Monday, October 03, 2005

The Bummer Blog.

I've got to be honest. This blog used to be fun. I've taken the time to read through my most recent entries and, sheesh, this thing is depressing.

Gone are my entertaining stories about irritable bowels, comic books and fine music. Instead, I've taken a "woe is me" approach to blogging. Well, that's not what I wanted this blog to be about. The trouble is -- I've got nothing. I could write all about my recent escapades in the Fancypants University Library bathroom, the dog that damn near kills me every morning in the elevator, my two upstairs neighbors (both female) who sound like they're having a massive pillow fight every evening before bedtime.

I'm just not sure any of that is very thought provoking.

I could write about something political, but isn't that what every other blog out there is doing? I must admit, I feel guilty when I write about my everyday crap. Couldn't I find something more useful to write about?

Here's the question -- if you were me, what would you write about? What would you like to hear about? Tell me, how may I serve you?

37 Comments:

Blogger Lia said...

I think maybe I am you, since what you describe has happened to my blog. Kind of sad. It depresses me to realize how depressing my blog has become. But I keep at it in the hope that inspiration will come.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous FNPhD said...

Bring on the pillow fight!!! I mean, err... yeah.

Well, at least lets hear about the dog and the color in NH and smart people doing stupid things....

10:25 AM  
Blogger RT said...

Silly boy, I don't think anyone here is asking you to serve them. Personally, I like your blog because I like getting to know you. How am I going to do that if you just feed us a bunch of tailored stories?

Life can be a pain sometimes, we all know it, what's wrong with being honest and writting about it?

10:38 AM  
Blogger The Disgruntled Chemist said...

Yeah, I like your blog more for your writing style and voice than the exact subject matter. It's very human and very experssive. Whatever you choose to write, as long as it's you writing it, people are gonna read it.

Funny stories about science mishaps are always good, though, since I can relate. Also, I have one pressing question: why is there a dog in your elevator?

12:06 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

chemist: That damn dog is in the elevator with his owner every morning. Stupid mutt growls and lunges at me every time I head to work...

3:16 PM  
Blogger RT said...

Doggie biscuits are a man's best friend, best friend!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

If work is terrible right now, shift to something that will make you smile. It's all about you.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Meow said...

Hey poop works. It always cracks me up.
I'm still FOFLOL about the gas leak blog everytime one of my smelly patients pass by my desk, I think of that blog. LOL LOL

9:20 PM  
Blogger Moose said...

Write about you. That's good enough for me.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Ivan said...

Ummm, I'm w/ fnphd, go w/ the pillow fights. Yep, granted i'm a teenage guy. So you know. But, yeah i'd read just about anything you write, its the style not the content.

10:43 PM  
Blogger European said...

Seems like similar things are happening to me. I figure blogging is cheaper than therapy, and I love getting comments full of encouragement (depressed writing is a prerequesite).
As your reader, I just want to be part of your life and hear what's going on - good and bad.
And if you really want to be more upbeat, pick out positive things to write about (surely there's something, right? Like, 'this morning it didn't rain' and 'the man with the dog wasn't in the elevator'). Just keep writing.

10:57 PM  
Blogger fuzk said...

Ditto. =)

2:40 AM  
Blogger Aurelius said...

Write what you bloody want. Everyone making suggestions should shut the fuck up.
Write what you feel. Kill your blog if you wish. But don't forget, if people are reading, then don't worry about whether you're being interesting enough.
Ask yourself Vavoom why you're writing. If it still is serving YOU, then keep it. If it is hurting you, ditch it.
For me, I like reading of someone from the other side of ther world, in a completely different life.

3:19 AM  
Blogger An80sNut said...

I've always heard that most growth starts from pain, so I read you to grow... no, no, no. I think you're doing a great job just relating your life, thoughts and pleasures to us because if you were doing something different, most of us wouldn't be here. B)

10:56 AM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Why don't you explain why all the crimes commited by Muhammed against peaceful non-believers were just dandy because Allah said it was fine and dandy, in fact Allah commanded him to do so.

I think you should get off your high horse with regard to the bad behavior you keep complaining about. After all, these people are not doing anything remotely as bad as the behavior of the person you take as a moral authority. If they actually knew what you believed then a fully reasonable response from them when you confront them would be "Allah told me to be so cruel".

Why are wasting time railing against the practical jokes, sexy girls wasting your time, and office politics when you could be railing against the crimes of Muhammed. Ones that the terrorists are emulating. Crimes that Muhammed commanded Muslims to commit.

You can begin by explaining this crime. This describes his behavior after a suprise raid on a peaceful group:

"Kinana, the husband of Safiya, had been guardian of the tribe's treasures, and he was brought before the apostle, who asked where they were hidden. But Kinana refused to disclose the place. Then a Jew came who said, 'I have seen Kinana walk around a certain ruin every morning.' The apostle asked Kinana, 'Art thou prepared to die if we find thou knewest where the treasure was?' And he replied, 'Yes.' So the apostle ordered the ruin to be dug up, and some of the treasure was found. After that Kinana was asked again about the remainder, but he still refused to tell. The apostle of Allah handed him over to al‑Zubayr, saying, 'Torture him until he tells what he knows', and al‑Zubayr kindled a fire on his chest so that he almost expired; then the apostle gave him to Muhammad b. Maslama, who struck off his head."

He then proceeded to rape Safiya. These people belonged to a jewish tribe in Medina who gave this animal shelter when his own tribesmen, recognizing his character, kicked him out. He turned on every peaceful tribe in the area once he became powerful enough and slaughtered them all.

Now the amazing thing is that Muslims portray this rape as a marriage. The 57 year old Muhammed had just got done killing the 17 year old Safiya's father, husband, many of her relatives but then she decides to "marry" him immediately. This bastard couldn't even wait a day for this young lady to cry at her misfortune, his sexual cravings were just to much.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

brian: Ironically, your comment wreaks of cruelty. Really, it does. I have, on several occasions, cried foul the activities of Islamofacist terrorists. It sounds like you're trying to pick a fight. That won't work. Feel free to visit as often as you'd like. However, the material here will be dictated and paced by me. It is my blog, after all. As a consequence, I'm sure you'll understand why I'm choosing to simply write off your comment as prejudicial and naive. If my blog were paced by hate mongers, well, I assume I'd attract more. I'm not so interested in that. Have a great day and thanks for visiting!

