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slowmutant
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04 Aug 2008, 10:56 am

I just take the Bible for what it is. The book I hold in my hands when I read it. Once yuo start suspecting everything of being a fake, the loony-bin isn't far off.



Fnord
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04 Aug 2008, 11:45 am

slowmutant wrote:
I just take the Bible for what it is. The book I hold in my hands when I read it. Once yuo start suspecting everything of being a fake, the loony-bin isn't far off.

Most every social, political, or religious institution is based on fakery of some kind...

"Brain Damage" - By Pink Floyd.

The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass,
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path!

The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor,
And every day the paper boy brings more!

And if the dam breaks open many years too soon,
And if there is no room upon the hill,
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too,
Ill see you on the dark side of the moon!

The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head.
You raise the blade, you make the change,
You re-arrange me till I'm sane.
You lock the door,
And throw away the key;
Theres someone in my head but its not me!

And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear,
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band youre in starts playing different tunes,
Ill see you on the dark side of the moon!


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slowmutant
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04 Aug 2008, 9:43 pm

Fnord, do you hate everything? Your bitterness and anger really repulses me. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.



Ancalagon
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05 Aug 2008, 12:13 am

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I think quibbling over what does or doesn't count as a group, ignoring what the word group normally means, is silly.


Of course it would be, were the very definition of the term bigot not to hang on a qualified use of the term; the alternative is to use "group" to describe "more than one", in which case someone who was intolerant of mass murderers would be a bigot, too.
Depends on what you mean by intolerant. If you mean someone who took out their viciousness on someone -- even a mass murderer who deserved it, I'd say they were wrong. Not necessarily a bigot, though. Specific behavior that is illegal and immoral should be punished -- but not by vigilantes, lynch mobs, or organized mass murder.

I still see no reason not to use the ordinary meaning of group.

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The country of Germany was destroyed, not to be restored, somewhat intact, until 45 years after Hitler's death. The majority suffered horribly, as intellectual, political, and social freedoms were rolled over in service to a war that left a nation relatively devoid of young males for the second time in as many generations. How Hitler's bigotry plays into the discussion of killing bigots is beyond me, unless all Jews were bigoted against non-Jews, which they weren't and aren't.
So it was. But you couldn't predict that with certainty. What if Germany had pursued its nuclear weapons project more vigorously? Would Britain have resisted after being nuked any longer than Japan did? What if the American carriers were inport during Pearl Harbor? Would the Americans have been any help to the British while fighting to retake Hawaii and defend California? Or if the Germans hadn't foolishly turned on the Russians and opened up one front too many?

My original point is that just *categorizing* into 'good' groups and 'bad' groups is insufficient. How do you know your groups are the right ones?

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No, the being shot is a social judgment. The mandate to being open-minded is from morality: being close-minded leads to immorality. Never suggested that close-mindedness was sufficient cause for execution, anyway. If a counter-example is available, where being close-minded leads to moral behavior, would be delighted to hear it.
President Lincoln closed-mindedly insisted that the slaves should go free, despite significant opposition. Mother Theresa wanted to devote herself to helping people, so she did. She wasn't wishy-washy about it either. Martin Luther King faced opposition from both those of his own people who wished to be more violent, and those who simply wished he'd go away. He closed his mind to the death threats and temptations of violence, and stuck by his guns.

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The definition of the word "bigot" includes those to whom it applies. Certainly those who espouse hatred, incite violence, and teach intolerance rise to that level; as previously stated, one's thoughts are one's own, inviolable.
You still haven't answered the question -- what is enough to earn a bullet to the head? Saying the N-word? Saying it with feeling? Giving someone of a protected class a funny look? A glare? What if you squint because the sun's in your eyes and it gets taken the wrong way?

What about playing gangster rap? What about gangster rap that refers to white people as 'cracker'? What about watching the movie Undercover Brother, and laughing at the scene where white people are made fun of for liking excessive quantities of mayonaise? (Mayonaise? Seriously, where the heck did they get the idea for that anyway?) The scene where Denise Richards is referred to as 'black kryptonite'? What about movies with obviously racist titles, like "White Men Can't Jump"?

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Don't have an opinion; best evidence suggests that opinions are between held by most, with effects ranging from worthless to counter-productive. Explanation of a positive value to opinion is in order, and beseeched.
Given all the examples I gave in the last post, I'm pretty sure we're having definitional problems again. What is your concept of an 'opinion'?

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It is not plausible, and cannot be rationally argued; this is why opinion is to be avoided whenever possible. Africans are homo sapiens sapiens, genetically speaking, and no more related to cro-magnon than any other human. To take it as fact, or article of faith, is an act of bigotry. To teach this, at least doubly so.
It is plausible. I did some research to refresh my memory -- it appears that scholars prefer AMH(anatomically modern human) or EMH(early modern human) to cro-magnon these days, unless they want to distinguish them from neanderthals. Cro-magnons, it turns out, cannot be said to be a different species from us. In other words, africans are quite close indeed to cro-magnons. As are all other humans. ;)

The conclusion, from these premises, is not so plausible. Nevertheless, alternate possibilities abound for possible racist theories. There is so much we don't know about our origins, and the ancient hominid fossil record is sparse.

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Of course not. How absurdist. It isn't a bias, and it isn't an opinion, Africans are not less or substantially different than non-Africans. Further, being unwilling to adopt the false over the demonstrably true is not, and can never be, close-minded. Open-mindedness only applies to things that can actually be; one cannot be open-minded about resisting gravity by will alone.
Do you really think that it's impossible for a close relative of humans, similar in most respects, but lesser in mental stature to exist? Because that's what the Neanderthals were. How is that impossible, like violating physical law with the will alone?

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Science is not the beginning and end of reasoning, is it? Science deals with that which is demonstrably true -- testable in reproducible situations. One can accept the weight of science as is, without adding personal opinion to the mix, and not be sexist, racist, etcetera. None of the proposals lead to the sexist conclusion that women are less fully human, unless a series of erroneous and indefensible assumptions are tagged on.
You don't need to think women are less than fully human to be sexist. There's an ebook on the Project Gutenberg website that reproduces a debate on women's suffrage in the U.S. Senate. It has more than you ever wanted to know about both sides of the debate. The most fascinating thing about it, other than the fact that the majority of women were actually against it at the time, was the way the anti-suffrage rationalization was set up. It basically referred to women like delicate, beautiful flowers, angels in human form, who should not be sullied by gruff, vulgar, distasteful activities, such as voting, war, and jury duty. Quite the opposite of "less than human".

