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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Here's the Thing... (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Here's the Thing...
Synesthesia
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I fail to see how disagreeing with the War on Terror equals being a comformist under the sway of group think.
Take me for example, I'm beginning to think I lack any sort of pack instincts. I don't feel like I fit in with most packs and their way of thinking.
I have no idea why.
Yet, I do not agree with this war on terror. I do not think that fighting a war against an abstract concept like terrorism is a good idea.
It doesn't seem like a war that can be won.
To me, it seems like a war with a clear enemy, a clear goal is more likely to be won.
I could be wrong, I do not know as much about politics and war as I would like.
I am biased because I despise war with everything I am. I'm so tired of this constant need for people to prove their dominance whether it's on the internet fighting with other fans of a band that you like, or the less trivial war.
War ruins lives, plain and simple, but there are times when a person needs to fight a war, when there is no choice in the matter.
Is it unreasonable to insist that people look into every angle they can before proceeding this way?
War involves individuals with families, with lives that are precious and valuble.
I do not feel that the people involved in this war put a lot of thought into its execution from start to finish.
That's why I'm against it. Why should a young man with 4 children and another child on the way die when it seems to me that these people did not look at the whole picture before attacking Iraq?
I did not come to this conclusion from groupthink or intellectual elitism and I acknowledge i could be wrong, because i do not know the whole picture. I am biased in my hatred of war as well. I also despise terrorists and view them as stupid and misguided and wish they can find a better way to get their points accross.
I do not think it is right to make the generalization that everyone who is against this war is followign the crowd. I seldom follow crowds. I am trying to look on the other side, but they are also filled with rhetoric and frustrating generalizations, so what is a person to do?

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Crocobar
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My opinion in a nutshell is that there's no understanding of politics if you're not doing it full time. Hence, all the social debate around Iraq war is mostly baseless and pure speculation. You gotta have some trust in people you elect to do this job. They most likely didn't rush into war without pondering a lot. Sometimes you cannot postpone the war too much: it hurts future at the expense of the present.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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I like to think that all the people at the top who are making the decisions are pretty smart, smarter than me anyway. But they aren't infallible. Personally, I think the "War on Terror" is about as likely to be successfully fought as the "War on Drugs." We aren't a country that can commit to this fight, which in order to win we would have to effectively destroy the entire Muslim culture. Historically, this would not have been a problem. It's us or them. Ask the Visigoths. Oh, wait, you can't. But there is no more "us" anymore, not in the west. It's "me and mine." We'll surrender before we do what we need to protect ourselves. This war will be fought ultimately between the Muslims and the Chinese.

At least, that's my prediction. I have been wrong before.

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Synesthesia
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Um, you do realize that all Muslims are not TERRORISTS?
A lot of stuff atributed to Muslim culture were already in the culture before Islam existed, it's the same with Christianity.
You could tackle the conditions that CAUSE terrorism such as poverty, lack of education, and just plan mistrust and misinformation! But that is a slower thing to do, that's more difficult than bombs and explosives which could lead to more terror! At least in my eyes!
Damn, I hate the us vs them mentality people have. I can't stand it much longer. We don't need it, it's lead us to these problems it needs to STOP!

I just do not trust this administration, but I seldom trust any politicians. They seem to only be interested in getting votes any way they can. They will lie to do so. They will have all sorts of ulterior motives whether they are Democrats, Republicans or independent candidates.
I do not trust these people when it comes to this war. I do not think they know what they are doing.
Constantly they seem to change their objective for fighting the war.
"We're looking for Saddam" "We're fighting for Iraqi Freedom!" "We're fighting the war on TERROR!"
They don't seem to know what they're talking about! War is a dangerous thing. War equals death and destruction. You just don't casually get into this without looking at the whole picture and I don't feel these people did this.

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Tara
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quote:
Originally posted by Crocobar:
My opinion in a nutshell is that there's no understanding of politics if you're not doing it full time. Hence, all the social debate around Iraq war is mostly baseless and pure speculation. You gotta have some trust in people you elect to do this job. They most likely didn't rush into war without pondering a lot. Sometimes you cannot postpone the war too much: it hurts future at the expense of the present.

