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RSS JGalt13

Reward Points:43
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2 points

Now let's look at other ideologies that share similar hatred, like Nazism, or the White Supremacists' beliefs. What makes Islam any different?

I don't think there is any difference between those ideologies. I would support the right of their followers to believe whatever stupid shit they want, as long as they either don't act on those beliefs or their actions don't harm other people. As soon as specific followers of Islam can be demonstrated to either be planning or have committed force or fraud against someone else's life, liberty, or property, I have no problem arresting them and stripping away most of their rights. Most Muslims in the world have not done this though and I do not hold them accountable for the actions of others who share a single characteristic with them and have committed these crimes. In 2001, it was estimated that Al Qaeda had somewhere between 500-1000 members. There are over one billion Muslims in the world who had nothing to do with 9/11. Most of them don't believe in a literal definition of jihad and are actively opposed to the actions of Al Qaeda. The ambiguity of their religious text is unfortunate, but you cannot blame and punish all professed followers of a belief system when a small, extremist cell that follows the same texts but interprets them very differently commits an atrocity. Individuals are responsible for their own lives until it can be proven that they are planning to harm someone or have done so.

Also following your reasoning, it should upset nobody to to build a museum dedicated to promoting Nazism at the centre (or 2 block nearby) Auschwitz's concentration camp. After all, not ALL Nazis killed Jews or even believe in killing Jews.

This doesn't follow my reasoning at all. It should definitely upset people if this happens, but I would still support the rights of Nazis to build the museum, even if I didn't support the action or the beliefs of the group. This doesn't mean that opponents of the building couldn't prevent the museum from being built, just like in this situation. They essentially have two options. They can either find some legal reason, such as claiming the site as a historic landmark that should be preserved by taxpayer money or proving that these specific Nazis have been involved in the use of force or fraud against another person's life, liberty, or property, (note that an emotional reaction is not the same as a legal reason) that they don't believe the museum should be built, or they can buy the space from the Nazis and they can either leave it as it is or build whatever they want there.

I was referring to the New Yorkers who lived in the area at the time of the attack, in addition to the families.

This has no impact on my original statement. Those people still have the support of 99.999999% of Americans, including myself, and can not be referred to as "weak" or in need of protection.

They aren't denying Muslims equal protection. It is their right to choose how their city is zoned, in addition to the ability to protest something they disagree with.

Cities have legal control of anything that is not taken care of by the state or federal government and have no legal control over things that are taken care of by state or federal government according to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. This means that cities are in no way exempt from the First Amendment (freedom of religion specifically). This means that the city can not do anything to prevent a Muslim community center on the basis of the religion it will support. You cannot deny the importance of the First Amendment since the last part of your sentence relies on it. I happen to agree with that part of your statement. Citizens of the United States have every right to peaceably protest whenever they want, just as I have the right to point out the futility of protesting when there is no legal reason for what they are supporting. I think, however, that you are confusing the right to protest with the right of people you agree with to get whatever they want without earning it (which doesn't exist).

Surprise! Muslims love to kill each other too, because Sect A thinks Sect B are apostates.

The two sects you are referring to are presumably Sunni and Shi'ite, but this is a false dichotomy, because the attack was perpetrated by Al Qaeda, which is a fundamentally Sunni group, but once again, they are a small group within a larger belief system, and since people are responsible for their own actions, other Sunnis shouldn't be blamed for Al Qaeda's evil deeds. Also, we don't know which group the victims of 9/11 belonged to, and since there are more Sunni than Shi'ites in America, it is safe to assume that there were at least some Sunni victims at the World Trade Center. Therefore according to your dichotomy, it would actually be Sect A attacking Sect A and Sect B indiscriminately. I would propose that, in this instance, it is more appropriate to look at Al Qaeda versus all other Muslims. Therefore, members of Al Qaeda should and do have their rights restricted in America, but other Muslims should be allowed to continue living as normal.

Hubris.

1. This is an ad hominem attack and has no effect on the validity of my arguments.

2. Hubris means excessive pride, which would imply that there is insufficient reason for the degree of my pride, which I would disagree with but you are entitled to your opinion.

If we valued life as little as they do, we could flatten their entire continent with thermonuclear weapons. So, their major means of continuing operation is through propaganda (to build support and hope) and raising money through donations by a loyal populace, some loyal governments who donate off the books, and drug trafficking.

