Bloggingheads Community

Bloggingheads Community (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/index.php)
-   Diavlog comments (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=9)
-   -   Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6950)

Bloggingheads 08-07-2011 11:29 PM

Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 

apple 08-08-2011 01:56 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Thank Jimmy Carter for the mullahcracy in Iran, and thank Bush and Obama for the future Islamic Republic of Egypt. The people of Egypt do not want freedom, they want religious despotism.

http://pewresearch.org/assets/datatr...mbers/1184.gif

Assad may be a thug, but he's miles and miles better than 80% of the people in Syria.

opposable_crumbs 08-08-2011 05:08 PM

The Power of Nightmares
 
If anyone wants to look at the history of the Baath party and CIA in Syria, Adam Curtis, the guy behind The Power of Nightmares, has a wonderful blogpost complete with some vintage footage.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurti...ath_water.html

His post on Kabul pretty interesting too.

Winspur 08-08-2011 06:26 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
"Assad may be a thug, but he's miles and miles better than 80% of the people in Syria. "

What a lovely statement of prejudice.

I would try to argue with you about Jimmy Carter, but I have learned through experience that some people will believe he is the root of all evil despite any evidence one brings to bear upon them. (viz. Bachmann)

Instead I'll give you a challenge. Show me a poll asking Americans how they feel about those "harsh punishments" -- including the death penalty for apostates from Christianity.

apple 08-09-2011 10:06 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 220761)
What a lovely statement of prejudice.

Not prejudice, judgment, which I have and you don't. Assad isn't stoning people to death, he isn't cutting off people's hands, and he isn't murdering people for apostasy. He is a secular individual, and he's a member of the relatively reasonable Alawi Muslims to begin with. If you look at my statistics, and look at countries comparable to Syria (like Jordan and Egypt), you'll see that there is a great likelihood that the people of Syria will do much worse than Assad.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 220761)
I would try to argue with you about Jimmy Carter, but I have learned through experience that some people will believe he is the root of all evil

That is not what I believe. Carter did a mixture of good and evil, though the evil vastly outweighs the good. For example, he signed a liberalization of the airlines. He appointed Paul Volcker, whose correct monetary policies ultimately led to better economic health (but under Reagan). He supported civil rights, which led to a boycott of his peanut farm. He showed very, very weak support for the great shah but he was better in this respect than his primary opponent Ted Kennedy, who wanted to hand the shah over to an Iranian lynchmob. He left his Baptist church in Georgia over disputes over women's rights.

On the other hand, he refused to back the shah to the hilt and (based on diplomatic documents) was more concerned with preventing a crackdown by the regime, than in defending a staunch US ally. His weak response to the hostage crisis led to the 444-day crisis, whereas the hostage-takers wanted to take the hostages for only a few days, according to the diaries of the hostage-takers. He was a self-proclaimed born-again idiot who brought hordes of poor, backward and uneducated barbarians into the political system, forever poisoning the US political system with fundamentalist ignorance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 220761)
Instead I'll give you a challenge. Show me a poll asking Americans how they feel about those "harsh punishments" -- including the death penalty for apostates from Christianity.

Obviously, there is no such poll. Do you really think that you'll see 80%, or even 50%, or even 20%, or even 10% of Americans advocating such measures? Or do you think that it's anti-Islamic "prejudice" to ask Muslims about such Islamic punishments, and not, say, Quakers.

AemJeff 08-09-2011 10:59 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 220862)
Not prejudice, judgment, which I have and you don't. ...

Y'know... asserting things like makes it seem like you lack confidence in the weight of your arguments on topics that aren't you. It's also annoying and has the general effect of reinforcing a view opposite to what it states. Isn't more than enough to have one sugarkang around here telling us all about the value of his own opinions?

