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Political Correctness

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SophistiKat
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#1

Posted 04 August 2016 - 08:48 AM Edited by SophistiKat, 04 August 2016 - 10:21 AM.

I haven't seen any thread on this issue, so forgive me if it already exists.

 

So what is political correctness?

At this point, I don't really see the point in trying to define it, all of us here have Google/Wikipedia at their disposal, and besides, members from Western countries most likely experienced political correctnes first hand.

I'd like us to debate its impact on society, if we should get rid of it or keep it.

 

Personally, I think PC is harmful. One example that comes to mind is when the BBC asked the British public, a few years ago, if any references to Muhammad should be accompanied by "pbuh" ("peace be upon him") to accommodate Muslim sensitivities.

Imagine the outcry if someone tried to get National Public Radio to alter all references to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to "Blessed Mary, ever-virgin" as in fact she is referenced by some Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.

 

Also, PC culture seems to have devolved into a generalized form of Godwin's Law. Godwin observed that as any Internet argument progresses, the probability of a frivolous comparison to Hitler/Nazis/the Holocaust approaches. 

 

The PC movement wants to transform us from being a society that values free speech, into a society that wrongly believes everyone has the intrinsic right to not be offended.

 

Even some Hollywood people find PC to be absurd:

http://www.independe...s-a7170101.html

Read Bret Easton Ellis' excoriating monologue on social justice warriors and political correctness

'Oh, little snowflakes, when did you all become grandmothers and society matrons, clutching your pearls in horror at someone who has an opinion about something, a way of expressing themselves, that's not the mirror image of yours?'


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#2

Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:25 AM

We've had a few threads on the subject in recent years. Like this one.

http://gtaforums.com...al-correctness/

As with anything, it's a balancing act. Silencing legitimate criticism by claiming offense is something nobody should be welcome; in that respect it's valid. We should be encouraging open, intelligent discourse on subjects, no matter how taboo, because doing so allows us to address bigotry, correct preconceived bias and counteract extremism and xenophobia.

But the whole allegation of "political correctness" has descended into farce now. It's become a parody of itself, used by a small number of people, typically poorly educated or informed and in possession of radical views, as a tool to try and silence legitimate criticism of their extremism. They default to alleging "political correctness" at any attempt to use logic, reason or knowledge to dispute their claims as a blatant attempt to poison the well because they lack the competence to address criticism directly.

Much of what peoppe label as "political correctness" simply isn't. Many examples of "political correctness gone mad" which appear in the right-wing press aren't even remotely true. People who champion arguments against "political correctness" often fail in the most basic analysis of the views they really against; intentionally misrepresent fringe views as if they're common, or imply motivations that simply don't exist in reality.

Alleging "political correctness" as if it's an insult, or as an attempt to poison the well, is fallacious. The "PC movement" doesn't really exist.
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#3

Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:58 AM

 The "PC movement" doesn't really exist.

What does that even mean? Nothing needs to be a movement in order to be a problem (unless you didn't mean a literal movement). Bad ideas can spread in other ways.

 

Political correctness is definitely a problem in certain areas of discourse, especially on the topic of Islam. People (especially public figures\authors\journalists) who talk about extremism and its connection to religion often get accused of bigotry and other nasty things, and the accusers are more often than not non-Muslim liberals. If you're not aware of this, you're either not following anyone who is a critic of Islam or you think all\most of them are full of sh*t and they are indeed trying to cover their bigotry. The only way to prove the latter is to actually read what these people write and see what they go through.


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#4

Posted 07 August 2016 - 09:02 AM

Political correctness is definitely a problem in certain areas of discourse, especially on the topic of Islam.

The biggest problem in discourse around Islam is the complete lack of knowledge and understanding demonstrated by the kinds of people who get accused of bigotry. It's perfectly possible to have a reasonable, coherent conversation about the social and political implications of Islam on the Western world etc, even whilst holding views which correlate to those who criticise Islam or certain aspects of it. It's not "political correctness" to critique the views of people who don't understand subjects and yet feel entitled to voice very strong opinions on them, just "correctness".

The great irony is, of course, that the counterproductive views and actions of these kinds of people are to a great degree what drives Islamic extremism. It's hardly a secret that societies in which Muslims are ostracised, rounded up into ghettos, subject to police harassment and denied job opportunities are those that have the biggest problems with extremism- just look at France.
 

If you're not aware of this, you're either not following anyone who is a critic of Islam or you think all\most of them are full of sh*t and they are indeed trying to cover their bigotry.

