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Ricardo

Posts: 15032
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

quote:

It's just a coincidence WE popped into existence right on time for the new Mass Extinction event.


Ricardo, if I understand both your and Runner's positions correctly, I think your statement cited above demonstrates that your respective positions remain at great variance with each other. Your statement seems to suggest that the new Mass Extinction event was on track to occur in any case, and WE (homo sapiens) coincidentally popped into existence right on time as it began to occur. Runner, on the other hand, appears to be saying that WE (homo sapiens) are the cause of the new Mass Extinction event.

Or am I misreading or misinterpreting your statement, and you are saying that the new Mass Extinction event began occurring as a result of our (homo sapiens) popping into existence?

Not arguing. Just requesting clarification in order to follow both Runner's and your follow-on comments.

Cheers,

Bill


Let me put it this way...as before these events occur cyclically and naturally...instead of the timely super volcano there is US!
Mass extinctions seem to be results of numerous bad timing of things is my point. I am all for attempts to preserve the ideal environs for US and our most loveable furry friends, using our technology and brain, but the mother earth will be Icy cold indifferent to what we achieve as she is quite used to wiping the slate clean on a regular basis. All life forms are meant to die eventually, regardless if we want to save em or not. Including ourselves...but we might have a chance it's hard to say at this point, but not looking so good.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2015 21:57:17
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to BarkellWH

Bill, I have every confidence that I have articulated my position clearly and unambiguously. I am also persuaded that you understand my position fully as a resounding Yes, I do believe the evidence is overwhelming that we are entering an anthropogenic mass extinction event-- no ifs, ands, buts, or maybes. With Ricardo's several contributions....I'm not quite so sure what he is actually saying yet. Maybe we'll get a yes or a no in a while. Regarding the notion of cyclicity and regularity in nature' s wiping the slate clean, this is an inference not supported by the evidence. There are of course cyclical forces at work in nature, but mass extinctions result, given the evidence that we have, from all sorts of causes/forces that have no necessary relationship to one another. While we can positively expect that mass extinction-causing events will happen again and again (like asteroid/comet impacts, or massive flood basalts, or snowball earth scenarios), there is no linking mechanism that makes them either regular or cyclical--they just happen when they happen.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 6 2015 23:18:50
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3436
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to guitarbuddha

quote:

ORIGINAL: guitarbuddha

But there will always be disagreement, for example the destabilisation you described was predictable enough to seem deliberate or on some level at least permitted. The link between occupation and (let's call them) malitias is impossible to ignore.

(note to self, someone would be perfectly correctly pointing that statistics in some very important ways don't actually exist.........there's always an in).


When I first began my brief career teaching mathematics, the distinguished professor Hubert S. Wall advised me, "Never underestimate your students." That is, always make sure that there is something that will challenge the best of them.

After attaining voting age 56 years ago, my advice is "Never overestimate your politicians." One application of this would be the realization that what may appear to be a Machiavellian scheme gone wrong could just be the product of bungling and ignorance.

I don't know anyone well who worked closely with G.W. Bush. During his time as governor of Texas my daughter was Assistant Attorney General, which gave her a fairly closeup view. She campaigned for Ann Richards, the incumbent Bush defeated. To my surprise, she said she believed Bush had been a good governor.

My son's friend McClellan says so too, from a different perspective. He was a member of the Young Republicans. He ran his mother's successful campaign for statewide office. He worked for Bush during his term as governor, and formed a close relationship with him. Before taking office, Bush reached out to the Democrat Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock. As president of the state Senate, Lieutenant Governor is a powerful office in Texas.

Bullock was an especially powerful Lieutenant Governor. He and Bush got along well, and between the two of them they did a good job running the state government, according to both McClellan and my daughter.

When they got to Washington, things changed. Bush could find no powerful Democrat to work with, and Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove, the two most powerful advisors weren't interested in bipartisanship.

McClellan defends Bush against the charge of stupidity. He says Bush is quick and perceptive. However he hastens to add that Bush lacks intellectual curiosity. His policy came "from the gut." It was not the product of wide and deep study and analysis.

McClellan says Bush's decision to invade Iraq was one of his gut decisions. His motive was to spread democracy. He saw himself as a benefactor.

My brother and sister-in-law spent a year and a half volunteering at a hospital in Gaza in the 1970s. My sister-in-law was the first woman to teach nursing in an Arabic speaking country. Of course, all her students were male. When I relayed McClellan's account of Bush's desire to spread democracy to the Middle East, she burst out in bitter laughter. Then she said, "Isn't there anyone in the government who can tell them about the Middle East?"

I have two good friends, one Iraqi and the other Lebanese. Each had his own version of her response.

So the destabilization of the Middle East by the invasion of Iraq may look like a Machiavellian plot gone wrong, but I think it's just as likely to have been simple bungling.

In his "If you break it, you own it" conversation, Powell tried to tell Bush he was taking on a task that might well be impossible. Bush ignored him. Powell resigned at the end of Bush's first term. Later he said his United Nations speech was the worst mistake of his life.

Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld and Cheney were wrong for their own reasons. Whatever their motives, they thought it would be a walk in the park.

Never overestimate your politicians.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 1:06:04
 
guitarbuddha

 

Posts: 2970
Joined: Jan. 4 2007
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Hi Richard. I agree with the sentiment and substance of your post. I personally found Bush's language by turns hilarious and depressing.

The 'permitting' I mentioned referred more than a single figure.

