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Thread: Real Time w/ Bill Maher: Ben Affleck, Sam Harris and Bill Maher Debate Radical Islam

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    Real Time w/ Bill Maher: Ben Affleck, Sam Harris and Bill Maher Debate Radical Islam

    This past Friday, neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris, and actor/director Ben Affleck appeared on Bill Maher's weekly show, Real Time. In addition, former RNC chair Michael Steele and journalist Nicholas Kristof participated in the panel. Soon after Harris was introduced, the subject of ISIS and radical Islam came up. Maher begins the discussion by pointing out 'liberal hypocrisy' when it comes to Islam:

    "Liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. ... Liberal principles like freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities including homosexuals -- these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for [pointing to his audience], but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what's lacking, then they get upset."

    Harris quickly supports Maher:

    "Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They'll criticize ... Christians; they'll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984, but when you talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us. And the crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of 'Islamophobia,' where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people. That's intellectually ridiculous."


    However, Ben Affleck counters first by questioning Harris's expertise on Islam, then criticizing Maher and Harris' argument as "racist and bigoted". The direction of the discussion went south seemingly because of Affleck's initial misunderstanding of Maher and Harris' point. The full segment is below:



    Despite the argument that ensued, Maher and Harris' initial question is worth discussing.

    If you are a Liberal, and believe in Liberal principles, how can Islam escape your criticism?
    Why does criticism of Islam often get conflated with Islamophobia?
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    The answer is, it can't. Islamic cultures (that is to say, cultures where Islamic law and teachings largely dominate and influence social practice and public policy) are largely suppressive of women's rights, freedom of speech, homosexuality and a slew of other freedoms that every human on the planet should be entitled to. Especially if you are a Liberal or believe in Liberal principles. This of course says nothing of horrific concepts like Sharia Law, which mandates that anyone who leaves the faith are to be killed for it.

    The way I see it, the reason it's so often conflated with "Islamaphobia", or "bigotry"/"racism" is because how how closely Islam is associated with the Middle East (generally speaking), and because of how those from the area tend to appear (beards, olive/ocre skin-tone, etc). It permeates the globe, and has strong foot holds in Indonesia, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, etc., but when you ask most people, they'll default to the Middle East.

    It's also the easy way out when you are Islamic and your religion is being criticized. You saw that same tactic used by Affleck, though not Islamic, in the video. If you respond to the criticizer by claiming racism, like in American politics, the burden shifts to the criticizer to defend themselves against the claim, no matter it's lack of merit and/or evidence.

    Harris actually responded to this entire situation on his blog, for those interested. You can read it here (once his site goes back up again): http://bit.ly/1vLmmV3
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    It's intellectually dishonest to label an entire group based on the actions of a sub group within it. The dialogue here should be quite simple, "Islamists who follow Sharia Law are..." Not all followers of Islam do.

    There's a response piece to this incident from the Washington Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...undamentalism/

    You can clearly see that on a lot of the key Sharia Law points, many Muslims, and in some areas, a very large percentage, disagree with the fundamentalist view. Sure, if you want to say "The vast majority of Muslims in Afghanistan seem to support the execution of adulterers" then you're probably on safe ground. But to say "Muslims suppress women" the ground is much more shaky.

    When you want to generalize based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc, then the burden is very much on you to defend your stance from claims of racism/bigotry. Or you can better form your argument to be more exact in the net you're throwing over groups of people.

    As far as what Liberals should be doing, that's up to the individual. Just because you may have certain beliefs that align with a group (Liberals) or self identify as belonging to that group, that doesn't mean you are tasked with being a knight for that cause. You know who self identifies and has presented himself as a knight for the cause? Bill Maher. So it's his responsibility to champion that cause himself. Not whine that others don't.
    Last edited by AmericanJesus; 10-08-2014 at 09:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    It's intellectually dishonest to label an entire group based on the actions of a sub group within it. The dialogue here should be quite simple, "Islamists who follow Sharia Law are..." Not all followers of Islam do.

    There's a response piece to this incident from the Washington Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...undamentalism/

    You can clearly see that on a lot of the key Sharia Law points, many Muslims, and in some areas, a very large percentage, disagree with the fundamentalist view. Sure, if you want to say "The vast majority of Muslims in Afghanistan seem to support the execution of adulterers" then you're probably on safe ground. But to say "Muslims suppress women" the ground is much more shaky.

    When you want to generalize based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc, then the burden is very much on you to defend your stance from claims of racism/bigotry. Or you can better form your argument to be more exact in the net you're throwing over groups of people.

