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41734Re: [existlist] politics

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  • Exist List Moderator
    Jun 30, 2007
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      On Jun 30, 2007, at 10:17, Trinidad Cruz wrote:

      > I will never believe that 9/11 was solely an act of Arab terrorism. It
      > insults my intelligence to do so. .... To understand this, one
      > needs to understand the American
      > public. The Arabs do not, in fact in most cases are not even close in
      > their estimation

      I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with this for a number of reasons.
      First, understand that the head of Hamas is a physician -- highly
      educated and quite familiar with the west. Likewise, the head of the
      Muslim Brotherhood is a scientist and the second in command was an
      engineer educated in the United States.

      Most Islamic people I know, including those outside the U.S., are
      educated, but they allow religion to "block" education at some point.
      Christians often do the same thing, and Orthodox Jews do this to an
      extent that most Israeli's in a recent poll wished Orthodoxy would
      vanish. Religion and "free thought" don't always conflict -- or we
      wouldn't have so many existential theists and other great
      philosophers of faith -- but *orthodoxy* by definition means you
      don't question and don't resist traditions.

      I am in Minneapolis, where the state technical college is installing
      foot baths for the Muslim students. I have seen and heard the local
      imams praising terrorists. I have also seen attacks against women who
      did not adhere to the cultural norms perfectly. One poor girl was
      beaten after dropping a Koran on a cold winter day. If I had not been
      on the train, I probably would have made the mistake of intervening.

      Islam has not yet had a second reformation, as has most Christianity.
      I have read that most European "Christians" think the Bible is
      metaphor and that 1/3 of *clergy* in France and Germany say they
      don't believe Jesus actually performed miracles, was a virgin birth,
      or even part-Creator. As Sam Harris and others have written, radical
      Islam is like Christian Fundamentalism -- but with a lot of money and

      As philosophy and science have progressed, Christianity has "lost the
      battle" to science at our universities and within (most) of our
      schools. Definitely this is the case in Europe and a good chunk of
      the U.S., Canada, Australia, etc.

      I read a column by Dawkins in yesterday's NYT commenting on how the
      leading scientist to challenge evolution is a "Christian" but that
      the meaning of Christian has evolved, giving way to a philosophy
      based on metaphors and fables. When Dawkins writes that Christianity
      is less a religion than a social theory, I tend to take him
      seriously. After all, few atheists are more strident than Dawkins.

      Religions evolve. Humans are (in theory) progressing. Philosophy and
      social studies use dialectic debate, challenges to norms, and such to
      move society ahead -- knowing perfection is impossible, but we need
      to try. This is why Dawkins is now writing that "Christian"
      scientists are not among those he means to attack.

      Most Islamic radicals are not Arab. They are highly-educated
      individuals from Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Africa. However,
      despite these educations, they believe the Koran is the literal,
      perfect, word of Allah. I have met Islamic professors of science and
      math who will not study some issues because they believe that the
      Koran is always right, even if it contradicts science.

      These men have not only the skills, but the know-how to be very
      dangerous. Thankfully, 90 percent or more of such people don't worry
      about politics as much as they do normal everyday life issues.

      As for metal melting and crushing a building: I've watched as melting
      gasoline tankers ruin multi-level freeways in California. I have seen
      numerous models demonstrating why "center core" buildings are
      unstable -- for the same reason the freeways collapse easily. The WTC
      was based on a single main shaft in each building. The outer walls
      "hung" from this skeleton. It is a stupid, dangerous design that will
      likely never be used again.

      Do I trust government? No way... that's why I don't care who is in
      charge, I'm not about to believe one group of crooks is that much
      better than another. At the same time, I don't imagine government
      organized enough to carry out anything in secret. The release of CIA
      documents from the last 40 years shows how amazingly incompetent
      government is most of the time.

      We need to move away from politics in general and ask why someone
      would think blowing up an airport, a nightclub, or anything else is
      somehow an entrance into "Heaven" and a great thing to do in the name
      of faith.

      It's definitely as dumb as thinking you can establish democracy
      overnight in nations without certain liberal traditions.

      - C. S. Wyatt
      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
      that I shall be.
      http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
      http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
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