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

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    But I'm on an iPad now, so here you go:

    "If there’s a dishonest Jewish man or woman out there, they do not scream “God is great!”, hoisting a Magen David into the air as they cheat on their taxes.

    Irish Catholics have had to fight nasty stereotypes about drinking for hundreds of years. But if one were to drink to excess they would not lift their pint and scream, “In the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost.”

    Any bad acts they commit are done in their own name.

    But the problem with Islamic violence is that it’s being done in the name of Islam. And while we dare never repeat the lie that violence is endemic to Islam – knowing full well that other religions have had violent streaks – it is true that violence in the name of Islam is not being condemned by a sufficient number in the Islamic mainstream."

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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?
    I read it and there is some value there. But posting a link that is on topic just doesn't add enough to the debate. I agreed with some and disagreed with other points that were made in that article. How am I to know which point you were agreeing with? See the issue?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    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.
    OK — Let's take that for a minute.

    If what you're saying is true, then it's quite clear that you can criticize the ideology without criticizing those who follow the ideology, right? That's what Maher was doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    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.
    Sure, I can buy all of this. Although I think in quite a few areas, Muslim beliefs are modernizing as well. And that's the issue with these types of statements. If I'm a modernized Muslim and the people I congregate with are modernized, why should I be painted with the same brush that fundamentalists in less modern societies get painted with? And why are those who may have more modern beliefs but live in fundamentally controlled area, to the point they're afraid to do anything but spout the party line, painted with the same brush?

    The alternative is much simpler. Rather than a call for Liberals to condemn Islam because "many" or "most" Islamists believe X, why not say "Liberals should condemn Muslims that believe X".

    It really would have been that simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    OK — Let's take that for a minute.

    If what you're saying is true, then it's quite clear that you can criticize the ideology without criticizing those who follow the ideology, right? That's what Maher was doing.
    Couple of things. Of course you can criticize the ideology. You can do it in the same way that you'd criticize a shoe. You can judge it's properties.

    That wasn't what Maher was doing though. He went a step further. He included the followers of the ideology. It would be like saying "everyone who wears Nike's are assholes" because a group of people who wear Nike's are assholes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko View Post
    But I'm on an iPad now, so here you go:

    "If there’s a dishonest Jewish man or woman out there, they do not scream “God is great!”, hoisting a Magen David into the air as they cheat on their taxes.

    Irish Catholics have had to fight nasty stereotypes about drinking for hundreds of years. But if one were to drink to excess they would not lift their pint and scream, “In the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost.”

    Any bad acts they commit are done in their own name.

    But the problem with Islamic violence is that it’s being done in the name of Islam. And while we dare never repeat the lie that violence is endemic to Islam – knowing full well that other religions have had violent streaks – it is true that violence in the name of Islam is not being condemned by a sufficient number in the Islamic mainstream."
    If an Islamic follower cheats on their taxes, I doubt they scream "God is Great!". This is more akin to when a Christian bombs an abortion clinic and then says, "thank you god for giving me the strength of my convictions".
    “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― Neil Gaiman,

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    If an Islamic follower cheats on their taxes, I doubt they scream "God is Great!". This is more akin to when a Christian bombs an abortion clinic and then says, "thank you god for giving me the strength of my convictions".
    But the knocks on Muslims as a whole is simply for the beliefs and actions which are all done in the name of Islam. That's where the blanket statements are made which is why the statements Ben about blacks being involved in crimes, Jews being shifty or people just not liking "the gays" aren't comparable.

    People fear/hate those listed above irrationally in comparison, bc the actions of those being stereotyped for are not in any way related to the cause of the hatred from others (race/gender/religion). But when an extremist Muslim does something like stoning a woman, beheading someone, etc. they're telling you they're doing it in the name of Islam.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niko View Post
    But the knocks on Muslims as a whole is simply for the beliefs and actions which are all done in the name of Islam. That's where the blanket statements are made which is why the statements Ben about blacks being involved in crimes, Jews being shifty or people just not liking "the gays" aren't comparable.

    People fear/hate those listed above irrationally in comparison, bc the actions of those being stereotyped for are not in any way related to the cause of the hatred from others (race/gender/religion). But when an extremist Muslim does something like stoning a woman, beheading someone, etc. they're telling you they're doing it in the name of Islam.
    Sure, because in some regions, Islam is Christianity a couple hundred years ago. As far as the comparison, I agree with some of what the article says. Just not in the relation to the religious parts. The black/gay thing doesn't fit, that I agree with.
    Last edited by AmericanJesus; 10-08-2014 at 02:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Sure, I can buy all of this. Although I think in quite a few areas, Muslim beliefs are modernizing as well. And that's the issue with these types of statements. If I'm a modernized Muslim and the people I congregate with are modernized, why should I be painted with the same brush that fundamentalists in less modern societies get painted with? And why are those who may have more modern beliefs but live in fundamentally controlled area, to the point they're afraid to do anything but spout the party line, painted with the same brush?