Winspur 08-09-2011 11:33 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Obviously, there is no such poll. Do you really think that you'll see 80%, or even 50%, or even 20%, or even 10% of Americans advocating such measures?
I don't know, but I wouldn't assume anything. Until you show me a comparison with American opinion you have no cause to prate about Egyptians, Syrians, et. al. being backwards savages.

sugarkang 08-09-2011 11:39 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 220862)
Carter did a mixture of good and evil, though the evil vastly outweighs the good. For example, he signed a liberalization of the airlines. He appointed Paul Volcker, whose correct monetary policies ultimately led to better economic health (but under Reagan).

This was the right move, but Reagan got a lot of the credit. Kudos for truth.

apple 08-09-2011 01:18 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 220875)
Y'know... asserting things like makes it seem like you lack confidence in the weight of your arguments on topics that aren't you. It's also annoying and has the general effect of reinforcing a view opposite to what it states. Isn't more than enough to have one sugarkang around here telling us all about the value of his own opinions?

My main objective was to refute the very ignorant comment made about 'prejudice', even though it was clear that I was not pre-judging, but judging. I'll limit myself to merely taking down the other person next time, if you prefer.

apple 08-09-2011 01:21 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 220883)
I don't know, but I wouldn't assume anything. Until you show me a comparison with American opinion you have no cause to prate about Egyptians, Syrians, et. al. being backwards savages.

Ah, an appeal to ignorance. Mr. Winspur demands that people provide evidence that Quakers do not favor killing people for apostasy. Well, guess what? I don't need to prove anything to you. It has already been established that Egyptians and Jordanians are backward savages (not all, but the vast majority), and it is very probably that a similar percentages of Syrians hold the same opinions.

Now, whether or not Egyptians and Jordanians are backward savages, is in no way dependent on opinion within the United States. If you can prove that similar percentages of Americans hold these opinions, go ahead, and I'll call Americans backward savages too. Of course, you can't prove squat.

Florian 08-09-2011 02:46 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 220894)
Ah, an appeal to ignorance. Mr. Winspur demands that people provide evidence that Quakers do not favor killing people for apostasy. Well, guess what? I don't need to prove anything to you. It has already been established that Egyptians and Jordanians are backward savages (not all, but the vast majority), and it is very probably that a similar percentages of Syrians hold the same opinions.

Maybe they do, but as someone who lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for a few years, I can assure that executions for apostasy, even in most "backward" Saudi Arabia, are virtually non-existent. For a very simple reason: most Muslims, like most Christians, never think of changing their religion. But I agree that Muslim agnostics and atheists--if they exist--- would do well to emigrate. Syria and Lebanon, as I am sure you know, have significant Christian populations.

It has not been "established" that Egyptians and Jordanians are "backward savages." It has been repeatedly asserted by you---as if your subjective dislike of certain customs were the touchstone of the truth. As Montaigne famously said in the 16th century: "Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, falsehood on the other." Oh, and Montaigne also thought that cannibals were not nearly as nasty and savage as some Europeans....

Sulla the Dictator 08-09-2011 04:35 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 220761)
Instead I'll give you a challenge. Show me a poll asking Americans how they feel about those "harsh punishments" -- including the death penalty for apostates from Christianity.

Why would anyone take that poll? The New Testament doesn't demand the death penalty for apostates. It's like asking Christians if they're willing to die for the Divine Emperor, or if they accept the shame of their ancestors.

apple 08-09-2011 05:43 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220911)
Maybe they do, but as someone who lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for a few years, I can assure that executions for apostasy, even in most "backward" Saudi Arabia, are virtually non-existent. For a very simple reason: most Muslims, like most Christians, never think of changing their religion.

It is the principle that matters. About 4/5 of the people in Jordan and Syria support murdering people, because they (justifiably) no longer want to be Muslim. The Koran says that there is no compulsion in religion, but the 'prophet' himself has commanded his ignorant followers that the ones among them who abandon ignorance and barbarity should be killed. As far as I know, Islam is the only supposedly mainstream religion that has to keep its followers in line by threatening to kill them if they leave the religion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220911)
It has not been "established" that Egyptians and Jordanians are "backward savages." It has been repeatedly asserted by you---as if your subjective dislike of certain customs were the touchstone of the truth.