11:53 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Vavoom,

Actually I think it is you who is naive. As you know I am reading the Koran and it reeks of cruelty and predjudice. It calls Jews "Greedy" and the sons of apes and pigs. It is one long libelous tirade against non-believers. It has numerous passages goading Muslims into fighting and murdering non-believers.

The vast majority of the Koranic text is talking about how bad non-believers are, how they will be punished, how to enslave them, how to steal, rape and kill them.

The actual ethical portions of the Koran don't seem to apply to non-muslims. There is always some "out" that does not make it clear that non-muslims should be treated as equals to muslims. When there is some ethical statement it is alway qualified or contradicted. Read the Koran and you will see that Allah tells the Jews not to murder anyone but he is clearly not speaking to Muslims. There will be a section that says in is wrong to start agression but then realize that it is in the context of special rules for holy month. What about the non-holy months, apparently it is just fine then.

I know you are against the acts of the Islamofacists. That is the least that should be expected of you or any other Muslim. However, you seem to feel that it is just fine to continue in the adherence to and spreading of this intolerant political ideology, Islam.

Every Muslim I communicate with about this is evasive or only digs the hole deeper by condoning what are unethical beliefs. The intolerant teachings in the Koran are quite clear about the subhuman standing of those who are not Muslim, the moderate portions are ambiguous at best.

How do you think non-believers can live in comfort with the intolerant beliefs of the Muslims is beyond me. It is like asking Jews to live in peace with the teaching of Nazi ideology. I am sure there were plenty of nice peaceful Nazis who could sit down to a nice polite cup of tea, but that doesn't make what they believe acceptable.

The more I read of Islam the more I believe that we should not refer to this hateful bomber ideology as Islamofacism but instead as Islam. The Osamas of the world are only taking the Koran and Hadiths at it's word. I think they are the true believers in Islam.

Look at the Islamic countries. They do not allow any discussion of Islam, they do not allow construction of churches, many put apostates to death, they kill missionaries, they are persecuting non-believers who have lived there longer than the existence of the muslim country, they are taking slaves, they mistreat their women, they do not allow non-believers to testify in court, etc. The most tolerant examples of muslims countries must be compared to the most evil of non-muslim ones in order to come out in a good light.

Why should any non-believer take the "moderate muslim" at his word? All the evidence runs the other way. In theory the Muslim religion is intolerant, and in practice it is also intolerant. Where is all this tolerance that is claimed by Muslim apologists?

I have yet to meet a Muslim that says the Koran is not the writings of Allah and the Mohammed was a evil man. As long as you believe the Koran is the true writings of Allah then you are in a mind twisting bind. How can you not obey the commandments to fight in ranks against the non-believer, to murder and take his possesions as spoils.

Islam is nowhere close to any sort of reformation and it doesn't appear to me that it has the intellecutal underpinnings to even take the first step in this direction.

The muslims are like a bucket of crabs, whenever one tries to crawl out of the bucket the others pull him back in. They do this by murdering anyone who dares speak any heresy. Look at all the moderates that have been killed in Palestein. Even if Islam had some tradition of interpreting it's texts as symbolic, the killing of heritics would prevent progress for hundreds of years.

I don't want to wait that long. What needs to happen is that Muslims need to be pulled out of the bucket and shown that the bucket was not the place to be.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

brian: Chances are, you weren't even concerned about Muslims or Islam until after 9/11. Suddenly, you've become an instant expert and demand answers to questions when, in fact, you're merely peddling your opinion. Are you on your own little crusade against all religions? All of them contain objectionable material, after all. It'd be one thing if you really sought to understand. In the course of your long winded diatribe, you never asked me what I think is good about the religion. Not once. That doesn't seem to be your bag. I've taken the opportunity to google search you. You seem to love to argue. Good for you. You truly enjoy using phrases like "straw man arguments" and egoically arguing your position. Rather than level accusations, you should seek understanding. Then and only then can you enter a productive discussion with someone.

I have no responsibility to justify my faith to you. I most certainly won't enter a deep discussion with you, given your penchant for long winded back and forth arguments. Find something better to do with your time, Brian. Your comment is loaded with generalizations that smack of prejudice. I am well versed in Islam. You are deeply mistaken about it. Seeing that you've clearly made up your mind I don't think discussing Islam with you is a good use of my time.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Vavoom,

This is typical of the types of responses I get from muslims.

Vavoom: "Chances are, you weren't even concerned about Muslims or Islam until after 9/11."

Bigoted statement.

Vavoom: "Are you on your own little jihad against all religions?"

Evasion.

"All of them contain objectionable material, after all."

You've tried that tactic before, two wrongs don't make a right. You are practicing the Tu Quoque
fallacy. I have examined other religions and Islam is unlike any other. We can discuss that if you like. The subject doesn't interest me since Christians, Buddhist, and Gnostics aren't behaving like Muslims.

"It'd be one thing if you really sought to understand."

Oh, I guess Allah is just too stupid to get his point across correctly in the Koran.

Vavoom: "In the course of your long winded diatribe, you never asked me what I think is good about the religion. Not once. That doesn't seem to be your bag."

I've already heard from Muslims what they think is good about Islam. For instance I was told by a Muslim that the Koran contains all of science and was given an article "The Amazing Quran" to show why. I read the article and it was ridiculous.

I've spoken at length with a number of Muslims. I have heard all about the things they think are good about Islam, and what a great guy Muhammed was. How he could have killed this guy or that but didn't so he's just the best. How he did away with charging interest and that's just great, on and on.

Why on earth do you think that I need to ask you what you think is good first. While reading the horrible things in Mein Kampf I'm not going to be inclined to ask a Nazi what he finds good about the National Socialist party. The natural reaction is, "How can you believe all this evil stuff". I really don't care if Nazis are going to make "wages more fair", "protect the worker", or "make the trains run on time".

Similarly, it doesn't matter to me if Muhammed stopped the practice of burying babies, it wasn't a problem outside his own culture in the first place. It doesn't matter to me if Islam says one should not cheat [muslim] orphans. It doesn't impress me if Islam says to give to [muslim] charities.

You don't think Hitler, Stalin, The Mafia and others haven't hit on this formula before. This political strategy of "stealing for the poor" is much older than Islam.

If you want to blog about what you think is good about Islam go ahead. No one is stopping you.