I do not believe that I am conspiracy theorist. I aspire to a probabilistic view and I seek to consider a range of outcomes and I seek to propose various starting positions. In spite of this I do have a conspiracy theory of sorts, or at least a theory about conspiracies.

Sadly it is not a terribly original one. It can even be summed with the cliche 'Conspiracy of Silence'. In my opinion conspiracies are seldom Machiavellian. Membership is not by moonlight assignations or coded messages. Membership is instead loose and tacet. Membership may be based on moral cowardice or avarice or it may be motivated by some proportion of both. If a person believed in this kind of unromantic conspiracy then they might see one in the outcome of a senatorial vote or two.

In contrast to your, always useful, advice I often remind myself not to UNderestimate politicians. Seeming stupid is no longer a vote loser. Why not encourage it a little ? It may provide a bumbling narrative to cover a willfully neglectful one. Most people find seeming stupidity less irritating than a poorly homogenized surfeit of intelligence.

None of this mean Richard that I would in any way ignore your advice not to overestimate politicians. But of the qualities I remind myself not to overestimate in politicians intelligence is not even in the top five. Autonomy is higher on the list as is honesty. If a politician's intelligence seems low then that can be regarded as a bonus not only a bonus for the honest TV watching Joe but for anyone who wants to make a fast buck. The latter need to know how to nod, to smile, to draft a tender proposal for the attention of a government department. Even drawing a pension or dividend may suffices.


The do not need secret societies, secret societies are just for fun.

D.

(Miguel I have tried to brush up my syntax but it still needs work, good news......fewer posts )
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 9:17:27
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

Nice summing up Richard.

In retrospect I have come to have more respect for GW Bush's handling of the later part of this term, when he gave Cheney a straight arm and Rumsfeld had left. You left out Rumsfeld from his bungling, but I will not say what I think of him in public, it's not good or polite. In my opinion Cheney is an odious SOB, and I would apply Machiavelian plot gone awry to his and Roves parts. Both of them detestable men. The way Cheney, and Rumsfeld utilized the revolving door of defense contracting by outsourcing the fight and supply line was shameless.

I would also add Rice in the mix and say that she did come through and work with Bush to try to bat clean up and leave Iraq in less bad shape...I have some family in State Dept. so I hear things about who tried to fix what, but there was so much damage and political meddling that I would agree much s it was due to incompetence. And the reason for the incompetence was not based in pure ignorance, I think the incompetence was based in over confidence, and the insularity of those in power from the world on the street in the Middle East.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 12:03:32
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Our problems in the Middle East stem from our long-standing and continuing failure to understand the nature of Islam today, and how the internal struggles within Islam are bound up in destabilizing socioeconomic and population trends throughout the region. In a nutshell, working and sustainable democracies exist only in countries wherein the majority of their populations no longer take religion seriously. Only then and there can the idea and practice of tolerance/toleration become an established norm, and similarly only then and there can secular, civil government fully replace the dictates of religious creed. The decision post-WWI by the British to favor the Wahhabi House of Saud over the far more liberal Feisal of Mecca resulted in the spread throughout the Islamic world of the most harsh and fanatical strain of Sunni Islam. This in turn re-inflamed the old, smoldering Sunni-Shia hostility.

If we combine the Islamic obsession with public and mass worship, where all can see who comes to pray and who does not, with a population explosion of tens of millions of unemployed young men with nothing to do all day, we have a recipe for social upheaval and fanaticism. It has been observed that the GDP of all of the Arab world, if oil revenue is excluded, is less than that of Finland, hence the terrible prospects for siphoning off the destructive energies of fanaticized young men. This is not a situation that is going to be " fixed" by attempts to impose western democracy from above. Rather, it is an Islamic repetition, with far more deadly weapons, of Christianity's Thirty Years War, a conflict that killed an estimated third of the population of Germany. I have previously mentioned that the Alewite (a Shia sect) regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, as heinous as it is, believes correctly that it faces extermination at the hands of fanatical Sunnis, and will thus fight to the death, with every atrocity.

Our politicians should be sat down and have The Facts of Life in the Middle East explained to them. Some problems have no solutions (that are palatable); they must work themselves out. My recommendation is that the western democracies band themselves tightly together to defend their borders and their populations, and their commitment to Enlightenment values within their societies, and wait out the inevitable and possibly century-long struggle that Islam is having with itself. We should offer humanitarian aid, and perhaps weaponry to groups like the Kurds of Iraq, who appear to only want to be left alone. It is about time that the Islamic nations of the Middle East come to terms with their relationship to Islam as a viable factor in having a humane and effective government
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 15:57:46
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

McClellan says Bush's decision to invade Iraq was one of his gut decisions. His motive was to spread democracy.....Then she said, "Isn't there anyone in the government who can tell them about the Middle East?"


It is ironic (given later events) that in Bush's debates with Gore in 2000, Bush made a point of saying the United States should not engage in "nation-building." Would that he had stuck with that approach regarding Iraq. Invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, as well as encouraging elections that inevitably led to Shiites in power, simply opened the door for Iran to expand its influence in the Middle East. Say what you will about Saddam, he provided a bulwark against Iranian influence in the region. With Saddam gone and Shiites in power, Iran now has much greater influence in Iraq, in Syria, with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and no doubt with the Houthi Shiites who have taken over in Yemen. And the Islamic State has demonstrated it is ready to exploit any vacuum.

