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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    We don't really know what a country ruled by non-Islamic radical fundamentalism is like. The US is fundamentalist Christian at least compared to most other countries, but it's not nearly as radical as a whole and more importantly, neither religion nor religious rules are forced by law. That's really the issue here - dissenting voices are not only not allowed, they're extremely harshly punished. Some parallels here with China, where the issue isn't even religion.

    I'm definitely more inclined to think it's the rabid, forced-fundamentalism that's the problem here.
    Well, Protestant fundamentalism here in the states is largely a response to the marrying of Protestantism with other religions and beliefs. The back to the books basics are attempts to restore the faith in the wake of eclectic culture and diversity. Our diversity is all under the pretense of a more secular government, which sets the table for pluralism. On the other hand, mainstream Islam makes no distinction between Islamic law and political law. While their faith and symbols are absurd, they act to as a glue to hold their social bodies together. Notice how they wanted to excommunicate the "unbeliever". Does it not resemble the U.S.'s tendency to (at the very least) estrange terrorists and spies? It's a necessary mechanic to preserve the integrity of society, though it is expressed differently for various cultures.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Much appreciated, Peguy, but can you point me to the place in that page that proves your claim that Muslim society isn't still "stuck in the Middle Ages" and that...

    ...Islamism is as much an aspect of modernity as any secularism, and arose as a response to the failures of secularism in the Islamic world...
    ?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    I wholly disagree.
    Like I give a shit.

    That references an authority and is used in an attempt to convey the greater truth of your position.

    Hence, an appeal to authority.

    *yawn*
    So you deny that such an argument stems back to Plato eh? Interesting.


    All government-granted freedoms are essentially license, as they may stripped by that government at any time, given the right conditions.
    Only if one adheres to Legal Positivism. So basically if the government saids that blasphemy is wrong, then basically blasphemy is wrong simply because the state saids so - and thus your argument has little ground to stand on.

    I'd prefer to live in a society that allows those who wish to create a facebook page and "blaspheme" all they want than one in which a person who does so would be put to death, or convicted of any crime, really.
    Having blasphemy be illegal does not necessarily mean it's a capital offense. In most cases it wasn't and still isn't.

    If you do not, then I recommend you move to an Islamic country, cuz you're gunna be on the losing side of that vote in most any Western country.
    A simple glance through this list tells otherwise:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Like I give a shit.
    Well, I'm right, so, if you don't care about truth, then feel free not to give a shit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So you deny that such an argument stems back to Plato eh? Interesting.
    No, I deny that this fact lends any more veracity to your position.

    Is it really so hard to see this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Only if one adheres to Legal Positivism. So basically if the government saids that blasphemy is wrong, then basically blasphemy is wrong simply because the state saids so - and thus your argument has little ground to stand on.
    Actually, legal positivism doesn't declare something right or wrong, simply legal or illegal. Morality is a wholly separate issue.

    The fact of government is that it is legally positivistic, whether or not there is actually some higher order which ultimately determines the morality or immorality of what a particular government posits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Having blasphemy be illegal does not necessarily mean it's a capital offense. In most cases it wasn't and still isn't.
    As you can see from a quick reference to my quote, I said "I'd prefer to live in a society that allows those who wish to create a facebook page and "blaspheme" all they want than one in which a person who does so would be... convicted of any crime, really."

    So, yeah, your point is irrelevant... not sure how you missed that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    A simple glance through this list tells otherwise:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law
    Ummm.... well, I guess there are some examples of Western countries upholding blasphemy laws, but, for the most part, based on what that page says, and what I figured to begin with, in most of them, this is not the case, and the momentum is undoubtedly moving away from the existence and/or upholding of blasphemy laws in almost all of them (which, as I intimated, is not nearly as much the case in the Islamic world).

    Just look at the introduction to that page, it says:

    In some countries, blasphemy is not a crime. In the United States of America, for example, a prosecution for blasphemy would violate the Constitution according to the decision in Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. Wilson. The United Kingdom abolished its laws in England and Wales against blasphemy in 2008. In Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has recommended that countries enact laws that protect the freedom of expression. Some countries, especially countries which have Islam as the state religion, regard blasphemy as a serious offence. Pakistan, for example, has legislation which makes execution a penalty for blasphemy.
    I just skimmed through that page and, while laws might be on the books against blasphemy in some countries (Ireland, Germany, Greece, Finland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, some parts of Australia), for the most part, other than Finland (2008) and Germany (2006), I believe, no Western country has actually convicted anyone of blasphemy in a significant amount of time (since 1977 in the UK [and, since then, in 2002, the same act was deliberately repeated and did not lead to a conviction]; early 1960's in the Netherlands; since 1921 in New Zealand; since 1843 in Scotland), recent attempted convictions over blasphemy have been overturned (Greece), the laws against blasphemy are stricter in some localities and non-existent in others (Australia), and/or the laws against blasphemy are under threat of repeal (Ireland).