The agrument about Iraq might well be speculation on our part, but it's a kind of speculation that should never stop happening until the war is over.
Maybe we don't know everything about the situation, but we certainly know enough to judge it. The people must constantly be judging what the government is doing, but who else will if we don't?

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Reshpeckobiggle
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I know not all Muslims are not terrorists. I just don't think there is anyway to stop torrorism without completely eradicating the culture that breeds them. Since that is not possible, and probably not even preferrable to losing our own culture to theirs, that, for me, pretty much leaves me with a defeatist attitude. I'm minoring in Spanish right now because I expect I'll be living off of the land somewhere in South America one day.
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Avatar300
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quote:
Originally posted by Crocobar:
My opinion in a nutshell is that there's no understanding of politics if you're not doing it full time. Hence, all the social debate around Iraq war is mostly baseless and pure speculation. You gotta have some trust in people you elect to do this job. They most likely didn't rush into war without pondering a lot. Sometimes you cannot postpone the war too much: it hurts future at the expense of the present.

At one time I thought the Iraq invasion was well thought out. Now? Not so much. Never trust a politician, 99% of them are moral degenerates.
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pooka
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Muslims are not terrorist, but they feel a defensive ambiguity toward their brothers who are. Just like I feel a defensive ambiguity toward Survivor. And if he winds up hurting people, I will be partly to blame.
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Tara
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Muslims are not terrorist, but they feel a defensive ambiguity toward their brothers who are.

I find that hard to believe, seeing as how the Koran specifically says not to kill.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I find that hard to believe, seeing as how the Koran specifically says not to kill.
Well, no. It also says to kill. No religion in history has ever failed to justify murder when it's become convenient.
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pooka
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Well, we can throw around words like convenient, marriage, human in ways that we know other people interpret differently all we want.
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Survivor
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It all depends on what you call murder, doesn't it?

Tom D again makes the false argument that assumes that no culture ever failed to survive. A lot of religions did make the decision not to justify something that they would have previously regarded as murder. And probably most of them ended up not being practiced soon after making that decision.

That's evolution for you, whether in biology or anthropology, you don't get sustained adaptation except by killing off those that fail to make survival their priority.

As far as defensive ambiguity goes, I'm not the one that decided on the slogan "fight terrorism with terrorists" (subsequently changed to "Army of one" once that became freed up again). My slogan is more like "A new beginning" or "The future is here" or something like that. Okay, I don't really have a slogan.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Tara: "When a Jew is hiding behind a rock, the rock will call out,'there is a jew hiding behind me; come and kill him!'"

This is from the Koran.

There is also the Verse of the Sword, which says that if anyone refuses to accept Allah and Muhammed as his prophet, he must either become dhimmu and be subjugated and made to pay the jizyah, a very high tax, or he must be put to death.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
A lot of religions did make the decision not to justify something that they would have previously regarded as murder.
Can you name one?
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Far be it from me to accuse you of dealing to much with stark black and white generalizations, Tom, but don't you think this is an overly prejudiced way of trying to disparage religion and the religious? I think the problem with what you and Survivior are debating (or trying to debate) is that religions don't make decisions, per se.

But to answer the question for Survivior, if I may, the Catholic Church ---being the institution most able to "make decisions" as a religion--- has issued several official apologies for crimes commited in the (often distant) past. Like beatifying Joan of Arc, for instance. I don't know if a later about-face counts toward not justifying something previously regarded as murder, as Survivor put it, but I think it's progress, and shows that most religions are not immutable.

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pooka
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I think another approach to the muslim/terrorist quesiton is like mormons/polygamist. No one has more reason to feel offended by polygamy than mormons, and yet the State of Utah is not publicly supported in prosecutions that don't involve other crimes like statutory rape, kidnapping, and incest. Because on some level, cultural Mormons don't understand what's really wrong with polygamy.
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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
Because on some level, cultural Mormons don't understand what's really wrong with polygamy.
There's a difference between polygamy as practiced by my ancestors, and the sort of polygamy that is being cracked down on today in Utah. I don't think many people, Mormon or non-Mormon, regards polygamy itself to be the horrid crime in these cases, but rather, the "statutory rape, kidnapping, and incest" that is associated with these groups.