Then there's also nothing wrong with the Holocaust. I just happen to 'subjectively dislike' what the Nazis did. Of course, the people who carried out the massacre disagree, and their opinion is just as good as mine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220911)
As Montaigne famously said in the 16th century: "Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, falsehood on the other." Oh, and Montaigne also thought that cannibals were not nearly as nasty and savage as some Europeans....

If this be Montaignism, give me ultramontanism.

Florian 08-09-2011 06:07 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 220932)
Then there's also nothing wrong with the Holocaust. I just happen to 'subjectively dislike' what the Nazis did. Of course, the people who carried out the massacre disagree, and their opinion is just as good as mine. .

No, that is false. Genocide and executions for apostasy are not even remotely comparable. Executions for apostasy in the Muslim world, as I said, are extremely rare. And they are extremely rare because apostasy (changing to another religion) is extremely rare. Surely, you must know this. If you cannot see the difference between genocide and the enforcement of religious orthodoxy (custom), you are either willfully blind, or just being perverse.

Quote:

If this be Montaignism, give me ultramontanism.
Yes, well, somehow, your preference doesn't surprise me.

apple 08-09-2011 06:44 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220936)
No, that is false. Genocide and executions for apostasy are not even remotely comparable. Executions for apostasy in the Muslim world, as I said, are extremely rare. And they are extremely rare because apostasy (changing to another religion) is extremely rare. Surely, you must know this.

The frequency is completely irrelevant. Your claim is that murdering people for leaving Islam is not objectively wrong, and simply a matter of taste, because it is relatively rare. Yet the frequency of evil plays absolutely no role in whether or not it is objectively wrong. It is hardly the case that murder in a particular jurisdiction is wrong when there are 300 murders a year, but not when there are 5 murders a year.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 220936)
If you cannot see the difference between genocide and the enforcement of religious orthodoxy (custom), you are either willfully blind, or just being perverse.

Oh, now this is interesting. Apparently, you aren't a full-fledged moral relativist, your line in the sand is genocide. Murder can't be called objectively evil, but for some reason, genocide can. But why? Surely, it can't be that something is "custom". Genocidal pogroms against the Jews were custom in Europe for the longest time. The murderers of St. Bartholomew's Day were merely enforcing religious orthodoxy: the Catholic belief that heretics needed to die. The 'prophet' Muhammad was enforcing his own religious orthodoxy when he committed genocide against a Jewish tribe: killing all men and selling the women and children into slavery. And the 'final solution' was only the enforcement of the ideological orthodoxy of Nazis, namely, that there should be no Jews in the greater German Empire. Admittedly, an ideology that was quite recently cooked up, and one that did not involve any notion of a 'God', but surely you will agree that these two factors were not what was wrong with the Holocaust?

Also, genocide is only slightly different than a multiple of murder. Why is it that a policy of murder can't be called objectively evil, but once it passes some arbitrary line that allows you to call it 'genocide', it suddenly becomes objectively evil?

ledocs 08-09-2011 07:40 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
First, florian, I owe you an apology for having advanced the hypothesis for a day or two that you had come back reincarnated (in part) as apple.

But I am interested in apple. Five posts in 2009. Two in 2010, including a post in which apple singles out for praise a dv between Michael Kinsley and Mark Schmitt. Suddenly, July 2011, about 450 posts. About the first one I see contains the statement that apple "detests liberals," thus creating cognitive dissonance with respect to his praise for Kinsley/Schmitt. Did something happen between 2010 and 2011, a false imprisonment, commitment to a mental hospital?

So, apple, here is the thing. Could you tone it down, please? Just turn down the volume. If you want to make the argument, over and over, that Islam is inherently worse than other major religions, that's fine. You could presumably do this by citing Koranic passages or scholarship about Islam that make your point. In short, you could attempt to argue with some cogency for your point of view. Do you have to make this argument in such an unpleasant way? I don't need or want your entire obnoxious and highly childish performance, and I am confident that I can speak for virtually the entire "community" here.

apple 08-09-2011 08:16 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ledocs (Post 220941)
So, apple, here is the thing. Could you tone it down, please?