    More importantly, the momentum certainly seems to be towards the abolishment of blasphemy and/or religious insult as a crime in Western society (something the U.S. has already done):

    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg adopted on 29 June 2007 Recommendation 1805 (2007) on blasphemy, religious insults and hate speech against persons on grounds of their religion. This Recommendation set a number of guidelines for member states of the Council of Europe in view of Articles 10 (freedom of expression) and 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Assembly held that blasphemy should not be a criminal offence.

    In place of blasphemy or in addition to blasphemy in some European countries is the crime of "religious insult". A religious insult is forbidden in Andorra, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

    On 23 October 2008, the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters, issued a report about blasphemy, religious insult, and incitement to religious hatred. The report noted that, in Europe, blasphemy is an offence only in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, and San Marino. In its conclusions, the report stated "it is neither necessary nor desirable to create an offence of religious insult" and "the offence of blasphemy should be abolished".
    Thanks for making me aware of one more reason why I prefer living in the U.S.!

    We figured this shit out 60 years ago!

    Last edited by Zarathustra; 11-13-2010 at 02:39 PM.

  5. #35
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    I was addressing your remarks about how secularism had little hold on the Islamic world. Throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries, much of secularization gripped the Islamic world either as a result of Western colonialism or the desire of Islamic powers(like the Ottomans) to compete with the Western powers. So one way or another, you can't claim modernization did not reach the Middle East. Modernization did bring secularization with it, in particular with the banning of head-scarfs in Iran for example before the Islamic revolution of 1979.

    Interestingly enough that takeover was itself termed the first "cassette revolution" since Ayatollah Khomeini's message was recorded on cassette tapes and then smuggled into Iran to motivate his followers to take power. This continues to this day, where Al-Qadea is very tech savy and uses much of the latest media outlets to get their message across and even recruit new members. And of course alot of these people they recruit are often from more Westernized backgrounds. So even simply of this score you can't claim Islamism as a "medieval" thing, not least of which because many of its ideals and methods run contrary to what Islamic teachings proclaimed during this period.

    If you want an analysis of the nature of Islamist ideology, I dealt with that here. Without the basic undertones and themes of modern ideological thinking, Islamism makes no sense. Even from the perspective of fundamentalism in general, that too is a product of modernity - whether Christian or Islamic.

    Islamism doesn't come onto the scene in the Arab world as a major political player until after the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Before that time, Islamists were largely a much minor player in political affairs that were easily suppressed by the state, as was the case with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for example.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Well, I'm right, so, if you don't care about truth, then feel free not to give a shit.
    Hey you're cute.

    No, I deny that this fact lends any more veracity to your position.

    Is it really so hard to see this?
    Except I never actually claimed it added more veracity to my claim. You tried to make a point about the argument being from 1811, and I said so what the argument has a long history stretching back to Plato.

    Actually, legal positivism doesn't declare something right or wrong, simply legal or illegal. Morality is a wholly separate issue.
    Nevertheless, you're still operating under the basic premise that freedom only exists because the state saids so. My argument goes that the freedoms we have are not given to us by the state, so thus the state has no right to deprive us of them.

    Ummm.... well, I guess there are some examples of Western countries upholding blasphemy laws, but, for the most part, based on what that page says, and what I figured to begin with, in most of them, this is not the case, and the momentum is undoubtedly moving away from the existence and/or upholding of blasphemy laws in almost all of them (which, as I intimated, is not nearly as much the case in the Islamic world).
    The laws are still on books. As I said, the penality or whether or not it's enforced is another issue.

  7. #37
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    Well-stated point, and you've convinced me that a debate on this topic would actually be worthwhile and interesting, but my girlfriend happens to be waiting for me, so it'll have to happen another time.

    I will say these counterpoints:

    1. I don't think Nicodemus or I didn't already understand that Islamists use modern technology (cassettes, internet, etc.), so I don't think we would accept that as undermining our point.

    2. I haven't had time to read your piece, but, while I can understand how ideological thinking is central to Islamism, I don't see why it need be modern ideological thinking, as opposed to medieval ideological thinking.

