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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Individual Responsibility

I haven't been paying full attention to the supposed controversy over remarks that were made about Islam/Islamists, etc. over here at the Shotgun, but I do find troubling a particular strain of thought that I've seen expressed by those on both sides of the debate.

Now even though I find it in the Canadian Muslim community's general interest to put forth a public image of tolerance, of respect for the rule of law and most importantly, of loyalty to Canada and to all Canadians, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, etc., every individual Canadian Muslim is not obligated to apologize for the behavior of a minority of their co-religionists (how small a minority espouses a form of extremism/terrorism is hard to quantify).  Every individual Muslim should only be held to account for what they themselves do when it comes to keeping an eye out for potential terrorism (I imagine most Canadian Muslims would never even come across such situations), funding to terrorist groups and then of course the actual planning and execution of terrorist acts.  Trying to hold every single Muslim to account for terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam is not only unfair, it's a gross violation of the western, liberal, secular, Canadian ideal of holding all citizens responsible for only their own actions.  Guilt by association is something I've seen of quite a bit as an observer of the BC Sikh community every since I was very young, and I've seen how truly unfair and unjust this tactic and mentality could be.

Now, turning to the other "side".  A number of Liberals have rightly pointed out how ridiculous (and even bigoted, if only out of extreme ignorance and thoughtlessness) it was to label an entire 1.3 billion people as members of a "death cult", but then they themselves pointed to how few conservatives had condemned the so-called conservatives who were engaged in bigoted or irrational thinking.  (The obvious implication being that a) many didn't denounce the comments because they agreed with them and b) other conservatives, just because they're conservative, have an obligation to denounce people who are "conservative" but say stupid things)  Didn't these Liberals think twice before they called upon more conservative bloggers to denounce a single poster (and a few other commenters) when they had just commented on how silly it was to stereotype 1.3 billion people based on the actions of a few?  Muslims shouldn't have to apologize for the actions of a few and neither should conservatives.

Posted by Japnaam on July 29, 2006 | Permalink


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Thank you, Japnaam. I'm both surprised and happy to see that you are a contributor here to the WS blog.

This places needs a bit more sanity with folks like yourself and Chris Selley.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-07-30 1:53:40 AM

The problem is islam, not islamists. There is no such thing as an islamist. Name one person who calls himself an islamist.

From the British Nationalist Party site:

"This is in fact the start of World War 4, with its roots in the victory of Charles Martel over Islam in the Battle of Tours in 732 AD. (19). Islam is once again awakening, and the West must awaken as well.

The 21st Century will either see the rebirth of the West and the rise of Nationalism, or the conquest of the West by Islam via demographics and the use of Oil as an aspect of Asymmetric Warfare. Hezbollah want to destroy Israel, then run the entire Middle East and then use the Middle East and its oil supplies to start a war on the rest of the world."

Posted by: John | 2006-07-30 2:06:57 AM

Over the last six months reasonable people have wandered away from the Shotgun. The whole problem started around the time of the last election, when a bunch of left-threaded trolls basically made adult discourse impossible here, because too many right-threaded counter-trolls decided to try to duke it out with them instead of ignoring them. For reasonable people with a job, there wasn't enough time left in the day to wade through all the detritus and attempt to carry out intelligent dialectics, rhetoric, and wit in spite of the ever-decreasing signal to noise ratio.

Eventually, the only participants left at the Shotgun were the same dozen people who have been making the same extremist claims over and over again for the last few months. Led by Scott, Speller, Set You Free, Karolak, Woodbridge, et cetera, and followed by a gaggle of extremists arguing with them, yelling at each other, really, there hasn't been much worth reading in the comments here for quite a while now. This sort of thing is usually easy to spot, just look at the frequency of swearing and elementary-school taunting. And the trend here has been no exception.

I started commenting regularly here in April of 2004. Ezra and the folks at the Western Standard provided a most interesting forum, in the sense of free speech for all. Ezra always said that rather than have the Shotgun deal with the extremists, he thought that it is better to let other commenters do so. And I always agreed with him, at least in theory. Unfortunately, in practice, it has become clear that those who yell the loudest eventually drive the reasonable folks away, and now there are none remaining.

In the particular case we have at hand, rather than marxist or, say, libertarian extremists, what we have is a gaggle of theological and socially conservative extremists, who would rather throw scripture and the DSM at anyone who they think might be disagreeing with them. Rational discourse has become impossible under these immoderate conditions.