Last I checked, Mormons are pretty firmly against all of those crimes.

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A Rat Named Dog
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Anyway, in case you're curious, this "cultural Mormon" believes, as suggested by the Book of Mormon, that God detests polygamy, but sanctions it on rare occasions where it serves His purposes. Thus, it isn't inherently evil or immoral, but it is contrary to God's plans to such a degree that He will only allow it under rare, controlled circumstances. I suspect that part of what He dislikes about it is probably the fact that groups like the criminals in Utah can misuse it to create terrible, exploitative communities ...
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Tara
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I still don't believe that the majority of modern day Muslims would support acts of terrorism just because they were performed by others of the same religion.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
No religion in history has ever failed to justify murder when it's become convenient.

How about Jainism?
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BlueWizard
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Tara -
I still don't believe that the majority of modern day Muslims would support acts of terrorism just because they were performed by others of the same religion.

Then way aren't they speaking out against it?

Why aren't the publically condemning it?

Why aren't the forming their own Armies to oppose it?

If you ask a rank and file Muslim if he condemns the actions of terrorist, he will say, yes, he does, but have you ever actually heard him do it? Have you ever heard him publically and emphatically condemn terrorism and those who participate in it? Personally, I haven't. Yes, yes, I have heard them claim they do it, but I have never actually heard them do it.

As long as the bulk of Islam remains passive and silent, then terrorism has no oppossition. As long as good men do nothing, evil can flourish.

It's time for Islam as a whole to take a stand to publically, actively, and aggressively condemn the actions of a radical fanatic few.

I want to remind everyone that the War in Iraq is coming up on having lasted as long or longer than World War II. How can we say we are committed to Victory, when we obviously don't know what victory is or how to achieve it. What we are good at is perpetuating war until the cost becomes too high, and they we simply go away.

How can the world ever depend on us, if we aren't willing to make an unrelenting and overwhelming commitment to absolute victory. Victory always works; half-hearted, ill-concieved, miserably and poorly executed police actions always fail. There is a lesson in there.

Steve/BlueWizard

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Leonidas
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Understand that the term “War on Terror” and many of the other catch phrases used by the current administration are rhetoric. They are trying to package their message into snippets that the public can digest. They could hardly sell everyone on “The war on Islamic-Fascists bent on regional and global control, and on those states and organizations which sponsor such activities.” You must look beyond this rhetoric to see what they are effectively doing.

I think part of the groupthink mentality in today’s American cultural society is that war is prosecuted by half-witted politicians that were too stubborn to talk out their differences. Talking should be the first choice, but getting two honest players at the table is often times not viable. A majority of the world still believes that “might makes right.” If you have the power to destroy your neighbor, you should. If you can break the will of your opponent by driving up a body count, then you should. Throw in fanatics that believe their god is on their side, and you’ll have a one sided conversation just like were having now. The Democrats are essentially trying to negotiate a unilateral peace without consideration of the opponents. It’s like you’re in a boxing match and coming to the realization that the other guy would stop punching if you just threw your arms down to your side. You can argue all day that you shouldn’t have been in the boxing ring in the first place, but you are going to get killed if you stop fighting.

In some ways, we’re no different from those with the “Might makes Right” mentality. If we have the might to tie up a conflict quickly with low casualties, then it must have been the correct course of action. If it’s a prolonged engagement, then we question its validity with dissent, committee investigations, and blue ribbon panel recommendations. We have a tolerance for short Panama or Granada style wars that are wrapped up in a few months, but don’t have the dedication to wait out a strategic engagement such as we are in in the Middle East. Thus, the American groupthink takes over. The President must be a dimwit for not negotiating our way out of the current war.

War is evil because it hurts so many people? Yes, there is a human tragedy to it all, but it is our volunteer warriors that are taking on this burden and to much extent their families. I have personally been there, for 10 years. It is what they do and what they are paid for. We want to give them every opportunity to succeed, but they are pointless unless we are willing to put them in harms way when negotiations break down and there is a perceived threat. When the planes were loading up to invade Haiti, there wasn’t a soul in the 82nd Airborne Division that wanted to be left behind. There was more regret than relief when the planes turned around at the last minute. Soldiers will gripe about the food, weather, and sitting around, but rarely will they grip about a firefight. On the Iraqi side, 20 or more of them are dying for every one of our soldiers. Imagine the human toll if we leave now.