What makes you think they don't value life? Admittedly, they aren't as smart as you or I and have allowed themselves to be brainwashed for their entire lives into thinking that their real lives start after they die, and that their real lives can be improved by following the word of the Quran in this life, but the lessons of the Quran are ambiguous, and at times paradoxical. Ambiguity in the guiding doctrines of so many people undoubtedly leads to some people who use it to justify evil actions, but they do these actions out of the desire for a better life. They are stupid and their actions are inexcusable, but I think it is unfair to say that they don't value life. As for propaganda, I have no problem with it. Every piece of propaganda I've ever seen has failed to convince me of anything, and the general public just needs to get smarter and learn to recognize when other people are spoon-feeding them bullshit.

political correctness (which is the soul of your argument)

This is the first time I've ever been accused of political correctness, and I can assure you that I hate true political correctness as much as you do, but I don't see how I'm guilty of it. Political correctness applies only when people give other people undue respect in order to avoid pissing them off. I give my respect to people who I know or know of who deserve it. I am disrespectful to people I know or know of who deserve it. I maintain a neutral stance in regards to people I have no knowledge of, including the majority of Muslims in the world. (This is slightly untrue because I am actually somewhat disrespectful of them because they are theists and theism is an illogical belief, but that is a debate for another time.) Ultimately, however, my personal level of respect towards Muslims or any other human or group of humans has nothing to do with the fact that they are entitled to the same rights as all other humans. (I realize that I have varied between speaking about humans and Americans a lot, but all humans are entitled to the rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, and it is only because of more powerful human oppressors that not everyone has those rights)

Your defense of "Muslim rights" is a sacrifice to (hopefully) gain favour with their community so that they act less hostile towards us (you didn't think that we were the aggressors here, did you? why do you think so much rampant censorship exists? fear).

Do you really think that fear is the only cause for people to believe in Muslims having rights? Humans have natural rights that have only been taken away by humans who were stronger or learned to work in groups to oppress the weak. I don't see how their religion has anything to do with these rights. Your use of the word "aggressors" is too vague for me to tell who the "aggressors" are. Both sides have initiated acts of hatred and war against one another so I don't think you can really say that one side is the "aggressor". Finally, censorship does exist because of fear, but that has nothing to do with this argument since I've already shown that I'm only arguing on their side because liberty is the most important result of rationality, which is what gives life meaning, and it is worth defending.

The way it becomes an exchange of liberty for security is that we keep trading freedoms (like the freedom to display Muhammad, the freedom to mock their religion, the freedom to criticise it, the freedom to deny construction of a mosque on matters of taste, etc.) for the supposed security that comes from a happier Muslim community.

I don't think you really understand the concept of freedom...Freedom doesn't necessarily mean that we always do things (i.e. display Muhammad or mock their religion). Freedom simply means that we have the right to choose to do those things, and we do have most of those freedoms. Don't call me politically correct for this, because I mock and criticize Islam (as well as other religions) on a daily basis. What is confusing you is that most media outlets choose not to display Muhammad out of fear, but it is still their choice. If a media outlet stepped up that had the balls to do things like that, it would undoubtedly become popular almost overnight, but they are scared. Individuals absolutely have the right to display Muhammad and mock Islam as much as they want, but without a distribution channel that will do the same, they are unlikely to get much publicity. The one freedom you list that I object to is the "freedom to deny construction of a mosque on matters of taste", because doing this would infringe on the property rights of other legal citizens without sufficient legal reason.

IMPORTANT FACTS FOR CONTINUATION OF DEBATE

The "mosque" that the debate refers to is planned to be a very modern un-Muslim looking building (not that this should matter) that houses a Muslim community center, which is available to anyone of any faith or non-faith who can pay for membership. The community center is essentially the same as a YMCA, but it has a worship room in a small part of it.

The community center, known as Park51, is located two blocks and a turn from Ground Zero at the site of an old Burlington Coat Factory building, and neither one is visible from the other one.