So while the Western Standard magazine remains an excellent Libertarian / Fiscal Conservative publication, Japnaam, where your comment about individual responsibility and muslims would make perfect sense, the Shotgun itself has become a place where such ideas will likely be met with the same old right-collective dogma and left-collective counter trolls, rather than any sort of rational response. Sadly, those who engage in such behaviour discredit the entire right side of the isle, much as the extremist left-threaded blogs likewise discredit their causes.

It's a classic tragedy of the commons.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 2:10:53 AM

" Led by Scott, Speller, Set You Free, Karolak, Woodbridge, et cetera, and followed by a gaggle of extremists arguing with them,"

Just to be clear before I comment further, when you say "Scott," are you referring to me? Or is there some other "Scott?"

"So while the Western Standard magazine remains an excellent Libertarian / Fiscal Conservative publication"

As a subscriber to the WS myself, the only real Libertarian content I ever see is that provided by Pierre Lemieux.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-07-30 2:24:07 AM

I did mean the other Scott, Ian, though since I am an honest man, I would say that I don't think you've being doing your cause much justice lately either. After all, much as I look forward to reading Lemieux's take on things, it is not the case that he is the only real Libertarian content in the Western Standard, rather, it is the case that he is the only extremist Libertarian content.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 3:01:18 AM

"I did mean the other Scott, Ian, though since I am an honest man, I would say that I don't think you've being doing your cause much justice lately either."

Good to know you meant some other Scott.

As far as "cause" is concerned, my "cause" is truth - absolute truth, and the ability to present evidence for whatever "side" one is on.

You don't think I'm doing this much justice? Care to point to anything specifically?
it is not the case that he is the only real Libertarian content in the Western Standard, rather, it is the case that he is the only extremist Libertarian content."

Uh.. maybe you can define what you mean by "libertarian" then.

You think Lemieux is "extreme" libertarian? I'd suggest to you then that you really don't have a clue what libertarianism is.

Don't confuse libertarianism with "conservatism." They are not the same.


Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-07-30 3:21:49 AM

For you to suggest that I don't have a clue what libertarianism is, Ian, rather makes my case, for you have within the space of two comments descended into school-yard taunting. Thus, while I am always interested in debating the relative merits of, say, Randian v. Brandenian objectivist axiology, since I am according to your conjecture confusing that with conservatism, I guess I'll keep it to myself.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 3:40:33 AM

"For you to suggest that I don't have a clue what libertarianism is, Ian, rather makes my case"

Ya think? Well, perhaps you'd actually care to make your case, instead of resorting to silly rhetoric, Vitruvius.

My statement still stands - if you think Lemieux is 'extreme libertarianism,' then you don't know what libertarianism is.

As far as "school yard taunting" is concerned, why don't you, as I suggested in my earlier comment, "define what you mean by 'libertarian'?

That way, we both can get past the taunting, and have some understanding hopefully, of what exactly you mean.

Hopefully, you'll point to reality as well.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-07-30 3:47:17 AM

My case is simply that the quality of the dialectics, rhetoric, and wit here in the Shotgun's comments has gone severly down hill, and again you make my case, Ian, by ungraciously characterizing my rhetoric as silly, and by sarcastically expressing your hope that my perspective may have some connection to reality, without even bothering to clothe your concept in some form of reasonable wit. But what do I know, after all, I'm self-deprecating.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 4:11:11 AM

Follow up question: Seeing as you have brought up "Randian vs Brandien" objectivism -

would you mind commenting on Galt's Gulch and Galt's Oath, as well?

I'd be terribly interested in knowing, in reality, what issues you might have with either, and how one might be "Randian," while another "Brandien," or what any "extremism" might be for an individual to pursue his own "Galt's Gulch."

Maybe you're a "McKeever" type of Objectivist?

Regardless, love to learn from you.. and your own definitions and ideas, while pointing to reality!

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-07-30 4:13:53 AM

"you make my case, Ian, by ungraciously characterizing my rhetoric as silly"

You make your own case for "silly," when you assert soemthing called "extreme libertarianism," but don't even bother to define libertarianism at all.

So indeed, it is silly. You assert something without even making clear what ideas your assertions are based upon. Yes, I call that silly. Take it as you will. Silly.. unreal.. fallacious.. whatever - the fact of the matter is it was you who applied an adjective to a word, and you won't even bother to define the word before you apply adjectives to it.