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Survivor
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Moderate Muslims often live next door to radical Muslims, and even if they don't, they don't necessarily know that they don't. They might privately deplore terrorism and other extremist ideas like the imposition of Sharia law...but it can be deadly to speak out against them.

Back in the old days, you'd encounter the same problem a lot with people who had converted away from Islam, maybe only a couple of their old aquaintences would actually kill them over their "infidelity", but they didn't necessarily know who. So they'd live in fear of being found out.

I myself have certain things I'm not expressing, because expressing those things could have negative consequences for my continued participation on this board. While I don't really fear those consequences, I am in the position of someone who doesn't speak out because it really could get me in trouble.

Are moderate Muslims supposed to fear death less than I fear being banned from an internet forum?

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Leonidas
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"As long as the bulk of Islam remains passive and silent, then terrorism has no opposition. As long as good men do nothing, evil can flourish. "

Not sure this is a valid argument. What if turn it back on ourselves and say - Until all the Baptists, Methodists, Greek Orthodox, Church of Christ, etc... rise up against the Boston Catholic Bishops, then pedophilia has no opposition.

I think much of the Muslim population no more identifies itself with the terrorist than a Baptist would with David Koresh. For that matter, from their perspective, asking them to raise their hand and be counted might make them feel like a Jew in 1941 Germany being asked to proudly display the Star of David to show their cultural pride. Surely they are not ashamed of who they are?

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Survivor
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Well, all the Christians did speak out quite openly in condemnation of the pedophilic bishops episode, though. There was also pretty widespread disgust for Koresh.

But those Christians, by and large, didn't face any serious threat of reprisals for speaking, did they? Not to undermine the validity of their righteous outrage or anything, but it was pretty easy for them because they weren't risking much.

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Synesthesia
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Once again, I really think that the argument that a person is anti-American for disagreeing with a war should just be retired.
It's not a vallid argument.
I fail to see how believing that war is morally wrong on every level and is an outmoded concept that needs to be retired makes me anti-American anymore than disagreeing with just about 99% of Bush's policies.
I don't think that other perspectives need to be silenced with that argument. To me it's contrary to the concept of Democracy and a lame and weak argument designed to go straight to the jugular without a lot of substance.
People who disagree with war are not just old there following a crowd of neo-hippy wannabees with no mind of their owns.
Many of us have thought it out, done our share of research and just don't feel it's the right course. There really needs to be some sort of middle ground.
To me, you'd expect this sort of thing out of Muslim extremist, only difference is many of them would be waving a gun ready to shoot. People really need to chill.

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Scooter
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I don't know who is saying that being against the war = anti-American. Even Pres. Bush has spoken against that conclusion over and over (whether you believe him or not is a different question).

Alluding to the fact that a given group is against the war BECAUSE they are at their root anti-American is a different statement. It seems that many feel personally attacked when a statement referring to a certain group of people within a certain context is made that is not meant to apply to everyone.

Example: When Cheney (a year or two ago) stated that there were politicians who were protesting and challenging the war for political reasons that had nothing to do with the best interest of the country at heart (protecting us against terrorism) but to score political points that would gain them more power, the media and some politicians construed his statement to mean he was questioning the patriotism of ALL citizens and ALL Democrats who opposed Bush. Bunk.

It's all word play and spin. Of course there are extremists who will make huge generalizations like the one you are arguing against, but those extremists aren't typically in a position to be taken seriously by honest citizens of the U.S.—so I hope.

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Synesthesia
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*points to this article and what Card said about the Dixie Chicks*
That annoyed me a bit. I wish folks wouldn't use against the war or Bush and anti-American in the same sentence. I am against a TON of Bush's policies, especially when it seems like he's more pro-business than pro ordinary people.
But I have to study more to see if that weakening meat inspections rules is really true, because that just bothers me. Listeria and stuff like that effects old people and children worse than adults, so weakening something like that is just... ><
I'm trying not to make generalizations and be judgemental, but it's hard to do that when it comes to things that make me feel so furious and helpless.
Such as this war and other things.

