said, it isn’t much different from the Christians or the Americans. Have you been to Catholic mass? “Word of God” ends each homily. Christians had their lovely Crusades and colonalizing imperialization in South America, Africa, and Asia. Mainy Protestants believe in the literal truth of the Bible and in faith as sole justifier of their actions.

    How about us Americans? How many Iraqis have died for us give them the gift of democracy? For our us to get their oil? We’ll pull out, not because of all of the innocent Iraqis that have been killed, but because a small fraction of our boys have died. Don’t we consider the innocent lives that die each time we bomb a village anywhere in the world, be it in Yugoslavia, Sudan, Iraq, Latin America or elsewhere as collateral damage to “Father Knows Best”.

    It’s all part of the same absurdity.

  9. ReWrite

    Bush is more religous than many leaders of the middle east. And Bush, his administration and the gov’t in general have used Christian rhetoric to promote and support the war.

    Although the US did not go to war in the name of god, the US, a Christian nation, since its existence, has started more wars and the whole middle east combined.

    Anyway, who cares both sides are awful and as long as the god of Oil exists in the middle east the US will be fighting for control over it.

  10. eric

    James,

    I was just thinking about your critique of Islam here and was reminded of what you had written about our other discussion on “ends” and “means” and my example of torture. You wrote that

    “Your expressions against them, are just an unwillingness to accept absurdity, without which, we no longer exist.”

    I am not so sure what your argument against Islam would be in light of the whole ends and means debate. At the end of the day if you have one God, even like the Christian one, who says you are either “for me or against me” and let your “yes be yes and your no be no” then why not be a more activist religion?

    If you put religions into historic perspectives, I am not sure that one is not more unreasonable than another. Think about the Liberation Theologists’ (or even the Markists) criticisms of Christianity — Christianity made peasants out of the people by telling them to accept all punishment for they would be rewarded in heaven (while their evildoers would be punished). Thus, the unempowered never attempted to better their situations or revolt against those who mistreated them.

    Were I an Arab living in Andalucia in 1492, I sure would have wanted an offensive God to tell me to fight those who were kicking me out. These religions were all born in times of great fighting. Christianity which was the foremost one looking to convert and win new faithful was more defensive than offensive, trying not to offend the Jews or the Romans or Greeks and ended up adopting much of their practices (each of the Gospels is directed at a different target market). Now, we are just looking at the same ends but with different historic means.

    And remember, I ain’t pushing/defending any of these religions. I just don’t see that big of a difference in what they do. But if we can’t evaluate whether torture is inherently good or bad, then we can’t do so with one or another religion.

  11. I could go into lengthy explanation, but I doubt proper attention would paid.

    As far as your question on the validity of Christian ideology, the Bible makes it clear that “luke warm”, fence sitting, is unacceptable. Logically, that would be a sound principle. Those who can take no position, have little utility, and less character. On the matter of its lack of “activist” nature, you should inquire with a proper scholar, that isn’t the arena for an atheist.

    As stated previously, and obviously ignored, you can either come freely to Judaic or Christian beliefs, or walk away freely. Islam’s agenda is convert or die, by its own words, from the “hand of God” … LMMFAOROTFL, I absolutely love the absurdity of morons who make those sorts of claims, best entertainment ever.

    Not withstanding, you and your sibling never make a point of calling it on Islam, only Judaism and Christianity, due to both of you asserting that the latter are somehow in the express domain of “whitey” “cracker” “honky” “The Man”.

    As far as peasantry and Christianity, there was an era for that, for which you issue grievance. Yet, again, nothing is stated regarding the moronic stance of Q’uran, that it engages no contradictions because it is the “One true word of the one True God” … yet claims the world is flat, and to be a believer, one must accept this is fact. It sets women as property, promotes polygamy and accepts multitudes of concubines, sets that the believer accepts that all that they have belongs not to them, but to the Cosmic Pimp who will reward them with 72 ho’s in the next life, as long as they are the “correct” gender. It sets that all punishment is the “Will of the One True God”, and that suffering is rewarded, and even more, that death in service of the Cosmic Pimp is an even higher honor.

    Yet, strangely, you never seem to iterate any of this … ?

    Your assertion regarding the defensiveness of Christianity is historically inaccurate. Constantine, the glorious butcher and God of the Roman Empire at that time, forced the cohesion of Christianity under threat of torture and death for the notable clergy of the time. He had decided, due to a dream, and a victorious battle that occurred after such, that Christianity was better for the Empire. Christianity has gone through a few offensive periods.