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Sure, sounds like God to me.
I thought you were the one advocating against pre-judgement of religion here.

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Jesus lived in the Roman Empire, but most of his criticism was also of Jews.
Have you ever read it? He criticized the Jewish religious establishment for being overly rule-bound and under-compassionate, laying down rule after rule, but giving no help in obeying them, following their interpretation of the law while rejecting its spirit, being hypocrites and full of themselves.

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What it is based on is irrelevant, more or less. This all drives home the concept that being open-minded excludes one from being a bigot, as well as from being close-minded. Presenting an open-minded assessment of reasons for intolerance, the conclusion was in favor of tolerance; this is not about prejudice or opinion, but the nature of the facts.
No, I was closed-minded about it. My inclination, upon reading up on it, was to categorize it as not merely false, but violent and evil as well. My friendship checked this impulse. I didn't go read anti-Islam propaganda, I went and read a number of websites, for and against, downloaded the Quran and read pieces of it, and lurked in the soc.religion.islam newsgroup for awhile. I don't know if my reading was correct, and perhaps it was not thorough enough. But if I had not closed my mind to the flaws of it, simply and solely because of my friend, I would have become what you would call an Islamophobe (perhaps I shouldn't use that word exactly, since we are having so many definitional disagreements). Because of my friend, I weighed the flaws lightly and the virtues heavily.

This was also all pre-9/11 -- what do you think I would have thought if that event had prompted my research?

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For the record, presenting one's stated view with a shortage of facts does not make one's argument irrational, it is a straw man. Had the argument included all the factual details of friendship with a Muslim, including conversations, it is dubious that the flimsy recollections of Muslim anti-Jewish rhetoric would be similarly compelling to a rational mind.
Our deeper and/or more combative conversations were not specifically religious. Religion came up, but we were looking specifically for common ground. We were not trying to argue over it or convert each other. He didn't argue me out of anything. I looked into it, by myself, for myself.

I tried to balance rhetoric on both sides. I read parts of the Quran, and took that to be authoratative -- since it is. I don't remember all of the details now, it has been a decade, after all, so perhaps I might have come to a different conclusion now. What I would have thought then was only stopped by the emotional reaction of friendship -- logic was opposed to emotion. I decided as I did because I was closed-minded and biased in favor of my friend.

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Again, the demerits of opinionation. The coherence of the arguments is rationally conclusive. It is little wonder that the well-settled nature of the subject would be mystifying, IFF one to had not looked at any of the solid, scientific evidence. The subject is past the point of reasonable doubt, but not religious dogma! Homosexuality is a latent genetic characteristic brought on by acute competition for heterosexual mates, and is present in most mammals.
No, you don't understand. I *specifically* avoided thinking it through, in even a loose and undisciplined manner. Having heard some arguments, not recently either, I *felt*, rather than thought, that the one side was more probably right than the other. On this question, *the only thing I've got* is an opinion.

Maybe you looked into it and came to a rational conclusion -- I haven't.

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The assertion that society has a prerogative to allow discrimination against that choice seems offensive on a yet more basic level than the religion issue, as sexual reproduction is part and parcel to human biology, whereas church is not.
This makes no sense at all.

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What do you do to make sure the conversion is genuine? Torture them a bit? What if there's the slightest doubt in your mind that they may not be telling the truth? More torture? Or execution?


What sort of medieval quackery have we here? These suggestions put you much more in doubt than all prior responses, a little scary, to be honest.
Some of your responses have been more than a bit scary. It's possible that I'm overreacting a bit, but to put my reactions in context -- I'm reading a book about mass murders and genocides. It's a more or less scholarly book which intersperses theoretical psychological analysis and philosophy with vivid descriptions of mass murders, genocides, and tortures, which keeps it from getting dry and boring, as well as keeping us from depersonalizing the victims. It's a bit of a rough read. It's about how ordinary people become perpetrators, and many of the techniques of inciting violence and hate that are discussed are *identical* to things you've advocated. Depersonalization of victims, blaming the victims, lack of mercy/hardening the heart, advocating it as a moral duty, and so on.

More recently, you've come out against a number of things -- torture, lynching, etc.; this is encouraging, but I still think your idea is deeply flawed and more similar to the things you are trying to get rid of than you think it is.

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Never said conversion, just repentance, statement of the iniquity in one's bigotry, the injustice of spreading hatred for the "other", and acceptance that these views must not be acted upon or even shared. Absolutely in the camp of take their word for it, unless some crime was commited -- arson, murder, even discriminatory hiring are all punishable under existing laws. Would not dream of torturing someone, unless that individual personally tortured me, and even then would probably grant mercy in a swift death.
If they're willing to lie (and who wouldn't to avoid a bullet to the brain?), how is this different from what we have now?

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What if a wife shows up and begs for mercy?


If she is not a bigot, and her husband will not cease to act the bigot, who cares? Wouldn't say squat.
Who cares? A wife begs for mercy, and you say "Who cares?". A serial killer of the worst and most vicious description -- if his wife showed up and begged for mercy, I would listen, even if I had to deny her plea.

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It is about the fuel to feed a fire of violence against the target of the bigotry, like clearing dead timber and dry brush from a forest. This is purely in the mind of putting a preventatice end to human on human violence, except in crimes of passion, which is a category of violence still quite insolvent to my mind.
"Clearing dead timber"? I would not be surprised if this was among the many euphemisms used by the Nazis.

What happens if, as both religious people and psychologists suggest, the tendency towards evil is part of the human heart? What if we're all capable of great evil? What if, after "clearing the dead wood", it isn't all gone? Keep killing? What if we all have this flaw? What if we're *all* dead wood?

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It is the individual trial of perhaps millions, possibly even ten or more million, certainly not over a hundred million, based on openly bigoted action and speech against a recognized group.
Given other statements here, especially those on believing the potential victim about changes of heart, I doubt now that there would be anyone who would qualify for these new measures. Unless your legalization of everybody shooting everybody means what I think it means.

