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SkepticDoc
06-04-2010, 02:52 PM
Pat Condell has an opinion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS0Novt3X4&playnext_from=TL&videos=yJMnZpisToc&feature=sub

popcorn_karate
06-04-2010, 03:30 PM
Pat Condell has an opinion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS0Novt3X4&playnext_from=TL&videos=yJMnZpisToc&feature=sub

and you obviously agree since you are posting it, right?

SkepticDoc
06-04-2010, 03:40 PM
I tend to agree with Pat, just like it is in poor taste for that journalist to rent the house next to Sister Sarah in Alaska, there should be no Islamic "monuments" anywhere close to ground zero.

What do you think?

AemJeff
06-04-2010, 03:55 PM
I tend to agree with Pat, just like it is in poor taste for that journalist to rent the house next to Sister Sarah in Alaska, there should be no Islamic "monuments" anywhere close to ground zero.

What do you think?

That's right - Though Pat sounds a little too "Derb"-ish here for my my taste. Blaming "Islam" for horrific events without qualifiers goes too far.

popcorn_karate
06-04-2010, 03:57 PM
I tend to agree with Pat, just like it is in poor taste for that journalist to rent the house next to Sister Sarah in Alaska, there should be no Islamic "monuments" anywhere close to ground zero.

What do you think?

i don't think "islam" blew up the world trade center, so most of the argument is pretty off base.

on the other hand, Al quaida probably does view it the way the you tube guy was describing, so...

I guess i'm a bit conflicted, but i try not to let my actions be defined by the craziest possible interpretation of their symbolic significance. In some ways letting this happen would be a better refutation of the al Qaeda narrative than anything else - because we are clearly not buying into their (and the neocons) narrative of history.

uncle ebeneezer
06-04-2010, 04:07 PM
I can't watch the video yet (at work) so I don't know the details of the monument, but generally speaking I would say that I have no problem with it. Looking at 9/11 as a "Muslim" incident rather than one of "radical terrorism" seems to be pretty unfair to Islam and plays directly into the attempts of many to brand it as a religion that is inherently violent and continue to fuel anti-muslim hysteria.

Whatfur
06-04-2010, 04:27 PM
I can't watch the video yet (at work) so I don't know the details of the monument, but generally speaking I would say that I have no problem with it. Looking at 9/11 as a "Muslim" incident rather than one of "radical terrorism" seems to be pretty unfair to Islam and plays directly into the attempts of many to brand it as a religion that is inherently violent and continue to fuel anti-muslim hysteria.

Them pushing to open on 9/11/2011 seems to betray something and the founder I have heard has some less than desirable credentials and associations. I would need to know more about it, but certainly can understand why some people might be suggesting they build in the many places ...elsewhere.

SkepticDoc
06-04-2010, 05:02 PM
Isn't Al-Qaeda's hatred germinated and fueled by the presence at some point of the American forces in what they consider their holy land, Saudi Arabia? I know it is too simplistic to be the main argument, if the other possible reason is the world caliphate pipe dream, then we definitely need to start erecting our boundaries and keep the Islamists from manipulating the political process. (Just as we need to prevent the Christian Fundamentalists from doing the same!)

Pat also has opinions about Jerusalem, that it is an Arab city, and will remain so. If we agree with his concerns of preventing the Islamization of the Western World, shouldn't we agree with leaving Arab locales as they are?

If we are going to be really secular, it has to be for everyone, not just the ones that we disagree with.

Lyle
06-04-2010, 08:36 PM
I love Pat Condell. Lots of spirit, wit, and intelligence come from that man. However, I think he's wrong about the founding and building of a mosque near the radical Muslim 9/11 terrorist attack site. If Muslims have the money, can purchase the property space, and want to build it... I say go for it. Freedom of religion is a beautiful thing and the fact that Americans can tolerate such an institution so near the 9/11 radical Muslim atrocity would be a wonderful statement to ourselves and the world... we support your right to practice your faith, even so near a place where people of your faith flew hijacked planes into the two towers. E pluribus unum baby!.

The Muslim community has lots of problems within their faith and their community. I disagree with a lot of the stuff they believe in. Some of their practices I find intolerable. Some aspects of their faith and religious-political belief I find shameful and ridiculous. However, they can believe whatever they want to and practice their faith as they want to... unless it involves physically harming other people, or causes a criminal issue or constitutional issue.

The vast majority of Muslims simply live their lives like everyone else does. They get up in the morning and go about their life in peace, and in harmony with the people around them. Of course some don't, but just because they do what they do doesn't mean others can't practice their faith in a place they create and build themselves, and if that place happens to be right down the street from the WTC site, so what? I mean if a group of Muslims want to build a minaret in NYC and build it as high as the Empire State building with a crescent moon on top, I say Allahu Akbar... build that shit.