My objection to Islam is deeper than that. I can give specifics:
1) Islam specifically calls for my murder.
2) Islam is not a true ethical system, and is instead merely a list of do's and don'ts with no rational other than "Allah said so". The list of "must dos" include everything from rape to genocide. The lists of don'ts includes peacefully minding your own business.
3) Islams moral injunctions fail the test of universality.

Vavoom: "I've taken the opportunity to google search you. You seem to love to argue. Good for you. You truly enjoy using phrases like "straw man arguments" and egoically arguing your position."

Save your psychologizing for someone who cares. BTW, you just commited another fallacy, ad hominem.

"Rather than level accusations, you should seek understanding."

Now this is a beauty, following an ad hominem attack, just a little hypocritical isn't it.

The fact of the matter is that I am seeking understanding. Why on earth would I be reading a boring book like the Koran if I wasn't. One that is incredibly boring due to the fact that it a) spends an inordnate time telling me I am going to hell b) has much bad grammar c) is incoherent d) has ignorant and inaccurate retelling of stories from the bible. e) is racist - always wondered where Farrikan got that stuff f) gives bad advice g) contains laughable "science".

I asked specific questions of you which were not answered. This is the same kind of response you gave at bloggledygook. I am trying to "understand" why a fellow like you can continue being a Muslim when the philosophy is so evil. If you want me to give specifics I can.

vavoom:"Then and only then can you enter a productive discussion with someone."

That is nonsense. I have had many a productive conversation with people without the need to entertain their delusions and sensitivities.

Muslims seem to be particulary good at playing this victimhood game. I'm not going to hide my piglet to satisfy your conception of how these discussions should go. You are in the USA not some Islamic hellhole. We have a tradition of questioning religion. That's why we are not a hellhole. You should read "The Age of Reason" written by Thomas Paine one of the founders of this country to understand how far back this goes.

If reason alienates you then you shouldn't participate in any discussions, and just lock yourself in a closet. Too bad if it alienates muslims to talk about the frankly evil teachings in the Koran. You're the ones claiming this is the truth, you have to live with the facts.

Vavoom: "I have no responsibility to justify my faith to you."

That would be true if you believed in something harmless, like if you believed burying a statue of"St. Joseph" in your backyard would sell your house faster. The problem is that you believe in the Koran, the Hadiths, and a long line of Islamic jurisprudence which are not harmless.

As far as I know stating "I am a Muslim" means that you believe in the Koran and that it was written inerrantly. I asked specific questions so you could correct me if that was false, but you didn't. So I will continue to believe that until you correct me.

Since the Koran is a strategy guide for my extermination, I believe that you do have a responsiblity to justify it to me. I need to know what you believe so I can act accordingly.

Merely stating that I am ignorant, or that "Islam is Peace" or that "Islam is the most tolerant religion in the world" or "Jihad is an inner struggle" will not cut it because these are obvious falsehoods, lies of ommission, and equivocations.

" I most certainly won't enter a deep discussion with you, given your penchant for long winded back and forth arguments."

Thinking too much work for you? Perhaps you are right. I wouldn't want to get the scoop on Islam from a guy who wants to work with sound bites.

The questions I am asking are serious and require long-winded discussions.

"Your comment is loaded with generalizations that smack of prejudice."

Nonsense. I'll back up whatever you want with specific examples.

" I am well versed in Islam. You are deeply mistaken about it."

Prove it. Which specific items are false. For instance, does or does not the Koran instruct Muslims not to be friends with non-muslims, in several suras? Does it or does it not tell muslims they must fight even if they don't want to, to fight in ranks, etc. Was or was not Muhammed a violent criminal and pedophile with a rapacious sexual appetite?

Does or does not Jihad mean holy war? Just because crusade means "inner struggle" doesn't mean that if Pat Roberson declared one and started murdering Muslims it's a misuse of the word.

Why are muslims lying to me so much about this stuff? What difference does it make if the word Jihad has another meaning unrelated to the one Osama means when he speaks. One different than what way too many Muslim clerics mean, and not just the one-eyed crazy kind.

"Seeing that you've clearly made up your mind I don't think discussing Islam with you is a good use of my time."

Be specific. What have I made up my mind about that isn't true? It is you who always speaks in generalities, not me.

I am actually dying to learn something that will contradict what I am finding out about Islam. It hasn't been forthcoming. It really wouldn't be hard for you to come up with a link that exposes this all as a mistake, if it were truly false.

I have changed my mind over many an issue in my lifetime. I, for instance, once believed that Islam was no worse a religion than any other. That slowly started to change with the Iranian revoluton and the fatwas against Salman Rushdie. I had lots of exposure to Islam prior to 9/11. I am not afraid to talk shop and I did have a Muslim boss, Muslim coworkers, Muslim reports, a "Nation of Islam" "friend" if you could call him that. I won't cover it all.

It wasn't until I had a discussion with a Muslim friend about 9/11 that I really began to see the light. I started reading what all those Muslim clerics had to say, it wasn't pretty.

I have an issue with Muslim intolerance. I've seen the supposed Suras showing how tolerant Islam is and they don't ring true. "To me my religion and to you yours" is not a message of tolerance. Especially when imbedded in a context of the message of "Allah hates you". It's like a KKK member telling a black "To me my skin color and to you yours".

There are many unethical teachings in the Koran. For instance, it teaches that when a Muslim kills a non-believer it is not the Muslim but Allah who is really doing the killing". How despicable. Even if I believed in a god I would find this offensive. It makes god into a murderer, not that he isn't depicted that way in the old testament. But defaming an imaginary being is not such a big crime, after all who gets upset if I say "Leprachauns suck babies blood". What is offensive and frankly endangering is that it sanctions murder.

Have fun explaining that one. Unless you come up with some good answers you can stop complaining about being misunderstood.

I first came across your writing here. You were whining about "However, I am often intrigued by the lack of interest by Americans to learn more about my religion." What an ignorant statement that is. If Islam were truly tolerant there really would be not need for me to learn about it. No more so than I would need to learn more about the practices of some nudist neighbors.

You got this response from Steve:
"And Vavoom, your accusation of alienation is misplaced. Your religion is being hijacked by nutjobs and this is what really alienates you, right? If I may, it is your job to get off your couch and act to save your moderate Islam.

Daniel's post should serve as a catalyst to your action. Get busy. We'll help."


