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Old 08-27-2013, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Since 9/11, few people now feel that way.
We definitely took a hit at that point, and the Other is now primarily crazed fundamentalist Muslims. No doubt the irony is lost on our crazed fundamentalist Christians, who think they are morally superior simply because they don't (yet) have suicide bombers. Their paranoia against "sharia law in the US" while they strive to establish a Christian theocracy would be hilarious if this whole business were not so deadly serious.
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Old 08-27-2013, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Their paranoia against "sharia law in the US" while they strive to establish a Christian theocracy would be hilarious if this whole business were not so deadly serious.
What "business" are you referring to?
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
What "business" are you referring to?
The business of altering secular laws and institutions in ways dictated by religion and related irrational impulses. Not a literal business as in "a profit making enterprise" but business in the idiomatic sense of "what someone is doing".

Why should a Muslim think that they can impose their rules and sensibilities on non-Muslims who choose to burn Korans or draw cartoons about Mohammed?

Why should a Christian think that they can impose their rules and sensibilities not only on non-Christians but even Christians who just have different opinions? Concerning abortion or birth control, as examples.

In America, of all places, no group should be attempting to impose its own idea of paradise on others. All groups must coexist.

These days I think the biggest threats are not outside the US, but within it. Mindless patriotism and jingoism and religiously-driven intolerance are the real threats and the things I actually worry about. Although, to be sure, particularly when it comes to Muslim fundamentalism, some of that comes from the outside as well, we also produce plenty of our own. It's one of those "get the plank out of your own eye before removing the spec from other's eyes" kinds of things.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Why should a Christian think that they can impose their rules and sensibilities not only on non-Christians but even Christians who just have different opinions? Concerning abortion or birth control, as examples.
You don't need to be a Christian to be opposed to some abortions. Do you think it is OK for a doctor to abort a healthy 8-month old fetus?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
These days I think the biggest threats are not outside the US, but within it. Mindless patriotism and jingoism and religiously-driven intolerance are the real threats and the things I actually worry about.
I disagree. The most intolerant people in the USA are Liberals. If you do not agree with them, they call you all kind of hateful names.

But I don't worry about them. Do you really worry about people who are religious?

Last edited by hiker45; 08-27-2013 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
You don't need to be a Christian to be opposed to some abortions. Do you think it is OK for a doctor to abort a healthy 8-month old fetus?
I didn't say that only Christians are opposed to abortion. I simply said that a Christian (or anyone really) who thinks abortion is wrong has no right to impose that on someone who has no problem with it -- any more than someone should force a person opposed to abortion, to have one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
I disagree. The most intolerant people in the USA are Liberals. If you do not agree with them, they call you all kind of hateful names.

But I don't worry about them. Do you really worry about people who are religious?
Who said anything about liberals vs conservatives? I was talking about religious people. There are plenty of religious people who are liberal politically.

I will admit to worrying more about the theologically conservative than the theologically liberal. The more conservative, the more close-minded and anti-rational. People who interpret reality only in ways that agree with scripture (especially a literalist view of it) are demonstrably dangerous. I suppose that people who interpret reality only in ways that agrees with their political ideology (regardless of what it is) are also dangerous. They tend to make up reasons to start wars, for example.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Do you think it is OK for a doctor to abort a healthy 8-month old fetus?
You did not answer my question.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I suppose that people who interpret reality only in ways that agrees with their political ideology (regardless of what it is) are also dangerous.
Sounds like Liberals to me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
They tend to make up reasons to start wars, for example.
It will be interesting to see which groups are in favor of us attacking Syria. I am totally against us getting involved.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
You did not answer my question.

Sounds like Liberals to me.

It will be interesting to see which groups are in favor of us attacking Syria. I am totally against us getting involved.
We are straying far off topic here and I won't be drawn into an touche-kicking contest in any case.

Somewhere back there we were talking about why Americans seem particularly susceptible to superstition and religious extremism (and, I'm tempted to toss in, political extremism / absolutism). In an odd sort of way, this derail seems illustrative. Maybe our problem is not so much superstition or religious extremism as it is that many of us are adamantly otherizing everyone who disagrees with our politics, religion, and no doubt our taste in cars or pets. I mean, why all this ego investment? Why for example the demonization of liberals down to the last person when you and I both know that there are plenty of honest people of good will who are politically liberal, just as there are many such people who are conservative?