2 points

Listen, no one believes more than me that religion is one of the most harmful concepts on the face of the earth. In a perfect world, I would get rid of all religions, but we don't live in a perfect world, and no matter how much we restrict peoples' freedoms, they will always be able to believe whatever stupid shit they want. Also, considering that Christianity and Hinduism and most of the world's other religions have been responsible for similar atrocities, we couldn't allow them to exist either. This means that the 2 unhypocritical positions would be elimination of religion (which I don't think is possible) and freedom of religion. Again, just because a small group cites the Quran to defend their atrocities doesn't mean Islam is responsible for the actions of that group. This would be like blaming the NRA every time someone gets shot. And these people who lost their families are in no way the "weak" party you seem to be referring to. They have the support of 99.99999% of Americans, including myself, backing them up, but just because they have suffered loss doesn't mean they have the right to deny millions of innocent, hardworking Muslim Americans their equal protection under the law. Anyway, some people who lost family members are defending the right of the Muslims to build this community center, because they realize that these are not the same people who attacked us in 2001. ( http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/9-11-families-speak-out-on-ground-zero-muslim-center/19581141 ). And why is this "spitting in the face of the people who died"? Many who died were Muslims. Surely building a mosque somewhat close to where they died wouldn't be spitting in their faces. And it isn't blind respect. I'm protecting the freedoms guaranteed by our country's founders. Any legal citizen has a right to build whatever the hell they want wherever they want if they have the money for it. I maintain my position that if people were so offended by this they could buy the space from the Muslims and use it for the new headquarters of the Damn the Ugly Muslims Band (or DUMB for short), or anything else they wanted to, but they have instead decided to whine about it to the city and the country, who have no right to take the property away from them, and essentially do nothing. Religion in general has always been used as a tool to be abused by people who have power and ambitions, but guns have been used for much the same purpose, and yet without them, we could neither defend ourselves nor keep food on our tables. Guns don't kill people. Mentally imbalanced people with guns kill people. Just because something can be used as a tool for evil purposes, doesn't mean that thing is evil by itself. Your section about "a political move designed to seed propaganda in the Middle East" is purely conjecture and there is no reason backing it up so unless you would like to support your statements I see no reason to respond to them. I agree with you that our principles are important and require constant vigilance, but, although you do not mention what your principles are, I don't think we are supporting the same principles. I am defending the essential liberties of human beings, while you seem to be supporting no more than anti-Muslim bigotry. Finally, I'm not turning a blind eye to Islam or trying to appease Muslims, but even if I was I don't understand how that equates to giving up my liberty for some security. It literally makes no sense. Protecting their liberties doesn't mean in any way that I am giving up my own.

5 points

How is our country being taken over by Muslims? Now, like always, Muslims live in America and enjoy the same rights and freedoms that all other legal American citizens enjoy. As long as they proceed through the proper legal channels in the construction of this community center, no one has the right to take it from them. If you are so offended by this act, you have every right to offer these Muslims some of your own money in an attempt to buy it from them, at which point, you can do whatever you want with the area. This is how capitalism works. The job of the government is to protect the basic rights of all American citizens, including those you disagree with. It is your responsibility, as the person who takes offense to minorities having rights, to supply an argument for why you believe the Muslims have no legal right to build there, or to raise money with the other bigots in America (check the midwest-there are plenty there) and buy the land from them. Those are your two options. And before you start whining that they are trampling on the memory of the victims of 9/11 like all the other people who agree with you, you should probably understand that there were many Muslims who died in the terrorist attack as well. Islam is not our enemy, because the majority of Muslims were not in any way responsible for the attack. We are fighting a small group of people who claim Islam as their religion, but who clearly did this for socio-political reasons, or they would have picked a better target where they wouldn't be killing any members of their own faith. 9/11 was not an attack on Christianity, it was an attack on America, and thanks to our wonderful founding principles, these are not one and the same. America was founded on the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. Who is this Muslim community center harming? And more importantly, even if it causes some people emotional distress, what would our country be giving up if it refused these legal citizens their right to build where they please? Is it worth it?

"Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." - Benjamin Franklin

3 points

Next time, please put more thought into your arguments. What makes you say that there is no morality without religion? The rest of your argument is a string of non sequiturs, but that point is potentially interesting.

