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Author Topic: Burning Koran consquences
potemkyn
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So the fact that even 'good' Afghans will, without hesitation, butcher Westerners in their midst is less interesting than whether a nobody from nowhere got the media's attention?

Seriously, are the people in this discussion not from nations at war in Afghanistan?

Shouldn't the policy decision regarding staying at war in such a nation be regarded as more important than whether or not some Pastor is indirectly responsible for some group's actions?

In what way can the West possibly succeed in Afghanistan? Why maintain a presence at all at this point?

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Funean
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quote:
Shouldn't the policy decision regarding staying at war in such a nation be regarded as more important than whether or not some Pastor is indirectly responsible for some group's actions?
Sure, but that question is its own, different thread, potemkyn. This thread was about to what degree the pastor might be said to have culpability in what happened.

I must say that this thread has been very illuminating as to how people view individual responsibility in circumstances involving more than one actor.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
So the fact that even 'good' Afghans will, without hesitation, butcher Westerners in their midst is less interesting than whether a nobody from nowhere got the media's attention?
Since I don't believe them to be good, the fact that murderous religious madmen kill people is indeed much less interesting (as in less surprising, and less worthy of further discussion) than the acceptance by some people here of the murderous acts of another murderous religious madman.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Guns don't kill people, bullets do. Pastor Jones fired the gun, the rioters in Afghanistan were the bullets.
...and at this point, people achieve enlightenment and realize that making overstretched analogies should be a capital crime.
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cherrypoptart
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How much of our free speech must we surrender then?

Should Salmon Rushdie not have written "The Satanic Verses"? Should no publisher have published it? Should governments have banned it? Should he be in jail or otherwise legally liable for the deaths that resulted because of it?

Just as a guess, did more people die because of that or because of this burning of the Koran?

What legal consequences should this pastor face because of the people who died? Fines? Jail time? Or just righteous indignation?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Satanic_Verses

"Aziz Nesin, the Turkish translator, was the intended target in the events that led to the Sivas massacre on 2 July 1993 in Sivas, Turkey, which resulted in the deaths of 37 people."

And then there's South Park. They can show all the deities and prophets and holy people as part of the Super Best Friends. Except for one. What makes them so special that our First Amendment rights must be taken away from us because it's going to make them mad?

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DonaldD
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Exactly when did freedom from government coersion in the realm of political speech morph into a blanket pardon of all moral culpability?
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
How much of our free speech must we surrender then?
None of it.

For a supposed "conservative" like you are, you have a *huge* trouble realizing that when I say doing something is morally wrong, that doesn't mean it is the government's job to ban it.

It's the pastor's right to burn that Koran. It's his right to become in this way the moral equivalent of a murderer.

Confused? I expect you are. Some sorts of people will never understand the difference between "This action is wrong" and "The government ought ban it".

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cherrypoptart
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Ok, that clears that up then. For a while I thought we were talking about some type of legal liability. If it's only liability in the cosmic karma sense then that's good to know.
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OceanRunner
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Jones' actions were reprehensible, IMO. He absolutely had the right to do what he did, but he did it knowing that it was likely to lead to violence and death. And for what? To make a point that radical Muslims are nuts? Yeah, we knew that, genius.

That said, I'm so disgusted at this needless loss of life; it's hard for me to imagine human beings acting so irrationally and murderously over a ******* book.

As long as we're talking about culpability, too, does the media bear any responsibility for giving this lunatic 'pastor' a platform in the first place? He was crying for attention and he got it, and now innocent people are dead. Certainly the media bears far less responsibility than any of the madmen involved, but maybe our media should stop fanning outrage and controversy wherever they can find it.

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Viking_Longship
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Cherry legally if it could be proved that he was attempting to incite a riot he would potentially face criminal penalties. As the burden of proof in criminal law is beyond a reasonable doubt he's probably safe, as it should be.

quote:
There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting words" those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

– Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942

The First Amendment protects your right to free speech from the government, it does not mean nobody is allowed to say your actions were immoral or irresponsible.

[ April 02, 2011, 06:46 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
That said, I'm so disgusted at this needless loss of life; it's hard for me to imagine human beings acting so irrationally and murderously over a ******* book.