    Again, in your second to last paragraph you “justify” the violence of Islam, making it appropriate, predicated on obvious bias.

    The issue of religion is far too complex to reduce to means, it is the foundation of all social contract. God was also destined to be created, whether such a being can ever be proven or disproved.

    Torture and religion have no basis of comparison. The former a tool, the latter, the very fabric of our social habituations.

    The short of it, religion will never cease, and it has been “correct” in the utilitarian meaning, that it has brought us this far, and we are not yet extinct.

  12. eric

    James,

    You really think I am going to criticize Islam? You know what they do to non-believers! LOL! Heee heeee.

    Yes, I am tougher on us than on them. I suppose I am a taking the speck out of my eye first, as Christ would say. 😉

    Nevertheless, I think that both Christianity and Islam are equally comic in their basic foundations and stories, Islam in its ability to both hate and love in the name of God, and Christianity in its belief that it has coined and founded the entire notion of love through a moral philosophy based a system of threats/punishments. At the end of the day, cultural norms or “social fabrications” (death penalty, gun ownership, burkas, etc) together form the fabric of society. We think that religion is necessary to sustain our societies, our societies continue to exist despite them.

  13. We think that religion is necessary to sustain our societies, our societies continue to exist despite them.

    That is the only area of question we have for contention.

    Christianity and Islam, two sides of the same coin, thrash both or thrash neither.

    But your statement here … I don’t know cugino, can we really find a person devoid of beliefs? I don’t think so. The Universe will continue to be absurd, so it would appear that we will continue to induce supposition and abstraction to cope with this problem.

    At this point in history, the “religious behavior” is the still the very fabric of social cohesion. Look at your own metaphysics, could you really exist as you are, without those abstractions?

  14. eric

    I don’t think that Socrates when he established his moral imperative that you do the good simply because it was good and for no other reason was thinking about God, Christ, or Allah. And I don’t think that as I believe Tolstoy said, without God everything would be permissible. The world is perfectly sustainable based on social contracts rather than divines ones.

    What portion of China is atheist? Isn’t China like 1/6 of the world’s population. The argument that we need religion to regulate our lives is like we need the Patriot Act to keep us safe from imminent harm.

  15. What portion of China is atheist? Isn’t China like 1/6 of the world’s population. The argument that we need religion to regulate our lives is like we need the Patriot Act to keep us safe from imminent harm.

    First, atheism only means “disbelief in divine being or God” … it does not mean without religion or dogma. The exact point that gets me in a mass of trouble with atheists, including their parent organisation in the U.S.

    Metaphysics, such as that of the Greeks, is still religion. There is only a change in the identity of agency, nothing more.

    You and I do not exist without religion, neither do the Chinese.

    Without religion and/or metaphysics there is no causal premise for social contract. Sorry, the foundation was determined before either of us ever existed. All social contract is predicated upon the agency of metaphysical or theistic assumption, which creates the synthetics of morality.

  16. eric

    So culture and religion are interchangeable in your dictionary? And a legal system or a constitution or any other dogma, managerial accounting system, family structure, evolutionary directive, or anything else that establishs norms either explicitly, implicitly or through customs all equate to religion. It is like Bruce Lee’s art of fighting without fighting.

    If someone farts and it smells bad, so I decide to leave the room, is that also then a form of religion, dictating how I act under certain circumstances?

  17. I never stated interchangeable, don’t be foolishly subjective.

    Intertwined. If Islam is not the product of Middle Eastern, if Judaism is not the product of Israeli culture, if Christianity is not the product of Roman and European culture, if Taoism and Confucianism are not the product of Chinese culture, if Hinduism and Tantrism are not the product of Indian culture …

    Show the error, I dare you, come on. Separate the two, show them as distinct and unrelated entities, with no shared foundation.

    Legal system, extension of the synthetics of morality, antecedent to religion.

    Constitution, extension of natural rights and entitlements, antecedent to theism.

    Managerial accounting system, extension of economic institution, extension of social contract, antecedent to theism.

    Family structure? Evolutionarily advantageous, precursor of all antecedent social groups.

    Evolutionary directive? Fallacy, evolution has no direction, and no purpose, correctly, evolution doesn’t an exist, descriptor of human abstraction for unseen change.

    Culture > customs and norms, religion > rituals and dogma. Again, show the error.

