Iranian girls could dress like this before the revolution.
Iranian girls could dress like this before the revolution.
And now a Teenage couple whipped in Aceh, Malaysia. That’s the religion of peace and tolerance there.
First of all I’d like to share this. This is old but it’s relevant and still a good summary of the dishonest smear attacks regressive leftists have been using against the New atheists.
Anyway the SPLC has just admitted guilt and settled the lawsuit by giving 3.7 million to the progressive Muslim reformer who they defamed for being Islamphobic:
All progressive movements are essentially critique movements that attempt to push for change. For instance, a Professor that thinks of herself as a Marxist will be a master at finding systemic problems in our economic, political and social systems. She’ll be able to explain why exactly the last recession happened, who it primarily effected and why it will happen again. What she’ll have a hard time doing is explaining what to do about it, perhaps by trying to organize her colleagues in her union, or maybe by protesting. Progressives are well versed at finding problems, but very bad at finding solutions, or at least good solutions that actually change things on a systematic level. The problem is that those problems have become systemic only because there is really no easy, better alternative.
It makes more sense if you look at it like that. Progressives tend to be young and naive, so when they’re taught about some of our systemic problems having to do with race and gender at the moment, they immediately want to go out and try and “fix” those problems, not really understanding that all they’re armed with is a critique and no good tools to actually change anything. If it was easy to fix our natural tendency to favor the our own group and feel xenophobic towards outsiders, then racism would have already have been fixed long ago. Lots of groups are working hard to do what they can though, doing things like opening up women’s shelters and food shelves. Doing good takes a lot of effort like that.
The SPLC is a special case though, I think. They represent progressive movements in the same way that the Ku Klux Klan represents President Trump supporters. From what I’ve read in the sources in your main post, it looks like more morally sound progressives are vocally distancing themselves from the SPLC.
Though I still like how progressives can ackowledge certain problems whereas many conservatives are are unable or unwilling to see the problems exist or when their own actions are part of a system of actions that harm others, (and they aren’t merely compromising or being pragmatic. ) Right now I am listening to an audio book by Steven Linker titled Enlightenment Now and he seems to be a neoliberal pragmatist. It’s hard to get the details though when it’s an audio book since dense facts often wash over you when it’s hard to rewind.
I won’t format this well, but I’ve finally came around to the idea that Hitchens was right about Iraq. A little background first…
Years ago I thought that since Saddam was a dangerous dictator it was a good idea to depose Saddam, but then I thought it was a mistake because the war didn’t seem to go well and we didn’t seem to have an exit strategy or a way of making the place democratic and stable. When we found out there weren’t WMDs, the liberals became pretty powerful, George Bush made the case worse by speaking like an idiot, and it was the popular thing to dislike the war and the Republican led government. (I don’t think I ever totally stopped supporting the initial intervention, but for me I questioned why we stayed there if it weren’t to gather oil, and I thought it was a grey conflict I didn’t need t care that much about.)
Anyway, I read when Richard Dawkins condemned the war like a typical European back in 2003, and he didn’t seem to have the insights of Christopher Hitchens. I think he was wrong about Iraq and that Christopher Hitchens is right. I was cautious of accepting Hitchens’ arguments since Iraq did seem to get worse after he died, but his moral convictions were right, and I think history will show his view was better than that of his opponents. (Incidentally, I tried to be charitable and understand his contrarian position by watching a few of his interviews and he gave them right up until his day where he spoke about it, and the debate he had on Iraq.)
Hitchen’s earlier views might have been wrong and blinded by Anti-Americanism of the Marxists he hung out with, but ever since 9/11 he seems to have had an epiphany and realized that America could be a force for good. Like he did, I do feel that kind of clarity again.
When you look at the counter-factuals, sooner or later we would have had to confront Iraq. The Europeans would always have opposed us because they were frankly morons and have a European guilt complex (and look at what is happening with Muslim violence in their countries now.)