No.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ledocs (Post 220941)
Do you have to make this argument in such an unpleasant way?

Am I supposed to guess what commenter "ledocs" finds unpleasant? Or maybe he should explain himself a bit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ledocs (Post 220941)
I don't need or want your entire obnoxious and highly childish performance, and I am confident that I can speak for virtually the entire "community" here.

I think the ignore function was invented for people like yourself. I can honestly say that no one on this website annoys me. If someone does annoy you, do not assume that this person is the one with the problem.

opposable_crumbs 08-09-2011 08:23 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 220944)
If someone does annoy you, do not assume that this person is the one with the problem.

I truly hope you contemplate on this sentiment.

ledocs 08-09-2011 09:12 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
No, you don't have to guess. I find the persona of "apple" to be very unpleasant, noisome really. Your whole act seems to be reverse engineered to test the limits of our little logosystem. If the goal were actually to educate people about the inherent problems and dangers of Islam, it certainly seems that someone of your intelligence would find better, more persuasive means to achieve this goal. So something else seems to be at work.

Winspur 08-09-2011 10:57 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

The New Testament doesn't demand the death penalty for apostates.
The Koran says "there shall be no compulsion in religion." The issue is not ultimately what the holy texts say about apostasy, but how actually existing believers regard those who leave their religion.

Sulla the Dictator 08-09-2011 11:39 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 220972)
The Koran says "there shall be no compulsion in religion." The issue is not ultimately what the holy texts say about apostasy, but how actually existing believers regard those who leave their religion.

C'mon, you know what that means. It means it will not force people of the book to become Muslims. You know very well that the Koran does specifically cite the death penalty as the appropriate punishment for apostasy.

Winspur 08-09-2011 11:47 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
You seem to be deadset on believing that Islam is more violent than Christianity. I would remind you that Christians have repeatedly invoked Old Testament calls for the elimination of heathens to justify genocide.

Argument finished.

miceelf 08-09-2011 11:50 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 220982)
C'mon, you know what that means. It means it will not force people of the book to become Muslims. You know very well that the Koran does specifically cite the death penalty as the appropriate punishment for apostasy.

Where, exactly does the Koran state this? My understanding was that there wasn't an earthly penalty for apostacy mentioned in the koran. There are hadiths that prescribe it, but that's not Koran.

This guy, for example, claims otherwise, more generally about the death penalty.

http://kashifshahzada.com/2010/11/20...is-un-islamic/

Sulla the Dictator 08-10-2011 12:21 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 220987)
Where, exactly does the Koran state this? My understanding was that there wasn't an earthly penalty for apostacy mentioned in the koran. There are hadiths that prescribe it, but that's not Koran.

This guy, for example, claims otherwise, more generally about the death penalty.

http://kashifshahzada.com/2010/11/20...is-un-islamic/

This seems to relate:

004.089
SHAKIR: What is the matter with you, then, that you have become two parties about the hypocrites, while Allah has made them return (to unbelief) for what they have earned? Do you wish to guide him whom Allah has caused to err? And whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall by no means find a way for him.

004.089
SHAKIR: They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/c...t.html#004.089


You are quite right about the Hadiths. But the Koran seems explicit.

Sulla the Dictator 08-10-2011 12:24 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Winspur (Post 220986)
You seem to be deadset on believing that Islam is more violent than Christianity. I would remind you that Christians have repeatedly invoked Old Testament calls for the elimination of heathens to justify genocide.

Argument finished.

Just like that, eh? "Argument Finished".

There are about 200 million Christians of various sorts in the United States, at least. Hundreds of millions more in the rest of the Americas. Hundreds of millions of Christians in Europe. And there are no state sponsored acts of religious violence in any of these nations. There are very, very, very, very few incidents of individual religious violence by these Christians in any of these countries.

opposable_crumbs 08-10-2011 01:04 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
004.090
SHAKIR: Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.


