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Bloggingheads
01-28-2008, 04:32 PM

theis
01-28-2008, 05:55 PM
Huh, Ramesh the conservative catholic defends mormonism to Joshua the liberal jew. I guess that National Review endorsement is worth something after all.

Wonderment
01-28-2008, 06:56 PM
Much as I prefer Josh's politics by several orders of magnitude over Ramesh's, and much as I admire his great intellect, I must admit that Josh hogged the electrons (again), making me feel a little sorry for Ramesh who is so polite and often couldn't get a word in edgewise.

Eastwest
01-28-2008, 07:13 PM
Gad, how tedious.

True, it's intrinsic to the dismal nature of the topic.

But an hour's worth of this kind of murky, anchorless, mere-guesswork, delusion-ridden musing makes going to the dentist sound like fun!

Verdict: Silence is golden. This is not!

EW

BTW, disagree with Wonderment on the indictment about Josh's "hogging electrons." Ramesh over and over again jumped in and completed Josh's sentences for him, usually somewhat inaccurately, but, yes, always very politely.

piscivorous
01-28-2008, 08:25 PM
Yes seemed to me at times Ramesh Ponnuru to be answering Joshua Cohen questions but I think it was more of Mr. Cohan feeling for the right words, to address an issue that he seemed ill at ease to address, and Mr. Ponnuru stating a position the Mr. Cohen could easily support, and the Mr Cohen was assured enough to flesh out his views knowing that it likely not offend Mr. Ponnuru. It was almost Mr. Cohen was seeking tacit approval to go down a path that some on the Christen right might find offensive and was sort of feeling him out.

If you pay attention in the early diavlog there seems to be a great deal of unease in Mr. Cohens demeanor towards Mr. Ponnuru or maybe it's nothing.

bkjazfan
01-28-2008, 09:58 PM
This diavlog didn't seem to go anywhere. I don't know if it was due to Josh's slow delivery style or what? When watching it I thought back to Senator Mike Mansfield. When he was asked a question the answer would be delivered like a Sandy Koufax fastball. The opposite of Mr. Cohen.

bjkeefe
01-29-2008, 01:15 AM
There's something more than a little irritating about this (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8388?in=00:11:55&out=00:12:47).

You've got a guy who writes a book called The Party of Death, and defended the thesis of that book here on BH.tv on purely religious grounds, and now that things aren't going so well for him and the rest of the theocrats, he wants to claim religious beliefs suddenly shouldn't carry so much weight when voting? Give me a break.

Another thing that irritated me was Ramesh's claim -- forgot to dingalink, sorry -- that Romney doesn't have it in for the non-believers. Please. I read that faux-Kennedy speech. Romney had months to think about what he wanted to say, and he couldn't have been more clear on this point. The possibility that Romney has tried to walk it back since then indicates nothing more than Romney's usual tendency to flip-flop.

TwinSwords
01-29-2008, 02:16 AM
Much as I prefer Josh's politics by several orders of magnitude over Ramesh's, and much as I admire his great intellect, I must admit that Josh hogged the electrons (again), making me feel a little sorry for Ramesh who is so polite and often couldn't get a word in edgewise.

I love Josh and value his appearances, but they need to match him up with a stronger personality type than they have in the past -- someone willing to speak up and interupt to get a word in edgewise. As much as they need to pay attention to the ideological pairings, I think the personality type pairings are also important.

bjkeefe
01-29-2008, 02:24 AM
Wonderment and Twin:

I don't know if I agree with you two. Like it or not, it takes Josh a while to articulate a thought. If he was paired with some rapid-response type, it could be a disaster. I think what Josh has to say is often worthwhile, and while I'd like him to be a little quicker to spit it out sometimes, I find it's mostly a matter of getting into a new rhythm, to enjoy listening to him.

I did not find him too domineering in this diavlog. It seemed to me Ramesh got plenty of time to talk as well.

Eastwest
01-29-2008, 02:54 AM
On Ramesh on Romney per BJ:

Another thing that irritated me was Ramesh's claim -- forgot to dingalink, sorry -- that Romney doesn't have it in for the non-believers. Please. I read that faux-Kennedy speech.

Perhaps this is the DL you had in mind?: http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8388?in=00:06:58&out=08:01

I didn't read that speech, I listened to it. And frankly, as a Buddhist, it was very spooky. It was wink-wink code speech to evangelical power-mongers that, "Hey, I'm with you [in league against any who are not down on their knees before HE whom WE know is really THE ONE GOD]."

For Ramesh to so mealy-mouth this now is out-and-out obfuscation of the interior mind-set of a person willing, at least for political purposes, to telegraph his potential to serve as a theo-fascist, at least if it becomes expedient.

Sounds like hyperbole, I know, but it was just so clear: "If you're not one of us, you're expendable."

EW

bjkeefe
01-29-2008, 03:07 AM
Eastwest:

Exactly right. And thanks for supplying the dingalink.

