The Crusades vs Islam

Posted by  $  JCLanier 3 years, 10 months ago to History
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Given the current on-going discussion in the Gulch following the tragic events of the terrorist attacks in Paris I believe this educational video will shed light on a long standing concept concerning the Crusades and Islam.
http://youtu.be/I_To-cV94Bo
SOURCE URL: http://youtu.be/I_To-cV94Bo


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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 10 months ago
    From the Jihadists, to the Moors, to the Barbary Pirates, Islam has been a rampant infection to Western Civilization without a penicillin available to destroy it, once and for all. All the apologists for Islam come to nothing once you take the word "religion" away from it. No matter how many times I hear the protestations of how Islam is a peaceful religion, all I can say, just as the guy in the video -- Islam is a mystical philosophy based on violent coercion allowing for no co-existence with any other way of life. Based on that, those who perform jihad must be completely stamped out, and all those professing belief in Islam should be isolated and treated with suspicion. How much more proff does the West need? A personal beheading of one member of every family?
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    • Posted by term2 3 years, 10 months ago
      I wonder what provides the fuel to keep it alive. It has so many followers. What is the attraction to it. On its face, it seems to me a stupid way of life to be avoided at all costs.
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      • Posted by RevJay4 3 years, 10 months ago
        Just off the top of my head, I would hazard a guess that what keeps Islam going is power. Power over others, women, children, infidels, etc.
        The "religion" which is Islam gives them the excuse to let the worst of their nature to rule their lives. Utilizing the dictates proscribed by their holy book, and various leaders(imams) of that faith allows all sorts of atrocities in the name of Allah.
        The followers of Islam don't seem to be able to use logic and reason to guide them in life. Just an outdated book based on the writings of a degenerate from 1400 years ago, or something like that. Much like other "religions" still around today.
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
        That's a good question Term2, but I cannot answer it either. Their religion is their politics and their culture all intertwined into one juggernaut.
        You tell me...
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      Historically and actually I agree with you Herb.
      I have worked on many a building project over the years in various Arabic countries and over time my opinion slowly changed- for the worse. With some good wine on hand I could regale you for the better part of the day with stories from my work experiences in dealing with the Islamic mentality and while you might start out laughing you would soon begin to understand the consequences of it all and then -it's no longer funny.

      Winston Churchill wrote: "Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities but the influence of their religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it."
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  • Posted by blackswan 3 years, 10 months ago
    Notice that we make a BIG deal about slavery in America and Europe, that was eliminated in the 19th century, but you don't even hear a crazy street preacher talking about slavery in Islam, even though it's going on TODAY. Why's that?
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    • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
      Include that the women are pretty much enslaved in traditional Islamic countries...That is >50% of the population right there.

      Jan
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
        Yes, Jlc, after the predication of violence, the subjugation of women under Islam reveals, in my opinion, the archaic structure of a religion that is fundamentally infantile and thus "acts out" emotionally with violence as its common denominator.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      Excellent analogy Blackswan. Considering your comment, it's even more strange that many African Americans have adopted the path of Islam- now that's an apparent contradiction.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 years, 10 months ago
        Why not? the first slave owners Where the Africans; then they sold them to everyone that wanted them. (they were the trouble makers). [turns out they were better people than the chief's of their own tribes] (things never change).
        Even in Colonial America, the first legal, ( under king george) slave owner was a black American. He argued that he should be able to keep his indentured servant for ever.
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        • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
          Right, now you go tell that to an African American. Talk about not knowing your history, or refusing to recognize it...
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 years, 10 months ago
            I didn't learn these things until the last few years, I was taught the same garbage as everyone else. Progressives revised all history as they saw fit. Won't even acknowledge our first Black American President back in 1781-John Hanson. He was a good man. Not at all like bobo...
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  • Posted by fivedollargold 3 years, 10 months ago
    Meanwhile, in the USA, Bernie and Hillary refuse to even say "radical Islam." Would they have used the word "Nazi" in 1939?
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    • Posted by jsw225 3 years, 10 months ago
      Liberals gladly used the word "Nazi" in 1939 because they liked the Nazis. They admired and glorified them. FDR, Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin would write letters back and forth filled with admiration for each other.

