/ Boris Johnson

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Jezz0r 13 Jun 2019

It seemed likely before, but he is now almost certainly going to be prime minister. It seems certain that he'll be in the final two candidates from the results just now, and I don't see the membership voting for anyone else.

Rather depressing.

8
In reply to Jezz0r:

Still a week and a day for someone to dig up something that will force him to withdraw.....

1
toad 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

But we already know he's a violent lecherous philanderer - its been in the papers.

Poor old milliband couldnt eat a bacon cob without ridicule

Most of the few thousand people who get to decide our next prime minister obviously dont care

5
Mike Stretford 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r: I'm liking his new moniker... 'mini-Trump'.

2
Yanis Nayu 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

That won’t happen. He’s bullet proof. Everyone knows he’s a shit; they don’t care. 

3
Iamgregp 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Yanis Nayu:

Sad but true.  Being a total asshole seem to no longer be a bar to running a country.  Does it, Donald?

2
MrsBuggins 13 Jun 2019
In reply to toad:

> Most of the few thousand people who get to decide our next prime minister

This vote is for the leadership of the Conservative party not for PM. Whoever is elected as leader MIGHT become PM by default

27
dh73 13 Jun 2019
In reply to toad:

playing devil's advocate though, what we need is a leader who will sort out the mess we are in. being a saint is optional. May was whiter than white but useless.

that is not to say that Johnson WILL sort out the mess but I think we should be clear about exactly what the vital qualities for a PM are, and not get distracted by irrelevancies

20
Jezz0r 13 Jun 2019
In reply to dh73:

I think his tenure as foreign secretary tells us all we need to know about what sort of prime minister he'd make

3
The Lemming 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

> I think his tenure as foreign secretary tells us all we need to know about what sort of prime minister he'd make


Do you think he will start a war with Iran by mistake?

5
Harry Jarvis 13 Jun 2019
In reply to MrsBuggins:

> > Most of the few thousand people who get to decide our next prime minister

> This vote is for the leadership of the Conservative party not for PM. Whoever is elected as leader MIGHT become PM by default

Can you explain the circumstances by which the next leader of the Tory party would not become PM? It's unlikely that the Queen will invite someone else to take on the role. 

2
TobyA 13 Jun 2019
In reply to dh73:

But he's shit at governing as well as being, for various reasons we can all look up, at best a very shallow person and at worse a deeply unpleasant human being.

I think it was telling yesterday when someone noticed that no MPs who had served as junior ministers in the FCO under Johnson as For Sec were supporting him.

1
Ciro 13 Jun 2019
In reply to toad:

> Most of the few thousand people who get to decide our next prime minister obviously dont care

Sadly, a great many more than that won't care. After all, he's not exactly a surprise package from back bench obscurity a la Corbyn... He's been a pretty prominent member of the party voted in by the public, and one of the leaders of the campaign to leave Europe. We've asked for this ☹️

1
SDM 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

Theo Usherwood seemed to all but confirm yesterday that such a story exists and is known about among journalists but has not been released. 

But, given that Johnson has survived unscathed (and has become more popular) despite (because of?) the following, I struggle to believe that there is anything significant enough to bring him down. I also struggle to believe that nobody would leak such a story. 

- Wasting tens of millions of pounds of public money on a vanity project that was never going to be built

- The racism and islamophobia

- Colluding to have a journalist beaten up for doing his job 

- Chairing and illegal campaign to subvert democracy and repeatedly knowingly lying to the electorate

- Intervening the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and somehow managing to make her situation even worse

-  Breaking his manifesto promises as London mayor

- The serial infidities, pressuring a mistress to get an abortion and trying to take out a court order to cover up the fact that he had a child from one of the affairs

- Lying down in front of the bulldozers to prevent a new runway from being built (Oops, that one never happened, he is such a self-serving coward that he didn't even have the conviction to vote against it)

I hope history judges his supporters as harshly as they deserve. 

5
MrsBuggins 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Harry Jarvis:

> Can you explain the circumstances by which the next leader of the Tory party would not become PM? It's unlikely that the Queen will invite someone else to take on the role. 


I was making the point that the elections(within the Conservative party) are for a new party leader NOT a Prime Minister

24
Mike Stretford 13 Jun 2019
In reply to MrsBuggins:

> I was making the point that the elections(within the Conservative party) are for a new party leader NOT a Prime Minister

The next leader of the Tory party will be PM.

Post edited at 16:06
Eric9Points 13 Jun 2019
In reply to MrsBuggins:

> I was making the point that the elections(within the Conservative party) are for a new party leader NOT a Prime Minister


Well your point is rather pointless is it not? Anyway, you said "might be prime minister" which is bollocks. Barring the unforeseeable whoever is elected leader will become PM.

Many of us of course would like the chance to have an election to see who should be governing Britain but that's unlikely to happen before 2022 unless a No Deal Brexit becomes reality.

Postmanpat 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

   Where does this idea come from that he is "charismatic" and has "stardust"? OK, he won two mayoral elections but against the most ghastly and divisive candidate possible.He seems be scarcely capable of putting a fluent sentence together let alone doing a half decent job of work.

  He's basically a media creation and , one suspects, will be a media "victim" very soon, hopefully before he becomes PM.

Post edited at 16:36
2
Rob Exile Ward 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

… and yet 114 of our esteemed elected representatives voted for him. 

Your optimism is commendable, unfortunately totally misplaced. BJ will be the next PM.

1
what the hex 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

For the first time I am in agreement with you 😁 they've taken the least adept human being in the entirity of the UK and are giving him the top job - it is perverse. Although maybe BJ will revoke article 50 by accident, that would make me laugh my head off. 

1
skog 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

My understanding was that to be prime minister you had to command the confidence of the house, not just be leader of the largest party in it (which doesn't even have a majority).

Compare - had the Lib Dems gone into coalition with Labour rather than the Tories, David Cameron would not have been Prime Minister, despite the Tories having had more seats than Labour.

So I think there are at least three feasible ways the next Tory leader might not become pm:

- a cross-party, majority, alliance of MPs favoring someone else (seems very unlikely), or

an inabilty for ANYONE to have the confidence of parliament, leading either to

- a general election (possible - but probably not very likely when it comes down to it), or

- resignation of the new Tory leader and a new leadership contest (seems unlikely too).

The next Tory leader will PROBABLY be the next pm, but I don't think it's an absolute certainty.

Post edited at 17:11
1
Yanis Nayu 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

We’re about to have a change of leadership - from the Daily Mail to the Daily Telegraph...

Tyler 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Who's your choice?

ian caton 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Actually not a completely spurious point, but perhaps close. The Queen asks somebody to be prime minister if they can show they have the confidence of the house. The confidence of the house, it is explicitly stated in the rules, is more than a question of a simple majority. 

Postmanpat 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Tyler:

> Who's your choice?

  Hmm. Gove? At least he has a track record of getting things done.

  Who do you think can keep out Corbyn? His and his minders a bigger threat than brexit or no brexit.

Post edited at 17:20
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Pan Ron 13 Jun 2019
In reply to SDM:

> - Wasting tens of millions of pounds of public money on a vanity project that was never going to be built

Which one?  I see him being blamed for everything from Routemasters and Barclays Bikes to the Olympic Stadium and the Estuary Airport.  Vanity projects?  Or projects worth considering (Boris Bikes would no doubt be considered fantastic if his name wasn't attached to them) and the costs amounting to very little in the grand scheme of things?  Some would say £13 billion a year to the EU is the mother of all vanity projects.

> - The racism and islamophobia

Keep throwing around the "racist" and "islamophobe" claim.  You're just earning him votes, and not from racists or Islamophobes.  Like it or not, people are desperate for a plain-speaking, even buffoonish, clown - anything being better than yet more of the sanctimonious preaching b.s. that has become the norm from insipid politicians, all clamouring in the impossible task of pleasing everyone and avoiding ever more offence.  Its exactly what gives JRM appeal and despite all their evident flaws at least they are not more of the same.

> - Colluding to have a journalist beaten up for doing his job 

Pretty emotive don't you think?  Is this "collusion" the one that took place 28 years ago when Boris said not to beat someone up too severely....and where the journalist ended up doused in manure? Meanwhile "assaulting" people in the streets because they are pro-Trump, pro-Brexit, or simply right-wing is seemingly ok.

> - Chairing and illegal campaign to subvert democracy and repeatedly knowingly lying to the electorate

We bang on about the side of the bus, but the fact remains billions go to the EU and whether £350 million a week gets £80 mil rebated or not, its not a widely inaccurate statement - no more wildly inaccurate than claims shops shelves will be empty because of Brexit. 

To someone living in Middle England earning a middling to minimum wage salary, £50 million a week to the EU is excessive.  Fast and loose with facts maybe, but seemingly no more so than anyone else in the running.

> -  Breaking his manifesto promises as London mayor

The Lib Dems broke a manifesto promise too.  I don't hold it against them.  Its politics and it seldom survives contact with the enemy.  There are things politicians do that I am far more concerned about.

> - The serial infidities, pressuring a mistress to get an abortion and trying to take out a court order to cover up the fact that he had a child from one of the affairs

Distasteful, maybe.  If you want to drag the personal dalliances of every politician into the public realm go ahead.  Who are you going to have left?  I'm sure even Caroline Lucas has said some pretty unpleasant stuff.

> I hope history judges his supporters as harshly as they deserve. 

And there you have it.  A litany of hyperbole that finishes up hoping those who support him are judged harshly.  You really should not be surprised that people unlike Boris are relegated to the electoral doldrums.  A complete failure to understand why someone like Boris might be popular and that shrieking as though he has horns and a tail just proves to his supporters how out of touch his opponents are.

Post edited at 17:23
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stevieb 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Who do you think can keep out Corbyn? His and his minders a bigger threat than brexit or no brexit.

Project fear mk 2

The Lemming 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Here's a cheery thought, 199 MP's did not vote for Boris.

Who's to say those that voted for Boris will do so again if another floats to the surface that is more palatable?

And of the 199 who did not like Boris enough to choose him, how many will want to change their minds?

In reply to Yanis Nayu:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3640768/Browns-looking-for-a-Scottish-ally.html?fbclid=IwAR17UGj1Wux_V6p9LVWMTm51tr2l-TAat3k2OfHAUMnJT95RGZPXF02ot0I

Johnson apparently thinks thinks there's something incredibly undemocratic about Prime Ministerial change without a general election. Finally something we agree on! Except he doesn't mind it if it means he will be PM. 

jkarran 13 Jun 2019
In reply to dh73:

May and her hostile environment exiled British citizens, some to destitution and death for the colour of their skin. She may not have been a violent, dishonest, philandering coke hoover but whiter than white she was not!

Jk

TobyA 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

You should get a job at Spiked Online (...or does Pan already.... hmmmmmm... ;-) ) with the knee jerk apologetics for increasingly unsavoury right wingers! Now Claire Fox is an MEP they might have a space amongst the other ex-trots.

Pan Ron 13 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Or perhaps the Left needs to tone down its rabid rhetoric aimed at anything on the right.  Once everyone is called a nazi racist, and apparently intent on dragging us back to the 1930s, you don't leave much room for manoeuvre when the sky really does start falling.  Certainly becoming difficult to take anything the Guardian tells me seriously when it seems to be 90% noise or clickbait.

I don't see Boris as any worse than May and, even as someone who quite liked Tony Blair initially, its safe to say no Tory in the last 20 years has done anything even remotely as awful as Labour's invasion of Iraq.  Something Labour voters, being such high-minded idealists, chose to overlook when re-electing him for another term.

Its not as if screaming "Trump/Boris=bad" is exactly a high-water mark in political punditry and is the kind of mantra even high-school students can come out with.  

Post edited at 19:53
18
Jon Stewart 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I can never work out what you actually want.

The point is always the same: people who support total rubbish like a no-deal Brexit, or who hate Muslims, or take whatever destructive populist stance haven't been listened to by "the left" or "the establishment" or someone - and people who support this stuff aren't culpable. It's the fault of "the left".

But what do you actually want? I don't think you really support Trump and Boris and UKIP and Le Penn and Orban, etc, but what is it that people who are swept up with destructive populism should have been offered instead?

If you had listened to them and understood their concerns, what sort of policies would you have offered? We know what you're against, but what are you in favour of?

what the hex 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> but what are you in favour of?

Good on you for calling him out. I doubt you'll get a reasonable reply, some men just want to watch the world burn.

Pan Ron 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> The point is always the same: people who support total rubbish like a no-deal Brexit, or who hate Muslims, or take whatever destructive populist stance haven't been listened to by "the left" or "the establishment" or someone - and people who support this stuff aren't culpable. It's the fault of "the left".

That's not really my viewpoint at all.  I think people who support a no-deal Brexit, or who hate Muslims (though telling you would use that as an example), are pretty bonkers as it goes and if this political discussion was taking place in a pub in Kings Lynn rather than UKC I'd probably be arguing the left-wing or pro-remain case. 

I just don't view those people as being much, or any, more bonkers than the supposedly fine upstanding lefties who seem to think they alone have a monopoly view on the best interests of humanity.  What passes for discussion about right-wing viewpoints barely gets above screaming "Tory scum!" at the moon.

The left claims moral superiority.  Throwing milkshakes at right wingers is ok.  Right-wingers saying the wrong words is assault.  We need more people deplatformed to save us from ourselves and everything is awful and harmful.  Yet no matter how many times someone like Trump, or Boris, rises to the top of the electoral soup, the left seems incapable of examining what it may have done to propel them there - its instead just a sign of how depraved the right are.  There is a complete lack of introspection on the left and a tacit acceptance of its excesses - at least they're pushing in the right direction and away from the likes of Boris, right?  No chance of ever acknowledge that it is the moralising, holding the right as in some way mentally and morally deficient, that is ensuring the electoral success of clearly flawed right-wing candidates. 

It's not populism.  It's people saying "f*ck you" to the left while the left sticks its collective fingers in its ears.  Banging on about Boris as if he's the devil arisen isn't going to get you far and frankly the left deserves Boris as PM if they can't see that.  Surely you'd have to be more than a little perplexed that someone who should apparently be hated by everyone finds himself topping the leadership race?  Maybe there are reasons worth considering?  Of course, you can point fingers to 1930s Germany and claim its all a repeat of history.  But the left has probably been screaming "Nazis!" for the better part of a decade and that parallel has been getting pretty stale.

>  but what is it that people who are swept up with destructive populism should have been offered instead?

Perhaps you need to give them a little more credit than an assumption they have been "swept up" by populism.  It just comes across as yet more condescending paternalism as if you know better than them what is best for them.  I don't see Boris supporters as any more misguided than folks incessantly regurgitating what the Guardian has told them to be outraged about, and I suspect many on the right are justifiably more concerned about Diane Abbot as Home Secretary than Boris as PM. 

11
Jon Stewart 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

That's just more of the same.

What are you in favour of?

2
Stichtplate 13 Jun 2019
In reply to what the hex:

> Good on you for calling him out. I doubt you'll get a reasonable reply, some men just want to watch the world burn.

You don't think Pan Ron is actually,(gasp)...Bane!?

1
what the hex 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING! The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!

Or something like that...

John Stainforth 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I think the amount we have been contributing to the EU - which has been 0.7 of 1 percent of our taxes - has been fantastically good value for money, considering all the good things we have been getting in return (cheap, tariff-free and high quality food; freedom of movement; inward investment; willing labour for our NHS etc etc).

John Stainforth 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Brexit is a poisonous chalice that has destroyed everyone and everything foolish or vain enough to pick it up. Cameron, May, the Conservative and Labour parties spring to mind. So one (very thin) silver lining of Johnson picking it up is that it will probably destroy him too., i.e., he will get his comeuppance.  

Post edited at 21:07
The New NickB 13 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Funnily enough, Claire Fox came to mind for me as well. A woman I am unfortunate enough to have as one of my MEPs.

1
Pan Ron 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Instant offence-taking at right-wing viewpoints?  Assuming, and taking as granted, the worst possible motivations from someone like Boris?

As a few recent UK threads would indicate, I'm surprised I would need to be the one justifying myself as being "for" anything.  I'm pro-abortion but content for people to be and express anti-abortion viewpoints.  I'm comfortable the government aren't being fascists when expecting landlords to conduct basic checks on tenants right-to-reside. 

I don't however think people should be losing their jobs for taking unfavourable viewpoints, nor that people need to lose their shit to the degree they do when faced with those viewpoints.  I'm not exactly comfortable with the rise of mobbing tactics by people who claim to be powerless yet seem willing to exert the power of access to employment and social ostracisation over others.  I'm not convinced the UK is regressing in to the dark ages of oppression and poverty, or that whatever depravations exist will be solved by the Labour Party and its activists.

I'm actually reasonably cheerful about the status-quo.  I see no reason to howl at the moon.  If you want to know some specific policy positions feel free to ask.  But asking me what I'm in favour of is somewhat of an open question and more than a little difficult to answer.  In an overwhelmingly negative thread, riddled with ad-hom towards Boris, and where one could be forgiven for thinking satan has arisen from the depths, I'm not sure that it's necessarily incumbent on me to justify my position that the end isn't nigh.

6
Pan Ron 13 Jun 2019
In reply to John Stainforth:

> I think the amount we have been contributing to the EU - which has been 0.7 of 1 percent of our taxes - has been fantastically good value for money, considering all the good things we have been getting in return (cheap, tariff-free and high quality food; freedom of movement; inward investment; willing labour for our NHS etc etc).

I happen to agree.  But we're unlikely to give anything Boris proposes the benefit of being referenced to a percentage level of our taxes.  Things that Tories do get measured by the yardstick of X number of "struggling nurses", while EU contributions become proportions of each person's tax-bill. 

3
Stichtplate 13 Jun 2019
In reply to what the hex:

> Oh, you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark; I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING! The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!

Christ. You sound just like my wife.

1
MG 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

What is "the left" you go on about? 

2
Pan Ron 13 Jun 2019
In reply to MG:

Sorry, I forgot they don't exist.  The "right" on the other hand....

Jon Stewart 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

I'm not really that much clearer.

Just so you know where I'm coming from: I think we should have a society that's based on a market economy, but where market forces are serving the interests of the whole population. We should pay high taxes so everyone has access to high quality services such as health and education. Such redistributive policies work to counter the tendency towards greater and greater inequality that is inherent in capitalism (this isn't aiming for equality, it's aiming to hold steady at an optimal gradient of inequality in which the bottom isn't terrible and the top isn't obscene opulence). Where the market introduces incentives that militate against good outcomes, e.g. in healthcare and natural monopolies, these sectors should be nationalised. People should have equal rights irrespective of characteristics they don't choose, which means addressing barriers faced by minorities. People's beliefs that they can change should be challenged if they lead to poor outcomes, which means religion should never be priveleged and should be regarded as a private matter and its influence removed from education and public life. I could go on.

So when I express an opinion, such as "Boris is a shit", it's because I want to see this type of society. In this case, the reasons supporting Boris is in my view the wrong position is because he has a record of acting dishonestly in his own self-interest, and being an idiot, and having absolutely no vision of what society should be like other than it being a society that serves his interests (i.e. low tax and regulation).

I think there are very good reasons to say "Boris is a shit". I don't think it's hysterical or demonising people with an opposing point of view, or intolerant, I think it's a perfectly rational and accurate representation of the facts. And it's motivated by me wanting to move towards the type of society I describe above, and away from a no-deal Brexit, low-tax, low-regulation, poor services, increasingly unequal, shithole of a society.

Is there something invalid about that political position? Or some reason that I should say exactly the same thing but dressed up in some wet jesus-sandals bollocks starting with "I respect Boris and the people who support him and think their view is just as valid as mine and we're a much better society for this diversity of opinion, but....he's a shit for all the following reasons". What's wrong with expressing a sincerely held political opinion and giving reasons?

Post edited at 22:14
2
MG 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

You know in fact you are being ridiculous by trying to make out  "every one who objects to Boris" as a homogeneous lump

Pete Pozman 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

He's a bounder. 

Pefa 13 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

What is this so called " left", you use in your ludicrous generalisations? 

2
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Take a bow, great post

Coel Hellier 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I think there are very good reasons to say "Boris is a shit". I don't think it's hysterical or demonising people with an opposing point of view, or intolerant, I think it's a perfectly rational and accurate representation of the facts. And it's motivated by me wanting to move towards the type of society I describe above, and away from a no-deal Brexit, low-tax, low-regulation, poor services, increasingly unequal, shithole of a society.

> Is there something invalid about that political position? Or some reason that I should say exactly the same thing but dressed up in some wet jesus-sandals bollocks starting with "I respect Boris and the people who support him and think their view is just as valid as mine and we're a much better society for this diversity of opinion, but....he's a shit for all the following reasons". What's wrong with expressing a sincerely held political opinion and giving reasons?

Very eloquent Jon.  You make a good defence of calling a spade a spade, saying what you mean, and not pussy-footing around with "wet jesus-sandals bollocks".

And yet, when I've defended the right to be equally plain speaking on certain other topics you have deplored it and asked instead for the "wet jesus-sandals bollocks", and the "I respect X and the people who support X and think their view is just as valid as mine and ...". 

11
neilh 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

No different to alot of people then with mixed views.... nicely put.I remember Dax H stating that on somethings he was left wing and some he was right wing.

That is about my view on things.

In other words we are centerists who now get ostracised by either the left or the right, but we cannot hold views that are middle of the road in this digital age.

You can also be a centerist pro Brexit and centerist pro Remain, which the former is where I think you sit. Nothing wrong with that.

Post edited at 08:54
2
Jon Stewart 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Wrong. I've given a consequentialist argument that your actions are destructive. 

DerwentDiluted 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Boris exhorts us to have the balls for a no deal Brexit but hasn't the balls for a public debate. A BJ premiership would break new ground for me in being a PM for whom I can neither muster any regard or respect.

Post edited at 09:04
1
Pan Ron 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

None of that I really disagree with.  But I likewise don't see Labour's manifesto promise of, for example, free tertiary education as realistic or viable, suspect it represents the tip of the iceberg for wanton spending that will be shoved to future generations to deal with, and looks to me like straight-up vote-buying.  So complaining about Boris' approach to taxation doesn't really get us anywhere if the Labour alternative is equally absurd.  When it comes to shaking magic money trees and passing the bill on to others, I don't see Boris as extreme.

I have no problem with you saying Boris is a shit.  He might well be.  The problem is, every single action he takes, like Trump, results in an automatic DEFCON1 reaction.  It has become tedious in the extreme and I simply don't trust his detractors (which includes the mainstream media) to give an honest or measured accounting.  What they feed instead is endless outrage which other's are happy to parrot, no doubt believing it makes them sound informed and politically astute.  And where this really lets us down is when it is extended to anyone who might support Boris - hence the milkshake issue and the original post I responded to here which said his supporters have it coming.  Its a major failing on the left that they can't come up with any positive explanations for why someone like Boris might appeal, preferring the black and white Hollywood villain conceptualisation.