I have always identified with the Realist school of foreign policy, as opposed to the Idealist school. In general, Realist geo-strategic thinkers and practitioners have always placed the national interest of the country they represent paramount. They were instrumental in making the Concert of Europe and the European Balance of Power operate effectively for 100 years, from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 until it broke down in 1914. Realists generally do not think it is their job to attempt to establish "democracy" in countries unready for it, nor do they think it is their job to hector others over human rights, female genital mutilation, and other unsavory practices, awful though some are. As a result, Realists have often been described as "amoral," a term that I don't consider pejorative when applied to international relations.

Foreign policy Idealists, on the other hand, think it is their job to spread democracy, hector others over human rights, and generally "make the world a better place." The problem is, democracy, human rights, and other notions that we can agree are good cannot be implanted by the United States, Europe, or other countries. Countries will reject authoritarian government and develop into democracies only when their populations reach a certain critical mass consisting of: income level, size of middle class, level of education, and (very important) social capital. Until that critical mass is reached and a population begins to act as its own agent, nothing we can do will help. Our efforts failed in Vietnam, and they have failed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as such attempts to graft democracy and its institutions onto authoritarian countries always fail when attempted by outside forces.

And it is important to recognize that one or two elections do not a democracy make. It takes a whole set of institutions: rule of law, judicial reform, good governance, etc. to create a viable democracy. Only the people themselves can force that change by becoming their own agents. We cannot do it for them. To engage in "nation-building" is a fool's errand. The old dictum comes to mind: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." God save us from "good intentions."

Bush in Iraq is not the only recent example, of course. President Obama has not absorbed the lesson either. Witness Obama's engaging NATO in assisting the rebels in Libya with air power and bombing raids to oust Muammar Ghaddafi. Yup, we ousted Ghaddafi. Problem is, no one thought about what or who might replace him. Or that Libyans had never had the slightest experience with democracy. What have we wrought? Another failed state with militias controlling various geographic areas and cities, and a central government that cannot even control all of the capital, Tripoli. And, of course, Obama's "red lines" in Syria, which were never followed up on (thankfully) just made us look feckless. Why we should want Bashar al-Assad's ouster is beyond me. If you like post-Ghaddafi Libya, I'm sure you would love post-Assad Syria. We have managed our interests quite well in the Middle East for 40 years with the Assad family in power. I don't see any U.S. interest (or that of our closest allies) served by instigating regime-change in Syria.

Perhaps John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State under President Monroe, said it best: "The United States is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." Wise words then, wise words now.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 21:22:18
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to runner

quote:

Our problems in the Middle East stem from our long-standing and continuing failure to understand the nature of Islam today, and how the internal struggles within Islam are bound up in destabilizing socioeconomic and population trends throughout the region. In a nutshell, working and sustainable democracies exist only in countries wherein the majority of their populations no longer take religion seriously. Only then and there can the idea and practice of tolerance/toleration become an established norm, and similarly only then and there can secular, civil government fully replace the dictates of religious creed. The decision post-WWI by the British to favor the Wahhabi House of Saud over the far more liberal Feisal of Mecca resulted in the spread throughout the Islamic world of the most harsh and fanatical strain of Sunni Islam. This in turn re-inflamed the old, smoldering Sunni-Shia hostility.

If we combine the Islamic obsession with public and mass worship, where all can see who comes to pray and who does not, with a population explosion of tens of millions of unemployed young men with nothing to do all day, we have a recipe for social upheaval and fanaticism. It has been observed that the GDP of all of the Arab world, if oil revenue is excluded, is less than that of Finland, hence the terrible prospects for siphoning off the destructive energies of fanaticized young men. This is not a situation that is going to be " fixed" by attempts to impose western democracy from above. Rather, it is an Islamic repetition, with far more deadly weapons, of Christianity's Thirty Years War, a conflict that killed an estimated third of the population of Germany. I have previously mentioned that the Alewite (a Shia sect) regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, as heinous as it is, believes correctly that it faces extermination at the hands of fanatical Sunnis, and will thus fight to the death, with every atrocity.

Our politicians should be sat down and have The Facts of Life in the Middle East explained to them. Some problems have no solutions (that are palatable); they must work themselves out. My recommendation is that the western democracies band themselves tightly together to defend their borders and their populations, and their commitment to Enlightenment values within their societies, and wait out the inevitable and possibly century-long struggle that Islam is having with itself. We should offer humanitarian aid, and perhaps weaponry to groups like the Kurds of Iraq, who appear to only want to be left alone. It is about time that the Islamic nations of the Middle East come to terms with their relationship to Islam as a viable factor in having a humane and effective governmen


You make a lot of good points, but I also think the governments of the majority of the Middle East recognized states are equally responsible for social problems. They have been scapegoating the US and Israel for their problems for so long that the leaders of those countries are not socially progressive enough to work on inequality in their own countries. Now with the rise of a threatening rogue state they are reaping what they grew. The wealthy countries have perpetuated these class /sectarian wars between social groups and they are really to blame.

This is what you seem yo be saying. But I disagree there are not ways out. To me democratizing the middle east is still a good idea, only declaring war as a means of doing it was naive. Cheney should have gone into the service and got his rocks off that way and seen some real killing and been shot at before he was put in charge the war room.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 7 2015 23:15:36
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15032
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to runner

quote:

Regarding the notion of cyclicity and regularity in nature' s wiping the slate clean, this is an inference not supported by the evidence.