Lyle
06-04-2010, 08:44 PM
That's a pretty fucking stupid perspective you have. 9/11 definitely was an "Islamic" event. They were all Muslims, following a radicalize form of Islam, and even chanted Allahu Akbar as they flew the planes into the towers, Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field.

Politics and religion have always been mixed into the Muslim faith as well. So whatever political views they had were also views of faith, their Islamic faith.

bjkeefe
06-04-2010, 09:36 PM
Pat Condell has an opinion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS0Novt3X4&playnext_from=TL&videos=yJMnZpisToc&feature=sub

Thanks for the link. Here's my response, written prior to reading anyone else's.

Pat Condell is someone I hugely admire, someone far more articulate than I could ever dream of being, and someone with whom I often agree to the point of raising a clenched fist and shouting BOO-YEAH!

However, I also feel that he sometimes goes one step too far. This impassioned speech is one of those times.

As much as I dislike organized religions, especially the top three monotheistic brands, as much as I dislike people who let their lives be run by religious superstitions and the related pretensions of tribal superiority, and as much as I agree with many of the subsidiary points Pat makes here (the anti-free speech initiatives of Saudi Arabia, et al, at the UN is an especially sore point), it is at the very least a strategic mistake to think that the way to win the struggle against all the bad parts of religion (and they are legion) is to tar everyone with the same brush.

For example, to refer to "the religion that murdered them [the 9/11 victims]," as he does around 0:50, is idiotic, both as an assessment of reality, and as a tactical choice of rhetoric. It's been said many times, but evidently not enough: not every Muslim in the world approved of the attacks, or thinks that every "infidel" should be killed, or even that violence is the best way to deal with grievances. Not even close.

We will beat those insane people who cloak themselves in religious guise by separating them out from those who do not present any sort of threat to civilization, and by showing that overwhelming majority, just in case they have any doubts, which is the better way. We will only aggravate the problems by making a group of people, who already feel put-upon, think that we cannot tell any of them apart.

(I'll leave aside the obvious problem of trying to win their proverbial hearts and minds by dropping things on them from airplanes. That's a topic for a different screed.)

I don't doubt Pat's deeper-than-my concerns about Islam as its ugly aspects infect his home land. By all accounts I've seen, England and other parts of Europe are having more problems integrating immigrants who are Muslim into their society than we are in the US. However, it's more than a bit hysterical to warn us against "falling asleep," or indeed, even to tell us that any sort of inevitable menace is looming.

Another bit: At around 4:20, Pat refers to "conquered sacred ground." Ugh. In the first place, it's hardly "conquered." Last I looked, I'm pretty sure I saw the Stars and Stripes flying somewhere around there. Also, women delightfully not in burqas. And as far as "sacred ground" goes: Wingnut, please. It was a terrible thing that happened that day, but you don't get to be stridently anti-religious and then use the s-word to privilege your own sense of righteous indignation. (As you'll have noted from the irony quotes in the post title, I don't even like the term "Ground Zero.")

And yes, some people in the "Muslim world" will see this construction as a beachhead, as Pat calls it, or as a symbol of their ongoing conquest, as he would also have it, or whatever. So what. We can't make decisions based on a requirement that unanimity obtain, that nothing should be done unless we can be sure that absolutely no one will get the wrong idea.

Another: Pat talks about the US becoming "soft" and "decadent," in part because we are, in his view, dhimmi-ing out. To my mind, we are at our softest and most decadent when we let the actions of a fringe few cause us to scurry under our beds.

One more: Pat says, around 4:52, that this will be a "permanent affront." Okay, fine. So let it be, if that's how he wants to take it. But you know who else it's going to be an affront to? A whole lot of Muslims who are unhappy with how their faith has been misappropriated, that's who. In other words, the way to think of this is not as an "affront," but rather, as a permanent reminder, of the dangers of letting religious fanaticism run amok. And to all those whose SUVs feature fading bumper stickers saying "Never forget!!!1!," well, here ya go -- this will guarantee that nobody will.

The way to deal with a billion Muslims, no matter how much of a threat you think "they" are, is to encourage the religion to come to its own Enlightenment. Rather than refusing its adherents admission, or suppressing their cultural expressions and monuments, the way to beat their bad parts -- in particular, their occasional susceptibility to opportunistic faux-populists trying to rev them up with hate speech -- is to welcome the people, warts and all, and show them how they have nothing to fear from us or our ways of life.