Yeah it’s convenient to be right, but I did fight it for a long time and to be skeptical of it. I considered some of the conspiracy theories like it was about oil or some vendetta left over from his father. Ultimately though, we couldn’t let such dangerous people control such a vital part of the world. It might take decades, but if we can make Iraq democratic, that would be a huge improvement and might lead the Middle East upward. (I’m not so sure about Afghanistan.)
Of course, it does limit our military options when we are bogged down in the Middle East, but since the Europeans won’t help and much of NATO is useless, we have to do it, and American exceptionalism has a lot to say for it. I guess I’m onboard with the neocons as fellow travelers; the American revolution really is the only one that hasn’t been put out yet.
I can take some pride in that aspect of my American identity, because we do have a better foreign track record abroad than most countries. (Certainly better than the peaceniks in Europe.) Sure we’ve supported lots of dictatorships in fighting the Communists, but it’s pretty obvious that a lot of those decisions were forced when we were in ethically gray areas. Moreover, in cases like Iraq, we had to go in because France and Russia kept vetoing our sanctions.
(I’m not sure that I can agree with torture, but the Americans are basically the good guys compared to everyone else on the stage right now.) You see the other side beheading people in Iraq, you see the Russians poisoning spies, you have seen the ungrateful Europeans contributing nothing for decades while relentlessly criticizing the American policy in the Middle-East from under the umbrella of protection America gives them. It’s sad that they get to enjoy their socialism and get fat dumb and happy, while Americans actually sacrifice our freedoms and our lives to keep them free. China is a dictatorship; the Middle-East and Africa are a mess, and the Australians are probably just as Anti-American as the Europeans (although they send troops.)
I’m starting to think actually that although most people don’t like the neo-cons and foreigners understandably resent being forced to follow someone else, the critics don’t actually really understand how much thought the neo-cons have given to trying to make the world freer. It’s so much easier to be a bien-pensant liberal. If you don’t defend democracy abroad, you will lose it at home; just look at how the Russians tried to subvert our election.
You know, one of these days I should go to Taiwan for myself as a private citizen and talk to some of those people and make friends there, in the name of defending democracy. I know they don’t want to be part of China. I need to start thinking about how people who want freedom everywhere regardless of the language they speak or the country they live in are my fellow travelers. There’s something in all of us that wants freedom, and doesn’t want to be oppressed, and that’s why you had all the revolutions against the USSR in Eastern Europe, and the slave riots, and so forth. There are some universal rights, and contrary to what those liberals and isolationist conservatives say, they do exist.
Europe (especially Germany, France and Spain), Russia and China are off-limits! No more supporting the peaceniks or autocrats with my tourist dollars!
72% of 18-22 year olds have no religion in Britain. Overall, I think I would have been happier and more successful living in the UK or basically any western European country where this trend is far accelerated and where the socio-economic views and ethics agree with mine. I am starting to feel relieved that this trend is so accelerated in the youth, and I know it won’t stop and will be just like gay marriage, ending segregation, suffrage, permitting divorce, or ending slavery. I don’t think I will feel any nostalgia for the loss of religion, religious fables, or forced communion with racist/prejudiced/tribal cultists when I die, hopefully in another 40 years, for there is just too much the world offers outside of that narrow inherited world-view.
America may be behind, and my experience knowledge and general intelligence/openness may have happened to put me ahead of the curve as a logical thinker, but I do feel relief knowing that America generally follows Europe and if I were to leave this country in a few generations religion and all of the associated evil ideologies are still predicted to die out here. We may soon not have anyone as eloquent as the recent old atheists in Britain who are about to die out, but the arguments will be won, because the younger generation will not be prejudiced from the start.
Without childhood indoctrination in religion, almost no atheist has converted to it in the last century because all the claims look ridiculous and there is not a shred of evidence to back any of it up. The arguments that used to be persuadable for Christian apologists in less modern eras have all been refuted by centuries of more careful thinkers–philosophers and psychologists, or by the data accumulated by science as the most objective means we have ever discovered of obtaining the truth. Now the apologists speak with elusive language like lawyers only to keep their own flock from knowing the truth, for their own financial or psychological benefit, while countless conservative institutions uphold the lie. The younger generation has started to know that the truth doesn’t change no matter what people say or believe, and remains ready to be found. Consequently, the next generation of thinkers won’t be persuaded, because they has just gotten too good at questioning why the truth needs so many lies, institutions, and violence to be defended if it’s so obvious.
