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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Can you see how a Muslim country would find the so-called "Universal" declaration of human rights to be an instrument of Western Imperialism? Especially when their objections were completely ignored?

    There are many articles that run contrary to Arab civilization. Why would they think they are the wrong ones, particularly when the West just got done slaughtering 60 million people?

    I'm not saying I disagree with the declaration - of course I don't, as they express the best of what my civilization has to aspire to. I just think that dismissing their objections due to different cultural norms and historical context is a bit closed-minded.
    Gosh, they murder us because we are a bit close minded.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny Army View Post
    So wait, we're not considering the Iraq war an act of terrorism in itself? Bizarre.
    It was an Islamist who murdered my neighbour in the suburb of Griffith yesterday. And it is muslims and their supporters who are defending the Islamists.

    Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights we all have the Right to Self Defence. But under Islamic law dhimmis and infidels do not have a right to self defence.

    So it all boils down to a simple moral issue - do you support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or not?

  3. #43
    Senior Member Tiny Army's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm sure that destroying a country with no terrorist affiliations (but lots of oil!) really helped the anti-terrorist cause.

    Radical Islamists are not the only murderers out there. What happened to the human rights of the Iraqis? Apparently they don't count either.
    Anger is also a feeling.

  4. #44
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    There are many articles that run contrary to Arab civilization.
    So what? Why are we supposed to respect opposition to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and equality under the law on that basis?

  5. #45
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Gosh, they murder us because we are a bit close minded.
    We've done a pretty good job of murdering Arabs over the course of history. In the last 60 years, the US comes out far ahead in the death toll against Arabs than the few of us they got in various terrorist attacks and the wars.

    There's no such thing as right and wrong on this level. There's just action and blowback.

  6. #46
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    So it all boils down to a simple moral issue - do you support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or not?
    That's not a simple moral issue, it's a very complex cultural issue. Accepting the UDHR essentially says "I believe Western Civilization is right, and that all people should become Westernized"

    Needless to say, a lot of people have a problem with that.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    So what? Why are we supposed to respect opposition to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and equality under the law on that basis?
    Because they're sovereign nations. Because we have no right to impose our standards on them, provided that they don't affect us negatively because of their standards. Terrorists don't count, as they're renegade and do not represent the nation as a whole - extremists by definition. It would be like saying that you oppose the United States because of the KKK.

    Yes, we believe those are universal rights. We also believe in individualism. Many cultures in the world believe individualism is dangerous as hell, and destructive to society as a whole. There's nothing to indicate that they're wrong and we're right, other than the individualist nations developing bigger and better guns more quickly.

    Freedom of religion - from a collectivist perspective, religious disagreement breeds disharmony within the group. Considering how important harmony is for our survival, we can't allow that.

    Freedom of speech - once again, words have impact far beyond their immediate audience. If anything can be said, there's a good chance that something could be said that disrupts group cohesion, and causes people to become angry and irrational.

    Equality under the law - people have different roles to fulfill in society. Treating everyone the same ignores the importance of these roles, and may breed confusion in what a person's place in the world is. It's better to have laws that are flexible to the different demands and needs of the roles in society.

    None of these arguments are objectively offensive, and speak to some aspect of human society. At the same time, they offend the Western sensibility, because we've been taught that the individual is the unit of human existence, and it's the individual who holds rights, which are lost whenever one succumbs to pressure from others. Needless to say, other cultures do not agree.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Tiny Army's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    So what? Why are we supposed to respect opposition to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and equality under the law on that basis?
    Why has everyone forgotten that Iraq was a secular government before L. Paul Bremer installed the nine rotating religious fundamentalists and gave them power? And then shut down a bunch of newspapers and started forcing women to cover their heads?

    Pot calling the kettle black if you ask me.
    Anger is also a feeling.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Funny, I seem to recall living in a country that interpreted the Enlightenment to mean that the most reasonable government was one that respected man's natural rights, and that in order to protect this, devolution of powers was necessary.



    That's a particularly English concept - France, even before Louis XIV, still had a fairly centralized state structure with the Church hierarchy included as one of the estates. Feudalism was fairly centralized within the various fiefs, in many senses - everyone had a superior, and if your superior called you up, you went. The Holy Roman Empire, on the other hand, vacillated in control not because of any theological concept, but because of the nature of German geography making it nearly impossible to control a large area directly, and the Church desiring political control over an area that's across a freaking mountain range. Italy only shifted based on who had the most money at the time - either the merchant families or the Church. It wasn't really based so much on theology - the Ghibelline and Guelf conflicts were about the pope as a political leader, rather than a spiritual leader (which no one questioned).