No, I'm just educated enough on the subject to distinguish between bigots expressing poorly formed opinions on subjects they don't understand, and people with comprehensive subject matter knowledge and understanding who have reached similar conclusions independently rather than jumping on the Islamophobia bandwagon. People who refer to "Islam" as a monolithic entity without appreciating the not-very-subtle differences between a Salafist and a Sufi fall firmly into the former category and should quite rightly be scorned.


There is no "PC movement"; people of certain political persuasions like to point to the "PC" boogeyman when their views on subjects are criticised. It's a defence mechanism, an attempt to poison the well by alleging some grand conspiracy to silence them when in reality they're just being ridiculed for saying stupid things. It also means they don't actually have to think of responses to legitimate criticism, which is good for them because they usually don't have any. Apparently it's far better to just label your accuser a liberal PC lackey and refuse to engage with them than actually have an open and coherent discussion.
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#5

Posted 07 August 2016 - 10:01 AM

There is plenty to be critical of. Religion in general, Islam in itself and those who seek to abuse Islam for their own political and personal gains in particular. Of which there are quite a few people.

But most 'critique of Islam' (at least what seems to surface in public discourse and debates) seems to be missing the legitimate issues and blow circumstantial evidence, statements or persons out of proportions, and often find themselves in a false consensus fallacy about Muslims in general.

This stirs up a debate opponent whose raison d'être is to oppose criticism of Islam. As such, even legitimate and reasonable criticism gets lost in that pile, and the public debate seems to have no middle ground. We therefore end up with extreme cases where people have rather strange and contradictory views, like say a woman's right activist who doesn't think his/her efforts should apply to Muslim women, because that would either be racist, western cultural imperialism or something else.

But these extreme cases are few. However, they are also loud. Much like the extreme and unreasonable criticism of Islam and Muslims (which to a lot of these people are one and the same).

As such, the positions of 'political correct' and 'political incorrect' are created, because those are simple labels and simple stances to take (or rather, with which to label one's opponent). The public debate gets lost in a lack of nuance, and the apparent only two available options becomes all or nothing.

I'd argue that there is a 'PC movement', but that movement is so miniscule that it isn't really relevant, yet it is seem by those 'on the anti-PC side of things' to be a massive conspiracy, that has infiltrated all parts of the media. When the reality is that the closest that vision is to truth would be in Sweden, and even there it isn't as ridiculous as it is often portrayed as.

That's not to say that apologists don't exist. They exist in every society.
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#6

Posted 07 August 2016 - 12:21 PM

There is no "PC movement"; people of certain political persuasions like to point to the "PC" boogeyman when their views on subjects are criticised. It's a defence mechanism, an attempt to poison the well by alleging some grand conspiracy to silence them when in reality they're just being ridiculed for saying stupid things. It also means they don't actually have to think of responses to legitimate criticism, which is good for them because they usually don't have any. Apparently it's far better to just label your accuser a liberal PC lackey and refuse to engage with them than actually have an open and coherent discussion.

That makes no logical sense. People also tend to call others stupid in an attempt to dismiss criticism but that doesn't mean there are no stupid people. Political correctness is probably as much of a thing as your observation about people mislabeling others because "they refuse to engage" with others (there's plenty of anecdotal evidence for both and that's essentially all we have). The two aren't mutually exclusive.

 

Public figures who criticize certain doctrines within Islam do frequently get labeled as bigots, either by other public figures (authors\journalists\etc) or the public at large, and often based on a faulty understanding of their arguments. You might be familiar with people like Sam Harris or Maajid Nawaz (the latter is an ex-Islamist) who are on the receiving end of such poor treatment pretty much on a daily basis. If you actually bother to read their articles or books you might find that there is no reason to think that they are bigots. They don't actually hate Muslims or think that all or the majority of them are extremists. They mostly discuss about the doctrine and poll data which seem to suggest that plenty of Muslims around the world sympathize or agree with violent acts in defense of their faith.


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#7

Posted 07 August 2016 - 01:04 PM

Sam Harris is more interested in defending the American military than in presenting supposed problems with Islamic doctrine. He doesn't have much to say about Islamic doctrine- despite him apparently being the only person brave enough to read it aloud on television- he basically just points to Muslims hacking each other up and goes 'yeah, like it says in the Quran.' 

 

tbh anyone who thinks altruism defines the American military establishment isn't worth addressing. 'Bringing freedom and democracy' was not a war aim, it was TV rhetoric.

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#8

Posted 07 August 2016 - 01:17 PM Edited by Eutyphro, 07 August 2016 - 01:23 PM.

I don't really agree with other leftists on this forum that pc 'doesn't exist'. Politicians and people in media talk in ways that circumvent issues. They talk in ways that normal people don't do. That is what political correctness is. Political correctness as a term has been hijacked and overused though by those who think there is not enough bigotry on tv and by politicians.

