Fundamentalism and Fear - Dr V.V. Raman

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)
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Leyla Shen
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Post by Leyla Shen » Fri May 18, 2007 10:32 am

Indeed, Dan.
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Post by sschaula » Fri May 18, 2007 10:50 am

Yes, Scott, I am biased towards wisdom and not the ignorance your opinions have to offer.

Kevin is not correct to anyone but the ignorantly biased.
What if you're wrong? Then you're not biased towards wisdom, but rather, foolishness. Then my opinions aren't ignorant. Then Kevin is correct to the wise, and you are correct to the ignorantly biased.
- Scott

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Post by keenobserver » Fri May 18, 2007 10:50 am

With 9-11 the extremists delivered a measured blow not intended to cause the greatest amount of destruction, death or more significantly, terror. Specific targets containing the most blameful individuals (in their minds of course, not mine stupid!) were hit. In other words their beef is with the rich and powerful not your average American.
They could however change their tune, their strategy. They could have caused much more fear and concern. But as it stands we ought not believe they are not killing Americans because they cant. They certainly could if that alone was their goal.
So far Islamic fundies dont want to turn the whole of America against them. They need us to put pressure on our powerful leaders. They're counting on us to elect less agressive more creative leaders. So their attacks are always measured. But if we push them into a corner and they loose hope on a large scale we will be at risk of more widespread and random destruction. The kind of thing that would have us all worried much more than we presently are, or have been. They could have done so already, and a time will eventually come when they could do so again. Probably sooner than later.
Had they all along wanted to kill any Americans in any number at any time, then the peace of the last few years would suggest we are pretty safe indeed. But as things stand we cant assume this.
Last edited by keenobserver on Fri May 18, 2007 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by sschaula » Fri May 18, 2007 10:51 am

The middle east is much more complex than that, Dan.
- Scott

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Leyla Shen
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Post by Leyla Shen » Fri May 18, 2007 10:57 am

sschaula wrote:
Yes, Scott, I am biased towards wisdom and not the ignorance your opinions have to offer.

Kevin is not correct to anyone but the ignorantly biased.
What if you're wrong? Then you're not biased towards wisdom, but rather, foolishness. Then my opinions aren't ignorant. Then Kevin is correct to the wise, and you are correct to the ignorantly biased.
I'm not wrong, Scott.

Your inability to be certain is no reflection of me.

Edit: Why don't you try substantiating your position, for a change, eh?
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Dan Rowden
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Post by Dan Rowden » Fri May 18, 2007 11:01 am

Getting back to the actual content of the podcast: one of the problems with Dr Raman's activities in groups engaged in religion-science "dialogues" is that there is a point where such dialogues inevitably falter. Science proceeds, whilst in important ways religion remains static. This is because religion makes truth-claims, which by their very nature cannot be open to revision without the undermining of religion itself. The only way around this is for religion to limit its truth claims to notions that essentially lie outside the province of science (but obviously not outside that of philosophy). Given this, I can't help but wonder what the content of such dialogues could possibly be. What have science and religion got to talk about?

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Dan Rowden
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Post by Dan Rowden » Fri May 18, 2007 11:03 am

sschaula wrote:The middle east is much more complex than that, Dan.
Thanks for that update, Scott; I'll keep it in mind.

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Post by keenobserver » Fri May 18, 2007 11:13 am

You certainly seem off the mark to me, Leyla. Are you of middle eastern origin yourself? Perhaps that is why you dislike the idea.
The fundies are outgunned, their imaginary god will not save them, their plan for the world is getting smaller every day, their killing themselves with bombs nearly every day.
If I were in their shoes Id be looking for the biggest bat i could get my hands on.
America has only been so pushy and determined because of its atomic discovery. The fundies have probably figured out that they will need to put on muscle and then flex for all to see.
Hopefully their first demonstration will be measured and more humane than Hiroshima.
Then perhaps the start of a lasting peace may begin, when we get the living shit scared out of our fat arrogant asses. I hope Im alive to see it!

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Leyla Shen
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KEEN OFF THE MARK

Post by Leyla Shen » Fri May 18, 2007 11:19 am

Is there anyone other than those living in Australia who actually understand the English language not only enough to be able to demonstrate reading comprehension, but enough to distinguish it from other languages?

No, I'm not of Middle Eastern descent, I'm flippen-well Japanese, can't you tell?
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Post by Dan Rowden » Fri May 18, 2007 11:20 am

When you remove the political reasons for what many Islamists do - and they keep on doing it - then you'll have a clearer perspective on the nature of the problem. As it stands, I don't think that clarity exists.