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pooka
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quote:
I don't think many people, Mormon or non-Mormon, regards polygamy itself to be the horrid crime in these cases[
Yeah, that's the problem. It's like how so many people just didn't understand why Bill Clinton was in trouble. It wasn't for being unfaithful to his wife. It was for holding sexual favors over employees under his administration. At a basic level, the fact that it's always 1 man to many women makes polygamy abhorrent to me.

If you kill livestock and light it on fire for God, it's a sacrifice. If you kill them just because you like to, you're a sicko. Polygamy should be a sacrifice for the people who are involved in it. People who do it because they want to are sickos. I suppose the people who do think they are doing it as a sacrifice are another case, and if you really think about them, they should scare you. It just kind of worries me if there are as many running around as reports say.

P.S. I believe we've discussed before that Jews don't practice animal sacrifice right now because there is no temple and it would not be appropriate.

Oh, and Synesthesia, I have no doubt you were against this war from day one. But at some point between day one and now, a large percentage of the American population has been groupthinked out supporting the war. If you are an individual, why do you care about sweeping statements made by some columnist?

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Synesthesia
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Dang, it seems like polygamy would make people miserable. That's just my opinion on the matter.

The problem with sweeping statements is that other people read them and believe them so instead of people looking at the whole picture they will just assume the statements are right and it causes too much division and I hate that.
I'm really not interested in constant never ending fighting, it's exausting, but this sort of thing makes me insane and just HAS to stop. Or at least be limited. It muddies the water too much. If people think people are against the war because they are anti-American and want to undermine our efforts, how is the whole truth supposed to come out? That's all I'm interested in.

It's like if you're Mormon and don't want people to stereotype you. I get bothered when I see stereotypes about Mormons even when I'm not Mormon because stereotypes and sweeping statements just annoy me because the true facts aren't getting out, it's just political water muddying, and do we really need more of that?

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pooka
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Yeah, when people like Dog say no one wants to prosecute polygamists just for living in an alternative fashion, they are commenting on an illusion.

quote:
this sort of thing makes me insane and just HAS to stop
Seems like a lot of people equate supporting the war with hating free speech. And how am I supposed to rebut that? Mostly, I don't bother. How is that truth supposed to come out?

My "thing" is that I don't agree that people can support the troops and not the war.

If I may introduce another analogy, it's like folks who believe prescriptions are the third leading killer of Americans, but they aren't against doctors. (of course the prescription factoid is under dispute in hatrack reality, because we're all so smart here [Razz] but people still go around saying it nonetheless.) I'm just saying people who try to hold to both ideas are double-minded.

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A Rat Named Dog
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quote:
If you kill livestock and light it on fire for God, it's a sacrifice. If you kill them just because you like to, you're a sicko.
And if you do it because someone is hungry, you're a chef.
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Synesthesia
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I can see how a person can support the troops but not the war.
I want the troops to do well, to have what they need to fight the war, but I would rather they be home with their families instead of having to fight a war in the first place.
Especially when you hear of young men who have children on the way, and 4 other children and end up with FIVE kids who will never know who their father is. That just more than depresses me.
I don't want to yell at or barade soldiers, I just strongly want them not to die or be hurt as naive as that sounds...

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MrSquicky
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pooka,
Could you explain to me the definition of "groupthinked" that you are using?

I'm wondering if and how you distinguish this from making independent decisions based on the evidence available.

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pooka
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Groupthinked would mean if your opinion on the war changes because it seems that that is what everyone thinks. In my mind, if you were against the war before Katie Couric, you get to be independent. Once Katie Couric started being all "we need hear something good about America for a change" it means the herd is implicitly anti-American. She's just a celebrity who happens to annoy me personally. You could pick just about anyone, though.

Though I must admit I am guilty of not condemning groupthink that I approve of. Like how the Colt's coach is known for not swearing or bullying people, I think "Wow, what a great role model for kids."

[ February 20, 2007, 10:39 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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Survivor
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If you think that there's no possible justification for war, then you believe that the founding of the nation popularly known as "America" was an immoral action. Thus you easily qualify as an "anti-American". If you believe that the application of United States military force to subdue "rogue states" and "terrorists" is a bad thing, then you believe that the primary influence that America has on the world at large is evil. Thus again you qualify as an "anti-American".