I am fairly described as a militant atheist. And, despite what Sarah Palin would have you believe, I am also a proud American. But I do not take the building of a mosque near one of the sites of the 9/11 attacks to be an "insult." In fact, my feeling is, if you wanna get right in the face of the extremists and the psychopaths, this is exactly how to do it. I look forward to this mosque as a reminder of what can go wrong, as I have already said, and better still, as a symbol that we Americans can take a punch and still open our arms to the masses who want only to bring their better angels.

Wonderment
06-04-2010, 10:09 PM
I never heard of Pat Condell before, but he sounds like a raving Islamophobe to me.

And he's lying about Córdoba. The essence of Córdoba, a city I know well, is the peaceful co-existence of Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. Millions of tourists visit Córboda to see its interfaith gem, a hybrid Cathedral-Mosque and to visit the Jewish Quarter. The vibe is total tolerance, mutual respect and a celebration of diversity. Exactly the opposite of what Condell claims.

The craziest idea he expresses is that America is becoming Islamicized. That definitely qualifies as a "What planet do you live on?" notion that can only be excused by the fact that the speaker has no apparent knowledge of US history or culture.

I'm sure many 9/11 survivors will be hurt by a mosque in the vicinity. I wouldn't be.

Lyle
06-04-2010, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the link. Here's my response, written prior to reading anyone else's.

This tells me you read some peoples' responses. Haha.

SkepticDoc
06-04-2010, 11:53 PM
A brief background:
I became aware of Pat Condell through a conference by Sir Harry Kroto, another militant atheist.

http://vega.org.uk/about/internal/1

http://www.kroto.info/

They just make anybody think...

bjkeefe
06-05-2010, 04:27 AM
A brief background:
I became aware of Pat Condell through a conference by Sir Harry Kroto, another militant atheist.

http://vega.org.uk/about/internal/1

http://www.kroto.info/

They just make anybody think...

I haven't had a chance yet to check out the above links, but in the meantime, regarding your first sentence: Alastair made an interesting point in response, here (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/06/mosque-at-ground-zero-horror.html#comments).

He calls it picking a nit, but it's worth a look, especially as he's got a link to a good post he's written on this particular nit.

bjkeefe
06-05-2010, 04:40 AM
I never heard of Pat Condell before, but he sounds like a raving Islamophobe to me.

He does come close in this one, yes. But I have watched pretty much everything he has posted to YouTube, at least over the past few years, and I would not in general dismiss him that way. He is certainly more to one side than you are, and a bit more than I am, but I think if you write the generalizations off, he often has some very good points. I think you also have to consider his perspective -- as I said earlier, it does seem to be my impression that things are not quite as easy in England as they are here.

You might have a look at this (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/01/thinking-about-tomorrow.html), which has little to do with religion, to help you gain a more rounded sense of who he is. No pressure, but I like him a lot, in spite of his excesses, so, if you're curious about what I see in him, there's a good place to start.

And he's lying about Córdoba. The essence of Córdoba, a city I know well, is the peaceful co-existence of Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists. Millions of tourists visit Córboda to see its interfaith gem, a hybrid Cathedral-Mosque and to visit the Jewish Quarter. The vibe is total tolerance, mutual respect and a celebration of diversity. Exactly the opposite of what Condell claims.

Thanks for that. I'd be interested to see how he'd respond. (You can send him an email here (http://www.patcondell.net/page6/page6.php).)

Also, I don't know if you'll think it's worth it, but you might also consider cross-posting that paragraph as a YouTube comment, here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS0Novt3X4). Couldn't hurt. You might plant a seed or two.

The craziest idea he expresses is that America is becoming Islamicized. That definitely qualifies as a "What planet do you live on?" notion that can only be excused by the fact that the speaker has no apparent knowledge of US history or culture.

I think he does have knowledge, but I agree that his warning about "America becoming Islamicized" made him sound like a real crank.

I'm sure many 9/11 survivors will be hurt by a mosque in the vicinity. I wouldn't be.

Ditto.

bjkeefe
06-05-2010, 04:47 AM
This tells me you read some peoples' responses. Haha.

I'm not sure why you would take my apology as a lie -- what would it have gained me to say what I did? -- but I think the above probably says something significant about your own pathologies.

As it happened, it did occur to me while I was writing my response to the vid that, in this particular case, there was a chance some of my viewpoints would come close to some of yours. However, I decided I cannot be held responsible for your fleeting moments of being correct.

SkepticDoc
06-05-2010, 12:14 PM
From the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/nyregion/26muslim.html

Vote Endorses Muslim Center Near Ground Zero
By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ
After a raucous hearing, a Manhattan community board backed a proposal on Tuesday evening to build a Muslim community center near the World Trade Center.