Actually by saying 'pc doesn't exist' many leftists help the false argument that 'liberal' and 'leftist' are the same thing, and that the US media is leftist, eventhough it is quite obviously centre right to extreme right. For example, an aspect of pc culture in the US is that you don't talk about social class in the media. To US media the concept of social class either doesn't exist, or is mentioned as 'class warfare', but generally it does not exist to them.


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#9

Posted 07 August 2016 - 01:54 PM Edited by Kristian., 07 August 2016 - 01:57 PM.

Sam Harris is more interested in defending the American military than in presenting supposed problems with Islamic doctrine. He doesn't have much to say about Islamic doctrine- despite him apparently being the only person brave enough to read it aloud on television- he basically just points to Muslims hacking each other up and goes 'yeah, like it says in the Quran.' 
 
tbh anyone who thinks altruism defines the American military establishment isn't worth addressing. 'Bringing freedom and democracy' was not a war aim, it was TV rhetoric.

Actually he talks about the latter a lot more. Your little characterization of what he does is typical of you. You have a tendency to quickly dismiss what people say and (mis)characterize them when you disagree with them. I don't know why I pay attention to your posts anymore. I'm not convinced that you read even a handful of his articles or something to get a basic understanding of his views. I'm not here to defend his views per se. He's just an example of someone who (as far as I can tell) gets wrongfully labeled as a racist or bigot on a regular basis. Or you could take Maajid or Ayaan Hirsi Ali as examples as well. They are labeled in similar ways for criticizing Islam.
 
I'm assuming you are referring to his discussion with Chomsky: https://www.samharri...ts-of-discourse
He never said that. He was basically making a distinction between the US government and terrorist organizations (which Chomsky essentially said they were almost completely alike) and talking about the role of intention in that particular conflict. Again, if you had actually made an effort to familiarize yourself with his views you would have known that he actually doesn't defend US foreign policy on the whole.

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#10

Posted 07 August 2016 - 02:22 PM

Actually he talks about the latter a lot more. Your little characterization of what he does is typical of you. You have a tendency to quickly dismiss what people say and (mis)characterize them when you disagree with them.

That wasn't a mischaracterisation of his views at all. 

 

 

 

I'm not convinced that you read even a handful of his articles or something to get a basic understanding of his views.

I'm aware of his views from hearing him speak and knowing the cultural context of New Atheism? Obviously I haven't read his entire catalog, nor would I care to. 

 

 

 

He's just an example of someone who (as far as I can tell) gets wrongfully labeled as a racist or bigot on a regular basis.

Well this isn't because people are hysterical of criticisms of Islam, it's because he's a tactless, clueless liberal mook. I mean, surely it's obvious that the reasons for Islamic terrorism are varied and complex and aren't entirely down to 'iron age fairy tales' poisoning peoples' minds?

 

Lambasting a minority for being stupid and bloodthirsty is racist.

 

 

 

He never said that. He was basically making a distinction between the US government and terrorist organizations (which Chomsky essentially said they were almost completely alike) and talking about the role of intention in that particular conflict.

'The role of intention.' Yes, he believes their intention when they drop bombs on people is to bring freedom and democracy. Why would he defend something with talk of 'intent' if he didn't think the intent was altruistic? 

 

 

 

Again, if you had actually made an effort to familiarize yourself with his views you would have known that he actually doesn't defend US foreign policy on the whole.

I'm aware that he isn't literally a spokesperson for the DOD, jesus. 

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 02:40 PM

He was basically making a distinction between the US government and terrorist organizations which Chomsky essentially said they were almost completely alike.

 

Harris has very little knowledge of Chomsky's actual writings and opinions and admits this in that very email exchange. I'm still wondering whether those who support the Harris side of it actually read and understood it. You can't read and understand it and think Harris' points were in any way accurate.


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#12

Posted 07 August 2016 - 03:12 PM Edited by Kristian., 07 August 2016 - 03:19 PM.

I'm aware of his views from hearing him speak and knowing the cultural context of New Atheism? Obviously I haven't read his entire catalog, nor would I care to. 
 
Well this isn't because people are hysterical of criticisms of Islam, it's because he's a tactless, clueless liberal mook. I mean, surely it's obvious that the reasons for Islamic terrorism are varied and complex and aren't entirely down to 'iron age fairy tales' poisoning peoples' minds?
 
Lambasting a minority for being stupid and bloodthirsty is racist.

'The role of intention.' Yes, he believes their intention when they drop bombs on people is to bring freedom and democracy. Why would he defend something with talk of 'intent' if he didn't think the intent was altruistic?

So you're basing your opinion of him on what? A bunch of YouTube clips you watched and whatever else you know about people he associated himself with?