I don't understand the problem with this. America is utterly founded on the idea that war is sometimes necessary to secure "the American way" (whatever that is). So why should anyone dislike being called "anti-American" if they're against war?

I'm totally in favor of war, but I don't mind being called "anti-American" for various other disagreements I have with the nation that goes by that name.

As for "groupthink" as opposed to "the evidence available", I'm going to be giving you all a chance to distinguish that pretty soon. Well, more of a chance than I've already given you [Wink]

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pooka
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quote:
I want the troops to do well, to have what they need to fight the war, but I would rather they be home with their families instead of having to fight a war in the first place.
Yes, and my friends who sell vitamins support doctors as long as they only do life saving trauma care and not give prescriptions for degenerative, lifestyle related diseases.
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Synesthesia
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I don't think that's even close to the same thing.
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pooka
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What's the point of supporting soldiers when you don't support their soldiering? I'm not saying people aren't free to not support the war. I just find it suspect for them to say they support the troops but not the war. You're basically saying "I love the sinner, I hate the sin." Which is fine to say, but then the person says "I wasn't sinning."
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JennaDean
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So the soldier's going to say "I wasn't fighting?"

I'm not getting it. I do think you can support the troops, make sure they know they are appreciated and get the funding they need, etc, without supporting the reasons we are at war and working to put an end to it. Some people don't do both well, I'll grant. But I think you can do it.

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MrSquicky
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pooka,
Do you have any evidence that a significant number of people's opinions changed because everyone else seemed to think so? Also, how does groupthink work to make pubilc opinion go from overwhleming support for something to overwhleming condemnation of something?

For myself, I think that there is definitely some groupthink, as there are in all human opinions, but much more telling is how poorly things have gone and how obviously dishonest/wrong/incompetent the administration has been. I imagine many people's support would wane as we go from "We'll be greated with parades and flowers." to that being exposed as an incredibly stupid after-invasion plan.

Plus, I think it also has a big influence that the only people left supoprting the war are die-hard Bush fans or employed by the Bush administration. I made a listing of some very prominent, knowledgible people who are against critical of the war and how it is being carried out in an earlier thread. To that, you could add John McCain calling Donald Rumsfeld one of the worst Secretaries of Defense in US History. It's not just the uninformed mob against this, but the experts too.

---

I'm also kind of curious how you can support this war and honestly support the troops as well. You've got them being put in harm's way without adequate supplies or planning. You've got them risking their lives in an action that, due to poor management, has actually made things worse. You've got those troops who dare to speak up (e.g. the retired Generals) mercilessly attacked.

I don't know if you have people over there, but I do. I support them. As part of this support, I don't ever want them put in harm's way unless the people in charge have done an adequate job of planning what their mission is and what the exit strategy is. I don't want them being hurt and killed at the direction of commanders who feel free to do things like deny basic reality ("There's no insurgency." or "The insurgency is in it's last throes." or "We've turned a corner.") and do not assume responsibility for their decisions. Supporting them means being very critical of an administration that makes a reasonable strategy for getting many of them home (and what we're going to have to do anyway) into heartening the terrorists ("If we redeploy, the terrorists win") for their own political gain.

To me, supporting the troops means wanting them home unless there is an important mission for them to do and a reasonable expectation that they will be able to do it. I don't want them dying for the folly of their commanders. If they must risk injury and death, I want it to be in a carefully planned action that has a reasonable chance of serving America's interest and acheiving the goals that they set out to.

We've got a civilian controlled military (and thank god we do), so they don't get to determine these things or be critical about them. That means it is my job (and yours) to do so. We need to be the ones to hold the government accountable when they don't live up to their responsibilities to our troops.

To me, supporting the President in this war goes against all these things. Frankly, I more than a little disgusted by peopel who use "supporting the troops" as a disguise for shutting down debate and/or advocating blind support of the President.