He offered to help you but then you shut him down:
"Steve: How would you help? I mean, really? Tell me what you would do to help me? C'mon, what is anybody doing to help moderate Muslims? Would you really rally around a moderate American Muslim? In how many communities have moderate Muslims been elected to office in this country?
More ridiculousness. What's with that last sentence? Think about how absolutely ridiculous that is. Do you think even if every political position in the USA was occupied by a "moderate muslim" that would stop the Jihad? What an unreasonable hurled. I suppose it's up to the non-muslim majority of this country to get "moderate muslims" to run for office, then vote for them, and then everything will work out fine. Nonsense.

Then CCM gave you a very good response:
"You'll only end up alienating moderate Muslims -- we are your greatest ally."

No you're not; not if you are so easily alienated by straight talk.


You never did say what kind of help you expected from non-muslims. What exactly, be specific, do you think we non-muslims can do to help? I really don't think the answer is voting for "moderate muslims" why do americans need to be lead by moderate muslims?

The solution to Nazism was to defeat the germans. It really didn't matter that there were a few moderate germans. The issue with Islam is worse. Since the only thing tying moderate germans to the Nazis was their ethnicity. With moderate muslims the ties are philosophical.

The solution is not to kowtow to Islamic sensibilities. They are already banning Piglet in Britain. How many cartoon characters will need to be banned before the invasion ceases?

Why exactly should I help you spread a philosophy that orders my execution?

8:37 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Brian: What is the point of all this? You've made up your mind. Stop picking fights with people. Seriously, get a life.

Incidentally, you have proven my point -- you are long winded.

8:54 PM  
Blogger mindful said...

Brian:

Your criticisms of Islam apply equally well to both Christianity and Judaism. Doesn't the Bible approve slavery and say that we should kill those who work on the Sabbath? For centuries, non-christians were persecuted for voicing their beliefs. During that time, the muslim world treated non-muslims with respect. In the past, Islam was the religion of peace, both morally and geopolitically, and you would have been inveighing against Christians for hewing to their own misguided scripture.

Imagine if the vast majority of Christians lived in poverty and ignorance. Do you think they would be great humanitarians? Do you think they would grow up gentle and giving? They would not. The radicalism of state-sponsored Islam today is the effect of a century of poverty and misrule instigated in large part by the misguided actions of European (christian!) powers after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. So maybe we can lay the blame of all today's chaos at Jesus's feet. But that would be ridiculous, wouldn't it? Just as ridiculous as blaming Mohammed.

The fact of the matter is, the clerics that want to kill Salman Rushdie are responsible for their own actions. Do you really think that the Koran would stop them from believing something they really wanted to believe? If they need to believe something, they can just reinterpret it. They are playing for power and, in their part of the world, violence is the best way for them to achieve it. The only difference between them and the christian leaders of the western world is that they grew up in a culture of hatred.

The reason Vavoom calls you prejudiced is because you judge people by their religion. Why not judge them by their actions instead? Vavoom is a good person. I know that because he does good works. I know many people, both Muslims and Christians that do good works. The other kind, bad people, are not bad because they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or even Satanist. They are bad because they do bad things.

As the bible says,

First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
-Matthew 7:5

In other words, we need to make a true effort to understand the roots of violence and intolerance in the world. Sometimes we can do that best by examining the origins of the violence and intolerance in our own past. Let's make sure that we are not damned by the very standards we try to enforce upon others. Let's make sure we judge people by their actions, not their beliefs.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Vavoom:Brian: What is the point of all this? You've made up your mind.

The point is to get at the truth about Islam. Why do you say I have made up my mind. About what specifically?

I have not "made up my mind". I am still in the process of inquiry. You just are not privy to everything I do. For instance, I was already in another "fight" with a Muslim apostate, Ali Sina, prior to your post. I was having an intellectual discussion [in your terms having a fight] with him about this issue of the existence of "The Golden Rule" in Islam. I have posted the details of our conversation on my blog here, Does Islam Contain "The Golden Rule". I hope you don't find it too longwinded to read.

Vavoom:Stop picking fights with people. Seriously, get a life.

What, I can't discuss Islam but you can fight about whether one point defines a line. According to your blog you are constantly confronting people with their mistakes and moral turpitude.

BTW, the simple answer to why one point does not define a line is because an infinite number of lines can pass through any single point. The word "define" means to "fix" or select a single line out of all possible lines in any n-dimensional space. You are not making your institution look so good if you guys cannot dispose of this fellow in five seconds, and have to let him give a lecture on this at the graduate level.

You certainly have no problem with making people look bad. So why object to my "fighting", which is in fact "rational inquiry".

Vavoom:Seriously, get a life.

You know very little about me. I have a job as a computer scientist, family, many hobbies and projects, I garden, read books, hike, etc. I build lakes, bat houses, minnow and turtle traps, invent things, investigate philosophical, religious, and political issues, etc.

I have the quite round lifestyle.

Vavoom:Incidentally, you have proven my point -- you are long winded.

Great, except there is no Nobel Prize for linguistics, so you won't be making any money off your discovery.

Besides, do you want to insult me or help me? Why don't you take some of my writing and show me how I can get the same points across with fewer words. You do know that long-winded means to say something with excessive verbiage, don't you? So please, show me the excess by rewriting a few of my paragraphs succinctly. If you can then perhaps a Nobel Prize in Literature is in your future, but you have to do some actual writing.

Perhaps you are looking for some other word besides "long-winded" and its synonyms. Perhaps you mean bloviate.

If that's what you mean then you are going to have to line up behind me for the Nobel in linguistics, if they ever create the prize. I've already made the discovery that I bloviate. I even have the tagline "Breeched Wales Bloviating in the Hot Sun" at the top of my blog.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Mindful,

I think you are sadly mistaken not only about my points but the historical record of Islam. I am not a Christian and I don't go to them to learn about or get defenses of Islam. Believe me all my Christian friends have been throughly interogated. ;)

I have put my full reply on my blog here.

In case you are wondering how I have so much time for writing, well I hurt my arm gardening. I am not allowed to do any work around the house, or yard.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Brian: I apologize if my tone was negative. I do not mean to offend. I pose this question to you -- what's the difference between you, who cites random passages from a religious text to justify a potentially prejudicial position, and a terrorist that does similarly? As far as confronting people that are clearly doing wrong by others, yes, that is my bag. Note: I don't use Islam as my motivation to do so. I am a moderate Muslim, which means that I don't take every statement from the Koran literally. To do so would be extreme. Your position is far more extreme than mine, in that sense. I don't advocate killing others. I don't advocate hatred, at all. Yet, I deserve an offensive and attacking comment from a prejudicial reader? Your problem is with extremism in Islam, yet you interpret passages of the Koran in a manner that is consistent with extremists. I find that ironic. You cite identical passages as would an Islamofacist terrorist and use them to denigrate an entire faith.

