Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

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Summerlander
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby Summerlander » 22 Oct 2014 19:35

I wouldn't blame you for jumping into a black hole at all. In fact, me and deschainXIX have read about the fallacy of dualism and we concur with the intellectual authors that we admire so much. (Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett..)

Dualism is nevertheless tempting as a copout. But it is a non-explanation. Immanuel Kant once made a distinction between two terms: phenomena and noumena. The former describes things as they appear. The latter is the concept of things as they are. To excise the dogma of dualism once and for all we need more progress on the noumenal side of consciousness. When and if we succeed, religion will be forced to go through a radical reform or be jettisoned altogether.

Here is a gorgeous quote by Dennett:

"There is the lurking suspicion that the most attractive feature of mind stuff is its promise of being so mysterious that it keeps science at bay forever. This fundamentally antiscientific stance of dualism is, to my mind, its most disqualifying feature, and is the reason why I adopt the apparently dogmatic rule that dualism is to be avoided at all costs. It is not that I think I can give a knock-down proof that dualism, in all its forms, is false or incoherent, but that, given the way dualism wallows in mystery, accepting dualism is giving up."

- From "Consciousness Explained"

By the way, guys, what do you know about the shootings near a Canadian embassy on a War memorial ground where a soldier died? The FBI is involved and it could be related to Jihadist terrorists. Canadians are having a problem with youngsters who went to Syria to fight for the Islamic State and returned to bring the war to the West. How many more soldiers will die and how many more atrocities 9/11-style await us?

President Obama talks to prime minister Stephen Harper.
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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby deschainXIX » 22 Oct 2014 22:35

Summerlander wrote:Dualism is nevertheless tempting as a copout. But it is a non-explanation. Immanuel Kant once made a distinction between two terms: phenomena and noumena. The former describes things as they appear. The latter is the concept of things as they are. To excise the dogma of dualism once and for all we need more progress on the noumenal side of consciousness. When and if we succeed, religion will be forced to go through a radical reform or be jettisoned altogether.

Here is a gorgeous quote by Dennett:

"There is the lurking suspicion that the most attractive feature of mind stuff is its promise of being so mysterious that it keeps science at bay forever. This fundamentally antiscientific stance of dualism is, to my mind, its most disqualifying feature, and is the reason why I adopt the apparently dogmatic rule that dualism is to be avoided at all costs. It is not that I think I can give a knock-down proof that dualism, in all its forms, is false or incoherent, but that, given the way dualism wallows in mystery, accepting dualism is giving up."

- From "Consciousness Explained"


That whole bit about phenomena and nuonema is genius. Now I know how to express in rational words what I think about these sorts of debates. It seems like the most compelling argument believers in a soul/afterlife could ever provide is: "C'mon, man, you've gotta feel that there's something else out there. You can just sense it, you know? Don't you feel that something is inside of you? Where do you think your love, your hope comes from?" It is the epitome of letting feelings and impulsive perception influence (rather egotistical) opinions, and is in my opinion no better than being sleep-deprived, hallucinating a giant purple rabbit, and subsequently starting a religion surrounding the Second Coming of the Colored Bunny.
If you think about it, dualism is really the keystone of most religions. If society can leave behind all those misinformed cliches about "souls" and free will, it would be a huge step toward clarity.


Summerlander wrote:By the way, guys, what do you know about the shootings near a Canadian embassy on a War memorial ground where a soldier died? The FBI is involved and it could be related to Jihadist terrorists. Canadians are having a problem with youngsters who went to Syria to fight for the Islamic State and returned to bring the war to the West. How many more soldiers will die and how many more atrocities 9/11-style await us?


I passingly heard about that, but I didn't much investigate it. I had no idea it had to do with Islam. Probably because that little detail was skirted by the news source whose tweet about it I saw. That's a big problem, people's unwillingness to talk about Islam ultimately being the wizard behind the curtain. Whenever you try to engage somehow in discussion about religion or anything relating to dogma, they give you this burning "back off, you fascist freak" look.

nesgirl wrote:I did my science, and found out that black holes can actually destroy immortality (so they are basically the antidote for immortality), and will obliterate all forms of matter and light all in one. There is scientifically no form of matter that can survive a black hole, immortal or not.
As for me, if I found myself immortal after living a while, whether alive or undead, I would resort to jumping into a black hole. I don't know how many users would actually resort to doing something like that.