      It was only after near universal public revulsion at what the Liberals in Germany did with the Final Solution did Liberals in America stop liking the Nazis.
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      • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
        Yes, Jsw225, but even though the Nazis as the political ruling party of Germany were condemned by many nations of the world the word and its infamous meaning has remained in use today. The question was why does Obeyme and his cronies refuse to use the word "Jihadist" as in Islamic jihadists.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      Fivedollargold- Well said. The word "Nazi" then and now is acceptable usage to define evil and brutality. Other than the reference to the political side it is defined as: "a person who holds and acts brutally in accordance with extreme racist or authoritarian views". Since our President and his democratic cohorts have decided that it is not politically correct to "name" this evil and we all know that if it doesn't have a name you don't have to recognize it.
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  • Posted by TREDGO 3 years, 10 months ago
    I think Bill Warner's video here is a little misleading. And I want to start off saying that I am not defending Islam or Christianity, nor any other religion. In the video the 548 battles is spread from 620 AD to 1920 AD. That is 1300 years. So that is about a battle every 2.37 years. But the average misleads because from Warner's video we see new dots appearing disproportionately, so sometimes a battle could have occurred once in a decade or a couple of decades. And the battles were not always in the same place. So this would give plenty of time for new growth in some of these areas. It seems Spain had the most consistent trouble up through the centuries. I think Warner should have also shown the video with all the battles for a given period by themselves. By letting them stay on the map, it makes it appear a lot bigger and worse than what it was. Though, of course, it was very bad.
    The Crusaders may have been trying to defend themselves against Islam but they also killed many Jewish people and sacked a stronghold of Christianity, Constantinople.
    In the video Warner said that the Crusaders cannot be compared with Islamic attacks, at least not morally. I think this is a good consideration. If the Crusaders attacks were out of self-defense then they are morally superior, given that self-defense is the only legitimate use of force.
    Though I think history is good, I do not think it does much for us to defend the acts of the Crusaders or any other movement of the deep past. We know religion is bad, no matter what happened in the past. Yes, Christianity is a western religion, but as Objectivists we should deplore any sort of religion, and not equate Crusaders with Westerners. There are many actors of the past that have achieved and created great things, things that make modern society what it is today, but we must understand that some of these actors were also religious, for example Issac Newton. But the great things that were created are separate from religion. Those moments of innovation and creativity were moments of focus on this world.
    As we move forward, the basic tenets of Objectivism must not be lost. A focus on this world, rationality, and non-sacrifice of self and others, etc. Any self-defensive action should be aimed at anyone who uses force illegitimately. I see on some other forums people arguing over who is to blame for the attacks on Paris and other such attacks. Some say not all Muslims are violent, some say they all are, given their religion advocates such violence. Some are arguing on whether a few or all are totalitarians. An honest look at the Quran clears this quarrel and there doesn't have to be an extensive read of the Quran. There are websites that have extracted all the sentences in the Quran that dictate killing of infidels, of the kafirs. These words of killing are a clear exhibition of the ideas motivating the Islamic terrorists. And any application of the Islamic ideas would be totalitarian, even if done non-violently. But what we must not forget is that even though these people have rejected individualism, they still act as individuals. I think some Objectivists lose sight of this. Ayn Rand's advocacy and description of individualism was not just a moral prescription but a description of how people actually work. No matter how collectivist a person is, no matter how much a person relies on other people's minds, no matter how emotionally driven a person is, they are all still individuals. Just as "society" describes individuals working together, so does "collective action" only refer to individuals working in concerted action. Those students at those "safe-space" US universities may feel some sort of unification with one another, and that they are working as a collective, but truthfully they are each an individual making a choice, even if that choice is based on their neighbor's choice. Individualism is not just a moral or political concept, it is rooted in a metaphysical fact of reality. People who reject such metaphysical facts are acting in contradiction to their own nature. And we must remember this and apply it correctly and unflinchingly.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 10 months ago
      "We know religion is bad, no matter what happened in the past."

      You have to differentiate between principles, however. This statement as it is presented is a gross fallacy of inclusion, especially when according to several dictionaries, any belief set - even atheism - is a religion.