    As far as what Liberals should be doing, that's up to the individual. Just because you may have certain beliefs that align with a group (Liberals) or self identify as belonging to that group, that doesn't mean you are tasked with being a knight for that cause. You know who self identifies and has presented himself as a knight for the cause? Bill Maher. So it's his responsibility to champion that cause himself. Not whine that others don't.
    I the context of what happened during that debate, it was actually Affleck who was generalizing and making blanket statements. Maher and Harris had research showing their points of view, all Affleck could say is "Well that's not all Muslims.", yet that's not what Maher and Harris were arguing. Fact is, they are talking about the majority of Muslims, and Affleck the silent minority. Maher and Harris were saying that silent minority should be empowered to speak out, since they do not speak out —*for fear.

    As for what Maher said about what Liberals should do, he was basically calling them out for being hypocrites who have no problem speaking out against other religions, but when it comes to Islam, they keep quiet because they don't want to be labeled as 'phobes.

    Frankly, I agree. No practice is perfect, and if you speak out against something you don't agree with against anything at all, you get labeled as ________phobe, or anti________. Acknowledging an area for improvement doesn't mean you fear or hate anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I the context of what happened during that debate, it was actually Affleck who was generalizing and making blanket statements. Maher and Harris had research showing their points of view, all Affleck could say is "Well that's not all Muslims.", yet that's not what Maher and Harris were arguing. Fact is, they are talking about the majority of Muslims, and Affleck the silent minority. Maher and Harris were saying that silent minority should be empowered to speak out, since they do not speak out —*for fear.

    As for what Maher said about what Liberals should do, he was basically calling them out for being hypocrites who have no problem speaking out against other religions, but when it comes to Islam, they keep quiet because they don't want to be labeled as 'phobes.

    Frankly, I agree. No practice is perfect, and if you speak out against something you don't agree with against anything at all, you get labeled as ________phobe, or anti________. Acknowledging an area for improvement doesn't mean you fear or hate anyone.
    Unless the acknowledgement for improvement gets labeled X-phobe, which is the problem with the entire concept of criticizing Islam as a religion and cultural influence. It's why this entire debate occurred in the first place. Affleck did exactly what a lot of people do when this topic is raised (and they don't have an intelligent, rational response to provide) by firing back to criticisms of the ideas of Islam by conflating them with racism of people of Islam, which isn't actually the same thing.

    Am I a racist/bigot against people of Christianity? If so, I'm surely a poor one considering the amount of time I spend around them, no? I mean, my whole family are basically fundamentalist Roman Catholics, so what kind of racist/bigot am I that I continue to "celebrate" their holidays with them, despite my utter disdain and outspoken stance against the ideas they hold?

    Speaking out against ideas isn't necessarily the same thing as speaking out against groups of peoples. In most cases, and this one specifically, it's speaking out against the ideas as bad ones, and speaking out against anyone within that group of "Islam" who think they are good. I see nothing wrong with that. The same as I see nothing wrong with speaking out against homophobic/gay-bashers, and lumping in those who agree with their actions and beliefs into the same bucket. I don't care if you actually tie gay men up to fences and beat them to death or not. If you think that's a good idea, you are just as guilty of harboring a bad belief as the guys who actually went through with it when we're having a debate over the merits of such thinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    Unless the acknowledgement for improvement gets labeled X-phobe, which is the problem with the entire concept of criticizing Islam as a religion and cultural influence. It's why this entire debate occurred in the first place. Affleck did exactly what a lot of people do when this topic is raised (and they don't have an intelligent, rational response to provide) by firing back to criticisms of the ideas of Islam by conflating them with racism of people of Islam, which isn't actually the same thing.

    Am I a racist/bigot against people of Christianity? If so, I'm surely a poor one considering the amount of time I spend around them, no? I mean, my whole family are basically fundamentalist Roman Catholics, so what kind of racist/bigot am I that I continue to "celebrate" their holidays with them, despite my utter disdain and outspoken stance against the ideas they hold?

    Speaking out against ideas isn't necessarily the same thing as speaking out against groups of peoples. In most cases, and this one specifically, it's speaking out against the ideas as bad ones, and speaking out against anyone within that group of "Islam" who think they are good. I see nothing wrong with that. The same as I see nothing wrong with speaking out against homophobic/gay-bashers, and lumping in those who agree with their actions and beliefs into the same bucket. I don't care if you actually tie gay men up to fences and beat them to death or not. If you think that's a good idea, you are just as guilty of harboring a bad belief as the guys who actually went through with it when we're having a debate over the merits of such thinking.
    And that's exactly what Maher was pointing out.