That's true that black holes destroy matter. However (and I'm assuming a lot here, since no religious book really gives us any definitive description of the nonsense it preaches), if someone were to be immortal, they could not be integrated with physical matter. They'd have to be made of ... well, spirit, I suppose. Connective tissue, bone, grey and white matter--all of that ultimately rots and dies. So I'm afraid hurling yourself into a black hole wouldn't do much for you, friend.
And again, this is assuming dualism is correct (which it's not): I would go more for trying to drive myself insane, somehow. I would try to destroy my soul. I'm not sure what soul-believers think about psychopathy ... but they would have to think that any damage to the psyche of a person ultimately equates to damage of the soul.
But, actually, trying to "reason" about these sort of things is pointless, because none of it is actually based on reason. I just wanted to point out the flaw in your "scientific" theory about black holes.
Although, I must say, if I died and found myself to be a ghost, the first thing I would do is fly into space and hurl myself into a black hole. Just to see what happens. Then I'd go back to earth to report my findings ... assuming of course that I didn't get lost in the depths of space or travel to another world :lol:

Also, just so everyone knows, Christianity actually doesn't talk about living in heaven forever. That's a huge misconception, even among Christians. I just think it's so hilarious how Christians don't even know about what Christianity purports. If you ask a Christian what happens when they die, they'll almost all say "I'm going to heaven forever." Actually Christianity talks about how the earth will be transformed into a New Earth, in which all creatures and humans are reverted to their initial state when God created them: immortal, harmless, perfectly sentient.
In many ways, most Christians's ignorance of Christianity is the reason Christianity is still around. If Christians actually got around to reading their Bibles, reading all the parts and truly analyzing their "good, graceful, omniscient, omnipotent God," they'd quickly start to question themselves. Same with Islam.
Well said.

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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby deschainXIX » 24 Oct 2014 02:00

:D Whatever you say, nesgirl.
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby Summerlander » 24 Oct 2014 13:27

nesgirl wrote:I have a question for you Summerland, what would you do if you found yourself immortal (you could be alive or undead, doesn't matter)?


"For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love."
"Extinction is the rule, survival is the exception."


- Carl Sagan

If I could guarantee to myself that I would not lose my marbles through aeons of consciousness I would gladly live until the end of time in curiosity about the world and to witness how things turn out. Everyone wants to see the fireworks in full...

- Arlindo Batista (aka Summerlander) :mrgreen:

nesgirl wrote:Honestly I am hoping waiting for them to elect the next president in for office which will happen in only a year and a couple of months now, and I am just counting down the days of when Obama will be booted out of office. Personally this time I hope that they elect a professional female president in for office, who knows what she is doing (They really need to fix the issue against gender thing). Then she can settle things in Iraq.


On the issue of race, we have done "mulattoes" justice. President Obama belongs to the mixed-race group. If a gender thing needs to be fixed in politics, the United States of America is certainly one of the countries. But I would add that it is not the worst. My statement should be redolent of how women are treated in other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East.

deschainXIX wrote:That whole bit about phenomena and nuonema is genius. Now I know how to express in rational words what I think about these sorts of debates. It seems like the most compelling argument believers in a soul/afterlife could ever provide is: "C'mon, man, you've gotta feel that there's something else out there. You can just sense it, you know? Don't you feel that something is inside of you? Where do you think your love, your hope comes from?" It is the epitome of letting feelings and impulsive perception influence (rather egotistical) opinions, and is in my opinion no better than being sleep-deprived, hallucinating a giant purple rabbit, and subsequently starting a religion surrounding the Second Coming of the Colored Bunny. If you think about it, dualism is really the keystone of most religions. If society can leave behind all those misinformed cliches about "souls" and free will, it would be a huge step toward clarity.


Absolutely. Dualism is certainly one of the pillars of religion which is hard to let go. Freud knew this when he said, paraphrasing, that religion and the belief in God will persist for as long as people fear death. Our imagination is certainly useful but it can also take us to worlds that never were. Dennett speaks of a phenomenological garden in our minds, or "Phenom." Last night, I visited Phenom when I lucid dreamt about walking through my house and spotting many alterations. The dream objects felt and looked objectively real but I knew it was an elaborate illusion concocted by my mind. The brain produces hallucinations period. How it happens is the noumena which is well concealed and requires detection by sceptical people like us. In the annals of neuroscience, it has become quite apparent that the dream world is more likely to be an illusion than some spirit realm. 8-)

deschainXIX wrote:I passingly heard about that, but I didn't much investigate it. I had no idea it had to do with Islam. Probably because that little detail was skirted by the news source whose tweet about it I saw. That's a big problem, people's unwillingness to talk about Islam ultimately being the wizard behind the curtain. Whenever you try to engage somehow in discussion about religion or anything relating to dogma, they give you this burning "back off, you fascist freak" look.