 

A point that he has conceded many times in the past. He's arguing that people tend to neglect the significance of the religious component of extremism.

 

Which is something he hasn't done but how would you know? You basically haven't read anything he wrote (not even that last article I posted).

 

In some cases, it is\was a conceivable motive. I don't think that the US government\military intentionally kills innocent people (and probably neither do you). He wasn't defending the killing of innocent people for f*ck's sake. He was arguing against Chomsky's point that the US government is the worst terrorist organization.

 

 

 


Harris has very little knowledge of Chomsky's actual writings and opinions and admits this in that very email exchange. I'm still wondering whether those who support the Harris side of it actually read and understood it. You can't read and understand it and think Harris' points were in any way accurate.

And there's a reason why he admits it: he hasn't actually said much about Chomsky. It also seemed to me that Chomsky failed to point out the false things Harris said about him.

 

 

Edit: We should move on. What about the two other examples I gave: an ex-Muslim and an ex-Islamist. Are their opinions misinformed and irrelevant too (assuming you are familiar with their views)?


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#13

Posted 07 August 2016 - 03:28 PM

That makes no logical sense. People also tend to call others stupid in an attempt to dismiss criticism but that doesn't mean there are no stupid people.

Not only is this irrelivent, it's also a non sequitur. Stupidity and political correctness are not analogous or even related; asserting that because X is true of A, it must be true of B is patently absurd.

Political correctness is probably as much of a thing as your observation about people mislabeling others because "they refuse to engage" with others

Is it, though? The assertion of "political correctness" is not typically directed at people attempting to whitewash legitimate and informed criticism by alleging bigotry, because the simple fact of the matter is that people attempting to whitewash legitimate and informed criticism by alleging bigotry appear so rarely in discourse on the subject as to be entirely irrelevant. And I wouldn't consider these people to be "politically correct" anyway, they're simply idiots the same way people who compose vitriolic and ill-informed attacks on entire religions are idiots.

My point is that, contrary to the assertions of people of a certain political persuasion, no organised conspiracy to silence all criticism of taboo subjects actually exists.
 

You might be familiar with people like Sam Harris or Maajid Nawaz (the latter is an ex-Islamist) who are on the receiving end of such poor treatment pretty much on a daily basis.

This simply isn't true. Islam and the Future of Tolerance was widely praised; I don't think any informed voice, mainstream or otherwise, casts either of them as a bigot. There may be fringe individuals doing so but it's foolish to assume that this represents an organised campaign to attack the credibility of either. Notwithstanding the question of whether Sam Harris actually counts as a subject matter expert given his complete lack of notable education or historical involvement with the issue.

Can you cite some examples of either of the above being attacked in the mainstream press or in arenas of intelligent discourse by what you believe are people enforcing "political correctness"?
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#14

Posted 07 August 2016 - 03:29 PM

I know what Harris is about because he's a public figure. tbh to claim that everyone that isn't an avid fan isn't knowledgeable enough to criticise someone is pretty ridick, like the only human being whose entire body of work I'm familiar with is Dorothy Parker, that doesn't zip my mouth whenever the conversation veers away from her.

 

Now, he doesn't actually call Muslims 'stupid and bloodthirsty' and he might accept the existence of other factors, but let's be clear: his prescription for violence in the Middle East is secularisation, presumably to be lead by the West.  It's basically Ann 'we should invade their countries kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity' Coutler for the IQ 140 crowd. 

 

The US and other Western governments do kill innocent people (or 'soft targets'), and spreading freedom and democracy is never a 'conceivable motive' for Western military interventions. 

 

Considering that Nawaz is apparently a Muslim himself, I doubt people say he's bigoted against Islam. I do think his resume as an Islamic terrorist turned lib dem politician is hilarious though. 


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Posted 07 August 2016 - 04:05 PM Edited by Eutyphro, 07 August 2016 - 04:07 PM.

And there's a reason why he admits it: he hasn't actually said much about Chomsky.

 

 

The email exchange was based on the fact that he wanted to confront Chomsky with his inaccurate ideas about him.
 

It also seemed to me that Chomsky failed to point out the false things Harris said about him

 

He pointed out all of them. It really seems you read something completely different.


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#16

Posted 07 August 2016 - 05:03 PM Edited by Kristian., 07 August 2016 - 05:05 PM.

My point is that, contrary to the assertions of people of a certain political persuasion, no organised conspiracy to silence all criticism of taboo subjects actually exists.
 