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AJ
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Muslims are not terrorist, but they feel a defensive ambiguity toward their brothers who are. Just like I feel a defensive ambiguity toward Survivor. And if he winds up hurting people, I will be partly to blame.

not ALL muslims are terrorists but some are... the reason: isnt it in their bible that they should eliminate/remove/ kill (or whatever you want to call it) the infidels? thats all they're doing, following their religion.
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pooka
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If people are not persuaded by other people's opinions, why does it matter if there is a debate?
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MrSquicky
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pooka,
Again, I have no idea why you think your comment is relevant. Could perhaps you explain your meaning in more detail?

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Synesthesia
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It doesn't seem like a debate to me. It seems like what people tell children, "Shut up, you should be seen and not heard" or, "We're fighting against EVIL. Don't question or we will think you're evil too for trying to shed a bit of DOUBT on things. It's like rust and our resolve will WEAKEN."
Which makes me ask, if folks are so secure in their decisions about this war, then why are they so bothered by people questioning it? Surely if it's the right thing to do, it can stand up to scrutiny and doubt with clear reasons besides, "You single handedly weaking the resolve of our troops and giving aid and comfort to the eneny. You might as well move to Tehgran or Iraq and start of terrorist camps because YOU ARE ONE OF THEM!"

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pooka
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My comment was sparked by the bookends to your post.
quote:
Do you have any evidence that a significant number of people's opinions changed because everyone else seemed to think so?
quote:
Frankly, I more than a little disgusted by peopel who use "supporting the troops" as a disguise for shutting down debate and/or advocating blind support of the President.
For you to say you are the true supporter of the troops and I am the false one makes about as much sense as me saying I am the true supporter of any group because I think they should behave not as they believe they should, but as I believe they should. I'm a true supporter of Terrorists, by Squicky's measure, because I know how they should be living their lives better than they do.

I've never said you can't disagree with the war, Synesthesia. I've only said people who say they disagree with the war can't say they are the true supporters of the troops. They might claim to support people who also happen to be soldiers.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
What's the point of supporting soldiers when you don't support their soldiering? I'm not saying people aren't free to not support the war. I just find it suspect for them to say they support the troops but not the war. You're basically saying "I love the sinner, I hate the sin." Which is fine to say, but then the person says "I wasn't sinning."

For what it's worth, I think this is a fine analogy.

We are a supposedly "enlightened" society, that doesn't need war. We are better than that, and those who insist on fighting a war to accomplish some goal, regardless of what it is, are misguided at best, evil at worst.

But this is wrong. We are not an enlightened society. We want what we want, and majority rules. As long as the majority here in America tolerates the way the Constitution is currently interpreted, the way our elected leaders compose themselves, and the way the media tells us what is desirable in our leaders and our values, then we will debate, and we will argue, and we will fight some wars, and we will allow others to undermine that war.

And who know what is right? I know I don't. I hate this war. I hate when people protest it. I hate when our leaders are only eligible for the job by being less than adequate to do the job.

But when it finally comes down to it, and it will, you're either gonna fight for you country, and probably face death for our country, or you are going to stand by and watch it die, and then probably die with it, on your knees and with either the shame or self-righteousness of having abandoned your country and you countrymen.

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Mr.Intel
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quote:
Originally posted by Survivor:
If you think that there's no possible justification for war, then you believe that the founding of the nation popularly known as "America" was an immoral action.

This is a false statement unless you qualify which "America" you are referring to. The popular one? Which one is that? Among which group? Americans? It seems to me that most Americans believe in an America that doesn't fight unjust wars. This one has all the earmarks of a war that was started without just cause (false assumptions, contradicting data, disagreement among key decision makers). So to say that a person is un-American for disagreeing with the so-called "War on Terror" (of which the action in Iraq has been included) is not true unless you define America as a just nation and the war as a just cause. Since most Americans (according to the polls) believe that one or the other is not just, then there is no support for your argument among Americans. Now, if you say that non-Americans who don't support the war are un-American, then you would be absolutely right!

Can you be "anti-American" and be a citizen of the USA? Absolutely. I would argue that America as defined by Americans would not exist without including them. That is to say, America by its very definition includes people who hate (or at least disagree with how it is put together) America. It's been that way from before the Revolutionary war.

For the argument on this topic to be productive, we need to understand the terms we are using and use them consistently. "American" means a citizen of the country. "Un-American" means not a citizen of the coutry. "Anti-American" means against the idea of America regardless of national identity.