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Post by Kevin Solway » Fri May 18, 2007 12:18 pm

Leyla Shen wrote:Thirdly, on the basis that everyone on the planet is heavily deluded and not everyone is “from Islam,” religion, in fact, becomes irrelevant. I question, therefore, why you think it wise to reduce such a complex thing arbitrarily to a particular religion.
A body may be entirely riddled with disease, yet there are certain signs which indicate the disease more obviously than others. Islam is one of those signs.

It must be, Kevin, that you think the West (and therefore by default, Christianity) is worth preserving because it is not as deluded
People are pretty much equally deluded the world over, but the particular "drugs" (religions) people use have different consequences.

Perhaps Islam is like "ice" methamphetamine, whereas Christianity is like heroin.

"Ice" has a higher tendency to make you violent and totally lose control.

But the end result of both religions is brain-death.


Also, I think there are more elements of Christianity that it would be worthwhile to preserve than there are in Islam. And if we move on to Buddhism, there are a lot more elelments that would be worthwhile to preserve than there are in both Islam and Christianity.

It’s abundantly clear that the actual origin of nuclear technology comes from (or through) those who develop it.
There's nothing inherently wrong with nuclear weapons. The problem is when you put them in the hands of madmen.

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Post by sschaula » Fri May 18, 2007 12:20 pm

Leyla,
I'm not wrong, Scott.
Well, two can play that game: yes you are.
Your inability to be certain is no reflection of me.
Do you consider this to be sensible English?
Edit: Why don't you try substantiating your position, for a change, eh?
Okay. The Iranian Quds force has been bringing weapons and men into Iraq to influence the power struggle so that the Shia majority will overrun Iraq and thus gain power of the oilfields. While Iran denies it publicly, it's pretty frickin obvious it was ordered by their Ayatollah...and it's without a doubt that these weapons are from Iran. The weapons target US troops. Iran grabs the British boat out of free waters, and treats them like shit while making fake videos that they were treated well. The Iranian president, Mahmoud, attends a conference which denies that the holocaust ever happened. They are trying to have nuclear power, despite the UN saying no...

All of these things are taunts aimed at those who aren't Shiite Muslims. Aimed at you and I (well, maybe not you, since you support them for some reason). It has nothing to do with wanting to provide better power to the country. It has nothing to do with protecting their waters. It has nothing to do with some truth about Jews never being killed en masse. Has little to do with getting the oilfields in Iraq...

It has to do with Shia Islam expanding and taking over the world like a virus.

The oilfields are just a pawn which Iran would like to move in order to provide another means of getting a checkmate against the West.

The borders between a lot of countries aren't so certain, which is why I said to Dan to keep in mind that this stuff is much more complex than we typically think. It's not simple like: Pakistan has nuclear weapons (I didn't know they did!) so we should be afraid of them. Portions of Pakistan can work with portions of Iran. It has more to do with who you sympathize with, over there, than where you live. Hmm, which is pretty much the same anywhere, even in America.

I don't think it's wise to sympathize with the Iranian government, despite the fact that the Iranian culture is becoming more secular (which is apparently a good thing?). They've shown in the past year or two exactly what they want.

You may wonder who is the good guy in the middle east, in regards to America. Originally, it would have appeared to have been the Shias. Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Taliban...all Sunni. People have a tendency to think that Sunni muslims are the ones that want to destroy all infidels....but the fact is that both Sunni and Shia Muslims want this. The only difference between the two groups is in how they choose their leaders: that's it!

So basically, after all of this info, Leyla, I don't see why you have the views that you do. Why you think it's irrational that someone would think it's dangerous for Iran to have nukes.

By the way, we all know here how bad I am with world politics. Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong, I'm willing to learn.
- Scott

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Leyla Shen
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Post by Leyla Shen » Fri May 18, 2007 1:28 pm

Kevin, you’re speaking rubbish!
Also, I think there are more elements of Christianity that it would be worthwhile to preserve than there are in Islam. And if we move on to Buddhism, there are a lot more elelments that would be worthwhile to preserve than there are in both Islam and Christianity.
Yes, I know you do. Because you are a Christian, and I mean that in the religious sense of the word. If you were not, you would be promoting wisdom in and of itself and not religion. I don’t buy the bullshit that there is no wisdom beyond Christianity, and have (unlike you) no inclination to preserve it over any other religion. What wisdom takes is that “good imagination” you were talking about.
Christianity doesn't contain much more wisdom than Islam. Some parts of the old testament are just as bad as Islamic teachings.
Given this, on what grounds do you think wisdom cannot survive without Christianity?
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Kevin Solway
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Post by Kevin Solway » Fri May 18, 2007 1:43 pm

Leyla Shen wrote:you are a Christian
I'm more of a Christian than I am Muslim, more of a Buddhist than I am Christian, more of an atheist than I am a Buddhist, and infinitely more wise than an atheist.