So yes you are silly. You assert something, but don't bother to provide any premises for your assertion. Actually, that is not just "silly," but is utterly fallacious.

Posted by: Ian Scott | 2006-07-30 4:19:49 AM

Not only that, I didn't bother to define "extreme" or "define" either. What do you expect from someone who's silly and fallacious and owns a dictionary? It would certainly be a waste of time to expect your refined level of discourse from such a person, wouldn't it.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 4:28:05 AM

Just to be clear I've been commenting here longer than a year.

I was an Alberta Report subscriber dating back to the early 1990s.

The ENTIRE 'religion' called Islam is about ONE man, Mohammed.

Mohammed, Islam's ONLY prophet, created Islam to serve himself.

It was not meant to survive him, therefore he left no heir, even though Mohammed had twelve wives.


Islam is an EXTREME religion which has no moderate adherents and is devoid of spirtuality.

You atheists who want to discuss religion and draw equivalents between them and their adherents don't know what you are talking about.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-30 5:50:54 AM

On the other hand, Ian, you at least know how to form a paragraph and don't have a stuck caps-lock key. Sorry to pick on you, buddy, but I was working on deploying some new servers in Cleveland for the last six hours, and I've had this target in my mind for some time now, and you wandered into my sights and behaved like a deer. Anyway, the new infrastructre is operating smoothly, so I'm going to get some sleep while the usual suspects completely oblivious to the way the world works carry on with their vacuous bloviating. Y'all take care now, y'hear. Have a great Sunday.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 6:03:27 AM

Why don't you stick around and shoot some more holes in your pal, Vito?

Maybe you and Ian, children of Chaos that you are, can have a good off-topic debate?

Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-30 6:07:11 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong Jappy but isn't there a relationship between the militaristic Sikh religion and Islam?

Why is it again, young Jappy, that Sikhs have to carry knives?

Was it originally to protect themselves against Muslims?

Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-30 6:14:52 AM

Vitruvious expresses the issue very well. As I said on the other thread, I think the problem Ezra has here is that no one takes “ownership” of the Shotgun. It’s become Animal House. I expect a dead horse to show up here any minute. No civility, no rules, nevermind enforcement of rules.

I can accept the notion that the commenters have to take some responsibility to drive the trolls out and/or ignore them. But there comes a point when the owner has to step in and remind everyone of the rules. No swearing would be a good start. Otherwise everyone sinks to primitive anarchy, like children on an island in Lord of the Flies.

Kate at SDA is a good example of keeping her Blog functional by enforcing her rules once in awhile when the commentators can’t seem to do it by themselves.

But because the Shotgun is sort of an aggregator of other Bloggers posting on it, that does make it more difficult to show ownership. Nevertheless, I think that is what has to happen if the Shotgun is to return to it’s former status as a fun, intelligent, rough and tumble Blog.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-07-30 6:36:14 AM

Yup, nomdenet. Kate is the soul of propriety.

I especially liked her chocolate crucifx posting a Easter. What a sweetheart.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-30 7:35:09 AM

Seriously young Jappy, do you really believe there are 1.3 billion Muslims and that a religion so extreme that it pronounces the death penalty on anyone that quits has moderates who actually are adherents?

Posted by: Speller | 2006-07-30 7:47:30 AM

I agree that Muslims who have done nothing have no need to apologize for the actions of others.

I don't want apologies, I want cooperation.

I'm not going to Google for the links, but after the Broad Strata arrests in Toronto, a man came forward who said that he had heard one of the 17 preaching extremism and hatred at either a mosque or Islamic centre. He did nothing. Others who heard him also did nothing.

An imam at a Toronto area mosque said that some members were also spewing hatred but since it happened in the parking lot, it wasn't his problem.

If Islam is indeed a peaceful religion, with no room for extremism, the leadership of mosques and Islamic centres should be telling the extremists in no uncertain terms that their views will not be tolerated and they will no longer be welcome on their property, including parking lots.

The congregants, if I may use that term, should also be letting the leadership know that if the extremists are allowed to continue, they will find another place to worship. If the imams are the ones preaching hatred, I want the congregants to either have the imam removed or find another mosque.

If it is a tiny minority that has hijacked a religion, I want the vast majority to take it back. No apologies would ever be needed.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-07-30 9:45:07 AM

dead horse :)

yes, waiting.

