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Author Topic: Quaran Burning on 9/11  (Read 28106 times)
RandallS
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« Reply #90: September 12, 2010, 12:31:17 pm »

Over here (where I am from, at least) a 'sect' is a part of a 'good' group, cult is a bad/evil group.

That's pretty much the common (non-academic) usage in the US as well. "Cults" are "bad" -- or at least are not something society considers normal religiously.
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« Reply #91: September 12, 2010, 11:29:43 pm »

I hate to tell you but it made it onto the news updates on Alice Springs radio. While my access to the TV news has been serverly curtailed for the last few days I can only assume that anything international which gets picked up on the local radio has made it to other international news.

http://www.australianews.com.au/australia/queensland/darlingdowns/toowoomba/story?cityid=9901bdf5-f527-4b68-852d-149172949fd4&storyid=c7fb8d78-afb7-4c3d-9d35-4f2d761900e5

Somebody want to fix the link above for me?

Well, burning the Quaran has spread down under.
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« Reply #92: September 13, 2010, 07:51:30 am »


It seems to work as is.
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« Reply #93: September 13, 2010, 11:53:16 am »

It seems to work as is.

Sorry, I should have been more explicit. shorten it using one of the redirect sites. so long as you are not concerned about the length of this it doesn't matter.
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« Reply #94: September 13, 2010, 05:47:28 pm »

Well, burning the Quaran has spread down under.

Yes. We have arsehats too Sad This one didn't even have the excuse of a competing faith, just plain old Dawkins style atheism and narcissism.
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« Reply #95: September 13, 2010, 09:39:49 pm »


It's amazing what some idiots will do trying to be funny or clever or something. It serves him right if he loses his job over it.
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« Reply #96: September 14, 2010, 11:46:38 am »

Yes. We have arsehats too Sad This one didn't even have the excuse of a competing faith, just plain old Dawkins style atheism and narcissism.

I fail to see why doing it out of atheism and narcissism is any worse than doing it out of religious conviction and narcissism.
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« Reply #97: September 14, 2010, 12:27:08 pm »

I fail to see why doing it out of atheism and narcissism is any worse than doing it out of religious conviction and narcissism.

I think intent changes the perception of it - if I'm doing something heinous to "save you" it comes across differently than something heinous to prove you're an idiot - which I suspect is what the Dawkin's style atheism implies.

OTOH, act is disgusting either way.  Not sure I'd say one's *better* - but I can see them as interpreted differently.
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« Reply #98: September 14, 2010, 01:07:10 pm »


I think intent changes the perception of it - if I'm doing something heinous to "save you" it comes across differently than something heinous to prove you're an idiot - which I suspect is what the Dawkin's style atheism implies.

I don't think the kind of fundies who feel the need to do this kind of thing really give a damn about you personally; they think they'll get bonus points after death.  Plus, they are basically saying that you're an idiot for not following the One True FaithTM.  So I really don't see much difference, even in intent; either way, they're kind of using you to feel better about themselves.

Although I object to the idea that it's automatically a heinous act, or even automatically really about (generic) you.

Quote
OTOH, act is disgusting either way.  Not sure I'd say one's *better* - but I can see them as interpreted differently.

Honestly, I'm more bothered by the idea of book burning in general than anything else.  But in the case of the Australia story...I can't watch the video at home, because I have dial-up, and I can't watch it at work because youtube is blacklisted, but from what I can gather of the incident w/o being able to see the video, I don't see the big deal. 

Destroying sacred objects to make the point that nothing is sacred strikes me as a legitimate statement. There's a difference, to my mind, between burning several holy books as a broad statement, and burning one to instill fear in a minority group.  This story reminds me of Crackergate, in fact, and that was definitely about making a social and political statement, not about intimidating a minority group (not that Catholics can really be said to be much of a minority).