Christianity doesn't contain much more wisdom than Islam. Some parts of the old testament are just as bad as Islamic teachings.
Given this, on what grounds do you think wisdom cannot survive without Christianity?
All I've said is that not all of the written teachings to be found in the Christian tradition are entirely foolish.

[Edited for spelling]
Last edited by Kevin Solway on Fri May 18, 2007 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Leyla Shen
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Post by Leyla Shen » Fri May 18, 2007 1:49 pm

Kevin wrote:
Christianity doesn't contain much more wisdom than Islam.
All I've said is that not all of the written teachings to be found in the Christian tradition are entirely foolish.
Alright, that's it.

You are being disingenuous, or just plain stupid, Kevin.

I will no longer post to a forum which supports such a thing. Reason forbids it.
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Post by David Quinn » Fri May 18, 2007 2:31 pm

I'm not sure what your problem is, Leyla, other than that you seem very, very attached to Islam. God knows why. It always makes you go very weird as soon as the subject of Islam is brought up.

Kevin's point is very clear. He regards both Islam and Christianity to be very foolish. The only thing worth saving within Christianity is some of Jesus's teachings. I'm not sure that he thinks there is anything worth saving in Islam. But all in all, both religions have to go.

It's not difficult to understand. So I'm confused as to why you keep insisting on painting Kevin's position as one of Christianity vs Islam? Are you engaging in a spoof of how Islamic fundamentalists react to things? I can only hope so.

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Post by Kevin Solway » Fri May 18, 2007 2:53 pm

Leyla,

Perhaps you misread what I wrote. Note that I said that "Christianity doesn't contain much more wisdom than Islam" not "Christianity contains much more wisdom than Islam".

Islam contains virtually no wisdom at all, and Christianity contains marginally more than that.

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Post by Steven Coyle » Fri May 18, 2007 2:54 pm

[edited for nonsense]
Last edited by Steven Coyle on Fri May 18, 2007 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Quinn » Fri May 18, 2007 2:55 pm

Kevin wrote:
I'm more of a Christian than I am Muslim, more of a Buddhist than I am Christian, more of an atheist than I am a Buddhist, and infinitely more wise than an atheist.
Love it! A quote for the ages, that one.

-

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Post by Jamesh » Fri May 18, 2007 3:29 pm

and infinitely more wise than an atheist.
Yeah, nice quote, but the above has yet to be proven to me, and I doubt it ever will be, so I interpret this last bit as a delusion of granduer.

I don't see why one cannot be enlightened, as in having a very strong grasp of reality, and yet still remain an atheist. In fact in my mind it is essential that they remain so.

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Post by keenobserver » Fri May 18, 2007 7:19 pm

Leyla Shen wrote:Kevin wrote:
Christianity doesn't contain much more wisdom than Islam.
All I've said is that not all of the written teachings to be found in the Christian tradition are entirely foolish.
Alright, that's it.

You are being disingenuous, or just plain stupid, Kevin.

I will no longer post to a forum which supports such a thing. Reason forbids it.
Boy, you guys are lame.
She's just toying with K at this point.
Needs to know how appreciated she is.
Whether he could live without her!

Steven Coyle

Well, Second Thought

Post by Steven Coyle » Sat May 19, 2007 2:28 am

Her righteous anger is borrowed from another. The true source of her condemnation, rests in the sands of time. The presence of the mighty Marsha Faizi I sense.

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Post by keenobserver » Sat May 19, 2007 3:13 am

Jamesh wrote:
and infinitely more wise than an atheist.
Yeah, nice quote, but the above has yet to be proven to me, and I doubt it ever will be, so I interpret this last bit as a delusion of granduer.

I don't see why one cannot be enlightened, as in having a very strong grasp of reality, and yet still remain an atheist. In fact in my mind it is essential that they remain so.
Normally it means not believing in some god, or God. That is just a matter of belief, even a perfectly wise person could not disprove there exists some God controlling the world we live in.
He just doesnt believe that, some other person with more evidence at his disposal might.
The enlightenment talked about here is quite a bit above what you speak of.

