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Depends On The Community

As if I needed another reason to not do Facebook;

A Facebook page calling for the death of Israeli Jews does not violate the social network’s “community standards,” according to multiple messages sent by Facebook in response to user complaints.

The page in question, is named, “Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews.” The page, which spells “Zionist” incorrectly, features an Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a vampire with blood dripping down his chin as he feasts on a child. It was started on July 25.

Individuals complaining about the page were greeted with the following message (screen captured below):

We reviewed your report of Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews. Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the Page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.

Is my delicate sensibilities threatened by such talk? Hardly, history tells us that this kind of hate has been around for a few thousand years. And in a free country idiots can spout off pretty much anything they want. White Supremacists Sites want blacks killed, Farrakhan and his ilk want the same for whites and the internet gives all haters the ability to disseminate that hate to a wide audience. But what is hilarious is that Facebook has “community standards” at all. Hate is only hate if the correct segment of society is hated, anyone else and it’s free speech. Jews, Christians, right wingers, by definition they deserve what they get, they ask for it for just being, well, them.

I always thought the founder of Facebook was Jewish, not any more, his parents must be so proud.

Much like embracing climate change, eating the rich, lamenting income inequality and wearing your atheism on your sleeve, supporting the Palestinians and condemning the Jews is de rigueur, it separates the hip, the enlightened , the evolved and the civilized from those that aren’t. The Jews are just so Old Testament.

36 comments

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  1. Poosh says:

    Um, isn’t his genetics still ‘Jewish’? I don’t think “I’m an atheist” ever saved a Jew from the gas chamber…

    I think some people fail to realise “Zionist” *sometimes* is a whistleword for Jew.

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  2. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  3. CM says:

    Outside the bubble:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11300730

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  4. West Virginia Rebel says:

    Meanwhile…
    West Virginia Rebel recently posted..The War On Other WomenMy Profile

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  5. CM says:

    Fundamentalist religious beliefs FTW.

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  6. Ed Kline says:

    WTF has atheism got to do with any of that. On our sleeves? Why is it that only religious people get to proselytize without criticism?

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  7. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  8. Iconoclast says:

    WTF has atheism got to do with any of that. On our sleeves? Why is it that only religious people get to proselytize without criticism?

    I think what Rich is saying is that liberals tend to wear their atheism on their sleeves, not that all atheists do.

    Poosh believes…

    What the fuck do you know about what someone believes? You can barely handle reading written English words, yet you like to pretend you can read minds? What a total dick!

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  9. Poosh says:

    CM you are in no position to say what anyone believes.

    I don’t even need to point out that’s not what I think. But clearly you’re very worried about being labeled an anti-Semite.

    You have some serious issues. Need to work through them.

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  10. Seattle Outcast says:

    I came to the conclusion over 30 years ago that I don’t really give a damn about either side in that particular little on-going war. Both sides are monsters to each other, and I don’t think they’ll quit until one side has completely exterminated the other.

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  11. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  12. Iconoclast says:

    No mind reading required, it’s all there.

    It’s all where, allegedly? Unless you can quote Poosh as saying, “I believe that anyone who isn’t 100% behind Israel’s actions is Amon Goeth.” or something “clearly” equivalent, you have no argument, and are just being a dick. Again.

    But that’s priceless coming from someone who clearly doesn’t mind just making shit up…

    I have already explained elsewhere how this is a mischaracterization. How typically dick of you to drag it up here.

    …to the point where there is no discussion possible…

    You mean like accusing those you’re arguing with of being in a “bubble” over and over, ad nauseam?

    (well in addition to playing the my-fundamentalism-is-better-than-theirs card)

    What alleged “fundamentalism” would that be, chief? You’re saying that anyone who professes belief is a “fundamentalist”?

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  13. mrblume says:

    Peter Beinart is my hero: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.608008

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  14. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  15. Iconoclast says:

    You never quote me directly before claiming what I think…

    I make it a point not to outright claim what you think. I take pains to qualify what I say. I tend to say things like “you seem to think” or “it appears that you think”, and so forth, and try to avoid making absolute assertions. And yes, it matters. But you outright claim that so-and-so thinks this or believes that. No qualification, just the raw assertion.