Exactly, it's fucking ridiculous. And stupid Ben Affleck should do his homework by reading at least "The End of Faith." :mrgreen:

Did that talentless actor mention racism? Erm... one of the most prominent members of Al-shabaab (an al-Qaeda cell), who is hiding somewhere in Kenya, is a white woman by the name of Samantha Lewthwaite, aka "White Widow." Her husband, Germaine Lindsay, was a 7/7 London suicide bomber. He was black and from Jamaica. Contrary to popular belief (that most Muslims are Arabs), Indonesia bears the largest population of Muslims in the world. Enough said. It is not about race. It is about a terrible ideology that needs to go. :x

Recently, security experts have pointed out that terrorists could launch an attack in the UK using mini drones as cheap as £300. The aircraft could be used to disperse chemical/biological agents and could even carry explosives. Here are some types of mini drones that can be easily purchased: Aibotix Aibot X6; Penguin B UAV; Parrot AR; DJI Phantom. Imagine jihadists getting hold of these and using them effectively (let alone nukes)!

A lot more is known about the Canadian situation. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (an Islam convert formerly known as Michael Hall), who donned an Arabic scarf, shot down Corporal Nathan Cirillo at Ottawa's National War Memorial - what a way to desecrate cherished ground (!) - before running to Canada's parliament building. During the shootout, Zehaf-Bibeau was killed by Kevin Vickers, sergeant of the Canadian House of Commons. Reports of shooting at a nearby shopping centre was a false alarm. Police in the area did say they were dealing with numerous gunmen and politicians barricaded themselves in their offices. Parts of the city were still in lockdown the following day.

Apparently this is the product of the Islamic State's call for "lone wolf" attacks in the West. Two days prior to this incident, two Canadian soldiers were run over - one killed - in Montreal by an Islamist. This brings to mind what happened to Lee Rigby here in London. It's disgusting! :(

nesgirl wrote:I think we should also focus on getting rid of it in the animals, plants, and microbes as well, and learn all about cloning. Because if we got rid of romance not only in our society, but in the animal kingdom and in all forms, we could literally cause the extinction of the bad bacteria, mosquitos, fleas, and every other parasite on this planet all organisms hated. And we could control the populations of everything else so certain populations would never become too high or extinct if we didn't want them to. We would literally eliminate disease this way.


Not necessarily. I've told you this before. Parasites would not go away - many of them can remain dormant for years or even withstand extreme conditions. During this period, a "survival of the fittest" scheme would take place. Too many microscopic buggers to alter genetically that you have no idea. The numbers are staggering. Agamogenetic engineering would be more of a drastic change than a solution. Microbial organisms would certainly evolve to find other ways of getting to us (and every other type of organic host). Our approach could pressure parasites (including the STD kind) to become airborne and trigger something worse. How do you think birds evolved wings? You are not taking into account evolutionary arms races. :geek:

I'm sorry, nesgirl, but when it comes to healthy sex, I'm a conservative. :mrgreen:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby deschainXIX » 24 Oct 2014 22:01

I wonder how our civilization could ever get rid of religion. In the practical sense, I mean, not just speaking theoretically. Obviously it's impossible at our current stage in history (especially here in America) ... but I feel like something should be done. The key, again, probably lies somewhere in allowing children to be their own people. But that's very tricky. What do you think?

Sam Harris recently posted on twitter the link to his conversation with Cenk Uygur, in which he basically spent the whole time defending the things he's said against the criticisms constantly presented on Uygur's show, The Young Turks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVl3BJoEoAU
Here it is if anyone's interested.
It was rough to watch, even though Sam totally laid waste to Uygur, who's clearly not much of an intellectual in comparison. I never really liked The Young Turks to begin with, but the video really made me realize how much I didn't care for Cenk Uygur. He was condescending, annoyingly passionate (I had flashbacks to Affleck), and most of all, all his counter-arguments to Sam's statements went somewhere along the lines of: Well, you can't say that, because that would cause problems in society. Uygur didn't seem to realize that it doesn't matter what effects an idea will have, as long as it is true. Darwin's presentation of evolution to the world ran the risk of concurring the dangerous wrath of the Church--but he did it, because it was simply true.