Posted by: joe | 2006-07-30 10:01:14 AM



/"I am a Scottish-Canadian; and I am posting a comment on a blog!!!!!one"
/////you guys want receipts, lol???

Posted by: Fizz | 2006-07-30 10:06:46 AM

"Trying to hold every single Muslim to account for terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam is not only unfair, it's a gross violation of the western, liberal, secular, Canadian ideal of holding all citizens responsible for only their own actions."

WAIT A MINUTE HERE .... Liberal Canada hasn't held any individual accountable for anything since Truedoe. Everything is societies fault! Where have you been?

No one goes to jail unless it's to protect you from people who want to kill you for what you have done. IE Clifford Olson.

Islam is a time machine waiting to hurl us all back a thousand years and even Liberals won't want to go once they realize it means giving up their cars, cushy homes, status jobs, casual sex, electricity, pensions etc. Islam also plays hell on your knees and elbows since you spend lot of time on them.

What is going on here and on other blogs is fear and loathing. We are in scary times and on the verge of a turning point one way or the other. The next moments or years will determine the course of mankind.

Re Kate: I was banned from her site for what can only be described as political incorrectness. She has a great blog, but her status is turning her into a bit of a bitch and an egoist. I recently read her rant on how much she does in her life compared to other so-called journalists.

It came across as Kate the long-suffering warrior against mediocrity. I support her still, but I not pleased about some of what she is becoming in her success.

Finally: This blog is a bit of a free-for-all but then freedom is messy. That's why it works. The Liberal idea of controlling every and all doesn't work. And there is ample evidence of that.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-07-30 10:17:51 AM


“the Liberal idea of controlling everything and all”

Agree, they can’t control everything, nobody can. The social-political cult of Islamofascists can’t either. That’s why we need some rules, not to control but to allow civility to prevail so that individualism can express itself without turning into anarchy.

Democracy and freedom are fragile because they require what this post is about “individual responsibility”.

Countries with no rules, such as excessively liberal Holland, are finished.

Many Blogs are finished too. That’s what the liberal MSM is counting on. That given our bent toward individualism that we’ll fall on our own petard.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-07-30 11:03:02 AM

Dhimmitude seems to be smacking The Western Standard in the face.

If Islam is a "religion", then I want nothing to do with religion - and I'm a practicing Jew.

Those defending Islam by pointing to the tens of millions of so-called "moderate Muslims" are missing the point entirely. There is no such thing as "moderate" Islam. There are non-practicing individuals who were born to Muslim parents, and there are those practicing Islam, which requires hatred of all non-Muslims, and makes support of violent imperialism a requirement - among other reprehensible tenets.

If you want to equate Islam with the great religions of the world that have brought us everything good the Western world has provided us, then good on you. But some of us are not that naive.

Posted by: NCF TO | 2006-07-30 11:06:18 AM

Christian religion has traditionally provided moral guidance and kept people is line through ... well I suppose largely guilt and to some degree fear.

It was a neat tool to comfort young children from the shock they experience when they discover their mortality. They are quickly told that there is heaven and we will all wind up there happy, sans virgins.

In the Christian religion, virgins are respected. In Islam they are lined up to be violated 72 at a time by murderous (but now dead) smelly, bearded, violent jihadists. Quite a comparison would you agree?

I subscribe to Christian values, but I cannot bring myself to believe in the supernatural. I have tried, but my logic forbids it.

I wonder if it's possible to have a decent moralistic society that doesn't pray to the sky in the belief that there is a great poobah up there that cares about the most intimate details of one's life.

I suppose it might be possible, but that would require at lot of cooperation and in our society Sesame street has failed us worse than our educational system.

So, we are stuck on the stupidity that psychopaths representing our deities know how we should live and die.

We are locked in a multi faceted battle of secular humanism, atheism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc etc.

With what is happening on the planet now, I fear for the future. We have never been so messed up.

There are too many of us on this planet and there seems to be not enough to around. Envy and hate are the motivators of the day.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-07-30 12:32:55 PM


Speaking to reporters, Eshel added that Hizbullah rocket launchers were hidden in civilian buildings in the village. He proceeded to show video footage of rocket launchers being driven into the village following launches.

Eshel also pointed out that the building was hit sometime around midnight Saturday night and didn't collapse until about 8 a.m. Sunday morning, leaving an unusual gap in the timing of the events which the IDF was investigating.