That said, the timing could be better.  Damn you, mainstream media, you have to ruin everything.
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« Reply #99: September 14, 2010, 11:46:31 pm »

I fail to see why doing it out of atheism and narcissism is any worse than doing it out of religious conviction and narcissism.

Addressing the least complex part of this first, I think that characterising the original story (about a Christian threatening to burn Qurans) as involving 'narcissim' is unfounded. On that basis I'll do my best to respond to the remainder, which would be something along the lines of 'how is atheism+narcissism worse that religious conviction as a reason for burning a sacred text'.

Leaving narcissism aside for a moment, at a basic level, hard atheism (the strongly held belief that there is not and cannot be such a thing as a deity (generally considering only the highly-limited definition that applies AFAIK to the Abrahamic deity and not much else)) would be no different as a reason for destroying sacred items than the beliefs of a person doing so out of a religious conviction. However, doing so from a position of soft atheism (the belief that there is no (usually Abrahamic) deity, but that this is not necessarily so) is more problematic.

To my mind soft atheism is a statement of a personal understanding of the current state of the universe and admits of other perspectives as potentially being true. In that context, I find it hard to grant the same respect (however grudging) to someone who engages in activities that they know to be highly offensive to others simply on the basis of a personal opinion, as I am able to grant to someone who does so from a strong, positive belief (even if I don't agree with it).

I think that's where the narcissism comes in. Undertaking acts of targeted bastardry on the basis that one's opinion automatically trumps the legitimate concerns of all others is a very different thing from doing so on the basis of a fundamental understanding of the nature of reality. A part of that difference for me is my perception of a strong element of "look at me, look at me, aren't I so wonderful and important, no-one else matters, but me" as being involved for the simply opinionated. It's a part I have no time for. YMMV.

From what I've been able to find out* this guy is in the soft atheist camp and is of the Richard Dawkins school of 'public humiliation of anyone who disagrees with my beliefs and outright denegration of the beliefs and sensibilities of others'. It's a free world and they have every legal right to engage in this activity, but I have no respect for their complete disregard for the feelings and sensibilities of other people (in an area that causes them no harm of any kind) represented by their choice to exercise this right in this way. I see it as grandstanding, narcissistic, selfish, uncaring and uncivilised behaviour. IMNSHO, the guy is an arsehat who got stoned and decided to bignote himself on the back of a more serious issue, without any regard for the negative impacts of his actions on others.

*by viewing the youtube clip, reading Austrlaian news reports and talking with people who are or have been involved in the organisation the guy doing the 'burning' (he actually rolled joints with pages from each text to 'see which burns best') during his tenure
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« Reply #100: September 15, 2010, 01:59:19 pm »


Leaving narcissism aside for a moment, at a basic level, hard atheism (the strongly held belief that there is not and cannot be such a thing as a deity (generally considering only the highly-limited definition that applies AFAIK to the Abrahamic deity and not much else)) would be no different as a reason for destroying sacred items than the beliefs of a person doing so out of a religious conviction. However, doing so from a position of soft atheism (the belief that there is no (usually Abrahamic) deity, but that this is not necessarily so) is more problematic.

Re: hard atheism defining deity as the JCI god: The atheist blogs/forums that I frequent (both the explicit and the incidental) do primarily mean the JCI (usually C) god, but that's primarily because the people involved are all Western, usually American, so that's the religious outlook they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.  On Pharyngula, at least, no religion goes unexamined and uncriticized; Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc have all come under sometimes sharp criticism.  Granted, less than Christianity, but again, he's American, and Christianity is the dominant religion here, so it's what he deals with a lot more.

And IMO, there's a helluva diff between destroying something to make a general political point, and destroying something as part of a campaign of terrorization.

Quote
To my mind soft atheism is a statement of a personal understanding of the current state of the universe and admits of other perspectives as potentially being true. In that context, I find it hard to grant the same respect (however grudging) to someone who engages in activities that they know to be highly offensive to others simply on the basis of a personal opinion, as I am able to grant to someone who does so from a strong, positive belief (even if I don't agree with it).