    The alternative is much simpler. Rather than a call for Liberals to condemn Islam because "many" or "most" Islamists believe X, why not say "Liberals should condemn Muslims that believe X".

    It really would have been that simple.
    You shouldn't, but you have little choice in the matter so long as the minority hold a majority voice, and so long as that voice continues to dramatically influence policies in your nation. The kicker with Islam, in particular, is the law of Apostasy, which declares that those who leave the religion should be killed for it. That needs to die a quick death before real Liberal progress can be made in any nation with a Muslim base, and whose laws are fundamentally inspired by Muslim laws/teachings.

    And yes, I agree with the alternative, but that's actually what both Maher and Harris said. Well, Maher specifically. Harris mentioned something about condemning bad ideas, and Maher tagged up on it with something like (and I'm paraphrasing) "and those who hold them as well". To draw an analogy again, it's as simple as gays are humans too, and all humans deserve basic human rights, like the right to marry. It is a bad idea to treat them as inhuman, and prevent them from participating in a basic human right like marriage, and anyone who believes in this bad idea deserves to be criticized for thinking this way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Sure, because in some regions, Islam is Christianity a couple hundred years ago.
    Yup, and to a lesser extent, Christianity was Judaism from hundreds of years prior to that. It's why I actually agree whole-heartedly with Maher when he talks about the solution to Middle Eastern conflict being to step aside and let them kill one another until they realize that killing each other is fucking horrific, and stupid. Just as Christians learned. Just as Jews learned.

    But that's a whole other topic, obviously.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    You shouldn't, but you have little choice in the matter so long as the minority hold a majority voice, and so long as that voice continues to dramatically influence policies in your nation. The kicker with Islam, in particular, is the law of Apostasy, which declares that those who leave the religion should be killed for it. That needs to die a quick death before real Liberal progress can be made in any nation with a Muslim base, and whose laws are fundamentally inspired by Muslim laws/teachings.

    And yes, I agree with the alternative, but that's actually what both Maher and Harris said. Well, Maher specifically. Harris mentioned something about condemning bad ideas, and Maher tagged up on it with something like (and I'm paraphrasing) "and those who hold them as well". To draw an analogy again, it's as simple as gays are humans too, and all humans deserve basic human rights, like the right to marry. It is a bad idea to treat them as inhuman, and prevent them from participating in a basic human right like marriage, and anyone who believes in this bad idea deserves to be criticized for thinking this way.
    Yeah, and I think that was when Afleck agreed with them for a moment. When they more clearly explained what they meant. I just don't think Maher is stupid enough for the way he brought the topic up to be an accident. It was shtick. And then getting incensed at Afleck was more shtick.

    Lets not pretend that his panel system where he both moderates and participates is a proper debate format.

    Apostasy is just a more immediate form of Hell though. Religion often uses the carrot and the stick. Although the stick here is pretty brutal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    Yup, and to a lesser extent, Christianity was Judaism from hundreds of years prior to that. It's why I actually agree whole-heartedly with Maher when he talks about the solution to Middle Eastern conflict being to step aside and let them kill one another until they realize that killing each other is fucking horrific, and stupid. Just as Christians learned. Just as Jews learned.

    But that's a whole other topic, obviously.
    Certainly a different topic. And I think we all know if the you remove oil from the equation, that's exactly what would be going on here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Couple of things. Of course you can criticize the ideology. You can do it in the same way that you'd criticize a shoe. You can judge it's properties.

    That wasn't what Maher was doing though. He went a step further. He included the followers of the ideology. It would be like saying "everyone who wears Nike's are assholes" because a group of people who wear Nike's are assholes.
    Yes it is. You're being Affleck right now, and not understanding the argument. Maher tried to say repeatedly that jihadists and fundamentalists make up a majority of Islam (he backed that up), and that the moderates were the fringe. So Maher and Harris were talking about what Islam teaches, and what most Muslims believe, but they also said that there is a silent minority who are afraid to speak out because Islam states you should be killed for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Yeah, and I think that was when Afleck agreed with them for a moment. When they more clearly explained what they meant. I just don't think Maher is stupid enough for the way he brought the topic up to be an accident. It was shtick. And then getting incensed at Afleck was more shtick.

    Lets not pretend that his panel system where he both moderates and participates is a proper debate format.