Well, I heard about it before, I looked at the numbers, and it makes sense. The evidence is such that there were 5 main events, the timing space of each, plus there are lots of smaller events in between, seem to line up fairly neatly to show we are indeed at a reasonable location in history for the 6th to occur. I already admitted there to be various causes that add up thanks to coincidental timing of various events, be they biological/geological/extraterrestrial...just so happens the latest is a new thing...industrial. But regularity seems to be something significant.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2015 2:49:32
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to estebanana

SF, I think we are in general agreement on the broader issues here, but there is a grave problem with the coexistence of democracy and the devoutly religious state, especially true in an Islamic state. Like most rigorous religions, Islam provides answers to every question even before the question is posed; it provides a stern religio-legal code, and all sorts of rules and regulations on how one is to live and what one is to believe. Bernard Lewis's several books are clear on this issue-- there is really no room for "will of the people" talk or thought; everything has been decided by God. This view has also popped up throughout the history of Christianity; not long ago also the Israeli fanatic Meir Kahane stated that his form of Judaism was incompatible with democracy. He was assassinated by another fanatic. The ongoing tragedy of this area is that everyone is dragged down to the lowest common denominator of religious hatred and frenzy due in part to those throngs of fanaticized young men that have no other sense of purpose in their lives. It has only been in those states where the grip of Islam had been somewhat mellowed by long western contact (urban Egypt, Lebanon-once 50% Christian, Turkey-under Ataturk like Japan was under Meiji ready to strike out in a new direction) and a weakening of the bonds of strict Islam, that delicate tendrils of the idea of a secular state started to take root. But religion-spouting dictators of one sort or another have always managed to remain in control. It will only be when Islam is no longer a dominant force in the lives of the peoples of the Middle East that there will be any progress toward stable and enduring democratic government. That isn't going to happen for a long, long time-- look how long it took western Christianity to evolve into being able to adopt popular democracy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2015 3:27:51
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

So, Ricardo, your answer is Yes, Yes? The current extinction event is human-caused, and has nothing to do with astronomical or geological triggers. We are in agreement. The only question now is whether it is inevitable.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2015 3:36:24
 
Ricardo

Posts: 15032
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to runner

quote:

ORIGINAL: runner

So, Ricardo, your answer is Yes, Yes? The current extinction event is human-caused, and has nothing to do with astronomical or geological triggers. We are in agreement. The only question now is whether it is inevitable.


Yes, it IS happening. The question is not WAS it inevitable, that question is answered by the current state of things (yes it was inevitable since the day we evolved into homo sapiens). The question is...is what we have done REVERSIBLE?! The Permian extinction was inevitable, but the biology then was not aware (though I am sure the super volcanoes made our prehistoric ancestors anxious LOL) so they had no chance to do anything. We do, and that is all the difference is. Meanwhile, other "factors" that could make things worse (inevitablity again?) could be lurking around the corner. Time will tell.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2015 4:34:32
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to runner

Runner, I share your view of Islam and its discontents. I would only add that the decline of the Muslim World is primarily due to Al-Ghazali and the Ashar’ites shutting down free inquiry in the 10th and 11th centuries. Prior to the ascendence of the Ashar'ites, Islam was very progressive and encouraged free enquiry in the sciences and philosophy. Al Ghazali's seminal work, "The Incoherence of the Philosophers," as well as the Ashar'ite School, completely negated free, rational enquiry, claiming that it was blasphemous, and that all knowledge was contained in the Qur'an. This had the unsurprising effect of cutting the Muslim World off from rational enquiry, while the West began to advance as a result of the pre-Renaissance re-discovery of philosophy and rational enquiry.

Islam makes no distinction betweeen the sacred and the secular, and there has never been an Islamic equivalent of the 18th century European Enlightenment, separating rational enquiry from faith. That the 10th and 11th century movements, represented by Al Ghazali and the Ashar'ites, replaced rational inquiry with faith and revelation remains an obstacle to modernization in Islamic societies to this day. I would suggest that Islam desperately needs the equivalent of the 18th century Western Enlightenment.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 8 2015 23:05:15
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to BarkellWH

Bill, thanks for your reference to Al-Ghazali and the associated school. There was thus produced a reservoir of the harshest and most introverted sort of Islam that would periodically erupt like a powerful corrosive to flush away the various experiments and episodes of more moderate or even liberal interpretations of the religion--the irruption of stern and then sterner fanatical Berber clans into Arab Spain to sweep away the last faint glow of the Umayyads is a poignant example.

It is difficult to see the coming of an Islamic Enlightenment anytime soon. There is going to have to be a fairly long period of relative peace, where people are not concerned with thoughts of survival and extermination. And there must be a decline in the centrality of religion, especially compulsory religion, in both public life and in people's private views. As we know, the conflating of, as you put it, the sacred and the secular, may be so integral to Islam as to render it very much more difficult to evolve into the secular and tolerant state that we hope to maintain in the west.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 0:41:31
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

I kind of disagree with you Runner about the length of time it may take for an Islamic enlightenment to occur.
The other problem is holding up the Western enlightenment movement to Islam as a model. Islam will find it's own model. I understand that that is only mentioned as a marker of a paradigm in the West where science and rational thought was embraced over irrational spirit world bugaboos.

The thing that troubles me more than the minority view of Muslims that Islam is superior to other systems and is anti scientific, (this is a minority view in greater Islam today), is that the West itself is slipping back into the darkness of irrationality.

