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 » Sun May 20, 2007 10:48 am

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.
Give me a break, David. Any position I take on the subject is necessarily the product of being “very, very attached” to Islam (if not being outrightly unconscious because I am a woman) and the reverse cannot be said of Kevin with respect to his position here? On what grounds do you make this statement, exactly?

It’s a matter of principle, for me. You remember those, right? (And I hardly think that Kevin needed you to so valiantly come to his personal defence in the manner in which you did. You wouldn't happen to be attached to him, would you?) I regard my position here as precisely that, and having little to do with Islam itself. On those grounds, I will write again now only to ascertain exactly what principle it is that lies behind Kevin’s statement above, in his own words.

As far as everyone else’s responses (except James) are concerned, you’re not even in the flippen ballpark. Jesus.

~

Kevin,
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".
Well, really, thank you for sharing that, again.

No, Kevin, this is not what I “misunderstand” about your position. I note that you said it seems more likely that nuclear catastrophe will come from Islam; and I note that you have not addressed my question regarding the wisdom contained in such a statement.
Islam contains virtually no wisdom at all, and Christianity contains marginally more than that.
And my question, one last time, continues to be: on what grounds is it wise to proclaim that it seems more likely that mass nuclear destruction will come from “Islam” as if Islam is itself a sort of monster thing with inherent existence? Again, I stress, my question is with respect to wisdom and reason (since that is what I have only ever been interested in, in participating on the forum).
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Kelly Jones
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Music in the soul

Post by Kelly Jones » Sun May 20, 2007 12:35 pm

Kevin,

Can you explain what you meant by experiencing music with your soul?

That's a paraphrase, as I couldn't bear a second listening. I probably would have fallen asleep.


[edit: This question is redundant.

I see music as no different to any other experience, in which one experiences Truth (the latter being soul).

]

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Last edited by Kelly Jones on Sun May 20, 2007 6:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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David Quinn
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Post by David Quinn » Sun May 20, 2007 4:44 pm

Leyla,
Give me a break, David. Any position I take on the subject is necessarily the product of being “very, very attached” to Islam (if not being outrightly unconscious because I am a woman) and the reverse cannot be said of Kevin with respect to his position here? On what grounds do you make this statement, exactly?
The tone of your posts becomes very different whenever the subject of Islam is brought up. You seem to get very defensive and your interactions with others starts getting a bit nasty. By contrast, Kevin's approach remains the same, as always.

I don't see anything controversial in Kevin saying that Muslim fundamentalists are likely to be the ones who trigger off a nuclear war. They are clearly more militant, more organized, and more enamoured with martydom than nearly everyone else. And nuclear weapons are becoming more accessible.

So again, I don't see what your problem is. I can only put it down to some unresolved issues that you might have in your relationship with Islam. You do come from a Turkish background, don't you?

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Elizabeth Isabelle
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Post by Elizabeth Isabelle » Sun May 20, 2007 5:21 pm

Leyla Shen wrote:(if not being outrightly unconscious because I am a woman)
Kevin,

Do you see yet how your Woman philosophy redirects from Truth? Leyla has been here for a very long time, and yet it still festers.
.

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Kelly Jones
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Post by Kelly Jones » Sun May 20, 2007 6:25 pm

It festers because the sore hasn't been cut out.

Leyla is as direct and forthright as a willy wagtail. I gather she is yet to develop the courage to step out of her joker's costume.


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Kevin Solway
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Post by Kevin Solway » Sun May 20, 2007 6:43 pm

Leyla Shen wrote:I note that you said it seems more likely that nuclear catastrophe will come from Islam
Yes, for the foreseeable future at least.

and I note that you have not addressed my question regarding the wisdom contained in such a statement.
If it's true, and if it is important to draw attention to the most obvious (in terms of mass physical violence) symptoms of dogmatism and mindlessness, then I don't see how it is not wise to speak of Islam in this context.

