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The Archbishop of Canterbury is partially right.
Posted: 17 January 2009 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Immediate Suppression - 17 January 2009 05:01 AM

Former Archbishop of Canterbury: Atheist use 9/11 as excuse to attack all religions.

Had it not been for 9/11 none of these atheists writers would have had nearly the success they have had.  And the primary reason 9/11 happened is because of America’s support for Israel and our reckless foreign policy which supports Israel lopsidedly.  Had America never helped create Israel and defended it so lopsidedly, America wouldn’t have been as hated, and 9/11 wouldn’t have happened.  It really is the source of all of the resentment.  It’s not so much about religion, it’s about our foreign policy.  At least, that is what Osama bin Laden says.  The Muslims would probably still be resentful of America, but not to the level of perpetrating 9/11-types of events.  Yes, at times religion makes people do crazy, violent things.  But in terms of being a threat to America, our foreign policy is the real source of the threat, and is what needs to be addressed.

While much of the book is brilliant, let’s face it, Sam was being a little paranoid when he wrote parts of The End of Faith.  It’s understandable, so was I at times.  Parts of the book that explore the implications of torturing or not torturing read like they are out of an episode of FOX’s television series 24.  Jack Bauer and others torture terrorists consistently on the popular show, and it is essentially justified using precisely the logic Sam presents in The End of Faith.   

The threat of a terrorist attack in America has subsided, and seems almost as unlikely as it did before 9/11.  Especially now that our incoming President is someone with a Muslim sounding name, and he is replacing a President who did more damage to America than many radical jihadist’s could ever dream of.

The biggest threat to America, and the human race for that matter, is the human race itself.  There are too many of us, causing too much damage in too many ways.  And usually not in the name of religion.  Usually in the name of “progress.”

[ Edited: 14 March 2009 03:09 PM by Immediate Suppression]
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Posted: 18 January 2009 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Our ridiculous foreign policy is based on religious superstition. Thus, it IS about religion.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 18 January 2009 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Immediate Suppression - 17 January 2009 05:01 AM

Had it not been for 9/11 none of these atheists writers wouldn’t have had nearly the success they have had.

As has been discussed elsewhere, there were a number of trenchant atheist polemics written before heavier than air flight, much less 9-11-01;  let’s not confuse sequence with causation.

Immediate Suppression - 17 January 2009 05:01 AM

And the primary reason 9/11 happened is because of America’s support for Israel and our reckless foreign policy which supports Israel lopsidedly.  Had America never helped create Israel and defended it so lopsidedly, America wouldn’t have been as hated, and 9/11 wouldn’t have happened.  It really is the source of all of the resentment.

Our lopsided policy toward Israel is only a piece of a larger policy, which was a knee jerk reaction to anything the USSR did.  When the USSR started building the Aswan Dam, we started saber rattling at Egypt.  When Mossadegh nationalized the oil fields, we overthrew him and installed our puppet the Shah.  If Israel had never been established, or been established in Bavaria (which would have made more sense), we would still have engendered deep resentment in the Middle East by our policy of treating all nations in the world as pawns in our chess game with the USSR.

Immediate Suppression - 17 January 2009 05:01 AM

It’s not so much about religion, it’s about our foreign policy.[...]

I agree.

Immediate Suppression - 17 January 2009 05:01 AM

The biggest threat to America, and the human race for that matter, is the human race itself.  There are too many of us, causing too much damage in too many ways.  And usually not in the name of religion.  Usually in the name of “progress.”

I’m lost, here.  What threat is posed to America in the name of “progress?”  I see war profiteers, mining companies, hedge fund managers, dog food importers, big box retailers, investment bankers, insurance executives and other billionaires treating this country like a joint of beef at a medieval feast.  None of them have trashed this country in the name of progress; all have done so in the name of profits and exaltation of the “free market.”

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“I am one of the few people I know who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.”  Sam Harris October 17, 2005

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Posted: 18 January 2009 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Teuchter,

I often hear Xians saying that god will punish us if we don’t side with “his people.” Do you not think that Xian attitudes about Israel and Jewish influences in the government had anything to do with US policy concerning Israel? I’m sure that some of the policy was a reaction to the USSR. It seems simplistic to think that religious influences did not come into play.

If it is ALL about communism (which the soviets got wrong anyway) then why did the pols continue the same policies after the fall of the Soviet Union?

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 18 January 2009 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I think we became a lot more protective of our allied monotheists (as opposed to the bad monotheist who came after, and therfore rejected, or national lord and savior) after they moved into to the petroleum neighborhood than when they lived in Germany and we were turning the boats around.

“Anticommunism” is, like “spreading democracy,” just another way of saying, “Give me your oil, chromium, natural gas, uranium, cheap labor, and anything else you got we might find useful.  Throw in your daughters, too.”

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“I am one of the few people I know who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.”  Sam Harris October 17, 2005

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Posted: 19 January 2009 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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The two ideas I reacted strongest to:
“atheists must concede that religion can benefit…”

and the Archbishop’s assertion that objection to absurdity is “infantile and trivial”.