The problem is, there are now two types of extremists attacking Islam. Islamofacist terrorists are one brand of extremist. You are the other. You are part of the problem. You peddle hatred. I only wish you could see that. Let's neglect the billions of peaceful Muslims that do not interpret the Koran as you or a terrorist would. Instead, let's paint them and their faith as tainted.

You claim that the solution to defeating the Nazis was to defeat Germany and that a few moderates don't matter. It sounds like you're advocating the extermination of the entire Muslim population, sparing none. Perhaps you should wage a war against every religion that contains controversial or violent passages in its holy books. Don't bother sparing any moderates, they're not important. What you'd have left is a world without religion. Most everyone would be dead... oh well, whatever it takes to fulfill your mission, Brian. Your generalizations about Islam and Muslims are no different than the ludicrous generalizations that Islamofacists make about Americans.

As far as one point defining a line... listen -- you're hardly in a position to critique how I handled the situation. You don't know the people involved and, yes, I used the same argument you did. To claim that I can't represent my institution well is a profoundly foolish statement. You know nothing of my scientific abilities. Would you like to posture further about your mathematical abilities?

I'm sorry, but all of your comments smack of egotism. Again, I'm not trying to insult you, but you come across as profoundly insecure. In each of your comments you're fighting to prove that you are a person of high intellect. What's up with that? Your response will likely look something like, "Don't try and psychoanalyze me." I really hate having discussions with people that are insecure. It's as if you are out to prove to others that you're intelligent. In doing so, you only expose your own insecurities. Please. If we're going to have a discussion, let's avoid the "I have a bigger brain" approach. It serves no one.

I have been evasive with you because your tone has been insulting and negative to begin with. Example: "I think you should get off your high horse with regard to the bad behavior you keep complaining about." Had you simply wanted to enter a polite discussion, I'd have been much more willing.

I claim that you have made up your mind because you don't come from a position of inquiry. Rather, you have begun this discussion on the offensive.

I see that you've hurt your arm and cannot work. I'm very sorry to hear that. I do hope that you get well soon. Some of us, however, do have work to do and can't waste time editing long-winded (and yes, long-winded you are) comments. It's not my desire to continue this conversation with you, given your approach.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

If the text says, "Kill unbelievers" or "Don't befriend non-muslims" I don't see how one can differ on the meaning. The difference between my "interpretation" and that of the terrorists is not in the plain meaning of the text. The difference is that I interpret these passages as false and evil, while the terrorists consider them true and good.

You misquoted me on the Germans and besides we didn't exterminate the entire German population to stop the Nazis. Unfortunately, the common Germans did suffer, but they should not have supported the Nazis.

Was I succinct enough for you on those two topics? Now back to bloviate mode.

As for the "definition of the line" issue you are not painting a good picture of your institution, by publicizing the office politics. Just think what might happen if someone connects the dots. I actually believe you are a good scientist but you made it sound like at least two of you couldn't get this guy straightened out. Why is a guy who doesn't understand 6th grade math doing graduate work there? What kind of university has such people? Get my point?

I agree with you that I am not in a position to know how you handled it. I was going by your description. Now that you pointed out that you gave him that explaination I interpret it differently.

Making yourself look bad sometimes happens when you criticize others. I'm sure there are plenty of people reading this who don't think to highly of me. It would be worse if I was in the same department as you, wouldn't it. Suppose we were both in the religious studies department. But I don't want to give you nightmares. :)

BTW, I think that guy thought one point defined a line because he was working with a laser. After all the aperature of the laser defines the first point, if it passes through another point then the line of the laser has been fixed.

Now on the issue of psychoanalyzing. That's what you are doing. It's a kind of ad-hominem attack. It was often used by Marxists and Behaviralists to discredit their opponents.

I mean really, do you think playing baby games like saying "I really hate having discussions with people who are insecure" is going to work.

Let me get this out of the way so you don't have to waste any more time on the psychoanalysing. I admit it I am an "egomaniacal long-winded insecure self absorbed rude what-ya-ma-callit".

Now it's your turn. Did it make you superior and big brained when you exposed that "one point defines a line" guy? Come on lets have a B.B.A. meeting, what are those 12 steps again.

I have been evasive with you because your tone has been insulting and negative to begin with. Example: "I think you should get off your high horse with regard to the bad behavior you keep complaining about." Had you simply wanted to enter a polite discussion, I'd have been much more willing.

Well, you got me there. My apologies.

I claim that you have made up your mind because you don't come from a position of inquiry. Rather, you have begun this discussion on the offensive.

Yes, I guess from your perspective it would appear so. You don't know what I've already discussed.
My prior discussions were with a Wahhabi Sunni. Note, he's just as polite as you, he's very sharp as I am sure you are, and he tells me Wahhabi means nothing more than "traditional". But he did piss me off by speculating that it was the US government and not the actual Islamic terrorists that flew into the building. He did it as a "trial balloon" and I pretty much shut him down on that one. Problem is he's so smart he can rationalize things that someone less smart wouldn't be able to.

He also pissed me off by being for my exclusion from Pakistan when he is an immigrant to my country. Quite a double standard. I was very disappointed in his lack of a moral compass on that one. In this regard he is no different than President Bush Senior, who said my ilk are not fit to be citizens of the U.S.

I certainly admit to have already decided on the truth and falsity of Islam as a whole. I think it is a false religion. But I already told you that. If you thought this was about me being open to conversion that certainly isn't the case.

What I am trying to understand at this point is how what I am reading in the Koran can be interpreted peacefully. I know how some Christians do it. Some just never read the bible. They are nominal Christians which is just fine by me. But the passages in the Koran are very specific.

I hope that if you are Pakistani that none of your family was injured in the earthquake.

Since you do not want to carry on this conversation I will have to go elsewhere. I cannot have this discussion with any of my Muslim friends anymore because it is to devisive and would disrupt the workplace.

You were the first Muslim I came across on the web that seemed to have a grasp of science so I thought you would be a good candidate for some rational discussion.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Brian: I appreciate that you've toned things down. To be honest, I'm not an absolutist about religion. I think there are passages in every text in every religion that are problematic. Part of this has to do with interpretation. No, I don't mean interpretation of English versions of the Koran. Rather, I mean that the tranlation from arabic to english is often sketchy. Also, context does matter. Often, statements are taken out of context, translated poorly and later misinterpreted. Can you read arabic? I strongly suggest you learn how, if you can't. It might help you make a better assessment. I focus on peaceful aspects of all religions. As such, I respect them all.