Islam contains virtually no wisdom at all, and Christianity contains marginally more than that.
And my question, one last time, continues to be: on what grounds is it wise to proclaim that it seems more likely that mass nuclear destruction will come from “Islam” as if Islam is itself a sort of monster thing with inherent existence?


I explained that Islam is only the symptom of a more systemic disease. It is, however, one of the more obvious and ugly symptoms. So it certainly doesn't have inherent existence.

Christianity is another ugly symptom of the same disease.

Once we recognize the symptoms for what they are, and own them, then we can be serious about tackling the causes of the disease.

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David Quinn
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Post by David Quinn » Sun May 20, 2007 6:49 pm

Both Elizabeth and Leyla are playing the victim card, which is part of the feminine disease that Kevin correctly talks about.

If a person thinks that the "Woman Philosophy" is a redirection from Truth, then they understand neither woman nor Truth.

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Kevin Solway
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Re: Music in the soul

Post by Kevin Solway » Sun May 20, 2007 7:19 pm

Kelly Jones wrote:Can you explain what you meant by experiencing music with your soul?
It's not complicated. I'm sure everyone has this same "music" going on inside them, although the music going on inside most people is not very beautiful, judging by most popular music - which is an expression of that inner music.

It's just a feeling or a rythym of life that has an auditory element.

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Dan Rowden
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Post by Dan Rowden » Sun May 20, 2007 7:49 pm

David Quinn wrote:Leyla,
Give me a break, David. Any position I take on the subject is necessarily the product of being “very, very attached” to Islam (if not being outrightly unconscious because I am a woman) and the reverse cannot be said of Kevin with respect to his position here? On what grounds do you make this statement, exactly?
The tone of your posts becomes very different whenever the subject of Islam is brought up. You seem to get very defensive and your interactions with others starts getting a bit nasty. By contrast, Kevin's approach remains the same, as always.

I don't see anything controversial in Kevin saying that Muslim fundamentalists are likely to be the ones who trigger off a nuclear war. They are clearly more militant, more organized, and more enamoured with martydom than nearly everyone else. And nuclear weapons are becoming more accessible.

So again, I don't see what your problem is. I can only put it down to some unresolved issues that you might have in your relationship with Islam. You do come from a Turkish background, don't you?
That's possible, but it may simply be that she sees no actual factual basis for any of these statements:
They are clearly more militant
more organized
more enamoured with martydom than nearly everyone else
nuclear weapons are becoming more accessible
As demented as Islam may be I can't help but view these claims as tantamount to propaganda. At the very least I don't think they accuately portray matters.

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Kelly Jones
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Re: Music in the soul

Post by Kelly Jones » Sun May 20, 2007 8:16 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
Kelly Jones wrote:Can you explain what you meant by experiencing music with your soul?
It's not complicated. I'm sure everyone has this same "music" going on inside them, although the music going on inside most people is not very beautiful, judging by most popular music - which is an expression of that inner music.

It's just a feeling or a rythym of life that has an auditory element.
But life doesn't have a rhythm, Kevin.

If life sounds like something, it's sounds. If patterns are perceived, then it is really just memory being clarified. One cannot say that life is really fluctuations of memory.

.

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Kelly Jones
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Post by Kelly Jones » Sun May 20, 2007 8:29 pm

Dan wrote:As demented as Islam may be I can't help but view these claims as tantamount to propaganda. At the very least I don't think they accuately portray matters.
Dan and Kevin continue to have these perspective arguments quite often ...

Kevin's approach portrays matters in terms of how much wisdom they reveal.

Whereas Dan's says that those involved aren't interested in wisdom, so to represent people accurately, one must ....... ?