    …so you can stop being a colossal hypocrite douche.

    I’d have to start before I could stop. Like it or lump it, I’m not being a hypocrite here. Words do have meanings, like it or lump it.

    You simply said that I was whining.

    I didn’t “simply” say that at all. I said that your whining comes across a certain way and that I was providing illustration of that, which is more than simply saying you’re whining.

    Only in response to discussion being impossible.

    Right. It’s always different when you do it. If discussion is so “impossible”, then why do you continue? Of course, you do reduce yourself to posting pictures of Down’s Syndrome sufferers and glib remarks about mental retardation. Classy.

    Events will unfold according to His plan, whether you like it or not, and even if His agents behave in a manner that fails to meet with your approval.

    Of course, I did qualify that statement, but how typical of you to ignore that. Since I qualified the statement, it fails as an example of alleged “fundamentalism”.

    Your revelations certainly explain a hell of a lot about your behaviour and opinions. Anything goes apparently. You can ultimately justify making shit up, and telling people they’re ‘pretending’ and being a colossal hypocrite douche and arrogant poxbottle because GOD.

    Well, there you go, foaming at the mouth and not making any sense whatsoever. You claim that my revelations explain something and then go off the deep end by completely “making shit up” as you like to say it. I never claimned that “anything goes”, and the rest of your rant is simply unfounded nonsense. Like the part about me allegedly being “a colossal hypocrite douche”, I explain just above why that fails. And even if all that crap were true, it wouldn’t be “because GOD” by any stretch. I am only human and have human failings. Belief in God doesn’t make that go away, nor does it justify it. The God of Judeo-Christianity loves us in spite of ourselves, not because of it.

    I don’t have an issue with belief, unless that belief impacts negatively on others. E.g. ‘ultimately it doesn’t matter what Tribe X does, they are agents of God’.

    Again, it goes to your (deliberately?) misreading what I said. I never said “it didn’t matter” what the Israelis did, only that God’s plan would come to pass regardless of what they did. There is a difference, whether you care to acknowledge that or not. I suspect not.

    Of course, it goes the other way, too. By all appeareances, as far as you’re concerned, it doesn’t matter what Hamas does, it’s the Israelis who are to blame. Human shields? Nah, you’re tired of hearing that, so it becomes irrelevant, apparently. And how convenient, Hamas didn’t “authorize” the original kidnappings, and the Israelis knew that all along! But the kidnappers were indeed “Hamas affiliated” (your own cite), nonetheless. One would have to wonder about the motive for a “lone, Hamas affiliated cell” to kidnap and kill three Israeli teenagers, considering the overall tensions in the area.

    Well fuck that bullshit. Fuck you for being part of the problem.

    It’s so impressive when you swear.

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  16. Poosh says:

    CM says ” there is plenty of evidence for, and none against (other than Poosh’s very recent denial).”

    You’re a bloody steaming turd CM as usual. There is quite literally no evidence. Your sad CM-ish attempts to provide “evidence” for this failed, it was not even worth responding to quite frankly. Zero evidence because, again, you’re just making things up in your tiny head or rearranging the words of sentences to suit your own ends.

    Please tell me where I say that everyone who is against … you know, whatever, you’re an idiot, you’ve never been able to read text before, let alone understand it, I’m gonna try my best to not get sucked in.

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  17. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  18. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  19. Poosh says:

    I have no intention of explaining imaginary accusations with “quotes” as evidence which contradict said accusations. It’s surreal. You need to f*cking sit down and go over evey thing and understand yourself why you’re wrong and why people are getting so angry at you for not understating the written word. You need to explain why you can’t seem to read or understand English. Looks like you’re being just as much a ‘tard to Iconoclast to me, but I’ll be stepping away – I recall you constantly do this every time.

    Goodbye moron.