To be honest, it was rather clear to me that you had formulated your opinion about Islam before hand. That's another reason why I have been hesitant to enter a discussion with you. I believe that Islam is a fantastic faith, one that has been woefully misunderstood and misinterpreted. I actually agree wholeheartedly with mindful. Judge me not by my faith, but rather my actions. I actually stand with you against terrorists. I do see the distinction between their actions and the true nature of Islam.

No, I actually was saddened by my little geometry discussion with my labmate. I was saddened because he was unwilling to admit he was wrong, only out of ego. You don't know me personally, but I really don't get a kick out of making people feel stupid. In context of our optical setup, we could not use the output from our end mirror as the first point in our line. There all kinds of people in graduate school. Many are brilliant. Some are not. Trust me on this one. As for politics in the workplace -- trust me, it's pretty damn hard to figure out who I am. I have thrown out enough Red Herrings that make it difficult. Have you been able to figure out my identity? Give it a try... it's tougher than you think.

I'm not in the business of converting others. I have absolutely no interest in that. I'm not like most other Muslims you may have spoken to. No, I don't believe Americans flew planes into the World Trade Center. No, I don't think everyone should be Muslim. I do think that everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone should be free to practice whatever religion suits them best. I do not judge others based upon their religious affiliation.

I'm probably not the best person to speak with if you would like to understand why people kill others in the name of Islam. That's an issue I also don't understand. That's because Islam, in my opinion, advocates a peaceful way of life. I'm with the vast majority of Muslims in the world in that opinion.

A question for you, Brian -- Do you believe all Muslims are bad people? I'm trying to get a read on your opinion of Muslims. You must realize, extremists constitute a small, but outspoken, minority of Muslims.

Hopefully, you have a better sense of me and my faith. I am a moderate Muslim. Part of being a moderate means that religion does not govern everything that I do. Look at my blog -- I write about many things... religion only comes up every once in a while. When I read comments from folks such as yourself, I often ask myself, what makes people like me so bad? I pay my taxes. I try and stick up the little guy. I work hard, 7 days a week, hoping to help society through my research. I'm a Muslim. Can't I serve as an example of what Islam is about?

1:04 AM  
Blogger mindful said...

I'm glad to see the discussion has toned down a little bit. :)

Brian, I'm going to reply to your blog post here. The discussion started here, so I figure we might as well keep it here. Also, vavoom has addressed most of what I would say about your criticisms of Islam. Basically, be moderate, and support moderates, and you will find that you have more allies and are more effective against those who are truly evil. Of course that's a gross oversimplification, but you know what I mean.

Now let's talk poverty. You don't seem to believe that economic and political factors have any influence on people's actions. First I'm going to deal with some of the more ridiculous things you said:

"I think this is a naïve statement. What about people who do both good and bad things? John Gotti and Osama Bin Laden are both loved by many people for their good works. Both were quite charitable."

You're a smart guy. Straw men are beneath you.

"Like your theory that it is poverty that is the problem. Funny thing I have found is that many people who espouse this theory tend to want policies that would lead to more poverty, like reducing capitialism and increasing socialism."

Funny thing I have found is that I don't want any of those policies. So let's stick to what I said, not what you think I might believe.

I don't believe poverty is an excuse for anything. If you commit a crime, you are personally responsible. You cannot blame anyone else for your mistake, and just punishment is what you deserve. But I think society is served by trying to understand why people commit crimes. There is a clear link between poverty and crime. What is it that the most dangerous inner cities in America have in common? Poverty. And it makes sense, doesn't it? Desperate people have little to no stake in society, and they have nothing to lose. Of course, there is some feedback going on. A culture of violence creates more violence. But time and time again, as a society has lifted itself up out of poverty, its crime rate has dropped through the floor.

You mention that Osama bin Laden is not by any stretch of the imagination poor. You're right. But I never said that poverty is the only source of crime. We have enough white-collar crime here in America to rebut that proposition. Mob bosses used to do pretty well for themselves. That doesn't change the fact that most of their minions were poor. Osama wasn't on the airplanes on 9/11. He's the leader. He gets a lot of support from people who are also well off. But I'll bet very few of them are willing to blow themselves up.

Let me be clear. The real villians are Osama bin Laden and the mullahs who advocate violence and terror. I think there is no question that we are within our rights to do all we can to limit their influence. But “all we can” includes both direct and indirect methods. One direct method that I completely supported was the removal of the Taliban from Afghanistan. We should remove their material resources. But if we kill a mullah -- one whose only currency is his voice -- another can just rise in his place. That's the power of ideas. But if we can make his followers unwilling to use violence, we have made him truly powerless. That's why we should interfere in internal politics in the Middle East. We should support freedom of speech, association, and religion. We should encourage education and openness. That's the true way to eliminate desperation. At the same time, we should retaliate quickly and violently to those who do violence to us. But to ignore half of the weapons in our arsenal is to invite defeat.

I'm not one for self-flagellation. It is not my fault that the middle east is poor. It's not my fault that terrorists want to destroy us. But that doesn't mean I should not try to understand the roots of violent extremism, both in my history and in theirs, in order to understand better the way to destroy it.

I want to write more, but maybe it would be better we could find a point of agreement and work from there. I get the impression that you think that, just because I disagree with you on this one thing, I disagree with you on all things. That's not true. I would guess, from the general thrust of your writing, that we might agree on a lot of things. So let's find some common ground and work from there. I'm looking forward to your response.

4:11 PM  
Blogger mindful said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Vavoom,

I have address the issue of whether I need to speak Arabic to understand the clearly evil meanings of things in the Koran here.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Mindful,

I don't see were you think I was putting up a strawman. It was you who said:

"Imagine if the vast majority of Christians lived in poverty and ignorance. Do you think they would be great humanitarians? Do you think they would grow up gentle and giving? They would not."

I was just providing a counterexample to show you that position is wrong. Note that the terrorists under Osama are not for the most part poor either. The guys who flew into the World Trade Center were well educated, as you would expect of someone who could fly a 747.