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Last edited by Kelly Jones on Sun May 20, 2007 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Elizabeth Isabelle
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Post by Elizabeth Isabelle » Sun May 20, 2007 8:32 pm

"The victim card.-" - interesting you would phrase it that way David, because if there was no victimization, there would be no victim card to play. Sounds like a subconscious admission. What you don't admit to is that by calling irrational emoters "women" you damn the entire female gender. Despite the hedging you provide that there could at some point be a female who becomes wise, you then rehedge that by saying that they first would have to become men - which would ultimately be false (OT - also interesting that you are not responding to my statements on ultimate falseness on the other thread), which recondemns all females as irrational emoters in a circular logic, no-win fashion. To your Woman philosophy, the only way a woman could be rational is if she were a man. Since a female can not be a man, a female who claims she is a man is behaving irrationally, or at least being ultimately untruthful.

There are two ways that the Woman philosophy with its unfortunate terminology redirects people from the Truth. It redirects the females because whenever a male or a gender-disoriented female debates something with her, even if she understands the Woman philosophy perfectly, there will always be a small doubt as to whether the person is actually debating the point or if they are just dismissing her thoughts because of her gender. In the above case with Leyla, she is less open to your observations about her attachment to Islam because of the history of gender slams.

It also redirects the males because it gives them an easy out to dismiss females who do not agree with them, thereby preventing them from hearing some valid points just because the points were brought up by a female. Your above post is an example of how your Woman philosophy redirects you from the Truth. I pointed out that the Woman philosophy had placed another barrier to Leyla hearing/accepting your point, and rather than recognizing my point, you lumped us both in as having "the feminine disease" - presumably because we are female. Of course you also tacked on a version of your classic "anyone who disagrees with me is just plain wrong" theme that you use for both genders rather than directly addressing the point, but also you started off with a gender-related dismissal.
Your - or was it originally Kevin's, as you once said you were not sure you could stand by that your whole life - Woman philosophy is blinding you as well.
.

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Leyla Shen
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Post by Leyla Shen » Sun May 20, 2007 11:00 pm

L: Give me a break, David. Any position I take on the subject is necessarily the product of being “very, very attached” to Islam (if not being outrightly unconscious because I am a woman) and the reverse cannot be said of Kevin with respect to his position here? On what grounds do you make this statement, exactly?

D: The tone of your posts becomes very different whenever the subject of Islam is brought up. You seem to get very defensive and your interactions with others starts getting a bit nasty.
I think that’s an illusion caused by your own attachment. What actually happens is: 1) the tone of my posts is exactly the same whenever I see anything I think is completely stupid, it‘s just that you only object when it involves Kevin. I think there are a few people here who can testify to that (witness Steven Coyle, Unidian, Tumbleman, Jamesh, Cory, Ryan, Nick, etc.; and not even on the subject of Islam--although, under your particular system of logic, you could make it all about Islam). In fact, come to think of it, it would probably be easier to isolate those with whom my interactions have never been “a bit nasty”--and, no Kelly, I was never joking). And, 2) this is probably the only issue regarding which I consider Kevin’s “ifs” to be particularly stupid. Of course, every now and then I object to his Woman commentaries, as I have with Sue, yourself and others (must be because of Islam), but I find this issue to be most fraught with stupidity.
By contrast, Kevin's approach remains the same, as always.
So? What does that have to do with Islam, David?
I don't see anything controversial in Kevin saying that Muslim fundamentalists are likely to be the ones who trigger off a nuclear war.
No, there’s nothing controversial about it. Quite a mediocre statement, really. Doesn’t take any courage at all and is just plain meaningless. But, the question was not whether or not it was controversial! Does wisdom lack controversy?
They are clearly more militant, more organized, and more enamoured with martydom than nearly everyone else.
[laughs] Reeeally???? Where’s your evidence. You think the West is less militant (even though stationed on almost every flippen country on the planet) and less organised (wow!) and less enamoured with martyrdom? What the hell is ANZAC day all about, then, if you don‘t exclude dying for a noble cause from the definition of “martyrdom”? Would you not die for wisdom, David Quinn?
And nuclear weapons are becoming more accessible.
And………………? That must be because of Islam, I reckon.
So again, I don't see what your problem is.
Take the beam out of your eye.
I can only put it down to some unresolved issues that you might have in your relationship with Islam.
Well, if nothing else makes sense then I guess it must be true.
You do come from a Turkish background, don't you?
Yes. 100% Muslim blood. Your point being?