No need to dress anything up.  But you might want to consider that what Boris actually does when he is in power in no way matches the rhetoric or what people claim is going to happen.  I don't happen to believe he was a bad Mayor of London and I don't see daylight between him and Khan in terms of achievement.  But if I was to believe the shrieking about him I'd surely be forgiven for thinking he plunged London into the dark ages.

6
Pan Ron 14 Jun 2019
In reply to neilh:

Well I'm actually a pretty ardent remainer.  But I'm willing to concede that Leave won the non-binding vote and unless we are willing to offer some realistic acknowledgement of that result then we, Remain, don't deserve another referendum.  

As it is, most of the Remain argument seems to revolve around invalidating the original vote or claiming it should never have happened - ie. unless we get the result we want, the public shouldn't have a say.  Given that, it should be pretty obvious to any casual observer why Brexit viewpoints are hardening and why half the population is so pissed off.  I have a grudging respect for the Brexit camp and Tories who pledge to deliver it (though I really don't see how they can).

Again, the civility of the Remain camp appears to be a pretty thin veneer and now that the chips are down their arrogance seems every bit as extreme as the rabid Brexiteers chanting "Leave means leave!".

9
jkarran 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Well I'm actually a pretty ardent remainer.  But I'm willing to concede that Leave won the non-binding vote and unless we are willing to offer some realistic acknowledgement of that result then we, Remain, don't deserve another referendum.  

We've spent three years and billions of pounds trying to deliver brexit, that has been scuppered by 'brexiteers'. That'll do me, we don't have to do unwanted, serious and irreversible harm to prove a point, that isn't what we elect a representative parliament to do. Time to see if the electorate still wants this, not least because it's quite clear that is now the only way we'll actually get it if we do. Perhaps we can finally be honest about what 'it' is too, if we've learned anything it should be that that seems necessary if 'brexit' is to be deliverable.

> As it is, most of the Remain argument seems to revolve around invalidating the original vote or claiming it should never have happened - ie. unless we get the result we want, the public shouldn't have a say.  Given that, it should be pretty obvious to any casual observer why Brexit viewpoints are hardening and why half the population is so pissed off.  I have a grudging respect for the Brexit camp and Tories who pledge to deliver it (though I really don't see how they can).

If that's what you think you're not listening or you're listening very selectively.

> Again, the civility of the Remain camp appears to be a pretty thin veneer and now that the chips are down their arrogance seems every bit as extreme as the rabid Brexiteers chanting "Leave means leave!".

So the 'remain camp', including you of course is civil but you don't really believe they are. Also comparing the measured and evidenced arguments for remaining, retaining our influence and reforming to suit our evolving needs with the empty, misdirected anger of someone screaming 'LEAVE MEANS LEAVE!', that's not hearing both sides of the argument, that's just being contrary for the sake of it. From one to another I don't think bandying about accusations of arrogance is a great look for you.

jk

Post edited at 10:31
3
Pan Ron 14 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> We've spent three years and billions of pounds trying to deliver brexit, that has been scuppered by 'brexiteers'.

Its been scuppered by a pretty extreme branch of Brexit.  They exhibit the same ludicrousness as the extreme progressives with their absolutist views.  But they aren't all Brexiteers, though I can understand why hard-Brexit sentiment would be expanding.  

> Time to see if the electorate still wants this, not least because it's quite clear that is now the only way we'll actually get it if we do.

I agree.  Though I can perfectly imagine that we fix the vote by not including hard-Brexit on the agenda.  And what if Remain loses again?

> If that's what you think you're not listening or you're listening very selectively.

I don't think so.  Remain does little or nothing to acknowledge Brexit sentiment.

> Also comparing the measured and evidenced arguments for remaining, retaining our influence and reforming to suit our evolving needs with the empty, misdirected anger of someone screaming 'LEAVE MEANS LEAVE!', that's not hearing both sides of the argument, that's just being contrary for the sake of it. 

What you refer to as measured and evidenced arguments can equally be seen as subjective intangibles and fitting facts to suit our desired outcomes.  Basics of supply and demand go out the window when talking about open borders, inward migration is an automatic and guaranteed net positive, and macro-level justifications are being made that are potentially very dubious - have our EU contributions to Eastern or Southern Europe really bolstered our own economic activity?  Or are they simply dependency-building outflows?   And on the flip-side, having won the referendum but there being no political appetite to follow it throgh, it makes complete sense that shouting "Leave means leave" is all Brexiteers have left.  I don't begrudge them for reverting to blunt instruments in this context.  I don't agree with them and on balance I've always accepted Remain economic arguments.  But I don't think those areguments are as convincing as we claim them to be and I can perfectly understand why Brexiteers are utterly pissed off.   

When I talk about arraogance I'm referring to the view that seems to think it acceptable Brexiteers can just be ignored.

6
In reply to The Lemming:

A bit late on this one but FWIW I think that the only way to stop BJ becoming the Leader of the Conservative and Unionist (I laugh) Party is for the two names on the ballot papers sent to the party membership not to include BJ's name because he seems to have the membership behind him.

This is, unfortunately, extremely unlikely.

98%monkey 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

the entire public need to realise and spread word of his headline Policy which si what really curried favour amongst the party

a tax cut for the 10% wealthiest people in the country...

if we all made sure everyone realised what this meant, nature will take it's course.

Nothing wrong with a tax cut as he said except it should be quite a way down the list after living wage, public services, renewable energy, environment etc

98%monkey 14 Jun 2019
In reply to dh73:

that's not devils advocate, that is devils delusion

Duncan Bourne 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

I will certainly vote Corbyn if Boris is Tory Leader.

Christ I would vote for a goat before I'd vote for Boris

1
Darren Jackson 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

I'd vote for a goat also... I'd love to see it in action at the next G20 summit.

Duncan Bourne 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> I don't see Boris as any worse than May

Dear God

>and, even as someone who quite liked Tony Blair initially, its safe to say no Tory in the last 20 years has done anything even remotely as awful as Labour's invasion of Iraq. 

Well if that's the worse you can sling. I seem to remember more than half the country being in favour of it at the time. In fact I know a lot of people who are still in favour of it and think we didn't go far enough

john arran 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   Who do you think can keep out Corbyn? His and his minders a bigger threat than brexit or no brexit.

Despite seemingly having the worst choice of major party leaders in living memory, any one of whom would most likely be an absolute catastrophe for the UK, it's still inconceivable that Corbyn, Johnson or anyone else could do as much damage in a 5-year term than Brexit will inevitably wreak over several decades.

1
Duncan Bourne 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Would he be building bridges or crossing over them?

Darren Jackson 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> Would he be building bridges or crossing over them?

I expect that he'd just do a lot of butting in when folk are waffling on, and posing at photocalls.

Duncan Bourne 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Here he is in his tree activism days with Swampy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEaAmUDEiGo

Darren Jackson 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

This is the reaction of him and his Cabinet, when he learns that he is expected to host a visit from Trump:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI4hzzepEcI

jkarran 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Its been scuppered by a pretty extreme branch of Brexit.  They exhibit the same ludicrousness as the extreme progressives with their absolutist views.  But they aren't all Brexiteers, though I can understand why hard-Brexit sentiment would be expanding. 

I don't care that they're extremists that scuppered their own project. The point is they have had their chance, this isn't being taken from anyone other than by those who sought it, by the very lies they had to tell for permission to fire the starting pistol. I'm sick of the betrayal bullshit. Yes brexit voters have been betrayed. Not by May. Not by the wet metropolitan liberal elite like me in our ivory towers. By Johnson and his lies. By Farage and his lies. By Rees-Mogg and his lies.

> I agree.  Though I can perfectly imagine that we fix the vote by not including hard-Brexit on the agenda.  And what if Remain loses again?

Hard to see how a hard 'trade-deal' brexit could be kept off a ballot in the current climate despite the unresolved Ireland issue given neither the hardline leavers or the remainers can muster sufficient parliamentary support alone to deliver a referendum and an election would be a total roll of the dice. It is the only real way forward and it will have to offer either extreme hope in what has become an utterly polarised debate (not because of remainer intransigence but because the brexit sold could never be delivered so the lie must be grown).

If remain loses, as I believe it will we have our mandate to leave, we save ourselves a couple more years of decline toward the same outcome, we recover a couple of years earlier perhaps with the betrayal story nipped off before it metastasises. You're welcome to stay fix the mess, I'll be looking for a new life somewhere less stupid. Still, doing nothing isn't an option and doing something without a new mandate has become impossible.

> I don't think so.  Remain does little or nothing to acknowledge Brexit sentiment.

WTF? What is the point in 'acknowledging brexit sentiment'? It's everywhere! We can't miss it, we're drowning in it. Last week I had a man throw a bicycle at me screaming: ENGLAND! BREXIT! FOREIGNERS OUT! ENGLAND FOR THE ENGLISH! BREXIT! This was completely unprovoked from a complete stranger. I am sick of this shit and in no mood to pretend it has any more legitimacy than it really does to appease the alt-right 'nobody listened to us so we're going to burn your world to the ground' crybabies. It's not that I don't acknowledge it, I just so very very rarely hear a coherent respectable case for brexit, it's almost always now just visceral ill directed rage that is marching us slowly to civil war, piped on by f**k knows who. That I have zero respect for.

> What you refer to as measured and evidenced arguments can equally be seen as subjective intangibles and fitting facts to suit our desired outcomes.

Well we're performing the experiment to prove or disprove the validity of your verbal gymnastics, we'll see of course if you/they are right but given the apparent costs in jobs, wealth, stability, democratic legitimacy, perhaps even the balkanisation of our Island home... I'm not personally inclined to see it through out of scientific rigor or a misguided sense of duty.

> ...and on the flip-side, having won the referendum but there being no political appetite to follow it throgh, it makes complete sense that shouting "Leave means leave" is all Brexiteers have left.

Actually it isn't. Prior to this clusterfu*k gathering momentum they had a well developed, measured and survivable plan for a staged withdrawal from the EU. Personally I don't agree it's the right way forward but it is a way forward. That is what they have left. At each stage sell the benefits, explain and mitigate the costs so they are bearable then they work diligently to get us out step by step with our democracy, our economy and our alliances intact or realigned over the coming twenty years. Of course that involves admitting there are downsides, it involves hard uncertain work, it involves exposing the electorate to those risks and costs before the process becomes utterly irreversible, before the coup has paid back the investment in it. So brexit, preliminary approval granted is instead re-fashioned as an act of faith for the true believers that will pay dividends in the next life if not in this (Rees-Mogg's 50 years. He won't be waiting that long of course). Turns out the age old bullshit is still good bullshit.

> I don't begrudge them for reverting to blunt instruments in this context.  I don't agree with them and on balance I've always accepted Remain economic arguments.  But I don't think those areguments are as convincing as we claim them to be and I can perfectly understand why Brexiteers are utterly pissed off. 

How convincing they are is largely a matter of perspective. If I had money to hide, riches to buy power my perspective might be different but I don't and in that I am like most ordinary people living and working to survive here.

> When I talk about arraogance I'm referring to the view that seems to think it acceptable Brexiteers can just be ignored.

I don't want them ignored, you're not listening if that's all you're hearing.

I want them heard, I want them represented democratically, I want their righteous anger given direction to drive real improvements for them and me, not put up for sale to charlatans, looters and foreign enemies to do with as they please. On Europe I want their case made, examined, challenged and revised. If, when, it is viable and supported I want it implemented, responsibly, accountably.

So far they have not done that, nothing like it and this thing called brexit, it's nothing more than a coup we've been gulled into backing.

jk

Post edited at 14:19
3
Wanderer100 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Alan Sugar is a fan according to a latest tweet saying anyone who keeps JC out of Downing Street gets his vote! 

"I seriously back @BorisJohnson to be the new PM . The public like him and he will have a good chance of winning the general election in 2021 if not before. Any one who can stop @jeremycorbyn from becoming PM has my backing" .

Post edited at 14:14
Rob Parsons 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

> Alan Sugar is a fan according to a latest tweet ...

According to Wikipedia, 'In December 2018, Sugar announced during a television interview that he would leave Britain if Corbyn became prime minister.'

Another good reason to vote Labour.

Pan Ron 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> Well if that's the worse you can sling. I seem to remember more than half the country being in favour of it at the time. In fact I know a lot of people who are still in favour of it and think we didn't go far enough

Worst?  High-minded labour voters, the kinds of people who find anything and everything seemingly offensive, who view Trump and Boris as existential threats to humanity, when faced with the choice of not voting for Labour or voting back in someone who launched a war that resulted in 600,000+ deaths...they go with the later?  Anything's better than a Tory I guess. I'm very sorry, but the moralising of the left is well and truly lost on me. 

Post edited at 15:05
12
jkarran 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Worst?  High-minded labour voters, the kinds of people who find anything and everything seemingly offensive, who view Trump and Boris as existential threats to humanity, when faced with the choice of not voting for Labour or voting back in someone who launched a war that resulted in 600,000+ deaths...they go with the later?  Anything's better than a Tory I guess. I'm very sorry, but the moralising of the left is well and truly lost on me. 

Didn't the tories back the Iraq war.

From wiki: The Labour and Conservative parties, the two largest parties, were both committed to approving the invasion, but a quarter[6] of Labour Party MPs rebelled and voted against the invasion. The Liberal Democrats, who had one in twelve of the MPs in parliament, also opposed the invasion.

Funny looking stick you've chosen to beat 'the left' with given the primary opposition to the Iraq invasion in 2003 came from 'the left'.

jk

Mike Stretford 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Worst?  High-minded labour voters, the kinds of people who find anything and everything seemingly offensive, who view Trump and Boris as existential threats to humanity, when faced with the choice of not voting for Labour or voting back in someone who launched a war that resulted in 600,000+ deaths...they go with the later? 

Nope. I'm fairly typical, left the Labour party over Irag and voted Lib Dem in 2005. Rejoined 18 months ago.

> Anything's better than a Tory I guess. I'm very sorry, but the moralising of the left is well and truly lost on me. 

You've reached dizzying heights of whataboutery.

Post edited at 15:40
Duncan Bourne 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Yeah better the immoral voters

People like wars. That's what got Thatcher re-elected

Post edited at 15:46
2
Trevers 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

I wonder if the opposing candidates have got the wrong strategy for trying to beat him.

Flinging dirt clearly won't work. It's evidently clear that he's possessed of not a single quality that makes him a decent candidate to lead this country.

What if instead of attacking him, they praised him, and bigged up his liberal credentials? Loudly and repeatedly made reference to times he supported LGBTQ rights movements, extolled the virtues of immigration, weighted in on the side of refugees or claimed that climate change was an urgent problem.

(I don't know whether these examples exist and can't be arsed to look, but I presume there must be at least some from his time as mayor of London).

Ian W 14 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Indeed, the first calls to invade Iraq came from one Iain Duncan Smith, leader of the opposition at the time, and therefore a member of the privy Council, and therefore not able to say he had been misled by Blair as he was privy to the same info. The tories also wanted us to withdraw from Afghanistan early to go futher and harder into Iraq. It does seem odd that certain Tory fanboys keep bringing up iraq as evidence of labours warmongering from 16 years ago when they were most certainly all in favour of it themselves...

Reference Wikipedia / Hansard or anything in between for evidence.

Pefa 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Since you ignore questions on what you "think" the "left" is then I'll move on. 

> Its a major failing on the left that they can't come up with any positive explanations for why someone like Boris might appeal, preferring the black and white Hollywood villain conceptualisation.

People in western countries are given two choices by the ruling class in a general election, that are both right wing.

Both will fight for imperialism and wars, that's a given. 

One will give a little more concessions, rights and a tad less exploitation of the workers than the other but both are firmly in the pockets of the capitalist class and big business.

In case you didn't notice capitalism collapsed in 2008 which was the worst collapse since 1929 and since then bankers(who caused it and were bailed out by the people) have been printing hundreds of billions ever since just to keep the economy from drowning. As always happens after the capitalists crash the economy many people start to see what is going on but the capitalist ruling classes divert their attention away from their plunder by telling people that the problem is the poor on welfare (Cameron) or the immigrants (Trump) and brexit (Farage).

This is nothing new. 

Look at the first few pages of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists book and you will see that the capitalist ruling class used the same old tactics of blaming immigrants over 100 years ago in the UK. 

So in conclusion. 

The electorate in the UK, USA and most western countries are given a choice of two big business candidates by the capitalist class, in certain specific circumstances where the plunder of the capitalist class is laid bare for all to see ie. A complete collapse, one candidate will be the usual status quo and the other will be the right wing "blame the poor/immigrants/minorities then everything will get better " Party. Hence the rise of right wing populism and its Trumps, Farages and Johnsons.Trouble is once they release the far right they can have a little trouble controlling it. 

It's telling that the capitalist class didn't let Sanders be a candidate and will fight tooth and nail to keep Corbyn out (Pompeo stated he would fight to stop JC) even though they are just run of the mill social Democrats they represent a threat to the deep state that run the West by wanting to put a halt to "some" imperialism. 

Post edited at 16:22
1
wbo 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:how's he polling outside the Conservative party - my mother votes Tory butshe thinks he's a deviant buffoon and won't vote for him

The notion that he's a lovable character who'll get the proles massing to him will soon get a testing

stevieb 14 Jun 2019
In reply to wbo:

> how's he polling outside the Conservative party

i think this is the poll that Conservative mps are clinging to. At the moment the 4 main parties are all polling around 20%.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-poll-tory-leadership-race-election-corbyn-conservatives-a8954861.html

it looks like if Boris was chosen as leader, and there was a general election before he had a chance to mess up brexit, then he would wipe out the brexit party and deliver a majority. I’m not sure how long he could actually serve as prime minister before he was found out. 

Pan Ron 14 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Didn't the tories back the Iraq war.

Yep they did.  The Lib Dems didn't, the Greens didn't.  There were plenty of other choices.  But Labour rank-and-file still turned out in massive numbers to re-elect Blair.  Funny what you can turn a blind-eye to in favour of political ideology.

3
Pan Ron 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Nope. I'm fairly typical, left the Labour party over Irag and voted Lib Dem in 2005. Rejoined 18 months ago.

Not exactly representative of labour voters then I'm afraid.  You're in a club of around 5%, given that's about all the Tony Blair vote budged by between 2001 and 2005.

> You've reached dizzying heights of whataboutery.

No, just questioning the moral superiority of lefties who seem to think their voting behaviour puts them on a level above those who would support Boris Johnson.

6
Mike Stretford 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Not exactly representative of labour voters then I'm afraid.  You're in a club of around 5%, given that's about all the Tony Blair vote budged by between 2001 and 2005.

So that's about 15 % of Labour voters. A minority sure, but if you think most New Labour voters would consider themselves 'lefties' you are mistaken. The early success of New Labour was about holding onto the traditional vote and the lefties, while attracting most floating voters.

I had the argument with some 'lefties' at the time. Those who stuck with Labour did so for pragmatic reasons, the argument being voting Lib Dems would let the Tories in.... and an even more aggressive government but without the social investment Labour were doing. There were also those who were conned... the extent of the Iraq disaster wasn't so apparent in 2005.

> No, just questioning the moral superiority of lefties who seem to think their voting behaviour puts them on a level above those who would support Boris Johnson.

I do agree there will be some, but I wouldn't rubbish their current opinions for what I view as a mistake 14 years ago. That is whataboutery. 

Out of intrest, do you consider yourself to have an unblemished record? Have you no regrets?

I have actually made the point that Trump could be a less damaging president than Bush, with Iraq being the obvious reference. That's doesn't let Trump off for stuff like this

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34930042

Post edited at 19:51
Jon Stewart 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> So complaining about Boris' approach to taxation doesn't really get us anywhere if the Labour alternative is equally absurd.  When it comes to shaking magic money trees and passing the bill on to others, I don't see Boris as extreme.

I'm saying that I am firmly opposed to low-tax/low-spend right wing economics. I don't vote labour because like you, I don't believe in their fairy tale that "the rich" are a bottomless pit of uncollected tax that can improve public services - but this has no bearing.

> The problem is, every single action he takes, like Trump, results in an automatic DEFCON1 reaction.  It has become tedious in the extreme and I simply don't trust his detractors (which includes the mainstream media) to give an honest or measured accounting.  What they feed instead is endless outrage which other's are happy to parrot, no doubt believing it makes them sound informed and politically astute. 

Think about it yourself: can you remember Brexit? What was Boris's role? Oh yeah, he campaigned for Brexit without believing in a single word of it because he thought it would make him popular with the anti-immigrant right wingers, and would help him become PM...without, of course actually winning the vote and causing utter chaos. But it all went wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a6HNXtdvVQ

How devastating to a nation's history do a man's actions have to be before a DEFCON1 response is justified?

> Its a major failing on the left that they can't come up with any positive explanations for why someone like Boris might appeal, preferring the black and white Hollywood villain conceptualisation.

Well what is a good explanation? It's the same as Trump - he's a character who appeals to a large proportion of people's emotions, but who has no qualities that qualify him for high office. He "calls a spade a spade" when it comes to "picaninnies" and "bum boys". He says we'll leave in October no matter what. There's no merit to what he proposes, but exactly like Trump, he appeals to people at an incredibly shallow level. I'm sorry if you find that patronising to his supporters, but I'm not going to pretend that there are good reasons to support populists like Trump and Boris when I think the real reasons are that these people appeal to emotion and not to intelligence. 

It's very difficult to avoid being patronising when what you're saying is true. If you think that there are good, valid, rational reasons to support Boris, which since you leapt to his defence I presume you do, let's hear them.

> No need to dress anything up.  But you might want to consider that what Boris actually does when he is in power in no way matches the rhetoric or what people claim is going to happen. 

I'm judging Boris not an any media distortion, but on his actions. His role in Brexit, his performance as Foreign Secretary, and what he proposes for the country. On this basis he is a shit.

Post edited at 20:16
MG 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Here's that notorious member of "the left", and shallow, black and white thinker, Chris Pattern on Boris

https://twitter.com/Jim_Cornelius/status/1139274837455769604

elsewhere 14 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

Boris in his own words, listen for yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9MUwBEJRwk

MG 14 Jun 2019
In reply to elsewhere:

I'd not actually heard that before but knew of it.  He is only concerned about not hurting the guy too much to avoid *himself* getting in trouble!  What an utter shit.

captain paranoia 14 Jun 2019
In reply to MG:

Why are you surprised? The only thing Boris cares about is Boris.

Jon Stewart 14 Jun 2019
In reply to MG:

> Here's that notorious member of "the left", and shallow, black and white thinker, Chris Pattern on Boris

I thought that would be the C4News interview last night in which Pattern absolutely tore him to shreds.

Did you hear Hunt on Today trying to distance himself from the haters, saying what a great chap Boris is? Utterly insincere, self-serving and deeply uncomfortable, so completely consistent with every other time he's opened his mouth. The only one I can tolerate is Rory Stewart, who I actually think is pretty cool (all the more for the opium wedding story).

1
Archy Styrigg 15 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Any milligramme of respect (hahahaha) I may have had for people in positions of authority went out of the window today after I heard about the ongoing Grenfell saga. They really don't give a shit.

I'm not voting anymore, self serving scum, the lot of them.