    If, as a liberal, you are pro: human rights, equality, freedom of speech...Then some part of you is against the religions that don't practice them —*such as Islam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    And that's exactly what Maher was pointing out.

    If, as a liberal, you are pro: human rights, equality, freedom of speech...Then some part of you is against the religions that don't practice them —*such as Islam.
    Or moreover, should be against religions that don't practice them. It's absolutely hypocritical to talk out of one side of your mouth about the atrocities and restrictions on liberty in nearly every other facet of life, but close the lid when Islam gets mentioned int he same breath, simply because you're afraid of the label that might get assigned to you. The perceived fear of being ostracized as a bigot, or a racist, or an "Islamaphobe" are generally cop out responses when guys like Harris point this out, because they so clearly are not bigots or racists or "Islamaphobes". They're atheists, first and foremost, who also believe in Liberal principles like human rights, equality and freedom of speech that the idea of Islam is clearly at odds with. Conflating their outspoken nature against this with racism and bigotry, or labeling it "Islamaphobia" is a short cut response designed to skirt taking on the responsibility of actually speaking to the nature within the religion that supports (or commands, really) these immoral actions and ideas.
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    The issue we are really discussing is proper debate. When you attribute something to "religion" or "Christianity" or "Islam" you are implicating everyone who aligns themselves with that group. There are very few statements that will apply to everyone in that group, though. So, in order to foster debate and stay out of these traps, just speak clearly. I don't see why that's so difficult.

    Maher's problem is not with Islam. It's not with Muslims. It's with misogynists. It's with homophobes. It's with those who persecute others for their thoughts, life style, race, class, etc. So why join them with unsophisticated speech from your HBO pulpit?

    Maher uses unsophisticated debate tactics precisely to create these sorts of heated exchanges. His show doesn't work with out them. So to whine when Affleck falls for the bait is disingenuous.

    Maher basically said, "Liberals are against X, Fundamentalist Islam is for X, and most Islamic people are Fundamentalists".

    Harris then back-tracked, saying "even if 20%...which we know is a low figure...blah blah blah". Well if you're using 20%, then the term "most" doesn't apply.

    And why does all of this nonsense have to get parsed in the first place? Because Maher wants to say, "All those who follow Islam are for X" without having to say it so his position can be defensible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    And that's exactly what Maher was pointing out.

    If, as a liberal, you are pro: human rights, equality, freedom of speech...Then some part of you is against the religions that don't practice them —*such as Islam.
    That's exactly where Maher is wrong and it's why Affleck was baited. Islam can't do anything. It's inanimate. It's a shoe. It may be a shoe that many people have raised up to be of vital importance, but it's still just a shoe. Some believe the shoe is magic and tells them how to live their lives. Some think the shoe wants them to kill everyone who doesn't believe the shoe is magic. Some believe that the shoe has some good features and some bad, and they follow what they think is good about the shoe and ignore or even condemn the bad.

    The problem is not the shoe. The problem is never the shoe. The problem is what people do with the shoe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    That's exactly where Maher is wrong and it's why Affleck was baited. Islam can't do anything. It's inanimate. It's a shoe. It may be a shoe that many people have raised up to be of vital importance, but it's still just a shoe. Some believe the shoe is magic and tells them how to live their lives. Some think the shoe wants them to kill everyone who doesn't believe the shoe is magic. Some believe that the shoe has some good features and some bad, and they follow what they think is good about the shoe and ignore or even condemn the bad.

    The problem is not the shoe. The problem is never the shoe. The problem is what people do with the shoe.
    A shoe is not an ideology. Your comparison in incomparable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    A shoe is not an ideology. Your comparison in incomparable.
    Explain to me how an ideology on it's own can do anything. The issue with these generalizations about groups is that they cloud the issue. Someone's beliefs are inconsequential, whether they believe in Mohammad or the Magic Shoe. The only thing that matters is their actions. Liberals shouldn't be whining about Islam, and whining about Islam won't do a damn thing to protect Muslim women, gays or those who choose to leave the faith.

    And while we're at it, what's the difference between a Christian who kills his wife for having an affair, a Muslim who kills his wife for having an affair and an atheist who kills his wife for having an affair?