~
K: If it's true, and if it is important to draw attention to the most obvious (in terms of mass physical violence) symptoms of dogmatism and mindlessness, then I don't see how it is not wise to speak of Islam in this context.
That’s a pretty big “if,” Kevin.
L: I note that you said it seems more likely that nuclear catastrophe will come from Islam

K: Yes, for the foreseeable future at least.
You mean, for at least the future you can see. I see no wisdom in your statement. Not when you first said it, and not now.
K: I explained that Islam is only the symptom of a more systemic disease. It is, however, one of the more obvious and ugly symptoms.
Are you aware, Kevin, that Pakistan is predominantly Muslim? Something like 95%. And they have had nuclear weapons since the seventies. So, how do you factor this into the more obvious and ugly symptoms of disease?
So it certainly doesn't have inherent existence.
Thankfully. Otherwise there is the possibility you might have been right.
Once we recognize the symptoms for what they are, and own them, then we can be serious about tackling the causes of the disease.
Exactly. Right now, all your foreseeable future consists of are symptoms and not causes.


~

Thanks, Elizabeth! But I think I prefer to speak for myself, as and when I deem appropriate.

~

Dan, I can always count on you to catch the….subtleties (?!)

~
D: Both Elizabeth and Leyla are playing the victim card, which is part of the feminine disease that Kevin correctly talks about.
Um, well--not unless the victim is wisdom, surely…

I see NO wisdom!

~
Kelly: Kevin's approach portrays matters in terms of how much wisdom they reveal.

Whereas Dan's says that those involved aren't interested in wisdom, so to represent people accurately, one must ....... ?
Hello?

It hardly takes much effort to substantiate an idea in this manner: “If it's true, and if it is important to draw attention to the most obvious (in terms of mass physical violence) symptoms of dogmatism and mindlessness, then I don't see how it is not wise to speak of predominantly Christian nations in this context.

So, where's the truth that makes it true and, therefore, wise?
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Kevin Solway
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Post by Kevin Solway » Sun May 20, 2007 11:58 pm

Leyla Shen wrote:What the hell is ANZAC day all about
Yes, I agree that this commemorative day glorifies the concept of dying for a cause.

But for many modern Muslims, and given the text of the Koran, it's ANZAC day every day of the year.

There's an Internet TV channel you can tune-in to, that is produced in England, supposedly "mainstream", that almost continuously teaches about the extreme evil of non-believers. Combine that with the unending Islamic teachings about how important it is to kill non-believers, and you've got real problems.

Are you aware, Kevin, that Pakistan is predominantly Muslim? Something like 95%. And they have had nuclear weapons since the seventies. So, how do you factor this into the more obvious and ugly symptoms of disease?
Yes. I'm aware of it, and I think it is a big problem, especially if the fundamentalists take political control.

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Post by Kelly Jones » Mon May 21, 2007 12:15 am

Leyla,

Distinguishing between things that help and hinder the development of consciousness, is a trial and error process. One cannot be sure, so one has to make the best judgments one can.

One of the likely signs of unconsciousness (delusion) is emotionalism.

So this:
They are clearly more militant, more organized
is not a problem at all, in any culture, unless there is also this:
and more enamoured with martydom than nearly everyone else.
Suicidalism is a "way of life", or it wouldn't be called an -ism. It's obviously irrational, therefore driven by emotionalism.

Investigating to what degree any belief supports martyrdom and suicide is important.

Since Society expects the sacrifice of males for females --- and in general individuals for Society ---we can say that Society itself hinders consciousness to a great degree. So, human societies typically support martyrdom strongly.

If a society expects that, on top of the sacrifice of one's mind, that one's life is also open game, then that is a real problem. In other words, not just to slave away at a brainless job, but to abandon all claim to one's own life, then that society is more a hindrance than another.