For the record, I am an American and I disagree with the war on terror. It's a just cause to want to fight against terrorism. But how do you actually do something about it? The nature of terrorism makes it really hard to fight a "war" against it.

[ February 23, 2007, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: Mr.Intel ]

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MrSquicky
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pooka,
I have no idea what you are trying to say.

I also never said that you are a false supporter of the troops. I know my positions comes in large part out of my support for the troops and I presented my specific reasons for doing so. As I see it, you've chosen to not respond to these reasons, but still apparently have the gall to say that I don't support the troops because I don't think the war is being handled corectly or is going to lead to favorable outcomes.

These are not a set of toy soldiers that the President can play with as he likes. They're real people. They're my family and friends. Do you have any people over there?

I support them and honor the sacrifices that they make. As part of this, it is my job to make sure that they are used responsibly and that their sacrifices are meaningful in the sense that they are advancing the interests of our country. When I see that this is not the case, as now, supporting the troops to me, means speaking up about it.

I think that uses of that phrase that neglect or especially are in opposition to this idea, as you seem to be using, are shameful.

---

quote:
we will allow others to undermine that war.
It kind of depends on what you mean by "undermine that war". If you mean make it go badly, then I'd suggest that it is exactly the blind supporters of President Bush letting him get away with extremely poor planning, implementation, and performance that have been undermining this war. You bear the responsibility for the disasterous state of things because you attacked directly at the accountability that may have reigned in the poor conduct of the war. It could have been successful, but now it never will because you let them get away with stupid, simplistic planning, negelecting proper support and supplies, and sending over incompetent but politically reliable people. You let them send American troops over to fight and die with the end result of weakening our country's position in the world. And, looking back over this, over the awful performance so far, you are pushing for even more. At some point, I hope that the interests of our country and our troops overrides your loyalty to the President, but I'm not exactly holding my breath.
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Mr.Intel
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Yeah, that's the problem. It's like how so many people just didn't understand why Bill Clinton was in trouble. It wasn't for being unfaithful to his wife. It was for holding sexual favors over employees under his administration. At a basic level, the fact that it's always 1 man to many women makes polygamy abhorrent to me.

I never really thought about the Lewinsky scandal like this before. I just always chalked it up to the Christian Conservatives blasting at the President for his immorality. Hmm.

quote:
If you kill livestock and light it on fire for God, it's a sacrifice. If you kill them just because you like to, you're a sicko. Polygamy should be a sacrifice for the people who are involved in it. People who do it because they want to are sickos. I suppose the people who do think they are doing it as a sacrifice are another case, and if you really think about them, they should scare you. It just kind of worries me if there are as many running around as reports say.
That's a pretty narrow line to take on the subject. Granted, this isn't the main topic at hand so I don't expect you to elaborate too much, but we are at Hatrack! So let's elaborate. [Smile]

In law, intention is important only in the context of punishment. Why a person committed a crime determines how many years they get in jail. For our argument, intention is irrelevant because we are talking about morality. Either it's moral to practice polygamy, or it isn't. Current Fundamentalist Mormons believe it is and practice it according to their understanding of the concept (no matter what the law says about it). There are several important differences between how the Fundamentalist Mormons and the 19th century LDS church practiced polygamy. However, these salient differences did nothing to change the mind of the Americans who called for the death of Mormons who practiced it then and to the people who disparage Fundamentalist Mormons today.

To to say that someone who practices polygamy today is a sicko or that we should fear them (depending on their intention) is just plain wrong. Who are we to judge them? That's what the courts are for. Let Lady Justice sort them out. As to the morality of their actions, there are two sets of morality by which we judge others. Societal morality that changes from decade to decade (think the sexual revolution of the 60's) and Religious morality (that changes a lot slower but is stimied by a million different views). If you don't like the views of the former, you just have to wait and society will change its mind. For the latter, the lense of religion is so fractured that every sliver sees what is "moral" differently, so it really comes down to which pair of cracks you are looking between. The conservative baptist one? Maybe the dissafected athiest or the liberal episcopal? Mormon fundamentalists are many things but they, like everyone, should not be judged based on our own blighted view of right and wrong.

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