Maybe it's not as explicit as you thought.

opposable_crumbs 08-10-2011 01:06 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 220995)
Just like that, eh? "Argument Finished".

There are about 200 million Christians of various sorts in the United States, at least. Hundreds of millions more in the rest of the Americas. Hundreds of millions of Christians in Europe. And there are no state sponsored acts of religious violence in any of these nations. There are very, very, very, very few incidents of individual religious violence by these Christians in any of these countries.

Not many Aztecs or Mayans left though.

Sulla the Dictator 08-10-2011 04:17 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 221004)
004.090
SHAKIR: Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.


Maybe it's not as explicit as you thought.

It seems that the text offers circumstances for reprieve. That doesn't change the proscription though, does it? The passage I quoted sets the basis for executing apostates.

Sulla the Dictator 08-10-2011 04:18 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 221006)
Not many Aztecs or Mayans left though.

But this isn't a contest of historical bloodletting. Its a discussion about how these religions operate in the modern sphere.

Florian 08-10-2011 06:38 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 220937)
The frequency is completely irrelevant. Your claim is that murdering people for leaving Islam is not objectively wrong, and simply a matter of taste, because it is relatively rare. Yet the frequency of evil plays absolutely no role in whether or not it is objectively wrong. It is hardly the case that murder in a particular jurisdiction is wrong when there are 300 murders a year, but not when there are 5 murders a year.

"Murder" is a legal/moral/religious category---not a scientific, metaphysical category (objective). You know this as well as I do because in another exchange (with badhat if I remember correctly) you pointed out that the Old Testament commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," actually meant to its authors "Thou shalt not murder."

There is and always has been a distinction between murder and killing, if only because most civilizations have condoned killing in war and distinguished it from the crime of murder. Indeed the killing of certain classes of people---slaves for example--has not everywhere and always (ubique et semper) been considered a crime. So I don't see how you can say that executions for apostasy in Islam are "objectively" murder, "objectively" evil. If Muslims consider apostasy to be a crime punishable by death, they obviously are not committing murder in their own eyes; they are punishing a crime.

Needless to say, I do not approve of such a custom. In fact, I consider it barbaric, but that is only because I am not Muslim.

Quote:

Oh, now this is interesting. Apparently, you aren't a full-fledged moral relativist, your line in the sand is genocide. Murder can't be called objectively evil, but for some reason, genocide can.
Genocide is certainly a crime, and a different crime from murder. Do we condemn it because we consider it to be objectively evil? No, we condemn it because we consider it to be a "crime against humanity" and have so defined it in international law--and only very recently at that. Along with war, it is one of the most horrible proofs of "man's inhumanity to man." But if you want to get me to say that there is no difference between war and genocide on the one hand, and the judicial execution of apostates on the other, because they are both objectively evil, you are barking up the wrong tree.

Quote:

But why? Surely, it can't be that something is "custom". Genocidal pogroms against the Jews were custom in Europe for the longest time. The murderers of St. Bartholomew's Day were merely enforcing religious orthodoxy: the Catholic belief that heretics needed to die.
True, all extremely deplorable events, as we can all agree. I would point out, though, that the persecutions of heretics in Europe (unlike the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre) were carried out legally, lawfully by the state, the secular arm of the Church when heresy was defined as a crime.

Quote:

The 'prophet' Muhammad was enforcing his own religious orthodoxy when he committed genocide against a Jewish tribe: killing all men and selling the women and children into slavery.
Truly deplorable, horrible events. The Old Testament, if I remember correctly, has similar barbarities in it.

Quote:

And the 'final solution' was only the enforcement of the ideological orthodoxy of Nazis, namely, that there should be no Jews in the greater German Empire. Admittedly, an ideology that was quite recently cooked up, and one that did not involve any notion of a 'God', but surely you will agree that these two factors were not what was wrong with the Holocaust?
Truly deplorable, horrible events.