"It's possible that inside the house, something or other was being stored that caused an explosion - something that we didn't succeed in blowing up in the [initial] attack and that perhaps was left over there," Eshel said. "I say this very cautiously, because I currently don't have the faintest idea what the explanation for this gap could be."

Posted by: woodbridge | 2006-07-30 1:02:44 PM







Posted by: woodbridge | 2006-07-30 1:10:02 PM

Duke & NCF TO -

Which do you like better, Secular Humanism or Islam?

I prefer Islam because as screwed up as it is, there is an attempt to preserve something of the natural human family. I think that can be worked with and the defects hopefully can be corrected. Whereas, Secular Humanism, two bigger words for one small one, i.e. Leftists, cannot be fixed or corrected or educated because they already know it all, no rules, just live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse.

That is just so Cool.

Life for each of us is a battle to master ourselves and then do something with the sack of skin we are in. Muslims are a big problem but they are trying to do something. The problems among them are acting upon specific pieces of their very flawed philosophy. It seems to me that the rest of them are also seeing those flaws and probably can be persuaded away from the problematic philosophy (if we can free them from their fear of death-retribution). Whereas the Secular Humanists-Leftists see no problem at all with their philosophy which includes also includes a lot of killing, the killing of babies and the killing of oldsters, and so they have zero engine for change, except to FORCE all the rest of us to go along with their version of perfection (and certainly not speak of our disagreement).

Our era in history has us pushed closer together via instant media but this certainly isn't the worst time in history, not even close. The biggest danger is running out of guts to defend what we believe. The Secular Humanist Left has that counsel. If they win then the Islamists will win the next and final round of the fight.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-07-30 1:31:14 PM

di·a·lec·tic n. The art or practice of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments. A method of argument or exposition that systematically weighs contradictory facts or ideas with a view to the resolution of their real or apparent contradictions.

rhet·o·ric n. The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively; discourse.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 1:58:57 PM

People, please educate yourselves and learn about true Islam before coming to clueless conclusions.

Islam is not a religion like other religions.
Those "harmless" Muslims are hardly religious (many are non-practicing).

Posted by: Canadian | 2006-07-30 2:11:41 PM

Is Secular Humanism a religion too? Yes it’s a virtual religion.

It worships at the transnational temples of the UN and EU. Where un-elected apparatchiks determine the rules – which is to say no rules. At the UN all cultures are equal. Syria and Chad and Cameron all get their turn on the Security Council. The UN representatives of those despotic countries get to vote even though they won’t let people in their own countries enjoy democracy.

Islamofascists are utopians of the past and Secular Humanists are utopians of the future. These two religions have partnered to try and destroy our freedoms.

I have always feared the Secular Humanists living in our midst. I now fear the Islamofascists too. But the good news is that we can easily win by choosing leadership that ensures our survival and their downfall. I think that choice is becoming more and more clear to Canadians and with the Danish Cartoon fiasco even Europeans are waking up. I’m very optimistic about defeating these utopian extremists.

But it is our "individual responsiblity" to defeat these utopians.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-07-30 2:37:13 PM

The following is from the Council for Secular Humanism - http://tinyurl.com/9kwqv

Secular Humanism is a term which has come into use in the last thirty years to describe a world view with the following elements and principles:

* A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

* Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

* A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.

* A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

* A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

* A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

* A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

Critics often try to classify secular humanism as a religion. Yet secular humanism lacks essential characteristics of a religion, including belief in a deity and an accompanying transcendent order. Secular humanists contend that issues concerning ethics, appropriate social and legal conduct, and the methodologies of science are philosophical and are not part of the domain of religion, which deals with the supernatural, mystical and transcendent.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 3:05:59 PM

"* A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith."

I'm with them so far.

"* A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children. "

Darn, sounds like faith in something I haven't yet found. I like the optimism though.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2006-07-30 3:12:44 PM

I do agree h20&c that secular humanism involves a faith in an optimistic belief system. However, denotationally, faith and religion are not necessarily synonymous, ergo, it is not necessarily the case that secular humanism qualifies as a religion in the pantheon of axiology.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 3:27:48 PM

To me Secular Humanism is bafflegab for:

Multi-culturalism = transnationalism = progressivism = postmodernism = moral relativism = Liberals = Dippers

Pick one or make one up

IMHO, it has become a virtual religion of the left.

