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Metal Vendetta
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Post by Metal Vendetta » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:37 pm

Best First wrote:I'd probably just continue to point out the truth numbing simplicity of this statement and the unneccessary manner in which you presented it (which again you are trying to revise as you go along).
I'm not trying to revise anything - I posted a picture in response to a question and you took huge pant-wetting offence. I'm not sure what "truth numbing simplicity" is, but if means the same as "true" then I guess we agree.
Best First wrote:At no point have i disputed that it happened (duh) or that it plays a role in the treatement of Muslims (as opposed to being the sole reason, which i heavily dispute, and you have said, intentionally or not, at least twice).
Okay, so instead of attacking me and trying to fashion me into some kind of right-wing super-bigot, why don't you present a counter-argument? If you "dispute" it "heavily", why not try writing down some of the reasons why, unless of course it's just easier to rubbish my point of view by screaming how offensive I am to some imagined demographic?
Best First wrote:Nope - you are complaining about someone being off with you in a debate, despite being deliberately provocative to others in the same debate (and despite previously seeming to admit it was insensetive, you are now saying it wasn't... in the same topic), and showing an equally mature attitude to anyone who had the temerity to call you on it.
It might have been insensitive (you certainly seem to think so, and I don't really care) but instead of presenting any kind of counter argument you've gone for the insensitivity angle. Now that might be the kind of argument that wins elections (brand your opponent a racist and you've destroyed his credibility) but I personally think it's a poor and lazy debating technique. You want to "win" this? Explain to me how 9/11 wasn't the catalyst for the situation America's muslims find themselves in now. Or alternatively post some sniffy bull**** without addressing my points because, as a paragon of virtue, actually debating me is beneath you.
Best First wrote:Because what i would prefer, regardless of the internet or not, is that we could have debates like this in a manner in which people are not driven out of the topic in a place where people should largeky consider themselves among friends.
Likewise. Which is why bitching about me being a racist in unrelated threads is exactly the kind of bull**** I wouldn't expect. If you're talking maturity, that displays all the maturity of a ten year-old who talks about his "friends" behind their backs.
Best First wrote:Which is not to say that difficult points cannot be made, but that anyone with a reasonable level of maturity should be able to see that the manner in which you have taken on religion in this topic, even at this microcosmic level, has proved counter productive.
Counter-productive only in the sense that you and Jack have completely derailed the argument I was making in favour of petty semantics, schoolgirl bitching and point-scoring. Instead of crying about how offensive I am (and I really think the point I made is basic common ****ing sense) how about you climb down off your high horse and tell me why I'm wrong? It feels like I'm repeating myself here, but surely you can tell the difference between telling me I'm wrong and telling me why I'm wrong?
Best First wrote:That and watching someone saying ' i don't care about offending people' and 'i'm the uberbastard' and then complaining about being compared to someone who they (presumably) don't like is rather cringe inducing.
If I make a statement about a religion, or an attitude prevalent in society and people take offence at that, then honestly that's their problem. If I make a statement about them personally and they take offence then I'll take responsibility. So far I've tried to play the ball, not the man, but seems like I'm the only one here who signed up to that rule.
Best First wrote:I mean if you want to be The Uberbastard - surely Littlejohn's the walking definition.
Oh, well thanks very much for making me google his columns just to check, but Littlejohn writes heavily in favour of the established CofE and decries any attempt to make society more secular as "political correctness gorn mad" etc. The epitome of the "atheists want to ban Christmas" brigade. So, uberbastard yes, anti-religious, hardly.

****, if you want to compare me to someone, try Dawkins - at least then you'd at least be in the ballpark, but Littlejohn's a million ****ing miles away.
I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Post by Yaya » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:16 pm

Smooth wrote: I'm not quite sure I understand.

I am kind to my parents out of gratitude for everything they've done for me, often at the expense of themselves.

I am good to people (largely) because I hope that others would do the same for me.

When I sold some of the big ticket items in my collection to help a co-worker pay for his son's heart surgery, it was because... Well, I don't know. Because some things just seem important?
If one believes in God, then one recognizes the things He does for His creation. The blessings at any given point are immeasurable, irrespective of an individuals circumstances.

Therefore, though God cannot be repaid for what He gives to His creation, the response from the Muslim is that he or she does their utmost in gratitude for this. The manifestation of gratitude is worship.

Yes, we love our parents and we would do anything for them. But when we do it just for our parents, the reward is personal gratification from helping those we love out. The reward is seeing them happy. That's a good thing, no doubt. But when a Muslim does the same for his parents also with the intention that he or she is being obedient to God in doing so because God commands to be kind to parents, the action becomes worship.

Another example. If I brush my teeth so that my breath doesn't bother other people, that's a good thing. But if I brush my teeth so that my breath doesn't bother other people because God commands that we don't make others uncomfortable and that we have good hygiene, the act of brushing one's teeth becomes worship.

My point is, the same action can be done with different intentions.

There are certainly levels of faith. I would not consider myself someone who does everything for God's sake. Far from it. It's an ideal that nobody can reach, but I certainly look up to people who do this better than myself. To wear hijab in this climate in this time is a tremendously difficult thing to do in the West. Yet, these women do it for the sake of God. To me, that's impressive. But I believe that when they do it purely for His sake, He reciprocates by bringing them peace of heart and mind, and the courage to do it. That is why they often feel "empowered" or "liberated". It comes from a inner peace, not from the hijab itself, but from the peace that comes from God's pleasure.
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Post by Best First » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:45 pm

ok, but can i ask why God cares about what people wear? It seems odd to me that this is on his/her priority list as it were?
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Post by Best First » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:02 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote: I'm not trying to revise anything - I posted a picture in response to a question and you took huge pant-wetting offence. I'm not sure what "truth numbing simplicity" is, but if means the same as "true" then I guess we agree.
You wrote a provocative post that deliberately misconstrued the question being asked. We have been over this. So yes you are trying to revise as you are airbrushing out the fact that you knew it would wind up some people and now feigning surprise that it ruffled some feathers. You didn’t ‘just post a picture’ – stop kidding to yourself.