I do not see all American males being conscripted into the American military, even though most seem brainwashed about their "right to own and use firearms". I see that the US is militaristic, highly organised, but also constrained by fear of public backlash when its soldiers are killed. The extent of support for martyrdom is not absolute in the US (though this could change).

That constraint, as well as holding non-militant values, is not as strongly present in fundamentalist Islamic cultures. While US church leaders and Islamic sheiks and mosque leaders both use religious gatherings to enrol their "holy warriors", the option to remain wholly non-militant is not present in Islamic cultures ---- so far as I am aware. Nor is the constraint, the embarrassment about being seen as lacking "compassion".

There is simply too much New Testament "Sermon on the Mount" style stuff in Christianity, to grant the same degree of support for suicidalism.

If you have other evidence, please present it in as rational and calm a manner as you can.

Don't forget that there are members of the Genius Forum who are struggling to free themselves from religious mentalities. Some may actually be living incognito, so are really faced with the problems of speaking rationally and openly about the emptiness of all things, and other challenging matters.

So it helps to be as unemotional as possible.


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Elizabeth Isabelle
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Post by Elizabeth Isabelle » Mon May 21, 2007 1:59 am

Leyla Shen wrote:Thanks, Elizabeth! But I think I prefer to speak for myself, as and when I deem appropriate.
Well, you're welcome, but I wasn't really saying that for you personally. I know you are quite capable of speaking for yourself (when you said it would be easier to isolate those you have not been a bit nasty with, I didn't think there was anyone with over 12 posts that fit in that category). I stated that as part of my battle against the evils of the terminology in the Woman philosophy. Thank you for providing a lovely example. It was particularly valuable coming from you due to the length and extent of your involvement with the board.

Regarding Islam, I made a post earlier in this thread citing the American version of the Nation of Islam as an example of the Islamic religion, and stated that they do not represent real Muslims. From my view over here, it looked like Muslims are moral people who value wisdom and knowledge, but those of the Islamic religion are hate mongers. You claim 100% Muslim blood (I didn't know that any religion other than Judaism had a blood-line), yet defend the Islamics. Would you please state your perspective on the terminology difference between Islamic and Muslim? Is it kind of like how not all Christians bomb women's health clinics and shoot doctors that perform abortions, but those who do are still called Christians?
.

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Elizabeth Isabelle
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Post by Elizabeth Isabelle » Mon May 21, 2007 5:03 am

Kevin Solway wrote:
Leyla Shen wrote:Are you aware, Kevin, that Pakistan is predominantly Muslim? Something like 95%. And they have had nuclear weapons since the seventies. So, how do you factor this into the more obvious and ugly symptoms of disease?
Yes. I'm aware of it, and I think it is a big problem, especially if the fundamentalists take political control.
According to U.S. News & World Report, May 14, 2007, p.32-33, "A Resurgent Menace" by Kevin Whitelaw, al Qaeda leaders have regrouped and formed their new base in Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an American ally, Pakistanis do not want to go after al Qaeda because it would put their President at risk.
.

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David Quinn
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Post by David Quinn » Mon May 21, 2007 10:05 am

Dan,
That's possible, but it may simply be that she sees no actual factual basis for any of these statements:

Quote:
They are clearly more militant

Quote:
more organized

Quote:
more enamoured with martydom than nearly everyone else

Quote:
nuclear weapons are becoming more accessible

As demented as Islam may be I can't help but view these claims as tantamount to propaganda. At the very least I don't think they accuately portray matters.
What is a comparable group that openly talks about the destruction of their enemy and taking over the world (e.g. "the Islamification of the world"), has a strong track record of blowing up people, constantly extols the virtue of martydom for the cause, and organizes training camps and the like for this very purpose? Other than the American government.

The closest example I can think of is some of the more extreme Christian groups in America, but as far as I am aware, none of them have made enough progress for anyone to regard them seriously as a potential threat, at least as far as nuclear war is concerned. Again, aside from the current American government.