      I agree with you that anyone who objectively examines the tenets of Islam finds principles which disagree violently (no pun intended) with the principles of freedom of thought. But let us be very clear when we speak about such that we identify the actual principles at play and resist the urge to generalize.
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      • Posted by TREDGO 3 years, 10 months ago
        I was generalizing because Dr. Warner seemed to be making an outright justification for the Crusades, as if they were completely okay. I understand what you are saying about belief sets and religion. That makes sense, because a religious view is based on a certain way of thinking. Some atheists still use faith as a fundamental tenant, explicitly and implicitly.
        I did not commit a fallacy of inclusion. I was being inclusive of course, of any thought process that is religious or religious-like. Can you see how some people worship science today? Where they cannot accept anything without scientific proof. Science is supposed to be a bastion of secular, reasoning thought, but it too is used religiously.
        You said I have to differentiate between principles, which principles? The principles of Christianity and Islam. I see very well the difference between the two. Christianity is a far more peaceful religion than Islam, both in its actual avowed principles and historically. I see that very well. My stance was for reason, not to differentiate and show which religion is better or worse. I was attacking religious thought in general. To defend Christianity as if it did not inspire anything evil is dishonest. I was trying to point that out. I wrote a long comment, I could have extended it to be more clear on the differences between the two religions, but I have to stop somewhere, or else I would write a book.
        Generalizations are not bad, given the context. My generalization was not saying that Christianity and Islam are on par with one another, when it comes to evil deeds. I was saying that neither religion is exempt from evil deeds. Atheism is included here. Soviet Russia was atheistic and secular, but it sure did commit a huge atrocity, and the atheism there sure was religious-like. And no matter those dictionary definitions of religion there is still a distinction. Religious thought necessarily follows from all religions, but not all religious thought follows from religion. An atheist that puts faith into nature or evolution, has a thought process that is comparable to religion-based thinking, but his faith in nature is not a religion. A religion must have a God or gods. This is why Buddhism isn't considered a religion. Buddha is not to be worshiped, Buddha is a task for all living beings to become. Everyone is capable of becoming Buddha, supposedly. Buddha isn't a singular, independent being, Buddha is a state of being. But in Christianity and Islam, God or Allah is an independent being that lords over everything in existence, no one can be/become God or Allah. By the way, I am not a Buddhist, I just saw it as a good example for religion versus a religious-seeming-non-religion.
        You took my sentence out of context and ascribed it is a "gross fallacy of inclusion". And just looking at that sentence by itself doesn't seem bad at all. The first half could exist on its own and it would still imply the second half. And a "fallacy of inclusion", what does that even mean? I have never heard of such a fallacy. This "fallacy" seems more like an attack on generalization in general, instead of on rash-generalizations. Inclusive thought, generalizations, stereotypes are all legitimate, but they can be illegitimately used. Certain people will fit a stereotype, but to ascribe a stereotype to someone rashly, or without first seeing that the person really fits it would be bad thinking.
        If friend A throws bowling balls at me, and friend B throws marbles at me, of course A is doing more damage, but it wouldn't be wrong of me to say that people that throw things at people do harm and are bad. My attack would be on the action of throwing things at people. It wouldn't be a comparison, but I would definitely rather someone throw marbles at me, instead of bowling balls. I would rather live in a world with Christians only, than in a world with Muslims only. But since I live in a world with both, I want to see both stopped, but, of course, I have more urgency for Islam to be stopped.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 years, 10 months ago
          There is a technical fallacy of inclusion equivocating on meaning, but it does not mean 'don't form general concepts' as it was misused above. The concept of religion as including all of them is based on essential characteristics and is a necessary concept for proper thinking. Those who defend one sect or another have an anti-conceptual vested interest in destroying the conceptual ability to see the essential similarity of destructive faith in all of them.
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          • Posted by TREDGO 3 years, 10 months ago
            After I posted my comment, I was feeling that I missing something. You have showed it to me. I could see that this fallacy has some sort of legitimacy, but I hadn't heard of it. And I tired to look it up before I posted the comment, but I couldn't find it. I could see that equivocation was paramount to it, but I couldn't put it all together. Thanks for telling me this.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 10 months ago
          Philosophy/religion is wholly about principles. We just tend to package them into little containers for our own benefit. That packaging, however, can lead easily to fallacy because one may look at the package and disagree with one tenet only to throw the baby out with the bath water. That is why I point out that it is a gross fallacy of inclusion to simply label "religion" as "bad". You have to go back to the principles involved and discuss their merits.

          For example, there is a principle in Islam that calls for fasting - the voluntary abstention from certain foods for a certain time - during Ramadan. Science has shown that periodically abstaining from food for 24 hours allows our body to flush out toxins and return to a healthier state, so the principle itself has merit. The problem is that the fasting as exercised by Muslims only happens during the day, and when night falls the fasting period ends and becomes instead outright gluttony. To me, the principle is true, but it's exercise in practice has become perverted.

          Let's look at altruism. Some want to equate that with charity, but really, altruism is government forced subsistence of others rather than voluntary assistance. Getting government involved perverts the principle and practice of true charity.