    I don't think you'll find many who would say that the Hundred Years' War was a small scale event - stretched out over many skirmishes, yes, but huge chunks of land were shifted around in the conflict.

    It also bears mentioning that Spain was particularly bloody for 7o0 years, less so when the Muslims were in control.

    Finally, I question whether it had to do with theology and political philosophy that things were as small scale in the Middle Ages as much as it was technological and natural effects. In regard to the latter, two factors primarily weigh heavily. One is the Black Death of course; it's rather hard to form mass armies when you have to fear a third of your force being annihilated within months from disease. The second is the Medieval Warm Period - because there was much more arable land for much longer during the year than in the Roman period, feudalism made much more sense economically than the previous model, which combined slavery with seasonal workers. Not only that, but it made the cities even more fetid and horrifying, which deterred the population density necessary for centralized control in the modern sense.

    Technology-wise, it was still the Dark Ages. There was very little in the way of disseminating information, and even then, the info would be suspect at best. Memeplexes were almost impossible to spread outside the centralized Church hierarchy. The printing press cleared that mess up.



    I would say not so much because of Enlightenment rationalism, but more because of the technological developments that occurred at the same time. Controlling armies became much easier when 5,000 copies of the same orders could be distributed fairly easily. Not only that, but the colonization of the Americas basically taught Europe how to do supply chains. The end of the Black Plague and increasing urbanization stemming from population density also helped the dissemination of information that's vital to mass armies.



    While Clausewitz is well-known for that statement, it belies an understanding of politics that perhaps isn't as discrete as it could be. Politics answers the simple question of "who gets what", or resource distribution. In the medieval period on the continent, the King got taxes. Why? Because he had the biggest army. The Church gets tithes. Why? Because if you didn't, you were a heretic and executed. Vassals get portions of crops. Why? Because if you didn't, they had strong men who would either throw you off the property or kill you outright. It was all the politics of force. War isn't the continuation of politics - war is politics (this group gets that because they killed the people in their way).

    Two final points: one, it's unwise to forget that there existed mass armies of Napoleonic scale in China and India much prior to Bonaparte's era, and without any sense of the European Enlightenment. Two, Sherman's war philosophy was much more existentialist than rationalist - he came up with his "hard war" concept not by asking what worked best, but what war was, and based on that, how it was best prosecuted. Plenty of other generals at the time were trained in rationalist (Napoleonic) thought, but Sherman was the one who made the jump from how war was conducted to what war actually was. Napoleon may have said that an army marches on its stomach, but Sherman actually understood the implications.
    Very good response, I'll have to respond when I'm able to. I pretty much wore myself earlier with the discussion.

  10. #50
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    Right, so, I'm not going to pretend to have a balanced perspective on this. What I see is through casual visits to some of the more major news sites like CBC, CNN, or BBC.

    It seems that every other day something has been blown up - a hotel, a police station, a grade school, with the intent of causing as much damage as possible with a blast against civilian targets, tourists, and businessmen. Sometimes a particular group takes credit, but other times none do.

    Religion is usually cited as the cause. Religion removes the fear of death from the attackers and provides justification to hurt those people. It's a hardline stance that allows no negotiation.

    Something which has interested me however, was the bit of reporting done in the post-9/11 environment that went on to explain that these people are a vast minority. The majority of practitioners do not feel this hate, this compulsion. Moderates if you will. It was a refreshing if brief respite from the constant drone of "blah blah hate the west blah kill you blah".

    Now here's where I start to lose focus. If they are the majority, a majority opposed to such actions, why are they such a silent majority? Why is there no focused backlash against this behavior internally? Tempers are very quick to flare over slights to islamic culture from the west, but the opposite, hate against the west, seems to be handled only in very muted, diplomatic tones.

    I get the sense that I'm missing a lot of the picture. I'd like to read some books on this. If anyone can recommend some good reading with a balanced and experienced persective, I'd be grateful. Or if anyone has an opinion themselves I'd also love to hear it.
    You'd like to read some books? Try reading the Quran itself. See how you interpret it. We have all these intuitives in this thread writing it's a violent book. Did they read it? No. They MUST be going off what fox news sais. For starters...just read it. It's a book of peace and justice for humanity. Surely it can be interpreted to a child by a teacher to justify violence, but only when this teacher can present justification to the child that it's words are being compromised. As of late, there has been plenty of proof which can easily be used to craft its writen words to be interpreted to motivate giving ones life to defend its integrity. Porn, abortion, violence motivated by greed.....

    The reason that the silent majority is silent is because they also see an extreme in what is coming out of the west.
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

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