You stated the above quote then you stated this:

The radicalism of state-sponsored Islam today is the effect of a century of poverty and misrule instigated in large part by the misguided actions of European (christian!) powers after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

When I called you on your apparent blaming of the West, you respond thusly:

I'm not one for self-flagellation. It is not my fault that the middle east is poor. It's not my fault that terrorists want to destroy us.

Please make up your mind.

Also you state this:

But that doesn't mean I should not try to understand the roots of violent extremism, both in my history and in theirs, in order to understand better the way to destroy it.

To which I must respond ... what makes you think that isn't what I'm doing? If at the end of your journey you discover that it is the Koran that has been responsible for much of the violence, then what?

4:08 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

A question for you, Brian -- Do you believe all Muslims are bad people?

No.

Can't I serve as an example of what Islam is about?

No.

I've covered that. As a proper analogy, even if most Nazis were paying their taxes and working hard, Nazism is still bad. Working hard and paying taxes is not anything unique to Islam. Nazis do the same, and so do Communists.

It's good you don't take your religion too seriously. But doesn't it tell you something that you have to do that in order to be a moderate?

I think that it's bad that you hold yourself up as an example of how good your religion is, if you are not actually following the teachings of the religion. That is a form of deception. If the Koran says that religious warfare is mandatory then it would be nice to know, and it really doesn't matter if you pay your taxes and go to work. If your disobeance of the Allah on the practice of Jihad makes you a bad Muslim then you aren't a proper example.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Vavoom said...

Brian: That's just it... you have no idea what Jihad actually means. You don't have the first idea of what the Koran implies through Jihad. The primary meaning behind Jihad is internal struggle, not open warfare.

Incidentally, are all moderate Christians, bad Christians? Are all moderate Jews, bad Jews? I get the impression that you are an absolutist when it comes to religion. That's unfortunate.

By the way, please don't compare me to a Nazi. That's wrong on many levels. Nazis peddled hate through their cultural misinterpretations of others. Unfortunately, your line of thinking and reasoning may be more congruous with Nazism than would mine.

Demonizing all Muslims because of the actions of a small minority doesn't sound sensible at all.

4:50 PM  
Blogger mindful said...

Brian, I think it was clear from your quote right above where I accused you of setting up straw men. I said:

I know that because he does good works. I know many people, both Muslims and Christians that do good works. The other kind, bad people, are not bad because they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or even Satanist. They are bad because they do bad things.

You said:

I think this is a naïve statement. What about people who do both good and bad things? John Gotti and Osama Bin Laden are both loved by many people for their good works. Both were quite charitable.

Reading back over what I said, do you really think I was saying that Osama Bin Laden is a good person because he made some donations to charity? No. He is bad because he does bad things.

Regarding self-flagellation, do you really think I am personally responsible for the actions of the western powers after World War I? Should I feel guilt because of my ancestors' actions? No, and I don't. Do you?

I blame the past actions of the west to some extent, yes. But I don't blame myself, nor do I blame the current actions of the west. It's not my fault, or the fault of anyone of my generation. This problem has been brewing for a long, long time.

But, again, that doesn't mean I can't try to understand why so many middle-eastern countries are violent and extremist. The reason I don't think you are making a similar effort is that you won't acknowledge that violence has many origins. Instead, you focus on the Koran to the exclusion of all else. Of course you will see the Koran as the source of all evil if you don't consider any other possibilities.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Mindful,

In that case I stand by my counter example. You said:

"I know that because he does good works. I know many people, both Muslims and Christians that do good works. The other kind, bad people, are not bad because they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or even Satanist. They are bad because they do bad things."

This is a naive statement. You say you know good people are good because they do good works. You say that you know bad people are bad because they do bad bad things.
You do not mention or provide a way to categorize people who do both. So I gave two counterexamples that could not be properly categorized by such simple thinking.

As a matter of fact almost everyone does some "bad things" and some "good things". So you can't just say "I know so and so is good because he does good things".

So how to you categorize an imaginary person named Heinz. Heinz lives in the US in 1944 and happens to be German. He works hard, pays his taxes, and gives to charity. He calls himself a Nazi and states that he believes in Mein Kampf. He knows the hateful message about Jews that are in the document but claims that in the original German it's not so bad. He often diverts criticism of Mein Kampf by pointing out that the Italian Fascists are bad. He states that the term "The Final Solution" primarily means the end product of a long division. He doesn't want to kill any Jews or take over the world. He does however feel that he is a proper example of the peaceful nature of Nazis. He is very polite and says he comes from a long line of Nazis but doesn't take Nazism seriously and wouldn't push it on anyone else.

What do you make of Heinz? Is he a good or bad?

Now my answer would be that he is both, as are most people. That is why I think it is naive to simply say people are good or bad. It doesn't work that way.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Mindful,

You state:

The reason I don't think you are making a similar effort is that you won't acknowledge that violence has many origins. Instead, you focus on the Koran to the exclusion of all else. Of course you will see the Koran as the source of all evil if you don't consider any other possibilities.

I don't see where you get any of that? Of course there are many sources for "violence" and "evil". For instance, if the Middle east didn't have so much oil they wouldn't have the resources to be so destructive and this would certainly reduce the amount of money they funnel to extremists. But why should I focus on that? The reason they want to kill the infidel is not because they found the oil.

I'm certainly making much more of an effort than you. You're the one that seemed to think that Islam had some period where it was peaceful and tolerant. It never happened. You are aware that most of the current wartorn areas in the world are either within muslim territory or on the boundary between muslim and non-muslim territory. You still seem to be pondering why Osama is bad. He's bad because he is taking the Koran literally. It says to do what he is doing.

Why shouldn't I concentrate on Islam. As far as I can tell it is an extremely intolerant religion that is causing worldwide disputes, terrorism, and the like. Just about everyone knows that Nazism and Communism is bad. Athough a few airheads are walking around with Che Guevara t-shirts on, even though Communism has resulted in a vastly larger number of deaths than nazism ever caused.
If communist thugs were detonating bombs on civilians at the rate the Muslims are I might be more concerned. When I run into communists I give them hell too.

So of course there are other sources of violence. There are evil philosophies such as Communism, Nazism, and Facism. There are religions such as Islam and Christianity. There are mental disorders such as pschopathy.

I don't think the Muslim countries are suffering from an overabundance of pschopaths, so I don't bother with that as a source for muslim violence. I don't see Christians targeting innocent people for death in large numbers on account of their religion. There are poor people all over the world and they aren't targeting innocent civilians with terrorism.