          I can go on and on, but I hope these examples show why one must look at the individual principles in play and not necessarily the imperfect practitioners.

          "An atheist that puts faith into nature or evolution, has a thought process that is comparable to religion-based thinking, but his faith in nature is not a religion."

          Actually, by many definitions, ANY belief set put into practice is a religion. There are just many atheists who can't stand the word religion and so want to avoid its use, but in reality, it's all belief sets.

          Man is constantly looking for betterment. His ideals of what that betterment consists of shapes his life and thought processes. That movement from "I don't represent what I want to" towards the ideal is the exercise of religion, with the ideal in the distance being one's god - whether it be nature, "spiritual enlightenment", or the coalescence of those concepts into a human or human-like form. Objectivism is no different, holding up the 100% logical being such as Rand or Galt as that ideal one seeks to emulate. If one worships nature (which I find to be quite ridiculous and backward), isn't one in fact saying that they believe that a return to nature and the abandonment of the advancements of humanity is their ideal? Yes.

          So the real question is this: what is the ideal you are seeking for and what is the path to it? That is the discussion of philosophy and religion both. It is the study of the aggregation of individual principles (owning one's self, value for value, etc.) which lies at the heart of philosophy and religion. But the more I study them, the more I find that there are bits and pieces of truth scattered all over. And they are mixed up with lies as well. The task is to ferret out the one from the other.
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          • Posted by TREDGO 3 years, 9 months ago
            One of the main things to remember in this discussion is that a philosophy or religion is a “system of knowledge”. This also includes any science, art, business, etc. Anything that has multiple principles that work together can be seen as a system. And a system can be bad or good. A clock is a system of multiple mechanical parts that work together to make 2 or 3 hands spin in a circle for the purpose of time telling/keeping. A cell phone is a system of different electronics working together. The cell phone can have an excellent screen, an excellent speaker, and an excellent microphone, but if the battery is bad, the system will be bad, so the cell phone will be a bad one. It is not “throwing the baby out with the bath water” to call a system, or a generalized set of beliefs, bad. Religion is based on faith and some philosophies too. This faith is the focus when defining them as bad.

            If I grant your “belief set” idea, then I can still show you are wrong because I can then say that a ‘belief set’ built with false principles is bad, while a ‘belief set’ built with true principles is a good one. Your example of Ramadan is not a good example. Just because MODERN science has proven fasting to be a good thing, does not mean this was the knowledge that ancient Muslims, or even ancient Greeks, were working with. Modern science has shown that there are certain benefits from going without eating for some time, based on biology. This knowledge was not available to ancient Muslims and Greeks. The closest thing that can be biologically based is the Greek’s recognition that going without eating for some time fostered better thinking, which has a modern explanation. When we eat, more blood is directed to the stomach for better digestion. So, when we don’t eat that blood that would otherwise be directed to our stomachs, is used by other parts of our bodies, like our brains. But this knowledge was not available to Greeks. I have experienced this clear thought from not eating, it is apparent.

            Did Muslims know this? Maybe, another principle of Ramadan is introspection, so this fasting may foster better introspection.

            Whatever the reason, most of the people accepted it on faith, and do not fast for introspection but because it is a commandment from a god. And just a philosophical lesson for you, you said, “the principle is true”. That is incorrect. The stricture to fast is a commandment; commands are not true or false. It is true that someone commanded it, and it is true that there is a benefit from fasting, but that principle wouldn’t be called true, it should be called good, or valid.

            In understanding if a system of knowledge is good or not, delve deeper with the disciplines of metaphysics and epistemology. Some religions, like Objectivism, have an objective metaphysics, though quite flawed. They believe that a god, or God, actually exists in the world, universe, whatever. But if that being does not actually exist then principles founded on the axiom that God exists are not good, or not well founded.

            The huge contribution to philosophy was Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. Its epistemology has the 3 axioms: existence, identity, and conscious. I will not go into the second 2; I want to focus on existence here. Making existence the fundamental axiom is what enables us to found our knowledge in metaphysics, the supposed first philosophy, the discipline that discusses things “about the world” (for any student here that has taken a philosophy class, I know metaphysics can be confusing especially when you compare the Objectivist metaphysics with the idea of metaphysics that is taught in these classes. I will help clear that up. There are multiple definitions for the prefix meta-, it means both “about” and “after”. It got its “after” definition from the people that organized Aristotle’s student’s notes. They had found a bunch of things that did not fit into Aristotle’s Physics, so they put it AFTER the physics, thus metaphysics. So, often teachers teach metaphysics as if it is not about the world as it is, but about the world as we define it. The important distinction with Objectivist metaphysics is that when Ayn Rand spoke of it, she was using the prefix meta- using the ABOUT definition, so this is why she says metaphysics is about the world.) For those of you that don’t know, epistemology is the study of how we know. There are also other more nuanced applications of epistemology but I will not go into them here.