    Social contract has dictated how you will act, you have been habituated. Mirror neuron network in the brain, you started with imitation, worked to direct mimicry which led to language assimilation, which led to social conformity training through parental customs, later through peers, in adulthood through laws.

    Show the error, without subjective metaphysics.

  18. eric

    I am not saying that we are not affected by our circumstances. We are. If Sartre is right that existence is our essence, then culture and our surroundings define how we establish the rules by which we live.

    What I am saying is that religion is secondary. It is an by-product, and that we can live off perfectly functioning secular rules. Without God, nothing is lost. We don’t even need morality to live in peace, a social contract which is nothing more than balancing interests to establish liveable harmony would suffice if we people didn’t need to have their Gods compete.

    I always thought there was something pretty contradictory in Christainity and Islam. Imagine that they could could actually convert everyone, and in the process legislate Gods laws so that they were also man’s laws too. What would God’s role be? Essentially any form of sin would be illegal, we’d all be judged twice by the same set of rules. And imagine that we were all perfect believers following all of the rules, then how would God decide who to let in (once again, Many are called, Few are chosen).

    My conclusion is two fold: neither God or believers should want morality to the basis of our earthly laws. First let’s take the believers. They don’t want the competition to get into heaven. Second, if people are trying to comply with the same laws to stay out of jail as to stay out of hell, how can God decide who is upholding which laws. It all makes no sense.

    How’s that for not answering the question?

  19. I am not saying that we are not affected by our circumstances. We are. If Sartre is right that existence is our essence, then culture and our surroundings define how we establish the rules by which we live.

    First off, Sartre is full of shit. He was one of the fools who made phenomenon subjective, regardless the instance. Also the pusher, of “know thyself”. Yes, I am saying he was a pusher in the classical narcotic sense.

    We are biochemical automatons at the deepest levels. Forces generally outside our pathetically minuscule perceptions push every chemical button we have, and because of the “observer of the observer” we haven’t even a clue. Unless quantum entanglement is proven to be found as cause in the macroscopic, that will stand. (I’ll stop there before I lose everyone with quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and string theory.)

    What I am saying is that religion is secondary. It is an by-product, and that we can live off perfectly functioning secular rules. Without God, nothing is lost. We don’t even need morality to live in peace, a social contract which is nothing more than balancing interests to establish liveable harmony would suffice if we people didn’t need to have their Gods compete.

    Let’s leave this one be, I don’t think you want me blowing up your blog with two pages of my atheistic/reductionist rhetoric.

    God was proscribed by genetic advancement, enough said.

    I always thought there was something pretty contradictory in Christainity and Islam. Imagine that they could could actually convert everyone, and in the process legislate Gods laws so that they were also man’s laws too. What would God’s role be? Essentially any form of sin would be illegal, we’d all be judged twice by the same set of rules. And imagine that we were all perfect believers following all of the rules, then how would God decide who to let in (once again, Many are called, Few are chosen).

    Errr, yeah, ummm, “Welcome to absurdity”?

    The base premise being that the authority of a divine being is higher than the laws of man. Not my fallacy, I’m just reiterating.

    My conclusion is two fold: neither God or believers should want morality to the basis of our earthly laws. First let’s take the believers. They don’t want the competition to get into heaven. Second, if people are trying to comply with the same laws to stay out of jail as to stay out of hell, how can God decide who is upholding which laws. It all makes no sense.

    I’m not entirely certain to what reality this statement pertains, but in the reality I am familiar with, the phenomenal reality, genetic impetus requires man to conquer and dominate. But due to sociality, and the effeminate fallout from such, we devise constructs to maintain order, so that the weak are not culled from the herd.

    Again, leave it alone, God is proscribed, absurdity states that the omnipotent/omniscient being, (which is a whole other discussion on the absurdity of duality and contradiction), is the highest Law.

    But man still wants, still needs, to object to absurdity, (derived “purpose”), and supplant the supremacy of the divine with his … ::giggle:: “free will”, so we have morality synthesized from sociality and the pressures that places directly against genetic dominance.

    Let the blood flow, in the name of religion.