This simply isn't true. Islam and the Future of Tolerance was widely praised; I don't think any informed voice, mainstream or otherwise, casts either of them as a bigot. There may be fringe individuals doing so but it's foolish to assume that this represents an organised campaign to attack the credibility of either. Notwithstanding the question of whether Sam Harris actually counts as a subject matter expert given his complete lack of notable education or historical involvement with the issue.

Can you cite some examples of either of the above being attacked in the mainstream press or in arenas of intelligent discourse by what you believe are people enforcing "political correctness"?

I never meant to suggest that it was organized. I think that to the extent that it does exist it's more of a consequence of other beliefs (e.g. on the topic of Islam, if you are the type of leftist who hates the US chances are you sympathize with the immigrants which might lead you to be overprotective of them).

You don't have to take my word for it (even Maajid gets accused of bigotry). I don't think that they think it's organized. Harris thinks that the people who try to defame him (certain journalists and public figures) rationalized and justified this behavior because they think that he is doing harm or contributing to the harming of Muslims by allegedly spreading Islamophobic ideas. The fact that he's not an expert according to your criteria doesn't make his opinions irrelevant. They are only irrelevant insofar as they do not adhere to facts.

I take your point that this may not be in fact motivated by political correctness but it is a plausible explanation. For instance, the way people misinterpret Harris' views (he cites news articles there) suggests that either these people are extremely dumb (which is unlikely) or they do it consciously for some reason (presumably to defeat someone who they think is malicious).
 

I know what Harris is about because he's a public figure. tbh to claim that everyone that isn't an avid fan isn't knowledgeable enough to criticise someone is pretty ridick, like the only human being whose entire body of work I'm familiar with is Dorothy Parker, that doesn't zip my mouth whenever the conversation veers away from her.
 
Now, he doesn't actually call Muslims 'stupid and bloodthirsty' and he might accept the existence of other factors, but let's be clear: his prescription for violence in the Middle East is secularisation, presumably to be lead by the West.  It's basically Ann 'we should invade their countries kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity' Coutler for the IQ 140 crowd. 
 
The US and other Western governments do kill innocent people (or 'soft targets'), and spreading freedom and democracy is never a 'conceivable motive' for Western military interventions. 
 
Considering that Nawaz is apparently a Muslim himself, I doubt people say he's bigoted against Islam. I do think his resume as an Islamic terrorist turned lib dem politician is hilarious though.

That's not the point. If you want to talk about his views there is a minimum of his written work that you have to read in order to familiarize yourself with them. So far I'm quite convinced you've barely read anything.

Also false. He did say that there are\were certain conflicts or political situations where US intervention can be justified. He also said repeatedly that Muslims should be the ones to reform Islam because they have the most credibility therefore he's not in favor of overtaking whole governments.

Why? Because that motive doesn't fall in line with your misanthropic views?

There's a difference between Islamism and terrorism. He wasn't at any point a terrorist, and even if he had been involved in terrorist activities, his credibility would have been as strong as the facts supporting his arguments.

 

 

@Eutyphro I read that article twice. Harris didn't really say anything defamatory about Chomsky therefore no major corrections were made.


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#17

Posted 07 August 2016 - 05:21 PM

That's not the point. If you want to talk about his views there is a minimum of his written work that you have to read in order to familiarize yourself with them. So far I'm quite convinced you've barely read anything.

I've barely read anything. I'm not going to read a full article by some liberal mook, I'd rather read about lesbian vampires or whatever

 

 

 

Also false. He did say that there are\were certain conflicts or political situations where US intervention can be justified. He also said repeatedly that Muslims should be the ones to reform Islam because they have the most credibility therefore he's not in favor of overtaking whole governments.

No, Ann Coulter is the one in favour of conquering the Middle East. Harris offers a softer, more reasonable approach: white Westerners just keep harping on about how ugly Muslim dogma is while occasionally also launching missiles in that general direction. 

 

 

 

Why? Because that motive doesn't fall in line with your misanthropic views?

No, because the West is neither a free nor a democratic society, because the strategic goals of modern states don't need to be speculated on as they discuss it heavily in internal documents. 

 

 

 

 

There's a difference between Islamism and terrorism. He wasn't at any point a terrorist, and even if he had been involved in terrorist activities, his credibility would have been as strong as the facts supporting his arguments.

That was a joke, although isn't his whole shtick that he's a former terrorist? 


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#18

Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:24 PM Edited by Kristian., 07 August 2016 - 06:28 PM.

I've barely read anything. I'm not going to read a full article by some liberal mook, I'd rather read about lesbian vampires or whatever
 
No, Ann Coulter is the one in favour of conquering the Middle East. Harris offers a softer, more reasonable approach: white Westerners just keep harping on about how ugly Muslim dogma is while occasionally also launching missiles in that general direction. 