Tringa 15 Jun 2019
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

After the first round of voting I'm trying to work out which is more worrying, that Tory MPs think Boris is the best choice for the top job or that they think Jeremy Hunt is the second best.

Dave

alastairmac 15 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Boris Johnson as Uk Prime Minister.......one more reason for Scottish voters to say enough is enough. We're off.

1
Coel Hellier 15 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Wrong. I've given a consequentialist argument that your actions are destructive. 

So is your stance that it's ok to call a spade a spade when discussing the (harmful) attitudes of white males who went to Eton, but not ok if we're discussing the (harmful) attitudes of predominantly brown-skinned, recent-immigrant communities? 

13
Jon Stewart 15 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You're framing it in terms of white and brown skin. I'm motivated by the consequences of ones actions. I also think that the equivalence you draw in "calling a spade a spade" is false.

Post edited at 19:54
1
MrsBuggins 15 Jun 2019
In reply to alastairmac:

> Boris Johnson as Uk Prime Minister.......one more reason for Scottish voters to say enough is enough. We're off.


Goodbye. Make sure you take wee Crankie with you. Oh, and kiss goodbye to the Barnet formula

Post edited at 20:04
12
RomTheBear 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So is your stance that it's ok to call a spade a spade when discussing the (harmful) attitudes of white males who went to Eton, but not ok if we're discussing the (harmful) attitudes of predominantly brown-skinned, recent-immigrant communities? 

What are the terrible harmful things that “brown skinned” recent immigrant communities have done ? Please do tell us.

Post edited at 07:58
1
toad 16 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

The last one did something traumatic to my bottom,

still he is my gp and apparently my prostate is ok. 

Pete Pozman 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

It's flabbergasting that anybody, anybody! thinks Johnson is worthy of a second thought in relation to the Premiership. At best he should be on Moral Maze to represent the point of view of the person with no morals. Even if you're an ardent Ayn Randist, Brexiter Tory you shouldn't want to be associated with this disreputable, lazy bounder. 

2
Coel Hellier 16 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> What are the terrible harmful things that “brown skinned” recent immigrant communities have done ? Please do tell us.

So you want an off-topic re-hash of several recent threads?

OK, well first, I didn't talk about "terrible harmful things that “brown skinned” recent immigrant communities have done" did I?, I talked about: "(harmful) attitudes" of recent immigrant communities.   As ever, you twist and distort (maybe, one day, you'll try debating honestly?).

Second, as I've pointed out, harmful *attitudes* tend to lead to harmful *actions* when the attitudes predominate.  So members of the UK communist party have harmful *attitudes* (if their ideas were implemented they would be hugely harmful), but are not doing harmful *acts* since they are too few and powerless to implement their ideas.

Third, the harm done by the Islamic idea system is blatantly obvious in many countries where those ideas do dominate. Blatantly obvious, that is, to anyone not sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "la la la".  If the Islamic idea system were believed predominantly by White people you would have not the slightest difficulty in seeing it as a harmful and fascist system.

Fourth, the oppressive attitudes of such idea systems are harmful, even in the UK, to those within those communities.  From the point of view of teenagers and young-adults from those communities who don't believe the religion and want to openly reject it, that idea system can be highly oppressive.

Fifthly, the attitudes from yourself and Jon, adopting very different standards of allowable criticism depending on whether we're talking about whites who went to Eton versus those from immigrant communities, is exactly the sort of "it's their culture, we can't criticise" attitude that led to the Rotherham scandals, etc.

Sixthly, try reading stuff by the moderates and ex-Muslims and you might see why being able to openly criticise ideas systems is essential.  Here, just as one example, is a recent piece by Sarah Haider:

"Ex-Muslim Activist Sarah Haider Says Western Liberals Are Making Things Worse"

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/06/14/40477576/ex-muslim-activist-sarah-haider-says-western-liberals-are-making-things-worse#

7
stevieb 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Pete Pozman:

I think Johnson is a horrendous candidate. I think his term as mayor is defendable but he is the worst foreign secretary in living memory.

but isn’t there an argument that (a) Conservative party members will definitely select a Brexiter and (b) Johnson is the most likely to betray that trust? (And throw in (c) Raab looks seriously scary)

Robert Durran 16 Jun 2019
In reply to stevieb:

> but isn’t there an argument that (a) Conservative party members will definitely select a Brexiter and (b) Johnson is the most likely to betray that trust? (And throw in (c) Raab looks seriously scary)

Yes, the harder the Brexiteer we get, the harder they and the tory party are going to fall when they fail to renegotiate a deal acceptable to parliament and then have parliament block no deal. A silver lining perhaps.

I like Rory Stewart who is a remainer at heart, but, as the only reasonable, non deluded candidate, is probably, paradoxically, the most likely candidate to take us out iof the EU by October 31st. I think he may be a future prime minister, but one to pick up the pieces and heal the country once the Brexit fiasco is over (hopefully with us remaining) rather than to lead us into the abyss now.

1
Pefa 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Second, as I've pointed out, harmful *attitudes* tend to lead to harmful *actions* when the attitudes predominate.  So members of the UK communist party have harmful *attitudes* (if their ideas were implemented they would be hugely harmful), but are not doing harmful *acts* since they are too few and powerless to implement their ideas.

Astonishing! Your manipulation is breathtaking Coel really breathtaking. Which country has the largest population of atheists in the world and why? Which biggest country in the world has a huge population of atheists and why? Which part of Germany before 1989 was practically all atheist and why? Which country in Europe had the biggest membership in the communist party before 1989 and is now the country with the largest atheist population in Europe per head? How many Muslims became atheist in the USSR after the workers took over and spread materialism? 

> Third, the harm done by the Islamic idea system is blatantly obvious in many countries where those ideas do dominate. Blatantly obvious, that is, to anyone not sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "la la la".  If the Islamic idea system were believed predominantly by White people you would have not the slightest difficulty in seeing it as a harmful and fascist system.

Is this the Saudi and gulf caliphates or secular Syria or secular Muslim parts of Russia we are talking about? Who spread the Islamo-fascist brand of Islam throughout the world? 

> Fourth, the oppressive attitudes of such idea systems are harmful, even in the UK, to those within those communities.  From the point of view of teenagers and young-adults from those communities who don't believe the religion and want to openly reject it, that idea system can be highly oppressive.

Again is this Sufism,Alawite or wahabism? 

> Fifthly, the attitudes from yourself and Jon, adopting very different standards of allowable criticism depending on whether we're talking about whites who went to Eton versus those from immigrant communities, is exactly the sort of "it's their culture, we can't criticise" attitude that led to the Rotherham scandals, etc.

Rotherham was more authorities not wanting to look racist than thinking its a part of their culture so its OK. 

> Sixthly, try reading stuff by the moderates and ex-Muslims and you might see why being able to openly criticise ideas systems is essential.  Here, just as one example, is a recent piece by Sarah Haider:

This brave young ex-muslim now atheist woman makes a glaring error in her summation of atheists on the left and Liberal sides in predominately Christian and white western countries. By presuming we atheists in the west can change the Muslim world from the outside rather than Muslims changing the Muslim world for themselves. We can be what we are ie. Atheist, leftists and build a society around secularism and science which also gives people freedom to practice religion if they want to and freedom to give up their religion if they want to. Places like that are examples which can be shown to people in places of non-religious freedom as progressive and more advanced but we cannot force Muslim people in Muslim countries to do what we say, religiously anyway as they must come to this in their own time and we are constantly attacking Muslim countries lately so to deny the crucial role of imperialism would be beyond insensitive. Its telling how she doesn't latch on to the fact we only attack secular Muslim countries, I think she is another victim of the right in the west and their current lying narrative. This woman seems to think it is up to us, it isn't. We on the left know the inequalities of Christianity, Islam and the rest fine well all we can do is change where we are and be an example for others with no religious freedom. 

Now your two matters :socialism and Islam. People on the right have done a good job of hijacking history then turning it on its head to suit them but the trouble is that people who know actual history are always there to catch you out. Take Afghanistan, quick summary:women enslaved in severe Islamo-fascist culture, socialists take over: women now free, no more burkas or nicabs, 200,000 given jobs, full education, literacy, health care. 

That wasn't Gert Wilders or Tommeh, Thatcher or Boris that was Socialists. Same throughout the Muslim world. 

In the West the right wing come along and support the ones forcing women to wear the burka, nicab and be treated like slaves again throughout the Muslim world. 

Summary: Western Tories/right wingers create Muslim world totally dominated by Islamo-fascist brand of Islam then moan about what they made. 

https://www.rt.com/news/422563-saudi-wahhabism-western-countries/?fbclid=IwAR3EF1qRmesJd6qAmxzPi5e9ZhnVixwSXj6XyqF8BASC_E0-XDiP2UDKZ4o

Quote - 

The Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism began as a result of Western countries asking Riyadh to help counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Washington Post.

Speaking to the paper, bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia's Western allies urged the country to invest in mosques and madrassas overseas during the Cold War, in an effort to prevent encroachment in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union.

Unquote. 

That's the right wing in the UK and USA telling the Saudis to spread wahabism throughout the world. 

Post edited at 20:28
6
Pete Pozman 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Robert Durran:

Rory Stewart is respectable but like so many of us he's hanging on to things as they were. I somehow hope we'll get our Liberal, tolerant modern creative country back. Stewart holds on to an idea of the Conservatives as pragmatic and trustworthy, the repository of tradition is and steadfastness.

I'm afraid we're both wrong and new alliances need to be formed. If he is ever to be PM it won't be as head of the Tories. They're finished. 

Jon Stewart 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Second, as I've pointed out, harmful *attitudes* tend to lead to harmful *actions* when the attitudes predominate. 

You've got a problem here. You want to be nice to Muslims (people not ideas) but take a hard line against the whole of Islam without being nuanced or specific. I'm afraid you can't have it both ways: if Islam is harmful/fascist, then Muslims are fascists and their attitudes tend to lead to harmful actions. In Muslim communities in the UK as well as overseas in Islamic countries, Islamic "attitudes predominate".

So, you could be consistent and make a specific point that Islamic government leads to bad outcomes while maintaining your "I'm not being an arsehole to Muslims as people" position. Or you can maintain your simplistic, stupid, unhelpful "Islam is fascist" line and admit that you're calling all the ordinary Muslims of this country fascists. Be consistent. You can't have it both ways.

I'll not reply to any more Islam posts on this thread but you can start a new one if you really want.

Post edited at 20:29
Rob Exile Ward 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Pete Pozman:

No they're not. They're like amoebae, or gravity. The Tories don't have an ideology, they simply exist to represent power, wealth and privilege. (A bloke from York Uni wrote a very good book about it 50 years ago, Nigel Harris, 'Beliefs in Society'; he was right then, he's right now.) They do whatever it takes to retain power and, if they take the occasional haymaker which knocks them down, they bounce back soon enough. Because, for them, TINA. 

1
RomTheBear 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So you want an off-topic re-hash of several recent threads?

> OK, well first, I didn't talk about "terrible harmful things that “brown skinned” recent immigrant communities have done" did I?, I talked about: "(harmful) attitudes" of recent immigrant communities.

You see my wife is a recent brown skinned immigrant and I bet she’s done a lot less harm in her whole life than you do in one day peddling your pseudo intellectual racist rants on the internet.

> Third, the harm done by the Islamic idea system is blatantly obvious in many countries where those ideas do dominate.

What you fail to understand is that there isn’t such a thing as a single “Islamic idea system” and that Islam means completely different thing to different people.

But with your total ignorance of the subject and your completely one dimensional view of the world,  combined with a rather deluded sense of racial and cultural superiority, your are unable to see that.

> Blatantly obvious, that is, to anyone not sticking their fingers in their ears and singing "la la la".  If the Islamic idea system were believed predominantly by White people you would have not the slightest difficulty in seeing it as a harmful and fascist system.

What is blatantly obvious is that you talk of Islam exactly the same way that a fundamentalist  Salafist would talk of the Jews, which in fact puts you exactly in the same category of intolerant f*cks. But not unlike them, you are too convinced of your cultural superiority to see that.

> Fourth, the oppressive attitudes of such idea systems are harmful, even in the UK, to those within those communities.  From the point of view of teenagers and young-adults from those communities who don't believe the religion and want to openly reject it, that idea system can be highly oppressive.

You know what’s oppressive ? Charlatans who tell us that recent immigrant with brown skin have “harmful” attitudes.

Anybody with common sense would recognise that the colour of skin and where you’re from has  nothing to do with that.

> Fifthly, the attitudes from yourself and Jon, adopting very different standards of allowable criticism depending on whether we're talking about whites who went to Eton versus those from immigrant communities, is exactly the sort of "it's their culture, we can't criticise" attitude that led to the Rotherham scandals, etc.

No, Jon maybe did once, I didn’t, for my part I consider anybody who confuses group characteristics with individual behaviour to be an utter idiot, and, in that regard, you are a repeat offender.

Post edited at 21:03
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Coel Hellier 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> You want to be nice to Muslims (people not ideas) but take a hard line against the whole of Islam without being nuanced or specific.

There's a good quote from you up-thread about the necessity of stating things with nuance being "wet jesus-sandals bollocks".

> I'm afraid you can't have it both ways: if Islam is harmful/fascist, then Muslims are fascists ...

Not necessarily, since they might  identify with that stuff purely for cultural reasons, rather than actually believing it (much like the majority of self-labelled Christians in the UK).   Or they might recognise the harmful aspects of mainstream Islamic ideology and openly reject them. 

5
Coel Hellier 16 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> ... peddling your pseudo intellectual racist rants on the internet.

Insults from an anonymous coward.

> What you fail to understand is that there isn’t such a thing as a single “Islamic idea system” ...

Nope, sorry, I understand that just fine.  There is also enough commonality in such idea systems that it is valid to talk about them overall.

> But with your total ignorance of the subject and your completely one dimensional view of the world,  combined with a rather deluded sense of racial and cultural superiority, your are unable to see that.

Empty insults from an anonymous coward.

> ... which in fact puts you exactly in the same category of intolerant f*cks.

Empty insults from an anonymous coward.

> You know what’s oppressive ? Charlatans who tell us that recent immigrant with brown skin have “harmful” attitudes.

Some of them do.  I never said that all of them do, did I?   But feel free to lie about me from cowardly anonymity. 

> Anybody with common sense would recognise that the colour of skin and where you’re from has  nothing to do with that.

Which is exactly my position, and why I critique the *attitudes* inherent in certain *idea* *systems*, regardless of who it is who believes them.  It is people such as you and Jon who think that skin colour is relevant and should be a free pass that exempts some ideas from criticism. 

10
Jon Stewart 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> There's a good quote from you up-thread about the necessity of stating things with nuance being "wet jesus-sandals bollocks".

No there isn't.

RomTheBear 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Insults from an anonymous coward.

> Nope, sorry, I understand that just fine.  There is also enough commonality in such idea systems that it is valid to talk about them overall.

Wrong, it is completely invalid. If you fail to see that there is pretty much nothing in common that is relevant to the problem between the “idea system” of an integrist salafist that of a typical Shia or Sunni Muslim, you are even more ignorant than I thought. And even within those branches you just have a wide variety of clusters and sub clusters which are too complex to characterise.

> Empty insults from an anonymous coward.

> Empty insults from an anonymous coward.

Nope, it was right on point.

> Some of them do.  I never said that all of them do, did I?   But feel free to lie about me from cowardly anonymity. 

If only “some of them do” then, via negativa, it completely demolishes your argument. 

> Which is exactly my position, and why I critique the *attitudes* inherent in certain *idea* *systems*, regardless of who it is who believes them.  It is people such as you and Jon who think that skin colour is relevant and should be a free pass that exempts some ideas from criticism. 

Wrong. I made exactly the opposite point. Let me point out that you are the one who said that brown-skinned and recent immigrant communities had “harmful attitudes”

Post edited at 21:28
2
Coel Hellier 16 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If only “some of them do” then, via negativa, it completely demolishes your argument. 

Not at all, my whole point is that we should be able to criticise bad ideas regardless of who holds them.   That's my central and repeated point here, stated  in opposition to those who hold that, if the views are held by recent immigrants, then we need to give them a free pass, or only criticise them mildly along with forelock tugging, declarations of respect, and "wet Jesus-sandal bollocks".

Nothing about that position makes any claim about what fraction of the various immigrant communities hold various views. 

5
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not at all, my whole point is that we should be able to criticise bad ideas regardless of who holds them.   

No Coel, you were not criticising “bad ideas” you were telling us that Muslims have harmful attitudes because of their “idea system”. That is an idiotic generalisation and an ignorant one.

And btw this is exactly the same kind of generalisation a committed Salafist would make about Jews. You talk exactly like them.

> Nothing about that position makes any claim about what fraction of the various immigrant communities hold various views. 

Quote:

“we're discussing the (harmful) attitudes of predominantly brown-skinned, recent-immigrant communities? “

? so you are not telling us that brown skinned  immigrant communities have harmful views anymore ? Nice back-pedalling.

Post edited at 05:16
3
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No Coel, you were not criticising “bad ideas” you were telling us that Muslims have harmful attitudes because of their “idea system”.

Or, rather, I was saying that Islam, overall, in mainstream versions, is a harmful bundle of ideas.   Which it is. 

> ? so you are not telling us that brown skinned  immigrant communities have harmful views anymore ? Nice back-pedalling.

Some of them do; some of them don't.  My sentence didn't imply that *all* of them do, any more than it implied that all white males who went to Eton have harmful ideas.

My central point, again, is that if we accept open and blunt criticism of harmful ideas where they are espoused by white males who went to Eton. without the need for any "wet Jesus-sandal bollocks", then we should equally accept open and blunt criticism of harmful ideas where they are espoused by anyone else. 

6
jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Fifthly, the attitudes from yourself and Jon, adopting very different standards of allowable criticism depending on whether we're talking about whites who went to Eton versus those from immigrant communities, is exactly the sort of "it's their culture, we can't criticise" attitude that led to the Rotherham scandals, etc.

Surely the difference isn't between 'immigrant' and Etonian, it's between people who have real power and profile vs those that don't, those that are in meaningful ways powerless over all but those immediately around them? 'Attacking' those in groups more than able to defend themselves from positions of entrenched power and privilege vs attacking those in groups already precarious, downtrodden or actively under attack?

To simplify grossly, punching up vs down.

jk

Post edited at 09:54
4
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Surely the difference isn't between 'immigrant' and Etonian, it's between people who have real power and profile vs those that don't ...

Whereas I've always put the emphasis on critiques of *ideas* (regardless of who holds them) not on attacking *people*.

And Islam is one of the most powerful idea systems on the planet, with well over a billion adherents and being held by a majority of the populace in over 53 countries worldwide. 

So don't try any wet, Jesus-sandal bollocks about it being a meek, mild and down-trodden idea system unable to argue back.

And note that, from the point of view of teenagers and young adults brought up in Muslim communities in the UK, but who want to renounce, critique or reform the religion, Islam *is* the thing that has "real power" in those communities. 

5
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> To simplify grossly, punching up vs down.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/06/14/muslim-dad-brother-abused-entire-family-two-daughters-refused-arranged-marriages-9950356/

So read that link and ask who is punching up and who punching down? Who has the power in such communities? Is it the teenagers and young-adults who want to adopt a Western lifestyle?

2
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Or, rather, I was saying that Islam, overall, in mainstream versions, is a harmful bundle of ideas.   Which it is. 

In that case the inescapable logical consequence is that you consider all “mainstream” Muslim to be believing in harmful ideas.

> Some of them do; some of them don't.  My sentence didn't imply that *all* of them do, 

Well I’m afraid it’s a contradiction. And the reason you have this contradiction is that you have actually no idea what you are talking about when you talk about religion or Islam in general.

It’s perfectly possible to be Muslim and to have very liberal views, the evidence is everywhere.

> My central point, again, is that if we accept open and blunt criticism of harmful ideas where they are espoused by white males who went to Eton. 

Ffs, don’t you understand that their colour of skin has nothing to do with it ?

3
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> In that case the inescapable logical consequence is that you consider all “mainstream” Muslim to be believing in harmful ideas.

Nope, since many Muslims might identify as Muslim for cultural reasons, and may not believe swathes of the ideology.  (As I've said, this is the case for the majority of people in the UK who self-label as "Christian".)   I'm not making any assumption as to what any given person believes.

> Well I’m afraid it’s a contradiction.

Not it isn't, and you've made no attempt to support a claim that it is.

> It’s perfectly possible to be Muslim and to have very liberal views, the evidence is everywhere.

Sure, I've pointed to such moderates repeatedly!   Such as Maajid Nawaz.

> Ffs, don’t you understand that their colour of skin has nothing to do with it ?

Nothing to do with what? Nothing to do with whether we're allowed to criticise views people hold?   Well, sorry, but people like you and Jon *do* seem to think that we should adopt different standards on that according to skin colour. 

While it is *me* who is saying that it should make no difference! 

"... judged by the content of their character, not by the colour of their skin ..." was I think how someone notable dreamt. 

3
jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So read that link and ask who is punching up and who punching down? Who has the power in such communities? Is it the teenagers and young-adults who want to adopt a Western lifestyle?

Way to deliberately miss the point Coel. That man appears to be a shit, one wielding power over those directly around him but with near zero chance of wielding any more power than that. When you and the press chose to kick at him because he's a Muslim, and a shit, one has to ask why you bothered identifying him as a Muslim shit in a world full of shits? It seems you seek to implicitly link those traits in my mind, encouraging the kicking of a similarly powerless but innocent wider group, to tar them with the actions of another. Johnson will be Prime Minister of the United kingdom when you kick at him and his Etonian chums for their appalling mismanagement of this country you kick those more than able to defend themselves from positions of power and privilege.

Personally I'd prefer in both instances to see the failings of the individual addressed and criticised, not used to tar the group you've/we've decided defines them but we're not all always that careful so it's worth acknowledging the consequences of sloppily targeted criticism/abuse are not the same for each of the groups those individuals are identified with.

jk

Post edited at 11:06
4
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> When you and the press chose to kick at him because he's a Muslim, and a shit, one has to ask why you bothered identifying him as a Muslim shit in a world full of shits?

Are you suggesting that the idea system of Islam has no effect at all on how that person thinks and thus no effect on how he acts? 

Because that's a rather bizarre claim. 

> Personally I'd prefer in both instances to see the failings of the individual addressed and criticised, ...

Sure, criticise the individual, but to suggest that cultural and religious idea systems have no effect on anyone, and thus should not be criticised where they are harmful, is just ludicrous. 

Of course it's only ever one particular idea system that gets excused as being causally inert. 

RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Nope, since many Muslims might identify as Muslim for cultural reasons, and may not believe swathes of the ideology.  (As I've said, this is the case for the majority of people in the UK who self-label as "Christian".)   I'm not making any assumption as to what any given person believes.

Instead of insinuating that Muslim who are not harmful are not really Muslims and not really “believers”, suggesting that you know better than all Muslim what their religion is, have you considered that you simply don’t understand it ?