I also didn’t take huge pant wetting offense – I find it remarkable that you can complain about people mischaracterizing you but knowingly do it in the same post, and yet you then complain that people won’t debate with you properly.

In terms of what I mean I mean your comment is so stupidly simple that it undoes itself.
Metal Vendetta wrote: Okay, so instead of attacking me and trying to fashion me into some kind of right-wing super-bigot, why don't you present a counter-argument? If you "dispute" it "heavily", why not try writing down some of the reasons why, unless of course it's just easier to rubbish my point of view by screaming how offensive I am to some imagined demographic?
Where do I try and fashion you into some ‘right wing super bigot’? Again how can you call foul on what people are saying when the moment they challenge you churn out the underhand debating tactics you accuse them of and deliberately misrepresent what they are saying? Come on, show me where I do something that is worthy is being characterized as such. I missed the post where I wrote “I think Rob is actually Johann Schmidt”
It might have been insensitive (you certainly seem to think so, and I don't really care) but instead of presenting any kind of counter argument you've gone for the insensitivity angle.
But why don’t you care? This is a key point for me. If we are going to have conversations about big serious topics that draw in a wide spectrum of views, if you are even vaguely interested in the truth, surely this is something to care about? So yes I will go for this angle because I think it is important and is the main point I am trying to make rather than, as you keep claiming, saying you are Baron Heinrich Zemo.

I also think it’s important in this instance because seeing atheists act like pricks towards people and then worse still seemingly pat themselves on the back for it strikes me as a particularly dumb move on the part of the atheist as it will have the opposite effect of what they ultimately want.

Which given it is the same as what I ultimately want means I have a vested interest in curtailing counterproductive behavior.
Now that might be the kind of argument that wins elections (brand your opponent a racist and you've destroyed his credibility) but I personally think it's a poor and lazy debating technique.
Again where have I called you a racist? I know I asked what you were implying - but so have several other people because you didn’t do a very good job (in distinguishing between asserting what some people might be thinking and what you were saying as you. And if you are going to call poor and lazy debating technique how are we rating pictures with sarcastic subtitles? Or comments like “I don’t care, so you have a boner for buddism, good for you!”?
You want to "win" this? Explain to me how 9/11 wasn't the catalyst for the situation America's muslims find themselves in now. Or alternatively post some sniffy bull**** without addressing my points because, as a paragon of virtue, actually debating me is beneath you.
Because huge amounts of history that play a part in the Western attitudes to Muslims and the Middle east and vice versa exist prior to 911. Does that mean 911 is not significant? No, and I have never said as such – but when you use phrases like “the catalyst” you one suggest that all things flow from this point, which they don’t and two, effectively erase all the things that have happened before (it amused me that you cite racial profiling as a result of 911 for example, when this has been true for much longer) which is anathema to getting to the truth of things. I made that point several pages ago and in terms of what you were saying it’s pretty much the only point that needs to be made with regard to the way you have repeatedly presented 911.

And yeah, for what it’s worth, I don’t feel I need to respond to every point you have made. I don’t go on the internet specially to validate your opinions I am afraid. Other people have said more or less what I would have in some cases. And often the manner in which you have responded to them, notably Jack, has meant I am glad I didn’t bother.
Likewise. Which is why bitching about me being a racist in unrelated threads is exactly the kind of bull**** I wouldn't expect. If you're talking maturity, that displays all the maturity of a ten year-old who talks about his "friends" behind their backs.
Sorry – sincerely I really have no idea what you are talking about here? What unrelated threads? Where have I called you a racist? If I am bitching, which I probably am, it’s about the way in which you have conducted yourself and your blatant double standards in terms of how you perceive your own actions and complain about those of others.
If I have said ‘Rob is a racist’ or the like anywhere I apologise.
Counter-productive only in the sense that you and Jack have completely derailed the argument I was making in favour of petty semantics, schoolgirl bitching and point-scoring.
What argument? Religion is bad? 911 made things worse? Oh, thrill me with your insights some more Mr Jones!

And yes, your approach to talking to someone like Yaya about how his faith is wrong (which I agree with) has proved counter productive – it’s self evident in that he no longer wants to participate. Given you are clearly keen for people to listen to you, deliberately winding them up is not a clever thing to do – to adopt your tone, surely this isn’t hard to see?
Instead of crying about how offensive I am (and I really think the point I made is basic common ****ing sense) how about you climb down off your high horse and tell me why I'm wrong? It feels like I'm repeating myself here, but surely you can tell the difference between telling me I'm wrong and telling me why I'm wrong?
Have done.

And as a separate point can you not see that the validity of a point does not necessarily vindicate the manner in which it was made? There’s no link there.

[quote"]
If I make a statement about a religion, or an attitude prevalent in society and people take offence at that, then honestly that's their problem. If I make a statement about them personally and they take offence then I'll take responsibility. So far I've tried to play the ball, not the man, but seems like I'm the only one here who signed up to that rule. [/quote]
Yeah, you have in no way got personal with anyone. Dude. Seriously? You give it all “high horse” and “paragon of virture” and then this? Aw, poor me am only one playing by civilized rules of mother****ing debate. Not to mention the ball/player thing is a smokescreen “yeah I know I spoke in vile terms about something that means everything to him but I don’t call him names so I fail to see the problem”.

And sorry but this whole ‘not my problem thing’ – I think its bull. It’s like saying you have no concept of how people will react to what you will say. I’m definitely not saying you should not say it, but on the assumption that you know how people will react to an extent you do then bear some responsibility for that reaction – especially within a confined group (I think it’s a bit different when people want to ban, say, plays that no one has made them see for example, the play right would only be responsible if he had hustled them into the theatre and stapled their eyes open) . You yourself have said there are things you would not say at work about others beliefs, surely if the problem is entirely theirs, what is stopping you?
****, if you want to compare me to someone, try Dawkins - at least then you'd at least be in the ballpark, but Littlejohn's a million ****ing miles away.
He was just saying that your logic was flawed - he wasn't saying you are Richard Littlejohn!! You don't need to nominate someone! :)
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Post by Yaya » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:05 pm

Best First wrote:ok, but can i ask why God cares about what people wear? It seems odd to me that this is on his/her priority list as it were?
I don't know why it is. I only know what God has informed me about.