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  20. Iconoclast says:

    What a massive steaming pile of bullshit. In the very same post:

    Well, apparently you fail to understand words like “tend” or “try” or phrases such as “take pains”. None of these imply flawless execution. Mistakes still do happen. That being said, my lapse occurs as an off-the-cuff bit of rhetoric buried in the bowels of by post, amounting to basically a footnote. Yours, on the other hand, is your main premise. Remove mine from my post and basically nothing happens. Remove yours and your entire post essentially vanishes. So the two are comparable at an extremely superficial level.

    You didn’t explain how it was a mischaracterization.

    Yeah, you’re right…

    I have already explained elsewhere how that this is a mischaracterization. How typically dick of you to drag it up here.

    That’s what I should have said, but thanks for being the pedant yet again.

    Ah ok this is the point at which you pretend to be politically correct all of a sudden.

    Only to point out your hypocrisy.

    As if you’ve ever had an issue with a lack of class.

    I don’t claim to have any such issues whatsoever, but I have seen you chide others by sarcastically describing their behavior as “classy”. That’s the point.

    More hypocrisy.

    On your part, yes indeed.

    The qualification was whether one believed in that God.

    No, it was whether God exists.

    You do, so how does that qualification apply to you, and others like you (who are part of enabling what is happening)?

    Since you are wrong about the qualification, this question is a non sequitur.

    But your explanation fails.

    On the contrary, your attempt to refute it fails.

    It enables you to justify anything, because who is anyone to question methods (of the correct God).

    I just got through saying it doesn’t justify anything. Way to not listen, dude. People who use God to justify their harmful actions will have to answer to Him at Judgement. Assuming he exists, of course.

    I’m sure you’ve convinced yourself that you can justify it regardless, but ultimately that’s irrelevant.

    And I’m sure you’re sure, but that’s also irrelevant.

    How/why does it matter then?

    What do you mean?

    Not nearly as you coming up with that convenient justification.

    What “convenient justification” are you talking about?

    As I say, you can justify anything apparently. No evidence required. Your blind loyalty really is something to behold.

    You’re foaming at the mouth again…get a towel.

    In addition to a lack of evidence to support that, why would Hamas do that? What would the motive be? Why would they (a) carry out the kidnapping when there had been a relatively peaceful period (if, for the sake of argument, we can call grinding occupation, the blockade, resulting chronic health and poverty issues, etc etc and ever expanding settlements ‘peace’), and (b) do it in this manner when they don’t usually (they never seem to worry about being subtle)?

    I don’t pretend to know the motives of Hamas, nor of “Hamas-affiliated cells”, but maybe that whole “grinding occupation, the blockade, resulting chronic health and poverty issues” thing may be it, at least in part.

    I’m pretty sure I know what your response will be.

    Yeah, I’m sure you are…

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  21. Iconoclast says:

    It enables you to justify anything, because who is anyone to question methods (of the correct God).

    But the real point that needs to be made (again) is that anyone can use anything to justify their actions, and they don’t need to use God. Stalin, Mao, Pot, they slaughtered millions and they certainly didn’t need God to justify their actions, given that they were atheists all. The fact that one can use God is meaningless, because one can use anything. Again, Manson used a Beatles song.

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  22. Iconoclast says:

    Nah, you’re tired of hearing that, so it becomes irrelevant, apparently.

    That is my statement in its entirety, and, as anyone can see, it is indeed qualified, as anyone can see. How intellectually dishonest of you to cut it in half and pretend it isn’t qualified.

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  23. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  24. Iconoclast says:

    You’d think you’d be able to avoid such mistakes in the VERY SAME POST.

    It turns out that I did, your claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

    What a massive steaming pile of bullshit.

    Repeating this nonsense won’t make it true.

    It’s far from pedantic to point out that you made a claim, but didn’t support it with anything.

    The other thread supports it, but yeah, “pedantic” may be an inappropriate term. “Stupid” is probably closer, given that all I did was use the conjunctive form of “how”, whereas you misread it as the adverb form, perhaps deliberately. Since my use of the word “how” as a conjunction apparently to confuse the hell out of you, I merely replaced it with a different conjunction to clarify my meaning. Apparently, it didn’t help.

    Ah I see. Things become clearer by the day.

    Apparently not.

    So when you use your tactic of telling people they’re simply pretending to hold a position, it’s actually just a huge case of projection.