But if you had this many, you would need to set up internment camps for logistical reasons. Either they would rot in the camps for the rest of their lives waiting for a trial, or they would get shot without one (or a kangaroo court would be set up, which is essentially an abscence of a trial).

And what about unrecognized groups?

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We are talking about active bigots: those that preach, teach, spread, and act on irrational and inflexible prejudice against a particular group.
This is a pretty good definition. It still doesn't identify what level is enough to get shot for.

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As stated, those who think and say such things alone, or exclusively in the company of like-minded individuals, have virtually nothing to fear, just as people who rape and kill in private have virtually nothing to fear.
"people who rape and kill in private have virtually nothing to fear. " 8O Please tell me this is a typo...

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Far as the prisons go, never suggested housing them any longer than a speedy trial would dictate. Having seen what intolerance can do -- the Holocaust, a plethora of African genocides, racial slavery, repression in Tibet, bombing of gay night clubs, the attacks of 09/11/01, what merit is there in preserving the life of those who would do it next if allowed? Far better to regret having killed the next Hitler than to regret having not killed the next Hitler.
Performing these acts is already illegal, and unless I'm mistaken, prejudice is an aggravating factor, too. You could definitely get the "next Hitler" by launching every single nuclear warhead simultaneously, killing everything on the planet. But that kind of mass murder kind of defeats the purpose of defeating mass murder, doesn't it? The cure is worse than the disease.

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No. Individual right being the right of self-defense, e.g. a Jew shooting someone painting a swastika and "Die Jew Scum" on his home. Societal being the "social contract" model, that by living in our society one agrees not to attempt its destruction with hate speech and crimes. Ability to misinterpret this growing to legendary status...
I've heard it said that the most important thing in coming up with a law is not to think about how it will be used, but how it will be misused.

How do you stop them from planting a swastika on someone, and saying they said something nasty? So if two gangs that hate each other in a racial sense, they can do drive-bys then it's okay? Legal?

What about people who don't consent to the social contract?

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As long as they tell people that it was only bigots that they were viciously murdering in their orgy of hate?


This "question" is so loaded as to not merit a response. Not murder, not vicious, not motivated by hate, and certainly not "tell people". As long as it is only bigots? That is my standard, and my criticism of the Israeli Defense Force's actions in Palestine.
"Tell people" is the thrust of my argument. How do you *know* they're a bigot? What about false informants? People with a grudge?

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So ethnic cleansing isn't okay, but ideological cleansing is?


Only if tolerance is mistakenly considered to be an ideology and not a virtue, and intolerance considered an ideology and not a vice. Talk about using a word in a sense other than the normal one...
So the Righteous should murder the unrighteous? How is this any different from the excuses given for religious genocides?

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If cleansing society of those who would see ethnic or religious cleansing, or the subjugation of women to the status of property, is not a good thing, than it must be a good thing to allow more of it to occur.
This is a non-sequitur.

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If one cannot differentiate between Hitler and execution of his ilk, one has a near absolutist view against the death penalty.
I am not against the death penalty -- in appropriate circumstances. I still don't have an absolutely clear picture of what you propose, so I don't know if it corresponds more closely to the trial and execution of war criminals, or of the very acts for which they stand condemned.

The Nazis used all sorts of insults and allegations against their victims, but I don't think they used 'war criminals'. Probably because they hadn't heard of it, or just didn't think of it.

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*Agreed that original statement is wrong for most values X. Would also exempt values: "murderer", "serial rapist/molester", and "slaver". Want to defend those three, too? Eagerly awaiting a response... haven't had an earnest debate in years.
Defend? Their actions? No. The right of even such as they to justice? Yes.


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skafather84
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05 Aug 2008, 12:40 am

slowmutant wrote:
Once yuo start suspecting everything of being a fake, the loony-bin isn't far off.



once you start taking one source as undeniable fact, your world view narrows and you start sacrifice being correct for the comfort of being right.



qaliqo
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05 Aug 2008, 12:41 am

slowmutant wrote:
You can't be a better person w/o reading the Bible.


The Gandhi-In-Hell argument? Please, no. Read the whole thing once, the Pentatauch and New Testament several times. Also read a lot of other religious texts, noticed they all point out the same basic truths, each with salient details missed by others. Every one also contains long passages of esoteric allegories and ridiculous dogma. The deeper truths all come from a personal relationship with God -- and not an intercessor.


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05 Aug 2008, 12:49 am

slowmutant wrote:
Fnord, do you hate everything? Your bitterness and anger really repulses me. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.


You're being both dogmatic AND naively idealistic. Its interesting to see Aspies decide to adopt a religion or some kind ideology like socialist feminism(see StuartM's musings on Aspies For Freedom)and spew propaganda and then start getting frustated when such propaganda is rebutted with reason. :?



skafather84
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05 Aug 2008, 12:53 am

qaliqo wrote:
slowmutant wrote:
You can't be a better person w/o reading the Bible.


The Gandhi-In-Hell argument? Please, no. Read the whole thing once, the Pentatauch and New Testament several times. Also read a lot of other religious texts, noticed they all point out the same basic truths, each with salient details missed by others. Every one also contains long passages of esoteric allegories and ridiculous dogma. The deeper truths all come from a personal relationship with God -- and not an intercessor.


i'm a better person for reading bad religion lyrics than i'll ever be for the bible.

not to mention it's amazing how the more the story changes the more it stays the same...lyrics written back in bush I's term:

I don't need to be a global citizen,
'Cause I'm blessed by nationality,
I'm a member of a growing populace,
We enforce our popularity
There are things that seem to pull us under and
There are things that drag us down,
But there's a power and a vital presence
That's lurking all around

We've got the American Jesus
See him on the interstate,
We've got the American Jesus
He helped build the president's estate

I feel sorry for the earth's population
'Cause so few live in the U.S.A,
At least the foreigners can copy our morality,
They can visit but they cannot stay,
Only precious few can garner our prosperity,
It makes us walk with renewed confidence,
We've got a place to go when we die
And the architect resides right here

We've got the American Jesus
Bolstering national faith
We've got the American Jesus
Overwhelming millions every day