And that is that according to Islam, mankind will fall into ranks depending upon their piety and obedience. Sex, race, wealth, occupation etc. play no role in separating one from another. Hence, in God's sight as the Definer, what elevates one person above another is piety, manifested as obedience. In other words, if you have two women who are exactly equal in all aspects, but one wears hijab for God and the other does not, then the one who does is a better person. As a corrollary, no one can really say with perfect accuracy who is better than another because, as I stated above, actions are based on intentions, and intentions are only known by God.

One could ask the question "Why create mankind in the first place?"

Good question. I don't know. Imam Malik, one of the greatest scholars of Islam, said that half of knowledge is being able to say "I don't know".
"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Post by Best First » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:18 pm

Yaya wrote: Good question. I don't know. Imam Malik, one of the greatest scholars of Islam, said that half of knowledge is being able to say "I don't know".
i agree with this, it is as important, if not more so, to know what you don't understand as what you do.

But i think that is within a scientific context, or maybe a general life context (it's important that i know that i do not know how to install a gas meter for example).

Within a religious context though this just seems like a cop out to me i am afraid - i have to question the motives of any all powerful creature that gives you only limited information but asks for unconditional compliance. Doesn't this seem a bit suspicous to you? It's like 40% of every sci-fi plots ever - "yes, yes this is a utopia, just don't go beyond the yellow zone, that is forbidden." And beyond the yellow zone people are kicking puppies or something.

Equally doesn't creating a race and not letting them know why, when being all powerful you know this will bother them rather a lot, seem cruel and unneccessary?
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Post by Metal Vendetta » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:53 pm

Best First wrote:You wrote a provocative post that deliberately misconstrued the question being asked. We have been over this.
No, I don't think we have. First of all, I think it's a fair answer to the question that was posed and subsequent talk about the west needing a new enemy post-Communism still doesn't mean that 9/11 wasn't the catalyst for the present situation. Likewise, saying "it's election time and the Republicans are trying to stir up anti-muslim sentiment because it'll win them votes" also ignores the fact that if 9/11 hadn't happened they wouldn't be able to stir up anti-muslim sentiment.

You yourself said:
Best First wrote:...[Yaya] was pointing out that a lot of the criticism that is (rightly or wrongly, which is a separate point) leveled at both Islam as a religion and Islamic countries can also be leveled at other religions and other regimes.
Which would be fair comment if any of those other regimes and religions had carried out massive terrorist attacks on the west but they haven't, so bringing it up is what-abouttery, pure and simple.
Best First wrote:So yes you are trying to revise as you are airbrushing out the fact that you knew it would wind up some people and now feigning surprise that it ruffled some feathers. You didn’t ‘just post a picture’ – stop kidding to yourself.
So making a point that winds up some people negates the point entirely? I'm not feigning anything, I stand by what I posted - which was a picture.
Best First wrote:Where do I try and fashion you into some ‘right wing super bigot’? Again how can you call foul on what people are saying when the moment they challenge you churn out the underhand debating tactics you accuse them of and deliberately misrepresent what they are saying? Come on, show me where I do something that is worthy is being characterized as such. I missed the post where I wrote “I think Rob is actually Johann Schmidt”
Throughout this thread you've misrepresented my position (when you're been "arsed" to address it) as "...really telling me that, say, Yaya is "pretty much indistinguishable" from one of the guys who flew into the twin towers? Or say that guys i know at work. Really? I mean really seriously? If so, what are you advocating?" when all I have been trying to do is explain the situation as it is, not how I would like it to be. I don't know about you, but when I'm trying to examine a difficult situation objectively I don't appreciate the implication that I'm promoting eugenics.
Best First wrote:But why don’t you care? This is a key point for me. If we are going to have conversations about big serious topics that draw in a wide spectrum of views, if you are even vaguely interested in the truth, surely this is something to care about?
I'm more interested in the truth than I am in tippy-toeing around trying not to upset people who take offence on behalf of their sky god, if that's what you mean. Besides, a discussion about the way muslims are treated in America that doesn't mention 9/11 would be completely pointless. I mean, how did this thread get started in the first place? It was about some muslims trying to build a mosque...where? Yet I'm the one who gets criticised for invoking it as a causal factor? Yes, that seems completely fair.
Best First wrote:I also think it’s important in this instance because seeing atheists act like pricks towards people and then worse still seemingly pat themselves on the back for it strikes me as a particularly dumb move on the part of the atheist as it will have the opposite effect of what they ultimately want.
And what is it that I ultimately want? Please enlighten me, because I really don't know what you're talking about.
Best First wrote:Which given it is the same as what I ultimately want means I have a vested interest in curtailing counterproductive behavior.
Okay, tell me what you want instead but whatever it is, if pointing out inconvenient historical facts is "counterproductive" then I doubt you're going to get far with it.
Best First wrote:Again where have I called you a racist? I know I asked what you were implying - but so have several other people because you didn’t do a very good job (in distinguishing between asserting what some people might be thinking and what you were saying as you.
Okay, I might be way off on this and if I am I apologise, but this seemed like an exceptionally below the belt jibe directed at me:
Best First wrote:Seemingly sound people going mental and wading off on racist tirades or the like.
Again, if it wasn't directed at me then I'm sorry, but throwing out indiscriminate accusations of racism probably isn't the best way to carry yourself in any case.
Best First wrote:Because huge amounts of history that play a part in the Western attitudes to Muslims and the Middle east and vice versa exist prior to 911.
You mean like when the Taliban were the west's allies against the Soviets? Before that or after? Gulf War I? NATO coming to the aid of muslim minorities in Bosnia? Prior to 9/11 it seems islamic/western relations were a pretty mixed bag, to be honest. Give me some examples here?