    On the contrary, this is just another example of you making shit up.

    People will act according to their belief. Whether their belief is wrong or not is irrelevant. If they believe they are agents of God, then the existence of God is irrelevant in terms of them carrying out their actions.

    But again, Israel is very secular — the ones driven by religious fervor are Hamas more than the Israelis. The primary motivation for the Jews reclaiming their homeland was surviving the Holocaust and saying to the world, “Never again!”, more than prophecy, per se. It’s Hamas’ own Covenant that suggests it’s Allah’s will to annihilate the Jews. The Israeli constitution has no equivalent as far as I’ve been able to tell. If I missed something, feel free to point it out at your earliest convenience.

    Should they die and cease to exist in any form, the actions aren’t undone because there was no God after all.

    If there is no God, then ultimately nothing matters, objectively speaking. People live and die, there is no afterlife, so there is no ultimate adjudication, and justice itself has no real meaning. Example: A ten-year-old girl is brutally raped and murdered by a fifty-year-old man. Even if he’s caught and convicted, how can there be any justice? Even if he is killed, he still lived a full(ish) life, and lived five times as long as his victim. And what if he had done this several times? He can only die once, but he could have taken several lives. Explain how justice can have any real meaning under such circumstances. And no, this isn’t exactly hypothetical — there have been serial rapists and murderers in history.

    The point is that without an outside Agent, concepts such as justice are basically subject to man’s whims, and have no firm foundation. We can choose to believe that we’re “better” than we were a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, but there is nothing to prevent us from declining back to those earlier standards. And ultimately, humanity will cease to exist anyway, in all likelihood. We may pat ourselves on the back for our accomplishments, like creating a free nation such as the USA, exploring the world, landing on the Moon, splitting the atom, inventing thousands of technological marvels and so forth, but in the distant future, it could all be forgotten. Go far enough into the future and it absolutely will be forgotten, when all of the stars burn out and the universe enters its heat death.

    The universe is utterly apathetic to man’s suffering and triumph, degradation and exaltation. Man’s existence is fleeting.

    Do you think it ultimately matters what the Israeli’s do, if they are agents of God?

    If God exists, then everything we do matters.

    Surely nothing can trump God’s Word – certainly not human ideas of morality (the killing and harming of innocents, over and over and over again)?

    And? Do you have a clue what God’s Word actually is?

    Your implication that it was a Hamas authorised operation.

    Which “implication” would that be? If you’re referring to “But the kidnappers were indeed “Hamas affiliated” (your own cite), nonetheless”, well, again, your own link makes that claim. That’s what the “(your own cite)” bit means. I’m just repeating what your own citation stated.

    See the first part of (a). What had changed all of a sudden?

    Who says anything has to change “all of a sudden”? Again, three Israeli teenagers were indeed kidnapped and killed, and according to your own cited article, the group that did these acts was “Hamas-affiliated”. I’m just the messenger, chief. I have no clue what motivated those guys to kidnap and kill. If you do, then fill us in and quit the game-playing.

    So if you believe that “the Judeo-Christian God is real” then “events will unfold according to His plan”, whether anyone likes it or not and “even if His agents behave in a manner that fails to meet with [anyone's] approval”.

    The mistake you appear to be making is assuming that God does approve of everything the Israelis do. I never said that. I only said God’s plan would come to pass. Even if His agents fuck up. Repeatedly.

    And “things are going to turn to major shit the world over”…”no matter how much you [I or anyone else may] disapprove of His methods”.

    Many atheists I have encountered over the years have made it very clear that they don’t approve of how God does things. The late Christopher Hitchens was a very vocal critic of God’s methods. Richard Dawkins is another. My point is that disapproving God’s methods is not proof of his non-existence, but these atheists seem to think it should be.

    The predictions in the last book of the Bible are rather dire — huge swaths of humanity dying, wars, disease and so forth. If God is real, that stuff is going to happen. Being critical of how God has chosen to do things won’t mitigate that. That’s the point.

    How intellectually dishonest for you to suggest that “apparently” relates to me being “tired of hearing that” rather than “it becomes irrelevant”.