    I liked your non-answer, just like Ubuntu, it was rather titillating. 🙂

  20. Mustapha

    James and Eric:

    Man you guys said so much, I don’t even know where to begin and don’t really even want to begin but a friend sent me this link so I am obliged. I don’t know how much religious training you have but assuming you have some, some of your questions and opinions show a lack of knowledge about particular Christian and Muslim belief. Many Christians and indeed, many Muslims, do not even know what they believe and why. These are the most dangerous tyeps. To begin

    1. I don’t quite know which one of you is atheist, I assume James for sure, but I have come to realized that all talks that deal with religion of sorts comes down to two things: (1) do you actually believe in God and (2) what is your definition of God and Religion. I must commend one of you, I believe James, who was able to extrapolate a more general definition of religion that goes beyond just a faith based (God based in this case) set of beliefs and moral, etc. Simply put, religion to me is that driving force or impetus that dictates how you behave. Some people have more than one. Some are theistic, some are atheistcis. Eveeryone has one and everyone must have one. If you don’t you basically have no opinion and non-existant.

    As for a “god”, everyone has one of those as well, some have many, some have just one. You god is that thing that you believe determines your fate or controls your fate. For some people, its self, for some its Jesus, for others its Allah and for others its money and etc.

    With that out of the way, let me just quickly address some interesting comments as the one below:

    “What portion of China is atheist? Isn’t China like 1/6 of the world’s population. The argument that we need religion to regulate our lives is like we need the Patriot Act to keep us safe from imminent harm.”

    I would submit that, an I think James might agree to this, god belief,and quite possibly religion, it inevitable. Not because of some social need but because of an innate primordial need. Anyone ever wonder how we came up with the idea of God belief. Through evolution and all those millions of years, this thing we call God belief has lasted the test of time. Some athiest scientist are actually beginning to consider this argument from a biological perspective. Birds know exactly where to fly when migrating without going to school to learn how. We see similar things all in the animal kingdom. What do humans do that is of equal like. Perhaps god belief is such a thing yet who told us to do it. Where did it come from and why does it persist. Unlike animals, we have the power to turn it off. Somewhere in evolution we developed a free will unlike animals and we can say, no! I reject this innate thing that burns inside me. Afterall, we all ask ourselves why and how did we get here. Its at that point in our lives, something everyone goes through, that we decide on God belief or on non-God belief. This is a unique ability we have.

    Thus, if a person actually believes in a God, whether for biological or religious reasons, religion is quite simple. The issue of God belief is at the heart of every religious belief. If we cannot get past that questions, everything else is useless chatter. Beter to argue over the belief itself that over the religion that springs from it. I submit that non-God beleif is indeed unnatural. So, someone else said:

    “I always thought there was something pretty contradictory in Christainity and Islam. Imagine that they could could actually convert everyone, and in the process legislate Gods laws so that they were also man’s laws too. What would God’s role be? Essentially any form of sin would be illegal, we’d all be judged twice by the same set of rules. And imagine that we were all perfect believers following all of the rules, then how would God decide who to let in (once again, Many are called, Few are chosen).”

    And is America a nations of laws or a nation of men. Its a great myth that its a nation of laws. I’m sorry, the laws are self executing sentient agents. Of course there are men behind the writing and execution of the laws. Fath based religious laws are said to originate from God and that man is his viceregant. Who do we suppose will execute the law – man of course. Now man is fallable and might make the wrong decision based on incorrect understanding – an Justices do it all the time with the Constitution. With respect to Judeo-Christian understanding, and definitely Islamic understanding, a person punishment correctly or incorrectly would not be questioned a second time for the same crime. That would make no sense. If you were unjustly punished then the basis of the injustice would be weighed against the reasonableness of the mistake. In otherwords, was the miscarriage of justice purposeful or mistaken. If mistaken, then one is forgiven for other mistakes – that’s only just. If purposeful, then the perpetrators would be punished. Its only just.
    Finally, and there was much said that I do not have time right now to respond to, someone said:

    “If Islam is not the product of Middle Eastern, if Judaism is not the product of Israeli culture, if Christianity is not the product of Roman and European culture, if Taoism and Confucianism are not the product of Chinese culture, if Hinduism and Tantrism are not the product of Indian culture …”

    Clearly Islam came from the loins of Arabia but it is hardly Arab. Nor is Judaism Israeli, which happens to be in Arab land btw. Nor is Christianity European, which has no European origin or upbringing. We must learn to separate culture from religion. Sure there are influences but what is so culturally Arab about the cry of the Prophet of Islam that “there is nothing worthu of worship except God.” That statement is the underpining of Islam and its hardly Arab. Indeed, it would be universal. Everyone has a God, the only question is which one do you worship.

    Mustapha

  21. I don’t quite know which one of you is atheist, I assume James for sure

    That’s correct, I’m the atheist. Cugino, no matter how fine his mental acuity, or impressive his intellect , is held under the sway of metaphysics, for reasons I can neither fathom or explain.