Look, I'm not saying that the west and the islamic world existed in completely separate bubbles prior to 9/11 but it is the single event that has shaped this century so far, inspired two wars against islamic countries, inspired countless copycat terror attacks and put Al-Q on the map, plus the image of that day is as indelibly stamped on the American psyche as raising the flag on Iwo Jima. How the Republicans stir up anti-muslim sentiment in the US? They just point to 9/11. It really is that simple.
Best First wrote:Does that mean 911 is not significant? No, and I have never said as such – but when you use phrases like “the catalyst” you one suggest that all things flow from this point, which they don’t and two, effectively erase all the things that have happened before (it amused me that you cite racial profiling as a result of 911 for example, when this has been true for much longer) which is anathema to getting to the truth of things.
Yes, racial profiling has existed for centuries but routine ethnic profiling of muslims happened post-9/11 and has gotten steadily worse in the years since. I posted links to the Independent and the BBC reporting this, did they amuse you too? And have you got any links or examples to back up your points or do I have to take your word for it?
Best First wrote:And yeah, for what it’s worth, I don’t feel I need to respond to every point you have made. I don’t go on the internet specially to validate your opinions I am afraid. Other people have said more or less what I would have in some cases. And often the manner in which you have responded to them, notably Jack, has meant I am glad I didn’t bother.
Okay fine, next time someone compares me to a notably bigoted Daily Fail columnist I'll thank them for the compliment and carry on as if nothing happened. If they misrepresent my position I'll play nice and act as if I was calling for the extermination of the muslims all along.
Best First wrote:And yes, your approach to talking to someone like Yaya about how his faith is wrong (which I agree with) has proved counter productive – it’s self evident in that he no longer wants to participate.
Funny, 'cause someone's got hold of Yaya's account and he's debating with you in this thread even as I type this.
Best First wrote:Given you are clearly keen for people to listen to you, deliberately winding them up is not a clever thing to do – to adopt your tone, surely this isn’t hard to see?
Why not? There are different ways of making a point, and I'm not out to try and convert anyone to the path of reason here.
Best First wrote:And as a separate point can you not see that the validity of a point does not necessarily vindicate the manner in which it was made? There’s no link there.
I think it does. Just because a point is (in your view) badly presented, doesn't make it any less valid. What's that saying, the truth hurts? In truth there is no beauty?
Best First wrote:Yeah, you have in no way got personal with anyone. Dude. Seriously? You give it all “high horse” and “paragon of virture” and then this? Aw, poor me am only one playing by civilized rules of mother****ing debate. Not to mention the ball/player thing is a smokescreen “yeah I know I spoke in vile terms about something that means everything to him but I don’t call him names so I fail to see the problem”.
So I'm not allowed to criticise Islam any more in case I hurt Yaya's feelings? It's going to result in some extremely stilted discussions. And how come it's only in this instance? I never used to get this sort of criticism when me and Blacksword were going at each other over Christianity...Seems to me like everyone's suddenly hyper-sensitive when the islams are involved.
Best First wrote:And sorry but this whole ‘not my problem thing’ – I think its bull. It’s like saying you have no concept of how people will react to what you will say. I’m definitely not saying you should not say it, but on the assumption that you know how people will react to an extent you do then bear some responsibility for that reaction – especially within a confined group (I think it’s a bit different when people want to ban, say, plays that no one has made them see for example, the play right would only be responsible if he had hustled them into the theatre and stapled their eyes open) . You yourself have said there are things you would not say at work about others beliefs, surely if the problem is entirely theirs, what is stopping you?
The difference is that this is a thread on an internet forum specifically for the purpose of debating religion, initially Islam in particular. I don't challenge the people I work with on their religious beliefs because it's not the forum for doing that, but I make no secret of my contempt for them and I've brought it to my boss several times now that if the Jews get Friday afternoons off, as a Pastafarian I should get all of Fridays off.
I would have waited a ******* eternity for this!!!!
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Post by Jack Cade » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:01 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:To be honest there are whole months that go by when I don't think about Buddhism at all, but when I do think about it, I try to look beyond the surface. I don't think it's a bad idea to look at a religion's place in history before considering my opinion, especially since no-one's rewritten the rulebook since the last atrocity. You don't think that has the same importance, fine, but that doesn't mean you have to bring Littlejohn into it.
The point is that for all your looking beyond the surface, or at least that element evidenced here, you've unearthed nothing that should lead you to rationally conclude that Buddhism should be generally opposed, that it is 'evil' or fundamentally corrupt, or presents a threat.

It's like you're saying you've got evidence that Mr X killed Mr Y, and then, when I say the evidence is flimsy, you say that I'm giving Mr X some kind of special dispensation or trying really hard to 'tolerate' him. I'm not sure why you think it takes some kind of straining or effort to simply not come to a relatively extreme moral judgment about something.

The Littlejohn comparison isn't just chucked in there for the sake of it - it illustrates exactly what the problem is with your rationale for saying Buddhism is a bad or useless thing. You take something nasty that was, for a time, associated with it, ignore all the other factors that might have contributed to the nastiness, and you effectively say, "See? This is what they do!"

I deliberately picked someone who I hoped you would see yourself as fundamentally opposed to in the hope that you would examine carefully whether or not your logic for calling something evil/pointless is any better than his.
MV wrote:I think it does. Just because a point is (in your view) badly presented, doesn't make it any less valid. What's that saying, the truth hurts? In truth there is no beauty?
I'm not sure you can so easily distinguish what is said from the way it is said. You seem to have spent an awful lot of time on this thread doing what you probably would call rephrasing or reiterating your arguments. What's actually happening is you're continually making new and different points that might well have been what you *meant* to say before, but because you phrased them in an overly hostile way, they emerged as bad points. We're not mind readers. If you want to make good points, you've got to work on getting them written down in a clear, sensible, non-inflammatory way - not tie them up in radicalised language and then say we're missing the point because we respond to them as written.