            The world exists apart from our consciousness, meaning it is not our consciousness that creates reality. Reality exists and we interact with it. That is the Objectivist metaphysics.

            You mentioned that a belief set is condensed and used for our benefit. But is it really for someone’s benefit if he lives a life of austerity, when he doesn’t have to, for a world that supposedly exists, like heaven? No. Austere living is a principle of Christianity. A lot of Christians, especially rich ones, are not living austerely, but some of them think they should give more of their money away to the “less fortunate”. If there were abundance available, use it, to renounce it for an afterlife that doesn’t exist would be stupid.

            This is why we should look at systems of knowledge, philosophies and religions, as complete wholes. It is okay to scurry the works to find some perhaps good things, but to say that a religion isn’t bad because some principles are good, is the opposite of your “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”, you are saying we should keep the bathwater. Distill the bad ideas out and keep the babies. But still know that the religion from which those “good” principles were distilled from is still a bad one.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 9 months ago
              "If I grant your “belief set” idea, then I can still show you are wrong because I can then say that a ‘belief set’ built with false principles is bad, while a ‘belief set’ built with true principles is a good one"

              My point was that one must separate and individually identify true principles, but that individually true principles can and do exist even in "packaged" ideological/belief sets which overall are "false". To use your example, just because the one engineer came up with a faulty battery doesn't mean that the other engineers who worked on the screen, sound system, etc. produced bad products.

              "Your example of Ramadan is not a good example. Just because MODERN science has proven fasting to be a good thing, does not mean this was the knowledge that ancient Muslims, or even ancient Greeks, were working with."

              Principles are true regardless how much of the principle is understood. Knowledge is not a prerequisite of truth in a principle, it is an acknowledgement of the truth of a principle. If one was to go back in time to the glory of Rome armed with a loaded handgun and give that handgun to a Legion Centurion, would the gun still fire? Of course - even though the Centurion would have no idea why one of his Legionnaires suddenly fell over dead following a large bang. The principle of combustion leading to the principle of Pascal's law (pressure and temperature of a gas) leading to Newton's laws of motion didn't suddenly spring into existence simply because they were scientifically identified and studied centuries later.

              "And just a philosophical lesson for you, you said, “the principle is true”. That is incorrect. The stricture to fast is a commandment; commands are not true or false. It is true that someone commanded it, and it is true that there is a benefit from fasting, but that principle wouldn’t be called true, it should be called good, or valid."

              Truth is universal. You are trying to argue that the messenger or vehicle of delivery affect the truth of a principle. I'd point out that your own words acknowledge "The world exists apart from our consciousness, meaning it is not our consciousness that creates reality. Reality exists and we interact with it." We don't create truth simply when we recognize it. It existed independent of us and will continue to do so. The only thing recognition changes is us. The universe goes on about its merry business.

              "In understanding if a system of knowledge is good or not, delve deeper with the disciplines of metaphysics and epistemology."

              Ah, but neither metaphysics nor epistemiology can answer the question of good and evil. It never makes the attempt. It simply tries to tell one whether or not the arguments being made adhere to a system of rational thought. In order for "good" or "evil" to exist, one must be able to delineate purpose. (FYI, existence in and of itself is not purpose.) Purpose demands change - a starting point versus an ending point and some method of traverse from point A to point B. The epistemiology of Objectivism only helps to identify Point A. It does nothing to address point B or the path from A to B. That task falls to the philosophy rather than the epistemiology. The "why" versus the "how". Both are important.

              "You mentioned that a belief set is condensed and used for our benefit. But is it really for someone’s benefit if he lives a life of austerity, when he doesn’t have to, for a world that supposedly exists, like heaven? No."

              Again, you have to go back to purpose. I'm not arguing for or against Christianity or Islam here. I'm pointing out the philosophical questions which are fundamental to any ideology. Answer the question of purpose first. Then and only then will you be properly equipped to distinguish good from evil - whether in principle or in practice.