> Nothing to do with what? Nothing to do with whether we're allowed to criticise views people hold?   Well, sorry, but people like you and Jon *do* seem to think that we should adopt different standards on that according to skin colour. 

No, the ideas people hold has nothing to do with their skin colour. I’m not sure why you can’t recognise that.

> While it is *me* who is saying that it should make no difference! 

no, it is you who said that “brown skinned people” held harmful views.

jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Are you suggesting that the idea system of Islam has no effect at all on how that person thinks and thus no effect on how he acts? 

No. Are you suggesting that man is abusive *because* he's Muslim?

jk

Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Are you suggesting that man is abusive *because* he's Muslim?

Yes.  He is imposing conservative Islamic ideas that are abusive, and he is doing that because of his religion (or certainly "his interpretation of his religion").

Are you suggesting that his religion makes no contribution at all to his attitudes as recorded in that article?

1
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No, the ideas people hold has nothing to do with their skin colour. 

I never said they did.

> I’m not sure why you can’t recognise that.

Typical of you to use such phrasing to insinuate something false about what I've said.

> no, it is you who said that “brown skinned people” held harmful views.

What I said is that among brown-skinned people there will be some harmful views (just as there will be in any other group).  My phrasing no more implied that such people hold harmful beliefs and that all the beliefs they hold are harmful, than it implied that all white males have harmful beliefs and that all the beliefs they hold are harmful.

But it's typical of you to try to attribute to me things I've not said. 

1
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I never said they did.

This is the logical implication. Instead of weaselling your way out of this why aren’t you a bit more honest ? If you say that Islam is a harmful bunch of ideas then the logical implacable consequence is that Muslim, by definition people who believe in Islam, believe in harmful ideas. 

Obviously this is not true, which means, via negativa, that your assumption is false.

What you don’t understand is that Islam is not one set of ideas, means a completely different things to different people, and has thousands of variations. As a result trying to coin Islam as “harmful” is idiotic.

It’s no more clever than saying that food is bad for you, just because someone ate a poisonous berry and died.

> What I said is that among brown-skinned people there will be some harmful views (just as there will be in any other group). 

So why mention race ?

Post edited at 12:00
4
jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes.  He is imposing conservative Islamic ideas that are abusive, and he is doing that because of his religion (or certainly "his interpretation of his religion"). Are you suggesting that his religion makes no contribution at all to his attitudes as recorded in that article?

I'd suggest he's abusive because he's a shit, if religion wasn't his excuse he'd doubtless find some other otherwise how would we explain football hooligans or Christian wife-beaters or atheist rabble-rousing bigots?

Also how would we explain all those decent folk who hold conservative religious views but who turn their beliefs to good, to help their community and others, who don't abuse their families or force their ideas on others?

Thanks for the honesty Coel but I'm done with this grubby interaction, I'd rather not be the excuse you use for airing more of your ideas.

jk

4
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If you say that Islam is a harmful bunch of ideas then the logical implacable consequence is that Muslim, by definition people who believe in Islam, believe in harmful ideas. 

That would only hold if there were a clearly and neatly prescribed list of ideas and that any "Muslim" must believe all of them. 

There isn't.  I have many times pointed to the example of people like Maajid Nawaz who identifies as a Muslim and also, as a moderate and reformer,  recognises and rejects many of the harmful aspects of Islam. 

Unlike you, I am not making assumptions as to what a particular person who identifies as a Muslim does or does not believe.  What I am doing is critiquing the overall bundle of ideas that we call "Islam" as it exists in mainstream variants worldwide. 

1
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> I'd suggest he's abusive because he's a shit, if religion wasn't his excuse ...

There you are again, excusing religion by suggesting that it is causally inert, that the religion cannot be contributing to his harmful ideas and actions. 

This is just wrong, it's not how people work.  The whole point of powerfully held idea systems is that they influence people's attitudes and behaviour. 

> Also how would we explain all those decent folk who hold conservative religious views but ...

"If smoking causes ill health, how do we explain all the smokers who are not ill?"

Because there are also lots of other factors involved.  But just because others factors are involved doesn't mean that "smoking causes ill health" is false.  

1
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> That would only hold if there were a clearly and neatly prescribed list of ideas and that any "Muslim" must believe all of them. 

> There isn't.  I have many times pointed to the example of people like Maajid Nawaz who identifies as a Muslim and also, as a moderate and reformer,  recognises and rejects many of the harmful aspects of Islam. 

Which suggest there isn’t one single view of Islam, and therefore telling people that Islam is a bunch of harmful ideas is nonsensical.

> Unlike you, I am not making assumptions as to what a particular person who identifies as a Muslim does or does not believe.  What I am doing is critiquing the overall bundle of ideas that we call "Islam" as it exists in mainstream variants worldwide. 

The problem is that this is evidently contradictory. Islam is what people make it to be, so it will be completely different for different groups and sub groups. As such doing a critique of “Islam” dissociating it from its practitioners is completely nonsensical.

As said above it’s the same thing as saying that food is harmful because eating too much butter gives you cholesterol.

Post edited at 12:36
2
TobyA 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Are you suggesting that the idea system of Islam has no effect at all on how that person thinks and thus no effect on how he acts? 

Let's find a murder done by a white British bloke who doesn't go to church or believe anything religious - is it his whiteness, his maleness, his non-religiosity or his Britishness that you think led him to murder someone?

Geez Coel, have you got a Google news alert set up to notify you of any crime story that has the word "Muslim" in it?

6
Rob Exile Ward 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

'The problem is that this is evidently contradictory. Islam is what people make it to be, so it will be completely different for different groups and sub groups. As such doing a critique of “Islam” is completely nonsensical.'

That's not quite true though, is it: even the very name explicitly spells out the 'fact' that believers have to do what they are told, whatever that might be and whichever particular sect is doing the telling.

And I am not sure (I stand to be corrected) that there anything similar to  the over-arching narrative of the Sermon on the Mount, which is fundamentally in alignment with the humanistic progress western countries have made since the Enlightenment. And no, I'm not forgetting about the very 'un-Christian' events such as the Roman adoption, the Crusades, the Inquisition and Puritanism - what I am saying is that as humanism developed, Christianity had an ideology that already reflected similar values, that enabled it to accommodate the new humanism rather than fight it.

To not recognise that a religion that has submission at its core, that peddles a belief in a fantastical  afterlife, (exactly what you need when you're trying to fire up young people who otherwise have no hope of a better life in this world), that holds 'tradition' and conservatism as core values... well, it can't be great, can it? 

Post edited at 14:01
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Islam is what people make it to be, so it will be completely different for different groups and sub groups.

Nope, if it were *completely* different we wouldn't call it "Islam".  There needs to be sufficient commonality to attract the label, and it's entirely fair to discuss and critique mainstream versions of that bundle of ideas as a whole. 

1
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Let's find a murder done by a white British bloke who doesn't go to church or believe anything religious - is it his whiteness, his maleness, his non-religiosity or his Britishness that you think led him to murder someone?

Well that would very much depend on the case and the beliefs of that person, wouldn't it?  But none of those ("his whiteness, his maleness, his non-religiosity or his Britishness") are themselves actual belief systems, so no they would not directly motivate action.   Islam *is* a belief system.

And in the case in the above article, we can see that the Muslim religion was indeed a large factor in the attitudes and actions.

> Geez Coel, have you got a Google news alert set up to notify you of any crime story that has the word "Muslim" in it?

Nope, but I do follow various ex-Muslims and moderate Muslims on Twitter (Ali Rizvi, Maryam Namazie, Sarah Haider, Omyman M, Kenan Malik, ex-Muslims Forum, Maajid Nawaz, Ayaan Hirsi Ali), and yes they do influence how I think.  Is that wrong of me?

As someone born into a Christian family, but who realised I was an atheist by age 12 or so, I have sympathy for the ex-Muslims. I also think that they are in a pretty good position to assess the merits and demerits of the religion.   And one thing such ex-Muslims continually rail against is the denial that says that Islam doesn't have these harmful effects.  They know that it does because they were part of it. 

1
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> 'The problem is that this is evidently contradictory. Islam is what people make it to be, so it will be completely different for different groups and sub groups. As such doing a critique of “Islam” is completely nonsensical.'

> That's not quite true though, is it: even the very name explicitly spells out the 'fact' that believers have to do what they are told, whatever that might be and whichever particular sect is doing the telling.

Ho I see, so basically your reasoning is that every  Muslim are in a state of submission of some sect just because of the etymology of the word Islam.

Do you realise how nonsensical and desperate the argument is ?

Did it occur to you that most Muslim don’t give a single f*ck about the etymology of the word, or in fact don’t even give a single f*ck about what is in the Quran ?

> And I am not sure (I stand to be corrected) that there anything similar to  the over-arching narrative of the Sermon on the Mount, which is fundamentally in alignment with the humanistic progress western countries have made since the Enlightenment. And no, I'm not forgetting about the very 'un-Christian' events such as the Roman adoption, the Crusades, the Inquisition and Puritanism

Well maybe you dont forget but you ignore it because it demolishes your argument.

> To not recognise that a religion that has submission at its core, that peddles a belief in a fantastical  afterlife, (exactly what you need when you're trying to fire up young people who otherwise have no hope of a better life in this world), that holds 'tradition' and conservatism as core values... well, it can't be great, can it? 

Again that’s completely out of step with reality. If it was true, then why most of my Muslim friends are pro gay marriage, pro abortion rights etc etc ?

The simple fact that they exist demolish your argument thoroughly by counter example.

You can say “ho well that’s because they are not real Muslim”, the problem you have is that they completely disagree.

2
David Riley 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

>  most Muslim don’t even give a single f*ck about what is in the Quran ?

Fatwa in the post ?

1
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Nope, if it were *completely* different we wouldn't call it "Islam".  There needs to be sufficient commonality to attract the label, and it's entirely fair to discuss and critique mainstream versions of that bundle of ideas as a whole. 

Wrong. Just because we group a wide variety and shapes of Islam under the word “Islam” it doesn’t mean they lend themselves to a common critique.

It’s like saying that because I call a Ferrari and a Fiat panda both “cars” I should give them a similar review in auto magazine. It’s stupid.

Post edited at 14:35
3
Sir Chasm 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Did it occur to you that most Muslim don’t give a single f*ck about the etymology of the word, or in fact don’t even give a single f*ck about what is in the Quran ?

What is it that makes them Muslims then?

2
jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> To not recognise that a religion that has submission at its core, that peddles a belief in a fantastical  afterlife, (exactly what you need when you're trying to fire up young people who otherwise have no hope of a better life in this world), that holds 'tradition' and conservatism as core values... well, it can't be great, can it? 

Yeah, it can be great.

Look at the golden age advances in the sciences, mathematics, arts, medicine, easily akin to the European renaissance. Look to the good works of your local Mosque and community groups giving back to where they live, the Muslims who serve on the front line of our armed and emergency services. Those kids born to hardworking, law abiding and undervalued immigrant parents who now significantly outperform their 'native' classmates, young people whose values and interests are as varied as ours. We're focused relentlessly on the negative by government, press and obsessed activists like Coel to forge our neighbours into the enemy within that they just aren't.

Islam isn't uniquely good or bad, it is like most widespread beliefs: varied, socially tempered and something we as a species are saddled with for good and ill for the foreseeable future.

jk

Post edited at 14:58
2
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It’s like saying that because I call a Ferrari and a Fiat panda both “cars” I should give them a similar review in auto magazine. It’s stupid.

But if I were commenting on traffic congestion or internal combustion engines then commenting on Ferraris and Fiats together could make sense.

Your tactic of suggesting that different variants of Islam have so little in common that we can't even talk sensibly about "Islam" is just another tactic to disallow criticism of Islam.   It's amazing how many such excuses people can come up with! 

skog 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

I think Rob was saying Islam can't be great; you seem to have replied saying that Muslims can be great.

If I'm right about that, I pretty much agree with Rob on the first part, and with you on the latter (and he may well too) - they aren't incompatible.

Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Look at the golden age advances in the sciences, mathematics, arts, medicine, easily akin to the European renaissance.

Actually, if was way inferior to the (later) European renaissance and enlightenment. And it mostly consisted of preserving Greek learning rather than making big advances.     It was indeed better than Europe at the same time, but then Europe at the time was dominated by stiffling and backwards Christianity.

> Look to the good works of your local Mosque and community groups giving back to where they live, ...

Is this substantially greater than in other communities? 

> ... the Muslims who serve on the front line of our armed and emergency services.

But non-Muslims do that also, so why credit Islam?

> Islam isn't uniquely good or bad, ...

Of course no-one is arguing that it is "uniquely" bad, that's a strawman, we're arguing that we should be able to subject it to criticism just as any other idea system gets criticised.

1
Pan Ron 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Surely the difference isn't between 'immigrant' and Etonian, it's between people who have real power and profile vs those that don't,

Do you really think its ok to declare criticism of some people in-limits and other people off-limits, based on subjective perceptions of who has power?

No surprise that everyone seems to be clamouring to claim victim or damaged status, given it accords immunity from being held to the same standards as your peers.

1
Rob Exile Ward 17 Jun 2019
In reply to skog:

Thank you; yes you've summarised me fine.

Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to skog:

> I think Rob was saying Islam can't be great; you seem to have replied saying that Muslims can be great.

Yes, well said. 

The reply is a bit like saying that in the Soviet Union there were a lot of dedicated nurses (true) and brave fire-fighters (true) and some fine scientists (true) and notable authors and painters and ballet dancers (true), and so it is wrong to criticise the political system of the  Soviet Union or to argue that overall Soviet communism was a harmful system.

jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Is this substantially greater than in other communities? 

Probably not but then I never claimed otherwise.

> But non-Muslims do that also, so why credit Islam?

I'm not, I'm crediting Muslims, individuals, counter-examples to your relentlessly miserable depiction of them as regressive bigots and abusers.

jk

5
jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to skog:

> I think Rob was saying Islam can't be great; you seem to have replied saying that Muslims can be great.  If I'm right about that, I pretty much agree with Rob on the first part, and with you on the latter (and he may well too) - they aren't incompatible.

Obviously not but I simply don't agree with his argument which appears to be that the belief is inherently and perhaps uniquely corrupting in demanding complete unquestioning 'submission'. The existence of good Muslims, people who both take their 'can't be great' faith seriously and can be found doing good in varied decent societies does rather suggest that hypothesis is simplistic.

jk

Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> I'm not, I'm crediting Muslims, individuals, counter-examples to your relentlessly miserable depiction of them as regressive bigots and abusers.

But then I've not done that.  Why can't people debate honestly? 

3
jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> Do you really think its ok to declare criticism of some people in-limits and other people off-limits, based on subjective perceptions of who has power?

No, I think it's important to consider the wildly differing consequences for those groups we're discussing if and when we choose to make sweeping criticisms.

jk

Post edited at 16:14
jkarran 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But then I've not done that.  Why can't people debate honestly? 

> Me: Are you suggesting that man is abusive *because* he's Muslim?

> You: Yes.  He is imposing conservative Islamic ideas that are abusive, and he is doing that because of his religion (or certainly "his interpretation of his religion").

My mistake.

jk

3
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Sir Chasm:

You’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask. For most it will be simply faith into some vague god, doing some prayer and going to the mosque, for some the most extremes it will be obedience to Islamic law, for other it’ll be just culture and rituals, and the intersection of all and parts, at different levels, across a wide gamut.

This isn’t a one dimensional, simple thing, it’s in fact probably too complex to be characterised and mapped as simplistic mental schema.

The only way you can assess whether a particular religion, ideology, is bad or good for you is to look at how long it’s been around. Those that are harmful tend to have a short lifespan simply because the population that hold them don’t survive over time.

Islam has been around for 1500 years, if it was that bad, then how come it’s still around ? Surely over such a long period of time if it was bad for the people who hold these beliefs, they should have mechanically disappeared by attrition.

RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Actually, if was way inferior to the (later) European renaissance and enlightenment. 

What systematically transpires is that you believe your culture to be superior. You will deny it of course, but you know it’s true.

And that is exactly why you are blind to the massive flaws in your argument.

> But non-Muslims do that also, so why credit Islam?

Do you realise that this argument can be flipped, by saying than harmful attitudes are held by non -Muslims too, therefore, why credit Islam ? 

Post edited at 16:33
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> Me: Are you suggesting that man is abusive *because* he's Muslim?

> You: Yes.  He is imposing conservative Islamic ideas that are abusive, and he is doing that because of his religion (or certainly "his interpretation of his religion").

And I stick to the my suggestion that that man is abusive (partly) because of his religious attitudes.  As I also said up-thread there are a whole lot of factors involved in how any individual acts.   So no, I'm not saying that all Muslims are "regressive bigots and abusers".

And again, saying that the Soviet Union was dominated by a harmful and totalitarian idea system, that caused lots of people to behave in harmful ways, is not the same as saying that all citizens of the Soviet Union were bad people -- obviously most of them were fine people wanting to do their best for themselves, their families and their communities.

In the same way, saying that Islam is a harmful and totalitarian idea system, that causes lots of people to behave in harmful ways, is not the same as saying that all Muslims are bad people -- obviously most of them are fine people wanting to do their best for themselves, their families and their communities.

1
summo 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Islam has been around for 1500 years, if it was that bad, then how come it’s still around ? Surely over such a long period of time if it was bad for the people who hold these beliefs, they should have mechanically disappeared by attrition.

Sometimes it is not believing in a given religion which is harmful, not the belief. 

How easy would life be today for a female atheist Arab women in Riyadh? Probably as good as a practising Catholic in the UK after the reformation. 

Religions endure because of the power they have over people. 

Post edited at 16:37
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> But then I've not done that.  Why can't people debate honestly? 

Not directly, but this is the inevitable logical consequence of what you say.

If indeed Islam is a bunch of harmful ideas, then at the very least you consider Muslims to be idiot for adopting such a set of ideas, at worst you consider them to be harmful.

1
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Islam has been around for 1500 years, if it was that bad, then how come it’s still around ?

"Well Mr Wilberforce, slavery has been accepted for thousands of years, if it is that bad, then how come it’s still around ?"

> Surely over such a long period of time if it was bad for the people who hold these beliefs, they should have mechanically disappeared by attrition.

Doesn't follow.  What also matters is how good it is at spreading itself, particularly to the next generation.  If it  manages to spread itself, despite being harmful, then it won't disappear.   Cold and flu viruses are harmful and have been around for tens of thousands of years.

RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> How easy would life be today for a female atheist Arab women in Riyadh? Probably as good as a practising Catholic in the UK after the reformation. 

You made my point with your example. You’ll observe that the catholic religion is still there, however the politics of the UK after the reformation are not. 

Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If indeed Islam is a bunch of harmful ideas, then at the very least you consider Muslims to be idiot for adopting such a set of ideas, ...

Well I wouldn't use the word "idiot". If an idea is prevalent in the family or community it can be hard not to assimilate it.  Plenty of other bad ideas (including Christian and communism) have done similar.

> ... at worst you consider them to be harmful.

Yes, in the sense that, as I see it, in a whole body of people there would be more harm done overall than if they did not hold to that idea system (ditto communism etc).  That is not the same thing as saying that all such people are bad people or are doing harm (ditto people in communist countries etc).

1
Sir Chasm 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask. For most it will be simply faith into some vague god, doing some prayer and going to the mosque, for some the most extremes it will be obedience to Islamic law, for other it’ll be just culture and rituals, and the intersection of all and parts, at different levels, across a wide gamut.

> This isn’t a one dimensional, simple thing, it’s in fact probably too complex to be characterised and mapped as simplistic mental schema.

> The only way you can assess whether a particular religion, ideology, is bad or good for you is to look at how long it’s been around. Those that are harmful tend to have a short lifespan simply because the population that hold them don’t survive over time.

> Islam has been around for 1500 years, if it was that bad, then how come it’s still around ? Surely over such a long period of time if it was bad for the people who hold these beliefs, they should have mechanically disappeared by attrition.

That's not an answer to what I asked. You said "most Muslim don’t give a single f*ck about the etymology of the word, or in fact don’t even give a single f*ck about what is in the Quran". So if most (according to you) don't give a single f*ck about what's in the Quran what is it that makes them Muslim? 

summo 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You made my point with your example. You’ll observe that the catholic religion is still there, however the politics of the UK after the reformation are not. 

True the government isn't killing Catholics anymore, but there are still bishops in the lords. 

It is possible that Islam will settle in 500 years time too, but right now it is being used as an excuse in several countries to persecute. 

RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> "Well Mr Wilberforce, slavery has been accepted for thousands of years, if it is that bad, then how come it’s still around ?"

Nonsense, no slavery system has stood the test of time, they have pretty much all failed.

> Doesn't follow.  What also matters is how good it is at spreading itself, particularly to the next generation.  If it  manages to spread itself, despite being harmful, then it won't disappear.   Cold and flu viruses are harmful and have been around for tens of thousands of years.

Good analogy, and a typical example of why you are wrong. Flu and cold viruses are maybe inconvenient at the individual level, but at the aggregate they are allowing us to build up our immune system so that we don’t die every time we catch something, we would not be able to survive if they were not around. 

1
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Nonsense, no slavery system has stood the test of time, they have pretty much all failed.

Slavery was accepted and lasted for thousands of years (far longer than Islam has survived so far).   There will also come a time when Christianity and Islam are long in the past, much as Woden and Thor are now. 

> Flu and cold viruses are maybe inconvenient at the individual level, but at the aggregate they are allowing us to build up our immune system so that we don’t die every time we catch something, we would not be able to survive if they were not around. 

The immune system does not work by exposure to flu and colds protecting against something very different.  It works by exposure to flu and colds protecting against rather similar strains.  (Hence why one needs a flu jab each year.)

RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> True the government isn't killing Catholics anymore, but there are still bishops in the lords.

That’s mostly w problem with our political system.

> It is possible that Islam will settle in 500 years time too, but right now it is being used as an excuse in several countries to persecute. 

Sure, it’s being used by totalitarian and intolerant political system, like it’s the case for most religion.

But it doesn’t mean the religion itself is “harmful”, in fact there is no particular reason to think things would be much better without.

jethro kiernan 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

The last 30 odd posts are a clear example of the reason why Mr B Johnson and other devicive characters should be ignored in politics, We’re left squabbling on the sidelines about distractions while idiots blatantly walk into power.

its the political equivalent of vaudeville magic misdirection, and we’re falling for it.

no one on here has discussed any of his policies.

summo 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> But it doesn’t mean the religion itself is “harmful”, in fact there is no particular reason to think things would be much better without.

I expect the female population living in many Islamic nations will disagree with you. Probably many women living in non Islamic European nations too. 

RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> I expect the female population living in many Islamic nations will disagree with you. Probably many women living in non Islamic European nations too. 

It doesn’t seem to prevent you from adding insult to injury by telling them that if they are oppressed  it’s their own fault for having a shit religion.

Post edited at 18:04
2
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Slavery was accepted and lasted for thousands of years (far longer than Islam has survived so far).   There will also come a time when Christianity and Islam are long in the past, much as Woden and Thor are now. 

Wrong, no slavery system lasted very long, especially the most brutal ones. 