One particularly interesting thing Sam Harris brought was his slightly heavy idea about imposing a "benevolent dictatorship" in such war-torn states that are flooded with violent religion. The idea would be that, toppling a dictatorship or someone like Osama BinLaden does not simply open up the door for democracy to shine in. It doesn’t work like that. The nation gets a sort of political culture-shock from such a dramatic leap and there are revolts and such. So the idea is to seize such countries and subjugate them to a benevolent dictatorship that would steadily feed the nation the light of modernity and intelligence. That sounds bad, but it's really really not. Perhaps we could have a committee in the UN that was dedicated to raising up young, volatile nations of these sorts.
I don’t know what I think about this. Ideologically, it is foolproof. It is an important step in creating an interglobal society, in which all nations are no more at odds with one another than two states within a nation, in which more-or-less independent entities are under Humanity itself. What do you all think about this

Like you were talking about, Summerlander, it's just getting to be too much. It will never end. Calls for lone attacks in the West with cheap, high-powered weaponry (like the drones) are proof. ISIS doesn't need to be around for those things to continue to happen.
Shootings and mass-killings happen as a result of various things. Columbine proved that such devastating atrocities can be perpetuated by but two mentally-unbalanced, hormonal, idiotic teenagers with a couple of pistols and shotguns. It’s EASY. And if there was a simple solution to kicking psychopathy out of our society--well, of course we would do it.
And pure Islam ideology may soon join psychopathy as one of the common reasons we hear about shootings in the West. Perhaps people will start wondering about more drastic measures at that point.
Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby Summerlander » 27 Oct 2014 18:36

deschainXIX wrote:I wonder how our civilization could ever get rid of religion. In the practical sense, I mean, not just speaking theoretically. Obviously it's impossible at our current stage in history (especially here in America) ... but I feel like something should be done. The key, again, probably lies somewhere in allowing children to be their own people. But that's very tricky. What do you think?


Allowing children to be their own people is definitely a major step in the right direction. It is certainly imperative that they must have some sort of guidance and be reminded of consequences begotten by certain actions. But at the same time we should be honest with them about how much we really know.

There is also another problem that I feel Sam Harris is trying to tackle at the moment. A coterie of secular liberalists and religious moderationists who will argue in favour of political correctness at all costs - even if it means distorting facts and misrepresenting those who speak sense. They spread the dogma that every ideology/idea is equally valuable and that all religions are the same. This, as Harris incessantly ingeminates, is simply not true. To make matters worse, journalism dies when it popularises labels such as "Islamophobic" and "racist" as appropriate terms to describe critics of religion who air rightful distinctions in their mission to highlight what is actually good and bad for mankind according to science, good philosophy, and, well, common sense. :roll:

deschainXIX wrote:Sam Harris recently posted on twitter the link to his conversation with Cenk Uygur, in which he basically spent the whole time defending the things he's said against the criticisms constantly presented on Uygur's show, The Young Turks.


I watched it and it is pertinent to what I said above. I wanted to slap Uygur. It was good to see that Sam Harris stood his ground. :)

deschainXIX wrote:Darwin's presentation of evolution to the world ran the risk of concurring the dangerous wrath of the Church--but he did it, because it was simply true.


Exactly. Darwin's work and life slowly abolished his faith as he intimated in his autobiography. He can still be described as incredibly brave in a time where the implications of his "Origin of Species" was like confessing a murder. Here is an interesting excerpt from his autobiography:

"That there is much suffering in the world no one disputes. Some have attempted to explain this with reference to man by imagining that it serves for his moral improvement. But the number of men in the world is as nothing compared with that of all other sentient beings, and they often suffer greatly without any moral improvement. This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent First Cause seems to be a strong one; whereas, as just remarked, the presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection."

- Charles Darwin

deschainXIX wrote:One particularly interesting thing Sam Harris brought was his slightly heavy idea about imposing a "benevolent dictatorship" in such war-torn states that are flooded with violent religion. The idea would be that, toppling a dictatorship or someone like Osama BinLaden does not simply open up the door for democracy to shine in. It doesn’t work like that. The nation gets a sort of political culture-shock from such a dramatic leap and there are revolts and such. So the idea is to seize such countries and subjugate them to a benevolent dictatorship that would steadily feed the nation the light of modernity and intelligence. That sounds bad, but it's really really not. Perhaps we could have a committee in the UN that was dedicated to raising up young, volatile nations of these sorts.