              "Some religions, like Objectivism, have an objective metaphysics, though quite flawed. They believe that a god, or God, actually exists in the world, universe, whatever. But if that being does not actually exist then principles founded on the axiom that God exists are not good, or not well founded."

              Let's walk through this statement.

              First, you state an argument heavily laced with opinion and with the ambiguous conditional "some". You'd be better served to be specific in your argument by naming the precise topic of address, i.e. the religion/principle with which you find issue. The second is a re-state of a position or principle but again needs to be specific to be most effective. The last is a conclusion that I would agree with as a valid statement: that if something does not exist, it can not be the origin of something else.

              Validity, however, is separate from soundness. Any argument that follows from its premises is valid. Only valid arguments based on proven premises, however, can be sound. The premise in this case is the primary bone of contention, because that "existence" makes or breaks the soundness of either side's argument. And once again, purpose becomes a primary avenue of determining the question of existence.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 years, 10 months ago
            Principles are not "packaged into containers" and not classified for someone's subjective "benefit". Valid concepts classify in accordance with essentials and are formed objectively. Objective concepts are essential to knowledge. See Ayn Rand's Introduction Objectivist Epistemology.

            Faith and reason are opposite concepts. Any philosophy based on faith is bad. It is destructive in its essence regardless of the form and particulars of its dogma. See Ayn Rand's "Faith and Force" in particular.

            Atheism is not a form of religion, not faith, and not a philosophy. "A-theist" means rejection of belief in the supernatural. It says nothing about what one's philosophy is or whether it includes faith.

            Scientific understanding of laws of nature in general and sciences like evolution are not "faith". That is in contrast to environmentalism which is based on nature worship, regarding it as an intrinsic (mystical) value superseding human objective value.

            Altruism is not "government forced subsistence", it is a concept of ethics meaning living for others as the fundamental standard of ethics. Socialism is political philosophy for those who take altruism seriously.

            Ayn Rand's philosophy of reason and egoism is not a hodgepodge of rationalizations in a competing religious "belief set". This is a forum for advancing Ayn Rand's ideas and their understanding, not for trashing and misrepresenting them by eclectic religionists pursuing "bits and pieces of truth scattered all over". Blarman's post is not a "reference". Those who are serious about the purpose of this forum and a systematic understanding of Ayn Rand's philosophy can find guidelines for where else to look here https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 3 years, 10 months ago
              "Any philosophy based on faith is bad."

              Define good and evil. Define faith. The problem is that in both of these you are starting out with erroneous definitions. You insist that the definition of faith is an anti-definition: "the opposite of reason". That's nonsense and it's a false definition. And you can't define good and evil until you identify purpose. You want to insist that the purpose of life is death and oblivion. If that is the case, neither "good" nor "evil" can exist. If there is no benefit to living life according to lasting principles, then there is no reason to qualify any belief set as better than another.

              "Principles are not "packaged into containers" and not classified for someone's subjective "benefit"."

              They absolutely are. Objectivism is one package. Christianity is another. Judaism is yet another. And there are hundreds more. They may be called "religions". I use the broader term ideologies or belief sets, but each one of these labels doesn't describe a single principle, but rather a collection of them. The argument of being contrary just to be contrary is the argument of the idiot.

              "Atheism is not a form of religion, not faith, and not a philosophy."

              Sure it is, it's just like I said, you don't want to be associated with the word religion. But it absolutely is a belief set that influences your values, how you go about your life and how you think you will end up. It affects the choices you make and the policies you support. If you deny this, you only deceive yourself.
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            • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
              Ewv: I think you have misinterpreted Blarman's message.
              It is also disingenuous to "pick and choose" parts of the whole and thus interpreting them out of context and imbuing them with the opposite of their intent. And furthermore, sarcasm, which you could have avoided, closes the door to discussion. Those of us who remain dedicated to this forum are here to participate and advance our knowledge in objectivist reasoning. It is an arduous path and you might be more advanced on this objectivist path than others here but the path is the objective and the importance is to stay the course.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      Hi Tredgo: I appreciate the effort you applied in your commentary. I have re-read it several times. There are some statements that, in my opinion, tend to contradict. Yes, we are distinctly separate individuals but that does not determine that we think independently of our on volition.