He's the farmers' barren fields, (In God)
He's the force the army wields, (We trust)
He's the expression on the faces of the starving millions, (Because he's one of us)
The power of the man. (Break down)
He's the fuel that drives the Klan, (Cave in)
He's the motive and the conscience of the murderer (He can redeem your sin)
He's the preacher on TV, (Strong heart)
He's the false sincerity, (Clear mind)
He's the form letter that's written by the big computer, (And infinitely kind)
He's the nuclear bombs, (You lose)
He's the kids with no moms (We win)
And I'm fearful that he's inside ME (He is our champion)

We've got the American Jesus
See him on the interstate
We've got the American Jesus
Exercising his authority
We've got the American Jesus
Bolstering National faith
We've got the American Jesus
Overwhelming millions every day



qaliqo
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05 Aug 2008, 1:31 am

Ancalagon wrote:
Depends on what you mean by intolerant. If you mean someone who took out their viciousness on someone -- even a mass murderer who deserved it, I'd say they were wrong.


Umm, okay. Wrong if deserved? That would make you wrong. Agreed.

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Specific behavior that is illegal and immoral should be punished -- but not by vigilantes, lynch mobs, or organized mass murder.


So it has to be both, no punishment for illegal acts that are not immoral, or immoral acts that are not illegal? Understanding the basic arguments against the first two, why not the third? It seems distinct in the sense that it would be legally sanctioned.

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I still see no reason not to use the ordinary meaning of group.


That it is not the meaning used in the definition of the word bigot? If that is not a reason, there is precious little ground for discussion, as there would be no agreement on the term "bigot", essential to the premise.

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So it was. But you couldn't predict that with certainty. What if Germany had pursued its nuclear weapons project more vigorously? Would Britain have resisted after being nuked any longer than Japan did? What if the American carriers were inport during Pearl Harbor? Would the Americans have been any help to the British while fighting to retake Hawaii and defend California? Or if the Germans hadn't foolishly turned on the Russians and opened up one front too many?


None of us can have predicted the past when it was the future, true and besides the point. What if God had supernaturally intervened to save every last Jew? What if God stopped all mistreatment of others, obviating the need for moral choice? Then the whole argument becomes moot. Wild conjecture doesn't make killing bigots a bad idea.

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My original point is that just *categorizing* into 'good' groups and 'bad' groups is insufficient. How do you know your groups are the right ones?


One group, bigots. Know it is right because most wide-scale, interhuman violence has its roots in bigotry. In a global age, this will eventually lead to greater suffering. That suffering is prevented by categorizing bigots not as bad, but as something we can all live without.

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President Lincoln closed-mindedly insisted that the slaves should go free, despite significant opposition. Mother Theresa wanted to devote herself to helping people, so she did. She wasn't wishy-washy about it either. Martin Luther King faced opposition from both those of his own people who wished to be more violent, and those who simply wished he'd go away. He closed his mind to the death threats and temptations of violence, and stuck by his guns.


Lincoln spent long hours, open-mindedly evaluating the issue of slavery, from youth through Presidency; the Emancipation Proclamation came late in the war. Mother Theresa had to be open-minded, because the poor of Calcutta were not of her own faith, bound to Hell by her own Church. Martin Luther King, Jr. opened the minds of millions with his words, and was a true follower of the doctrine that those who do not oppose, silently support. None of these are endorsements of close-mindedness in the common usage. Closing one's mind to threats? This is not what is being discussed at all.

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You still haven't answered the question -- what is enough to earn a bullet to the head? Saying the N-word? Saying it with feeling? Giving someone of a protected class a funny look? A glare? What if you squint because the sun's in your eyes and it gets taken the wrong way?


Obviously none of these are even close, as isolated incidents, nor are any necessarily indicative of bigotry.

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What about playing gangster rap? What about gangster rap that refers to white people as 'cracker'?


No and no. What basis is there for thinking this is what is meant by the word "bigot"?

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What about watching the movie Undercover Brother, and laughing at the scene where white people are made fun of for liking excessive quantities of mayonaise? (Mayonaise? Seriously, where the heck did they get the idea for that anyway?) The scene where Denise Richards is referred to as 'black kryptonite'? What about movies with obviously racist titles, like "White Men Can't Jump"?


I like mayonnaise a lot, and so does my entire white family, so it made me laugh, because I fit the stereotype. Don't see how to interpret the second one in a way that point to "bigot", either. The third one makes a trifecta of things that, while invoking stereotypes, are not indicative of racism or bigotry.

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Given all the examples I gave in the last post, I'm pretty sure we're having definitional problems again. What is your concept of an 'opinion'?


"I like mayonnaise" is a fact, "mayonnaise is better than Miracle Whip" is an opinion, "mayonnaise should be in every refrigerator" is a principle (or ethic, or assertion, or whatever term helps). "I dislike bigots" is a fact, "bigots are worse people than non-bigots" is an opinion, "bigots should be shot" is a principle.

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It is plausible. I did some research to refresh my memory -- it appears that scholars prefer AMH(anatomically modern human) or EMH(early modern human) to cro-magnon these days, unless they want to distinguish them from neanderthals. Cro-magnons, it turns out, cannot be said to be a different species from us. In other words, africans are quite close indeed to cro-magnons. As are all other humans. ;)
The conclusion, from these premises, is not so plausible. Nevertheless, alternate possibilities abound for possible racist theories. There is so much we don't know about our origins, and the ancient hominid fossil record is sparse.


In what way does that make it possible? If these alternate possibilities exist, and are not demonstrably false, would be delighted to discuss it. Africans are AMH, no more EMH than anyone else, and this has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the academic community. For the record, advocating a theory for the sake of promoting a racist doctrine -- not improving the science -- does meet the standard for being shot.

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Do you really think that it's impossible for a close relative of humans, similar in most respects, but lesser in mental stature to exist? Because that's what the Neanderthals were. How is that impossible, like violating physical law with the will alone?


Never suggested anything of the sort. A close relative, similar but of inferior mind, would not be a human. We can cross that bridge when and if we come to it. For the record, would probably advocate extending human rights to them if social integration were taking place between the species.