No, because the West is neither a free nor a democratic society, because the strategic goals of modern states don't need to be speculated on as they discuss it heavily in internal documents. 

That was a joke, although isn't his whole shtick that he's a former terrorist?

I appreciate the honesty though you should consider the implications of forming opinions about people based on hearsay. I assume you read what other people wrote about him which is a terrible way of getting to know someone or their views because you can't always count on people being objective. For instance, everything I think about you is based on your posting history. I've heard other members say negative stuff about you before but I didn't readily believe them because it didn't sound true (based on what I knew about you).

Now your criticism is verging on incoherence. I don't even know where that interpretation is coming from. I think it might be related to something he said in his first book but it sounds like you don't know what he meant there.

According to your standards. It's about as free as it gets. The fact that we haven't been able to organize our societies in a different way that's more conducive to the well-being of humankind kinda suggests that we're not there yet intellectually or technologically.

Ex-Islamist, which is technically not synonymous with terrorism. To him, Islamism is the desire to enforce religion onto society. Terrorism is acting on that desire with violence. The groups he associated himself with never committed any acts of violence to my knowledge.

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#19

Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:37 PM

Have you heard the good word of our Lord and Savior, Sam 'Ben Sitller' Harris?


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#20

Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:45 PM

You don't have to take my word for it (even Maajid gets accused of bigotry). I don't think that they think it's organized. Harris thinks that the people who try to defame him (certain journalists and public figures) rationalized and justified this behavior because they think that he is doing harm or contributing to the harming of Muslims by allegedly spreading Islamophobic ideas.


I don't think any of the critics pointed out above constitute either mainstream or subject matter authority. Like I said, I don't nominally disagree with the notion that there are people who attack legitimate criticism as bigotry, just that this isn't necessarily political correctness but simple ignorance.
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#21

Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:33 PM

 

@Eutyphro I read that article twice. Harris didn't really say anything defamatory about Chomsky therefore no major corrections were made.

 

Harris said a lot of stupid inaccurate things about Chomsky, which were all pointed out to him.


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#22

Posted 08 August 2016 - 04:38 AM



I appreciate the honesty though you should consider the implications of forming opinions about people based on hearsay. I assume you read what other people wrote about him which is a terrible way of getting to know someone or their views because you can't always count on people being objective.

It's not 'hearsay' if I've heard him speak dozens of times and the rest comes from osmosis. Even if I had just read a bunch of criticisms of the guy like you're suggesting that would be fine as well depending on the source. 

 


 

 

Now your criticism is verging on incoherence. I don't even know where that interpretation is coming from. I think it might be related to something he said in his first book but it sounds like you don't know what he meant there.

I don't know what policy he suggests to deal with radical Islam, but his approach, his praxis, is to basically heckle and ridicule Muslims. Pointing to a region that's been entirely a battleground for the past century and going 'why are you people so f*cked up? what are you doing wrong?' is so tactless, ignorant and betraying of internalised notions of superiority that the only word for it is racism. 

 

The missiles I was referring to were just the standard explosives the West lobs into peasant villages, although good to know he supports (possibly, maybe!) nuking the middle east, because Islam has destroyed all notion of not wanting the sky to turn red for these people. 

 


 

 

According to your standards.

It's not a matter of 'standards', it's that the system operates with a number of goals in mind, 'toppling dictators so people can be free' isn't one of them. We don't have to speculate, we can just point to the fact that they never do that in fact support any dictator that's willing to play ball policy wise: they'll even slaughter democratically elected governments to put the dictators in in the first place! There is no two ways to interpret these things, the US military is simply not that complicated. 

 


 

 

It's about as free as it gets.

Not really, there are pockets of socially just societies and have historically existed on larger scales. Also, if New Zealand is the freest state on Earth, how does that bode for the 25th freest, which is presumably also a Western state? Should NZ take them in hand? 

 


 

 

The fact that we haven't been able to organize our societies in a different way that's more conducive to the well-being of humankind kinda suggests that we're not there yet intellectually or technologically.

I thought it was because attempts to establish socialism have been met with extreme violence from the state and the elite? But maybe it's because we're nothing but a feeble child race compared to the elves.

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#23

Posted 08 August 2016 - 05:57 AM Edited by Kristian., 08 August 2016 - 05:58 AM.

I don't know what policy he suggests to deal with radical Islam, but his approach, his praxis, is to basically heckle and ridicule Muslims. Pointing to a region that's been entirely a battleground for the past century and going 'why are you people so f*cked up? what are you doing wrong?' is so tactless, ignorant and betraying of internalised notions of superiority that the only word for it is racism. 
 