Quote:

Also, genocide is only slightly different than a multiple of murder. Why is it that a policy of murder can't be called objectively evil, but once it passes some arbitrary line that allows you to call it 'genocide', it suddenly becomes objectively evil?
No, for the reasons given above.

miceelf 08-10-2011 08:38 AM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 221025)
It seems that the text offers circumstances for reprieve. That doesn't change the proscription though, does it? The passage I quoted sets the basis for executing apostates.

The text is widely interpreted as referring to the context of war, not in terms of execution outside of that context. It's not reprieve, as in a criminal justice context. It's saying that if apostates are at war with you, kill them; if they are at peace you are not allowed to kill them. That's kind of the opposite of requiring execution of them, as it's normally construed; it certainly appears to forbid the death penalty for apostates who are living in Muslim civil society.

http://www.islamicperspectives.com/apostasy1.htm

Except those who join a group between you and whom there is a (peace-) treaty or those who approach you with their hearts restraining them from fighting you or fighting their own people. Had God willed he would have given them power over you and they would have fought you. So if they withdraw from you and do not fight you but give you (guarantees of) peace, then God has opened no way for you against them.

You will find others that wish to gain your confidence as well as that of their people. Every time they are sent back to temptation they give in to it. If they do not withdraw from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace, nor restrain their hands, seize them and kill them, wherever you find them. In their case We have provided you with a clear warrant against them. (4:90-91).

These verses clarify the command “seize them and kill them”. The apostates who rejected Islam by failing to emigrate as commanded by God are divided into three categories:

1) Those who ally themselves with a group with whom Muslims have a peace treaty;

2) Those who want to keep neutrality, committing themselves to peace with both the Muslims and their own people who had not accepted Islam;

3) Those who provide no real guarantee of peace to Muslims and by all indications ally themselves with non-believers engaged in hostilities towards Islam.

The first two types of apostates are to be left in peace while the third one is to be treated like any non-believers in a state of war: they are to be seized and killed wherever they are found. Notice that the Qur`an uses the words “God has opened no way for you against them” in connection with the apostates of the first two types. This means that the Qur`an actually prohibits killing those apostates who want to live in peaceful terms with the Muslims.

stephanie 08-10-2011 01:02 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 221026)
Its a discussion about how these religions operate in the modern sphere.

Why would that be the discussion?

It's a discussion about whether Islam is inherently incompatible with western ideas about freedom and the like. The fact that Christianity has been interpreted in such ways and is not now in most places, and especially those places that have a rights-based form of government is evidence that religions are flexible and can be interpreted in various ways. The same is true with the differences between how Muslims think about these issues differently depending on their location and personal background.

apple 08-11-2011 01:56 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221037)
"Murder" is a legal/moral/religious category---not a scientific, metaphysical category (objective). You know this as well as I do because in another exchange (with badhat if I remember correctly) you pointed out that the Old Testament commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," actually meant to its authors "Thou shalt not murder."

There is and always has been a distinction between murder and killing, if only because most civilizations have condoned killing in war and distinguished it from the crime of murder. Indeed the killing of certain classes of people---slaves for example--has not everywhere and always (ubique et semper) been considered a crime. So I don't see how you can say that executions for apostasy in Islam are "objectively" murder, "objectively" evil. If Muslims consider apostasy to be a crime punishable by death, they obviously are not committing murder in their own eyes; they are punishing a crime.

I define murder as 'unjustified' killing. And whether or not someone is committing murder, is not dependent on whether that person recognizes that he is committing murder. Most murderers would say that their actions are completely justified. It does not matter that there is a faux 'crime' for which people are punished. Saddam Hussein and Stalin also punished people for the 'crime' of disagreement with the regime. The fact that they "think" that they are punishing a crime makes no difference at all. If it did, then Saddam Hussein and Stalin were not murderers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221037)
Needless to say, I do not approve of such a custom. In fact, I consider it barbaric, but that is only because I am not Muslim.

And I consider the Holocaust to be barbaric, but only because I am not a Nazi. Does this mean that the Holocaust is not objectively evil and barbaric?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221037)
Genocide is certainly a crime, and a different crime from murder. Do we condemn it because we consider it to be objectively evil?