Sure, there may be a time where Christianity and Islam disappear, my bet is that they are here to stay for at least as long as they already existed.

> The immune system does not work by exposure to flu and colds protecting against something very different.  It works by exposure to flu and colds protecting against rather similar strains.

Irrelevant, the point is that your immune system would not work properly if it was never exposed to some level of stress by microbes and viruses. 

Post edited at 18:24
Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Wrong, no slavery system lasted very long, especially the most brutal ones. 

If you have actual evidence that slavery-accepting systems last much less time than slavery-rejecting systems please present it.  I suspect one couldn't demonstrate that in the historical record without cherry-picking. 

> Irrelevant, the point is that your immune system would not work properly if it was never exposed to some level of stress by microbes and viruses. 

But then if we were never exposed to microbes and viruses we wouldn't even need an immune system -- so your point is rather silly.

Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It doesn’t seem to prevent you from adding insult to injury by telling them that if they are oppressed  it’s their own fault for having a shit religion.

OK, so things like the requirement to wear a hijad in Iran have nothing at all to do with any religion?  And don't in any way point to any backwardness in that religion?

It really is amazing the number of things that are "nothing to do with Islam"!   The entire Islamic religion is "nothing to do with Islam" it seems!  

Graeme Alderson 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

What do you understand by a hijab? How much of the head or face must be covered?

Have you ever been to Iran and seen what is the actual practice?

captain paranoia 17 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> We’re left squabbling on the sidelines about distractions while idiots blatantly walk into power.

Did someone say something...?

1
FactorXXX 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> What do you understand by a hijab? How much of the head or face must be covered?
> Have you ever been to Iran and seen what is the actual practice?

Unless it's anything but voluntary, then surely it's not something that can be condoned, or alternatively, used as an example of how tolerant Iran is just because it's not as bad as a Burka. 

Coel Hellier 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> What do you understand by a hijab? How much of the head or face must be covered?

A hijab covers hair, doesn't it? 

> Have you ever been to Iran and seen what is the actual practice?

No, I've not been to Iran, but I gather that hijab-wearing is compulsory for women.   The fact that this  rule applies in Iran, which just happens to be Islamic, and not, say, Iceland or New Zealand, is of course entirely coincidental and nothing whatsoever to do with any religion.

https://en.radiofarda.com/a/quarrels-over-hijab-intensify-in-iran/30000873.html

summo 17 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It doesn’t seem to prevent you from adding insult to injury by telling them that if they are oppressed  it’s their own fault for having a shit religion.

Only I didn't say it was their fault did I? Care to quote me? Time and again you misquote people to avoid admitting you are wrong. 

Glad to see you now admit that Islam represses 50% of a population of those that follow it and anyone in the same country that doesn't. 

1
PaulScramble 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

If you don't think the outcomes of referendums matter if they don't go your way, do us a favour and go and live in North Korea.

1
Pefa 17 Jun 2019
In reply to PaulScramble:

Alternatively how about going to live in one of the 50 countries that the USA and UK removed a democratically elected government and put in a right wing totalitarian dictator? 

3
MG 17 Jun 2019
In reply to PaulScramble:

There was a referendum on Boris as PM? Missed that. 

FactorXXX 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Pefa:

> Alternatively how about going to live in one of the 50 countries that the USA and UK removed a democratically elected government and put in a right wing totalitarian dictator? 

Sounds interesting.
Got a list?

Pan Ron 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Have you ever been to Iran and seen what is the actual practice?

I've been to Iran and women are instructed at the airport, before departure, that they must wear headscarves. All of them, Muslim populations and non-Muslim, don them as the airplane lands and only remove them after take-off when they leave. And everyone knows what happens if you are seen in public without one or if it is pushed back too far - something a lot more aggressive than catcalling.

The pictures of Iran before the Islamic Revolution, like Afghanistan, are night and day

Post edited at 23:03
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> If you have actual evidence that slavery-accepting systems last much less time than slavery-rejecting systems please present it.  I suspect one couldn't demonstrate that in the historical record without cherry-picking. 

Irrelevant.

> But then if we were never exposed to microbes and viruses we wouldn't even need an immune system -- so your point is rather silly.

But that’s not possible and outside of reality; which makes your point very very silly, and in fact rather exemplifies the way you think: pet theories with simplistic ideas that don’t work in real life.

Maybe it’s a professional bias or something, but it seems to me you have a knack for putting theory above practice.

In theory; all religion all bullshit superstition, in practice, they work quite well for billions of people have stood the test of time.

3
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to Pan Ron:

> I've been to Iran and women are instructed at the airport, before departure, that they must wear headscarves. All of them, Muslim populations and non-Muslim, don them as the airplane lands and only remove them after take-off when they leave. And everyone knows what happens if you are seen in public without one or if it is pushed back too far - something a lot more aggressive than catcalling.

If you knew anything about Iran is that it’s been majority Muslim country for a very long time and during most of that time was an incredibly wealthy, tolerant, developed and open place were art, were culture, philosophy and science thrived and other religions cohabited in relative peace.

Not unlike a lot of the Middle East, it’s political and cultural shift that have led the place to be run by obscurantist and intolerant f*cks, a situation which BTW was engineered by foreign western powers. To say that the current situation in Iran is the fault of Islam is ignoring centuries of evidence proving the contrary.

2
RomTheBear 17 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> Only I didn't say it was their fault did I? Care to quote me? Time and again you misquote people to avoid admitting you are wrong. 

It’s the logical consequence of what you say. At the very least, if what you say is correct, the logical consequence is that every Muslim woman who is happy a comfortable in their faith is an idiot, given that only an idiot would want to adopt a religion that oppresses them.

Or maybe, just maybe, they are not such idiots, and are able understand that it is perfectly possible to find joy and practical advantage in a certain faith, without necessarily agreeing with the intolerant fucks who are oppressing them.

Post edited at 23:48
4
RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> A hijab covers hair, doesn't it? 

> No, I've not been to Iran, but I gather that hijab-wearing is compulsory for women.   The fact that this  rule applies in Iran, which just happens to be Islamic, and not, say, Iceland or New Zealand, is of course entirely coincidental and nothing whatsoever to do with any religion.

An argument entirely demolished by the simple fact that compulsory hijab wearing is only a recent phenomenon in most Muslim countries. Not only that, but in fact not so long ago, in many Muslim majority countries, including Iran, wearing the hijab was actually banned.

Post edited at 00:18
2
summo 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It’s the logical consequence of what you say. At the very least, if what you say is correct, the logical consequence is that every Muslim woman who is happy a comfortable in their faith is an idiot, given that only an idiot would want to adopt a religion that oppresses them.

I give up, you are impossible, now you claim I said they were idiots as well? Quote me? No you can't because I never said it.  Just like I didn't say it was their fault.

Stop misquoting people, I thought you were clever enough to at least debate a point without being an ar$e. 

Ps. I'm not reply anymore it's pointless. 

1
RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> I give up, you are impossible, now you claim I said they were idiots as well? Quote me? No you can't because I never said it.  Just like I didn't say it was their fault.

As I’ve explained it’s simply the logical consequence of what you have said.

You say Islam oppresses women. Therefore, if that is true, any women that choses voluntarily to practice Islam would be voluntarily choosing to be oppressed. Which seems rather idiotic.

Post edited at 07:46
3
Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> ... it’s political and cultural shift that have led the place to be run by obscurantist and intolerant f*cks, ...

And these "cultural shifts" are nothing to do with religion?  Just as everything else is nothing to do with religion?

> To say that the current situation in Iran is the fault of Islam is ignoring centuries of evidence proving the contrary.

Religions change over time, they aren't static.  They can evolve to become less harmful (as Christianity has in the last couple of centuries, with the acceptance of individual liberties and church/state separation) or to become more harmful (Islam over the last couple of decades).

1
Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It’s the logical consequence of what you say. At the very least, if what you say is correct, the logical consequence is that every Muslim woman who is happy a comfortable in their faith is an idiot, given that only an idiot would want to adopt a religion that oppresses them.

You are spectacularly bad at "logical consequences".  You don't have to be "an idiot" to adopt  a harmful and oppressive idea system, just misguided. 

The Soviet Eastern block adopted a harmful and oppressive ideology, and, no, the population of those countries were not all idiots.  Making that sort of misjudgment is something to which all humans (non-idiot humans) are prone. 

summo 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As I’ve explained it’s simply the logical consequence of what you have said.

> You say Islam oppresses women. Therefore, if that is true, any women that choses voluntarily to practice Islam would be voluntarily choosing to be oppressed. Which seems rather idiotic.

I'd say the consequences of not practicing Islam in some countries are far worse than practicing. So the logical consequence is it is less idiotic to follow Islam. 

Either way it is good you state that Islam isn't very good for folk. 

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And these "cultural shifts" are nothing to do with religion?  Just as everything else is nothing to do with religion?

No, they can involve religion, but they are not constrained by it. Hence why you can have a Muslim country going from liberal to authoritarian with no major change in the religion.

> Religions change over time, they aren't static.  They can evolve to become less harmful (as Christianity has in the last couple of centuries, with the acceptance of individual liberties and church/state separation) or to become more harmful (Islam over the last couple of decades).

I’d argue it’s not the religion that has really changed, but rather the political system in which it operates. This is rather obvious in many Middle East countries.

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> I'd say the consequences of not practicing Islam in some countries are far worse than practicing. So the logical consequence is it is less idiotic to follow Islam. 

In that case that would mean that you believe that women in Muslim countries are forced to practice Islam against their will. The problem is that it simply isn’t true, evidenced by the fact that large numbers were practicing Islam even during times were there was a tolerant attitude to other religion.

> Either way it is good you state that Islam isn't very good for folk. 

I don’t, I am just taking this as a hypothetical to show the flaw in your reasoning.

2
Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I’d argue it’s not the religion that has really changed, but rather the political system in which it operates.

Whereas I take a "religion is as religion does" approach. Trying to separate religion from other aspects of culture is usually not that sensible.  The fact is that, with Khomeini's Islamic Revolution, Iran adopted a much more harmful strain of the religion.

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> You are spectacularly bad at "logical consequences".  You don't have to be "an idiot" to adopt  a harmful and oppressive idea system, just misguided. 

Whay is more likely, that they have been misguided for 1500 years in a row, generation after generation, or that you are wrong ?

> The Soviet Eastern block adopted a harmful and oppressive ideology, and, no, the population of those countries were not all idiots.  Making that sort of misjudgment is something to which all humans (non-idiot humans) are prone. 

Yes, and the soviet eastern block failed rather spectacularly. Which does indeed suggest it’s supporters were misguided. The problem you have is they Islam hasn’t failed and is still enduring after 1500 years, so in fact it has been pretty successful, and it’s supporter are maybe not so misguided.

The oppressive Islamic regimes that impose their own political version of Islam will also probably fail, and are already failing, but I expect that Islam will still survive.

Post edited at 08:50
RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Whereas I take a "religion is as religion does" approach. Trying to separate religion from other aspects of culture is usually not that sensible. 

I agree, but you were arguing exactly the opposite earlier, by telling us that there was a single Islamic idea system. In fact there is a wide variety of strain which interplay in many different ways within various cultures and different political system.

Hence my conclusion that it is too complex and multidimensional to say whether it has been overall harmful or beneficial.

1
Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The problem you have is they Islam hasn’t failed and is still enduring after 1500 years, so in fact it has been pretty successful, and it’s supporter are maybe not so misguided.

As I said, so long as a religion's capacity to spread itself outweighs the harm it does, then it will survive and spread.  So this is no "problem" for me.

In the same way, so long as the capacity of a flu virus to spread itself outweighs the harm it does, it will continue to survive and spread. 

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I agree, but you were arguing exactly the opposite earlier, by telling us that there was a single Islamic idea system.

No I didn't. As ever you argue dishonestly by continually misrepresenting what people have said.  It does get tedious.

I have always talked about Islam as a bundle of ideas, and talked about mainstream variants (plural). This allows for plenty of variation within the religion.   What I have said is that there is enough commonality amongst the different variants to validly talk about "mainstream versions" of Islam overall.

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> As I said, so long as a religion's capacity to spread itself outweighs the harm it does, then it will survive and spread.  So this is no "problem" for me.

> In the same way, so long as the capacity of a flu virus to spread itself outweighs the harm it does, it will continue to survive and spread. 

Wrong, if that was the case then the virus would eventually end up killing all of its potential hosts, or all of its hosts would become immunised, and it would disappear.

Post edited at 09:57
1
Tringa 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Just to go back to Boris Johnson for a moment.

I think the article from 2012 by Max Hastings is pretty good -

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/10/boris-johnson-unfit-to-be-prime-minister

Its a long article so here are a few of the comments -

"He is a magnificent journalist and showman. He proved himself the perfect maitre d' for the London Olympics. But few maitre d's are fit to cook the dinner.

Most politicians are ambitious and ruthless, but Boris is a gold medal egomaniac. I would not trust him with my wife nor – from painful experience – my wallet. It is unnecessary to take any moral view about his almost crazed infidelities, but it is hard to believe that any man so conspicuously incapable of controlling his own libido is fit to be trusted with controlling the country.

His chaotic public persona is not an act – he is, indeed, manically disorganised about everything except his own image management. He is also a far more ruthless, and frankly nastier, figure than the public appreciates.

I would not take Boris's word about whether it is Monday or Tuesday. I feel a twinge of regret for speaking so harshly, because I am as susceptible as most of the British people to Johnson's brilliant, warm, funny public persona.

But this is not a man who aspires only to fill his familiar slot on the BBC's Have I Got News For You?. Forget all the denials – Boris yearns with a mad hunger to become prime minister. Some Tory MPs are so panicked by their current standing in the opinion polls that they have persuaded themselves that London's mayor is the future.

He is not a man to believe in, to trust or respect, save as a superlative exhibitionist. He is bereft of judgment, loyalty and discretion. Only in the star-crazed, frivolous Britain of the 21st century could such a man have risen so high, and he is utterly unfit to go higher still."

Dave

Harry Jarvis 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Tringa:

And that coming from the man who employed Johnson at the Telegraph. Nothing new really, and a depressing demonstration of the comfort with which Johnson appears to wear a Teflon suit. 

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

>> In the same way, so long as the capacity of a flu virus to spread itself outweighs the harm it does, it will continue to survive and spread. 

> Wrong, if that was the case then the virus would eventually end up killing all of its potential hosts, or all of its hosts would become immunised, and it would disappear.

Your claim is empirically refuted (since harmful viruses such as flu do persist for tens of thousands of years). 

TobyA 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

>  Not only that, but in fact not so long ago, in many Muslim majority countries, including Iran, wearing the hijab was actually banned.

Many? I've heard of Turkey and Iran having westernizing leaders push through bans on traditional and Islamic clothing. Where else did it happen?

Interestingly reading up on the ban in Iran, it led to a new type of oppression of women who wouldn't leave their houses because they weren't allowed to wear headscarves/veils, and a peaceful demonstration against the law lead to the killing of hundreds of protesters by the Shah's military. Secularists using violence to force their preferences on women in the same way that later religious fundamentalists would! 

(edit: the demonstrations actually took place after men were told they would also have to dress in an imposed western style - I guess women were denied entry into the public space culturally and politically.)

Post edited at 10:48
summo 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> In that case that would mean that you believe that women in Muslim countries are forced to practice Islam against their will. The problem is that it simply isn’t true, evidenced by the fact that large numbers were practicing Islam even during times were there was a tolerant attitude to other religion.

> I don’t, I am just taking this as a hypothetical to show the flaw in your reasoning.

I'd Google up the actions of the religious police in Saudi Arabia before you attribute too much free will to the women's lifestyle choices there. 

TobyA 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The fact is that, with Khomeini's Islamic Revolution, Iran adopted a much more harmful strain of the religion.

What ideology led to the revolution? Was it western capitalism? Or secularism? Or Autocracy? Why did millions of Iranians look to their religion in the hope of better lives?

David Riley 18 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

>  Why did millions of Iranians look to their religion in the hope of better lives?

Did they get a say in the matter ?

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> What ideology led to the revolution? Was it western capitalism? Or secularism? Or Autocracy? Why did millions of Iranians look to their religion in the hope of better lives?

It was a whole set of factors (obviously so, including cultural, historical and political ones), and with Islamic ideology being one of the major factors. 

In the same way, a whole set of cultural, political, historical and religious factors led to the creation of Third Reich Germany. But would anyone point to such factors in an attempt to maintain that Third Reich ideology was not harmful and not blameworthy? 

TobyA 18 Jun 2019
In reply to David Riley:

> Did they get a say in the matter ?

Well, yes - to a great extent at least. There was huge popular support for the return of Khomeinei. Of course there were some against him who were for the Shah, and other who were against both him and the Shah (the Communist party IIRC) - but it was a popular revolution not a coup.

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> I'd Google up the actions of the religious police in Saudi Arabia before you attribute too much free will to the women's lifestyle choices there. 

The reality is that there were Muslim women in Saudi Arabia well before there was a religious police, and there are many Muslim women in countries without a religious police.

If we follow your logic then all those are freely practicing a religion that oppresses them.

1
TobyA 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> It was a whole set of factors (obviously so, including cultural, historical and political ones), and with Islamic ideology being one of the major factors. 

I'm not asking what ideology was invoked by the revolutionaries (it was actually far more multifaceted than just religious fundamentalism) - more what ideas controlled Iranian society that led it to being a place where the people were willing and ready to revolt?

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> It was a whole set of factors (obviously so, including cultural, historical and political ones), and with Islamic ideology being one of the major factors. 

> In the same way, a whole set of cultural, political, historical and religious factors led to the creation of Third Reich Germany. But would anyone point to such factors in an attempt to maintain that Third Reich ideology was not harmful and not blameworthy? 

Third reich ideology has completely failed pretty rapidly. Which means there was something fundamentally broken.

Islam has been around for 1500 years. I don’t expect the most harmful forms to survive very long, but I expect Islam to carry on.

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> If we follow your logic then all those are freely practicing a religion that oppresses them.

That's human nature for you.  Similarly, plenty of women have voluntarily stayed with abusive husbands.  No doubt you'd simply dismiss them as "idiots", but human psychology is complex. 

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm not asking what ideology was invoked by the revolutionaries (it was actually far more multifaceted than just religious fundamentalism) - more what ideas controlled Iranian society that led it to being a place where the people were willing and ready to revolt?

To which my answer is: "It was a whole set of factors (obviously so, including cultural, historical and political ones), and with Islamic ideology being one of the major factors."

Causes of specific historical events are always complex and multi-faceted.  What were the causes of the First World War?

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> To which my answer is: "It was a whole set of factors (obviously so, including cultural, historical and political ones), and with Islamic ideology being one of the major factors."

the problem is that the evidence suggest that Islam is not the main factor, given that there has been huge variability over time but Islam has been there for 1500 years.

> Causes of specific historical events are always complex and multi-faceted.  What were the causes of the First World War?

yes they, are, and what we observe is that over time and geography Muslim areas and communities have shown an incredible variability, different cultures, different political systems etc etc.

Therefore disproving via negativa your theory that Islam is the problem. It’s perfectly possible for Islam to be practiced in a liberal democracy as it is possible for it to be practiced within an authoritarian autocracy. The evidence is both historical and geographical.

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> That's human nature for you.  Similarly, plenty of women have voluntarily stayed with abusive husbands.  No doubt you'd simply dismiss them as "idiots", but human psychology is complex. 

Exactly, it is complex, but it doesn’t seem to prevent you from being arrogant enough to pretend you understand the psychology of every Muslim woman that has ever lived and pretend to know how they experience their faith.

The reality is that plenty of Muslim women everywhere are very happy with their faith and are not feeling oppressed by it.

You are committing exactly the same sin as the authoritarians by telling them that their faith is bad for them, and if they disagree, thats not because you are wrong, but only because they are either weak, misguided, or coerced.

Post edited at 11:50
1
Sir Chasm 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Exactly, it is complex, but it doesn’t seem to prevent you from being arrogant enough to pretend you understand the psychology of every Muslim women that has ever lived.

Is it more or less arrogant than you pretending to know that most Muslims don't care what the Quran says?

TobyA 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> To which my answer is: "It was a whole set of factors (obviously so, including cultural, historical and political ones), and with Islamic ideology being one of the major factors."

OK, so what factors? You said that "with Khomeini's Islamic Revolution, Iran adopted a much more harmful strain of the religion", fair enough - but why were they able to have an Islamic revolution and one that at the start had popular support?

Basically, why did so many Iranians look to a certain form of their religious tradition thinking it would improve their lives? Your interventions in this thread on how Islam is an especially dangerous ideology has taken us a rather far distance from Boris Johnson, but I'm interested in why you think it was still attractive to millions of Iranians in 1979?

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Is it more or less arrogant than you pretending to know that most Muslims don't care what the Quran says?

That’s just the reality, most people don’t bother studying the Qran including most Muslims.

Sir Chasm 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> That’s just the reality, most people don’t bother studying the Qran including most Muslims.

You claimed that most Muslims don't care what the Quran says. 

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> OK, so what factors? You said that "with Khomeini's Islamic Revolution, Iran adopted a much more harmful strain of the religion", fair enough - but why were they able to have an Islamic revolution and one that at the start had popular support?

> Basically, why did so many Iranians look to a certain form of their religious tradition thinking it would improve their lives? Your interventions in this thread on how Islam is an especially dangerous ideology has taken us a rather far distance from Boris Johnson, but I'm interested in why you think it was still attractive to millions of Iranians in 1979?

Worse, in large part the Islamic revolution was due to a backlash against the established powers trying to force western values on them. That’s why they went from banning the hijab to making it mandatory in the space of 50 years, because of idiots who think they know better what’s best for people, instead of letting them do what they want.

And that’s exactly the irony of the position Coel takes, by dismissing the faith of millions as “harmful” and “bad”, all he does is to reinforce the position of the fundamentalists.

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> the problem is that the evidence suggest that Islam is not the main factor, given that there has been huge variability over time but Islam has been there for 1500 years.

It was certainly not the *only* factor, granted.

> It’s perfectly possible for Islam to be practiced in a liberal democracy ...

Sure, it can be practiced in a liberal democracy, as it is in the UK today.   The more interesting question is this: if a majority of the population is Muslim does that make it more or less likely that the country will be a liberal democracy?  The answer would seem to be "a lot less likely".

RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> You claimed that most Muslims don't care what the Quran says. 

Indeed, as evidenced by the fact that most don’t ever read it.

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> ... it doesn’t seem to prevent you from being arrogant enough to pretend you understand the psychology of every Muslim woman that has ever lived and pretend to know how they experience their faith.

Did I say that? I'm fairly sure I didn't.  I'm fairly sure you're fantasising again.  Don't you get bored of misrepresenting people? 

> The reality is that plenty of Muslim women everywhere are very happy with their faith and are not feeling oppressed by it.

Did I say otherwise?  I expect that many women in communist Soviet Union did not feel oppressed by communism, and indeed supported it.  But, in my evaluation, it was a harmful system that oppressed the population.  