As for the current American government, there is no question that Bush and co. are just as irrational and insane as the Muslim fundamentalists, but at least there is a strong pull of secularism and real politik in America which keeps the government's religious impulse in check. I don't get the impression that such restraining forces are as strong within Muslim fundamentalist circles.

But perhaps you're right. Perhaps I have been brainwashed into perceiving things this way. But what I do see whenever I witness a Muslim fundamentalist is an intense, single-minded focus to the cause and a complete inability to laugh at himself or explore alternative points of view that is relatively lacking in other comparable groups, even in the Americans. To me at least, American Christian fundamentalists merely come across as being stupid and dopey, whereas Muslim fundamentalists come across as being primed and ready for action.

Of course, that could change in the future. It's possible that an even more extreme Christian group could win office in America, one that is less influenced by secularism and real politik, which would pose a real danger to the rest of the world. If that were to happen, then yes, they would probably take over the mantle of the group most likely to trigger a nuclear war.

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Post by David Quinn » Mon May 21, 2007 10:27 am

Leyla,
What the hell is ANZAC day all about, then, if you don‘t exclude dying for a noble cause from the definition of “martyrdom”?
As far as I'm aware, those involved in ANZAC never make statements to the effect of wiping other nations off the planet or taking over the world.

DQ: And nuclear weapons are becoming more accessible.

L: And………………? That must be because of Islam, I reckon.
It is these sorts of comments which make me think you are being defensive and overly-protective of Islam.

From what I can gather, North Korea and Russia are the two main concerns when it comes to accessibility to nuclear weapons. There have been many reports of nuclear weaponry going missing in Russia, probably ending up on the black market, and North Korea seemingly has no qualms about selling whatever it wants to the black market.

DQ: You do come from a Turkish background, don't you?

L: Yes. 100% Muslim blood. Your point being?
Have you completely renounced Islam? For example, I come from a Christian environment, but I no longer have anything to do with Christianity and make it plain to others that I think it is a completely insane religion. Have you done the same with respect to Islam?

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Post by David Quinn » Mon May 21, 2007 11:06 am

Elizabeth,
"The victim card.-" - interesting you would phrase it that way David, because if there was no victimization, there would be no victim card to play.
A person doesn't need to be victimized in order to play the victim card. It could be, and often is, a way to deflect attention away from the person's own flaws, a way of avoiding taking responsibility for his or her own life.

For example, as noted in another thread, Celia Green plays the victim card in her railings against society. Instead of taking more responsibility for her life and taking the steps necessary to by-pass whatever hurdles society naturally throws at us all, she blames her failings on society's "oppression" of her.

Similarly, when a woman complains that she is being treated as "outrightly unconscious because I am a woman", she is playing the victim card. In effect, she is trying to deflect the blame for her own irrational thinking by placing it onto others. The irony is, in that very moment she is behaving in a feminine fashion.

What you don't admit to is that by calling irrational emoters "women" you damn the entire female gender. Despite the hedging you provide that there could at some point be a female who becomes wise, you then rehedge that by saying that they first would have to become men - which would ultimately be false (OT - also interesting that you are not responding to my statements on ultimate falseness on the other thread), which recondemns all females as irrational emoters in a circular logic, no-win fashion. To your Woman philosophy, the only way a woman could be rational is if she were a man. Since a female can not be a man, a female who claims she is a man is behaving irrationally, or at least being ultimately untruthful.
All a woman has to do is to actually be rational and wise in her thinking. That is all that matters to me. I never judge anyone simply on the basis of their biological gender. The quality of their mind is all that counts.

As a rule, I always assume everyone I meet is rational and wise until the proven otherwise. So when I see a person hiding behind their gender and blaming the other gender for all their problems - e.g. "you treat me as unconscious simply because I am a woman" - I immediately think that this person has a very feminine mentality.

Behave rationally and I will treat you as such. Behave femininely and again I will you treat you as such.