Absolutely! If we did not think that genocide was objectively evil, and that its evil was not dependent on individual tastes and preferences, why would we condemn people for their preferences? I do not condemn you for liking purple, why should I condemn someone else for liking genocide? For that matter, why is it defined as a crime against humanity, as opposed to say, a service to humanity? Because it is objectively evil.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221037)
But if you want to get me to say that there is no difference between war and genocide on the one hand, and the judicial execution of apostates on the other, because they are both objectively evil, you are barking up the wrong tree.

I did not say that there is no difference between murder and genocide, but that both are objectively evil. Although it is true that the categories of murder and genocide are intimately related, as genocide is basically the "extreme plural" form of murder, in fact, to such an extent that it is impossible to condemn one without condemning the other. The murder of many people is what makes genocide evil. It is strange to denounce genocide as objectively evil, while denying that the underlying act of murder is objectively evil.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221037)
True, all extremely deplorable events, as we can all agree. I would point out, though, that the persecutions of heretics in Europe (unlike the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre) were carried out legally, lawfully by the state, the secular arm of the Church when heresy was defined as a crime.

That would still make the error of the murderers one of process, and not of substance. I.e., what they did was morally right, it just wasn't their job to do it. If it is the case that something that is enforcement of religious custom cannot be objectively evil, then the actions of these people were not objectively evil.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221037)
Truly deplorable, horrible events. The Old Testament, if I remember correctly, has similar barbarities in it.

It does, and it is a useful reminder that the people committing murder and genocide need not recognize what they are doing, for their actions to count as murder and genocide.

apple 08-11-2011 02:01 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 221087)
Why would that be the discussion?

It's a discussion about whether Islam is inherently incompatible with western ideas about freedom and the like. The fact that Christianity has been interpreted in such ways and is not now in most places, and especially those places that have a rights-based form of government is evidence that religions are flexible and can be interpreted in various ways.

No, this is evidence that Christianity is flexible, or at least compatible with liberal democracy. It does not mean that the religions of Islam, the Branch Davidians, or Aztec human sacrificers are similarly flexible.

I can almost see liberals (not necessarily you personally) making excuses for human sacrifice, if there were a significant presence of people with such a religion. "People, not the state, should decide whether people's own children should be tossed into the flames." - And yes, I do know that this sounds like something a conservative would say, but conservatives (pretend to) believe in absolute moral standards.

sugarkang 08-11-2011 02:22 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 221248)
Because it is objectively evil.

You two seem to be talking past each other because you haven't defined the term "objective." Florian seems to mean it in a scientific sense sometimes, but then uses it as society's objective standard in other instances. You, on the other hand, seem to be using the objective standard for what Americans might consider to be evil when consulting a jury. The American objective standard is the legal one, and that is determined by what is "reasonable." Would an ordinary, reasonable American find these actions evil? Yes.

apple 08-11-2011 02:33 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221253)
You two seem to be talking past each other because you haven't defined the term "objective." Florian seems to mean it in a scientific sense sometimes, but then uses it as society's objective standard in other instances. You, on the other hand, seem to be using the objective standard for what Americans might consider to be evil when consulting a jury. The American objective standard is the legal one, and that is determined by what is "reasonable." Would an ordinary, reasonable American find these actions evil? Yes.

I actually don't mean what any person or people might think about actions, but the Form of the Evil, if you will. The correct application of reason can lead one to objective standards of good and evil. And I know that there's no way to prove this to your satisfaction.

sugarkang 08-11-2011 02:49 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 221254)
And I know that there's no way to prove this to your satisfaction.

You don't have to prove it to my satisfaction. I might be the only one on this board that partly agrees with you on these matters and the only one that doesn't try to shut you up because you have different opinions.

Florian 08-11-2011 04:46 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Apple says....

You are free to use the word "objective" in your idiosyncratic manner. I think I made my meaning sufficiently clear in my previous post. Objective is a scientific category; murder is a legal/moral/religious category. When you say that murder is "unjustified killing," you are basically saying the same thing as I did because you are implying that some killing is justified..... or perhaps that killing is sometimes justified..... in any case, that it is up to the law to decide when killing is justified, as in war.