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    Good point made here:
    http://observer.com/2014/10/what-ben...d-about-islam/

    Admin Edit: I'm leaving this here as an example of what's not good enough as far as participating in this section. Your source might have some good information, but you need to quote some of it here and expand on it. Simply dropping a link and saying you agree doesn't contribute enough to the conversation. In the future these kinds of posts will be deleted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    The issue we are really discussing is proper debate. When you attribute something to "religion" or "Christianity" or "Islam" you are implicating everyone who aligns themselves with that group. There are very few statements that will apply to everyone in that group, though. So, in order to foster debate and stay out of these traps, just speak clearly. I don't see why that's so difficult.

    Maher's problem is not with Islam. It's not with Muslims. It's with misogynists. It's with homophobes. It's with those who persecute others for their thoughts, life style, race, class, etc. So why join them with unsophisticated speech from your HBO pulpit?

    Maher uses unsophisticated debate tactics precisely to create these sorts of heated exchanges. His show doesn't work with out them. So to whine when Affleck falls for the bait is disingenuous.

    Maher basically said, "Liberals are against X, Fundamentalist Islam is for X, and most Islamic people are Fundamentalists".

    Harris then back-tracked, saying "even if 20%...which we know is a low figure...blah blah blah". Well if you're using 20%, then the term "most" doesn't apply.

    And why does all of this nonsense have to get parsed in the first place? Because Maher wants to say, "All those who follow Islam are for X" without having to say it so his position can be defensible.
    The 20% was a very conservative figure that he was using to try to bridge the gap they had between them. The number of Muslims in most predominantly Muslim nations who support things like Sharia law, for example, is quite high, which is why it's still a safe practice to presume that "most" Muslims support apostasy, for example. The same as it's safe to presume that "most" Christians do not support gay marriage. The numbers clearly indicate a majority percentage of the largest Christian sects (Catholicism, Protestantism) hold these beliefs, so why are we wrong to use the term "most" in that case?

    I agree, generally speaking, you want to speak as clearly as possible, but I still see no issue with the position Harris took. I'll give you that Maher does this type of thing quite a bit, and his job is to be a contrarian of sorts on his own show, but when speaking directly to the Harris v. Affleck aspect of this debate, it's clear that Affleck knew little to nothing about Harris or his level of expertise, and angrily responded repeatedly, by assigning generalized analogies and correlations to a position Harris never actually took.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    That's exactly where Maher is wrong and it's why Affleck was baited. Islam can't do anything. It's inanimate. It's a shoe. It may be a shoe that many people have raised up to be of vital importance, but it's still just a shoe. Some believe the shoe is magic and tells them how to live their lives. Some think the shoe wants them to kill everyone who doesn't believe the shoe is magic. Some believe that the shoe has some good features and some bad, and they follow what they think is good about the shoe and ignore or even condemn the bad.

    The problem is not the shoe. The problem is never the shoe. The problem is what people do with the shoe.
    This isn't true. The problem is sometimes the shoe. The problem is never the shoe when dealing with bad ideas outside of the realm of religion. Within the realm of religion, you are attacking something considered to be above the laws of man, in that it isn't subject to our interpretations and amendments. So it doesn't always have the same effect as it does when dealing with moral choices and laws prescribed by entirely secular means. Religious law is supposed to supersede the laws of man, which are subject to change because we create them. If you believe in God or Allah and believe in the divinity of his message as passed through the Qu'ran and/or Bible, then you will hold those law and commandments with higher regard (the highest regard) than the laws and commandments of man. This is why you see such conflict in the U.S. over the human rights of homosexuals, for example. It's why "gay marriage" is such a hotly contested subject in American socio-politics. Homosexuals are scientifically proven to be no "different" than heterosexuals. They carry the same genetic make-ups, and are every bit as human as the man or woman standing beside them. Logic then dictates that they are, or should be, granted the same rights as we grant heterosexuals, as both are human. Well, homosexuals have no rights in the Bible, and are considered inhuman, and a disgrace to humanity. The same in the Qu'ran. As a nation composed with a majority populous who take the Bible seriously, you end up with serious conflict between those who believe in the message within that text, and the reality of their [Homosexuals'] humanity, which has been scientifically proven to be no different than heterosexuals.

    In short:

    Majority nation who believe in the Bible as literal? Check.
    Nation home to homosexuals? Check.
    Homosexuals considered/treated the same as heterosexuals in the Bible? Nope.