      To add some context to this I would offer a quote from Rand: "Whoever preserves a single thought uncorrupted by any concession to the will of others, whoever brings into reality a matchstick or a patch of garden made in the image of his thought- he, and to that extent, is a man, and that extent is the sole measure of his virtue."
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      • Posted by TREDGO 3 years, 10 months ago
        Yes, of course, I agree with you. What I said was not clear enough, I see that now. I started with the metaphysical fact that everyone is an individual, but ethically, many people, are not individuals.
        I did not extend the idea individual far enough when I wrote that comment. I see my mistake now.
        Since human action can only be ascribed to individual actors, the ultimate choice still comes down to the individual, this is why we can still find people guilty of something, even if they were coerced or manipulated into doing so or followed someone else's thought instead of their own.
        I was trying to use the Aristotelian idea of 'is and ought'. Because people are individuals, they ought to act as individuals.
        Some people will not independently make a choice. These people, if alone on a deserted island would perish quickly without anyone to help them. They will perish because they will not know how to act against the contradiction they accepted.
        I should have said, "No matter how collectivist ..... metaphysically they are still individuals." They will be individual people, but not individual thinkers.
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        • Posted by RevJay4 3 years, 10 months ago
          Perhaps, the word "sheeple" could be applied to those who are not "individual thinkers".
          Hmmmm.....actually, even those who follow other's thoughts in doing something are still making individual choices to do so. And at any point in the act of following that other's thoughts, further choices could be made to deviate from those thoughts. To see the error of their ways, so to speak.
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  • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
    The Crusades was a war based on economics as they all are. Religion was an excuse. As it was then for the Crusaders so it is now for the Jihadists. The rest is immaterial, irrelevant and not germane to the central issues. The Crusades or War Against European Aggression reportedly killed more Christians than Muslims. However no blame is attached to either side save at the top fo the heap the power elites of their time. Judging by the context of the those times it was simply a matter of wealth redistribution...from the Middle East to Western Europe with both Aristocracy and senior Clergy in the roll of looters no different than the stories - same time period - of one Robin Locksley and his band of Merry Men. who robbed from the looters and return same to the producers. I've done this exercise numerous times both in university studies and in the military. Yet to find a war that wasn't based on economics and that is after judging it strictly in the context of the times. I only remember taking an oath to the Constitution and not to the family coffers of LBJ or Obama, or Bush or Clinton or Roosevelt or any of the others. But thats how it inevitably turns out.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      Hello MichaelA: Yes, more often than not it is about economics.
      Wars change, the people change, the reasons change but the words to describe the dead never change...
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      • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
        Tell me about it. I sent home, escorted, or buried enough of them and it was always about $$$$$$. I studied it and researched it. Same answer. One way or another ....$$$$ was involved. One side may have fought to remain free the other side was looking for loot and plunder. Always.
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        • Posted by RevJay4 3 years, 10 months ago
          The "loot and plunder" you mentioned were in the interest of power over others. Still is today. We fight to remain free and the other side seeks to subdue us for the power of controlling our lives. And enriching their own coffers, much like the present administration, and cohorts, who are no different than many others down through history. The $$$$$ equal the power.
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  • Posted by preimert1 3 years, 10 months ago
    D r. Warner's study of the sweeping scope of Islamic jihad in Europe and Asia is sobering. He makes the case that current events manifest of a continuum stretching back to Islam's beginning over 1400 years ago. We have become used to media reports of seemingly isolated incidents of violence here and abroad--some of which are jihad-motivated and some not. What is truly alarming is when we are blind-sighted by a series of simultaneous, coordinated bloody attacks that indicate organization on the part of the perpetrators.

    Predictably Face the Nation this morning featured the chairmen of both the Senate and House Intelligence committees as well as NY Police commissioner Bratton saying that the development of more effective encryption services brought on by Snowden's revelations and refusal of the developers to furnish their keys to the government is greatly hampering their efforts.

    Frankly I'm beginning to waiver. What does the Gultch think?
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    • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 10 months ago
      Bull. Bratton may say what he will: I have no question that I will choose freedom over security, preimert. I want my own encryption algorithms, thank you, I will take my chances with terrorists.

      Jan
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      • Posted by ewv 3 years, 10 months ago
        There is no security without freedom. Security for what? Giving into the false alternative as it is being pushed on us means trading one group of terrorists for another.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      I saw that interview too. Preimert1, it always starts that way, the government tells us that they need to have access to our private lives to be able to get to the bad guys (most often a scare tactic). Once they have a mandate to breech that constitutional limitation -they never repeal the act.