I do not consider capital punishment for apostasy to be "murder" because, as I said in my previous post, it is a punishment for a crime as defined by Islamic law (and seldom carried out). I consider such a punishment to be a barbaric custom, "unjustified" in your words, i.e. incompatible with our current western, secular legal norms, which forbid the state to kill people for heresy or apostasy. If you want to call our norms "objective," feel free to do so, but I think that this is an abuse of language.

You are also free to compare the horrendous crimes against the Russian and the Iraqi peoples committed by Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein with executions for apostasy, but no one is going to take you seriously.

apple 08-11-2011 08:32 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221283)
Apple says....

You are free to use the word "objective" in your idiosyncratic manner. I think I made my meaning sufficiently clear in my previous post. Objective is a scientific category; murder is a legal/moral/religious category.

Actually, I use the word objective in the same way that ethicists use the word. On the other hand, your idea that that all non-scientific claims are equally valid is known as 'scientism'.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221283)
When you say that murder is "unjustified killing," you are basically saying the same thing as I did because you are implying that some killing is justified..... or perhaps that killing is sometimes justified..... in any case, that it is up to the law to decide when killing is justified, as in war.

It is strange that you are surprised. I never denied that some killing is justified, I merely denied that killing people for apostasy is justified. Hence, such unjustified killings are murder, even if they are considered lawful and legitimate in the culture carrying out the murders.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221283)
I do not consider capital punishment for apostasy to be "murder" because, as I said in my previous post, it is a punishment for a crime as defined by Islamic law (and seldom carried out).

I also find it strange that you keep harping on the frequency with which people are murdered for apostasy. Presumably, killing Jews is wrong, regardless of whether you are killing 20 or 6 million. It's impossible to say that killing 20 Jews is not murder, but killing 6 million is.

You also ignored my other point, preferring to chide me for comparing murdering people for apostasy with Stalin and Saddam murdering people for disagreeing with them. But by your standards, what Stalin and Saddam did is not murder. After all, they defined their crimes as defined by Soviet and Iraqi law respectively. Why are their unjustified killings murder, but not the unjustified killings of Islamic theocratic regimes?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221283)
I consider such a punishment to be a barbaric custom, "unjustified" in your words, i.e. incompatible with our current western, secular legal norms, which forbid the state to kill people for heresy or apostasy. If you want to call our norms "objective," feel free to do so, but I think that this is an abuse of language.

I do not call objective whatever happens to be the norm in Western countries, though in this case, Western countries have one thing right. Still, Western countries are wrong about many things. I do think that there are objective norms, which in no way depend on the actions of Western countries, that not everything is taste, that it is not true that I like flowers, and someone else likes genocide, and that both these likings are objectively equally valid.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 221283)
You are also free to compare the horrendous crimes against the Russian and the Iraqi peoples committed by Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein with executions for apostasy, but no one is going to take you seriously.

Question: do you think the idea that the actions of Stalin and Saddam constitute "horrendous crimes" is objective, or that it is dependent on the whims of individuals, to either agree or disagree with it, and that both opinions are equally valid (because they do not rest on science)?

apple 08-11-2011 08:39 PM

Re: Worldwise: Crisis in Syria (Elias Muhanna & Michael Young)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sugarkang (Post 221255)
You don't have to prove it to my satisfaction. I might be the only one on this board that partly agrees with you on these matters and the only one that doesn't try to shut you up because you have different opinions.

It was not a slam against you in any way, but being an atheist libertarian, I thought you might want proof. After all, how undemocratic is it to suggest that morality is not dependent on the whims of individuals, that individuals don't get to make up whatever they want and have that be considered just as good as the well-founded beliefs of others? So a person making such outrageous claims might want to prove his claim, which I did not do.

It's difficult, because it is metaphysical, and relies on reason. So I do not think that I would be able to prove the existence of objective moral standards, but I do think that I could convince people that there are.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:27 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.