I'm all for such "dictatorship" if it means convincing a philistine people that democracy and education are upgrades of the utmost importance. It will also take a while to convince them to ditch their dangerous and encumbering beliefs - especially when they have anti-scientific mullahs telling them that secularists are infidels and advocates for the devil! And then we have dishonest liberalists and so-called "political correctness" standing in our way...

deschainXIX wrote:Like you were talking about, Summerlander, it's just getting to be too much. It will never end. Calls for lone attacks in the West with cheap, high-powered weaponry (like the drones) are proof. ISIS doesn't need to be around for those things to continue to happen.
Shootings and mass-killings happen as a result of various things. Columbine proved that such devastating atrocities can be perpetuated by but two mentally-unbalanced, hormonal, idiotic teenagers with a couple of pistols and shotguns. It’s EASY. And if there was a simple solution to kicking psychopathy out of our society--well, of course we would do it.
And pure Islam ideology may soon join psychopathy as one of the common reasons we hear about shootings in the West. Perhaps people will start wondering about more drastic measures at that point.


It seems to me that psychopathy and Islam are as bad as each other. They just differ in origin: the former is mostly genetic; the latter is memetic. 8-)

nesgirl wrote:They reproduce to survive.


Wrong. Reproduction does not guarantee survival. Reproduction only happens to propagate genes for as long as it possibly can and this is something that living beings, except humans (but not all), aren't aware of. It is sheer emotional drives or animal instinct (no thinking or reasoning involved) that compels them to procreate. The title of one of Richard Dawkins's books is quite telling but I would definitely recommend that you read it if you wish to home in on evolutionary biology: "The Blind Watchmaker."

nesgirl wrote:Even if they did evolve wings, if we made it so they couldn't naturally reproduce, they would have to either asexually reproduce or they would become extinct.


I didn't literally mean that viruses would sprout wings. I meant it in the sense that they could become airborne overtime via natural selection or environmental pressures. Such change could also occur with random mutations. Also, it is worth reminding you that their replication can only occur within the cells of a living host. Now, we can alter the make up of viruses to the point of rendering them innocuous, and, in some cases, turn them into effective vaccines or antidotes. This is the most realistic way of combating pathogens: by "converting" some to our side to fight off the harmful majority. It is more practical to immunise ourselves than to go on a mission to alter every single microscopic bugger. You also discount the fact that genomes differ in the human population. This means that, by genetically rendering pathogens innocuous to some, you could be making them doubly lethal to others.

You would also need to prevent the natural emergence of new microscopic pathogens and this necessitates familiarity with causal factors. Viruses are, after all, nucleic acid wrapped in thin coats of protein which could form anywhere on the planet provided the right primordial conditions.

nesgirl wrote:There is no such thing like I said before.
Once we kill romance and reproduction in all creatures, nearly everything will be healthy though.


I don't understand why sex is so repulsive to you but I respect how you feel and would simply advise you to avoid it. It isn't productive, however, to discriminate against sexuals for the way they feel. You are practically stating that heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals are ill-natured! And it seems to me that the main reason why you vehemently discriminate against sexuals is the fact that you have run into some unpleasant ones who made such an impression on you as to colour your view of the majority.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it is not necessarily the basic sexual act that makes people ill. There are pathogens out there that make use of it in order to spread. Changing our sexual nature because of them is a defeatist approach when immunisation and precaution are simpler alternatives. There are also pathogens that affect asexuals. Asexuals are just as vulnerable to disease.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Summerlander
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby Summerlander » 27 Oct 2014 22:28

nesgirl wrote:What happens if we program out the bacteria's ability to recreate more of them? Unless they are immortal, they will die out. Basically my idea is that we invent something that cancels out that instinct on the bacteria and the animals, and it causes anti-romance in the animal and microbe kingdom.


There is no romance in microbes to begin with. Romance is an anthropic concept. Also, bacteria in our bodies outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Many help to regulate bodily functions such as the immune system. We need bacteria as much as they need us. There is a strange symbiosis between us and them despite the fact that some are harmful to us. :twisted:

nesgirl wrote:How about the fact that first of all, I don't believe anyone should invade anyone's personal space. Second of all, romance is sick anyway, the way people just look all weird eyed at you and everything. Why can't they treat some of us females like proper humans? We would prefer being treated more like equals. Third of all, do you like the idea of touching other people's bodily fluids or being exposed to them?


