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  1. #11

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    I think that having the right to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do. The right to free speech should be protected - I just wish that sometimes it was exercised with better judgment.

    Jock is right when he says that it appears the goal here was to troll Islam. If the cartoons had editorial or entertainment value that was strong enough to warrant the offense given, then fine. But if this was just poking Islam with a stick, then I think it's pretty low. The extremist Islamic response and subsequent threats trump the poor judgment of the newspaper, but that doesn't excuse the newspaper.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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  2. #12
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    People and ethnic groups is a whole different story.
    Why is that so? Also considering that religion is an integral part of ethnic and national identities. Islamic scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr has noted that Islam is both a religion and a civilization:
    The English word tradition is used in different ways, including customs, habits and historical transmission, but for me tradition means a reality of sacred origin which is given to humanity through revelation. Through preservation and application of that teaching, of that sacred instruction, our civilization was created. The same is true for the Western civilization. The Christian civilization was created by the coming of Christ. That is the beginning of the Christian tradition, and then it created the Western civilization with many forms of sacred Christian architecture, theology, ethics and forms of social structure. In Islam we have the Quranic revelation. That’s the beginning of the Islamic tradition and then the whole civilization is created with its art, with its social structure, with its laws and so forth. It is important to preserve this tradition because we believe that it comes from God, that it is reality.

    http://nasruddinsdonkey.blogspot.com...sein-nasr.html
    Even in the case of Christian Arabs, the faith forges a key element of their cultural identity - so much so that in many cases their religion is almost seen as distinct cultural identity in itself(examples: Copts in Egypt, Maronites in Lebanon, Melkites in Syria, etc.).

  3. #13
    Sniffles
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    Kinda reminds me also of the story Joseph Pearce told of his visit to Northern Ireland and being asked by paramilitaries whether he was Catholic or Protestant, to which Pearce replied he was atheist. He was then asked, "Well yeah...but are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?"

  4. #14
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YWIR View Post
    Do you think it's okay to offend hundreds of millions of people in the name of satire, just for the sake of doing so?
    I personally don't think so, and I was pretty mad during the abovementioned controversy. I believe it in inexcusable to mock something so many people find precious and sacred. It was also a pretty stupid move by the newspaper. They must have known that the cartoons would create a big reaction in the Middle East.
    What do you mean? Should it be legal or should it be acceptable?

    I think it should be both, btw. I don't think it should make a difference to Muslims either way...by that I mean they can be upset, they can be angry, but they shouldn't burn down buildings and set off bombs in retaliation...maybe they can make their own newspaper and make fun of Danish people? The reaction to the cartoon was much worse than the cartoon itself. Its like when people make fun of Christians or any other religious group - Mormons, for example, its not like Mormons are going to start rioting because a newspaper in another country said something that offended them. They just get over it...like, idk, civilized people?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  5. #15
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    Ah, yes, the use of freedom of speech at one's own risk whether or not it opens up for danger to oneself or others. If great causes of conflict and situations of life and death exists within such premises does one tackle it? Well, it's legal, however putting other people's lives in danger for your personal choice of exploiting what you can from freedom of speech may be a problem not so easy to tackle from it's such standpoint. Certainly a negative of the right.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Why is that so? Also considering that religion is an integral part of ethnic and national identities.
    To truely answer this would require yet another wall of text. I'll try to shrink it down to 3 quick reasons.

    1. Let's just say I prefer to see religion and culture as two seperate though sometimes overlapping entities. You have no influence over the color of your skin or the place of your birth but your religion is at least partly the product of your choice, especially in more affluent societies.

    2. An ethnic minority (like, oh, say, Arabs in Danmark) is also more vulnerable than a worldwide religious community (if we compare attacks on Middle Eastern immigrants with attacks on Islam) like a Christian chirch or the (though much less organized umma. When the issue of the caricatures is discussed, few people mention the local political background. Danmark is a pretty xenophobic country run by a rigidly right wing government tolerated by the radical Dansk Folkparti (Danish People's Party). That seems relevant as it illustratets the situation in Danish society at the time of the publication and the probable background and intention behind it. In this case my reservation is mostly about power structures.

    3. At least to this atheist, a religion is a worldview. A worldview is a theory. Theories can and should be attacked from time to time. That's is the somewhat simplistic short version. Where to draw the line? Don't poke fun at somebody's political views? At vegetarians? At anime fans? What if my neigbor worships Matt Groening and considers the Simpsons to be a divine revelation? Does that oblige me not to criticize or make fun of the abominable last couple of seasons?

    To a believer these comparisons might sound ridiculously farfetched and maybe even insulting. But trust me, to another nonbeliever they probably make sense.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  7. #17
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post

    On the other hand, I deeply mistrust the motives of those who pretend to defend Western free speech and free journalism when it comes to Islam and the Middle East but would get highzly sensitive if one of their holy cows was the target of something similar. It isn't too long ago that the Catholic church raised a little scandal about the animated tv series Popetown.
    It's one thing to complain or ask for an apology or to make lots of angry public statements condemning Popetown or whatever the offending speck happens to be, but I'm not sure anyone died over Popetown...in fact, I'm pretty sure no one died and no buildings were burned down because of it. Arguments are okay, screaming and crying are even okay..... overreactions involving violence? not okay.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  8. #18
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    1. Let's just say I prefer to see religion and culture as two seperate though sometimes overlapping entities.
    One which doesn't make sense - especially since culture derives from cult.