As long as we're talking about culpability, too, does the media bear any responsibility for giving this lunatic 'pastor' a platform in the first place? He was crying for attention and he got it, and now innocent people are dead. Certainly the media bears far less responsibility than any of the madmen involved, but maybe our media should stop fanning outrage and controversy wherever

Ocean Runner it's not just a book to them. It would be a bit like trampling the host would be to a Catholic, it's not just a sacred symbol to a muslim, it is sacredness itself.

If where the media was actually showing the video (I think Huffingtopost linked to the video on Youtube) they were being irresponsible. The question on reporting it at all is its newsworthiness.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
For those who claim that Pastor "don't-care-what-his-name-is" is responsible, do you have an answer to why this caused violence in this one spot and not others? You seem so hell bent to place blame, perhaps it's worth noting that the spot of violence has occurred in an area occupied by NATO countries? Perhaps violence begets violence? Perhaps YOU are as responsible as this Pastor for allowing your government to openly lay waste to villages and kill young boys from the air? Of course not, that would just a wild leap in logic.
No, I agree absolutely there. The years of mishandling Afghanistan definitely contribute to the issue, and many other issues play in as well. You're completely miscasting the matter when you try to assert that this is an attempt to say that the pastor was solely responsible for the incident; that's not the argument that's being made at all- in fact getting a clear understanding that he was just as culpable for his part in the mess is the first step toward understanding the validity behind the rest of your concerns there; to gaining a better understanding of how each act of violence or hatred serves to inflame the matter even further and that the only way out is for everyone to take responsibility for breaking the cycle by not contributing further to it and helping others see the only way out.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
Ok, that clears that up then. For a while I thought we were talking about some type of legal liability. If it's only liability in the cosmic karma sense then that's good to know.

He has a right to burn a Koran just like I have the right to carry a gun. He's legally in the clear on that matter.

What he is not, or at least should not be, in the clear on is taking an action with the intent of inciting murder. The legality and culpability of the instrument of murder itself is irrelevant; what matters is that he employed it with the intent to cause violence.

You have to right to speak in whatever way you want. You do not, however have the right to be immune to responsibility for the consequences of that speech. A person who asks someone else to commit a crime on their behalf is legally an accomplice to the crime; they can't hide behind "free speech" because it's not speech that's at issue.

[ April 02, 2011, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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cherrypoptart
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So what should his punishment be?
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cherrypoptart
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By the way, isn't this the same country and basically the same people of the same religion that blew the crap out of those centuries old Buddha statues?

And that burns the American flag quite regularly?

There's that karma again...

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ken_in_sc
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When Christianity had it's reformation and counter-reformation, Christians went back to their founding documents. They re-affirmed that you should treat others like you want to be treated, you should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God's-IOW separation of church and state, and many other benign things. Islam had it's reformation in the Wahhabi tradition in which it went back to it's original documents and learned to kill the Jews and Christians as Mohamed taught. That's why they do what they do. It's in their Holy Book.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by ken_in_sc:
When Christianity had it's reformation and counter-reformation, Christians went back to their founding documents. They re-affirmed that you should treat others like you want to be treated, you should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God's-IOW separation of church and state, and many other benign things. Islam had it's reformation in the Wahhabi tradition in which it went back to it's original documents and learned to kill the Jews and Christians as Mohamed taught. That's why they do what they do. It's in their Holy Book.

That is TOTAL whitewashing of the protestant reformation. Protestants killed 3/4 of the population of ireland for being Catholic under Cromwell, persecuted other sects of Protestants and did worse to Catholics (who weren't angels either).Whabbism is little different than Calvanism.
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TomDavidson
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Yeah, the belief that secular tolerance of other faiths came out of a renewed focus on scriptural study during the Reformation can only be based on total ignorance of both (or, charitably, either) history and theology. In fact, conflating the Reformation with the Enlightenment is probably a mistake.
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OceanRunner
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
That said, I'm so disgusted at this needless loss of life; it's hard for me to imagine human beings acting so irrationally and murderously over a ******* book.

As long as we're talking about culpability, too, does the media bear any responsibility for giving this lunatic 'pastor' a platform in the first place? He was crying for attention and he got it, and now innocent people are dead. Certainly the media bears far less responsibility than any of the madmen involved, but maybe our media should stop fanning outrage and controversy wherever

Ocean Runner it's not just a book to them. It would be a bit like trampling the host would be to a Catholic, it's not just a sacred symbol to a muslim, it is sacredness itself.