The missiles I was referring to were just the standard explosives the West lobs into peasant villages, although good to know he supports (possibly, maybe!) nuking the middle east, because Islam has destroyed all notion of not wanting the sky to turn red for these people. 
 
I thought it was because attempts to establish socialism have been met with extreme violence from the state and the elite?

He criticizes bad ideas\traditions within Islam. That's a totally legitimate thing to do. I would love to see the entire thought process of going from that to racism. He also never asked those questions. He understands the historical and political context of Islam. That's why he thinks Muslims should be the ones to reform it.

His point was that if we knew that an extremist regime had long range nuclear weapons and they were planning to bomb the US, if the evidence was strong for that then we should consider striking first. There are probably protocols about situations like this already in place. Waiting for them to drop a bomb first is not an option in certain situations.

And the general population is probably against it as well. How many people do you think actually want to establish socialism?

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#24

Posted 08 August 2016 - 06:49 AM

He criticizes bad ideas\traditions within Islam. That's a totally legitimate thing to do.

Yeah I'm not sure about this one. When he writes with other people who actually have a clearly defined subject matter expertise then it's less of a pressing issue but most of his critiques do boil down to an unwillingness to accept other cultural practices. I fail to see his qualification to even judge whether these practices are "harmful", and also find his intense focus on the scriptural basis of religion combined with near ignorance of actual practice to be pretty suspect.

Again, he also makes the mistake of viewing Islam as a monolithic entity whilst ignoring the enormous differences in practice between different sects.

He understands the historical and political context of Islam.

I don't actually think he does.

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#25

Posted 08 August 2016 - 07:18 AM

I love how this topic immediately boiled down into just another debate about the connotations of Islam and terrorism... as if we don't already have enough of those discussions already going on.


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#26

Posted 08 August 2016 - 07:31 AM

He criticizes bad ideas\traditions within Islam. That's a totally legitimate thing to do.

Right, except he didn't just read a book about stoning homosexuals one day and picked up the cause like a day time soap star. He's an undistinguished part of a wider chorus of voices telling Muslims to get their sh*t together. 

 

 

 

That's why he thinks Muslims should be the ones to reform it.

Yes well if I spent a significant chunk of my life talking about how black people are criminals because of the dogma in black communities, I'd be a racist even with the caveat that I don't want to invade Baltimore just blow up a few buildings and that black people- encouraged by my nagging- will be the ones to actually deal with crime.

 

 

 

His point was that if we knew that an extremist regime had long range nuclear weapons and they were planning to bomb the US, if the evidence was strong for that then we should consider striking first. There are probably protocols about situations like this already in place.Waiting for them to drop a bomb first is not an option in certain situations.

Well that's probably never going to happen and as you point out the state probably has protocols to deal with such a scenario, like they do with any actor that could feasibly obtain a nuclear weapon.

 

Do you honestly not see why it's ridiculous that he's written an article giving his 2 cents on when to nuke the middle east? That is not something people typically have an opinion on.

 

 

 

And the general population is probably against it as well.

The majority of the population doesn't understand or care about much, they live their lives without giving it much thought. When revolution does come it isn't because people have been convinced to join the movement with catchy slogans and persuasive arguments, it's because well, revolution has come. A revolution isn't a project like making a Australia a republic or fixing FPTP, it's the aggregate of workers' resistance and this resistance occurs because of contradictions and other failings inherent to Capitalism. 

 

 

 

How many people do you think actually want to establish socialism?

Countless millions? 

The left is a network of several different class movements: radical feminists, things like Black Lives Matter, the disability rights movement, and more moderate expressions of class war like Occupy and Democracy Spring. The people in these movements may not have red flags, but they're building the foundation of revolution, consciously so. Activists of all stripes rightly view themselves as part of a global social revolution. 


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#27

Posted 08 August 2016 - 08:02 AM Edited by Kristian., 08 August 2016 - 08:05 AM.

This is getting boring and I think we should move on (I mean I've cited other examples of public figures who complain about political correctness) but I will make one more post about this. Perhaps we should talk about how Obama seems to deny the religious component of Islamic extremism. Is that not an example of political correctness?
 

Yeah I'm not sure about this one. When he writes with other people who actually have a clearly defined subject matter expertise then it's less of a pressing issue but most of his critiques do boil down to an unwillingness to accept other cultural practices. I fail to see his qualification to even judge whether these practices are "harmful", and also find his intense focus on the scriptural basis of religion combined with near ignorance of actual practice to be pretty suspect.

Again, he also makes the mistake of viewing Islam as a monolithic entity whilst ignoring the enormous differences in practice between different sects.

I don't actually think he does.

Then you should name those practices that he is unjustly criticizing. Do you think that criticizing the poor treatment of women or of the killing of gays in Islamic societies is controversial?