There are people who I know whom I consider to be otherwise intelligent thoughtful folks who subscribe to the strangest unscientific theories and conspiracies. And when confronted what hard scientific evidence about why those ideas are incorrect, they become inflexible, irrational and combative, because of non rational paranoia. On the other hand all the Muslims I've known over the years simply eye roll in exasperation with notions that Islam and modern modes of rational inquiry are two separate and un-mixable concepts. Iran for example is now mainly demographically under the age of 40, the younger Iranians that have internet are not happy with the way the government runs things, but I don't l think they especially look to the West as an ideal model, but want to formulate new ways of combining rationality, reason and the traditional societies they come from.

Remember there was a time when a woman could wear a miniskirt in a club in downtown Teheran, and it's only because a minority of leaders that declare it is wrong that forbids women to dress as a they wish in public. Whether that be traditional or non traditional. Those skirts are still worn in private clubs and the younger women challenge the "dress code" in subtle ways on the street. And we don't hear as much about progressive Muslim leaders in our press as we do about backwards fellows who want to return to middle ages. They get all the press. But there are Muslim advocates of progressive rationality, scientific inquiry and an Islamic brand of feminist thought. It pains me when Muslims are painted as complete throwbacks, the truth is that only a small fraction of the Muslim world has these backward views.

I also disagree with the idea that a long period of peace will foster an "enlightenment". Spain and France were at one another's throats as the great French writers of the enlightenment were being read and discussed in Madrid by the intelligentsia. Historically I think it works the other way round, periods of irrationality and strife bring about rationality. What lead to the enlightenment was a long slow process that if you viewed it from a pre-enlightment time period you might not see that it was happening, but in hindsight we can look at the whole over arcing system, it begins with a reevaluation of classical humanism in the 15th and 16th centuries...well I digress, but my point is we have a difficult time charting history as we sit in the middle of it, for my money we could already be in the process of a next wave of enlightenment. As doubtful as that sounds. But it will not simply be an Islamic change, it will have to be an enlightenment of greater scope, the world needs all cultures to reinvent themselves constantly, not just Islam today, in this minute.

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 1:33:33
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to estebanana

Stephen, I welcome your note of optimism re the possibility of an Islamic Enlightenment. I also share your unease at the irrationality of many in the west; certainly in America today. It has been explained by several observers, starting with de Tocqueville, that Americans have always fiercely defended the notion that everyone's ideas are as good and valid as anyone else's--no aristocracy of learning here! And that was fine for much of our history. But nowadays when so much depends on us getting things right, and the views of really knowledgeable people need to be carefully considered, there is instead a reaction among so many of what I call Defiant Ignorance in the face of facts to the contrary of certain strongly held ideological or religious positions. From vaccines to AGW to evolution, there is a to hell with your facts--here are my facts! phenomenon that is spreading like a cancer through public discourse.

You also mention the issue of a growing assertiveness of women in some Islamic states. I'm glad you did, because that is another positive force that must be vastly expanded in order to bring about such an Enlightenment. The emancipation and the attainment of equal status for women worldwide may prove to be the key catalyst in a reformation of Islam, but will be an essential factor in solving a host of worldwide social, economic, population and conflict issues that must be solved. Let there be no Defiant Ignorance about this!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 3:00:22
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to runner

quote:

The emancipation and the attainment of equal status for women worldwide may prove to be the key catalyst in a reformation of Islam, but will be an essential factor in solving a host of worldwide social, economic, population and conflict issues that must be solved.


I agree and it is key to the future. Also why I get so pissy when the tide of conversation gets too much in the 'boy culture' realm in guitar discussions and begins to get lodged on sexual metaphors and analogies when guys talk guitars. I'm as happy to girl watch as the next guy, but I think that male guitar culture is often very sexist and I wish it would evolve to be more female inclusive by being more self aware of the innuendo.

I don't know if more women don't play guitar because they are not interested or if it is a 'guy thing' do do, but I do enjoy the refreshing change of having women guitar customers when it does happen. Women conceptualize the whole guitar selection process verbally much different than men.

_________

I think we have a good spate of rampant relativism happening now. It's difficult to out your finger on on where it comes from, but lately I have been thinking it may be because of lack of good curriculum in schools. There was a time when curriculum was not exactly nationally standardized and, for example in California, education was funded by property taxes more. The education system was more coherent and comprehensive as a whole nationwide. Now we have vast inequalities in curriculum and education quality. (Although a band teacher I know just complained that music published for high school band today is quite boiler plate.)

I think this is part of the relative problem, there's less of an intellectual common denominator and instead of goign for a central rational line of reasoning people are developing reasoning systems that are not rational but based in relative values. Much of that goes back to what I said earlier about legislating for society as a whole as a part of a societal moral imperative. But today we see people saying Im cherry picking the logic tree for the logic that supports my own system and not a greater test of rationality. An example would be the folks doing open carry of rifles and guns in super markets and coffee shops. This cherry picked logic. It's not an open (pun) rational debate, it a 'my way or the highway' type of rational.

This gets at what this thread is about in the title, can you win an argument? I think today winning is not winning, the best we can do is present as universal a rational argument as can be constructed. Because it serves as an a example of a good argument. Winning can be difficult today unless both sides choose to honor a grater code of logic a rationality, but not every one is on board that moral imperative bus. Many today are on their own bus; I'm riding the bus like a good citizen, seems to be the illusion, but you can only enter my bus unless you think like I do. The open carry advocates are on a bus and are not amenable to others riding that bus.