    It relates to both, you hopeless dipshit. I could have written it as, “Nah, apparently, you’re tired of hearing that, so it becomes irrelevant.” The “becomes irrelevant” part is contingent upon “you’re tired of hearing that”. The whole ball of wax is qualified by “apparently”, and it doesn’t matter where I put the qualifier.

    You misread what I wrote. I provided correction. But you’re doubling-down on your misreading. More intellectual bankruptcy on your part, as far as I can see.

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  25. CM says:

    It turns out that I did, your claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Ok, no problem, I’ll accept your explanation of what you meant. I certainly didn’t read it like that and I still don’t think it reads how you meant it. But if that’s what you meant, fine.

    The primary motivation for the Jews reclaiming their homeland was surviving the Holocaust and saying to the world, “Never again!”, more than prophecy, per se. It’s Hamas’ own Covenant that suggests it’s Allah’s will to annihilate the Jews. The Israeli constitution has no equivalent as far as I’ve been able to tell. If I missed something, feel free to point it out at your earliest convenience.

    “Torah is our constitution and our body of law” are written instead of a formal written constitution and in accordance with the 1948 Harari Decision (החלטת הררי) adopted during the Israeli Constituent Assembly.

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

    Torah consists of the foundational narrative of the Jewish people: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, and their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of religious obligations and civil laws

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

    As I understand it, In its narrowest sense, Torah the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The history of the Jewish people begins with Abraham, and the story of Abraham begins when God tells him to leave his homeland, promising Abraham and his descendants a new home in the land of Canaan (Gen. 12). This is the land now known as Israel, named after Abraham’s grandson, whose descendants are the Jewish people. The land is often referred to as the Promised Land because of God’s repeated promise (Gen. 12:7, 13:15, 15:18, 17:8) to give the land to the descendants of Abraham. The land is described repeatedly in the Torah as a good land and “a land flowing with milk and honey” (e.g., Ex. 3:8).

    If there is no God, then ultimately nothing matters, objectively speaking.

    That’s not objective, that’s your own opinion, based on your religious faith.
    But my point is that people can act believing they are carrying out God’s plan, as ‘His agents’ (e.g. reclaiming the Promised Land). It doesn’t matter whether their God (or any God) exists, it’s what they believe that matters.

    The point is that without an outside Agent, concepts such as justice are basically subject to man’s whims, and have no firm foundation.

    I don’t agree – we have plenty of firm foundations. I have plenty of firm foundations without the need for religion. I don’t change my mind on cold blooded murder or rape simply because I don’t believe in God. Personally I’d rather develop my own set of morals than simply have some handed down from on-high, which I cannot ever question. I’d rather use logic and reason, as opposed to be forced to not use them.

    The universe is utterly apathetic to man’s suffering and triumph, degradation and exaltation.

    Undoubtedly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live by our own set of standards, to try and improve life for those living, and for those yet to come.

    And? Do you have a clue what God’s Word actually is?

    I’ve read a fair amount of the bible. I’ve attended church a fair bit, I used to assist with Sunday School. Mostly all because my parents are both religious, and spending time with Dad on Sunday meant being at church with him. But no, I’m sure I don’t. Is it relevant to what I asked?

    Which “implication” would that be? If you’re referring to “But the kidnappers were indeed “Hamas affiliated” (your own cite), nonetheless”, well, again, your own link makes that claim. That’s what the “(your own cite)” bit means. I’m just repeating what your own citation stated.

    I’m not sure what you’re doing with this. The point is that although they were “Hamas affiliated”, it may be that no orders were given and they operated in a rogue manner. That’s even what Israel seemed to acknowledged right from the start.

    Who says anything has to change “all of a sudden”? Again, three Israeli teenagers were indeed kidnapped and killed, and according to your own cited article, the group that did these acts was “Hamas-affiliated”. I’m just the messenger, chief. I have no clue what motivated those guys to kidnap and kill. If you do, then fill us in and quit the game-playing.