The 29-to-1 vote, with 10 abstentions, followed a four-hour back-and-forth between those who said the community center would be a monument to tolerance and those who believed it would be an affront to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The board’s vote was advisory — it did not have the power to scrap plans for a center — but it was seen as an important barometer of community sentiment.

Middle school students and rabbis were among the more than 100 people who testified at the hearing, which was held a short distance from ground zero. Some carried pictures of family members killed in the attacks; others brandished signs reading “Show respect for 9/11. No mosque!”

C. Lee Hanson, 77, whose son Peter was killed in the attacks, said he opposed the center not because he was intolerant, but because he believed that building a tribute to Islam so close to the World Trade Center would be insensitive.

“The pain never goes away,” Mr. Hanson said. “When I look over there and I see a mosque, it’s going to hurt. Build it someplace else.”

Jean Grillo, 65, a writer from TriBeCa, said shutting out any faith undermined American values. “What better place to teach tolerance than at the very area where hate tried to kill tolerance?” she said.

The proposed center, called the Cordoba House, would rise as many as 15 stories two blocks north of where the twin towers stood. It would include a prayer space, as well as a 500-seat performing arts center, a culinary school, a swimming pool, a restaurant and other amenities.

The group behind the project, the Cordoba Initiative, is seeking to make major structural changes to the five-story building at 45 Park Place, which was built in the late 1850s in the Italian Renaissance palazzo style.

The group needs the approval of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which could decide as early as July if the building merits historic protection.

In addition, the center faces intense opposition in the United States and abroad. Over the past few days, Community Board No. 1, which represents Lower Manhattan, was flooded with hundreds of calls and e-mail messages about the proposal, most of them from outside New York, according to Julie Menin, the board’s chairwoman.

Some of the board members who abstained said they wanted time to learn more about the Cordoba Initiative, but the board rejected a motion to delay the vote a month.

The days leading up to the vote were marked by a feverish exchange of words, culminating in remarks about Muslims from a leader of the Tea Party, Mark Williams, that were widely dismissed as racist.

But Mr. Williams was not the only critic. Many families of Sept. 11 victims fervently opposed the proposal, saying they were offended by the idea of building a prayer space so near the site.

“That should be a serene site,” Bill Doyle, a leader of a group of 9/11 families, said in a telephone interview. “Now you’re going to see protests and demonstrations there all the time.”

City officials, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn; and the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, have rallied behind the proposal.

....

"Cities of Light" documentary: http://www.upf.tv/upf06/Projects/CitiesofLightTheRiseandFallofIslamicSpain/tabid/325/Default.aspx

Caliphate of Córdoba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

We need to avoid the knee-jerk anti-Muslim reaction, remember that they were busy working with algebra, astronomy, chemistry and other thought endeavors while Europe was in the "Dark Ages".

from Wikipedia:

While the word algebra comes from the Arabic language (al-jabr, الجبر literally, restoration) and much of its methods from Arabic/Islamic mathematics, its roots can be traced to earlier traditions, most notably ancient Indian mathematics, which had a direct influence on Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī (c. 780-850). He learned Indian mathematics and introduced it to the Muslim world through his famous arithmetic text, Book on Addition and Subtraction after the Method of the Indians.[2][3] He later wrote The Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing, which established algebra as a mathematical discipline that is independent of geometry and arithmetic.[4]


Perhaps the "Middle Way" applies here...

claymisher
06-05-2010, 12:24 PM
The best tribute to the 9/11 victims is to not give a shit about religion. In their honor, I don't give a shit about who builds what where.

Lyle
06-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Why would you write the above sentence at all then? I mean, if you hadn't of read any of the above posts, why wouldn't you just write your statement and leave it at that? Why purposefully point out you ignored the above statements in your very first sentence? Embarrassed or gobsmacked you agree with someone? Haha.

Lyle
06-05-2010, 12:40 PM
Respecting Muslims today has got nothing at all to do with their ancestral development of algebra and many other things.

That's like saying we should bend over backwards to apologize about the Crusades or something. It would be like saying in 1941, no we can't declare war against Germany because Germany has so many great scientists. We can't attack them, we must respect their scientists! Nonsense.

They're Americans, they have their faith, and they are allowed to practice it where they want to, if they can afford to purchase the property and follow whatever city ordinances that need to be followed (just like anybody else building and operating whatever in Manhattan). It's simply a matter of freedom of religion and their ability to obtain the property.

bjkeefe
06-05-2010, 03:45 PM
Why would you write the above sentence at all then? I mean, if you hadn't of read any of the above posts, why wouldn't you just write your statement and leave it at that? Why purposefully point out you ignored the above statements in your very first sentence? Embarrassed or gobsmacked you agree with someone? Haha.