There are two ways that the Woman philosophy with its unfortunate terminology redirects people from the Truth. It redirects the females because whenever a male or a gender-disoriented female debates something with her, even if she understands the Woman philosophy perfectly, there will always be a small doubt as to whether the person is actually debating the point or if they are just dismissing her thoughts because of her gender. In the above case with Leyla, she is less open to your observations about her attachment to Islam because of the history of gender slams.
Leyla has been here long enough to know that there is no sexism in this place, at least from the senior posters here. So there is no reason for her to produce the sexist card and hide behind it, other than for her own personal benefit. And that is precisely what a woman is doing when she plays the sexist card in a victimized way - she is hiding.

Your - or was it originally Kevin's, as you once said you were not sure you could stand by that your whole life - Woman philosophy is blinding you as well.
The "Woman Philosophy", as you put, wasn't originally mine or Kevin's, as past thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Weininger, Nietzsche, and Buddha had also promoted it. But yes, it is a very difficult philosophy to adopt because it means standing diametrically opposed to almost the entire human race, which isn't an easy thing to do. It's not something you can leap into overnight. In a very deep sense, it is a case of reason vs powerful tradition.

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Post by Ataraxia » Mon May 21, 2007 11:15 am

I think Kevin made the most pertinent and interesting comments in that discussion.Particularly in regards to people doing 'good' due to faulty motivation,weak foundation.The Mother Teresa example was excellent.

I was a little dissapointed that,that concept was not delved into more deeply in the discussion, and that the Dr. was let 'off the hook' somewhat.

Would also agree with Kevin that I too find it hard to find fault with what Harris and Dawkins are doing.Alot of good will come from their work.
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Post by David Quinn » Mon May 21, 2007 12:02 pm

I would have liked Kevin or Dan to have questioned Dr Raman more thoroughly on precisely what he found attractive about religious music and art. For it suggests to me that Dr Raman still has that religious yearning in him to surrender to a higher power, which relates to the kind of egotism that drives fundamentalism and religious warring.

Still, it is much easier to ruminate on these kinds of possibilities after the event.

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Post by Kevin Solway » Mon May 21, 2007 12:43 pm

David Quinn wrote:I would have liked Kevin or Dan to have questioned Dr Raman more thoroughly on precisely what he found attractive about religious music and art.
I think he would have just said that some of the music and art is idealistic and inspiring.

Religion is a delusion that to some degree gives people shelter for grandiose plans that they would be afraid to enact on their own right.

For example, the early music of "Yes" ("Close to the edge", "Awaken", etc), are sometimes criticized for being overly egotistical and presumptuous, which is a criticism they probably wouldn't have had fired at them if they produced it under the cover of a religious framework.

I presumed that Raman was worried that without the cover of the fantasy of religion, people would be afraid to venture to be idealistic.

The argument has a deal of validity.

The imagination can surely give shelter - but it's something people need to grow beyond. Religion is a crutch that should be avoided if possible, and discarded at the first opportunity.

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David Quinn
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Post by David Quinn » Mon May 21, 2007 1:50 pm

Yes, but idealistic and inspiring towards what? Dr Raman didn't seem to have any inclination towards becoming enlightened, so what kind of ideals would the religious music and art he likes embody for him?

If the ideals are "excellence", "displays of genius", "aesthetic power", then they can just as easily be grouped under the umbrella of the larger ideal of "surrendering to a higher power" as they can under the umbrella ideal of "individuality and wisdom".

Dr Raman seemed more interested in social harmony and peace, than truth - which, to me at least, is a form of surrendering to a higher power.

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Kevin Solway
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Post by Kevin Solway » Mon May 21, 2007 6:12 pm

David Quinn wrote:Yes, but idealistic and inspiring towards what?
I think Dan made the strong point that those things are only "beautiful" (idealistic and inspiring) if you don't think about where those works came from. I thought that was a consummate rebuttal of Raman's argument.

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