I mean, if I saw someone in the street littering, and I went up to them and said, "You selfish bastard - people like you should be made to eat your refuge", I can hardly later say: "But the point was that he shouldn't have been littering, which is a good point, and the way I made it doesn't make any difference."
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Post by Best First » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:51 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:Okay, I might be way off on this and if I am I apologise, but this seemed like an exceptionally below the belt jibe directed at me:
Best First wrote:Seemingly sound people going mental and wading off on racist tirades or the like.
Again, if it wasn't directed at me then I'm sorry, but throwing out indiscriminate accusations of racism probably isn't the best way to carry yourself in any case.
i'll respond to the rest later but wanted to be clear that this was not absolutely not directed at you.

But on the latter point, (ignoring the wry irony of you giving me advice on tact) - so i should care about offending people on the internet? I am genunely fascinated by the seeming inconsistency of what seemed to be an absolute stance.
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Post by Yaya » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:17 pm

Best First wrote:
Yaya wrote: Good question. I don't know. Imam Malik, one of the greatest scholars of Islam, said that half of knowledge is being able to say "I don't know".
i agree with this, it is as important, if not more so, to know what you don't understand as what you do.

But i think that is within a scientific context, or maybe a general life context (it's important that i know that i do not know how to install a gas meter for example).

Within a religious context though this just seems like a cop out to me i am afraid -
See, I really don't see a great separation between science and God. Like anything else, I see science as a creation, as a wondrous means to an end. In other words, I don't take my God hat off when talking science, and my science hat off when I'm talking God. In fact, through the years of studying science, biology, chemistry, physics, etc, I think it has solidified and reinforced my belief and my faith.

I think it strange when, for example, some Christians see science as a threat to their belief in God. I just don't see that divide. Most Muslims don't. It's the reason why throughout the ages, Muslims have been major contributors to the scientific world. I find science to be so impressively fascinating and exciting. I encourage all people to study it if they have the time. Dare I say, without having spent so many years in a scientific field myself, my faith would likely be weaker than what it is now. But what has to be recognized in science is the fact that we only think we know to truth of the workings of the universe, and we have only scratched the surface of it's mysteries. What held up as fact centuries ago has been proven false time and again, and the same will happen centuries from now. That's what makes science so wonderful and fascinating, is that with greater discovery comes greater fascination, and for me, greater reflection.

i have to question the motives of any all powerful creature that gives you only limited information but asks for unconditional compliance.
I think this is only natural and human, a point reached likely in every person's life. But one can question all they want, it would not change the circumstances that, assuming God exists, we are at His Mercy, regardless of His motivations.
Doesn't this seem a bit suspicous to you? It's like 40% of every sci-fi plots ever - "yes, yes this is a utopia, just don't go beyond the yellow zone, that is forbidden." And beyond the yellow zone people are kicking puppies or something.
If Islam was a fabrication, then I would see some underlying motivation in it, something that favors a select group of people. Why create these laws when there is no obvious beneficiary who would benefit from such grand manipulation in a material way? I think I would be a bit suspicious if another person benefitted from my sacrifices and worship other than myself. If a human being created this religion, those persons being Abraham and Noah and Muhammad, peace be upon them, why when they died did they have houses that were nearly barren and devoid of worldly goods when they could have had the world? Why did they not live like kings?
Equally doesn't creating a race and not letting them know why, when being all powerful you know this will bother them rather a lot, seem cruel and unneccessary?
Not after you have been given life and the ability to think and reason. Not when one is the recipient of countless favors. We are not even in control of ourselves, really. We breath without having to think about it, our heart beats without a concious effort, our bodies fight infection and cancers continuously our entire lives. What did we do to be given these things, to earn these things?

I mean, in general life, rarely are we given something for nothing. And yet, again assuming God exists, we are given an infinite number of blessings, just in our bodies alone, without having to give for this in return. Whether Muslim or atheist, both are recipients of these things.
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Post by Metal Vendetta » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:33 pm

Best First wrote:i'll respond to the rest later but wanted to be clear that this was not absolutely not directed at you.
The timing of that post compared to what was happening in this thread led to my misinterpretation of your intentions and left me feeling less than well-disposed towards you and this whole discussion but I am not afraid to admit that I was wrong and I offer my sincerest and most absolute apologies.

Jack, lemme read through your post and I'll respond in a bit.
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Post by Jack Cade » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:38 pm

Yaya wrote:If Islam was a fabrication, then I would see some underlying motivation in it, something that favors a select group of people. Why create these laws when there is no obvious beneficiary who would benefit from such grand manipulation in a material way?
Apart from men, who benefit from women's role being confined to child-bearing etc. and various holy leaders who can't be given the boot.
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Post by Yaya » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:58 pm

Jack Cade wrote:
Yaya wrote:If Islam was a fabrication, then I would see some underlying motivation in it, something that favors a select group of people. Why create these laws when there is no obvious beneficiary who would benefit from such grand manipulation in a material way?
Apart from men, who benefit from women's role being confined to child-bearing etc. and various holy leaders who can't be given the boot.

Why does the West now devalue childbearing, I'm curious? I mean, it's an honest question. It's something no man has done or ever has been able to do in the history of mankind. And yet, somehow the 'professional women' is held in greater esteem than the 'stay-at-home' mother, almost as if traditionally male gender roles from the outset have been given more weight, thereby giving women the desire to perform them to attain equality.

It's just another example of how, depending on the societal norms of the time, different aspects are given different weight. I'm sure there are societies on Earth where because a women can bear children, she is given special attention and consideration. Others use their personal opinion as a basis, I use my faith in God.
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Post by bumblemusprime » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:57 pm

Yaya wrote: somehow the 'professional women' is held in greater esteem than the 'stay-at-home' mother
Not really. I live in one of the most liberal, left-leaning towns in the US and there are tons of stay-at-home moms and dads. The intent of the feminist movement was never to devalue motherhood, it was to offer women a value and independence that the Western world never did. "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people" means that all women, including mothers, should be treated with the same autonomy men have. I have no idea why anyone thinks that feminism and motherhood are not compatible, or that anyone looks down on motherhood because he or she works. My wife is a feminist Mormon housewife and motherhood is a big part of her view of her gender.