In fact I know of very few philosophies that have lead to suicide bombers, Islam, Shintoism, and Tamil Tigers. Tamil Tigers tend not to target innocents, nor did Kamikazes target innocents. The only other philosophy that I know of that targets innocent civilians, anarchists, do not do so as suicide bombers.

Islam has been practicing this suicide bombing back at least to the time of the Muslim Corsairs. I read the Koran and see that it states in plain language that killing oneself during Jihad is a guarentee to get into heaven. The koran states that one should kill infidels. The suicide bombers and terrorist organizations are stating that Koran is why they are doing what they are doing. All these things and yet other people are claiming this is a distortion of Islam. I don't see the distortion.

If some terrorist tells me he murdered for 72 virgins, if his family praises him as a martyr, if muslim clerics of at the most esteemed muslim institutions praise him, if Islamic governments pay his family a reward for raising such a persion, if they hold a parade in his honor, if they name their schools after him, then why the heck should I look to poverty as a cause. Seriously, it's not like they are stealing bread. Their are destroying the lives and property of innocent people.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Brian Macker said...

Vavoom says: Brian: That's just it... you have no idea what Jihad actually means. You don't have the first idea of what the Koran implies through Jihad. The primary meaning behind Jihad is internal struggle, not open warfare.

You don't have the first idea about what I do and do not know. I spoke with a devout Muslim for over half an hour on Jihad and he was selling the same story you are. The problem is that most people aren't so stupid as to buy this line of reasoning. You cannot equivocate between different meanings of a word and get away with it.

Similar to crusade Jihad has more than one meaning. Crusade can mean a vigorous concerted movement for a cause or against abuse. I have never heard a Christian defend the Crusades by claiming that it’s “primary meaning” is just a vigorous movement. What kind of argument is that? The primary meaning of spoon is a utensil but that doesn’t mean if I am spooning your girlfriend you shouldn’t get upset.

The other meaning of Jihad is open (or worse concealed) warfare. That is the important one because frankly, a little inner soul searching hurts no one.

Likewise an inquisition can mean to vigorously question. That doesn't mean that the Inquisition is a good thing.

Likewise to Crusade, Jihad means holy war. Besides I didn't read in the Koran "Muslims should practice Jihad" and then interpret that to mean the Koran was saying Muslims should commit holy war. No what I read were direct quotes to kill non-Muslims, defaming non-Muslims, saying not to befriend non-Muslims, etc.

The only time I've seen the word Jihad used by Muslims in reference to non-muslims was not in the context of the Koran. It has always been in the context of threatening non-Muslims. Just do a Google search on "threatens jihad" and you will see numerous examples.

Example: "According to the Times, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat addressed the crowd, and told them, "Let no one think that they can scare us with their stronger weapons, for we have a mightier weapon - the weapon of faith, the weapon of martyrdom, the weapon of jihad." Yediot Aharonot notes that the crowd at the funeral chanted "Revenge, Revenge!" and "Death to Israel! Death to Jews! Death to America!"

No one is complaining about the use of the word Jihad in the sentence "I won my Jihad with alcoholism". That isn't even an issue. Who cares? We care about the other kind. That's what's evil and that's what we want stopped, now and forever.

What is really laughable is the Muslim touchyness about the word crusade. Despite the historical fact that it was their imperialist conquest of most of the Christian world, even into Europe, that triggered the Crusades.


Vavoom says: Incidentally, are all moderate Christians, bad Christians? Are all moderate Jews, bad Jews? I get the impression that you are an absolutist when it comes to religion. That's unfortunate.

I don't think in such simple terms. People aren't just good or bad. For complex reasons I already gave Christianities “bads” are already ameliorated. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Islam.

I only know of a few modern non-moderate Christians who have actually blown anything up and in those cases they actually blew up an abortion clinic, which by their thinking is murder. The guy who did is was pretty much crazy and got next to no support. You don’t see Christians stockpiling weapons in their holy places. You don’t see them murdering whole schools full of children on purpose. You don’t see them having laws which require chopping off hands and stoning young girls. Sorry but I cannot say the same for non-moderate Muslims.

Vavoom says: By the way, please don't compare me to a Nazi. That's wrong on many levels.
I compared Islam to Nazism. You are the one who self identifies as a Muslim. I am not in a similar position. I ascribe to no positive philosophy that advocates the murder and enslavement of anyone for not being a member. Nor do I ascribe to any philosophy that would even result in that.

Vavoom says: Nazis peddled hate through their cultural misinterpretations of others. Unfortunately, your line of thinking and reasoning may be more congruous with Nazism than would mine.

Nonsense, Nazis were bad because they advocated the murder of others and some also practiced those beliefs. Islam teaches Muslims that non-believers lives are valueless and some practice those beliefs. Are you saying the things that the Koran says about Muslims, Christians, Idolaters, and non-believers are NOT misinterpreteations?

Vavoom says: Demonizing all Muslims because of the actions of a small minority doesn't sound sensible at all.

That's not what I am doing at all. It's not just the actions of Muslims, it's the beliefs of Islam that are evil. Islam teaches bad things. They are right there in the Koran and I have quoted quite a few for you. You have not provided any evidence that those teachings are not in effect and the most esteemed Clerics are promoting them. The Islam is, like Nazism, in that it teaches that Jews are greedy and evil. Islam is like Nazism is militaristic. Islam like Nazism is a political system. Islam is like Nazism in that it is the final truth and there is to be no other opinion.

Does it surprise you that a Jew should speak out against Nazism? Well I'm a non-believer and I am speaking out against the intolerance of Islam. You have provided nothing to show that Islam is not teaching these things but only point at Christians and say “them too”. Well I can tell you from the perspective of a non-Christian, it’s not “them too”. That is why there is always the reference to getting Islam out of the 17th or 7th or whatever century. Christianity has evolved but Islam has not.

Christians have come to understand a lot of things that Muslims have not. They were taken kicking and screaming but we got them there. The same is not true of Islam. I already wrote a lot on that issue but you keep coming back to it.

8:16 PM  
Blogger H. Simon Kittay said...

I, of course, take no sides in this religious debate, but would merely like to observe that based on his comments at www.no-treason.com, Brian Macker is an idiot.

Incidentally, if you go to My Blogger website, you will see that both of you are wrong, and that you are all in My cute grasp. Thus Austrian economics (and everything else) is falsified.

Hello S. Kittay

11:27 PM  

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