I really don't think that he does that because he's ignorant. It's kind of irrelevant if what you're doing is mostly talking about the poll statistics. He's not saying that all Muslims take the doctrine literally. He admits that there are differences at the level of individual beliefs because that's what the poll data tells us. I'm not sure how that is proof that he's generalizing. He's basically saying that even within individual sects there is bound to be some disagreement (e.g. some will justify the killing of noncombatants in defense of their faith, some won't, etc).

He's not emphasizing it because he thinks it's less relevant than people think.

Yes well if I spent a significant chunk of my life talking about how black people are criminals because of the dogma in black communities, I'd be a racist even with the caveat that I don't want to invade Baltimore just blow up a few buildings and that black people- encouraged by my nagging- will be the ones to actually deal with crime.
 

Well that's probably never going to happen and as you point out the state probably has protocols to deal with such a scenario, like they do with any actor that could feasibly obtain a nuclear weapon.
 
Do you honestly not see why it's ridiculous that he's written an article giving his 2 cents on when to nuke the middle east? That is not something people typically have an opinion on.

There is no black dogma. Muslims have one thing in common: Islam, so right off the bat your analogy is completely false. There's really no point in replying to you anymore.

There is a "first strike" protocol probably already in place. It's likely that it will happen given enough technological advances.

He wrote like a paragraph or two about this in his first book. It's only when it got blown out of proportion and misinterpreted that he decided to follow up on it.

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#28

Posted 08 August 2016 - 08:18 AM Edited by Melchior, 08 August 2016 - 08:19 AM.

Islam is not an intellectual position, it's a religion, a culture. A parallel between Islamaphobia and concern trolling of black Americans over crime is entirely apt, especially when they often come from the same people. In both cases, cultural norms developed for whatever reason. In both cases, the cultural norms are harmful but are dismissed as being rooted in the moral and/or intellectual inferiority of the society in question, rather than developing as all human culture does in a reactive fashion. Treating Islam as a rule book that you can throw out is ridiculous. 

 

The nuclear weapons thing is absurd, plain and simple. 

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#29

Posted 08 August 2016 - 08:39 AM

Do you think that criticizing the poor treatment of women or of the killing of gays in Islamic societies is controversial?

No, but I think criticising Islamic societies for these actions when they're also prevalent outside of the Islamic world and don't go unchallenged by the critic there is pretty absurd. It's hardly some kind of exceptionalism, so why the emphasis on Islam as a root cause? It's pretty typical for people to use rights issues as a vehicle to attack Islam whilst maintaining a wilful ignorance to the same issues elsewhere.

I mean, everyone rants and raves about the treatment of religious minorities in Islamist societies but decide to selectively ignore the fact China murders tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners a year simply so they can harvest their organs. Attempting to hold Islamic societies to a set of ethical tenets that you refuse to apply elsewhere is pure hypocrisy.

It begs the question why so much time and effort is dedicated to addressing moral and ethical ills perpetrated in Muslim societies when the same ills prepeated elsewhere are roundly ignored.
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#30

Posted 08 August 2016 - 10:18 AM Edited by SophistiKat, 08 August 2016 - 10:20 AM.

Political correctness is definitely a problem in certain areas of discourse, especially on the topic of Islam. 

Absolutely. And a particularly vile manifestation of political correctness is the one that involves shrouding islamic terrorism with mental illness.

It happened after Orlando, some media outlets explaining the shooter was just a "repressed homosexual".

It happened again last week after that Somali stabbed 5 people in London.

 

The PC police are often quick to pursue any alternatives to the terrorism label > sometimes they invoke alcohol or drugs, or that the terrorist wasn't really a devout Muslim etc.

Basically authorities deploy all efforts to distance jihad from its native ties to islam itself.

 

But an Austrian psychiatrist finally calls them out on this issue:

http://www.breitbart...health-attacks/

A senior Viennese mental health expert has expressed his concern at the speed with which the media leaps to blame high-profile attacks across Europe on mental health issues, remarking those suffering from genuine conditions should not be “lumped together with criminals”.

Chief doctor at the leading Vienna Social-Psychiatric Clinic and vice president of the Austrian Society of Psychiatry, Dr. Georg Psota, is a respected name in mental health in central European Austria. Speaking to the nation’s best-selling newspaper Kronen Zeitung he has said that “too often and too quickly atrocities and the frequently perpetrated attacks in Europe are mixed with mental illness”.

Clearly concerned at the very negative press for genuine mental health patients the several recent attacks may have generated, the psychiatrist said: “The acts of political extremists and religious fanatics are not the result of depression or other mental illness, but of the highest criminal energy.” 





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