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You don't need to think women are less than fully human to be sexist. There's an ebook on the Project Gutenberg website that reproduces a debate on women's suffrage in the U.S. Senate. It has more than you ever wanted to know about both sides of the debate. The most fascinating thing about it, other than the fact that the majority of women were actually against it at the time, was the way the anti-suffrage rationalization was set up. It basically referred to women like delicate, beautiful flowers, angels in human form, who should not be sullied by gruff, vulgar, distasteful activities, such as voting, war, and jury duty. Quite the opposite of "less than human".


Color it whatever language one likes, a policy of denying rights to a gender is denying human rights, reducing the status of the affected.

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I thought you were the one advocating against pre-judgement of religion here.

It just sounds like the sort of thing God "says" to those who listen. Dislike religious zealotry, but not in favor of any of them as a stand alone answer.

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Have you ever read it? He criticized the Jewish religious establishment for being overly rule-bound and under-compassionate, laying down rule after rule, but giving no help in obeying them, following their interpretation of the law while rejecting its spirit, being hypocrites and full of themselves.


Mohammed said the same things, more or less, and tagged on rejection of later prophets to the charges.

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No, I was closed-minded about it. My inclination, upon reading up on it, was to categorize it as not merely false, but violent and evil as well. My friendship checked this impulse. I didn't go read anti-Islam propaganda,


See? Not close-minded. Allowed inclination to be checked, didn't listen to angry detractors, so far open-minded.

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I went and read a number of websites, for and against, downloaded the Quran and read pieces of it, and lurked in the soc.religion.islam newsgroup for awhile. I don't know if my reading was correct, and perhaps it was not thorough enough. But if I had not closed my mind to the flaws of it, simply and solely because of my friend,


Being closed-minded and closing one's mind to intolerance are opposites, not to be confused at all. This is the Martin Luther King, Jr. slant all over again.

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I would have become what you would call an Islamophobe (perhaps I shouldn't use that word exactly, since we are having so many definitional disagreements). Because of my friend, I weighed the flaws lightly and the virtues heavily.


Could be, glad it isn't so. Education is the best weapon against bigotry; the ones I'm concerned with are the ones that fight education to empower hatred of the "other".

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This was also all pre-9/11 -- what do you think I would have thought if that event had prompted my research?


Bigoted thoughts, which is one of more reason why thinking doesn't cross the line. Hear lots of them about Islam since that day, frankly, scares me more than the terrorists, because the nut-jobs in our country put a man in the White House who acts out their violent fantasies in my country's name. Put both the Islamophobe war-mongers and the Islamophile terrorists in the same camp -- bigot.

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Our deeper and/or more combative conversations were not specifically religious. Religion came up, but we were looking specifically for common ground. We were not trying to argue over it or convert each other. He didn't argue me out of anything. I looked into it, by myself, for myself.


This verifies my suspicion, that it was discovered in conversation that Muslims are not universally zealots seeking to convert or kill the non-believer, but humans just like everyone else, only different. A hearty congratulations on researching the subject, by the way, it shows a healthy, open mind.

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I tried to balance rhetoric on both sides. I read parts of the Quran, and took that to be authoratative -- since it is.


Hardly. The book is subject to interpretation, and furthermore, to being ignored as is seen fit by the individual, just like the Bible. Most of the Quran rubbed me the wrong way, but it has solid insights, and it led to much of Greek philosophy being available. Not depicting people in art, abstaining from alcohol, modesty, all seem like reasonable attempts at spiritual living.

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I don't remember all of the details now, it has been a decade, after all, so perhaps I might have come to a different conclusion now. What I would have thought then was only stopped by the emotional reaction of friendship -- logic was opposed to emotion. I decided as I did because I was closed-minded and biased in favor of my friend.


It really seems like this is all being twisted around to point at closed-mindedness being a virtue of sorts, in certain circumstances. As a situationalist, and not an absolutist, inclination is to endorse some aspect of specifically closed-minded thinking when the result is a more generally open-minded thinking. The ends may justify the means, but the means are not justified by most ends.

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No, you don't understand. I *specifically* avoided thinking it through, in even a loose and undisciplined manner. Having heard some arguments, not recently either, I *felt*, rather than thought, that the one side was more probably right than the other. On this question, *the only thing I've got* is an opinion.

Maybe you looked into it and came to a rational conclusion -- I haven't.


Shame that. Why hold an opinion on the subject at all? To opine?

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The assertion that society has a prerogative to allow discrimination against that choice seems offensive on a yet more basic level than the religion issue, as sexual reproduction is part and parcel to human biology, whereas church is not.
This makes no sense at all.


The right to reproduce, or not, by the sex act is the prerogative of the individual; obviously, genes not passed on do not survive the individual. What business is it of anyone else how one chooses to reproduce or not? Why should the urge of sexual release be frustrated for a third party's sense of moral outrage?

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Some of your responses have been more than a bit scary. It's possible that I'm overreacting a bit, but to put my reactions in context -- I'm reading a book about mass murders and genocides. It's a more or less scholarly book which intersperses theoretical psychological analysis and philosophy with vivid descriptions of mass murders, genocides, and tortures, which keeps it from getting dry and boring, as well as keeping us from depersonalizing the victims. It's a bit of a rough read.


Sounds like it. Would like to read it, it sounds good. The proposition is to do away wih such horrible acts before they begin.

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It's about how ordinary people become perpetrators, and many of the techniques of inciting violence and hate that are discussed are *identical* to things you've advocated. Depersonalization of victims, blaming the victims, lack of mercy/hardening the heart, advocating it as a moral duty, and so on.


So, see the rich irony in the perpetrators being impersonally executed as a moral duty? May be getting somewhere. Not saying irony justifies death, but think about Steve Irwin, who had a life full of tempting fate with deadly animals only to die by a fluke from a relatively harmless creature.

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More recently, you've come out against a number of things -- torture, lynching, etc.; this is encouraging, but I still think your idea is deeply flawed and more similar to the things you are trying to get rid of than you think it is.


Don't necessarily think it is that far off, except for the unique nature of the offenders as being the source of torture, lynchings, rape as a weapon, genocide, etcetera.

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If they're willing to lie (and who wouldn't to avoid a bullet to the brain?), how is this different from what we have now?