I don't know why I'm trying to pierce your blockade of ignorance (or is it just more disingenuousness?) but one more try.

Believe it or not, Lyle, the reason I added the line about not having read any of the other comments before composing my response was as an apology, in case, for example, I touched on things other people had already said. Or, for another example, in case I said something that would have sounded like a dodgy response to a point someone else had earlier made.

In other words, simple Netiquette. Or courtesy, to introduce another word you're evidently not familiar with.

bjkeefe
06-05-2010, 04:03 PM
From the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/nyregion/26muslim.html

Thanks for passing along the news.

We need to avoid the knee-jerk anti-Muslim reaction, ...

Yes.

... remember that they were busy working with algebra, astronomy, chemistry and other thought endeavors while Europe was in the "Dark Ages".

Eh, I'm not saying no, completely. But there gets to be a point where someone's past accomplishments are not sufficient to excuse current flaws. (If you'll excuse my momentary treatment of a billion Muslims as a monolith, of course -- I am speaking here of tendencies frequently exhibited by many of the most powerful leaders and loudest spokesmen.)

I might also point out that it's more like the Persians and the Arabs led the way on these things, often building on work that came before them, from the Indians and Babylonians, and not so much Muslims, per se. Many of the accomplishments in the fields you mention took place well before the birth of Muhammad. Or Jesus, for that matter.

And remember that with Christianity, the Dark Ages came about after the initial flourishing of the religion, when the powers that were decided that it was more within their own interest to keep the masses ignorant and disinclined to learn on their own and think for themselves. My impression is that while Muslim scholars did keep these fields alive and flourishing, for a while, Islam as an hierarchy/organization went through a similar phenomenon, and it could be fairly argued that it persists to this day, in pockets. Some of the descriptions I have read of the curricula at certain madrasahs strikes me as no different from child abuse. It appears to me to be a systematized version of what certain fundamentalist Christians in this country do with homeschooling run amok.

I take your point, insofar as it being a good first step, if you're dealing with someone ignorant enough to think that Teh Muslins are and always have been savages, but beyond that, no.

In some sense, everything is like Hollywood -- you're only as important as your last movie.

Perhaps the "Middle Way" applies here...

Ugh. That is no way to get outspoken atheists to see your point of view.

I appreciate the sentiment; I'm just commenting on the rhetoric. That term is too loaded with negative connotations.

Wonderment
06-05-2010, 04:15 PM
You might have a look at this, which has little to do with religion, to help you gain a more rounded sense of who he is. No pressure, but I like him a lot, in spite of his excesses, so, if you're curious about what I see in him, there's a good place to start.

Funny, but not my cup of tea.

I'm all about rapprochement with religion, and I think he just goes for ridicule and cheap shots (Mormon underwear).

I will retract my "he's lying about Córdoba" comment though. That was too harsh. I'll downgrade lying to "mistaken" or "misleading."

bjkeefe
06-05-2010, 04:19 PM
Funny, but not my cup of tea.

That's entirely fair. Thanks for giving it a look.

I'm all about rapprochement with religion, and I think he just goes for ridicule and cheap shots (Mormon underwear).

I forgot about that part. To some degree, I agree about cheap shots. However, there is a place for humor. And synechdoche, for that matter.

I will retract my "he's lying about Córdoba" comment though. That was too harsh. I'll downgrade lying to "mistaken" or "misleading."

Still wish you'd send that earlier paragraph as an email (http://www.patcondell.net/page6/page6.php). You never know.

SkepticDoc
06-05-2010, 04:25 PM
I believe the "Middle Way" can be as secular as any other named approach, the essence of it is to listen to all the sides of any argument and try to reach a balanced compromise.

A Muslim culture center somewhere in NYC will be a good thing to have a better understanding of "them" that are like "us", a location near the WTC is not a good idea, neither is 9/11 a good date for its inauguration.

We should also know about the Chinese and their fight against the British opium dealers, and on, and on...

If we accept that most H. sapiens are similar in genetic and "theory of mind" aspects, tolerance, mutual understanding and reciprocal commerce relations will help us advance further than petty racio-cultural discrimination and prejudice against each other.

We need to call out of the closet all the wingnuts on all sides, that would be a good first step.

bjkeefe
06-05-2010, 04:53 PM
I believe the "Middle Way" can be as secular as any other named approach, the essence of it is to listen to all the sides of any argument and try to reach a balanced compromise.