    Apostasy is just a more immediate form of Hell though. Religion often uses the carrot and the stick. Although the stick here is pretty brutal.
    I don't. Maher's show is great for comedy relief, and for the format it exists in. If you aren't a strong Liberal, you won't enjoy it much, is my guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Certainly a different topic. And I think we all know if the you remove oil from the equation, that's exactly what would be going on here.
    And unfortunately, that's exactly why we won't be removing ourselves from the situation. Especially with the threat of nuclear offense in the hands of a number of nations involved in those conflicts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Yes it is. You're being Affleck right now, and not understanding the argument. Maher tried to say repeatedly that jihadists and fundamentalists make up a majority of Islam (he backed that up), and that the moderates were the fringe. So Maher and Harris were talking about what Islam teaches, and what most Muslims believe, but they also said that there is a silent minority who are afraid to speak out because Islam states you should be killed for it.
    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.
    This is the statement at issue. There is no "Muslim world" outside of a group that would include every single Muslim on the planet. There are regions of the world that are predominately Muslim and there are regions of the world that are partially Muslim. The types of behaviors he is rightfully condemning aren't something that every Muslim engages in or supports.

    It was this opening position that derailed the entire debate about the practice of many Muslims. But then, Maher isn't interested in a productive debate, he's interested in getting his point out and then good theater, which is what he got.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rome 2.0 View Post
    I don't. Maher's show is great for comedy relief, and for the format it exists in. If you aren't a strong Liberal, you won't enjoy it much, is my guess.

    And unfortunately, that's exactly why we won't be removing ourselves from the situation. Especially with the threat of nuclear offense in the hands of a number of nations involved in those conflicts.
    His show, the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, Limbaugh's Show, Hanity's Show, O'Reilly's Show, etc, are all for comic relief and raising awareness of issues. They're all pretty slanted, though, so the only thing they do productively is shine a light on issues, not working towards resolving them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    This is the statement at issue. There is no "Muslim world" outside of a group that would include every single Muslim on the planet. There are regions of the world that are predominately Muslim and there are regions of the world that are partially Muslim. The types of behaviors he is rightfully condemning aren't something that every Muslim engages in or supports.
    I don't agree. Because he said "lacking", not "absent".

    It was this opening position that derailed the entire debate about the practice of many Muslims. But then, Maher isn't interested in a productive debate, he's interested in getting his point out and then good theater, which is what he got.
    What talking head is? Show me a non-biased show revolving around politics and I'll show yo a tolerant Musl....Forget it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I don't agree. Because he said "lacking", not "absent".

    What talking head is? Show me a non-biased show revolving around politics and I'll show yo a tolerant Musl....Forget it.
    Pretend I gave the general discussion rep to this post instead of the other one.

    To me, the issue isn't what he's attributing to the group, it's that he's attributing something to a group. It's a poor way to argue. When it happens in the Rangers section, we are all quick to dispel it. So when someone says, "Rangers fans are this" we know that the person is making a weak argument against a group of people who are unlikely to defend themselves as a group. In this case, every Muslim that might stand up and say, "I am not this" Maher would say, "you're the exception to the rule".

    Here's what Maher should have said if the interest was making a valid point:

    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 that for too many in the Muslim world this is what's lacking, then they get upset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Pretend I gave the general discussion rep to this post instead of the other one.

    To me, the issue isn't what he's attributing to the group, it's that he's attributing something to a group. It's a poor way to argue. When it happens in the Rangers section, we are all quick to dispel it. So when someone says, "Rangers fans are this" we know that the person is making a weak argument against a group of people who are unlikely to defend themselves as a group. In this case, every Muslim that might stand up and say, "I am not this" Maher would say, "you're the exception to the rule".

    Here's what Maher should have said if the interest was making a valid point:
    To me, that's splitting hairs though. The word "lacking" can mean "in short supply". That's the qualifier you're looking for.

    I'd get your argument if he said:

    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 doesn't exist, then they get upset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanJesus View Post
    Pretend I gave the general discussion rep to this post instead of the other one.

    To me, the issue isn't what he's attributing to the group, it's that he's attributing something to a group. It's a poor way to argue. When it happens in the Rangers section, we are all quick to dispel it. So when someone says, "Rangers fans are this" we know that the person is making a weak argument against a group of people who are unlikely to defend themselves as a group. In this case, every Muslim that might stand up and say, "I am not this" Maher would say, "you're the exception to the rule".

    Here's what Maher should have said if the interest was making a valid point:
    But the insinuation is still there with the qualifier of "most". It's implied he's not actually condemning every Islamic person on the planet — just those who harbor these bad ideas, which just so happen to make up the majority of the faith (Jihadists, Islamists). Moderates are the minority in most regions.
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