Obviously you don't know any bigots. The quintessential characteristic to look for is recalcitrance; public disavowal is a fate worse than death -- try to imagine Hitler setting up the Reich if there was a tape of him decrying anti-Semitism as a false doctrine only accepted by the ignorant after the Beer Hall Putsch.

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Who cares? A wife begs for mercy, and you say "Who cares?". A serial killer of the worst and most vicious description -- if his wife showed up and begged for mercy, I would listen, even if I had to deny her plea.


How kind of you. There is a place in the judicial system for such things, and it usually holds little water with the judge and jury. Wouldn't send her to a rape camp or execute her, but it isn't a Get Out Of Jail Free card. Might send flowers, but words justifying the death of her husband would fall on death ears, so wouldn't say anything.

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"Clearing dead timber"? I would not be surprised if this was among the many euphemisms used by the Nazis.


If it had been used by the Nazis in desribing Nazis, they wouldn't be such a great example, would they? This is "ad hominem" argumentation -- the Nazis used tanks to occupy Europe, suppose those are off limits, too?

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What happens if, as both religious people and psychologists suggest, the tendency towards evil is part of the human heart? What if we're all capable of great evil? What if, after "clearing the dead wood", it isn't all gone? Keep killing? What if we all have this flaw? What if we're *all* dead wood?


Not going to say that any of those are impossible, although good and evil only mean something to people; if we all died, there would be no more either. Just trying to clean up a little before the house is totally trashed.

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Given other statements here, especially those on believing the potential victim about changes of heart, I doubt now that there would be anyone who would qualify for these new measures. Unless your legalization of everybody shooting everybody means what I think it means.


There are plenty: www.godhatesfags.com comes to immediate mind, guarantee he would not recant to save his life.

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But if you had this many, you would need to set up internment camps for logistical reasons. Either they would rot in the camps for the rest of their lives waiting for a trial, or they would get shot without one (or a kangaroo court would be set up, which is essentially an abscence of a trial).


At any one time, probably not so many, because most will fall silent. Only the really dangerous ones will continue burning crosses on neighbors' lawns and calling Muslims agents of Satan after the first speedy trial and execution.

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And what about unrecognized groups?


Like who? Nerds getting beat up by jocks? Jocks getting shot up by outcasts? Would exempt juveniles, shouldn't kill minors is another principle, a less controversial one, but not without detractors.

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We are talking about active bigots: those that preach, teach, spread, and act on irrational and inflexible prejudice against a particular group.
This is a pretty good definition. It still doesn't identify what level is enough to get shot for.


That is for the courts to decide. This is a principle in search of a law in search of a safer world for the vast majority. Think I was that egotistical?

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"people who rape and kill in private have virtually nothing to fear. " 8O Please tell me this is a typo...


Nope, it is just the truth. Most rapes go unreported, and more people go missing than are found dead of homicide, so draw your own conclusions. No public knowledge, no law, no punishment.

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Performing these acts is already illegal, and unless I'm mistaken, prejudice is an aggravating factor, too.


Not illegal everywhere, especially not where the local government is the perpetrator. Wishing for a global mandate, with death the compulsory penalty.

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You could definitely get the "next Hitler" by launching every single nuclear warhead simultaneously, killing everything on the planet. But that kind of mass murder kind of defeats the purpose of defeating mass murder, doesn't it? The cure is worse than the disease.


That is why the cure is being limited to those who are at real risk of crossing over, before tens of thousands die from a misguided attempt to treat bigots with greater fairness. If your interpretation of human nature is more correct than mine, the nuclear death scenario is probably just an eventuality.

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I've heard it said that the most important thing in coming up with a law is not to think about how it will be used, but how it will be misused.


Otherwise, would not have bothered with this long-winded conversation, have screwed up my body clock royally doing this, but it seems important. Getting to a middle ground, between where things stand and where the principle suggests they should, is the first step in developing something worthy of being enshrined with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in part to serve as as its defender.

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How do you stop them from planting a swastika on someone, and saying they said something nasty?


Insufficient evidence for a conviction. Beyond a reasonable doubt, even preponderance of evidence, nowhere close. Think about how hard it is to get a rape conviction, even with DNA evidence. A hypothetical for sure.

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So if two gangs that hate each other in a racial sense, they can do drive-bys then it's okay? Legal?


This is why I resist the notion of extending it to self-defense. On the other hand, if they were deadly accurate, the two gangs theory seems like a very good one, let the hatemongers kill each other, then mop up the remainder.

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What about people who don't consent to the social contract?


Always have respected the rights of hermits, those who do not participate in society are not bound by it. In a global age, places of hermitage are few, and in a legal sense, none at all exist.

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"Tell people" is the thrust of my argument. How do you *know* they're a bigot? What about false informants? People with a grudge?


Insufficient, and not even an issue from the self-defense perspective, if someone is brandishing something that looks like a gun at me, do I have to wait to be shot with it? If I , do the cops? Soldiers? Blackwater?

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So the Righteous should murder the unrighteous? How is this any different from the excuses given for religious genocides?


To the first, none are righteous, and all end up dying sooner or later, which is a good thing. Genocide cannot be conducted to decrease intolerance, that is very, very different.

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This is a non-sequitur.


Disagree on that, but will restate nonetheless. One must prevent genocide, even if it involves taking lives, accept the presence of genocide, tilt at the windmill, or ignore the situation. Those are the only options. Advocating prevention up to but not including the point of absurdity, a point which is being ever more clearly defined in this dialogue.

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I am not against the death penalty -- in appropriate circumstances. I still don't have an absolutely clear picture of what you propose, so I don't know if it corresponds more closely to the trial and execution of war criminals, or of the very acts for which they stand condemned.


Split it down the middle: trial and execution of those who would be war criminals as judged by a clear intent to encourage, plan, or execute "war crimes" -- or even lynch someone for being gay, black, Muslim, straight, white, Jewish, foreign, or "other". Thank you for humoring this discussion! Seems to be going somewhere...

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The Nazis used all sorts of insults and allegations against their victims, but I don't think they used 'war criminals'. Probably because they hadn't heard of it, or just didn't think of it.