Again, I am not disagreeing with your sentiments. I am merely commenting on your rhetorical choice. I am saying if you're going to put any effort into this, you should not use that term. To many liberals, it smacks of High Broderism and Republican-Liteness. To many atheists, it smacks of faitheism (http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/we-have-a-winner/).

A Muslim culture center somewhere in NYC will be a good thing to have a better understanding of "them" that are like "us", a location near the WTC is not a good idea, neither is 9/11 a good date for its inauguration.

I guess if I were advising the mosque-building group on PR, I'd say picking 9/11 is unnecessarily provocative. I'd suggest they pick a date of some numerological significance that calls to mind a sense of "opposite;" e.g., naively, 11/9 or 6/11 or 11/6. This could make clear that they are trying to make a point with the construction of the mosque that in no way attempts to applaud the actions of the 9/11 attackers.

But as I outlined elsewhere in the thread, I think the location is perfectly fine, and in the long run, may even be a good thing.

We should also know about the Chinese and their fight against the British opium dealers, and on, and on...

Always good to know history, but just as I said about past accomplishments, relying too heavily on past grievances can be counterproductive. I agree that there is such a thing as collective memory (or, cultural memory). But it is also important to move on, and not get bogged down in past injustices, both because it is healthy for the descendants of the oppressed, and because at some point, the descendants of the oppressors are going to be turned off by an attempt to tar them with the sins of their fathers.

If we accept that most H. sapiens are similar in genetic and "theory of mind" aspects, tolerance, mutual understanding and reciprocal commerce relations will help us advance further than petty racio-cultural discrimination and prejudice against each other.

We need to call out of the closet all the wingnuts on all sides, that would be a good first step.

No argument there.

SkepticDoc
06-05-2010, 06:01 PM
Again, I am not disagreeing with your sentiments. I am merely commenting on your rhetorical choice. I am saying if you're going to put any effort into this, you should not use that term. To many liberals, it smacks of High Broderism and Republican-Liteness. To many atheists, it smacks of faitheism (http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/we-have-a-winner/).

Labels are usually counterproductive, atheists don't believe in God (by definition?), are Pantheists excluded from the "Atheist Club"?

Would "Secular Materialist" be a more precise term for those that there is nothing but energy and matter? Any suggestions for a single word descriptor?

Whatfur
06-05-2010, 07:17 PM
Labels are usually counterproductive, atheists don't believe in God (by definition?), are Pantheists excluded from the "Atheist Club"?

Would "Secular Materialist" be a more precise term for those that there is nothing but energy and matter? Any suggestions for a single word descriptor?

Shame on you!!! Stepping outside the bounds of Queefspeak.

Noted for the record.

bjkeefe
06-06-2010, 12:18 AM
Labels are usually counterproductive, ...

Agreed. (And see (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=164202#post164202) also.)

... atheists don't believe in God (by definition?), are Pantheists excluded from the "Atheist Club"?

To a first approximation, or, if you like, in a narrow/literal sense, saying "atheists don't believe in God," "by definition," is fair. A couple of nits to keep in mind, though:

First, it is often a tactic of the aggressively religious, or the pugnaciously agnostic, to insist that atheist means "believes there is no god," with the aim of trying to belittle atheists as having "just another form of faith."

Second, there are subtle distinctions among atheists about how they'd characterize themselves. Some are absolutely, positively, no-bout-adout-it convinced that there is no god. Some have the attitude that belief in a god or gods is just inordinately stupid, and cannot see why anyone would choose to hold such a belief. Some feel, strictly, that there has never been any convincing evidence shown to support a belief in any god(s), but will concede that, logically, this does not prove non-existence. Some feel merely that it's just plain not worth worrying about until such evidence does appear, and meantime, it's just best to go on living one's life under the assumption of non-existence.

And then there are some who would say, "I consider myself an atheist, but I also consider myself somewhat spiritual." This could mean that they believe there is a larger purpose, or moral absolutes, or that something like karma exists, etc.

I type all that to illustrate my firm belief that it is comical to say something like "Atheist Club." If there is one almost-true statement one can make about all atheists, it is that we do not like belonging to structured organizations with mandated beliefs. (Yes, we band together for political purposes, but that is separate. Mostly.)

All that said, I would say, "You consider yourself a pantheist? Are you feeling persecuted, by the local monotheistic brand, because of that? Well, welcome to the club, my brother (sister)!"

Apart from that, though, I would say, "As happy as I am that you're not part of the J/C/M oligopoly, I must tell you that to believe in anything supernatural is something that I find irrational, and likely, objectionable. So, as with them, believe what you want, as long as you don't try to impose it on me, or to use it as a justification for your stance on some secular matter, but that's a fundamental point of divergence for us."