The scary thing is that I know some really educated folks who are not on the bus that legislates for rational thought to benefit the whole society. And the scarier thing is those people are not in the government, they ride the bus that goes against the government, but have less rational capability at thinking. You would think it would bother me more if dumb asses were in government, but I meet really thoughtful people in government, it's the electorate that is nuts and only thinking about ME ME ME.

Government is steerable I think ( but fraught with incompetence and bumblers sometimes as Richard notes) but only if electorate begins thinking about something other than themselves. The system of curriculum has changed to the extent that rationality and the common good have parted ways in favor a system of selected rationality and has to an extent caused the voters to be deeply split. Everyone tries to blame this divisional element on politicians, but I think average person is to be held responsible. People want to 'win' the argument over a rational inclusive discourse. There's too much of 'My side is right no matter what!'


There more stump standing !

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 3:53:40
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

I've been going on quite a bit of late. Today I had a root canal and it left me in a philosophical state of mind.

Here's to fillers and next to crowns. Compai!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 7:36:07
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to estebanana

Stephen, I emphatically agree with all your points. The degree to which the Second Amendment has been perverted by the gun "enthusiasts" (forgoing stronger language) and by the NRA is deeply troubling. The endpoint of their efforts seems to be a desire that every American walking down the street should regard every oncoming fellow American as armed and extremely dangerous--what kind of society is that? I believe things might change if all mass killings were entitled "LaPierre Events", in recognition of Wayne LaPierre's being for stricter and more inclusive background checks, before he was suddenly against them. I think he should also tell us that the price of his and the NRA's version and vision of the Second Amendment is the blood of children, but that he believes that is a necessary sacrifice if we are to remain "free".

Good luck in the dentist's chair.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 10:12:30
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The other problem is holding up the Western enlightenment movement to Islam as a model. Islam will find it's own model.

the West itself is slipping back into the darkness of irrationality....There are people who I know whom I consider to be otherwise intelligent thoughtful folks who subscribe to the strangest unscientific theories and conspiracies.


Stephen, my statement was: "Islam desperately needs the equivalent of the 18th century Western Enlightenment." I specifically stated "equivalent" to cover the concern you address above, that it will find its own model. But however and whenever it occurs, and what form it takes, Islam must free itself from those elements that have made it difficult for Islamic societies to come to terms with modernity.

I share your concern about those in the West subscribing to completely unscientific ideas about everything from vaccines to climate change, from fluoridation to "chemtrails." It is "junk science" and conspiratorial and has no place in rational thought. But, oddly enough, their "junk science" and conspiracy theories represent freedom of thought in the West. As wacky as they are, such people are not conforming to a rigid religious or philosophical straitjacket that is imposed upon them. Thus, while I think they represent irrationality at its worst, to equate their irrational views to the rigid world-view imposed by elements of Islam is to create a false equivalency in my opinion.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 11:18:51
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

Stephen, my statement was: "Islam desperately needs the equivalent of the 18th century Western Enlightenment." I specifically stated "equivalent" to cover the concern you address above, that it will find its own model. But however and whenever it occurs, and what form it takes, Islam must free itself from those elements that have made it difficult for Islamic societies to come to terms with modernity.

I share your concern about those in the West subscribing to completely unscientific ideas about everything from vaccines to climate change, from fluoridation to "chemtrails." It is "junk science" and conspiratorial and has no place in rational thought. But, oddly enough, their "junk science" and conspiracy theories represent freedom of thought in the West. As wacky as they are, such people are not conforming to a rigid religious or philosophical straitjacket that is imposed upon them. Thus, while I think they represent irrationality at its worst, to equate their irrational views to the rigid world-view imposed by elements of Islam is to create a false equivalency in my opinion.

Bill


The rebuttal to this requires the imbibing of a Black & Tan.

Yeah I thought about how you worded it after I wrote it, you did word it correctly. Leaving the space for Islam to reinvent itself after a model it creates. I did go on and mention this as a way of saying I understood your use of enlightenment:

"I understand that that is only mentioned as a marker of a paradigm in the West where science and rational thought was embraced over irrational spirit world bugaboos."

What I meant was yes I see you pointed to the enlightenment as an example, but not a strict way it should be done.

I think I was off on a tangent when I got into irrational thinking in the US. I did not mean to make specific connections between Islamic radicals and chemtrail believers. One group kidnaps and beheads it's critics, while other is moslty just annoying and undermines critical thought.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 12:36:33
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

The rebuttal to this requires the imbibing of a Black & Tan.


The imbibing of a Black & Tan, however, does not require a rebuttal in order to be executed. It is its own justification!

Hope you are recovering nicely from your root canal.

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 12:44:42
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to BarkellWH

Regarding this proposed future Islamic Enlightenment, just what would its hallmarks be? In what important ways could it be distinguished from the Western experience? In the ideal journey toward a sustainable enlightenment, I would see that erosion of the centrality of religion at its core that is currently the defining property of an Islamic society. I would see that relentless movement toward full female equality, and the extinction of "honor" killings, FGM, compulsory attire and chaperoning, and all the associated customs that reduce half the human population to that of domestic animals. In further thinking about Stephen's hopeful signs, I was again reminded of Turkey's retreat from the resolute position staked out by Atatürk, with the willing(?) adoption of more and more Turkish women of the headscarf; I am also reminded of the imposition of Sharia law, attire, conduct, in Aceh Province as it recovers from the tsunami, in an area where people have previously taken their Islam in a relaxed manner. I would also look for the adoption of the goal of universal and secular education for all in the community, and for a vigorous commitment to full tolerance in religious matters.