    YOU were the one speculating on motive (assuming this was a Hamas attack), I just responded by saying that the motive you have provided doesn’t make sense because that motive is general and hasn’t changed during a fairly long quiet period. Given the quiet period it makes more sense that what even the Israeli’s have acknowledged is true – that they may have been Hamas affiliated but they weren’t acting on any orders, or doing this for or as Hamas.

    The mistake you appear to be making is assuming that God does approve of everything the Israelis do. I never said that. I only said God’s plan would come to pass. Even if His agents fuck up. Repeatedly.

    You said that it didn’t matter whether I approved of the methods or not, not about whether God approves. My point is that if people think they are following God’s plan, they’re liable to feel justified in doing whatever it takes (particularly if that’s what the Torah/bible suggests).

    So in your view if his agents fuck up then they still face justice when they face God? But ultimately the plan is what’s important (reclaiming The Promised Land) so what does it matter to Israel if a few of them face justice when they die?

    And really, how are they fucking up? Does Exodus 23:31-32 not tell them that God will give “into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you”. and does God not tell them to avoid making a covenant with them? This is Exodus, which is in those first 5 books.

    Or how about (also from the first 5 books):
    “See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore he would give to your fathers — to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — and to their descendants after them.” – Deuteronomy 1:8

    Or Genesis 15:18-21:
    “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[a] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

    My point is that disapproving God’s methods is not proof of his non-existence, but these atheists seem to think it should be.

    Well I never claimed that. I would totally agree with you.

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  26. CM says:

    FUCK! I’m very sorry, I even double-checked that I got the quotes right. My apologies.

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  27. richtaylor365 says:

    After you post a comment, then click “submit comment”, notice the date and time after “CM says”, do you see a blue “Edit comment”?, that is how you fix screw ups, we all make them.

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  28. CM says:

    Hi Rich thanks but the ‘Edit Comment’ option disappeared along with the ability to bold, italic, quote etc long ago.

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  29. richtaylor365 says:

    So you don’t see a “Edit comment” link in blue on all posts? Weird, I know those other tools got lost somewhere in the mix but the Edit comment button did not disappear. I wonder why you don’t see it.

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  30. AlexInCT says:

    I wonder why you don’t see it.

    Because he lack the permission you and I have as posters/admins, Rich.

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  31. richtaylor365 says:

    Oh, is that it? I notice the “Edit comment” tag on everyone’s comments. You mean I have the power to go edit one of CM’s comments with “I am a chowderhead, I really do see the wisdom of conservatism but am forgetful and do not take my meds regularly, hence, me sometimes being so insufferably obtuse as to warrant a bullet in the ear, my apologies in advance”? Hot dog.

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  32. CM says:

    ;-)
    Remember how CzarChasm started deleting my posts, before he ran away permanently……ah, good times. As much as you disagree with me about a whole lot of stuff, that annoyed a great many of you, which was great (and hilarious given the history I and he had, even he was called BluesStringer at MW forums).

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  33. Iconoclast says:

    “Torah is our constitution and our body of law” are written instead of a formal written constitution and in accordance with the 1948 Harari Decision adopted during the Israeli Constituent Assembly.

    Assuming this is accurate (which I doubt — Israel is simply not a theocracy regardless of what Wiki says), it still doesn’t provide what I asked for, which was an equivalent to “It’s Hamas’ own Covenant that suggests it’s Allah’s will to annihilate the Jews”. What that means is, where in the Torah is it expressed that it’s God’s will to annihilate the Palestinians? The best you have come up with so far is the Likud Charter, wherein the idea of a Palestinian State is rejected wholesale, but that still is not the same as annihilation.

    That’s not objective, that’s your own opinion, based on your religious faith.

    No, it’s a result of considering what it really means for there to not be anything beyond the material. It’s a result of contemplating our current level of knowledge about the universe while assuming there is nothing beyond the natural, no supernatural realm of any kind. It’s a conclusion that follows from available evidence.

    Eventually, the human race will cease to exist, because eventually, all life in the universe will cease, based on our current knowledge. Pretending that we can make a difference in the lives of others is meaningless, in light of that, because the universe as a whole is utterly indifferent. Humanity’s entire existence is but a blink of the eye as far as the universe is concerned. Anything “good” we might do in life will be utterly forgotten, ultimately. Those are observations based on our current level of knowledge.