Sorry for the longwindedness. These questions take time to answer properly.

Would "Secular Materialist" be a more precise term for those that there is nothing but energy and matter? Any suggestions for a single word descriptor?

Nah. As we agreed above, labels by and large suck. I think Materialist has some unfortunate baggage, because it connotes the sort of person who cares only that, say, he or she has a nicer car or bigger teevee than his or her neighbor. I know you don't mean that, but that's the reality for a lot of other people.

Secular is less objectionable, but I have to say, Bill O'Reilly and others have been doing their level best for the past decade, at least, to make that a pejorative, much as they did with liberal. As a term for an issue or whatever, no prob. But I am not going to go get a team jacket with the word "SECULARIST" stitched across the back.

Besides, it must be said, I am unwilling to cut off completely any discussion of other-worldly things. At the very least, we don't know enough about the world to be sure, and much more to the point, we seem somehow to know (or "know" ... intuit?) a whole lot of things that we cannot (yet(?)) even begin to speak about logically/scientifically/your word here.

For the moment, atheist is the term I use, if I must give a single-word description of my attitude on relevant matters. But I'd much rather talk about what it is that I believe, or don't believe, as opposed to avoiding the conversation, and suffering someone else's attempt to stuff me, or you, or anyone else, into a tidy package, to be forced into some pigeonhole.

bjkeefe
06-06-2010, 05:39 AM
I haven't had a chance yet to check out the above links, but in the meantime, regarding your first sentence: Alastair made an interesting point in response, here (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/06/mosque-at-ground-zero-horror.html#comments).

He calls it picking a nit, but it's worth a look, especially as he's got a link to a good post he's written on this particular nit.

Also, see here (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/new_term_affirmative_atheism.php), for a proposed alternate.

SkepticDoc
06-06-2010, 05:54 AM
Thanks for a well thought out response!

kezboard
06-06-2010, 12:57 PM
I'm a little confused by the idea that the WTC is somehow "conquered sacred ground". Aren't there also going to be office buildings, stores, etc. at the site? Wouldn't that also be inappropriate on sacred ground?

AemJeff
06-06-2010, 01:05 PM
I'm a little confused by the idea that the WTC is somehow "conquered sacred ground". Aren't there also going to be office buildings, stores, etc. at the site? Wouldn't that also be inappropriate on sacred ground?

If you look at it as a metaphor it makes a little more sense, I think. Either you buy into the "clash of civilizations" stuff or not; but if you do I can certainly imagine the notion carrying a certain amount of emotional valence.

Lyle
06-06-2010, 02:15 PM
Whatever... haha.

Lyle
06-06-2010, 02:17 PM
Probably not, since office space was on the site before a group of radical Muslims flew hijacked planes into them on 9/11/2001. Hell, it's right in the heart of NYC... it's a waste of space if there weren't office space built back on it.

Honor the victims by building something where people can walk where they once walked. :)

bjkeefe
06-06-2010, 08:40 PM
Whatever... haha.

. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=164154&highlight=lyle+blockade+ignorance+disingenuousness #post164154)

AemJeff
06-06-2010, 09:04 PM
. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=164154&highlight=lyle+blockade+ignorance+disingenuousness #post164154)

I have to hand it to a guy who uses recursion to make his point. Cheers.

uncle ebeneezer
06-07-2010, 01:15 PM
Since this type of thing seems to come up alot (especially in dating), I usually describe myself as "a strict materialist, in that I think the Universe can be fairly well understood without the need for supernatural entities." It's not the most concise way of saying it, but I think it answers most follow-up questions pre-emptively and gives a fairly accurate picture of my views.

bjkeefe
06-07-2010, 01:21 PM
Since this type of thing seems to come up alot (especially in dating), I usually describe myself as "a strict materialist, in that I think the Universe can be fairly well understood without the need for supernatural entities." It's not the most concise way of saying it, but I think it answers most follow-up questions pre-emptively and gives a fairly accurate picture of my views.

That's not bad at all, but following from what I was saying earlier, about my feeling that materialist can have misleading connotations, were I to appropriate your description, I think I'd rather just say, "I think the Universe can be fairly well understood without the need for supernatural entities."

Maybe I'm too sensitive about labels, but that's my reaction.

uncle ebeneezer
06-07-2010, 02:53 PM
Good point. I confess that one of the other reasons I use the phrasing I mentioned is that I enjoy reminding (or introducing) the person that "materialist" has another meaning beyond just a lover-of-bling! But yeah, more often than not I phrase it your way, to avoid confusion.