Many sexual women would tell you to speak for yourself. When they are horny, they will welcome physical contact and even roleplay about having their personal space invaded. In fact, many people like to be dominated (or experience this sensation) in the bedroom. It can be fun and pleasurable. Who are you to tell people how to live their lives and what should make them happy? Leave them be. I understand that rape is an awful thing, but there is also such a thing as consensual sex. 8-)

Also, I don't see anything weird about a stare (usually accompanied by a smile) which signals attraction. There are plenty of other things about human psychology which are "weirder." I would also argue that men and women are simply different and we treat one another differently because that's just the way it is. Don't get me wrong, I am an egalitarian when it comes to relationships and mutual respect between opposite genders - and I abhor sexism - but we need to address our differences in behaviour and interests. In saying this, there are many things that men and women have in common: both are capable of lusting after the opposite sex and treating it like a pleasure object (no different to a dildo) rather than a romantic partner. :idea:

You can roll your eyes at romantics as much as you want knowing that their existence is not required for the continuation of pleasurable sex. And vice versa. If you want both of them gone, good luck with that. It is you against the majority. But just let me ask you this: How would you feel if me or deschainXIX told you that you are sick or ill for being an anti-romantic asexual and that your kind should be combed out from the human gene pool through genetic engineering? :geek:

This is Sam Harris describing how he felt when he had a conversation with John Cook of the Intercept:

"I felt like I was talking to a robot programmed to run a reason-destroying, political-correctness routine until the end of the world. It was, in fact, the most maddening encounter I’ve had with another human being in decades. I actually hung up on the man. (I haven’t done that since high school.)"

Sometimes I feel the same when I talk to you, nesgirl. I can't help but get the feeling that you could potentially be a genocidal maniac akin to Hitler or Saddam Hussein but lacking cogency in your argument. Recall the Kurdish population of Iraq being subjected to genocidal cleansing by Saddam Hussein? And it is also worth remembering, by comparison, Jalal Talabani, the former president of Iraq (of the "green" zones as he was mostly on the run) and part Kurd. Talabani was an inspiration when he never waged war against civilians and opposed Saddam Hussein's execution. Why? Because he did not want a democracy founded on murder. The dictator's incarceration would have been the better option in this sense.

Now I want you to get a real feel of who Saddam Hussein was. Picture a psychopath who is hungry for power and sees historical figures like Josef Stalin as inspirations - especially where a governmental purge is concerned! The hideous moment when this monster rose to power was captured on film. During a Ba'ath Party central committee, about a hundred men are locked in a hall and Saddam announces a special session. A man is dragged into the room and forced to confess treason - according to him, an agent of Syrian opposition. During his confession, he begins to name his supposed accomplices. As he utters their names, guards move in to seize individuals in the audience. An insouciant Saddam lights a cigar and examines his dossiers. The crowd is fearful and men begin to weep, some rise to their feet and shout hysterical praise and love for the new leader...

Once a good number of men have been singled out as traitors, they are led away, and half the committee sigh with relief. But it isn't over. To prove their loyalty to Saddam Hussein, they are forced to go out in the yard and shoot the other half! And here was the start of a new regime modelled on National Socialism and Stalinism run by someone worse than Al Capone. Anyone who thought differently ran a serious risk. :shock:

Take a look at this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm64E5R12s8

Yes I know we are vulnerable to certain diseases like aids and those, but like I said before, most of those only happen if anyone invades our personal space to begin with, or if we touch anything that comes out of you. This is why you never get blood transfusions if you don't want to get AIDS.


Yes, nesgirl, because people don't get raped and because there have never been children who have had accidents, cut themselves, and became HIV positive. :roll:

Hey Summer and Deschain? You want to greet the newbie that knows little about science and is thinking about dualism? I know you 2 cannot resist a challenge: http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=15457


It seems to me that kel21139 has already come across the mundane explanations and theories provided by materialism and scepticism, and simply rejected them. I think I would be wasting my time. But feel free to point our new member in the right direction by providing links to what has already been said before a million times. 8-)
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby Summerlander » 28 Oct 2014 12:30

@ nesgirl:

Black Triangle Island seems to be quite creative. Does it depict some of your experiences with discrimination. I take your point on the last paragraph. A solo life does indeed mean more freedom. No commitment. I get that. There will always be arguments in relationships.