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Post by Elizabeth Isabelle » Sat May 19, 2007 4:55 am

Leyla Shen wrote:I see no wisdom in believing that the origin/cause of such an event as nuclear holocaust should be pinned down as more likely to "come from Islam.” In fact, I see such a thing as counter-wisdom.
Well, I wouldn't pin it down to geographic Islam, but the Islamic religion is some scary stuff, and the American versions of it, Nation of Islam is the scariest thing I have ever encountered. Not all NOI members are bad people, and there is even one that I know personally whom I respect. The vast majority as well as parts of the doctrine terrify me, and I suspect that the American Nation of Islam is actually what is stirring up the hatred of America by Islamic terrorists overseas when they make their pilgrimages over there and preach against America. These people do not represent real Muslims, and although we are fighting this overseas, the beam is in our own eye.

Although the Islamic religion has done some good in raising the spirit of African-Americans to the point of valuing education and righteous living, there are some very unwise doctrines as well. Here are some quotes from the page I linked that I will comment on:
4. We want our people in America whose parents or grandparents were descendants from slaves, to be allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own--either on this continent or elsewhere. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to provide such land and that the area must be fertile and minerally rich. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to maintain and supply our needs in this separate territory for the next 20 to 25 years--until we are able to produce and supply our own needs.
The "former slave masters" are dead. There are few people still alive in America who were ever slaves in America, if any. What we have left are people, all of whom should be given what they need to be at their best.
5. We want freedom for all Believers of Islam now held in federal prisons. We want freedom for all black men and women now under death sentence in innumerable prisons in the North as well as the South.
They want anyone who joins their religion to have carte-blanche to do whatever crime they want and not get punished for any crime they have done? And if you're black and have been convicted and sentenced to the death penalty, you should be set free? Not the white, Latino, or any other race, just blacks? That is so obviously illogical that I'm not sure where to begin to argue that.
8. We want the government of the United States to exempt our people from ALL taxation as long as we are deprived of equal justice under the laws of the land.
I think they use Nat's argument about being able to support a minority.
6. WE BELIEVE in the judgment; we believe this first judgment will take place as God revealed, in America...
I repeat, the beam is in our own eye.


I agree with Kevin about the nuclear suicide weapons. If they believe that all who die for Allah will go to heaven, it would be okay with them if they all die as well if it is to spite the infidels. I don't agree with Kevin that we have 50 or 60 years though. I believe we have much less time than that - maybe as few as 5 years. I base that in part on this speech which has been circulated as factual - even taught to me in college as factual - but on further investigation has been found to be false. Nevertheless, although most white Americans have never even heard of this, almost all black Americans know of it and believe it to be true. It is reported to have been given in 1712, and promised 300 years of control over black people. The end of the 300 years is in 2012 - 5 years from now. I just know something is going to happen then, and I suspect it will come from the Nation of Islam - which could possibly be behind this speech. Despite the good things that NOI has done, the irrationality in NOI is my greatest fear.

On to the next topic regarding the broadcast, Dan - I'm not sure why you value humans above all other animals. You mentioned the average American spending more on their pet's health than the average Indian family spends on their whole family's health. I agree that looks peculiar, but many pets are put to death because they are unwanted and other than the death penalty we don't do that to humans. Animals also get put to death for doing something really wrong, but most animals put to death are just because of the overpopulation. Humans also have an overpopulation problem.... If our pet is of use to us but some family in India is not, of course we will care for our pet and not the family in India. That's part of natural selection and evolution as well as practicality. It isn't that we don't care - look at the tsunami support the citizens sent overseas. Now if the family in India came over here and made themselves useful, of course we would help as well (nevermind the logistics problem for the sake of this point; sometimes Nature is ruthless). Homocentricity is an attachment Dan. As Kevin said, a truly wise society would not be overpopulated), and I believe that at that point, a wise society would provide health benefits not only for the people, but also for all the wild animals. The Black Plague would not have happened if the rats were healthy. Humanity is not yet wise enough to know the specifics of how to balance everything in our biosphere to eliminate suffering - although the wisest have a general idea. All must be cared for and brought into balance - human, plant, animal, and other - or there will be suffering.
.
edit to condense into one post:
Leyla Shen wrote:No, I'm not of Middle Eastern descent, I'm flippen-well Japanese, can't you tell?
Image

Nope. I don't see any resemblance at all. Actually, it looks like there's something fishy about you.
.
Last edited by Elizabeth Isabelle on Sat May 19, 2007 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Nick » Sun May 20, 2007 9:08 am

I was disapointed to hear Dr. Raman explain how he places greater importance on what people do, rather than why they do it. In the case of religion helping feed the homeless, I think the saying "even a blind squirrel finds a nut" applies quite nicely. Honestly it's just plain stupid of him to justify the continued respect for religion on the basis of the music and architecture it has inspired.

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