    3. As I said before, I understand your point (i.e., that religious fundamentalism is an aspect of modernity), but I still don't feel that it necessarily undermines Nicodemus' point, which is that these people are backwards and "stuck in the Middle Ages".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Hey you're cute.


    I try...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    You tried to make a point about the argument being from 1811...
    Actually, I made a point, as the case that you referenced is no longer precedent, as, since the Joseph Burstyn, Inc v. Wilson decision in 1952, a prosecution for blasphemy would violate the United States Constitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Nevertheless, you're still operating under the basic premise that freedom only exists because the state saids so. My argument goes that the freedoms we have are not given to us by the state, so thus the state has no right to deprive us of them.
    blah blah blah blah blah

    This is not relevant to the topic at hand.

    We're not debating natural law vs legal positivism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    The laws are still on books.
    But increasingly less so, and increasingly less enforced.
    Last edited by Zarathustra; 11-13-2010 at 02:17 PM.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Well-stated point, and you've convinced me that a debate on this topic would actually be worthwhile and interesting, but my girlfriend happens to be waiting for me, so it'll have to happen another time.
    I'll certainly be happy to debate this topic too, however I am swamped at the moment with other affairs. I'm mostly touching on stuff I know off hand or have readily available for sources.

    1. I don't think Nicodemus or I didn't already understand that Islamists use modern technology (cassettes, internet, etc.), so I don't think we would accept that as undermining our point.
    Well this would require a considerable background discussion regarding modern attitudes towards technology, and also how this relates to modern ideological thinking with its emphasis on propaganda - which by nature depends on modern media outlets. Arnold Toynbee also noted the important role technology played in the secularization/Westernization of the Islamic world. This began as a simple desire to obtain the technology and weaponry needed to stand up to the West, but soon inevitably gave way to the greater secularization of Islamic society.
    2. I haven't had time to read your piece, but, while I can understand how ideological thinking is central to Islamism, I don't see why it need be modern ideological thinking, as opposed to medieval ideological thinking.
    Simple, ideology as a belief system is a product of modernity, particularly after the French Revolution. Medieval "ideological thinking" is an oxymoron. This is even true in regards to the use of terrorism by Islamists as scholar Khaled Abou el Fadl further explains:
    [M]odern Muslim terrorist groups are more rooted in national liberation ideologies of the nineteeth and twentieh centuries than they are in the Islamic tradition. Although these terrorist groups adopt various theological justifications for their behavior, their ideologies, symbolism, language, and organizational structure reflect the influence of anti-colonial struggle of the developing world. For instance, the groups often use expressions such as hizb(party), tahrir(liberation), tariq al-masir(self-determination), harakah(movement), al-kawadir, al-fa'alah(the active cadres) or harb muqaddasa(holy struggle). These expressions are imported from national liberation struggles against colonialism and did not emerge from the Islamic tradition. In short, modern Muslim terrorism is part of the historical legacy of colonialism and not the legacy of Islamic law."
    -cited in John Myhill "The Islamization of Arab Nationalism", Critical Review Volume 22, No.1, 2010 pg.20

    3. As I said before, I understand your point (i.e., that religious fundamentalism is an aspect of modernity), but I still don't feel that it necessarily undermines Nicodemus' point, which is that these people are backwards and "stuck in the Middle Ages".
    Well I guess it depends on what you mean by "stuck in the Middle Ages".

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    The Supreme Court has made a lot of god-awful decisions in its time (pun-intended).

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    And? The basic premise of this argument goes all the way back to Plato. Freedom of religion and blasphemy are not the same thing.
    One's person blasphemy is another person's truth; you cannot practically separate the two, and attempting to do so has the adverse consequence of giving specific religious interpretations and authorities greater 'protection' than others. The only legal impediments to blasphemy that don't violate religious freedom are laws which (within reason) restrict the form and location, rather than the content, of speech, such as the aforementioned public nuisence/obscenity laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    In short, modern Muslim terrorism is part of the historical legacy of colonialism and not the legacy of Islamic law."
    -cited in John Myhill "The Islamization of Arab Nationalism", Critical Review Volume 22, No.1, 2010 pg.20[/indent]
    Simplistic analysis; Islamism (including but not limited to Jihadist terrorism) is defined at least as much by traditional Islamic interpretations as by modern ideological and technological influences. Even modernist Islamists that seek to re-institute the ongoing interpretation of Islamic texts do so within certain (and extremely problematic) theological boundaries.

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