    I don’t agree – we have plenty of firm foundations. I have plenty of firm foundations without the need for religion.

    You may honestly consider them “firm”, but they’re still based on your own flawed reasoning and perception. Nothing in this universe is truly “firm” — even this planet will cease to exist in its current state. When the sun becomes a red giant, all life-giving water and air will be boiled away into space, and the earth will become a lifeless chunk of rock.

    I don’t change my mind on cold blooded murder or rape simply because I don’t believe in God.

    That’s hardly relevant. It’s still within the realm of possibility that some kind of pathogen could attack your brain, your mind, literally making you insane so that right and wrong no longer have meaning. I would never wish that on anyone, but if we’re being honest, we should confront such possibilities.

    The point is that foundations we might consider “firm” are not necessarily firm at all.

    Personally I’d rather develop my own set of morals than simply have some handed down from on-high, which I cannot ever question.

    How do you know that the ones you have adopted were not handed down from on high, originally, at least in part, and how do you know they weren’t passed from generation to generation across the millennia?

    I’d rather use logic and reason, as opposed to be forced to not use them.

    Gotta love that false dichotomy…

    Undoubtedly, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live by our own set of standards, to try and improve life for those living, and for those yet to come.

    Oh, sure, we can try. We might even succeed, but it will ultimately crumble to dust. There’s simply no way around that, unless we can escape time itself.

    And some of the biggest monsters of the 20th Century did indeed live by their own standards.

    Is it relevant to what I asked?

    You keep acting as if your standards are higher than God’s. You keep implying that killing civilians is somehow God’s Will, God’s Word, and that your personal take on the matter is therefore superior to God’s. That’s why I asked if you knew what God’s Word even was, given that posturing.

    And asking about the relevance is obtuse and disingenuous.

    I’m not sure what you’re doing with this.

    I’m defending myself against your accusations. It isn’t surprising in the least that you’re being obtuse about that. You accused me of coming up with a “convenient justification”, and then proceeding to go off on a wild tangent based on that accusation, but what I was really doing was stating what your cite stated, nothing more.

    YOU were the one speculating on motive (assuming this was a Hamas attack)…

    The only time I speculated on motive was when you directly asked me to do so:

    In addition to a lack of evidence to support that, why would Hamas do that? What would the motive be?

    CM, July 31, 2014 6:05 PM

    And that was after your initial accusation, which was immedately prior. At that time, a had not speculated on motive. I was asking what the motive would be.

    One would have to wonder about the motive for a “lone, Hamas affiliated cell” to kidnap and kill three Israeli teenagers, considering the overall tensions in the area.

    Iconoclast, July 31, 2014 9:45 AM

    Notice the time stamps, you twit.

    My point is that if people think they are following God’s plan, they’re liable to feel justified in doing whatever it takes (particularly if that’s what the Torah/bible suggests).

    And my point is that is hardly exclusive to the Bible or religion. Charles Manson was “justified” by a Beatles song. Stalin, Pot, Mao were “justified” by their repective visions. And so forth.

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  34. CM says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  35. Iconoclast says:

    No it isn’t, but then I wasn’t attempting a direct comparison.

    In other words, you weren’t attempting to answer my challenge, but pushing your own agenda instead.

    Just because a supernatural realm MIGHT exist (and again I certainly can’t rule it out), that doesn’t mean that it DOES exist.

    I never claimed it did. I merely stipulated the assumption that the supernatural realm did not exist, and made my observations based on that premise.

    And it certainly doesn’t necessarily mean that “ultimately nothing matters” if there is no God.

    It does if we understand what “ultimately” means.

    Why should what the universe thinks dictate any actions we as individuals or as a group take now?

    I’m not saying it should. I am simply saying that it ultimately doesn’t matter what “actions we as individuals or as a group take now”. Nothing we do will stop the universe’s coming heat death, nor our own eventual demise.

    Just because sometime in the future (many many many generations ahead) the human race will cease to exist, how does that in any way mean that we can’t make a difference in the lives of people that live now?