More disturbingly, why the recent almost gleeful polarization in our society, to the point that compromise is a dirty word and actual governance is scarcely possible anymore?

I don't doubt that some of this occurs in other countries, but we seem particularly talented at it and it seems to have reached systemic proportions in the past decade.

On the other hand: I experienced the same spirit first hand flying home from Turkey last week. Our first leg was Istanbul to Rome, and despite the absence of any terrorist threat I could ferret out, security at Rome was at epic levels. Our passports were demanded upon deplaning. We were sent through congested scanner lines with our carry ons despite that this had already been done twice in Istanbul, and several pieces of luggage were disassembled and the contents rifled through. Our papers were demanded at the departure gate again, together with extensive questions about why we had been in Turkey, and what was or wasn't in our checked luggage. On boarding, I was pulled aside yet again for a random rifling of my belongings. Later I found out the real reason: Italy opposes Turkey's joining the EU and this is one of the ways to make some sort of misguided bellicose point about one of their main objections, which is that allegedly Turkey's borders are too porous and terrorists are supposedly entering the EU from there. Of course all the Italians accomplished is for me, an ordinary non-terrorist tourist, to form an inner vow never to visit their frigging country ever again if I can possibly help it. It's too bad for them, as my wife wanted to go to Venice again someday. And it made me even more inclined to visit Turkey again, it's a wonderful, friendly, modern, secular state that happens to be Muslim, which is probably the real issue that some Italian politicians have.

We should all ask ourselves if we want to be right, or be happy. But I guess it's not the American (and possibly not the Italian) way.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:55 AM
 
Location: South Africa
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I have not flown in ages but from what I hear here it is not that great. This whole terrorism debacle has gotten way out of hand. If you fly to African countries, their security is pretty lax (or it was back in 2004 when I last flew there) Even Heathrow arrivals was not that tight. Never once had incidents.

It is this irrational fear that somehow I have escaped even here in SA where they say our crime is bad but the majority is in the former black townships and one does not tend to go there unless you absolutely need to. For the most part, folk are relatively safe. Despite our history, we do tend to show tolerance in spite of our differences.

I have not carried my side arm for over 18 years now and even when I did, it was never needed, it was more a false sense of security. The only time I ever drew it was when my wife and I were on our way to see her parents and travelling at night we were harassed by blacks who insisted overtaking us then slowing down forcing you to overtake again and then they would leave their head lamps on bright. On reaching a town I stopped at a garage and they pulled up behind me, I pulled away and they followed me immediately. I did a broadside and aimed the gun at them and shouted at them to try their crap. Drove off back into the town and requested a police escort which they did for the 30 or so km to the next town. I would have gone straight to the cops if I did not have a gun and the result would have been identical. That was in the 80s when we still had terror attacks on civilians. These were probably gangsta types having fun at our expense. For the most part, these are only isolated incidences.

One generally does not travel at night these days mainly b/c of the bad condition of the roads.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,112,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Maybe our problem is not so much superstition or religious extremism as it is that many of us are adamantly otherizing everyone who disagrees with our politics, religion, and no doubt our taste in cars or pets. I mean, why all this ego investment?
OK, I agree, we should accept others as they are unless they do something we think is a crime.

But then why go off on such a diatribe against the Italians? I mean, they can manage their country as they see fit, and if you don't like it you can stay away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
We should all ask ourselves if we want to be right, or be happy.
Heck, we can do both. It makes me happy when I believe I am doing what is right, and I bet it is the same with you.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,112,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekerSA View Post
One generally does not travel at night these days mainly b/c of the bad condition of the roads.
Why does the condition of the roads matter? They are in the same condition as they are during the day.

At least you don't have to worry about the zombies, witches, vampires, gargoyles, space aliens like we do in America.

Last edited by hiker45; 08-28-2013 at 09:41 AM..
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