    Ta-da! Conflict.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Explain to me how an ideology on it's own can do anything. The issue with these generalizations about groups is that they cloud the issue. Someone's beliefs are inconsequential, whether they believe in Mohammad or the Magic Shoe. The only thing that matters is their actions. Liberals shouldn't be whining about Islam, and whining about Islam won't do a damn thing to protect Muslim women, gays or those who choose to leave the faith.
    This is also not true. Ideas that are false, or immoral, pose a threat to healthy societies where that bad idea may be passed onto others. You believing yourself that blacks are not human, and should be eradicated from the face of the planet is an inertly harmless idea. It's horrible, but is still inert until the moment you open your mouth and potentially influence others (especially children) to think the same way you do. As a society, we have an obligation to eradicate bad ideas from our practice for the betterment of the quality of life of all our citizens.

    You want to know how an ideology on it's own can do anything? It can't, but a bad idea, left unchecked, can wreak havok on a society.

    And while we're at it, what's the difference between a Christian who kills his wife for having an affair, a Muslim who kills his wife for having an affair and an atheist who kills his wife for having an affair?
    Nothing, other than the label you assign to them. By social structure — our social structure — all are murderers, and all should be punished in accordance with our national/state laws on murder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Explain to me how an ideology on it's own can do anything. The issue with these generalizations about groups is that they cloud the issue. Someone's beliefs are inconsequential, whether they believe in Mohammad or the Magic Shoe. The only thing that matters is their actions. Liberals shouldn't be whining about Islam, and whining about Islam won't do a damn thing to protect Muslim women, gays or those who choose to leave the faith.

    And while we're at it, what's the difference between a Christian who kills his wife for having an affair, a Muslim who kills his wife for having an affair and an atheist who kills his wife for having an affair?
    I don't need to. I only need to explain how a shoe is not an ideology, and Islam is. Islam isn't a shoe.

    I shouldn't have to explain to you how ideology differs from an inanimate object.

    The other point is — Liberals do whine. Regardless. So Maher was pointing out the hypocrisy behind whining about Christianity and Judaism, but not Islam. I thought the thread was about the actual the actual debate they were having, but you're not addressing that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    The 20% was a very conservative figure that he was using to try to bridge the gap they had between them. The number of Muslims in most predominantly Muslim nations who support things like Sharia law, for example, is quite high, which is why it's still a safe practice to presume that "most" Muslims support apostasy, for example. The same as it's safe to presume that "most" Christians do not support gay marriage. The numbers clearly indicate a majority percentage of the largest Christian sects (Catholicism, Protestantism) hold these beliefs, so why are we wrong to use the term "most" in that case?

    I agree, generally speaking, you want to speak as clearly as possible, but I still see no issue with the position Harris took. I'll give you that Maher does this type of thing quite a bit, and his job is to be a contrarian of sorts on his own show, but when speaking directly to the Harris v. Affleck aspect of this debate, it's clear that Affleck knew little to nothing about Harris or his level of expertise, and angrily responded repeatedly, by assigning generalized analogies and correlations to a position Harris never actually took.
    Ultimately, this was theater, so it's kind of inconsequential to the point. Maher was being Maher, Afleck was being Afleck and Harris was being Harris. They were all in their character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    This isn't true. The problem is sometimes the shoe. The problem is never the shoe when dealing with bad ideas outside of the realm of religion. Within the realm of religion, you are attacking something considered to be above the laws of man, in that it isn't subject to our interpretations and amendments. So it doesn't always have the same effect as it does when dealing with moral choices and laws prescribed by entirely secular means. Religious law is supposed to supersede the laws of man, which are subject to change because we create them. If you believe in God or Allah and believe in the divinity of his message as passed through the Qu'ran and/or Bible, then you will hold those law and commandments with higher regard (the highest regard) than the laws and commandments of man. This is why you see such conflict in the U.S. over the human rights of homosexuals, for example. It's why "gay marriage" is such a hotly contested subject in American socio-politics. Homosexuals are scientifically proven to be no "different" than heterosexuals. They carry the same genetic make-ups, and are every bit as human as the man or woman standing beside them. Logic then dictates that they are, or should be, granted the same rights as we grant heterosexuals, as both are human. Well, homosexuals have no rights in the Bible, and are considered inhuman, and a disgrace to humanity. As a nation composed with a majority populous who take the Bible seriously, you end up with serious conflict between those who believe in the message within that text, and the humanity of the reality we live in, which scientifically proves they are the same as us.