TwinSwords
01-29-2008, 03:12 AM
I don't know if I agree with you two. Like it or not, it takes Josh a while to articulate a thought. If he was paired with some rapid-response type, it could be a disaster.
Hmm, that's a good point. You're right that something could be lost by putting him into that kind of environment.


I did not find him too domineering in this diavlog. It seemed to me Ramesh got plenty of time to talk as well.
I agree. I must sheepishly admit that when I posted my comment above, I had only just started watching, and was basing my comment on past diavlogs. After watching a while, I realized this was actually a pretty well balanced discussion.

I still can't get over how nice a guy Ramesh seems for the kinds of things he's written! :-D

bjkeefe
01-29-2008, 06:47 AM
Twin:

Thanks for your apology or clarification or whatever one might want to call it.

bkjazfan
01-29-2008, 01:57 PM
On this religious bit with Romney and Obama. I was once a catholic through being married to one. I went throught the classes and the rest of it. I never heard politics discussed fromn the pulpit when we lived in middle income areas. On occasion though, there would at times be a passing remark about abortion but that was it. Since the dissolution of that marriage I have lived in a lower income area; in fact, right next door to a catholic church. For some reason the issue of politics comes up a lot in the sermons (homilies) there. Generally, they are of a liberal bent. After a few times of having to listen to this type of jargon I never went back to any church.

Having not come from a religious background has religion always had this seemingly heavy connection with politics? Personally, I find it repulsive.

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
01-29-2008, 03:14 PM
I think "politics" must be addressed in every sermon.

I don't think "politics" should be mixed with religion ever.

I agree with both of these statements...it all depends on what the heck one means by 'politics'.

I think that these issues in theory are extremely difficult to answer with any type of certainty, especially if one has very strong religious or anti-religious beliefs.

In practice, it is often a little less difficult to arrive at a solution where most people will be happy, but usually not those with very strong religious or anti-religious beliefs.

Now, a certain type of "secular" (whatever that means) person can be "very religious" in his or her own sense and still be pretty happy with the general "American" solution. I also think that it is easier for people who belong to minority, especially non-universalist (is that a word?) minority religions to embrace this kind of secularism.

Brendan, I actually don't think that what you have with Mr. Ponnuru is any contradiction or hypocrisy. I think he is actually pretty intellectually disciplined about putting forth so-called rational, non-religious reasons for the policies he supports. (I don't remember ever hearing him in a diavlog say we can't have gay marriage because of the Bible or we can't have abortion because of the Bible...I haven't read his book nor do I often read his other writing but I don't think he argues like that, let me know if I am wrong) He is completely secular in that sense. Maintaining this type of discipline is pretty difficult for the average religious person, however, especially one who is Christian in a Christian majority polity, so he doesn't necessarily want to hold everyone to it.

Personally, I understand the reasons why people argue for the "reasons for everybody" approach referred to in the diavlog....but I think there is always a good danger of this becoming dishonesty and I think that although dishonesty is almost universal in political discourse, I'm not quite ready to endorse it as good, and I think that such dishonesty is almost always (heck, always) devastating to sincere religion.

Wa Allaahu ta' ala 'Alim.

mpecsek
01-29-2008, 06:22 PM
I appreciate Josh Cohen's contributions and think he's a smart guy, but man, is there anyone else more in love with the sound of his own voice?

bkjazfan
01-29-2008, 10:30 PM
As far as I know religious figures in the U.S. are not trained in law, politics, economics, and a host of other professions. Yet, many of them are always making prouncements dealing with current events, the economy, criminal justice, taxes and the like. They should stick with what they were trained in: theology. If I want to learn about economics I will go to an economist and most likely that person is not a priest.

olmeta
01-30-2008, 02:23 AM
BHTV asks " Is it too Dangerous to ask if Romney is a Christian?" Well, no. Not if you are a grown up with the least bit of self-confidence.

In fact it is only dangerous NOT to ask basic questions about the core beliefs of the men and women you are considering to run the planet.

This latest "diavlog" only reinforces for me the sad sense that our intellectual community remains frozen in fear when discussion turns toward a man's belief in non-science.

BHTV needs to demonstrate some courage on this PC frontier and open the discussion.

Come on, people!

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
01-30-2008, 11:14 AM
bkjazfan,

I am not sure exactly what you are saying, but let me make two quick points.

One, surely there is no "special training" required to participate in the public or political debate around issues of general concern in a "democracy"?

Two, Is taking care of the poor an economic issue or a religious one? Is war a political issue or a religious one?

bkjazfan
01-30-2008, 01:18 PM
The point I am making is there are better sources to receive information than religious figures. There are plenty of people who tower above the clergy when it comes to matters of law, economics, politics, science, philosophy and a host of other subjects. Generally, their focus should be on what they are trained in: theology.

When I went to church I wanted to engage in religion. I am inundated with the "City of The World" what I want in church is a focus on "The City Of God."