It could be suited to the Treaty of Versailles, which had economic effects such that Germans embraced anti-Semitism -- and aggressive expansion -- as a whole nation, enthusiastic to kill. Have tried not to insult bigots, and Nazis stopped trial of charges at alleging, jumping straight to executing children, skinning people alive... Totally not the plan, explicitly against it, really.

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Defend? Their actions? No. The right of even such as they to justice? Yes.


Justice isn't just a right, it is also a duty. Human life is not to be taken lightly, but there are an estimated 6,714,721,162 people on our planet, and as the resources start to run dry, some will try to use any identifier to gain power over others. Remember, the Holocaust was not to kill Jews, it was to propel Hitler to Fuhrer of Europe and, if possible, the whole world; Jews, Roma, homosexuals, devout Catholics and Lutherans, Communists, these were all just whipping boys. Quelch a few of the small flames, early in his political career, and Hitler could not have succeeded, as surely as killing him at that time. Yes, it is a difficult road, but cleaning up the mess is even more difficult.

Now it's 5:00AM and I need to "wake up" in two hours. Hope someone reads this and responds...


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05 Aug 2008, 10:16 pm

I'm going to try to keep this relatively short and sweet, instead of excessively long, by hitting the major topics by memory as opposed to quoting. Sorry about keeping you up late.

godhatesfags.com --
Westboro Baptist Church -- out of the three, it seems that "Westboro" is the only remotely accurate description. All four of my grandparents were Southern Baptists, and both my parents grew up in Southern Baptist churches. One of my grandfathers was a Baptist minister. I know what Baptists are like, and this is not it.

Their favorite slogans all seem to use the word 'hate' in them somewhere, and I don't think I found the word 'love' so much as mentioned once. This doesn't do much for their case that they are even remotely related to Christianity. "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." "For God so loved the world..." "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself." "God is love" "These three remain, faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." Whatever these people are, it's not Christian.

Still, despite the fact that they are a hate group cult, they are non-violent, and I can't exactly see them getting people to think like them -- I don't think you can justify the death penalty for these loonies.


feminism --
The Project Gutenberg ebook I was referring to, Debate on Women's Suffrage, is here. Very long winded, but quite interesting. Those opposed to it really don't put down women in any way.


the next Hitler --
You seem, in part, to be justifying your ideas based on the idea of preemptively stopping the next Hitler. What if the next Hitler, like the first one, was a clever manipulator? What if the next Hitler proclaimed himself to be Final Solution to the Bigotry Problem, and went around rounding up bigots and executing bigots in a highly efficient way. Only it turned out, years down the road, that the 'bigots' he was killing weren't really bigots after all.


definitions: bigotry, open/closed minded, opinion --
I'm pretty sure I more or less understand where you're coming from on all of these, except 'opinion'. I would quibble with the bigotry definition a bit, but I don't think that would actually get us anywhere. I still disagree with your understanding of open and closed minded. You seem to think they are two binary possibilities, equivalent to wise and foolish, I think they are two ends of a scale of flexibility of thought, from very flexible to very inflexible. It is well known that being excessively closed minded is foolish -- you prevent your mind from absorbing new ideas, and thus prevent yourself from improving or correcting mistakes. It is less widely known that being too open minded is also foolish. You should not be so open minded that your brains fall out.


cro-magnons --
There are two main competing theories, the out-of-africa theory (which seems more likely to me), and the parallel development theory. The out-of-africa theory could be twisted to serve a racist agenda by saying that some fundamental development happened after mankind left africa, improving non-africans, but not africans. The parallel development theory could be twisted by saying that the parallel evolution of separate groups of proto-humans happened at different rates or that some groups got farther along than others.

Also, if you think that the Neanderthals interbred at all with the cro-magnons in Europe (which seems a long shot to me, but can't be completely ruled out yet), then you can say that the Neanderthals contributed good genes to the gene pool, thus making Europeans superior. This idea can be bolted onto either theory.

I'm not saying these are convincing theories, I'm saying that the current state of our knowledge of early humans/human ancestors is too fragmentary to dismiss them out of hand.

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Education is the best weapon against bigotry
I agree. I also think it preferable to a) educate, or b) incarcerate (if recalcitrant) rather than kill.

Becoming Evil -- this is the name of the book I've been reading. Still only half-way through it, but it's very good.

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Genocide cannot be conducted to decrease intolerance, that is very, very different.
I think of intolerance and bigotry as being synonymous, or nearly so. What's the difference?


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06 Aug 2008, 12:22 pm

Malsane wrote:
This article made the fury rise in me. [sarcasm]How large of her to consider gays human![/sarcasm] This is one of the reasons I really dislike Christianity. It causes so much hate, sadness, and pain. There is no good reason for such harm to occur. So many gays die from hate crimes and suicide because of bigotry.


You hate Christianity for its faults. But is that all you allow yourself to see?

Careful not to be a bigot yourself ...



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06 Aug 2008, 12:51 pm

Haliphron wrote:
Its interesting to see Aspies decide to adopt a religion or some kind ideology like socialist feminism(see StuartM's musings on Aspies For Freedom)and spew propaganda and then start getting frustated when such propaganda is rebutted with reason. :?


I'm sorry. I'll admit I'm a little slow... But, what does this statement have to do with the price of feet? It just seems confrontational, and I can't reconcile it with the rest of the arguments on the thread.

Puzzled.

Please explain.


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06 Aug 2008, 10:11 pm

Ancalagon wrote:
godhatesfags.com --
Westboro Baptist Church -- out of the three, it seems that "Westboro" is the only remotely accurate description... I know what Baptists are like, and this is not it. ...Their favorite slogans all seem to use the word 'hate' in them somewhere, and I don't think I found the word 'love' so much as mentioned once... Whatever these people are, it's not Christian.


That much is obvious to the casual observer, true. Both parents were raised Baptist, neither would endorse anything remotely close to WBC.

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Still, despite the fact that they are a hate group cult, they are non-violent, and I can't exactly see them getting people to think like them -- I don't think you can justify the death penalty for these loonies.


For better or worse, most people are in agreement with you; Germany's elected government didn't see Hitler getting people to think like him after the Beer Hall Putsch. Let's agree to hope you're right. Wouldn't leave it to chance, but guess that is the minority view still.