      It is certainly a fine line to tread (rights and privacy) to get more bang (safety and results) for further relinquishing of our freedom. In my opinion, giving further access to our private lives to the government is a NO. Let them WORK and THINK for a change and beef up foreign intel, create a better network of interchange with our allies and instead of asking more concessions from its citizens, let them begin to overtly watch the enemy's people by surveilling mosques and meeting places. Why not begin there? What is this political correctness as evidenced by New York's Mayor stopping any "spying" (a cut to the point) on Islamic activities there? Why do we have to have the government come straight through our front door to crawl through a window of some suspected jihadist? Just go straight to the point and impose these inconveniences on those that specifically represent the problem- Muslim/Islamist (non separable). Yes, this would have to include the innocent to get to the guilty but it strikes straight at the heart of the matter with a precise target -Islam. AND, if the Muslims/Islamist here in the US don't like it then maybe, just maybe, they will finally stand up and declare their position against jihad and unanimously denounce and ostracize their jihadist brothers!
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  • Posted by term2 3 years, 10 months ago
    Islam is probably the biggest enemy of freedom in the world. Not Russia. And the muslims dont rise up to get rid of the violence, since violence seems to be an integral part of islam. Why people embrace Islam is a mystery to me.
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  • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 years, 10 months ago
    Good information in that video. I saw something very much like it relating to the growth and expansion of Judaism, Christianity, and islam that was also interesting.

    I do love how Westerners try to vilify the Crusades having little or no true knowledge about it.

    Charles Motel (Christianity) saved Europe for islamic conquest. We don't teach this, instead we create self loathing. Why?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_...
    (I"m sure there is a better link than Wikipedia. This was just the top of my google search).
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 3 years, 10 months ago
      Probably because like all wars it was a case of Francs not Franks and tithing not tidings. I don't know why anyone today would self-loathe. The idiots weren't alive back then - unless and obviously failing to learn jot from history suddenly realized they had committed troops to war for dollars they would never see.
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    • Posted by term2 3 years, 10 months ago
      I think that human nature is basically wicked, evil, and non intellectual. It takes work to overcome this stupidity, and not a lot of people are willing to engage in that work.
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      • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 years, 10 months ago
        Human nature is neutral, like fire. Great good or evil can come from it. My 2 bits.
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        • Posted by term2 3 years, 10 months ago
          Humans, if they dont use their brains to think, seem to be relegated to being like animals on the african plains. And so many of them fall into that category. Look at all the wars over the centuries, not to mention socialism and islam which seems to just be embraced. Both of them are barbaric
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          • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
            Could be that Socialism and Islam tell you what to do, they "fix" things for you, you don't have to think, you just have to follow their rules without question which ensures you an "equal" place in society. This is how they gain tremendous psychological and political power. Human nature seeks to belong to some form of a structured society in which to take refuge and be accepted. The idea of the "individual" is an extremely frightening concept to many. That is why they sell their souls to belong to something "greater than themselves".
            Term2, if you start at an early age with the "indoctrination" of Islam or Socialism/Collectivism the mind will atrophy. As you state, "...they don't use their brains to think", yet thinking/reasoning is a solitary act. Too many have never thought for themselves, they use "group think", and herein lies the demise of free-thinking societies as we know them today.
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            • Posted by RevJay4 3 years, 10 months ago
              And, seldom, if ever, is that "equal" place in society realized when the dust settles. Except for the elite, who have been leading the charge to the promised utopian goal. They benefit, not the individuals in the trenches.
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    • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
      I have witnessed this too. Maybe it is a profound shortcoming of the Western world to "apologize" for their success. Why? I don't have a clear answer. My mind goes to Hollywood and the self righteous attitudes of many of those participating in this industry. Their bleeding hearts for the socialistic/collectivist attitudes they preach as if they must atone for their good fortune. As if they are ashamed of it. Is this too an example of self loathing?
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      • Posted by  $  sjatkins 3 years, 10 months ago
        Religiously motivated wars, all religiously motivated wars, require apology. The rabidness of the Crusades is nothing to be proud of.
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        • Posted by  $  3 years, 10 months ago
          Sjatkins: While religion did play a role in these Islamic-Christian wars and in particular the later years, you cannot overlook that at that time in history the "Church" was the political power/army of much of Europe. It goes without saying that "Islam" was a religiously unified army. However, it was an Islamic army that invaded Europe for spoils, territory and slaves and NOT for religious causes (of course their religion followed with them). In fact, in many of the Islamic conquered areas of Europe the Arabs allowed Christians to continue to practice their religious beliefs.

          I would clearly agree with you on the example of the long continued Irish "Protestant-Catholic" wars. That deserves an unequivocal apology from both sides.
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