I think that's where the narcissism comes in. Undertaking acts of targeted bastardry on the basis that one's opinion automatically trumps the legitimate concerns of all others is a very different thing from doing so on the basis of a fundamental understanding of the nature of reality. A part of that difference for me is my perception of a strong element of "look at me, look at me, aren't I so wonderful and important, no-one else matters, but me" as being involved for the simply opinionated. It's a part I have no time for. YMMV.

Do you remember "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day"?  I suppose that could be seen as atheists picking on Muslims just to get attention, but surprisingly, that's not what it was about.  It was intended to be a protest against the people who threaten violence against cartoonists who've drawn Mohammad, specifically Matt Stone & Trey Parker (the best part is, they didn't even draw him, they drew a bear suit and claimed Mohammad was in it).  Now, was somebody, likely a lot of somebodies, offended?  Sure they were; look at the Pakistani gov't reaction to it.  But it also drew needed attention to the incremental loss of freedom of speech that's caused by assholes threatening people, and the rest of us capitulating.  So many news organizations and TV networks are unwilling to allow anyone working for them to say anything that might offend Muslims, for fear that one of the nut job Muslims will bomb them.

It may start with drawing Mohammad being "too offensive" to be allowed, but where will it end?  I'm sure the Vatican is offended by all the coverage the sex abuse scandals have generated; will it be a "dick move" to talk about that someday, what with it making all those Catholics whose kids have been abused sad an all?  Will it be beyond the pail to suggest that Jewish fundies are making the Israel situation 100x worse than it would otherwise be?  Is this too far?

My opinion is that my right to say and do as a please w/i the bounds of the law is more important than your right to not be offended.  I should not be forced to recognize your sacred objects as sacred; if I want to use an athame as a kitchen knife, or a kirpan as wall kitsch, I damn well will.  I don't think that's narcissism; that's recognizing my right to live and be and do as I please in a free society.  And if a bunch of Wiccans were to start threatening me for insufficient deference to their beliefs, I may just have to find an easily destroyed sacred object to make my point.

And really, has anyone considered taking the position that people need to get over themselves?  How about the narcissism inherent in the idea" "How dare he say/do/think/be that?  How dare he offend me!?"

IMO, people who're offended by the Quran (or Bible) being burned in general, or drawings of Mohammad, or whatever they're offended by, should do what the rest of us, who don't have the fact that our offense is based in religion to hide behind, do; they should say, "dude, that's not cool," and move along. 

Quote
From what I've been able to find out* this guy is in the soft atheist camp and is of the Richard Dawkins school of 'public humiliation of anyone who disagrees with my beliefs and outright denegration of the beliefs and sensibilities of others'. It's a free world and they have every legal right to engage in this activity, but I have no respect for their complete disregard for the feelings and sensibilities of other people (in an area that causes them no harm of any kind) represented by their choice to exercise this right in this way. I see it as grandstanding, narcissistic, selfish, uncaring and uncivilised behaviour. IMNSHO, the guy is an arsehat who got stoned and decided to bignote himself on the back of a more serious issue, without any regard for the negative impacts of his actions on others.

I suppose it depends why he did it.  I can easily see doing something like this to make a point about the Florida Quran burning, and the excessive media attention it's getting.  When I first heard about it, I thought a Christian church doing a Bible burning would be the perfect counterpoint.  It wouldn't get the point across as well if I did it, what with not being a Christian and all.
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« Reply #101: September 15, 2010, 02:19:51 pm »

Re: hard atheism defining deity as the JCI god: The atheist blogs/forums that I frequent (both the explicit and the incidental) do primarily mean the JCI (usually C) god, but that's primarily because the people involved are all Western, usually American, so that's the religious outlook they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.  On Pharyngula, at least, no religion goes unexamined and uncriticized; Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc have all come under sometimes sharp criticism.  Granted, less than Christianity, but again, he's American, and Christianity is the dominant religion here, so it's what he deals with a lot more.