In regard to Bill's notion that the expression of a wide array of even wild and crazy ideas can be considered a hallmark of our western openness of discussion: I agree fully, but note that the crazy-ideas crowd has heretofore been a small minority, albeit a loud one. Now, though, crazy ideas are in many areas becoming--if not mainstream, then ruling and governing ideas with serious real-world consequences--just ask Ted Cruz, Jim Imhofe & Co. We need to do a much better job ourselves here in America to retain our own gold-plated Enlightenment birth certificate.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 14:37:07
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3532
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

These are lofty thoughts for the humble off-topic flamenco forum. I find it unusual, with all the complaints about the Islamic folk, that the Western need for oil has not been mentioned. If it were not for the centrality of the black goo for the operation of our economy, the Middle East would be an irrelevant backwater, whose old-fashioned, unfortunate theocracies would be free to dominate their populations without much remark from the West. The current state of things is that the so-called enlightened West is exploiting the natural resources under their otherwise impoverished lands, enriching a small and vicious elite and infuriating an underclass that is given just enough to pointlessly expand its own population. In other words, not much different than in any other Third World country. Whether it's bananas or diamonds or oil, the pattern seems to hold. Complaining about the political organization of any of these regions seems to be victim-blaming to me.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 18:24:07
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Miguel de Maria

Miguel, I could not be in greater agreement with you about oil, but I think the reason it hasn't been mentioned thus far is that everybody (in this discussion and just about everybody else) knows this to be true; it's a given. This business of oil sums up in itself much of what we've been talking about here: the choices we make, irrationality, Defiant Ignorance of facts, Islam's ongoing crisis. The west should seize with both hands the warnings about AGW and begin to vigorously wean itself off its heavy dependence on fossil fuels obtained from outside its borders. It thus frees itself to pursue a more rational and objective foreign policy vis a vis both the Islamic world and the New Fascism of Putin's Russia, while at the same time finally making a big step to slow down AGW. A win-win scenario.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 18:49:56
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3462
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

These are lofty thoughts for the humble off-topic flamenco forum. I find it unusual, with all the complaints about the Islamic folk, that the Western need for oil has not been mentioned. If it were not for the centrality of the black goo for the operation of our economy, the Middle East would be an irrelevant backwater, whose old-fashioned, unfortunate theocracies would be free to dominate their populations without much remark from the West. The current state of things is that the so-called enlightened West is exploiting the natural resources under their otherwise impoverished lands, enriching a small and vicious elite and infuriating an underclass that is given just enough to pointlessly expand its own population. In other words, not much different than in any other Third World country. Whether it's bananas or diamonds or oil, the pattern seems to hold. Complaining about the political organization of any of these regions seems to be victim-blaming to me.


Where to begin? First off, Miguel, no one in this conversation is "complaining about the Islamic folk." You appear to be confusing studied observations with complaining. Both Stephen and Runner are hardly registering "complaints." Each has made cogent points regarding why Islamic societies have failed to modernize. As for me, I have spent nearly 50 years involved in one way or another with Islam: living and working for many years in Islamic societies such as Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia; studying the history of Islam; having a couple of Saudi room mates as an undergraduate; and continuing to follow developments in Islam and the Muslim World today. You may agree or disagree with my observations, but they are studied observations, and when I state that Islam has a difficult time coming to terms with modernity, that is neither an idle comment nor a "complaint."

As for the West "exploiting" their natural resources (oil), that is hardly the case today. At one time, before the early '70s, ARAMCO controlled the oil production in Saudi Arabia. But in the early '70's the Saudis assumed ownership and control. You may recall that as a result of the 1973 October War between Israel and the Arabs (Egypt and Syria), in response to U.S. support of Israel, the Arab members of OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, decided to reduce oil production by 5% per month on October 17. On October 19, President Nixon authorized a major allocation of arms supplies and $2.2 billion in appropriations for Israel. In response, Saudi Arabia declared an embargo against the United States, later joined by other oil exporters, causing the 1973 energy crisis. These are hardly the actions of "exploited" countries. They were then, and are now, in control of their resources, especially via the oil producers' cartel OPEC.

Finally, I need not expand on the points already made in this thread to state that no one is engaging in "victim-blaming." Those of us who seriously engage in studying and observing Islam and its discontents are neither searching for nor in need of a "victim" to blame. There is ample historical evidence to suggest that the Islamic World's wounds are largely self-inflicted.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 9 2015 19:12:56
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

Miguel,

I think if you read closely you'll find I'm not blaming a victim. If just trying to frame so ideas about how some factions within the Muslim world are not in step with modern times. I took care to point out that a great majority of the Muslim world is forward thinking and embraces the modern concepts of science, technology and shared social values with other regions around the world. I feel the majority of Muslims consider themselves to be citizens of the world and not combative isolationists.

I reject the idea that we are scapegoating the Middle East or blaming the victim. I hold the governments of the Middle East countries responsible for what happens in their territories. There's plenty of wealth to go around in the Middle East and the West gives a lot of aid money to several countries. Iraq is a singular problem, really complicated, and the US contributed to it's present state in a big way. But to look at the whole region I have to call it a governance problem. If anything the oil producing countries use the leverage of their oil holdings to get what they want from the oil consuming countries. They have strong leverage devices over consumers, it's not an exploitive situation.