Part of the feminist movement's original goal was to extend maternity leave to a more reasonable time than three measly months. Also, feminists didn't necessarily want women to do every job men did, because that would have happened anyway--they wanted to get rid of prejudice against women in certain position and they wanted women to get paid the same amount as men.

Two things: 1) women still aren't ever paid as much as men for the same positions and 2) average salaries for all jobs went down, because business bureaucracies realized that they could turn the whole world into a two-parent-working household for the same cost.

A parent should be able to stay home. I think that it is usually (not always) better for the kids to have a stay-at-home mom or dad. But because the wealthy always have to bleed the poor dry, we now live in a world where you need two earners for every household unless you're making really good money. So instead of what the feminist movement wanted, which was a reasonable amount of options for women and men, we have wage slavery.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Post by Yaya » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:47 pm

bumblemusprime wrote: But because the wealthy always have to bleed the poor dry, we now live in a world where you need two earners for every household unless you're making really good money.
This is what I feel is, perhaps, one of the greatest destructive trends in American society today, one that is quite worrisome to me regarding the future of the younger generation.

It seems it's become less about women choosing to join the workforce and more about women having to join the workforce. I would wager that there is a good segment of mothers who would much prefer to stay at home with their children, but because of financial reasons, must work and depend on day care facilities and nannies to raise their children.

And it's for the very reasons you site above, that there is a dichotomy that is occurring here, rich preying on the poor with erosion of the middle class. And despite this, Republicans are winning in the polls? I just don't get that. They are responsible for the current economic situation, yet they blame the current Democratic administration. And the people buy it! Explain this to me, Sprunk.

We are a country of idiots. We really are.
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Post by Jack Cade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:28 pm

Yaya wrote:Why does the West now devalue childbearing, I'm curious? I mean, it's an honest question. It's something no man has done or ever has been able to do in the history of mankind. And yet, somehow the 'professional women' is held in greater esteem than the 'stay-at-home' mother, almost as if traditionally male gender roles from the outset have been given more weight, thereby giving women the desire to perform them to attain equality.
To say that the West 'devalues' childbearing is nonsense - in fact, there's still an absurd and illogical favouritism towards that lifestyle. Nearly all high-ranking politicians are 'family men' and there's a (fortunately waning) popular assumption that someone who hits middle age and is unmarried and childless has somehow missed the boat.

Britain is obscenely overcrowded. There needs to be some very serious questions asked about why we continue to think of people in terms of family units as if it was still world war 2 and we were trying to breed soldiers.

Meanwhile, Yaya, you're surely avoiding the point. You asked who the obvious beneficiaries are, and it's men. Because aside from the actual giving birth part, there's no reason parenting duties can't be equally divided. The fact that human society is traditionally male-dominated doesn't say anything. We've also fought and killed people who are different to us since time immemorial.
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Post by Brendocon » Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:33 pm

Jack Cade wrote:There needs to be some very serious questions asked about why we continue to think of people in terms of family units as if it was still world war 2 and we were trying to breed soldiers.
We're stocking up on cannon-fodder for when the robots rise up and the war begins.

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Post by Professor Smooth » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:25 pm

Yaya wrote:
Why does the West now devalue childbearing, I'm curious? I mean, it's an honest question. It's something no man has done or ever has been able to do in the history of mankind. And yet, somehow the 'professional women' is held in greater esteem than the 'stay-at-home' mother, almost as if traditionally male gender roles from the outset have been given more weight, thereby giving women the desire to perform them to attain equality.

It's just another example of how, depending on the societal norms of the time, different aspects are given different weight. I'm sure there are societies on Earth where because a women can bear children, she is given special attention and consideration. Others use their personal opinion as a basis, I use my faith in God.
It's not a question of "devaluing childbearing." It's a question of freedom of choice. If a woman wants to stay home to spend more time raising her kids, then that should be her choice. The choice should not be made for her by a long-dead man.

I'm not arguing that women shouldn't be allowed to focus on raising their children. I'm not even going to say that it's a bad idea. I'm just saying that it is a personal choice.

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Post by bumblemusprime » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:25 pm

Yeah--and for that matter, lots of guys would like to stay home and raise kids and would not have had the option a few years ago.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Post by Yaya » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:15 pm

Jack Cade wrote: Meanwhile, Yaya, you're surely avoiding the point. You asked who the obvious beneficiaries are, and it's men.
That's nonsense. Being a Muslim man myself, having had a wife of own, I find that assessment to be off the mark.

If Islam truly was instigated as a means for men to dominate and oppress women, it would never have grown out of a society where women were already property and little girls were being buried alive because they were female. Why not maintain the status quo of pre-Islamic Arabia, where women truly did not have rights? Men were already dominant in pre-Islamic Arabia, why shake things up?

The vast majority of rules and regulations in Islam have nothing to do with the sex of a person. Prayer, fasting, giving alms to charity, performing the Hajj, the core tenets of the faith, are gender neutral.

Hell, only fifty or sixty years ago in this country, women were considered property.

What preferential bias towards women is there in fasting a month and having to deny sexual relations the whole day? To what benefit is it to women that men have to go to the mosque and pray five times a day whilst women do not, unless they choose? Unless, of course, a man was sneaking out five times a day to visit a brothel. To what benefit is it that a man has to support financially his spouse, but the same does not apply to women who can amass a fortune (ala my own personal situation with my ex-wife) and not have to spend a penny of it on their husband? I could go on and on.

Granted, I give you that Islam supports the concept of gender roles. And if that is restrictive in your sight, then so be it. If that's your concept of 'male dominance', then I grant you it. But I don't see it that way.

There is no doubt that Western thought, as it is today (because fifty years ago Western thought in this very country was that women are property and could not vote) and Islamic thought diverge.