Ocean
06-07-2010, 05:54 PM
Good point. I confess that one of the other reasons I use the phrasing I mentioned is that I enjoy reminding (or introducing) the person that "materialist" has another meaning beyond just a lover-of-bling! But yeah, more often than not I phrase it your way, to avoid confusion.

My advice is that you wait until your tenth date to start discussing materialism. If both of you are still dating it may be worth the effort. :)

uncle ebeneezer
06-07-2010, 06:50 PM
10 dates?!!...we might as well be married by that point ;)

For some reason this topic usually comes up pretty early. Considering the volatile nature of my opinions on it, it's a good early test of whether a gal can deal with my love for honest debate (aka my "argumentative nature.") Surprisingly, it's very rarely put immediate brakes on the proceedings.

Ocean
06-07-2010, 06:59 PM
10 dates?!!...we might as well be married by that point ;)


Ahhh! You got the hint!


For some reason this topic usually comes up pretty early. Considering the volatile nature of my opinions on it, it's a good early test of whether a gal can deal with my love for honest debate (aka my "argumentative nature.") Surprisingly, it's very rarely put immediate brakes on the proceedings.

That may be true. Before the tenth date...

uncle ebeneezer
06-07-2010, 07:50 PM
By date #10, it's probably time to move on anyways ;)

I've actually only had one situation where differing religious views were a deal-breaker (I usually filter out anybody super-religious before meeting) and even then it was more an issue of her wanting a family and me probably not. We're still good friends.

Ocean
06-07-2010, 08:06 PM
By date #10, it's probably time to move on anyways ;)

That's a good path to maintained singlehood!

I've actually only had one situation where differing religious views were a deal-breaker (I usually filter out anybody super-religious before meeting)...

Yes, I agree with that. Not so much of a problem unless it's taken to extremes.

...and even then it was more an issue of her wanting a family and me probably not. We're still good friends.

Well, the family issue is a big one for women of reproductive age. Mother Nature and her ways!

SkepticDoc
07-19-2010, 06:39 PM
From CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/07/19/esposito.muslim.center/index.html?hpt=Mid)

Pat's viewpoint on islamophobia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUiysSau8Qk&playnext_from=TL&videos=Dxa6a0jUg4A)

SkepticDoc
07-28-2010, 06:35 PM
http://wonkette.com/417009/attention-bigots-there-is-already-a-mosque-near-the-wtc-site

SkepticDoc
07-30-2010, 05:24 PM
From Tablet:

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/41142/adl-comes-out-against-ground-zero-center/

SkepticDoc
07-31-2010, 03:06 PM
Are 2 blocks far enough or too close? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-sledge/just-how-far-is-the-groun_b_660585.html)

listener
07-31-2010, 06:02 PM
Are 2 blocks far enough or too close? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-sledge/just-how-far-is-the-groun_b_660585.html)

Good article. Thanks.

Wonderment
07-31-2010, 06:10 PM
Perhaps someone already posted this.....

Burn a Koran Day. (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/07/29/ricks.burn.koran.cnn?iref=allsearch)

bjkeefe
07-31-2010, 11:04 PM
http://wonkette.com/417009/attention-bigots-there-is-already-a-mosque-near-the-wtc-site

I laughed when I saw that, and I was thinking about passing it along, too, but I figured the usual suspects would just respond with SO WHY DO THEY NEED ANOTHER ONE???1?

bjkeefe
07-31-2010, 11:05 PM
From Tablet:

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/41142/adl-comes-out-against-ground-zero-center/

My reaction (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/07/so-i-guess-adl-now-stands-for-all.html) to that news.

Wonderment
07-31-2010, 11:36 PM
My reaction to that news.

Please, please, I am begging you: Don't get me started on Abe Foxman and the ADL.

PreppyMcPrepperson
08-01-2010, 12:26 AM
The vast majority of Muslims simply live their lives like everyone else does. They get up in the morning and go about their life in peace, and in harmony with the people around them. Of course some don't, but just because they do what they do doesn't mean others can't practice their faith in a place they create and build themselves, and if that place happens to be right down the street from the WTC site, so what? I mean if a group of Muslims want to build a minaret in NYC and build it as high as the Empire State building with a crescent moon on top, I say Allahu Akbar... build that shit.

Yep. That's the view here in New York City, but the view statewide is much more inclined to say "Islam=terror" and ban the site. Non-NYCers are not supposed to have authority over this, but its a gubernatorial election year, and the Albany Republicans are putting a lot of pressure on Cuomo and the Dems (meaning downstaters and city-folk) to come out against it. The NYT has had pretty solid coverage of the in-city, out-of-city dynamics.