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feminism --
The Project Gutenberg ebook I was referring to, Debate on Women's Suffrage, is here. Very long winded, but quite interesting. Those opposed to it really don't put down women in any way.


Will endeavor to read it; thanks for the link. Muslims who stone their own female relatives to death for being raped don't put down women either, it doesn't make the behavior less discriminatory. It is a question of what must be tolerated and what crosses the line, and the line has moved a lot since women were given the right to vote in America.

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the next Hitler --
You seem, in part, to be justifying your ideas based on the idea of preemptively stopping the next Hitler. What if the next Hitler, like the first one, was a clever manipulator? What if the next Hitler proclaimed himself to be Final Solution to the Bigotry Problem, and went around rounding up bigots and executing bigots in a highly efficient way. Only it turned out, years down the road, that the 'bigots' he was killing weren't really bigots after all.


Al-Bashir of Sudan is one of the next Hitlers, and like Milosevic before him, this has not been a problem, unless "stop cleansing yourselves" meets that standard. There are real leaders today, conducting real atrocities against their population, and we continue to negotiate with them rather than shoot them. How many people have to be killed by government fighter planes before it is okay to try someone in absentia and sentence him to death? All for a fair trial, but it is hard to see the merits in allowing someone to butcher their own.

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definitions: bigotry, open/closed minded, opinion --
...I still disagree with your understanding of open and closed minded. You seem to think they are two binary possibilities, equivalent to wise and foolish, I think they are two ends of a scale of flexibility of thought, from very flexible to very inflexible. It is well known that being excessively closed minded is foolish -- you prevent your mind from absorbing new ideas, and thus prevent yourself from improving or correcting mistakes. It is less widely known that being too open minded is also foolish. You should not be so open minded that your brains fall out.


Never suggested they were opposites, everything is a scale, and limbernes of mind can be measured on any number of issues. Fairly close-minded on the subject of keeping an open mind about bigotry, to be sure. Conjecture that it is too open-minded to let KKK members walk free, when members are well-known to have a long history of intimidation, selective law enforcement, and deadly violence against their neighbors, only to be protected by other members.

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cro-magnons --
There are two main competing theories, the out-of-africa theory (which seems more likely to me), and the parallel development theory. The out-of-africa theory could be twisted to serve a racist agenda by saying that some fundamental development happened after mankind left africa, improving non-africans, but not africans. The parallel development theory could be twisted by saying that the parallel evolution of separate groups of proto-humans happened at different rates or that some groups got farther along than others.


So we can agree that advancing either theory as evidence of racial superiority is twisting the theory? That is the thrust of my argument on the subject, that teaching human evolution so as to say that one race is superior -- or inferior -- to others is racist, bigoted, and a distortion of the facts.

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Also, if you think that the Neanderthals interbred at all with the cro-magnons in Europe (which seems a long shot to me, but can't be completely ruled out yet), then you can say that the Neanderthals contributed good genes to the gene pool, thus making Europeans superior. This idea can be bolted onto either theory.


Saw something about this on TV recently, apparently latest DNA testings of such samples as exist indicate that if hybrids existed, they had no surviving offspring in modern humans. Not saying it is set in stone, but it seems incrasingly unlikely that it happened.

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I'm not saying these are convincing theories, I'm saying that the current state of our knowledge of early humans/human ancestors is too fragmentary to dismiss them out of hand.


Fair enough. Don't think it is quite so fragmentary as all that, and it is certainly growing at a rapid pace.

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I also think it preferable to a) educate, or b) incarcerate (if recalcitrant) rather than kill.


When an individual's solvency on hate is more probable, both have some merit; incarceration, unfortunately, results in more racial division than living in the general population, obvious from even a cursory review of our current prison system. If someone doesn't hate people based on skin color, put him or her in a maximum security prison for a few years...

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Becoming Evil -- this is the name of the book I've been reading. Still only half-way through it, but it's very good.


Will check the library for it. Thanks!

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Genocide cannot be conducted to decrease intolerance, that is very, very different.
I think of intolerance and bigotry as being synonymous, or nearly so. What's the difference?


Was using it in a loosely synonymous sense. Point was that genocide is [url=http://www.preventgenocide.org/genocide/officialtext.htm]defined in law/url], and specifies it as having "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such". It would never apply to bigots, and no group to whom it could apply could be the source of intolerance, or it would be bigotry in its own right.

Perhaps the principle of shooting bigots is overstepping the moral authority of our emergent, global civilization, a knee-jerk reaction. It just plagues my mind to no end that wholesale slaughter occurs so often, almost invariably to the poor, and far from taking action to nip it in the bud, feet are dragged until the violence ends, at which time a few may be eventually tried for crimes far worse than those any individual could hope to commit alone. Not a fan of the "slippery slope", but it seems like bigotry begets hate groups beget hate militias beget genocide, and don't see why, with 6.7 gigapersons on our planet, we can't spare ourselves the few million that are eager to go skiing down the slope of war crimes.


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07 Aug 2008, 2:28 pm

Orwell wrote:
The woman in this article was divorced and re-married.

"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

I'm pretty sure adultery is mentioned in the Ten Commandments. But there's no commandment against homosexuality, and no mention of it in the New Testament as far as I am aware. On the grounds of a conservative/literalist interpretation of the Bible, this woman is more of a sinner than is her gay son. To condemn homosexuals as "sinners" is inexpressibly hypocritical because all have sinned. That's why we have been given forgiveness in Christ.


Old Testament: Thou shalt not lie with man, as with woman: it [is] abomination. (Leviticus 18:22). Elsewhere in OT law, the death penalty is imposed for such a thing.

New Testament: Romans 1:26-27 portrays homosexuality as a punishment imposed by God for idolatry (if you read it closely, that's how it comes out). 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is fairly plain: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God."

Note that this is a fairly long list. Who does not get to inherit the kingdom of God?

The unrighteous (catch-all).
Fornicators.
Idolators.
Adulterers.
Effeminate. (Temple prostitutes)
Homosexuals.
Thieves.
Covetous (lots of people).
Drunkards.
Revilers (LOTS of people here--including so MANY self-styled "Evangelicals")
Swindlers.

"Revilers" manages to get forgotten a lot. I wonder how vehement various denunciations would be if that were remembered.