But you have to give me a better reason in the setting of pre-Islamic Arabia, why Islam caters to one group over another.
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Post by Jack Cade » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:33 pm

Strider wrote:Granted, I give you that Islam supports the concept of gender roles.
Yes, and it's kind of like the paragraph hidden in the small print that signs over the rights you didn't know you had. All the other stuff serves to flesh the religion out into something grandiose and complex, but it's the details like this that keeps ruling powers clinging to it. Take the cunningly oppressive stuff out and the appeal is considerably weakened.

Re. your last para, you're talking now about why it was 'instigated'. I'm not taking about why it was instigated; I'm talking about why it has lasted well into an age when people don't need religion to explain natural phenomena. There are various reasons why, in the past, particular religions became more powerful than others, most of which can probably never be properly understood. But over time, the reasons for keeping them alive have changed. Social advantages for certain groups and personal spiritual struggle are pretty much the only reasons left.
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Post by Yaya » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:26 am

Jack Cade wrote:
Strider wrote:Granted, I give you that Islam supports the concept of gender roles.
Yes, and it's kind of like the paragraph hidden in the small print that signs over the rights you didn't know you had. All the other stuff serves to flesh the religion out into something grandiose and complex, but it's the details like this that keeps ruling powers clinging to it. Take the cunningly oppressive stuff out and the appeal is considerably weakened.
Cunningly oppressive? A Muslim man could argue the same when taking into consideration his rights under Islam. "Why do I have to do such and such for her?"
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Post by Jack Cade » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:02 pm

Yaya wrote:"Why do I have to do such and such for her?"
Well, hence the phrase 'it's one rule for them, another for the rest of us', which doesn't mean that everyone's equal because they all have to follow one rule or another, but rather that one group's rules are far less fettering. Would you honestly say that the gender rules under Islam allow women just as much freedom of choice as men? 'Bring home the bacon' leaves far more room for personal interpretation than 'stay home and cook'.
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Post by Yaya » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:50 pm

Jack Cade wrote:
Yaya wrote:"Why do I have to do such and such for her?"
Well, hence the phrase 'it's one rule for them, another for the rest of us', which doesn't mean that everyone's equal because they all have to follow one rule or another, but rather that one group's rules are far less fettering. Would you honestly say that the gender rules under Islam allow women just as much freedom of choice as men? 'Bring home the bacon' leaves far more room for personal interpretation than 'stay home and cook'.
Taken altogether, I would say it's probably a wash. It's just that the rights that men do have over women are the one's that get the most attention in the West.

No one ever talks about how a man has no right to his wife's money, money that she can legitimately earn as a professional, whist a women has a right to her husband maintaining her. No one ever talks about how a Muslim man has to go to the mosque to pray, while for a women, it's optional. No one ever talks about how, if a women does not have a man to protect her, she is not required to make the Hajj but for a man who has the means, it's obligatory. Where are the voices of Western media in these cases? I mean, if everybody is so gung-ho about ensuring men and women are the same, why not speak out about these particular aspects of the faith?

This is not to say there aren't Muslim men who are oppressive to women. There are good and bad seeds in every group.
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Post by Professor Smooth » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:50 pm

Yaya wrote:

No one ever talks about how a man has no right to his wife's money, money that she can legitimately earn as a professional, whist a women has a right to her husband maintaining her.
Some will agree that this is nullified by all of the cases of women not being "allowed" to work. If not, then perhaps by the fact that a LOT of Muslim women are, under threat of death, not allowed to even receive an education. See all of the recent bombings of (mostly foreign sponsored/run) girls' schools in the middle east. If women can't get an education, they can't very well expect much in the way of employment/earning potential.
Yaya wrote:
No one ever talks about how a Muslim man has to go to the mosque to pray, while for a women, it's optional.
Since worship is such a great thing, I don't see how any Muslim (man or woman) would have a problem with going to the mosque. If there isn't a problem, then why even mention it?
Yaya wrote:
No one ever talks about how, if a women does not have a man to protect her, she is not required to make the Hajj but for a man who has the means, it's obligatory.
Once again, if it's such a wonderful thing (it's a form of worship, right?) then why would anybody WANT to opt out of it?
Yaya wrote:
Where are the voices of Western media in these cases? I mean, if everybody is so gung-ho about ensuring men and women are the same, why not speak out about these particular aspects of the faith?
I really hope that you see the difference (in practice) between women being forbidden to have an education, leave the home without an escort, or be seen without their heads covered, and men being obligated to go to a mosque, and make the Hajj.
Yaya wrote: This is not to say there aren't Muslim men who are oppressive to women. There are good and bad seeds in every group.
How about the women who are stoned to death for "crimes" like adultery? Or who have acid thrown in their faces for not covering them? Or who are put to death for being raped?

I'll admit that I haven't read this whole thread, so forgive me if this has come up already. What's your impression of Sharia law? I'll stop short of asking if you think it'd be beneficial to Europe, Australia, and the US. Do you think it's working well in countries that have adopted it?

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Post by Yaya » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:00 pm