My experience of a/theism discussions online is that when I point out that an atheist's argument only applies to the omnithree fellow, I get completely ignored.  Not only do the arguers not refute my standpoint, they don't acknowledge that I exist.  (The theists don't notice me either, to be fair to both sides.)

I used to participate in a few anyway, just to see if the Somebody Else's Problem field effect had any breaks, but I don't bother anymore; being erased is too depressing.

I don't care if people believe in gods, but when they refuse to believe in other people it upsets me.
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« Reply #102: September 15, 2010, 02:30:48 pm »

My experience of a/theism discussions online is that when I point out that an atheist's argument only applies to the omnithree fellow, I get completely ignored.  Not only do the arguers not refute my standpoint, they don't acknowledge that I exist.  (The theists don't notice me either, to be fair to both sides.)

I discovered that on Fidonet in the late 1980s. Then again on usenet in the 1990s. Sad
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« Reply #103: September 15, 2010, 05:30:22 pm »

Do you remember "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day"?  I suppose that could be seen as atheists picking on Muslims just to get attention, but surprisingly, that's not what it was about.  It was intended to be a protest against the people who threaten violence against cartoonists who've drawn Mohammad, specifically Matt Stone & Trey Parker (the best part is, they didn't even draw him, they drew a bear suit and claimed Mohammad was in it).  Now, was somebody, likely a lot of somebodies, offended?  Sure they were; look at the Pakistani gov't reaction to it.  But it also drew needed attention to the incremental loss of freedom of speech that's caused by assholes threatening people, and the rest of us capitulating.  So many news organizations and TV networks are unwilling to allow anyone working for them to say anything that might offend Muslims, for fear that one of the nut job Muslims will bomb them.

It may start with drawing Mohammad being "too offensive" to be allowed, but where will it end?  I'm sure the Vatican is offended by all the coverage the sex abuse scandals have generated; will it be a "dick move" to talk about that someday, what with it making all those Catholics whose kids have been abused sad an all?  Will it be beyond the pail to suggest that Jewish fundies are making the Israel situation 100x worse than it would otherwise be?  Is this too far?

I suspect that the idea of Quran burning as the means of protest grew out of the reaction to the originial Mohammad cartoons. When the reaction is viewed as excessive, it gains tracation to do something similar.

Given the disparate statements by Obama / Hillary over the Cordoba House vs the idiot in Gainsville, I was almost rooting for the idiot in Gainsville that is.

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« Reply #104: September 15, 2010, 09:23:36 pm »



It may start with drawing Mohammad being "too offensive" to be allowed, but where will it end?  I'm sure the Vatican is offended by all the coverage the sex abuse scandals have generated; will it be a "dick move" to talk about that someday, what with it making all those Catholics whose kids have been abused sad an all?  Will it be beyond the pail to suggest that Jewish fundies are making the Israel situation 100x worse than it would otherwise be?  Is this too far?


Two links.
Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/09/14/2010-09-14_koran_burner_derek_fenton_fired_from_his_job_at_nj_transit.html


Volokh Conspiracy blog post about it. http://volokh.com/2010/09/15/new-jersey-public-transit-employee-fired-for-blasphemy/

Quote
The one argument I can see the government potentially persuasively making is that Fenton’s expression might lead to a risk of terrorist attack on NJ Transit trains; such a “heckler’s veto” might be permissible when it comes to the government’s actions as employer, as opposed to the government’s actions as sovereign policing the speech of private people. But if that’s so, then unfortunately it’s one other item we have to add to the growing Extremist Muslim Thugs Win file; and unfortunately the bigger the file gets, the more incentive the thugs — including at some point thugs of other ideological stripes — have to keep being violent and threatening violence.

So, freedom of speech would no longer apply if it insults Muslims since they might attack the company you work used to work for.
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