Oh, I know it's not just a book to them - but that doesn't mean anything. It still is just a book. And it's crazy to kill anyone over it.
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cherrypoptart
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If Hindus went on a rampage and killed a bunch of innocent people on the other side of the world every time I ate an Angus mushroom and swiss burger (hold the mayo please), should we all stop eating cows? Do we need to shut down every McDonalds in the world?

If the Japanese go berserk like this every time someone in the world is videotaped walking around their house with their shoes on does that mean that everyone in the world now has to take off their shoes when they go into their own house?

When will the Muslims learn that their rules do NOT apply to us? Does it take burning a Koran several times a day until they understand that simple fact?

And that's the problem with Islam. It seeks to apply its rules, its laws, and its death to those who want nothing to do with such madness. That's why it needs to be opposed in every way possible to the maximum extent allowed by law.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And that's the problem with Islam. It seeks to apply its rules, its laws, and its death to those who want nothing to do with such madness.
By "Islam," you mean "a minority interpretation of Islam," right?
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potemkyn
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Funean,

The title of the thread is "Burning Koran consequences" which covers a wide range of things. The topic quickly narrowed to whether or not the Pastor was culpable. Obviously, there was little interest in broadening the topic, but I don't think I'm derailing it based on the title.

Aris,

These are the 'good' Afghans because they don't actively target government officials, NATO soldiers, or commit suicide in an explosive manner. These are not the people that NATO is there to fight with, these are the people that NATO was sent to protect. Anyone who knows anything about Afghanistan can tell you that this is not an expected event for this location.

Pyrtolin,

I understand what you are saying, but I think if blame is being divvied out here, the public's of the NATO countries should shoulder some of the blame if this Pastor is taking a hit for it.

cherrypoptart,

Mazar-i-Sharif was controlled by the opposition to the Taliban. They are not known for their anti-western stance at all. They were fighting the Taliban when the Buddha statues were destroyed.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
So what should his punishment be?

He should be treated on par with someone who hired a hitman to equal effect, since the only real difference is that he got the job done cheap.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
By the way, isn't this the same country and basically the same people of the same religion that blew the crap out of those centuries old Buddha statues?

It's not unlikely that the Taliban had at least some hand in helping amp the people up here. But they are neither the whole country, nor the whole religion.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I understand what you are saying, but I think if blame is being divvied out here, the public's of the NATO countries should shoulder some of the blame if this Pastor is taking a hit for it.
Each can only take their own blame; it's not like there's a limited amount to be rationed out. The issue at hand isn't whether others were also responsible for contributing to the situation, arguing against the idea that the pastor isn't culpable for his own intentional actions- it's a limited context in a greater whole.
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cherrypoptart
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> Pyrtolin

> He should be treated on par with someone who hired a hitman to equal effect, since the only real difference is that he got the job done cheap.

So 20 years to life sounds about sufficient. Sometimes such individuals even get the death penalty, especially in cases like this in which so many people have been murdered. I thought that's where we were going with this.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
If Hindus went on a rampage and killed a bunch of innocent people on the other side of the world every time I ate an Angus mushroom and swiss burger (hold the mayo please), should we all stop eating cows?
Eating cows has a utility for me which is independent of any offense to Hindus. I don't eat cows in *order* to offend Hindus.

Don't you dare *pretend* that the situations are equivalent. This burning was done for the *purpose* to offend and enrage some Muslims somewhere. *That's* what makes it EVIL.

And in this case, one nation alone out of all Muslim-dominated nations had a political force that found it convenient to get enraged at it.

At which you point you express your glee and satisfaction at the murders which prove "your point".

quote:
When will the Muslims learn that their rules do NOT apply to us?
You mean they ought know that they can do everything they want within their lands, and you can do everything you want within yours?

I certainly *agree* with that statement, but be careful with it: that statement also means there's nothing violent you ought do against Afghanistan about them killing as many people as they want inside Afghani borders.

quote:
I thought that's where we were going with this.
Can you quit it with the dishonest attitude, in this instance choosing to dishonestly conflate everyone who argues against the pastor in this thread?

Be honest in your debate tactics for once.

[ April 03, 2011, 07:46 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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cherrypoptart
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How do you figure I conflated everyone? You've been very clear that you only want to impotently nerd rage all over this issue like I do about Obama's birth certificate but you expect no legal action against the instigator, pretty much the same as me.

But Pyr seems to have a different take on things and he's part of the discussion as well with a point to make as valid as yours or mine, so I grant it equal weight when I respectfully include it in the ideas that "we" are knocking around here.