What direction does a Muslim astronaut pray in if he’s on Mars? If Earth is straight up that’s gonna strain your neck. Why don’t Muslims ever pray straight down? How do you determine qibla if you’re in a wormhole?
Praying in a direct line to Mecca when off Earth, and praying in a curvilinear line while on Earth is inconstant to begin with. Jupiter and Hydra have ten hour long days, so you have to wake up to pray more right? Hydra has a tumultuous chaotic orbit – every time you pray you’d need to figure out your bearings because up and down change constantly. Imagine if there’s ever a major nuclear war and Muslims emerge from a fallout out shelter after 40 years, to find they lost track of time and were praying in the wrong direction.
Good luck finding which way Mecca is let alone Pluto.
I want to see Muslims on an astronomical body that rotates hundreds of times in 24 Earth hours. And if there was no relativity then following Salah (prayer) times on a ship closely orbiting a millisecond pulsar would kill Muslims with insomnia.
> Astronauts will eventually use an atomic clock that’s adjusted to account for the current time in Mecca.
Now what about the effects of relativity? Days on high gravity bodies take longer. Are muslims gonna stop praying if they live by a blackhole and days stop progressing? Will the new plan to pray according to local times on a clock, not the sun? Or suns? You won’t be able to follow Mecca time when weeks of of your life equal a day on Earth.
What about if the sun or Earth die? Will they pray towards the dust? Do astronauts adjust the prayer times in accordance with the local sun(s)?
But here’s another one: how do you get buried facing Mecca on Hydra, much less Mara?
So here’s the problem with prayer times. Either:
Trouble is you can’t do both with relativity. Time dilation messes it all up. How many days on Earth pass for years lived by a black hole. Suspended animation on a colony ship also would result in sleeping through prayers towards mecca. Traveling close to the speed of light would make days in mecca speed by in hours or minutes on your ship.
For number 2, every single ship in the universe will wind up with its own time. All clocks tuned to absolute mecca time will glitch up and require offsets as the ships start accelerating and decelerating around stars. Two ships that left Earth at the same time traveling to the same destination at different speeds will still quickly develop different “Mecca clocks” and would pray at different times. If one crashed and had to be rescued by the other, the clocks would not agree and the crew would all pray at different times.
Praying together as one quickly becomes impossible in space.
Here’s another astronomy one. A fatwa was recently issued barring all Muslims from going to Mars. Would that stop you from going if the chance were there? Supposing even that space travel was a one way trip?
Not that I expect answers to those questions since Quranic thinking says the Earth is flat.
I recently wrote to the effect that you only need to read a primary source when you want to confirm a person’s real views.This is an important distinction, because history tends to coalesce around figureheads, who we treat as “great men.” It shouldn’t happen, but it does. If we treated every quotation as pure philosophy, then all arguments would need to stand up on their own regardless of the speaker, and reading the sources would matters much less. Ancient writers aren’t known for writing directly. Unfortunately, sometimes we are misled, and disagreements tips us off to the need to go back to the primary sources. I recently had such an experience with Chomsky. Continue reading Chomsky
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam glad I’m not Muslim. Male or Female it makes little difference, you lose your property and your life. A woman may be beat every 3 days until she repents and returns to Islam. Family commonly kill those who turn Atheist or convert to other religions. That is why the Atheist population in those countries is nearly silent. I bet they even kill them in france, the uk, or us, like with their honor killings.
Fortunately, the unpleasant religious bigotry Americans have against Muslims, coupled with our secular traditions might shield Western Culture if Europe ever falls. But it is a global cancer we are going to have to deal with someday, if they do not with money, education, and the internet figure things out for themselves. It is a stronger religion that tends to replace Christianity over time.