    Poor choice of words on my part. What I mean is, sure, we can make a difference in the here and now, but whatever difference we might make will ultimately be utterly forgotten. Given that, in the long run, it simply doesn’t matter, ultimately speaking.

    Again, why should the difference it makes to the universe across time mean anything?

    Well, why should anything mean anything?

    How does that justify anything?

    I’m not saying it does.

    Or render anything pointless?

    Again, you need to comprehend what “ultimately” means.

    But then your belief in God is also based on your own flawed reasoning and perception.

    But God’s existence is not, it’s completely independent.

    Well I’ll be well dead by then so that doesn’t matter.

    But the point is that the earth itself isn’t truly firm; at some point the earth will be unable to sustain life — as we know it — at all.

    Because I can choose to disagree with any of them. I can decide which ones make sense to me, rather than follow them because someone tells me to.

    You can choose to disagree with them in either case. What makes you think you can’t? And what makes you think choosing to adopt them is somehow not a choice?

    Ok well then I’d rather decide for myself what I should believe rather than someone telling me

    But that’s the whole point, this mindless notion that a person believes in God because “someone tells them to”. That’s idiocy. It’s like saying, “someone doesn’t believe in God because someone else told them mot to”.

    Belief, or lack thereof, is a rather personal matter. If a person chooses to believe something without evidence, it is still a choice. I suppose someone could be coerced into believing something, but that applies to everything, including the belief that there is no God.

    If that’s a false dichotomy, then what other options are there?

    The false dichotomy is the idea that logic and reason is utterly absent from theistic belief, and pretending logic and reason can only apply to atheistic belief. The other options should be obvious, that logic and reason can indeed apply to theism, and that being an atheist can still be irrational and emotional.

    I’m still not sure why succeeding doesn’t matter.

    You’re leaving out the “ultimately” qualifier.

    To the people it affects it matters a great deal.

    Yes, and they will be dead some day, and even the events themselves will be forgotten.

    But then surely we shouldn’t care because (a) they have may just been employing methods as agents of God, and (b) the universe doesn’t care so why should we?

    It’s interesting that you assume the monsters I was talking about were “agents of God”, when, in truth, they were atheists all. I was referring to people such as Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot, none of whom believed in God, and none of whom could even remotely be considered “agents of God”. But yes, if there is no God, then what they did ultimately doesn’t matter. The tens of millions that they killed would have all died eventually anyway.

    YOU were the one who talking about the irrelevance of my disapproving of His methods.

    But when discussing His methods, I wasn’t talking about killing innocent civilians, because those simply are not His methods, if you understand the Christian narrative. I was mixing metaphors a bit, based on my other observations about how some atheists do indeed disapprove of God’s methods. I noted Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens as a couple of examples. One of God’s methods is letting man run things for a period of time, which is what allows suffering and evil to exist. Atheists always drone one about the so-called “problem of evil”. If God exists, why is there evil in the world? This question never made sense to me. It’s as if there shouldn’t be evil at all if God exists, but evil exists, so God cannot. In other words, atheists disapprove of God’s allowing evil to exist, and it was this type of disapproval I was referring to.

    The motive you provided (essentially “because they’re Hamas”) makes no sense.

    Where did I make this implication? You need to stop stuffing words in my mouth, and learn to comprehend what I actually say.

    Based on that you actually appear to believe that motive is irrelevant.

    Well, “that” is clearly in error.

    But then who are you to disagree with the methods employed by the agents of whoever/whatever they believe?

    This is a logical conclusion to atheism, and Nietzsche used the term “perspectivism” to capture it. I’m sure you can google the term on your own, along with Nietzsche’s name if you want to explore the concept, but again, it supports my original thesis that ultimately, without God, nothing really matters, because, according to Nietzsche’s persectivism, all views of reality are equally valid. Which means Stalin’s view or Pol Pot’s view is just as “valid” as Mother Teresa’s view or Jesus’ view.

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  36. Poosh says:

    A really interesting discussion via Iconoclast – no doubt ruined by CM. You should never mix your metaphors with CM … it really super confuses him :p

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