1 point

First of all, you called the presence of horns unexplainable and then proceeded to give an explanation, and your "all of herbivores" side comment doesn't make sense unless you are suggesting that all herbivores have horns. This isn't my argument, I just think you need to be more precise with your use of the English language. Second, horns are useful for defense so I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that they couldn't have evolved for that purpose. Third, what distinguishes the God of Israel from the Hindu gods (some of which probably have horns) or the ancient Roman gods? What makes your set of myths true and theirs false? Finally, doesn't the bible say in Genesis that God created man in his own image? Why don't we all have horns if you are so sure God does?

1 point

That was a very long post, but somehow it didn't answer the most important part of my question. What makes you think any of this is true?

1 point

1. That story means nothing to me. One man might have had a vision of something. This happens all the time thanks to drugs and wishful thinking.

2. I have never seen evidence of anything I would consider miraculous.

3. Science is willing to admit that it can't fully explain some things, but that doesn't instantly mean that they were done by a god, and scientists are making new discoveries every day that bring us closer to solving these mysteries.

1 point

Either I didn't make myself clear enough or you didn't read/understand my whole post. I said that a possibility was that God has always existed, but then I made the point that this means there are exceptions to the rule that "everything must have a cause". If exceptions to the rule are allowed for no apparent reason, then what stops us from saying that the universe has existed forever? You are correct that a god or gods could have pre-existed the Universe, but since there is no evidence supporting such an idea, Occam's Razor allows us to say that the simplest explanation is more likely to be true. The simpler explanation in this case is clearly that the universe has always existed in some form or another, which eliminates the causal need for a god. This doesn't prove in any way that a god or gods couldn't exist, but it does show that until we find some evidence suggesting the presence of an omnipotent and omniscient being, the rational position is to live our lives as though there isn't a god.

1 point

The answer to your question is "We don't know." Positing God in as the answer to that question is the same thing as saying "because the gods are angry" as a response to "Why do volcanoes erupt?" While it is a possibility, and we shouldn't completely rule out any possibilities, we also shouldn't make shit up when we don't know the answer to something and claim it is true.

Another objection to this line of reasoning would be that you seem to be requiring something to have caused the big bang, presumably because you believe that everything must have a cause, but by this logic, what caused God's existence? At this point you are forced to admit one of three things: that God has always existed, that God created himself, or that there is a higher being still that created God. Any of these paths destroy your argument fairly quickly.

If you believe that God has always existed then you are allowing exceptions to the rule of everything having a cause, which begs the question, "Why couldn't the Universe have existed forever in some form?" which eliminates the need for an invisible sky-person to have caused it to exist, thus voiding your entire argument.

Second, the idea that God created himself is completely ludicrous, because if he had the ability to create himself then he must already exist voiding the need for him to create himself.

Finally, the idea that God was created by an even higher being limits God's power and authority, in which case, it is misleading to call him "God" which has come to mean an omnipotent and omniscient being. I don't expect anyone to actually buy this last argument but it is a possibility, so I thought I would include it.

Next question please, Socrates!

1 point

I used to be a Christian and have read both the old and new testaments and all the predictions I have ever seen were so vague that they were bound to come true at some point or they haven't happened yet. I also researched the King James Version and it was an English translation that didn't even exist until the 1600s so I'm not sure what you mean by "unpolluted" but whenever something is translated it instantly becomes polluted in a sense because there are ideas in some languages that have no good correlation to any word or group of words in another language. In addition, the date is troubling when you say it is "unpolluted" because it was not only published 1600 years after the events described in the old testament supposedly take place, but also it was 1300 years after the earliest known version of the bible, and was the translation of a copy of a translation of a copy of a translation etc.... That history leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation and human error. And I will admit I don't have a copy in front of me but I feel certain the KJV has just as many contradictions as all the other versions, and if you really want to test me I will find a copy online and locate them for you. Finally, if you want to convince me there is any reason to believe the KJV, you must first convince me that there is a reason to believe in the core tenets of Christianity, namely, that God exists, that Jesus was the son of God, that he performed miracles, and that he died and was resurrected to save us. If you can find evidence outside of the bible that proves these tenets beyond a reasonable doubt, then I will gladly convert, but I should warn you that I have given this challenge to many people, and so far no one has given me a single solid reason to even believe in the existence of a higher power, much less the anthropomorphized invisible sky creature that is Christianity's God.


Winning Position: Individualism

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Gender: Male
Age: 30
Marital Status: Single
Political Party: Libertarian
Country: United States
Religion: Atheist
Education: In College

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