    Majority nation who believe in the Bible as literal? Check. Nation home to homosexuals? Check. Homosexuals considered/treated the same as heterosexuals in the Bible? Nope. Ta-da! Conflict.
    I would argue that regardless of what people state about their religious beliefs (above the law of man) they don't often follow through on that. There are 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world. If they were all actively involved in Jihad, there would be no mistaking the impact. They'd dominate the globe. If Harris' 20% were, that is, 320 Million (about the population of the US), we would certainly see much more impact around the world than what we see. I'd guess that the "true believers" in this sense is under 100,000. Probably less than even that. So you're talking about a fraction of a percent.

    The vast, overwhelming majority of religious believers put the laws of man first. If not, we'd have absolute chaos.

    In the United States, support for gay marriage is now over 50% and by reports has been since 2010 or earlier. If that's the case, how is it possible that we also have nearly 75% of the population identifying as some form of Christianity?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I don't need to. I only need to explain how a shoe is not an ideology, and Islam is. Islam isn't a shoe.

    I shouldn't have to explain to you how ideology differs from an inanimate object.

    The other point is — Liberals do whine. Regardless. So Maher was pointing out the hypocrisy behind whining about Christianity and Judaism, but not Islam. I thought the thread was about the actual the actual debate they were having, but you're not addressing that.
    An idea has no ability on it's own. It can't do anything. A shoe is actually more dangerous, because it can be used to strike someone.

    The thread seemed to be two fold. About the debate, which was silly, in my opinion, and what they were debating, which is much more serious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko View Post
    Good point made here:
    http://observer.com/2014/10/what-ben...d-about-islam/

    Admin Edit: I'm leaving this here as an example of what's not good enough as far as participating in this section. Your source might have some good information, but you need to quote some of it here and expand on it. Simply dropping a link and saying you agree doesn't contribute enough to the conversation. In the future these kinds of posts will be deleted.

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    I'm on an iPhone and it's hard to quote from the article, but the point made still has merit and is worth viewing, no?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    I would argue that regardless of what people state about their religious beliefs (above the law of man) they don't often follow through on that. There are 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world. If they were all actively involved in Jihad, there would be no mistaking the impact. They'd dominate the globe. If Harris' 20% were, that is, 320 Million (about the population of the US), we would certainly see much more impact around the world than what we see. I'd guess that the "true believers" in this sense is under 100,000. Probably less than even that. So you're talking about a fraction of a percent.

    The vast, overwhelming majority of religious believers put the laws of man first. If not, we'd have absolute chaos.

    In the United States, support for gay marriage is now over 50% and by reports has been since 2010 or earlier. If that's the case, how is it possible that we also have nearly 75% of the population identifying as some form of Christianity?
    Because those people are realizing, day-by-day, that the morality of their religion is in direct conflict with the morality of the world we live in today. They realize it's their sons and daughters who are often the same homosexuals they were raised to condemn, for example. I don't think it's an active decision on their part of putting the laws of man first, but rather an evolutionary realization that the laws of God directly conflict what they actually feel is right and wrong.

    I'd also argue that the shift in figures on this topic (specifically) isn't unrelated to the decreasing religiosity rate in the nation as a whole. They may still identify with that religion when the Pew Polls come around, but the grip religious morality had/has on people is absolutely slipping, which is how a lot of these Liberal beliefs are thriving. If it weren't, slavery would still be in practice (as it is supported and justified in the Bible).

    On that same note, a lot of Muslim countries simply haven't advanced to the point the U.S. has regarding civil/human liberties, because of how strong the religiosity rate still is in those nations. Again, I don't consider this coincidence. The morality of most holy texts is highly questionable when it comes to the rights of women, homosexuals and those outside the faith. Most of these moral practices/commandments from these books directly conflict with the morality of the reality we live in, and as the religious grip lessens, these Liberal rights are able to climb out of the rubble.

    So sure, even if you account for literalists making up the minority in all the Abrahamic religions, that minority still has a majority voice in a lot of areas of the world, and still holds influence over the majority by means of laws prescribed through it. It takes a divorce of religion and politics to allow for the Liberal rights of these persecuted groups to be granted.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko View Post
    I'm on an iPhone and it's hard to quote from the article, but the point made still has merit and is worth viewing, no?
    It does, yes, but these topics often teeter on the head of a pin, so we try to be as clear as possible about what is posted and said in them. The forum isn't in the business of censorship, but how information is shared matters in this section a lot, so as not to derail threads/topics, or more importantly, opinions.

    It's why we ask that a link not just get posted with "Good points", though I agree it has relevance here, because it's not actually being shown how to someone reading through this.

    Make sense?
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