@ deschainXIX:

I noticed that Robert Pape was mentioned in the conversation between Sam Harris and Cenk Uygur. Pape is a major impediment when it comes to addressing the problem of jihad. People who say, "It's never religion's fault" piss me off. For them it always has to be something more, something "deeper." Nobody really believes in the 72 virgins. It has to be a plot to ward off the democratic invaders. What a lame strawman argument. Pape should read the Quran and then tell Muslims they don't really believe that. See what they say, Pape! :roll:

By the way, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was a Catholic before he converted to Islam! I think the Mosque he was attending has a lot to answer for.

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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deschainXIX
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby deschainXIX » 28 Oct 2014 22:08

In response to that second paragraph...
Summerlander and I have higher concerns than our own personal discomfort nesgirl. Perhaps I shouldn't put words in his mouth, but I think he would agree. We are concerned about humanity and social progression. We don't hate the bullhorn guy raving on about hellfire simply because he's annoying us. We hate him because he is needlessly terrifying small, innocent children who know no better simply because he's too stupid to understand what he's saying.
Aside from all your undeniably dangerous anti-romance ideals, the likes of which Summerlander and I have destroyed time and time again (and without much effect, it seems--your resilience to words of reason continues to astound me), what really was the last straw for me--what made me finally hang up the phone on your asexual philosophy--was noticing how you consistently admit to your own mental illness.

I'll reply to everything else later. I just wanted to say tha t real quick.

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Well said.

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Summerlander
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Re: Religion and Politics: Iraqi Crisis

Postby Summerlander » 28 Oct 2014 23:50

nesgirl wrote:Black Triangle Island actually depicts many people's experiences with it. I looked up Asexuality and Aromance for myself, and found many stories aromantic people have told, and it is considered a rare form of disability in people. scientists are not completely clear on what causes the disability, and are trying to find out, and are trying to find the cure. In fact most people who are anti-romantic like on that website are likely aromantic as well.


That can't be right. I am calling you out to provide those links where asexuality and anti-romance is considered to be a disability that requires some sort of cure. It says a lot about the source and I would urge you to avoid it. You speak as though romanticism is a worldwide dogma which is clearly not true. Many people like to think of themselves as pragmatists or realists, and yet, they are in relationships and have families. They have no time for romance for a number of different reasons. Some view romance as an irrational, infantile or unrealistic mindset. Sex for these people is purely for pleasure and/or procreation.

Romance is not as ubiquitous as you seem to think it is - certainly not as ubiquitous as sex! Asexuals and unromantics are acknowledged by science but not necessarily diagnosed as abnormal by scientists. Any scientist who deems asexuality or anti-romance as traits that shouldn't be is not holding such an opinion on scientific grounds. Even if differences in the brains of anti-romantics are spotted, as long as they are fully functional and healthy, there is no cause for concern. If anything, antisocial behaviour could be interpreted as a disability because it creates alienation and dangerous adversity. "Aromance" is not the antonym of romance either. :mrgreen:

nesgirl wrote:The story about Joey and Amy was in fact a very similar story I heard about with an Aromantic who didn't understand what was going on with the relationship, because that person only understood friendship and even explained that clearly to their friend, and so that person in fact did feel betrayed and invaded. Aromantics and asexuals are in fact constantly persecuted by others because of their beliefs, especially by religions.


Well, being asexual isn't exactly a belief if your physiology inclines you to feel like that. It is your very nature. You also can't count on religious people to be reasonable. They are people of faith, remember? :D

nesgirl wrote:I don't know what religion you are thinking of, but many religions I have encountered have actually commanded many Aromantics such as myself to change their ways and go into commitment, or they will be sent to hades. A few if they encounter opposite gender singles as BFFs, may actually get pushing and try to force that into a relationship.


I know this. There are arranged marriages and chieftains will arrange for their concubinage. But they also have the concept of adultery and virgins hold a status of divine purity. Sex out of wedlock is salacious, sinful, something that makes the devil smile. Don't forget immaculate conception in Christianity and the 72 virgins that reside in paradise in Islam.

nesgirl wrote:Because Black Triangle Island is pure Aromance, this makes cooperation between each other much easier, and it would make it much easier to improve technology and science with both genders cooperating, which is why I implied the technology and science would evolve so rapidly along with the fact they wouldn't be spending any time in romance.