> You are committing exactly the same sin as the authoritarians by telling them that their faith is bad for them, and if they disagree, thats not because you are wrong, but only because they are either weak, misguided, or coerced.

Nope, wrong. If I stick to merely "telling them" then I'm not being authoritarian.  I'm merely expressing opinions, which one is allowed to do in a liberal democracy.  To commit the sins of the authoritarians I'd need to impose such views by laws or threats of violence.  Have I asked for laws outlawing Islam?  Nope, I havent, so I'm not authoritarian so you're wrong yet again.

1
Sir Chasm 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Indeed, as evidenced by the fact that most don’t ever read it.

Silly boy, I bet most people haven't read the Road Traffic Act, but that doesn't mean they don't care what it says the speed limit is.

But you carry on pretending you know what most Muslims think.

2
Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> You said that "with Khomeini's Islamic Revolution, Iran adopted a much more harmful strain of the religion", fair enough - but why were they able to have an Islamic revolution and one that at the start had popular support?

And my reply is: "It was a whole set of factors (obviously so, including cultural, historical and political ones), and with Islamic ideology being one of the major factors". 

Any proper reply beyond that would take 10,000 words (or preferably 100,000), and no I'm not going to attempt it. 

> but I'm interested in why you think it was still attractive to millions of Iranians in 1979?

Why is religion attractive to millions?  Again, a vast array of factors to do with culture, identity, in-group solidarity, thinking one is doing the right and moral thing, feeling that one's life is significant and part of a grander plan, thinking one will be accepted and rewarded by a god, and all sorts of stuff -- again, it'd take 10,000 words to give a decent account (go and read some people who have studied the psychology of religion, such as Pascal Boyer).

1
TobyA 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Any proper reply beyond that would take 10,000 words (or preferably 100,000), and no I'm not going to attempt it. 

Is that because you are unwilling to apply your hugely simplistic analysis of Islam as 'ideology' to capitalism as ideology, or secularism as ideology or even liberal democracy as ideology?

You seem very willing to say "because Islam" about so many things in just a few words, but not able to say "because capitalism" (or whatever) in equally few. Could it be that things you are used to seem more complex than things that you don't have experience of? 

Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Is that because you are unwilling to apply your hugely simplistic analysis of Islam as 'ideology' to capitalism as ideology, or secularism as ideology or even liberal democracy as ideology?

Nope.

> You seem very willing to say "because Islam" about so many things in just a few words, ...

Yep, and often Islam is indeed a cause (among other factors).

> ... but not able to say "because capitalism" (or whatever) in equally few.

The Western world is wealthy and prosperous because capitalism.  Happy now? 

(Sure, there is of course more to it than that, if one wanted to write 10,000 words; the sentence is still true though.)

2
summo 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The reality is that there were Muslim women in Saudi Arabia well before there was a religious police, and there are many Muslim women in countries without a religious police.

> If we follow your logic then all those are freely practicing a religion that oppresses them.

For someone who is intelligent and sounds reasonably well travelled your view point of other countries, in particularly Islamic ones and their population is astoundingly narrow. It would be easy to mistake you for a US citizen who has never left the USA, not a well travelled European. 

1
RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> For someone who is intelligent and sounds reasonably well travelled your view point of other countries, in particularly Islamic ones and their population is astoundingly narrow. It would be easy to mistake you for a US citizen who has never left the USA, not a well travelled European. 

The thing you see is that I grew up in a Muslim neighbourhood, and I live in country where there is a big Muslim population.

Here in Cyprus for example, I can see that many of my Turkish Cypriot friends are very frustrated and angry at Erdogan for forcing conservative Islam on them, what they want is simply be able to practice their Islamic faith as they wish, not the politicised version that’s being forced on them. Their problem is with politician, in regards to their faith they are very proud of it and very happy with it and have no desire to convert to any other religion or to be one atheist.

What they need is to be left alone in peace not to have people telling them their faith or the way they practice it is shit.

Post edited at 14:59
1
RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Did I say that? I'm fairly sure I didn't.  I'm fairly sure you're fantasising again.  Don't you get bored of misrepresenting people? 

> Did I say otherwise?  I expect that many women in communist Soviet Union did not feel oppressed by communism, and indeed supported it.  But, in my evaluation, it was a harmful system that oppressed the population.  

Yes, and it failed, which suggests it was indeed harmful.

> Nope, wrong. If I stick to merely "telling them" then I'm not being authoritarian.  I'm merely expressing opinions, which one is allowed to do in a liberal democracy. 

You are allowed, I’m just pointing out that your opinions are arrogant. Essentially you believe that your value system is better than that of others without any evidence.

> To commit the sins of the authoritarians I'd need to impose such views by laws or threats of violence.  Have I asked for laws outlawing Islam?  Nope, I havent, so I'm not authoritarian so you're wrong yet again.

At the very least, telling other people that their faith is shit despite the fact that it has been pretty  successful for 1500 years and makes you blinkered and intolerant.

Post edited at 15:15
1
TobyA 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> The Western world is wealthy and prosperous because capitalism.  Happy now? 

Yes - I can see that you have unrealistic and simplistic views of other ideologies besides Islam. ;-)

Have you read (or read about) Weber - the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by the way?

Rob Exile Ward 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

'You are allowed, I’m just pointing out that your opinions are arrogant. Essentially you believe that your value system is better than that of others without any evidence.'

There is quite a lot of evidence in fact if you go looking for it. Metrics like life expectancy, literacy, child mortality, % girls in education, academic achievements, patent applications etc etc etc have all been mapped to religious factors in different societies, and predominantly Muslim ones really don't come out very well. Actually, they're a friggging car crash.

I'm at work, so I haven't go my standard go-to text to hand (Pinker, Better Angels of Our Nature), but you really should read it; it has a particularly striking account of how the Islamic renaissance was snuffed out at quite an early stage … and possible explanations as well.

1
Rob Exile Ward 18 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I have. What a load of b*llox! (Actually it's 45 years since I studied that. It seemed important then, rather less so now.)

1
Coel Hellier 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You are allowed, I’m just pointing out that your opinions are arrogant.

So you're withdrawing the charge of me being "authoritarian" and replacing it with "arrogant"? 

> Essentially you believe that your value system is better than that of others without any evidence.

Well yes, guilty, I believe that my value system is better than mainstream Islamic ones.  Indeed, most people believe that their values system is better than other systems; that is why it is *their* value system! 

Do you think that your value system is worse than that of other people?  Maybe you think that fascists and slave-holders had a better value system than you do?  If the reverse, you're just as guilty as me!

> At the very least, telling other people that their faith is shit despite the fact that it has been pretty  successful for 1500 years and makes you blinkered and intolerant.

Nope, it is not "intolerant".  Learn what words mean.  I *tolerate* such things while deploring and deprecating them. 

And nowadays, Islamic-run systems are generally much worse than Western, liberal-democracy, free-market, science-based systems.

1
RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So you're withdrawing the charge of me being "authoritarian" and replacing it with "arrogant"? 

Yes. Although arrogance leads to authoritarianism, when you think you know what’s best, the temptation to force it down other people throat is overwhelming.

> Well yes, guilty, I believe that my value system is better than mainstream Islamic ones.  Indeed, most people believe that their values system is better than other systems; that is why it is *their* value system! 

Maybe for you, personally I don’t think that my Western values are necessarily better than  Eastern ones, I take what works best for me from both And ditch the rest. And I’m happy if others chose differently as long as they let me choose.

> Do you think that your value system is worse than that of other people?  Maybe you think that fascists and slave-holders had a better value system than you do?  If the reverse, you're just as guilty as me!

No, I don’t think they do, because they have proven to be very bad. In the case of Islam very successful civilisation have thrived over the ages with majority Muslim populations. This to me suggest they must have got some things right.

> And nowadays, Islamic-run systems are generally much worse than Western, liberal-democracy, free-market, science-based systems.

Any system run by religious nutters is bound to be crap. That’s not particularly specific to Islam.

summo 18 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The thing you see is that I grew up in a Muslim neighbourhood, and I live in country where there is a big Muslim population.

I've worked in a few Middle East countries, sweden is rammed with Muslims, half the kids in our kids school are, many of our kids friends, our friends are etc...  but I wouldn't pretend for a minute to know what 'they' need, but I'm surrounded by evidence that as a religion it is divisive and continually builds barriers between the sexes within the religion and even big barriers between believers and non believers. Any good is easily out weighed by the negative side. 

1
RomTheBear 18 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

>  but I wouldn't pretend for a minute to know what 'they' need

Evidently you do.

captain paranoia 18 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Anyway, about Boris...

Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Although arrogance leads to authoritarianism, when you think you know what’s best, the temptation to force it down other people throat is overwhelming.

I can assure you that I am not at all tempted by authoritarianism in such matters (imposing particular religious views by law of threats of violence).

> Any system run by religious nutters is bound to be crap. That’s not particularly specific to Islam.

Well agreed.  But it is linked to Islam, since Islam (in general, in mainstream versions) does not recognise the concept of church-state separation that other religions accept, and which greatly reduces the harm religions do. To quote you: "And I’m happy if others chose differently as long as they let me choose".    Indeed, Islam sees itself as applying to all aspects of life.  If you were born into a Muslim community in many Islamic countries you would *not* be allowed to choose!

RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I can assure you that I am not at all tempted by authoritarianism in such matters (imposing particular religious views by law of threats of violence).

> Well agreed.  But it is linked to Islam, since Islam (in general, in mainstream versions) does not recognise the concept of church-state separation that other religions accept,

It doesn’t really matter. There are Muslim countries with separation of state and church, there are plenty of Christian countries with the same, etc etc.

> and which greatly reduces the harm religions do. To quote you: "And I’m happy if others chose differently as long as they let me choose".    Indeed, Islam sees itself as applying to all aspects of life.  If you were born into a Muslim community in many Islamic countries you would *not* be allowed to choose!

Wrong. I grew up in a Muslim neighbourhood and never ever I felt like I was forced to adopt Islam.

Again your main issue is that you have a completely monolithic view. Its perfectly possible to adopt a religion that in theory, in the texts, is intolerant, and yet in practice do differently.

1
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

>> If you were born into a Muslim community in many Islamic countries you would *not* be allowed to choose!

> Wrong. I grew up in a Muslim neighbourhood and never ever I felt like I was forced to adopt Islam.

It is not wrong (note the word "many"; one anecdote doesn't refute it, and I'm not sure you were actually born into a Muslim family anyhow, were you?). It is indeed the case that in many versions of mainstream Islam apostasy is not acceptable conduct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

1
robal 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Postmanpat:

Ahh downvoted because you spoke out against great comrade corbyn......

Privyet Comrades.... this bourgeoisie should be put up against the wall and shot......

2
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> >> If you were born into a Muslim community in many Islamic countries you would *not* be allowed to choose!

> It is not wrong (note the word "many"; one anecdote doesn't refute it, and I'm not sure you were actually born into a Muslim family anyhow, were you?).

One anecdote does refute it.

As a scientist who pretend to have a rational mind you seem to have an issue with basic logic. Only one example showing the hypothesis to be false is enough to prove the hypothesis to be false.

> It is indeed the case that in many versions of mainstream Islam apostasy is not acceptable conduct.

You still don’t understand that there is a difference between what the religious texts or some religious leaders say you should do and what people actually do. There are many ways to live your Islamic faith, but for some reason you seem to think only the most intolerant way is valid, despite many example proving you wrong.

Your logic is that because you had food poisoning one day, it must mean that food is bad for you. That’s just nonsensical.

Post edited at 10:38
8
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> One anecdote does refute it.

So one anecdote about being born into a non-Muslim family in a non-Muslim country, but with some Muslim neighbours, is supposed to refute the claim:

"If you were born into a Muslim community in many Islamic countries you would *not* be allowed to choose!" ?

No, sorry, many Islamic countries do have laws against that sort of apostasy (and many other Islamic communities have strong social pressure against it).

> As a scientist who pretend to have a rational mind you seem to have an issue with basic logic.

About 90% of your posts is just this sort of tedious crap. Can't you do better?

> Only one example showing the hypothesis to be false is enough to prove the hypothesis to be false.

It doesn't show the hypothesis to be false!  Indeed, no one anecdote could refute that claim about "many" (rather than "all").

> You still don’t understand that there is a difference between what the religious texts or some religious leaders say you should do and what people actually do.

I understand that just fine.  About 90% of your posts is just this sort of tedious crap. Can't you do better?

> There are many ways to live your Islamic faith, but for some reason you seem to think only the most intolerant way is valid, despite many example proving you wrong.

What does that even mean? What is "valid" supposed to mean as used there?

> Your logic is that because you had food poisoning one day, it must mean that food is bad for you. That’s just nonsensical.

Maybe one day you'll try refuting what I say, not your twisted versions of what you claim I've said.

Post edited at 10:55
1
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Rom, you illustrate much that has gone wrong with public discussion of issues in the internet era. 

Nowdays, instead of attempting to actually discuss the issues, you just try to disallow and discredit any view different from yours by relentless attacks on whoever espouses them, with derogatory remarks, put-downs, sneers, twisting what they say, misrepresenting what they say, etc.   It's tedious, it's dishonest, it's nasty, it's intellectually bankrupt, and it's cowardly when done from anonymity. Can't you do better?

3
TobyA 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Rom, you illustrate much that has gone wrong with public discussion of issues in the internet era. 

Do you think your method of public discussion is on the whole positive? 

4
TheDrunkenBakers 19 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Do you think your method of public discussion is on the whole positive? 

No. I believe his discussion is based on fact. Facts dont have to be positive. They are, however, important to be accepted so that positive change can follow.

4
TheDrunkenBakers 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Rom, you illustrate much that has gone wrong with public discussion of issues in the internet era. 

> Nowdays, instead of attempting to actually discuss the issues, you just try to disallow and discredit any view different from yours by relentless attacks on whoever espouses them, with derogatory remarks, put-downs, sneers, twisting what they say, misrepresenting what they say, etc.   It's tedious, it's dishonest, it's nasty, it's intellectually bankrupt, and it's cowardly when done from anonymity. Can't you do better?

Not to mention utterly exhausting to the reader. It has been very hard work to consume this thread as a third party.

Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Do you think your method of public discussion is on the whole positive? 

Yes. Though we actually rarely do public discussion. What usually happens is that such as you, Rom, Jon, Offwidth, et al, try to disallow any discussion on such topics by attacking the person of anyone who attempts it.     It isn't about me; so why do you four continually try to make it about me?

6
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So one anecdote about being born into a non-Muslim family in a non-Muslim country, but with some Muslim neighbours, is supposed to refute the claim:

> "If you were born into a Muslim community in many Islamic countries you would *not* be allowed to choose!" ?

> No, sorry, many Islamic countries do have laws against that sort of apostasy (and many other Islamic communities have strong social pressure against it).

> About 90% of your posts is just this sort of tedious crap. Can't you do better?

> It doesn't show the hypothesis to be false!  Indeed, no one anecdote could refute that claim about "many" (rather than "all").

But that’s exactly the issue, your claim is not about «  many » it’s « all ».

Your hypothesis is that Islam is harmful. I say it is wrong, because it depends on so many factors you don’t even understand.

To be fair I don’t think you or anyone can make that claim about « many » either, simply because there is too much variety and dimensionality to it for anybody to make sense of.

> I understand that just fine.  About 90% of your posts is just this sort of tedious crap. Can't you do better?

> Maybe one day you'll try refuting what I say, not your twisted versions of what you claim I've said.

Maybe one day you’ll try to be honest instead of systematically back-pedalling every time you are losing the argument.

4
MG 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes. ... four continually try to make it about me?

Are you sure?  Perhaps reflect on the fact that practically any thread you get involved with becomes about Islam (this one started about Johnson, note).  Are you really sure such deflection is "positive discussion".  Also perhaps consider whether it is you not engaging with discussion.  Jon Stewart in particular tends to write thoughtful and substantial replies that don't significantly attack you or anyone as an individual.  It seems to me you have a mono-maniacal obsession with a couple of topics, and are deaf to any views that don't align fully with yours.

Post edited at 12:39
2
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> But that’s exactly the issue, your claim is not about «  many » it’s « all ».

Well let's quote my actual sentence:

"If you were born into a Muslim community in *many* Islamic countries you would not be allowed to choose!"  (added emhpasis)

You: "Wrong. I grew up in a Muslim neighbourhood and never ever I felt like I was forced to adopt Islam." 

(Note that this was not a Muslim family and not a Muslim country; correct me if I'm wrong.)

Me: "It is not wrong (note the word "many"; one anecdote doesn't refute it, ..."

You: "One anecdote does refute it."

Really? Walk us through in baby steps how that *one* anecdote about an unspecified country (likely non-Muslim one) refutes a claim about "... in *many* Islamic countries ...".

But, instead of attempting any sensible rebuttal, you resort to insults: "As a scientist who pretend to have a rational mind you seem to have an issue with basic logic".

And then you attempt: "Maybe one day you’ll try to be honest instead of systematically back-pedalling every time you are losing the argument."

Can you really not do better than this?

Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to MG:

> (this one started about Johnson, note).  Are you really sure such deflection is "positive discussion". 

Fair point on that.  It was indeed a thread derail.  But it had had a fair run about Boris already.  And I diverted it specifically because Jon made a comment about wanting to criticise in straightforward language (which is fine with me) when that is exactly what he had repeatedly criticsed me for doing.

> Jon Stewart in particular tends to write thoughtful and substantial replies ...

Yes, and I've replied similarly. 

> ... that don't significantly attack you or anyone as an individual.

Actually, yes he does; and he's admitted it.

2
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Actually, yes he does; and he's admitted it.

Correct it is about you, and your inability to make the difference between what you can know and what you can’t know.

You pretend to know whether Islam is harmful or not despite the simple fact that nobody can actually agree on what Islam is or how it should be practiced. That is the unmistakable mark of a charlatan.

Post edited at 13:00
4
Jon Stewart 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> And I diverted it specifically because Jon made a comment about wanting to criticise in straightforward language (which is fine with me) when that is exactly what he had repeatedly criticsed me for doing.

Wrong. I gave a consequentialist argument that your specific actions are destructive. It was not an argument that in general one should not be blunt: this is either a misunderstanding or it's misrepresentation. 

> Actually, yes he does; and he's admitted it.

True! I attack what you say, which reflects your ideas, and in doing so, I attack you. 

John W 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

If at all possible, would you lot do the rest of us a favour and either discuss the issue raised by the OP (Boris Johnson), or sod off and start your own bitchthread?

TobyA 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes

Now there's a surprise. You won't agree but sometime I think you _come over_ as narrow-minded and prejudiced. You might not be that in person, but your approach to debate leaves that impression.

> What usually happens is that such as you, Rom, Jon, Offwidth, et al, try to disallow any discussion on such topics by attacking the person of anyone who attempts it. 

I think that's called snowflake-ism isn't it these days? ;) I can't see anyone trying to disallow discussion on a topic - in fact I often seem to try to get you to explain your understanding of an issue more because I don't really get how you can be so certain of something that doesn't seem in the slightest bit certain to me (and often lots of other people).

> It isn't about me; so why do you four continually try to make it about me?

It's not about you, but the way you batter away at your hobby horses, in this incredibly single-minded and un-empathetic, way can be grating. We get now that you won't entertain the idea of someone who doesn't agree with you could have a point, and that you believe your way is the only 'logical' or 'correct' way to see an issue, but I guess you just need to accept that others don't and have as much right as you do to make their point. 

Anyway, maybe we should go back to what this thread started on. What did you think of Boris's performance last night?

Post edited at 13:24
2
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You pretend to know whether Islam is harmful or not ...

Just as people pretend to know whether Brexit will be harmful or not, just as people pretend to know whether communism is harmful or not.  We all make these judgements. 

> ... despite the simple fact that nobody can actually agree on what Islam is ...

Come on, plenty of people could give a reasonable description of what Islam is and how it is around the world. Try the wiki page for starters.

> ... or how it should be practiced.

There is no such thing as how a religion "should be" practiced.  What would that even mean?  (Presuming we're agreed that there aren't any gods to prescribe such things.)

> That is the unmistakable mark of a charlatan.

Nope, it's merely entirely normal having an opinion, just as many people have opinions on anything from Brexit to the next PM to climate change etc. 

Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> You won't agree but sometime I think you _come over_ as narrow-minded and prejudiced. You might not be that in person, but your approach to debate leaves that impression.

Partly because I get a relentless barrage of people trying to disallow me from having an opinion -- so I state them openly and bluntly partly to annoy people who think such opinions shouldn't be stated.

> I think that's called snowflake-ism isn't it these days? ;)

No, it isn't.   Snowflakism is melting just because someone has expressed an opinion that they disagree with.  Snowflakism is thus an attempt to disallow people having contrary opinions. 

> We get now that you won't entertain the idea of someone who doesn't agree with you could have a point, ...

Not at all. Of course they may have a point!   And someday they may get round to making their points, and not just trying to shut down any discussion. 

> I guess you just need to accept that others don't and have as much right as you do to make their point. 

Have I ever thought or said otherwise? 

> What did you think of Boris's performance last night?

I didn't see it; I'm not that interested. 

9
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Just as people pretend to know whether Brexit will be harmful or not, just as people pretend to know whether communism is harmful or not.  We all make these judgements. 

Communism failed at the state level. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work, for example, at the family level. One can be communist at the family level, capitalist at the world level, and social democratic at the regional level.  There is no contradiction.

Similarly Islam can be very bad when implemented at the state level, but good when limited to the individual.

> Come on, plenty of people could give a reasonable description of what Islam is and how it is around the world. Try the wiki page for starters.

Do you think Muslim read Wikipedia to know how they should live their faith ?

> There is no such thing as how a religion "should be" practiced.  What would that even mean?  (Presuming we're agreed that there aren't any gods to prescribe such things.)

Indeed, there is no such thing, various people practice it in radical different ways.

Post edited at 14:35
4
MonkeyPuzzle 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Partly because I get a relentless barrage of people trying to disallow me from having an opinion -- so I state them openly and bluntly partly to annoy people who think such opinions shouldn't be stated.

A relentless barrage of people trying to disallow you from having an opinion? Here's the three nails, where do you want your cross?

RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> in fact I often seem to try to get you to explain your understanding of an issue more because I don't really get how you can be so certain of something that doesn't seem in the slightest bit certain to me (and often lots of other people).

Exactly.

Personally I have no idea as to whether Islam is bad or good, the only thing I’m certain of is that those who pretend they do are either charlatans, or have an agenda.

Post edited at 14:39
6
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Communism failed at the state level. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work, for example, at the family level.

Yes, it can work on the small-scale, such as in a monastery. But when we talk of communism being "harmful" we're generally talking about nation-level implementations.   

> Similarly Islam can be very bad when implemented at the state level, but good when limited to the individual.

Sure, an Islam that was strictly limited to individuals imposing it on themsevles, with no desire to impose it on anyone else, could indeed be a good thing.  Rather a pity that most mainstream versions of Islam are not like that, isn't it?

> Do you think Muslim read Wikipedia to know how they should live their faith ?