I think the missing part of no “belief in a deity” is a red herring to help the left try and make Christian Capitalist values seem non-secular and give them an edge in their moral superiority.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-07-30 3:30:59 PM

just an ordinary cdn sitting out front talking to the neighbours and having a beer trying to beat the heat with my wife thinking; if this was a muslim country like a lot of people desire, i couldnt be having a beer, and my wife would be in a burka, and i would be trying to kill the neighbours. oh well i guess im just happy to be a canadian

Posted by: john | 2006-07-30 3:35:25 PM

If you wish to redefine the term per the Nomdenet dictionary, you are free to do so, it's just that no-one else will know what you are talking about, and not simply because they are too lazy to use their own dictionary, but rather, because you would be being dialectically rude.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 3:37:30 PM

Vitruvius -

Is abortion inconsistent with Secular Humanism, and if so, which of the seven bullet points describing Secular Humanism are violated by abortion?

In your experience, have you found Secular Humanists to be pro-abortion or anti-abortion?

In your experience, are all Secular Humanists on the same side of the abortion question?

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-07-30 3:48:11 PM

Here is yet another mini-lecture from Vitruvius, posted on June 19: "Why do you expect people to engage you when you have established a reputation for building a straw man, ad hominem and caricature arguments in lieu of quality dialectics?"

Vitruvius on June 29: "Good idea Remi..and hey, while you're at it, maybe you can figure out where the bible tour bus accidentally left you and your colleagues' humanity sitting along the roadside decaying into a sordid pile of fetid waste after it departed to another guilded shrine."

...and on June 12: "If you should ever like to separate you (sic) endocrine response from your appreciation of Canada's system of justice, Lady, please be sure to let us know"

In short, "English has a word for doubting too little, folks, it's 'hubris'. It is often the case that when humans are most sure of themselves that they make their biggest mistakes. I advise everyone to try to avoid that..." -- Vitruvius, June 10, 2006.

Posted by: Pompus | 2006-07-30 3:58:38 PM

I have no idea, Conrad. I imagine there would be the same sort of debate between pragmatists and dogmatists of the secular humanist variety as there would be in any other broad categorization of humans.

For the record, though one could reasonably argue that the concept of secular humanist includes me, you will find that I used neither of those words in my description of myself, "I am Vitruvius" at http://tinyurl.com/jk4n7

And one other thing. I tend to get along quite well with religous humanists, as long as they are not apragmatic dogmatists. You will not find me disrespecting a man's religious faith simply because of its theological component; it takes something extreme to earn my disrespect.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 3:59:59 PM

Well, I looked it up and I stand corrected.

Apparently it can also mean Scientific Humanism, which makes more sense to me.

Interestingly the term always hit a nerve with me to mean all the socialist stuff that I listed above and that I despise. But I have no problem with its emphasis on reason, separation of church and state and so on.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-07-30 4:02:25 PM

And you will also note, Pompus, that a few comments further down in that June 29 posting, I appologized to Remi for getting carried away with my rhetoric. Anyway, I'm sure you don't care, your failure to note that salient detail and your lack of links to the relevant discussions behind your context-free quotes tend to indicate that the purpose of your comment was not discourse in the first place.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 4:06:55 PM

If I may be a bit presumptuous, Nomdenet, I think what you may be referring to is the degree to which some factions on the left have hijacked some of the tenets of secular humanism, while ignoring others, in an unjustifiable attempt to support their belief systems. In which case, I would agree with you.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 4:10:57 PM

Agreed. Also agree that the right language is important. That's why a lot of us non-articulate conservative business guys have been a bit intimidated by the M A's in Humanities who out talked us from the left.

I'm out of the closet now,I don't care if I screw up on the language, I'll get it "right" eventually.

Posted by: nomdenet | 2006-07-30 4:21:24 PM

You should see the looks on the faces of the MA's in Humanities, Nomdenet, when I, a lowly (in their opinion) engineer, out-talk them from the right / libertarian perspective. Of course, they are the sort of people who think that if there's a 50% chance of rain on Saturday, and a 50% chance of rain on Sunday, then that means there's a 100% chance of rain on the weekend, so I'm not surprised that they are confounded by reason.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 4:28:45 PM

Vitruvius -

You provided a seemingly definitive statement of Secular Humanist principles. I thought that input had some relationship to my placing Islam in opposition to Secular Humanism above (vis a vis the abortion issue). I deliberately avoided Atheism as the opposite of Islam because Atheism seems to me to be a narrow part of the Secular Humanist philosophy.

