Re: Some good, mostly bad- The Myth and the Reality
Personally I blame the Film/TV Cop dramas for this situation. For so long we have had films and TV where some of the protagonists are "the good guys" with the implicit assumption that any corner cutting that they do is justified. With this assumption it makes perfect sense to accept that the police should be allowed to do whatever they want - because it means they will catch more criminals.
The reality however is that there is no such thing as a good guy (or a bad guy for that matter). There are good actions and bad actions. The whole concept of the rule of law is that rules are better than people as a way of telling the difference.
If the police are not constrained by this type of rule then they are free to pursue personal vendettas and the road to tyranny is open.
Without the requirement of warrants we have no rul
They believe that because they're no specific historical incident (in a time that is actually called the Dark Ages due to a dearth of historians who prided accuracy)
A time that is inaccurately caricatured as dark.
From Wikipedia: "Historians who use the term usually flag it as incorrect. A recently published history of German literature describes "the dark ages" as "a popular if ignorant manner of speaking" about "the mediaeval period","
If you're going to take the love your neighbor as you do yourself thing to heart, you have to accept that it applies to even to those of us that you most despise, regardless of what they did to your mom. That includes not just Muslims, but hostile Muslims that one might regard as terrorists. The very worst and most violent of Muslims. We have to invite them to the party too.
Yep - that's what Canon White "the vicar of Bagdad" said "we have to talk to some very bad people - and we have to be nice to them" That's what "love your enemies" means.
But that doesn't mean that we have to go along with their ideology.
Here is an INdonesian, former muslim now Christian (Orthodox) priest:
"Recently, I was invited to a radical Muslim madrasa—an Islamic boarding school. It has 6,000 students. They are planning to make an Islamic country out of Indonesia. I was surprised that I was invited to explain the Trinity in that place. Of course with them I had to use the primary sources—the Hebrew, the Greek, and the Arabic. By God’s grace I know those three languages. I also used the pattern of Islamic theological thought to explain to them. I was perhaps the first Christian clergyman to talk in that situation. When we went there, forty-five Protestant pastors escorted me, because they wanted to know what would happen. We went by bus, together. They wanted to protect me also—that is the fruit of my friendship with them. So to my surprise, after I finished my lecture, these Muslim clerics—one or two hundred of them, maybe more—gave me a long, standing ovation. They came to shake my hand, to embrace me, thanking me for explaining the Trinity in a way they understood. And they told the people that we have a guest of another religion, but it should not be another religion because they believe in one God! So that is an example of how I communicate with the Muslims. I do not take a confrontational approach, but one of friendship and dialogue. "
Can i first challenge you to find an incident in history in which data scooped up bt the NSA was used to identify and accuse a citizen of the US for a crime?
But there is plenty of evidence that the information is collected. You don't even have that.
I'm supposing it happened because the means and motives were there. You're supposing otherwise based on the integrity of every man of the cloth, and an institution known for using surreptitious means to protect its own interests. How could it not have happened?
But if it happened enough to be a significant factor in the lives of ordinary people how come you can't find even ONE incident where it came out?
There are recorded incidents where civil authorities tried to force priests to break confidentiality but the priest refused and was imprisoned/tortured/killed as a result.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The middle ages were a pretty grim time, and no-one had the moral high ground.
No, I was saying that western civilization failed to recognize human rights and their applicability to all of homo-sapiens until (at earliest) the 20th century, so it's hypocritical of those of us in the west to pass judgment on other civilizations for failing to figure it out sooner.
I would say that the Greek/Roman/Jewish/Christian civilisation of which what you call "western civilisation" is but a part recognised the concept of universal rights very early. IN fact the Roman empire was successful precisely because of this. It has however failed to implement it consistently at any time - including now.
I think we are foolish to assume that we are better at it now than people were in the 7th century for any reason other than the fact that we have a bigger economic surplus than earlier times and hence it is more affordable now.
Having said that I also think that it has actually been in retreat since the election s of Thatcher and Reagan in 1979/80.
Re: I'm really peeved at the "Unlawful Combatants" bit.
By the way - I'm appalled at the unlawful combatants bit too. In fact I'm appalled by what the western governments have done militarily over the last 30 years or so. Sometimes it has been well intentioned (but often not) and always it has been poorly thought through. The result has been disaster for religious minorities in the region (and that includes atheists as well as Christians Yazidis, Zoroastrians etc.