Yaya wrote:
No one ever talks about how a man has no right to his wife's money, money that she can legitimately earn as a professional, whist a women has a right to her husband maintaining her.
Some will agree that this is nullified by all of the cases of women not being "allowed" to work.
Give me evidence from the Quran and Hadith, which are the basis for Islamic law, that this is indeed the case. You will not find it, because there is no such law. What you are speaking of is strictly a cultural phenomenon, contrary to all Islamic teachings. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said ""To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim." Every Muslim. In fact, the Prophet's wife, Aisha, God be pleased with her, was amongst the greatest teachers and scholars of her time. She ran a school with students both men and women. His first wife Khadija was his boss under whom he worked.
Yaya wrote:
No one ever talks about how a Muslim man has to go to the mosque to pray, while for a women, it's optional.
Since worship is such a great thing, I don't see how any Muslim (man or woman) would have a problem with going to the mosque. If there isn't a problem, then why even mention it?
Worship is a great thing, but it is not necessarily an easy thing. To leave your home or your work five times a day might be difficult for some.
Yaya wrote:
No one ever talks about how, if a women does not have a man to protect her, she is not required to make the Hajj but for a man who has the means, it's obligatory.
Once again, if it's such a wonderful thing (it's a form of worship, right?) then why would anybody WANT to opt out of it?
Again, wonderful thing, yes. Easy thing, no. You only but have to talk to any Muslim who has been fortunate enough, male or female, to have made the Hajj and ask them about it. 'Easy' will not be how they would define it.
Yaya wrote: This is not to say there aren't Muslim men who are oppressive to women. There are good and bad seeds in every group.
How about the women who are stoned to death for "crimes" like adultery? Or who have acid thrown in their faces for not covering them? Or who are put to death for being raped?
Throwing acid in one's face? Executing someone for being raped? There simply is no foundation for it in Islam. None whatsoever. I mean, you are welcome to examine the Quran and the Hadith, or the actions of the Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon, which are the foundations for all Islamic law, and you will not find anything, anything at all, that supports the actions you site above. I know of no country in the world today that truly has as their legal system Shariah law. They might take bits here and there as they see fit, but like most governments in the world today, are corrupt and bend the laws the way they see fit.
I'll admit that I haven't read this whole thread, so forgive me if this has come up already. What's your impression of Sharia law? I'll stop short of asking if you think it'd be beneficial to Europe, Australia, and the US. Do you think it's working well in countries that have adopted it?
Firstly, Shariah law is applicable only to Muslims in Muslim lands. There are many instances during the time of the Prophet (PBUH) that a Jew committed a crime or a Christian committed a crime, and judgement was made according to their own law. So this new trendy fear of Shariah law that the West has? It's unfounded, as it would not apply to them anyway.

Secondly, just like fatwas are issued like candy these days, without proper knowledge or authority, so too are Shariah laws enacted inappropriately. The criteria that must be met in order for the ordained punishment of stoning to be carried out are so stringent, it becomes almost impossible to find an instance where it is applicable.

For example, in the instance of adultery, the following criteria must be met before the ordained punisment can be carried out: 1) There must be four witnesses that must testify that they actually witnessed the actual act of the penis entering the vagina. Not the tongue. Not a finger. Not a penis in the anus. Not a man laying on top of a women. Not something you saw on the Internet. But they all four must, simulatenously, witness actual willful penetration by both man and women. 2) These witnesses must be proven to be upright individuals based on past behavior. If not, their testimony will not be accepted. 3). These four witnesses, if they wish to bring such a charge against a couple, must themselves be willing to carry out the stoning.

Given these criteria, and given that there is in itself a punishment for prying into peoples homes and personal lives, you would have to literally have a public orgy to meet these criteria.

These laws serve more the purpose of being social deterents than anything else. Here is a Hadith from the time of the Prophet (PBUH): Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him) narrates: A man from amongst the people came to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) while he (the Messenger of Allah) was sitting in the Masjid, and addressed him, saying: O Messenger of Allah! I have committed illegal sexual intercourse. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) turned his face away from him. The man came to that side to which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) had turned his face, and said: O Messenger of Allah! I have committed illegal intercourse. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) turned his face to the other side, and the man came to that side. When he confessed four times, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) asked him and said: Are you insane?? He said: No, O Messenger of Allah!? The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: Are you married?? He said: Yes, O Messenger of Allah!? The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said (to the people): Take him away and stone him (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 6439)

From this instance, a few things can be gathered. One, you don't look to punish people. The Prophet, peace be upon him, instructed people to keep their sins to themselves, and to not expose others sins. In this case, he gave this man numerous chances to change his mind, hence his purposeful turning away. But after full disclosure, and detemination that this man was not insane, even the Prophet (PBUH) could not alter the punishment ordained by God. The violation of the marriage contract is considered a very serious offense in Islam, and hence, the punishment is strict. But because the honor of two human beings are also at stake by making said charge, the criteria are purposefully stringent.
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Post by Predabot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:11 pm

Interesting... I thought this thread was about the United States of America. Seems to me, it's about something completely different.

Aaanyways... Anybody remeber the crystal cave that was found in Mexico, two years ago?

http://www.travel-best-destinations.com ... -cave.html

I think I would like to visit it one day. It truly looks like something out of this world, something that you can't see anywhere else. Hopefully the whole thing wasn't leveled in the mining-project, and instead it's been preserved, for tourism and science.

Anybody else got something cool from some other place in America, outside of USA?

( *hint*this would be the cue for Snarlos to start posting pics of Brazilian beach-babes*hint*)

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Post by Kaylee » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:20 pm

Very interesting Yaya.

It leads me to ask: do you think the West (whatever we define that to be) is right to fear Islam, as practiced incorrectly by certain ******* and lunatics, rather than Islam as the concept you describe?

I may have worded that badly so please ask if it makes no sense :)

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Post by Jack Cade » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:31 pm

Yaya wrote:Where are the voices of Western media in these cases? I mean, if everybody is so gung-ho about ensuring men and women are the same, why not speak out about these particular aspects of the faith?
Because they aren't so plainly in evidence as the stonings and other oppressive practices that are carried out in Islamic countries.

But if what you're saying is that Islam, practiced properly, would be much more on the level, then it's just a case of how exactly you're judging this and what misconceptions we all have. The various restrictions on men you've listed are water off a duck's back compared to a *duty* to bear and rear children. So is that an expected duty of women in Islam or not?
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Yaya
Big Honking Planet Eater
Posts: 3374
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:58 am
Location: Florida, USA

Post by Yaya » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:24 pm

Karl wrote:Very interesting Yaya.

It leads me to ask: do you think the West (whatever we define that to be) is right to fear Islam, as practiced incorrectly by certain ******* and lunatics, rather than Islam as the concept you describe?

I may have worded that badly so please ask if it makes no sense :)
Good question, Karl. I had this long elaborate answer typed out, and the damn thing logged me out! :x

I'll rewrite it when I get home.
"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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