There is oppression in the Middle East by harsh governments. Assad Sr. ( dead now) the former ruler of Syria was ruthless in putting down those who opposed his rule. He once found a small town which had a core of anti government sentiment. He order the whole town to be eradicated and bulldozed into rubble. Then said leave it like that as an example to those who would oppose me. If I'm not mistaken that town is still a flattened plain of rubble and was never rebuilt. The former Egyptian president Mubarak was not much different. Saddam Hussein, from that same cloth.

I think what is legitimate to a certain extent is to see a historical view of how colonial transitions failed and what the social consequences have been. But I must say in my curmudgoenliness, the older I get the less I want to hear about colonial interference and poor transitioning to self governance as a counter argument for all that is wrong in the Middle East. At this point we've got the picture, all sides know that story. And what's more today I question it more and more as a theme not because it's not true, but because it's really easy to formulate a doctoral dissertation around.

Not to come off as condescending, but when I hear my old art school pals who now teach speak about politics they bandy about the word 'Colonialism' like we just figured it out. At this point is part of the narrative, but almost insignificant in my view. The structures in place that are vestiges of colonialism are now owned by the former 'natives'.

Doctoral work in the West on the history of colonialism does not have a great effect on real politics in the Middle East, but it sure makes doctoral candidates sound educated and articulate. Once someone has done the work and obtained the degree the problem of bad governance and inequality that issues from it, whether effected by poor colonial transitions or not, remains the current responsibility of Middle East governments.
__________________

What we see emerging now and what actually gives me hope is that the ISIS group is not liked by anyone in the region and they are terrorizing innocent people. It remains to be seen if a mutual international dislike of this group will spur cooperation between countries that have been adversarial. And if those new relatinships can be formed how will that help shape the future? The military options for disassembly of the ISIS phenomenon are underway, but all the military minds are in agreement that this is not a military campaign in the traditional sense. They understand brute force is not going to complete the work in this situation. That admission on the part of military leaders is in itself a step forward. But it's usually the military that figures that out before the politicians.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2015 1:05:51
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to estebanana

In partial support for Miguel's perhaps too-sweeping indictment of Western practices regarding Middle Eastern oil-rich regimes, let us recall that our current problems with the proud 2500-hundred-plus-year-old Iran, the Persia of our grandparents, stems from our overthrow of a regime we didn't like, and that was about oil. Iraq's invasion of Kuwait triggered Desert Storm--if Iraq had invaded oil-poor Syria, would anybody in the West have really cared? Saddam was our guy in the Iran-Iraq struggle; no saint but our guy nonetheless. So our obsession with Islamic oil has effected decades of vigorous intervention in a region cursed with the very dubious and deadly gift of oil. Fareed Zakaria has written extensively on the corrupting and stultifying effect that oil wealth has on countries where it forms an enormous part of a nation's GDP-- the examples of Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela spring to mind. Zakaria says that Norway is the only country that has reacted wisely to its oil bonanza, and is making plans early to deal with the dwindling of its North Sea fields. We can certainly add Western lust for oil to the Middle East's burdens of resurgent Islamic zealotry, vast unemployment, and mushrooming populations. Even if we no longer have the whip hand in our dealings with these countries, we still help maintain governments in some of them with whom we can "do business", or hope to.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2015 2:54:13
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3532
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

I don't find the statement that the Middle East countries are truly in control of their destinies particularly convincing. If they are, it is only in the small sense that they are able to play off the West against the East. They have little intrinsic power. Their ownership of their own mineral wealth is essentially illusory, a polite fiction that would vanish if it ever tried to withhold it from the industrialized nations. I doubt OPEC could have so inconvenienced the US if the USSR and its nukes were not paying close attention. I also doubt they could pull the same trick today.

These societies are deformed by oil and the rest of the world's need for it. Their economic basis is totally different to most of the rest of the world. Their autonomy is conditional on them turning over that oil in a way acceptable to the great powers. Whatever distasteful elements intrinsically exist in their cultures, there is little reason to expect them to organize like countries with more usual setups. Nor is there much sense in disparaging their leaders, who have generally been little more than puppets.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2015 3:44:29
 
estebanana

Posts: 9410
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Is Logic Necessary To Win an Arg... (in reply to Ricardo

I'm not in any way saying that those things are not real. Bu in the case of the Desert Storm that was an international coalition that understood that it was unfair and damaging for the global economy to let Iraq get away with taking Kuwait. Letting them get away would have allowed Iraq to control an important port passage. The second time around was a different story. It was an elective war based in speculation of democratization, not a good idea.

I'm making the point however that it is good to recognize that the US especially has had a hand in many problems in the Middle East, but that it's still important to hold the governments responsible and not just toss blame on the West. The whole situation is to complex to 'blame the victim'. I feel that the blame the victim argument /gambit is just a trendy buzz word concept. And using that approach does not foster more constructive arguments or solutions. The 'blame the victim' phrase works in the context of rape, but it has migrated over into other subjects where I think it is inaccurate. In the on going talk about rape and how to deal with it does fit because it helps describe the 'shaming the victim' aspect of rape when legal action is taken. A whole other subject, but I don't see the politics of the Middle East connected to a shaming game and the blame the victim concept is too simple to apply because there's ample blame to go around. There's no monopoly on blame, and blame seems to only make the Mid East situations worse.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 10 2015 3:48:56
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