Re: I'm really peeved at the "Unlawful Combatants" bit.
Whole populations, from the lowest serf to the king were tithing faithfully. All were terrified of the threat of hellfire and under that divine sword went to confession diligently and confessed their innermost secrets. ....
but confession is a complete parenthesis - it is absolutely forbidden for the priest to divulge its content to anyone - even to mention it to the person who confessed outside confession itself.
Civil authorites have long complained about this.
On what do you base your opinion otherwise?
What we have from history is heavily biased towards "important people". It also concentrates on anomlaous events - so it is a poor guide to the lives of ordinary people.
The good examples are there too though - such as St Hugh of Lincoln protecting the Jews in his diocese.
a) some actually believe that Yahweh's crimes against humanity took place, b) condone them and c) would condone or even encourage similar crimes done in His name. Weapons of Mass Destruction, much?
ON this issue I would point out that if God exists and is omnipotent then everything bad that happens is His responsibility and he would be hugely guilty even without any of that specific stuff having happened. His supposed crimes in the OT don't make any difference to that basic problem. The issue is addressed in the book of Job- which brings me to the other point about the OT.
Look at it as a detailed description of how to behave and it does look pretty bad - but each of the stories does have a point. Take Sodom and Gomorrah. Before they were destroyed Abraham pleaded with God asking if he would destroy the just with the unjust. He started off "if there were 40 good men in the city would you destroy them" No says God and then Abraham keeps lowering the number - but every time God says No. Eventually Abraham realises where this is going and gives up.
In this context God striking someone down is no different to the weather striking you down - or an earthquake.
However when God appeared as a man He didn't do any of that stuff - so clearly there is no licence for his followers to do it either.
The bible and religious doctrine are still used to justify discriminaton against races, gays and women, and denial of scientific knowledge such as Climate Change and Evolution. Scripture is, thus, a relevant topic despite how I might doubt its factual basis.
As are (misunderstanding of) evolutionary theory itself (one of the inspirations behind Nazism - sorry about the Godwin), and other scientific and political theories.
Bad people will abuse whatever ideas have traction in their locality. It doesn't make the ideas bad.
The Roman empire saw how Christianity was spreading and jumped onto the bandwagon themselves - but they didn't immediately discard their old Roman power politics with all its brutality. What has followed over 1700 years has been a bit of a to and fro between church and state - and occasionally as in Rome - the church leaders have tried to be the state - or as in protestant countries the state has taken over the church. In either case the church will be morally compromised - hence some of the things which you complain about - although I do think you exaggerate.
Coming back to Islam - the difference here is that "church" and state were one from the very beginning - and the demand that they be so is burned into the core of that faith. It was only in the twentieth century that human rights have been committed to charter, and all races across the Earth are regarded as actual human beings.
There is an organisation of Islamic COuntries at the UN they have their own declaration of human rights - which dilutes the regiular one by inserting sharia as a guiding principle that can negate rights that conflict with it. There is no Organisation of Christian countries (or Catholic countries or protestant countries or Orthodox countries to compare with it.)
Re: Conseqentialism is not necessarily a poor approach.
I think the problem comes when they don't have an idea of what consequences they want
No - I think the problem is that people who think that the end justifies the means don't fully understand how their actions wil play out.
The Dalai Lama has said that he opposes violent resistance to Chinese occupation of Tibet because EVEN IF IT WAS SUCCESSFUL the end result would not be good. I don't think he fully understands how this would happen either - but I don't think he needs to. This is a basic moral principle that seems to exist in most religious systems (eg in Christianity - see Romans 3: 7-9) or if you don't like religion it is justified by the fact that most long term successful human systems have it somewhere - so in some sense it is proven to work.
Youre wrong. Its all called Electromagnetic Radiation. The 'Micro' refers SOLELY to the wavelength. It is in no way a 'Subset' - They are exactly the same thing in different frequency ranges.
The microwave band is a subset of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The set of electromagnetic waves runs from 0 frequency to infinity.
According to Wikipedia "Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths ranging from as long as one meter to as short as one millimeter; with frequencies between 300 MHz (100 cm) and 300 GHz (0.1 cm). "
The word subset can perfectly well be applied here - I don't know what you are complaining about.