His purpose in burning the Koran and anyone else's purpose in eating a hamburger isn't the business of someone half a world away.

Now prepare to be challenged:

"that statement also means there's nothing violent you ought do against Afghanistan about them killing as many people as they want inside Afghani borders"

Are you trying to compare killing people to burning a book?

That seems a much further stretch from one thing to the other than eating a hamburger was.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Are you trying to compare killing people to burning a book?
First of all, since in this case the burning of a book was done with the understood expectation it would get people killed, and probably done for that exact purpose, yes, I'm obviously morally comparing the two. I've even given you the equation that compares them.

Secondly, what I was doing just then was trying to understand what you meant by "their rules do NOT apply to us?". I'm not clear what you mean, and you seem to reject my interpretation of your words.

Thirdly and most trivially, I didn't see Muslims rioting over people not praying five times a day, or over people eating ham, or over many other ways "we" violate Muslim rules in our own nation. What they currently object to seems to be an intentionally evil act by an evil pastor to evilly get people killed by evilly offending radical Muslims.

And you seem to still be cheering the good pastor on, seemingly thinking that the only way "muslims" will collectively "get it" is if we get more and more innocent people killed.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
So what should his punishment be?

He should be treated on par with someone who hired a hitman to equal effect, since the only real difference is that he got the job done cheap.
Think it through to the end, Pyrtolin.

* The hitman is incentivized in his crime by the money. He isn't incentivized by wanting to see the instigator punished.
* The rioters are incentivized by wanting to hurt the instigator (punishing other foreigners is second best). That this is what the good pastor *also* wants doesn't matter to them.

If you hold the pastor *legally* responsible, you end up incentivizing all radical muslims anywhere -- if they want to punish some other behavior from a distance, they'll just need to murder some more innocents.

It is imperative that we morally denounce the pastor, but it is likewise imperative that we legally let him be.

[ April 03, 2011, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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Viking_Longship
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Cherry if the Pastor had simply burned a Koran to say, start a fire in his fireplace at home it would have been like eating a Cheeseburger in a McDonalds.

He announced he was going to burn a Koran, was briefly talked out of it, and in the end they video taped it and posted it on YouTube. It was quite deliberately intended to incite.

To a Muslim a Koran isn't "just a book" any more than trampling the blessed host would be just walking on bread to a Catholic.

As to the legality, if we have freedom of Religion in the USA we must have the freedom to Blaspheme. In the context he did it there is no way to prove beyond a reasonalbe doubt that his intent was actually to start a riot so he's off the hook on fighting words and any legal culpability as an accessory to murder is beyond ridiculous.

It is also beyind ridiculous to treat every Liberal criticism of someone else's action as a threat to the First Amendment. Do YOU want to make it illegal for Liberals to criticise Conservatives for their exercise of free speech?

As to impotently nerd raging over things without expecting much to be done about it legally or otherwise, that's pretty much all we do here. [Razz]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
So what should his punishment be?

He should be treated on par with someone who hired a hitman to equal effect, since the only real difference is that he got the job done cheap.
Legally or morally? You're going to have real trouble with the former. (Even the latter is questionable)
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
So what should his punishment be?

He should be treated on par with someone who hired a hitman to equal effect, since the only real difference is that he got the job done cheap.
Think it through to the end, Pyrtolin.

* The hitman is incentivized in his crime by the money. He isn't incentivized by wanting to see the instigator punished.
* The rioters are incentivized by wanting to hurt the instigator (punishing other foreigners is second best). That this is what the good pastor *also* wants doesn't matter to them.

If you hold the pastor *legally* responsible, you end up incentivizing all radical muslims anywhere -- if they want to punish some other behavior from a distance, they'll just need to murder some more innocents.

It is imperative that we morally denounce the pastor, but it is likewise imperative that we legally let him be.

I'd agree if, per the hamburger example, this was an incidental, unintended response.

But intent matters. He acted with the express intent of provoking violence, so the only way such actions could be comparable used to punish someone is if they were also deliberately performed in order to promote violence, in which case they should already be treated as criminal offenses to begin with.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
His purpose in burning the Koran and anyone else's purpose in eating a hamburger isn't the business of someone half a world away.

