Are you a well-"educated" modern person?

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by calitennis127, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Good morning everyone. I thought I would make this post as a thought experiment for everyone observing the situation in Paris at the moment. The more of the following statements you agree with, the more respectable you are and the more "educated" (ahem) a modern person you are.
    1. I have a nice Muslim friend; therefore ISIS is not Islamic.
    2. The vast majority of the world's "1.6 billion Muslims" are not part of ISIS or al-Qaeda; therefore ISIS and al-Qaeda have nothing to do with Islam.
    3. The presence of Islamic populations in Europe and North America is culturally enriching and intellectually invigorating.
    4. Christianity and the Catholic Church have historically suppressed science, but Islamic civilization began modern science with the medieval Golden Age.
    5. The backwardness of the Islamic world in recent centuries and up to the present day is the simply the result of corrupt leaders whose behavior has had nothing to do with Islam.
    6. Islam is a great religion and preferable to Christianity; the only bad things about it are that it suppresses women's right and (most of all) that it does not allow for "gay marriage".
    7. Gay rights is the great civil rights cause of the 21st century; somehow we have to get Muslims on board with it.
    8. If guns were made illegal, there would be no more mass shootings by Islamic terrorists or anyone else.
    9. There are around 5,000 jihadis in France, which makes it impossible to track all of their activities, but this is an insoluble problem because it is absolutely necessary to have large Islamic populations in Europe for cultural enrichment.
    10. Every self-proclaimed "refugee" from the Middle East has a human right to come to either Europe or America - both viciously racist areas that are descended from imperialistic oppressive white Christian civilization, which has the moral duty to give welfare and housing to all non-Westerners who want it.
    11. Most victims of Islamic terrorist attacks throughout the world are Islamic; therefore ISIS, al-Qaeda, and al-Shabbab are not connected to Islam.
    12. The key to preventing future terrorist attacks is to send more Special Forces into Iraq and Syria to gather intelligence.
    13. Richard Dawkins provides a very well-reasoned and well-informed critique of Christianity, but his criticism of Islam is mean-spirited and parochial.
    14. The Assad regime must go.
    15. Obama is intelligent and compassionate for stating that the U.S. will continue to take in thousands of refugees irrespective of what has occurred in France.
     

    The more of these statements you agree with, the more respectable you will be and the more people will pat you on the back. But, at the same time, the more of those statements you agree with, the dumber you are in your worldview and the more ignorant you are.
     
  2. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    Not very, based on my answers.
     
  3. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

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    Britbox, you need to start reading Salon and the royal idiots of the New York Times editorial board then. They will help you get up to speed.

     
     
  4. Twisted

    Twisted Major Winner

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    The refugee crisis is terrifying with Obama and some of the other bleeding hearts aiming to let in a countless number of refugees.  Has anyone stopped to realize that even the dumbest ISIS leaders could have thought up the real complex plan of having dozens or even hundreds of  its members pose as refugees?  What better way is there for the animals to get into this country completely under the radar?  I'm going to go out on a limb and say there won't be any form of ID on any of these refugees.  In this situation you don't "do the right thing" if it means putting everyone at risk.
     
  5. Billie

    Billie Nole fan
    Nole's World Moderator

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    Well, you do realize that most of these refugees are just that, ordinary people who, due to war, were left without homes?   I should know, I was one of them.   Hopefully people now realize how dangerous it is to uproot legally selected governments and make pact with the wrong side.  Although it is probably too late for the realization.
     
  6. Twisted

    Twisted Major Winner

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    Absolutely, I'm not saying the situation isn't sad but I think the scenario I laid out is very realistic if not likely.  If I was a mastermind terrorist leader that'd be an easy tactic.  Send some "refugees" to every country we hate and when the time is right they can attack.  That's what someone might call easy money.

    Undoubtedly most of the refugees are innocent people but can we say with absolute or even reasonable certainty that there are no ISIS members posing as refugees?  If not, then this is a nobrainer.  It might be heartless but you don't let a plague into your country.
     
  7. Billie

    Billie Nole fan
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    Well, I highly doubt that is the channel these people use most to get into a country.  But let's leave that aside.  You do realize that for people like this, there are hardly any borders they can't cross when they want to.  And then there is the question of those home grown extremists, the suspected mastermind of the Paris tragedy was apparently born just outside of Brussels, some others in France.  What do we do with them?
     
  8. Twisted

    Twisted Major Winner

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    Europe is clearly a different story but it is not so easy for them to get into the United States for an extended period of time.  Also, coming here a more traditional way means having a passport and other ID to provide the US government so it is easy for them to be tracked or, yes, profiled. These are basically "nameless" refugees coming in by the thousands.  That'd be A LOT of people to track.
     
  9. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    It's funny, I was discussing this very scenario with some friends. And while there is a huge risk that some of the refugees could be IS agents, the idea that you close your borders to refugees is appalling to me. Refugees welcome... apart from Muslims? No thank you. That's not who I hope we are. We need to ensure that our intelligence agencies stay on top of this for sure. But to deny those in genuine need? I can just imagine during World War 2 some people saying, "no we can't let these Jewish refugees in, because some of them might be undercover Nazis". It makes me nauseuous to even contemplate something like that...
     