My reading of the seven bullet points of the Secular Humanist description you provided suggests that abortion violates all seven of those principles (i.e. if you are the one being aborted). And I also surmise that the hallmark of Secular Humanists is their support for abortion.

While I find so many of the contributors to this web site to be logical, and yet among those many logical thinkers, I find Secular Humanists (by my reckoning), it seems a contradiction.

As you know from our past correspondence, I'm a Roman Catholic and it is that experience which brought me to understand the problem with abortion, as a murder of an innocent human being. But even if I was not Catholic, it seems that as an adult with some life experience I would have come to the conclusion that we must protect innocent human life, for sure, unless we want just chaos rather than civilization.

Yet somehow, it seems that among smart normal fellow human beings, who happen to be Canadians writing on this web site (I've not had this conversation anywhere else), I find a brick wall of either oposition or thundering silence regarding this issue.

If you can kill some innocent who is inconvenient to your own desires/life, then what the hell else is a Terrorist?

This actually seems to be an important issue and one which really blows apart the seeming "silent majority" of opinion (I'm possibly all wrong - again) on this site, e.g. among the normal people, not the disruptive folks.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2006-07-30 4:34:47 PM

Okay, back to the original article by Japnaam...again he/she is missing the point as are Kevin Libin and DJ....

No one should be saying that all muslims are this or that or that you can tar all muslims with the terrorist brush....that would be horrific to condemn a billion muslims that way..

HOWEVER......and I want to hear Japnaam and Kevin and DJ's response here....WE ARE TALKING about the ideology of Islam that is EVIL to its core....and we have proof abundant from Islam's holy texts as to what kind of monstor Muhammed was.....

CAN YOU GUYS understand the difference between us criticising a murderous ideology like Islam and tarring all muslims with that ideology???

Give your friggin heads a shake here....I expect idiotic dhimmi liberals to gladly support Islam .......I do not expect Center Right conservatives and libertarians to be SO Stupid in this matter...

Again, Jap, Kev, and DJ...HAVE any of you studied Islam?? The answer being NO I am sure...

I grew up with Liberal Muslims....I dated a Sunni Turk....my best friend is an apostate from Islam.....

Do NOT EVER damned well tell my that I am bigoted agaisnt Muslims........my target is Islam and what it does to people that take it fully and literally.....

Thankfully hundreds of millions of muslims do not take Islam fully and thus do not practice a brutal form of Islam....However, this still does not take away that the literal and orthodox teachings inherent to Islam are brutal...

WHAT THE HELL is it going to take to awake you blind people??? 1400 years of Islam trying to takeover the world is not enough for you???

Daily murderous violence from Java to Tangiers and all points in between......

Daily pronouncements from Imams and other Islamic leaders calling for the death and enslavement of non muslims ......

Grab a damned clue people...

Islam is not just another sweet kind world religion.....it is a murderous ideology that has more in common with the mafia then it does any other creed....

Read, study, learn.....and then you perhaps will quit posting such dhimmi foolishness!!!

Posted by: Albertanator | 2006-07-30 4:38:44 PM

I don't think it is reasonable to surmise that the hallmark of Secular Humanists is their support for abortion, Conrad, based on my understanding of the concept at this point.

I do agree, Albertanator, that hundreds of millions of muslims do not take Islam fully and thus do not practice a brutal form of Islam. That's why it's such an egregious mistake to tar all muslims with the Islamic totalitarian brush.

It it certainly the case that the muslims I know are not Islamic totalitarians. Some people will claim that this means that they are apostate or whatever the correct term is, and therefore don't count, but I suggest that those who make such claims are themselves totalitarian fanatics.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-07-30 4:54:04 PM

during all this talk and more talk about islam,
remember that it has now become a military issue as well. Our military to be specific is involved against an enemy that knows no rules or sense of honour. Our soldiers have been sent to kill the enemy, although I know that shocks the ears of ndp'ers and liberals,who think soldiers are social workers with helmets. I spent time in the middle east in the army, I know how cruel and calculating these people are. It has nothing to do about religion really, but about fuedal power.
We must support our troops, and remember we are at war.

Posted by: john A | 2006-07-30 5:00:50 PM

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