A rather weird question to ask in reply to a post that stated: "There is no such thing as how a religion "should be" practiced", don't you think?

summo 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Personally I have no idea as to whether Islam is bad or good, the only thing I’m certain of is that those who pretend they do are either charlatans, or have an agenda.

Religion has a few small good points, it gives the insecure a sense of security that there is life after death. That's it. 

Bad points, countless atrocities and acts of pure evilness carried out in the name of religion, be it Jewish holocaust, Catholic pedo priests, isis suicide bombers etc.. all done in the last 100 years in an era we would like think as more educated than our medieval past. 

Post edited at 15:06
1
Lusk 19 Jun 2019
In reply to John W:

Yeah, back on track ...

Anyone see Ian Blackford calling our future PM a racist on the floor of the house?

Good work Ian 😃

1
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> Religion has a few small good points, it gives the insecure a sense of security that there is life after death. That's it. 

I bet to disagree. I see religion as set of imperfect but useful of heuristics that have evolved through natural selection, which then allows people to make decision under uncertainty, ignorance, and complexity.

Take a few examples: fasting. Most old religion promote some form of period of fasting. This seems completely irrational, but only recently our understanding of the human body got good enough to allow us to find out that periods of fasting are actually good for your health. 

Most religion also encourages communities to congregate regularly, in a church or a mosque, etc etc. That’s actually pretty good to maintain social cohesion, resolve disputes etc etc.

Many religion frown upon alcohol overuse, gambling, etc etc, all sorts of things that are bad for you. What we now do through public information campaigns designed by overpaid consultants and army of civil servants with master degrees, religion have been doing more efficiently  at a lower cost for centuries.

It doesn’t matter too much if something is based on irrational superstitions, as long as it works.

Religion often get the theory wrong and the practice right, science gets the theory right but often get the practice wrong.

Of course as our knowledge and technology advances we need religions less and less, but in areas which are beyond the reach of scientific knowledge, and they are numerous, religions can still provide useful heuristics.

2
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Yes, it can work on the small-scale, such as in a monastery. But when we talk of communism being "harmful" we're generally talking about nation-level implementations.   

Yes, but when you talk about Islam, you are not talking exclusively about its application by a state, you very explicitly said that you believe the religion itself is fundamentally harmful.

> Sure, an Islam that was strictly limited to individuals imposing it on themsevles, with no desire to impose it on anyone else, could indeed be a good thing.  

And the vast majority of Muslims worldwide couldn’t care less about imposing their religion on others. They have better things to do in life that acting as missionary for their faith.

Post edited at 16:02
1
Rob Exile Ward 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

'It doesn’t matter too much if something is based on irrational superstitions, as long as it works.'

Yeah right - works really well doesn't it? It's irrational superstition that stops the Catholic church accepting the use of condoms, it's irrational superstition that allows Jews to believe they have (literally) a god given right to take over someone else's country, it's irrational superstition that thinks women can't drive - see, I'm perfectly democratic about it.

summo 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Take a few examples: fasting. Most old religion promote some form of period of fasting. This seems completely irrational, but only recently our understanding of the human body got good enough to allow us to find out that periods of fasting are actually good for your health. 

Any peer reviewed evidence that those who fast are healthier than those who don't? Over eating is of course bad, but that isn't the same thing. 

> Most religion also encourages communities to congregate regularly, in a church or a mosque, etc etc. That’s actually pretty good to maintain social cohesion, resolve disputes etc etc.

Yeah. The more you donate to the cause, the more you can rule over your clan. 

Sharia law, who benefits?

The pope didn't exactly punish all the known pedos?

> Many religion frown upon alcohol overuse, gambling, etc etc, all sorts of things that are bad for you. What we now do through public information campaigns designed by overpaid consultants and army of civil servants with master degrees, religion have been doing more efficiently  at a lower cost for centuries.

Monks were the biggest brewers. Yeah you won't see many rich Arabs owning race horses either, the betting industry would collapse with their money. I've seen rich Arabs in the Middle East betting and bidding agsinst each other to win Asian girls for the night. 

> It doesn’t matter too much if something is based on irrational superstitions, as long as it works.

Does it work? Didn't work for millions of jews? Anyone not hard line enough Muslim for IS is persecuted. 

> Religion often get the theory wrong and the practice right, science gets the theory right but often get the practice wrong.

Like throwing homosexuals off buildings? Pedo priests? Manchester concert bombings? Numerous crusades? ... is that the right kind of right practice you were thinking of? 

> Of course as our knowledge and technology advances we need religions less and less, but in areas which are beyond the reach of scientific knowledge, and they are numerous, religions can still provide useful heuristics.

What is beyond scientific knowledge? Origin of universe? Great speculate away, but you don't need any religion to speculate that.

4
jkarran 19 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> Religion has a few small good points, it gives the insecure a sense of security that there is life after death. That's it. 

I'm an atheist but even I can see there's *way* more to it than that.

jk

1
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> 'It doesn’t matter too much if something is based on irrational superstitions, as long as it works.'

> Yeah right - works really well doesn't it? It's irrational superstition that stops the Catholic church accepting the use of condoms, it's irrational superstition that allows Jews to believe they have (literally) a god given right to take over someone else's country, it's irrational superstition that thinks women can't drive - see, I'm perfectly democratic about it.

As I have said, it’s imperfect. That’s the nature of heuristics. But consider the other side of the coin.

For example, in a society with a poor legal system and poor policing system, lots of poor people, and no welfare system, as people had for most of history, an irrational superstition that tells people they’ll go to hell if they steal or kill, and go to heaven if they help the poor, is not a bad thing to have.

3
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> Like throwing homosexuals off buildings? Pedo priests? Manchester concert bombings? Numerous crusades? ...

You simply have a knack for looking only at the negatives.

I could do the same and say that science and technology is bad because it gave us machine guns, tanks, the a bomb, pollution, global warming etc etc.

But doing so would be a very idiotic, one sided characterisation.

Post edited at 16:20
4
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes, but when you talk about Islam, you are not talking exclusively about its application by a state, you very explicitly said that you believe the religion itself is fundamentally harmful.

Yes, because, in mainstream versions, Islam is a religion that tends to impose itself on other people and on societies.

> And the vast majority of Muslims worldwide couldn’t care less about imposing their religion on others.

This is just flat-out false. 

E.g.: "One that jumped out for me was the alarmingly high share of Muslims in some Middle Eastern and South Asian countries who say they support the death penalty for any Muslim who leaves the faith or converts to another. In fact, according to the 2013 Pew Research Center report, 88 percent of Muslims in Egypt and 62 percent of Muslims in Pakistan favor the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion. This is also the majority view among Muslims in Malaysia, Jordan and the Palestinian territories."  

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2013/05/01/64-percent-of-muslims-in-egypt-and-pakistan-support-the-death-penalty-for-leaving-islam/

Post edited at 16:29
1
Rob Exile Ward 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

There's no question that religion played a functionally important part as society evolved. It provided explanations for the otherwise inexplicable, and as you say provided a mechanism for social cohesion.

But we're evolving; we have developed sensitivity and empathy in ways that would have been unimaginable even just 500 years ago. Who now - anywhere in the world, (apart perhaps from a few ISIS diehards) thinks that public executions are a legitimate form of entertainment? Yet Pepys did. In fact - and here's the rub - our empathy, sensitivity, compassion are  positively correlated with secularism - the more atheistic and secular we become, the more we appear to adopt humanist values, even extending that sensitivity to an ever wider range of animals. Halal or kosher, anyone? I think not.

Post edited at 16:48
TobyA 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

>  In fact - and here's the rub - our empathy, sensitivity, compassion are  positively correlated with secularism - the more atheistic and secular we become, the more we appear to adopt humanist values, even extending that sensitivity to an ever wider range of animals.

The Buddhists and many Hindus might have something to say about western secular countries taking rather a long time to start treating animal life with more respect! But then again haven't western secular capitalist values also led to factory farming and the massive slaughter of animal life in quantities there were never even imagined when halal and kosher codes were developed? We are destroying entire ecosystems in the search of food.

I think this is a ridiculously over-simplistic way of look at things, but if "our empathy, sensitivity, compassion are  positively correlated with secularism" why did nuclear weapons and mechanised warfare, even the holocaust come out 20th century, western, secularizing societies?

Mike Stretford 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> But we're evolving; we have developed sensitivity and empathy in ways that would have been unimaginable even just 500 years ago.

Just to clarify, we are evolving in that way as a civilisation, not as a species. It could all come to an abrupt end, and future humans would be back to public executions in no time.

RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> There's no question that religion played a functionally important part as society evolved. It provided explanations for the otherwise inexplicable, and as you say provided a mechanism for social cohesion.

> But we're evolving; we have developed sensitivity and empathy in ways that would have been unimaginable even just 500 years ago. Who now - anywhere in the world, (apart perhaps from a few ISIS diehards) thinks that public executions are a legitimate form of entertainment? Yet Pepys did. In fact - and here's the rub - our empathy, sensitivity, compassion are  positively correlated with secularism - the more atheistic and secular we become, the more we appear to adopt humanist values, even extending that sensitivity to an ever wider range of animals. Halal or kosher, anyone? I think not.

500 years is nowhere near enough for the humain brain to fundamentally change, we’re the same people as 500 years ago, forms of cruelty have changed, that is it.

Sure, we don’t enjoy public executions that much, or rather we pretend -if we had one I’d bet you’d fill the square - instead we watch 24/7 news media reporting all sorts of horrors committed by other humans. 

Actually there are plenty of studies telling us that atheists tend to be more psychopathic and less empathetic than believers.

As most psychology studies, it’s probably a load of tosh, supported by poor use of statistics, but so is your claim that the opposite is true.

Post edited at 18:03
4
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Wrong. I gave a consequentialist argument that your specific actions are destructive. It was not an argument that in general one should not be blunt: this is either a misunderstanding or it's misrepresentation. 

So you're making a consequentialist argument that on some topics (such as Boris Johnson) society's best interests are served by blunt and open criticism, whereas on other topics (the merits of Islam) society's best interests mean we should adopt the kid gloves and the wet, Jesus-sandals bollocks.**

Which means we are simply disagreeing on our utilitarianist calculus,  since as I see it, the refusal or inability to direct blunt criticism at Islam, just as we would at Boris Johnson, does great harm, especially internationally, in the same way that outlawing blunt criticism of governments or government ministers (and minister-wannabees) would do great harm. 

**Still love that phrase!

Post edited at 18:31
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

False analogy. Saying that Boris is harmful or not because of X or Y is fine, you may have good reason to think that. The problem comes if you conclude from that that democracy is harmful because we have Boris. That’s would be stupid, you’d surely agree.

And yet you commit exactly the same logical fallacy in your view of religion. Not unlike politicians, different flavours of Islam are not all created equal, and whether as a whole they are good or bad  cannot be assessed analytically. The only thing you can look at it survival, which provides a rough guide, but the reasonable answer is that we don’t know.

Post edited at 18:52
1
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> ... since as I see it, the refusal or inability to direct blunt criticism at Islam, just as we would at Boris Johnson, does great harm, especially internationally, ...

And just to reinforce the point, youtube have just deleted a channel by an ex-Muslim with 25 million views because it criticises Islam.

https://twitter.com/hamed_samad/status/1141369043221458949

1
Coel Hellier 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Not unlike politicians, different flavours of Islam are not all created equal, and whether as a whole they are good or bad  cannot be assessed analytically.

Sure, different flavours of Islam are different, just as different Tory MPs are different (as are different Labour MPs; as are members of any other grouping). But that doesn't mean one cannot come to an overall assessment of the harm/benefits of the policies of one of these parties.  

You would only claim that if you were trying hard to disallow an opinion that you disliked.

summo 19 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

> I'm an atheist but even I can see there's *way* more to it than that.

> jk

Of course; coffee mornings, chats with the WI.... ?

I'll give you one, comforting folk after bereavement in a none religious manner. 

summo 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You simply have a knack for looking only at the negatives.

And you must have the pope's rose tinted glasses? 

summo 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> Just to clarify, we are evolving in that way as a civilisation, not as a species. It could all come to an abrupt end, and future humans would be back to public executions in no time.

Wonder how many days witbout power in South America(or anywhere) it would take for chaos to descend. Probably not many. 

RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> And you must have the pope's rose tinted glasses? 

Nope. I simply don’t know whether they are good or bad overall. I can see bad and good points with radically different effects across time and geography.

Simply, given their longevity that seem to defy the odds, when pretty much every other modern ideology from communism to national socialism has failed in a couple of century at the best, I think we need to be extra careful before telling they are crap.

And I came to this position after being staunchly atheist and anti religion for most of my life, mostly for the same simplistic reasons that Coel and you are peddling. I simply realised at some point that what I thought to be a certainty was actually not that simple. 

Post edited at 20:17
2
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Sure, different flavours of Islam are different, just as different Tory MPs are different (as are different Labour MPs; as are members of any other grouping). But that doesn't mean one cannot come to an overall assessment of the harm/benefits of the policies of one of these parties.  

Of one of these parties, indeed, but not of political parties.

If I said Labour is bad, therefore political parties are a bad thing, that would be a syllogism. And you’re trying to trap us in the same syllogism.

Post edited at 20:21
MonkeyPuzzle 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Sooooooo, Boris Johnson eh? Tsk tsk etc.

RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Sooooooo, Boris Johnson eh? Tsk tsk etc.

Who cares ? It’s not like we have any say in it.

dunc56 19 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Just wondering - don't think you said. Why did someone shout brexit at you ? 

MonkeyPuzzle 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Who cares ? It’s not like we have any say in it.

Sorry for straying off topic.

RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Sorry for straying off topic.

No problem

summo 19 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Nope. I simply don’t know whether they are good or bad overall. I can see bad and good points with radically different effects across time and geography.

How good does the good have to be to outweigh pedos, the holocaust and suicide bombers ? 

RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> How good does the good have to be to outweigh pedos, the holocaust and suicide bombers ? 

It’s completely unreasonable to expect humans to behave to a perfect standard, religion or not religion you’ll always have some number of killers, pedos, and racists.

Using the same “logic” one could say that western style democracy is bad because we went to bomb Iraq.

Post edited at 23:17
1
RomTheBear 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Just to be very clear, it’s perfectly fine to have opinions on things, including Islam, it’s just that they have to be logically consistent.

You’re entitled to make illogical points but then it’s no surprise if we find them laughable.

1
Jon Stewart 19 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So you're making a consequentialist argument that on some topics (such as Boris Johnson) society's best interests are served by blunt and open criticism, whereas on other topics (the merits of Islam) society's best interests mean we should adopt the kid gloves and the wet, Jesus-sandals bollocks.**

The consequentialist argument always applies. My blunt criticism of bj isn't destructive. It applies to one man, and his supporters. I fully intend to call everyone within that circle a wanker. They are all wankers without any exception: if you support boris Johnson, then I am saying unambiguously that I would like you to go f*ck yourself. 

This isn't something I want to say to all Muslims, because that would be destructive. When I criticise bj, I target what I'm saying specifically enough so that I can stand by what I say without having to hide behind any weasel words: Boris supporters, f*ck off. It's easy and consistent because I'm not making any false generalisations. 

> Which means we are simply disagreeing on our utilitarianist calculus,  since as I see it, the refusal or inability to direct blunt criticism at Islam, just as we would at Boris Johnson, does great harm

You're still arguing against something I've never said. I support your freedom fire banal unsophisticated insults at ordinary Muslims, I just think it's a shit thing to do, and there's no need. You should sharpen your criticism so that it is firstly accurate and secondly more impactful. 

Post edited at 23:25
summo 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> It’s completely unreasonable to expect humans to behave to a perfect standard, religion or not religion you’ll always have some number of killers, pedos, and racists.

Of course. There are atrocities committed for non religious reasons, but some of the worst are or have been. 

Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Just to be very clear, it’s perfectly fine to have opinions on things, including Islam, it’s just that they have to be logically consistent.  You’re entitled to make illogical points but then it’s no surprise if we find them laughable.

Oh look, a comment from Rom that is nothing but a content-free sneer at another person with not even an attempt at substantiation.  Can you really not do better? 

3
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> My blunt criticism of bj isn't destructive. It applies to one man, and his supporters. I fully intend to call everyone within that circle a wanker. They are all wankers without any exception: if you support boris Johnson, then I am saying unambiguously that I would like you to go f*ck yourself.  This isn't something I want to say to all Muslims, because that would be destructive.

It still seems to me to be double-standards.  You see Johnson and his crones as peddling harmful ideas, so you want to say to anyone who supports Johnson "I would like you to go f*ck yourself".

OK, but as I see it Islam is a harmful ideology, that does great harm across the world, so why can't we be equally blunt about anyone who supports or identifies with Islam?

Is the difference simply that we're disagreeing on whether Islam is harmful?

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Oh look, a comment from Rom that is nothing but a content-free sneer at another person with not even an attempt at substantiation.  Can you really not do better? 

I’ve explained to you in 20 different ways already what is wrong with your syllogistic argument.

Post edited at 06:36
1
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

And to reiterate one of the main reasons I do so: solidarity with the moderates and reformers and ex-Muslims from the Muslim world.  As above:

> And just to reinforce the point, youtube have just deleted a channel by an ex-Muslim with 25 million views because it criticises Islam.   https://twitter.com/hamed_samad/status/1141369043221458949 3

So there we have the Egyptian-born Hamad Abdel-Samad, who was brought up a Muslim, and indeed was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who eventually thought for himself, becoming an atheist. So he sets up an Arabic-language youtube TV channel arguing for democracy and secularism and crtiticising Islam arguing for reform.  That's necessary and invaluable work.  The channel gets 25 million views. 

But the non-moderate Muslims get all offended that Islam is being treated as anything less than God's gift to mankind, so they go complaining en masse to youtube and facebook and such.  And what do these companies do? They lick the arses of the non-moderate Muslims. They take down the moderate, reformist voices as being "offensive".

This is typical; those not following this stuff may not be aware of the regularity with which secular, reformist and atheistic voices in the Islamic world get censored -- not just by their governments, that's expected -- but by facebook, youtube, twitter et cetera doing the bidding of the non-moderate Muslims who vastly out-number them. 

So I'm not interested in complaints about poor little down-trodden Muslims getting all upset at hearing their religion criticised in the same way that one might criticise Boris Johnson.  Aww diddums.  It's a good and necessary thing. 

4
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Typical of you to jump to conclusion without any evidence. You actually have no idea as to why his YouTube channel was deleted.

3
Pete Pozman 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Encouraging fight back for real journalism on Radio 4 by Michelle Hussein interviewing David Davies about Johnson. He was forced to admit that Johnson is a liar and a spendthrift but it doesn't matter because he will make the UK optimistic again. 

There's an attractive air of affability about Davies but he really is just another nasty liar. 

Post edited at 08:08
summo 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Typical of you to jump to conclusion without any evidence.

In a conversation about religion you mention or want evidence?!  

Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Typical of you to jump to conclusion without any evidence. You actually have no idea as to why his YouTube channel was deleted.

One thing we can be absolutely sure of is that it was (chorus) "nothing to do with Islam"!

1
dunc56 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Can you lot hang on a sec. My popcorn has run out and I need to nip out to get some more. 

Thanks awfully. 

TobyA 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Partly because I get a relentless barrage of people trying to disallow me from having an opinion -- so I state them openly and bluntly partly to annoy people who think such opinions shouldn't be stated.

Again Coel, someone telling you that they think you are wrong is not "people trying to disallow [you] from having an opinion".

If you really think it is, you don't seem to get the idea of debate or discussion or argument.

Mixing a continual and stubborn insistence that you know all the answers with this, really I can't think of a better way of saying it, self-pitying response that people disagreeing with you are trying to "disallow" you from having an opinion, really isn't a great look.

Self confidence in their own right-ness mixed with self pity about threats to their privilege is basically the "alt-right" don't you think? It's the sort of thing you hear from predominantly American commentators who are into 'men's right' or 'race realism' or 'classical liberalism' (which it isn't of course) or even the incel movement. 

What do you think of the current Chinese systemic oppression of Chinese Uigars' religious rights? The Chinese government also see Islam as a dangerous ideology (but not for the same reason you do I suspect), but is forced "re-education" ever a justifiable response?

Post edited at 10:38
3
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Again Coel, someone telling you that they think you are wrong is not "people trying to disallow [you] from having an opinion".

Jon expressed a repeated concern that what I say is harmful with the implication that I should not say it.  Rom just repeatedly attacks me personally, rather than attempting actual rebuttals.  Offwidth has called for me to be censored here.

Now sure, these don't amount to much.  But, in the wider context, people do try to shut down such comments be reporting them to the police or trying to hound employers.  The fact that Boris's remark (bringing this crashing back to the topic of Boris!) about "letterboxes" got reported to the police, and was widely considered to be unacceptable is indicative.  The fact that a Parliamentary working group have proposed a definition of "Islamophobia" clearly designed to have a chilling effect on anyone criticising Islam is typical.  Then there are, as mentioned just above, the ongoing efforts to get voices critical of Islam booted off facebook, youtube, twitter, etc, by the tactic of mass reports that they are "offensive" and "hate speech". 

[Ignoring the rest of your attacks on me, rather than attempting to discuss actual topics.]

> What do you think of the current Chinese systemic oppression of Chinese Uigars' religious rights?

I support religious freedom so don't agree with it. (I also have a track record of being fairly critical of communism.)

> The Chinese government also see Islam as a dangerous ideology ... but is forced "re-education" ever a justifiable response?

Nope, obviously not.  Why do you ask? 

4
jkarran 20 Jun 2019
In reply to dunc56:

> Just wondering - don't think you said. Why did someone shout brexit at you ? 

No idea, it was a very strange interaction, more so for its randomness. I encountered shades of this campaigning in 2016 but this time I was on a runway in the middle of coordinating a glider launch, a man cycled toward me from a nearby footpath into the path of the aircraft, I stopped the launch, asked him to move to a safe position he threw the bicycle and started ranting about brexit and immigrants (I am one but he would have no way of knowing). Drink was certainly involved but frankly he just came across as desperate and radicalised, I guess he'd been offered a simplistic cause for and way out of his evident problems in immigrants and brexit by someone.

jk

Post edited at 10:59
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Mixing a continual and stubborn insistence that you know all the answers with this,

By the way, Toby, how much humility and uncertainty in your own rightness do you think that you (and Rom) are displaying in your incessant condescending remarks to me? 

5
TobyA 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I see Jon's point that your criticism of Islam could be harmful in specific ways. I suspect when you think of Islam you are mainly thinking of states like Pakistan or KSA where religion allied to state power causes huge human rights abuses, whilst when Jon reads what you say he is thinking of friends, acquaintances and colleagues who are of British-Muslims and have experience of racism and bigotry aimed at them by white British people who feel empowered by the anti-Islam rhetoric of Johnson's wolf whistle level or of a more cerebral type that they read on the internet.

But anyway, he hasn't reported you to the police has he? Has anyone tried to dob you in to your employers? Or reported you to the police?

Again it just seems that you think that people disagreeing with you is the same as people trying to silence you. It's not.