  10. Twisted

    Twisted Major Winner

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    Good to see you Federberg!  I know the thought of closing off the borders sounds malicious but at some point a country has to think it's "us or them"  It's hard to deny that there could be a ton of danger in letting thousands of refugees into the country.  The possibility of the scenario I laid out is just too realistic.  Get into this country as "nameless" men, live a normal life for a couple years and then eventually be ready to strike.  Sounds like the best thing a crazy terrorist group could hope for against the US.  The world itself makes me nauseous sometimes but like anything else you have to adapt to it.
     
  11. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    I can understand that sort of thinking, but unfortunately the West, and most particularly the US is complicit in what is going on in Syria at the moment. Don't think for a moment the civil war would have occurred there, or that ISIS could have existed without the changes in Iraq. As a consequence I'm questioning the morality of closing our borders and "washing our hands", some stains are indelible sadly
     
  12. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

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    This a thousand times. I laugh every time I see just how willfully oblivious many act when ignoring that much of what's going on in Syria wouldn't have happened without the US' foreign policy.
     
  13. Twisted

    Twisted Major Winner

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    And because the US and other countries screwed up they should feel obliged to take in the refugees and put their own citizens at risk.  Is anyone else seeing the problem with that or does it all come down to doing something that seems to be the righteous thing to do?
     
  14. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    If you don't want to be involved. Don't get your hands dirty in the first place. Otherwise are we that different from them? We kill thousands in their own country and then wash our hands of it? Nothing to do with us? It's not that simple. Yes the US should feel obliged unfortunately
     
  15. Twisted

    Twisted Major Winner

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    ^ We didn't get our hands dirty, our governments did.  And in order to right a wrong you think our governments should do something that could put its citizens at risk?  I disagree but I understand where you're coming from.
     
  16. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    Haha! I  also do understand where you're coming from. But.. here's the thing. The USA is a democracy, as the whole world is repeatedly told. There cannot be a separation of the government and the peoples will by definition... in a democracy. If the US government had done something contrary to the peoples will they should have voted them out. The fact that Dubya won a second term is an endorsement of his administations actions. Therefore (and I don't mean this offensively, I'm just following logic to its inevitable end) "you" are complicit
     
  17. Twisted

    Twisted Major Winner

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    Well I understand that too.  But what about those who didn't vote for the shrub (like me).  I won't pat myself at all because I was dumb enough to vote for Obama the first time haha.  But anyways at some level it is a little harsh to say a government's actions is reflective of its people especially when they are privy to more information than the rest of us and can (and will!) spin things to suit their purposes.  I thought Iraq was bad from the start but when Bush made up that there was intel about Saddam having nuclear weapons it's not surprising that many in this country would back his decision.

    So for those US citizens who didn't want these wars what do you propose?  Should we leave family, friends, and our jobs behind because we don't agree with the actions of our government.  Maybe pick up and move to a fairly neutral part of the world?  It just isn't such a cut and dry topic and I think we can go around in circles on it without changing anyone's mind.
     
  18. Federberg

    Federberg Multiple Major Winner

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    I agree it's unfair. But that's the downside of democracy. We can't pick and choose, or at least we shouldn't be able to. But we in the West (or some at least) expend a lot of energy proselytising about the benefits of democracy. This is an example of its limitations. Please don't think I'm not in favour of democracy, of course I am. I'm just speaking objectively. It's up to us to earn the right to have the governments we want, and I think too many of us (me included) are generally indifferent to what our politicians do in our name. I would like to think that if we collectively got our acts together governments/ administrations like Dubya would not have been able to do what they did. But our democracies have now been corrupted by special interests that don't act in furtherance of our collective will, no one can change that but us. We're reaping what we sowed
     
  19. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    This one astonishes me, from the cynic that you are.  (See points 1-14.)  You are basing this on the Syrian passport found on one of the dead terrorists, I presume?  If you're falling for that, I'm amazed.  "As I'm preparing for my suicide mission, let me bring my passport, just in case I don't die."  Terrorism isn't just about killing people, it's a propaganda war.  And a Syrian passport can be had in Europe for about €450.  It serves ISIS to conflate the two issues.  On the other hand, all of these actual Syrian refugees are fleeing a tyrannical government, and real perceived threats.  Why would they otherwise risk their lives and those of their children?  And why shouldn't we help them?  The problems of assimilation and disaffection amongst young muslims in France, and the effect of ISIS on the middle East and Europe and the US and the subtleties therein, have nothing to do with the innocent people who need shelter and solace and a new start.  They are not to be feared, simply because they are majority Muslim.  We should take our fair share, and offer them the same opportunities that were given most of our grandparents and great-grandparents.  The refugee crisis from Syria has essentially nothing to do with the bombings in France, and I'm surprised you'd try to draw that facile and erroneous parallel.
     
  20. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

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    This has plenty of different dimensions... I agree with Broken in that ill-conceived western foreign policy is a huge factor in the roots of the crisis... but I ask one question: Would you volunteer to house a Syrian refugee family with no knowledge of their past?  and I ask it sincerely.

    The Syrian mess should be cleaned up... but it should be cleaned up in Syria. I hear the Americans, Russians, French, Iranians and Saudis met to discuss the situation... and here's the thing... the Syrian Government nor any elements of the splintered Syrian opposition were at the table.
     

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