What does the physical distance have to do with anything?
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
I'd agree if, per the hamburger example, this was an incidental, unintended response.
I don't know that we could signal effectively enough that it's the intent of the act we're punishing, not the act itself.
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0Megabyte
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I'm deeply sympathetic to cherry's viewpoint on this issue.

Furthermore, I have a link from someone who speaks an interesting viewpoint, though I'm not in agreement with everything he said.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/shades_of_gray.php

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cherrypoptart
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> Pyrtolin

> What does the physical distance have to do with anything?

If you went over to the middle of Mecca and went into their big Mega Mosque where they do the televanislam services with Akman Joel Osteen Akbar and then you held up a Koran in front of the camera and tore a few pages out of it, then set it under you and squatted down for your morning constitutional while everyone else was banging their head against the floor in prayer so they could be awarded the forehead bruise of devotion, and then as they rose you wiped your bum with the pages you tore out and set the whole thing on fire, mentioning that the ham sandwich you had the day before looked a lot more appetizing then than it does now, then a reasonable person might expect a less than friendly reaction. Even I wouldn't go that far. That would just be getting ridiculous.

However, if you are on the other side of the planet, it should be safe to assume that you are out of their jurisdiction and what you do shouldn't be so much of their business. It's one thing to get up in someone's face and insult their religion while you're poking them in the chest. It's another thing to write, as Betrand Russell did, a book such as "Why I Am Not A Christian." One thing is provoking speeches and gestures, as they call it in the UCMJ. The other is Freedom of Speech, protected under the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution, a law higher than Islam in this country, at least for the time being.

I think we've been over this before, but what does it mean when so many Muslims react like this to something that happened so far away and is really not their business? It means they believe that their religion applies to everyone, everywhere in the world. That is a dangerous belief for everyone, dangerous to us and dangerous to them as well, and it is a false belief they must be disabused of in no uncertain terms.

We can talk about this in terms of the recent burning of the Koran, but it applies just as well to the Mohamed cartoons, Van Gogh's film, and even South Park of all things. I'm sure I mentioned before the OCD show I saw I saw and what they do is acclimate the people with it to the thing that makes them freak out by doing it over and over again until they become used to it. That's what needs to happen here.

If we back off now, we kneel and then prostate ourselves to the murderers who want to subjugate the world to their religion and ban any insult or mockery of it on pain of death. That's not the world I want to live in. In fact, it's one that I refuse.

[ April 03, 2011, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
it should be safe to assume that you are out of their jurisdiction and what you do shouldn't be so much of their business
If you yell, "**** you, neighbor" from your own property, it seems to me that it remains your neighbor's business. In other words, the "pastor" in question did this specifically to insult a small population, and ensured that the media made his intended insult known to that small population.

quote:
It means they believe that their religion applies to everyone, everywhere in the world.
I would say that any monotheist who claims to be religious and does not claim to believe this is lying about something.

But that is not what this "means." Rather, their reaction means only that they received and understood the insult that was intended in the spirit was intended; the universality of their religion (or lack thereof) has nothing to do with it.

---------

As a side note: I shouldn't have to point this out, but given the situation, I feel compelled to observe that killing someone just because you were insulted is pretty pathetic.

[ April 03, 2011, 07:51 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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cherrypoptart
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You're not standing on the border of your property though, you are in your own house where you can say whatever you please. Of course, then you put it on the internet.

Maybe this pastor cyber-bullied every Muslim in the world?

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AI Wessex
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I don't get how anybody can think that what Pastor Jones did was not hateful. He's a man of God, isn't he? He used his special position as the leader of a Church that teaches God's laws to demonize an entire religion because some of its members have done evil, knowing that somewhere some radical believers in that religion would take the insult as sacrilege and act on it. He's specializing in anti-Muslim rabble-rousing, but he's no different from anti-semitic, anti-black, anti-Catholic preachers who have held the bible above their heads as they made their denunciations.

He's a bat-sh*t crazy bigot, and that's not to say that the people who killed the UN workers aren't even more bat-sh*t crazy. Stop apologizing for him just because they out-evilled him. What he did was evil.

"You're not standing on the border of your property though, you are in your own house where you can say whatever you please. Of course, then you put it on the internet. "

Anything you say in the privacy of your home that demonizes or causes harm to someone else doesn't count? It's ok as long as they don't hear you? Pastor Jones burned the Koran in the privacy of his Church, so that made it ok until it showed up on the internet?

[ April 03, 2011, 08:46 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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