There is also a lot to be learned from our current biology. We still have many things to piece together in the field of human reproduction and embryology. Eradicating it could be a mistake as it may hold the answers to questions posed in other fields, namely, medical science. To get rid of the reproductive system, and with it the progestational and gestational periods, could mean binning direct opportunities for beneficial discoveries. Even if we find that sexuality appears to stultify our progress, getting rid of it at this point would be premature. You can expect religion to go extinct first. :)

nesgirl wrote:Hey if it were your choice Summer, because religion isn't going to be eliminated anytime soon, would you have your whole organization go to an island and create their own organization and outlaw religion? Now try to picture your island suddenly getting discriminated against with a bunch of religious folk trying to go to the island and trying to declare war on your island when you weren't doing anything wrong to them. Or if a religious castaway was found on your island shores and started breaking your island laws. Now I ask you from your perspective how would you feel? How would you react? Do you understand how I feel now? See when you can't win over society with your wishes (obviously you can't with your hate on religion and I can't with my hate on romance), you can retreat and make a society of your own, and just live in that society of your own, and no matter how much the other societies discriminate against you for it, you can attempt to live out your society in peace and quiet rather than dictate the world.


For starters, I would not outlaw religion. People should be free to believe in and practice whatever they feel is right provided that they don't harm others in the process. I would implement something like the First Amendment, including Thomas Jefferson's separation of Church and State. I would, however, criminalise the brainwashing of children, proselytism in general, and fantasy passed off as truism coupled with the threat of hell. My community would ideally imbibe an enlightening education from the curriculum with great emphasis on established facts. Science and reason would be the tools to use in order to raise awareness of what can potentially improve our quality of living. One of my goals as the leader and representative of this nation of Enlightenment would be, not to suppress or censor bad ideas using force, but to allow their exponents to opine them in open discourse. Everything in my view is open to debate. In this manner, one can legitimately expose bad ideas for what they truly are.

By the way, atheists/secularists are still discriminated against by the pious. Discrimination against people like me isn't something that requires imagination. We have been historically excommunicated, persecuted, tortured, and killed under the "heretic" label. (And yet, today, the pious dare to take offence when we merely criticise their ideology.)

Our demonisation continues to this day. In fact, in the States, as deschainXIX pointed out earlier, it's official! Have you ever heard of a president declaring his atheism live. It's supposed to be, according to the political trend now (and contrary to what the Founding Fathers propounded), a "nation under God." If Obama is an atheist, don't expect him to come out any time soon. At least not until his term is finished... or on his deathbed. :o

As you can see, despite being an atheist, I do not condemn religious people - I criticise what they believe in. I abhor the ideology and the crazy acts it compels sane and otherwise good people to do. I am not, as you do, criticise the very (biological) nature of human beings. I criticise the dogma and the dangerous religious tenets they subscribe to. I am not stopping them from believing what they believe in. I would merely advise them to pay attention to the evidence, to think logically, and to open themselves up to a brighter and more amazing world view. One where truth prevails and where they no longer fear supernatural agents. I know that many religious people have lost their faith and they have thanked atheists for delicately urging them to look through the telescope. It is not their fault they were brainwashed from childhood and I understand when they vehemently defend the voice of unreason for it is all they know. If anything, I am more dumbfounded by converts and religious scientists! :?

My mission is to raise awareness and to criticise bad ideologies. This, at least, makes a few individuals wake up. I am not here to dictate or exact some revenge upon the advocates of faith because I can see they are wrong and for delaying my intellectual progress from childhood. That's not what I'm about despite being aware of the fact that atheism is a crime punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. I am also aware that religion still brings comfort to a lot of people. Religion will go in its own time. (The sooner the better of course.) 8-)

deschainXIX wrote:In response to that second paragraph...
Summerlander and I have higher concerns than our own personal discomfort nesgirl. Perhaps I shouldn't put words in his mouth, but I think he would agree. We are concerned about humanity and social progression. We don't hate the bullhorn guy raving on about hellfire simply because he's annoying us. We hate him because he is needlessly terrifying small, innocent children who know no better simply because he's too stupid to understand what he's saying.
Aside from all your undeniably dangerous anti-romance ideals, the likes of which Summerlander and I have destroyed time and time again (and without much effect, it seems--your resilience to words of reason continues to astound me), what really was the last straw for me--what made me finally hang up the phone on your asexual philosophy--was noticing how you consistently admit to your own mental illness.

I'll reply to everything else later. I just wanted to say tha t real quick.

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I especially hate the guys who fiddle with the kiddies because God told them to do so and it must happen otherwise the Devil will come. :twisted:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava


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