    As for a “god”, everyone has one of those as well, some have many, some have just one. You god is that thing that you believe determines your fate or controls your fate. For some people, its self, for some its Jesus, for others its Allah and for others its money and etc.

    I do not necessarily agree. I believe everyone is composed of a manner of dogma, but as for myself, there is no “God” or “god”. But as stated, I refuse to expound on that particular point of reference.

    I would submit that, an I think James might agree to this, god belief,and quite possibly religion, it inevitable.

    Certainly, we cannot escape absurdity, nor can we escape the wille zur macht of genetic dominance.

    Somewhere in evolution we developed a free will unlike animals and we can say, no!

    I believe that the “observer of the observer” requires the creation of “free will” for agency, as well as validating itself as point of reference and for abject denial of the inevitable.

    Clearly Islam came from the loins of Arabia but it is hardly Arab. Nor is Judaism Israeli, which happens to be in Arab land btw. Nor is Christianity European, which has no European origin or upbringing. We must learn to separate culture from religion. Sure there are influences but what is so culturally Arab about the cry of the Prophet of Islam that “there is nothing worthu of worship except God.” That statement is the underpining of Islam and its hardly Arab. Indeed, it would be universal. Everyone has a God, the only question is which one do you worship.

    One begets the other, through habituation, indoctrination and the passage of time, they become indistinguishable. Ghandi stated that Hinduism had no place in the Western world, because it was distinctly Indian.

    The largest part of the problem is language is the agent of culture and religion. Language is a biologically enforced barrier, it creates not only the distinctions we acknowledge though sensory perception, it is the center of the internal dialectic of the hemispheres of the brain, that certify identity.

    Although one can make the metaphysical claim that with prevalence of religion throughout the world, and the repetition of components of the ideologies represented, that all religion belongs to all humankind, it doesn’t come clean in the wash.

    With geographic isolation comes particulars of linguistic transmission, a culture is developed through the isolation, and the inferences of language become particular to a select group within a select culture.

    For instance, the old Turkish proverb:

    Doğru soyleyen dokuz koyden kovular

    They will drive the truthspeaker from 9 villages.

    Tell me what that means in English, in direct terms outside colloquialism, and I’ll continue. Then it will become apparent why an ideology is the captor of its culture.

  22. ReWrite formerly TheCommentKiller

    What country has the greatest number of Muslims?

  23. 1. Indonesia

    2. Pakistan

    3. India

  24. eric

    It’s nice to see that I have started a fun debate.

  25. Troublemaker. 😉

    Don’t think you’re off the hook just yet, you have to finish what you have started.

  26. eric

    I guess I do. But, lots of work now. I will try a little later when I have time.

    As a primer, though, I would ask that if the search for understanding once existence is part of human nature, what Mustafa would call a primordial human urge, that of in and of itself does not mean that God exists, regardless of what Descartes may say (God exits because he cannot imagine him not existing). Science itself would be a religion as would pure materialism.

  27. As a primer, though, I would ask that if the search for understanding once existence is part of human nature, what Mustafa would call a primordial human urge, that of in and of itself does not mean that God exists, regardless of what Descartes may say (God exits because he cannot imagine him not existing). Science itself would be a religion as would pure materialism.

    Not religion, dogma.

    As per David Hume, science falls prey to the exact error as that of the creation of God and religion: inductive logic fallacy. (Materialism, even as a philosophical form of inquiry, is an extension of the concretism of physics and natural sciences.)

    It is, however detestable, correct. The problem for the empiricist/atheist is a matter of probabilities; is God a more probable and useful explanation than that of an Universe actuated of quantifiable forces?

    Obviously, the answer is no. Nuff said.

  28. eric

    Yes, nuff said.

    Poor Davie Hume, though, for if both god and science both fall prey to inductive logical fallacy, surely his own logic in defining them as such also falls prey to the same fate.

  29. ReWrite

    I have tried to post this since last night, but baby Jesus does not seem to want it up. It is supposed to be post #24:

    Islam and Christianity have proven over time that religion (or any ideology) is not limited to a specific culture or geographic location.

    Regarding the other debate:
    Religion is an institution, nothing more. I think there is a difference between religion, and culture/tradition.

    Metaphysics- in my opinion simply people question their reality. The essential issue is whether humans inherently question their existence (and the world around them- their reality). I think the answer is yes, but that is not tantamount to meaning that we are all religious.