I hope people stay angry no matter how often or forcefully they’re shamed, commanded to “grow up”.  I think finding “inner peace” when cruelty and stupidity run the show is a terrifically dangerous, tricky business, given the state of the world.  Submission won’t cut it.  It never has, it never will.  Looking at what motivates those in authority to humiliate, to infer that those whom they wish to control are behaving “childishly” may be one of the most interesting questions of this age. 

For a look at one of the best-written “tantrums” I think I have ever seen, see this page from Greta Christina’s blog:

http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta_christinas_weblog/2007/10/atheists-and-an.html?cid=95399658

Stay angry.  There’s no reason to feel ashamed for it.
Steve Thomas

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Posted: 19 January 2009 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Greta’s blog is excellent. It has been pointed out on this forum previously. I think it was Salt Creek who posted here before.

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 19 January 2009 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Richard Dawkins is perhaps the most rational and scientific protagonist of our writers and yet he is always described by Christian apologist as a ‘militant atheist.’  Responding to religious hyperbole only reinforces its empty claims.

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Posted: 19 January 2009 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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It’s good to see you L&R. What do your in-laws think about US policy as it pertains to Israel?

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Real honesty is accepting the theories that best explain the actual data even if those explanations contradict our cherished beliefs.-Scotty

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Posted: 19 January 2009 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Beam - 19 January 2009 06:00 PM

It’s good to see you L&R. What do your in-laws think about US policy as it pertains to Israel?

IMHO, most US Jews value the support of our country but are not mistaken as to its strategic benefits for the US in the region or its misguided ties to Christian eschatology.

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Posted: 19 January 2009 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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LogicAndReason - 19 January 2009 06:04 PM

IMHO, most US Jews value the support of our country but are not mistaken as to its strategic benefits for the US in the region or its misguided ties to Christian eschatology.

Seriously, what are the “strategic benefits” for the US in supporting Israel?

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Posted: 19 January 2009 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 19 January 2009 07:10 PM
LogicAndReason - 19 January 2009 06:04 PM

IMHO, most US Jews value the support of our country but are not mistaken as to its strategic benefits for the US in the region or its misguided ties to Christian eschatology.

Seriously, what are the “strategic benefits” for the US in supporting Israel?

The same as being parked in Iraq.

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Posted: 19 January 2009 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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LogicAndReason - 19 January 2009 07:12 PM
Bruce Burleson - 19 January 2009 07:10 PM
LogicAndReason - 19 January 2009 06:04 PM

IMHO, most US Jews value the support of our country but are not mistaken as to its strategic benefits for the US in the region or its misguided ties to Christian eschatology.

Seriously, what are the “strategic benefits” for the US in supporting Israel?

The same as being parked in Iraq.

So maybe we should just occupy Israel instead of supporting it?

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Posted: 19 January 2009 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 19 January 2009 07:19 PM
LogicAndReason - 19 January 2009 07:12 PM
Bruce Burleson - 19 January 2009 07:10 PM
LogicAndReason - 19 January 2009 06:04 PM

IMHO, most US Jews value the support of our country but are not mistaken as to its strategic benefits for the US in the region or its misguided ties to Christian eschatology.

Seriously, what are the “strategic benefits” for the US in supporting Israel?

The same as being parked in Iraq.

So maybe we should just occupy Israel instead of supporting it?

Better an ally don’t you think?  This discussion involves much research as to the Zionist movement in general, anti-Semitic European history that predicates the Zionist movement after the first world war, the actual Zionist movement and Arab objections…on and on.  A discussion involving obvious bias and speculation will probably not uncover US policy as to Israel.  We only speculate that this country has a policy in the first place that is neither ad hoc or capricious.

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Posted: 19 January 2009 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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LogicAndReason - 19 January 2009 07:25 PM

Better an ally don’t you think?

I don’t think our support of Israel has resulted in any tangible benefit to us. The only reason we care about the middle east is oil, anyway. We can be friends with moderate Arab states, dock our warships in their ports to keep the shipping lanes open (which also benefits them), and do just fine. Why spend $6 billion a year and incur the hatred of the rest of the world for undying support for a 200 mile-long strip of oil-less land?

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Posted: 08 March 2009 04:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Beam - 18 January 2009 03:41 PM

Teuchter,

I often hear Xians saying that god will punish us if we don’t side with “his people.” Do you not think that Xian attitudes about Israel and Jewish influences in the government had anything to do with US policy concerning Israel? I’m sure that some of the policy was a reaction to the USSR. It seems simplistic to think that religious influences did not come into play.

If it is ALL about communism (which the soviets got wrong anyway) then why did the pols continue the same policies after the fall of the Soviet Union?


Hi Beam,

Is that a misconception saying,“I often hear Xians saying that god will punish us if we don’t side with “his people.”
If they do say this then they are under a mis-conception themselves. The teaching is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all that love Jerusalem will prosper.
I think right and wrong is not about blindly believing what others tell us.

Badd.

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