    3. At least to this atheist, a religion is a worldview. A worldview is a theory. Theories can and should be attacked from time to time. That's is the somewhat simplistic short version. Where to draw the line? Don't poke fun at somebody's political views? At vegetarians? At anime fans? What if my neigbor worships Matt Groening and considers the Simpsons to be a divine revelation? Does that oblige me not to criticize or make fun of the abominable last couple of seasons?
    Well I'm not a Muslim, so I'll let Dr. Nasr answer this one(in the link above):
    Truth is the criteria. And in every society, there must be this ambiance in which ideas are tested and only true ideas survive. Islamic civilization in its golden age created this ambiance. Otherwise it would not have produced such great philosophers. People debated each other and opposed each other, but they did not oppose the oneness of God. That was like a sky over everything. But within that, there was freedom of discussion. We already lost that. That has become more and more restrictive in the last century with the rise of modernism, which in the name of freedom destroyed the whole atmosphere of the Islamic ambiance. So you were free only if you expressed Western ideas; otherwise, you would be put in prison.
    For the record, he's referring to the situation in Turkey, where anykind of public religious education or discussion is outlawed - but he still gives reference to an important principle of how free discussion not only can but historically has flourished within religious-based cultures. This is similar to the situation in Medieval Europe when the univerisites first appeared and there were plenty of competiting schools of thought. There's a difference between open discussion of religious truths, which is largely encouraged in almost all major religious traditions - and engaging in knee-jerk insults.

    To a believer these comparisons might sound ridiculously farfetched and maybe even insulting. But trust me, to another nonbeliever they probably make sense.
    Im sure they would make sense to them, and they would still be absurd.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    One which doesn't make sense - especially since culture derives from cult.
    That might be the etymology, but it is not the definition.

    a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life} shared by people in a place or time <popular culture> <southern culture> c : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization <a corporate culture focused on the bottom line> d : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic <studying the effect of computers on print culture> <changing the culture of materialism will take time — Peggy O'Mara>
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture

    Well I'm not a Muslim, so I'll let Dr. Nasr answer this one(in the link above):
    I had to look up Nasr. His views do not at all seem representative for Muslims as a whole (if that is even possible). He rejects modernity and wants an Iran that is free fom Western influence, according to your quote he is longing for the time when thinking was only possible under the premises that there is a god and Islam is the true religion. One could argue that back in the golden age the Islamic world advanced the way it did because it was less restricted by religion than Europe (one example would be the disecting of cadavers for medical research). I could name you half a dozent real life Muslims I know personally who would very strongly disagree with this view.

    For the record, he's referring to the situation in Turkey, where anykind of public religious education or discussion is outlawed - but he still gives reference to an important principle of how free discussion not only can but historically has flourished within religious-based cultures. This is similar to the situation in Medieval Europe when the univerisites first appeared and there were plenty of competiting schools of thought. There's a difference between open discussion of religious truths, which is largely encouraged in almost all major religious traditions - and engaging in knee-jerk insults.
    Actually, the situation in Turkey has long been changing. They are moderates within the Islamic world but becoming more and more religious.

    I never said kneejerk insults were the way to go (actually I didn't talk about insults but about criticizing and making fun of believes and convictions being a neccessity for new thought and a free society), merely that they have to be possible in a free society and that what yesterday was still blasphemy can be recognized scientific fact by tomorrow

    Im sure they would make sense to them, and they would still be absurd.
    On this we will have to agree to disagree since we are by neccessity speaking two different languages and using two opposing starting points to begin with
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  10. #20
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    That might be the etymology, but it is not the definition.
    b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group;
    So even your own definition notes a connection between the two.

    I had to look up Nasr. His views do not at all seem representative for Muslims as a whole (if that is even possible).
    He's recognised as a leading Islamic scholar. He mainly speaks for the Traditionalist perspective within Islam, in constrast to both fundamentalists and modernists/progressives.

    I could name you half a dozent real life Muslims I know personally who would very strongly disagree with this view.
    I'm sure you could. I mean I know plenty of Catholics who believe all sorts of absurd stuff too.

    I never said kneejerk insults were the way to go (actually I didn't talk about insults but about criticizing and making fun of believes and convictions being a neccessity for new thought and a free society)
    I'd like to hear your distinction between "making fun" and insulting, and how religious society somehow stiffle religious-based humour? Concerning Christian Europe at least, this notion is supposedly disputed by historian Michael W. George:
    Michael George points out that in the Middle Ages, no subject appears to have been immune from humour. Most of the cycle plays from England for example have episodes dealing with Joseph’s reaction to Mary’s pregnancy and show him convinced he has been a cuckold and demanding to know the name of the baby’s father. In these he is presented as an old man who – it is inferred – is impotent since he knows he is physically incapable of impregnating his wife. Another prominent festival, the ‘Feast of Fools’ parodied religious ceremonies with, for example, the censing performed with sausages.

    http://bedejournal.blogspot.com/2011...rom-vomit.html
    Not to mention Roland the Farter made his living making fart jokes on Christmas of all days.



    On this we will have to agree to disagree since we are by neccessity speaking two different languages and using two opposing starting points to begin with
    Yes the typical intellectual impasse MacIntyre has written much about.

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