    We do not all go to clubhouse on Saturday or Sunday and pray to an imaginary being, but yes we all have culture/traditions and we all probably question or think about our existence/reality. But just b/c we have culture or that we wonder about our reality does not axiomatically indicate that a greater being
    exists.

  30. Islam and Christianity have proven over time that religion (or any ideology) is not limited to a specific culture or geographic location.

    “Over time” is meaningless outside that it defines change. Cross over of cultural boundaries is predicated upon economic necessity.

    Arguing that any religion is anything other than the product of particular geographic isolation and language, is not only subjective and erroneous, but it stands against a wealth of information that such are always endemically created.

    Regarding the other debate:
    Religion is an institution, nothing more. I think there is a difference between religion, and culture/tradition.

    There is no contention that religion has become institutionalised, that is the result of time and habituation. Religion is no different than culture. “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” “Roman Catholic” “Southern Baptist” … Hindi is language, Hindu is a religious declaration. Again, inseparable. Religion incorporates language, diet, sexual modes, gender roles, etc., etc., etc., and all of that is found in the culture as well, which all descends from language.

    Metaphysics- in my opinion simply people question their reality. The essential issue is whether humans inherently question their existence (and the world around them- their reality). I think the answer is yes, but that is not tantamount to meaning that we are all religious.

    Metaphysics assigns agency, nuff said.

    We do not all go to clubhouse on Saturday or Sunday and pray to an imaginary being, but yes we all have culture/traditions and we all probably question or think about our existence/reality. But just b/c we have culture or that we wonder about our reality does not axiomatically indicate that a greater being exists.

    Cosmology, spirituality, shamanism, all metaphysics. None require a being of identity, nonetheless, agency is still present.

    Changing the label only changes the identity of the agency, it does not obviate that agency’s existence.

    Dogma is the linguistic center of religion, dogma takes its authority and authenticity from a source without adequate grounds. The difference of a priori assumptions and a posteriori quantifications.

    If you exercise a particular position as authoritative, say a subjective perspective that life comes with rights and entitlements, you are expressing dogma.

    Then let’s say you are a lawyer, whose entire operating modes are exercised under those dogmatic premises, with particular linguistic terminology and definitions, you now engage in ritual. At which point, you meet the exigencies of religion.

    Twist it all you like, it won’t scream what you want.

  31. Poor Davie Hume, though, for if both god and science both fall prey to inductive logical fallacy, surely his own logic in defining them as such also falls prey to the same fate.

    “Ooooohhh, sorry, nice try and thanks for playing. We have a nice butt shot on video for your parting gift.”

    It comes from the deduction of the now infamous “billiard ball” experiment. Which was truly my very first eye opener in the philosophical realm.

    Hume is your Daddy!!! Can I get a “Hooah!!!”, man style, with extra nekked and a side of “oh, damn she’s fine”.

    ::giggity:: Philosophy rocks.

  32. eric

    LOL. Now, you win the last word on this debate. Ha ha.

  33. I didn’t know I was trying to “win” something … is it coming via mail or FedEx? Is it a surprise, or do I have to guess?

    Really, your superior debate skills and inspiring mind give just cause for flexing the sophistry muscle. I have yet to feel like I have “won” something, other than above average discourses with my distant cousins.

    Why do I keep coming back? Me likey you blogness!!! It’s good too, that Rewrite and you are more same minded, being the underdog is most entertaining, especially when you both provide thoughtful retorts.

    Sophia > Wisdom
    Philia > love/adoration of

    Both the queen and the whore, but one cannot stop wanting her.

  34. eric

    Well, you won the “made me laugh most” category, that was all . . .

    Come back, hear.

  35. You should really visit my site, both of you. You would make some interesting friends, Mr. K would love you guys, he’s almost carbon copy of either of you, with just a touch of tinfoil hat.

    It’s also a bit easier for the humor, I’ve got the emoticon catalog. Rewrite might even smile one day for me.

  36. ReWrite

    what is the link again?

  37. Notice how my name shows up differently on the blog, then yours, yes, oh yes, oh god yes, click it breh, click it!!!!

    Yes, my son, come to the Darkside, we have cookies.

    Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha …. oh, wow, uuuuh, sorry … sudden burst of evil socialist laughter … uncontrollable really.

  38. ReWrite

    yes, my extra chromosome kicked in again. I was wondering how i linked to it in the past.

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