TobyA 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> By the way, Toby, how much humility and uncertainty in your own rightness do you think that you (and Rom) are displaying in your incessant condescending remarks to me? 

I'm unsure of many things, which is maybe why your certainty stands out.

(The China thing is really interesting but perhaps deserves a separate thread.)

Post edited at 11:08
dunc56 20 Jun 2019
In reply to jkarran:

Thanks for clearing that up. 

The next time my grandad does that, just tell him to f$%^ off and kick him up the khyber.

Post edited at 11:32
Pete Pozman 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> One thing we can be absolutely sure of is that it was (chorus) "nothing to do with Islam"!

You know what Coel, I'm thinking you've got a bee in your bonnet about Islam. Do all your conversations inexorably swing round to the same subject, or maybe you have another axe to grind?

Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> I'm unsure of many things, which is maybe why your certainty stands out.

Just about every comment you make to me has a condescending air of "I know better than you about this stuff".  So pot, kettle, black. 

7
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> You know what Coel, I'm thinking you've got a bee in your bonnet about Islam.

Well spotted!

> Do all your conversations inexorably swing round to the same subject, or maybe you have another axe to grind?

Well, free speech in general is certainly a hobby horse, along with deploring the current tendency to try to wiln "debates" by attacking the character of opponents rather than on the substance. 

Way too many topics in academia at the moment you're not even allowed to argue, people will attack you and try to get you sacked purely for trying to assess an issue on its merits.

1
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> But anyway, he hasn't reported you to the police has he? Has anyone tried to dob you in to your employers? Or reported you to the police?

Nope, not me, you're right on that.  Others, yes.

Timmd 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Nope. I simply don’t know whether they are good or bad overall. I can see bad and good points with radically different effects across time and geography.

> Simply, given their longevity that seem to defy the odds, when pretty much every other modern ideology from communism to national socialism has failed in a couple of century at the best, I think we need to be extra careful before telling they are crap.

> And I came to this position after being staunchly atheist and anti religion for most of my life, mostly for the same simplistic reasons that Coel and you are peddling. I simply realised at some point that what I thought to be a certainty was actually not that simple. 

I concluded after being brought up as a Catholic (with an atheist Dad in a 'mixed marriage') that some people simply have a need to believe, or to find answers to life's questions more accurately, which for some religion is the answer. If we want to undermine any of religions flaws in a way which doesn't create conflict, it strikes me that making the intellectual and moral case for freedom of thought and individual freedoms on a secular or humanist level could be the way forwards, so that people of whichever religion don't feel like their faith, meaning of life, and sense of identity too, are being attacked.  It seems nuts to me that some people would rather die than verbally renounce their religion in public (I always think that God would know they're didn't mean it), but some people would, if (albeit not all) people can be that staunch - it's got to be the case that appealing to their better nature or 'more humanist side' which is the way ahead. Gay religious marriages have been eventually accepted in the UK (by the Church Of England?) , which shows a growing acceptance that it isn't sinful - which has got to be progress.

Edit: More of a reply to the general thread on reflection. It just seems to be that tension is either resolved by some kind of mutual understanding or dialogue, or by overwhelming force, which can leave things festering in the background to potentially reignite later on. 

Post edited at 12:20
Doug 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> You know what Coel, I'm thinking you've got a bee in your bonnet about Islam. Do all your conversations inexorably swing round to the same subject, or maybe you have another axe to grind?

Try asking him about evolution & Darwin

TobyA 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Just about every comment you make to me has a condescending air of "I know better than you about this stuff".  So pot, kettle, black. 

OK, that's the impression you've got, but not what I've actually said. 

I'm happy to admit that I often ask questions to see if you, or others, will look at some issue in a less black and white way - although with limited success I think! Can't win 'em all and so on. ;-)

2
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Well spotted!

> Well, free speech in general is certainly a hobby horse, along with deploring the current tendency to try to wiln "debates" by attacking the character of opponents rather than on the substance. 

Poor snowflake.

> Way too many topics in academia at the moment you're not even allowed to argue, people will attack you and try to get you sacked purely for trying to assess an issue on its merits.

I have to agree with you on this one. Recently I collaborated with a big UK university as part of my work and I was astounded by the fact that everybody in that bubble is completely obsessed by identity politics, obsessed with putting people in neat abstract “categories” which don’t map to real life (and that goes for all sides).

Which kind of reinforced my view that academics are not as smart as they think they are. But believe me, there is hope, humans are much better than academics ;-)

Post edited at 13:07
5
dunc56 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

What do you call a man with a chip on both shoulders ....

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to dunc56:

> What do you call a man with a chip on both shoulders ....

Wise ?

1
dunc56 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Wise ?

Well balanced  

Keep this going - I am really enjoying it. 

2
Jon Stewart 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> OK, but as I see it Islam is a harmful ideology, that does great harm across the world, so why can't we be equally blunt about anyone who supports or identifies with Islam?

Oh god. I've goaded you into actually telling all Muslims to go f*ck themselves! And you can't see a problem. Please help me to understand how this isn't insane/moronic. 

> Is the difference simply that we're disagreeing on whether Islam is harmful?

The difference is whether we're insulting a very specific group of people who are identified by a very specific political stance, or whether we're insulting millions of people with vastly diverse political views, most of whom have done absolutely nothing wrong to deserve being told publicly to go f*ck themselves.

Please just try to think about the consequences. A Muslim teenager reading this website because she's interested in climbing doesn't need to be told by you to go f*ck herself, or that she's a fascist (or even the minced-words variant "you follow a fascist ideology" ). That is a problem. Telling bj voters to go f*ck themselves however, is entirety proper and correct, for obvious reasons. 

1
In reply to dunc56:

> What do you call a man with a chip on both shoulders ....

John McCain

In reply to Jon Stewart:

"Telling bj voters to go f*ck themselves however, "

Agreed. I told my wife that I have voted for a BJ and she told me to go fck myself

dunc56 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Bjartur i Sumarhus:

> "Telling bj voters to go f*ck themselves however, "

> Agreed. I told my wife that I have voted for a BJ and she told me to go fck myself

What's the best thing if BJ gets in ? 

3 minutes of peace and quiet.

Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Oh god. I've goaded you into actually telling all Muslims to go f*ck themselves!

Well that's not my phrase, and anyhow I'd be blunt about the ideology ("Islam is a totalitarian and fascist system") rather than suggesting that action to all Muslims. 

> The difference is whether we're insulting a very specific group of people who are identified by a very specific political stance, or whether we're insulting millions of people with vastly diverse political views, ...

... and who identify with an ideology that is, overall, rather harmful.

> A Muslim teenager reading this website because she's interested in climbing doesn't need to be told by you to go f*ck herself, ...

So how about a teenager just getting into climbing who is brought up in a pro-Brexit family who are fans of Boris, and who (like many teenagers) has adopted the family attitudes.

You are telling that teenager to "go f*ck themselves".  Why is that any different (is it different because the teenage Boris fan is likely to be a white kid in a non-immigrant family while the Muslim teenager is likely to be brown and a 2nd- or 3rd-generation immigrant? -- genuine question by the way)?

Would your attitude to the Boris-supporting teenager (whom you tell to "go f*ck themselves") be that as they grow up they'll be part of an adult conversation, and that they need to think about what they are identifying with, and accept that other people think hostile thoughts about something they support?     Because I could say the same about the Muslim teenager.

Again, why is this different in the two cases?

Post edited at 14:07
3
Jon Stewart 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

I don't believe you don't understand this. 

1
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I don't believe you don't understand this. 

That's exactly the problem with this conversation: you think your position is obviously correct, and think I'm just being obtuse for not getting it. Well, I really do not get it!  

You think that Boris and his cronies and people who think like that are having a harmful effect on society.  OK, but I think that the ideas of mainstream Islam have a harmful effect on society (and lots of other societies for that matter). 

Timmd 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Well that's not my phrase, and anyhow I'd be blunt about the ideology ("Islam is a totalitarian and fascist system") rather than suggesting that action to all Muslims. 

In which part of human history has it happened that people having their religion described in such terms, or in negative terms, made them pause and think and decide to take a different path?

There's been attempts to change (or destroy) the faith of other people many times in the past, and none of them have succeeded, so why do you think you'd have any success with your approach?

I'm an atheist (as good as), and I look back at history and that makes me ask you the above. 

Post edited at 15:52
1
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> That's exactly the problem with this conversation: you think your position is obviously correct, and think I'm just being obtuse for not getting it. Well, I really do not get it!  

> You think that Boris and his cronies and people who think like that are having a harmful effect on society.  OK, but I think that the ideas of mainstream Islam have a harmful effect on society (and lots of other societies for that matter). 

We have explained the problem to you many times. There is no such thing as “mainstream Islam”, it means different thing to different people and they act completely differently. The simple fact that you think such a thing exists is absurd and tells me you actually know nothing about it.

If you try to break it down at a very high level you get this:

-Shia (Pretty much act like westerners/ Catholicism of the 50s)

-Sunni secular, Ottoman, Sufi, urban...

-Salafi/Wahabi (ISIS, Saudi Barbaria)

Post edited at 16:33
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

Well indeed, so far every attempt to force down secular “western” values down the throat of others has resulted in a completely opposite reaction.

Timmd 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear: Or people just keep (talking about) their religion quieter to avoid any hassle.

summo 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Well indeed, so far every attempt to force down secular “western” values down the throat of others has resulted in a completely opposite reaction.

Change is just slower, over generations. Look at Africa, generally from ancient tribal beliefs to more fundamental Christian or Muslim. Give it another century or two for education, womens rights etc to work it's way through. 

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> There's been attempts to change (or destroy) the faith of other people many times in the past, and none of them have succeeded, so why do you think you'd have any success with your approach?

> I'm an atheist (as good as), and I look back at history and that makes me ask you the above. 

Just not true. There are far more extinct religions than existent ones. Some probably died a natural death but most were expunged through war, slaughter and persecution.

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Well indeed, so far every attempt to force down secular “western” values down the throat of others has resulted in a completely opposite reaction.

Absolute tosh. You can travel all over the world and see the adoption of Western values, dress, music, literature, architecture, religion, technology and sport. It's global domination has been remarkably unchallenged for over a century.

...of course you'll now come back with more facetious, nit-picking bollocks.

Mike Stretford 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

"adoption"≠"force down throat"

Just sayin. Enjoy your discussion with Rom.

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Mike Stretford:

> "adoption"≠"force down throat"

> Just sayin. Enjoy your discussion with Rom.

Always do. I find it strangely compulsive, like picking scabs or pulling loose teeth.

Timmd 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Just not true. There are far more extinct religions than existent ones. Some probably died a natural death but most were expunged through war, slaughter and persecution.

There's new ones too, but fair enough, I count myself corrected. Being wrong is a chance to learn.

Post edited at 17:52
1
FactorXXX 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> In which part of human history has it happened that people having their religion described in such terms, or in negative terms, made them pause and think and decide to take a different path?
> There's been attempts to change (or destroy) the faith of other people many times in the past, and none of them have succeeded, so why do you think you'd have any success with your approach?
> I'm an atheist (as good as), and I look back at history and that makes me ask you the above. 

Christianity in the UK has pretty much gone through that very process.

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Just not true. There are far more extinct religions than existent ones. Some probably died a natural death but most were expunged through war, slaughter and persecution.

Very true. And therefore when a religion has manage to survive for millennia, you should probably pause and think as to why it managed to survive.

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> Change is just slower, over generations. Look at Africa, generally from ancient tribal beliefs to more fundamental Christian or Muslim. Give it another century or two for education, womens rights etc to work it's way through. 

Wrong. Humans evolve very slowly, true, but radical cultural shift can happen very quickly, in decades if not years. Worse, they are very unpredictable.

You assumption that things will be better in a century is completely bollocks. Again and again we’ve seen societies going backwards and forward. There isn’t a linear path to progress and certainly not a guaranteed one.

Post edited at 18:20
lone 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Evan Davies tonight on R4, Max Hastings said that you can't trust Boris with your wife or your wallet, then why are so many Tories who don't trust him are backing him, why is this happening, ? Is it to ensure Corbyn doesn't get in as prime minister ?

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Very true. And therefore when a religion has manage to survive for millennia, you should probably pause and think as to why it managed to survive.

I have paused and considered and I reckon it about 2 parts convenient way to control the masses to one part emotional comfort blanket (ratio may vary according to which bollocks is being swallowed).

1
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I have paused and considered and I reckon it about 2 parts convenient way to control the masses to one part emotional comfort blanket (ratio may vary according to which bollocks is being swallowed).

Maybe, or maybe not, but one thing is certain, for a religion to survive generation over generation, the necessary condition is that communities who hold that belief must succeed at forming sustainable communities that endure through the ages.

Take for example our “western” (I don’t like this term) civilisation, it is saturated with judeo-christian values and ethics.

Jon Stewart 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> So how about a teenager just getting into climbing who is brought up in a pro-Brexit family who are fans of Boris, and who (like many teenagers) has adopted the family attitudes.

> You are telling that teenager to "go f*ck themselves".

Yes, I am. And I don't think this has serious consequences, because supporting Boris Johnson cannot possibly be a fundamental element of any teenager's identity. A teenager understands how a political view sits in broader social contexts: people argue about politics. We probably won't be best friends with people with very different political views, but we'll get on and avoid talking about politics to make life easier - or in the context of an internet discussion etc, we'll deliberately enter heated argument. This is what politics is about, and anyone reading my remarks advising Boris supporters to go f*ck themselves know this. There are no serious negative consequences of my remarks, and so I feel justified in making them. (In all honesty I don't think they're persuasive or helpful, but I don't care - they're not destructive).

> Again, why is this different in the two cases?

Incredible that I have to explain this to an adult. A Muslim growing in the UK will very likely hold their religion, ethnicity and cultural background as fundamental to their personal identity. They will also be acutely aware of anti-Muslim bigotry that has surrounded them for their whole lives. They will have heard people like them being called "dirty pakis", and more recently "terrorists" on the basis of the way they look - these are insults hurled by racists and bigots at Muslims, for being Muslims. The teenager will know all about the EDL. They will know all about bigoted internet trolls who use the same lines you do like "I hate Islam not Muslims". They know what hatred of Muslims is about.

> So I'm not interested in complaints about poor little down-trodden Muslims getting all upset at hearing their religion criticised in the same way that one might criticise Boris Johnson.  Aww diddums.  It's a good and necessary thing. 

You've not really understood the issue; you refuse to see the context. It's not good.

When this teenager reads your remarks, "Islam is a fascist ideology", I think they will see them as part of the anti-Muslim bigotry that has always been there in the background of their lives growing up in this country. They may not have been victims of serious racism themselves, but they will know all about it. They will not think it's a persuasive political argument pointing out valid problems with Islam. They will see it as stirring up hatred towards them, their family and their community. They will probably think you are a piece of shit. They're not going to care if you say that you're motivated not by hatred but by solidarity with ex-Muslims: they're not going to find it credible that it's the plight of ordinary people of Muslim nations that motivates you to post on here that Islam is fascist. 

This is why your remarks do have serious negative consequences. They alienate ordinary Muslims who've done nothing wrong, contribute to division between tribal (ethnic and religious) groups in society, and potentially stir up hatred.

So telling Boris and his supporters to go f*ck themselves, and telling Muslims to go f*ck themselves are not the same, if you think about it for a second or so, are they?

Post edited at 18:49
2
Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Take for example our “western” (I don’t like this term) civilisation, it is saturated with judeo-christian values and ethics.

Nah, it's not saturated, it's slightly tinged with the watered down, edited, expunged and decaffeinated versions of the original judeo-christian values. If a 2500 year old Jew or a 1500 year old Christian was dropped into modern day New York, London or Paris, how much affinity do you reckon they'd feel with the values and ethics on display around them? The billboards alone would blow their tiny monotheistic minds.

...and it's a good job Judea-Christian values and ethics evolved beyond recognition. If they hadn't we'd all be busy riding donkeys, stoning the Spice Girls and burning Brian Cox at the stake.

1
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Nah, it's not saturated, it's slightly tinged with the watered down, edited, expunged and decaffeinated versions of the original judeo-christian values. 

You’d have to be completely blinkered to not see the massive influence that Christianity has had on our society and values. But then again, you are blinkered, so I am not so surprised.

2
Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

"Massive influence" and "saturated with judeo-christian values and ethics" are not at all the same are they. You’d have to be completely blinkered to not see that etc, etc

1
Rob Exile Ward 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

Other explanations are available. E.g. Christianity reflects societal mores and attitudes as much as it dictates them. That may be a good part of the reason it has been 'succesful'.

1
Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> Other explanations are available. E.g. Christianity reflects societal mores and attitudes as much as it dictates them. That may be a good part of the reason it has been 'succesful'.

I wouldn't even go that far. Christianity has morphed, bent and contorted itself to survive. At its inception, it was a revolutionary sect seeking to overthrow the old order. Remember the episode where Christ threw the money lenders out of the temple? Well, we've gone from that iteration of Christianity to a version with the Vatican Bank at its core.

Look Rom's statement and consider... "Take for example our “western” (I don’t like this term) civilisation, it is saturated with judeo-christian values and ethics." Where in the entire course of Western civilisation (all that greed, colonialism, rapacious conquest, suppression of 'the other' and prideful scientific inquiry ), has any Western nation demonstrated any of Christ's 'value and ethics?. Poverty, humility, forgiveness, turning the other cheek and the meek shall inherit the Earth, don't make me laugh. Only a credulous moron would accept Western values as essentially Christian in nature.

Edit: yeah the Victorians were keen on the old muscular Christianity, but where the colonials were concerned, it was more of a moral fig leaf than any serious reflection of JC’s gospel.

Post edited at 20:23
1
summo 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> You assumption that things will be better in a century is completely bollocks. 

Are you mystic meg? 

1
Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Timmd:

> In which part of human history has it happened that people having their religion described in such terms, or in negative terms, made them pause and think and decide to take a different path?

In the West, over the last 50 to 100 years or so.  People have got a lot less religious, on average, and part of the reason for that is open and blunt criticism of religion.

1
Timmd 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> In the West, over the last 50 to 100 years or so.  People have got a lot less religious, on average, and part of the reason for that is open and blunt criticism of religion.

I had in mind the priest holes and secret masses of the UK and the Netherlands when I posted, but that's pretty true, now that people mention it. 

Post edited at 20:43
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to summo:

> Are you mystic meg? 

No, on the contrary, hence my comment.

Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> And I don't think this has serious consequences, because supporting Boris Johnson cannot possibly be a fundamental element of any teenager's identity.

Not Boris himself, accepted.  But the attitudes that lead them to support Boris *can* be a core part of their identity.  A teenager growing up in a Brexit-supporting, Tory- or UKIP-voting family might have attitudes about Britain, brexit, the Tory party, immigration, etc, that they regard as key parts of their identity.  And if you're essentially telling them to "go f*ck yourself" because they support Boris, you're pretty close to saying "go f*ck yourself" for their cultural and political identity, an identity that expresses itself in support for Boris Johnson.

So, again, as I see it the parallels with the Muslim teenager are a lot stronger than you make out.

> They will have heard people like them being called "dirty pakis", and more recently "terrorists" on the basis of the way they look ...

But then let's consider the terms the above teenager will have heard applied to people like them: "xenophobe", "racist", "scum", "chav", "gammon", and all sorts of other insults that make it clear that plenty of people would prefer not to share the country with their sort. 

> This is why your remarks do have serious negative consequences. They alienate ordinary Muslims who've done nothing wrong, contribute to division between tribal (ethnic and religious) groups in society, and potentially stir up hatred.

Your remarks alienate Boris-supporting, Brexit-voting Tory-minded communities, contributing to the divisions in society (don't you think Brexit etc has caused really deep divisions, that are not going to readily heal, why are you contributing to this?), potentially stir up hatred, etc. 

3
Pete Pozman 20 Jun 2019
In reply to dunc56:

> What do you call a man with a chip on both shoulders ....

Hungry? 

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> In the West, over the last 50 to 100 years or so.  People have got a lot less religious, on average, and part of the reason for that is open and blunt criticism of religion.

Another more down to earth possible explanation is that we started watching TV and going shopping instead of going to church.

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Another more down to earth possible explanation is that we started watching TV and going shopping instead of going to church.

No. Sunday trading came in during the early 90's in the UK. Hardly anyone went to church in the 80s either. As for TV's influence; far more Americans attend church than Brits. You reckon they've got less TV over there?

1
Lusk 20 Jun 2019
In reply to dunc56:

> What do you call a man with a chip on both shoulders ....

Fish

Jon Stewart 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> you're pretty close to saying "go f*ck yourself" for their cultural and political identity, an identity that expresses itself in support for Boris Johnson.

Absolute rubbish. I don't think you have the basic intuitions about human psychology that are needed to understand this glaring difference. I had to explain to you on another occasion why I feel completely differently about being called a "f*cking lefty" to being called a "f*cking queer". To me, the difference in both cases is profoundly obvious, and I don't know whether you're being insincere or whether you actually lack the mental software to grasp the issue. 

> But then let's consider the terms the above teenager will have heard applied to people like them: "xenophobe", "racist", "scum", "chav", "gammon", and all sorts of other insults that make it clear that plenty of people would prefer not to share the country with their sort. 

This is just so pathetic. Drawing an equivalence between being called a "racist" to being called a "dirty paki". Fair play, you've made an argument so shit and ridiculous and far-right that I just don't know how to reply. It's a write-off. I give up.

1
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No. Sunday trading came in during the early 90's in the UK. Hardly anyone went to church in the 80s either. As for TV's influence; far more Americans attend church than Brits. You reckon they've got less TV over there?

As usual you understood absolutely nothing.

3
TobyA 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

There's a 50 year literature going backwards and forwards on the secularisation thesis in the sociology of religion, its interesting research but sort of frustrating too because there are no clear answers. From what I've seen there isn't any real universal experience either way, there's not a consistent experience across "western countries" let alone across developed and developing countries.

And because it's so hard to really define what 'being religious' means, it's also hard to say if societies are becoming less religious or not.

Coel Hellier 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I had to explain to you on another occasion why I feel completely differently about being called a "f*cking lefty" to being called a "f*cking queer". 

And Boris Johnson and his ideology and Islam as an ideology are both more similar to the former.

1
Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As usual you understood absolutely nothing.

and as usual you resort to petty tantrums and name calling cos, as usual, your arguments are crap.

1
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> and as usual you resort to petty tantrums and name calling cos, as usual, your arguments are crap.

You still didn’t understand the irony of the point. Never mind.

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> There's a 50 year literature going backwards and forwards on the secularisation thesis in the sociology of religion, its interesting research but sort of frustrating too because there are no clear answers. From what I've seen there isn't any real universal experience either way, there's not a consistent experience across "western countries" let alone across developed and developing countries.

> And because it's so hard to really define what 'being religious' means, it's also hard to say if societies are becoming less religious or not.

Exactly, thank you for this glimmer of light in this dismal thread. Finally someone who gets it.

Post edited at 22:29
FactorXXX 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jon Stewart: 

> This is just so pathetic. Drawing an equivalence between being called a "racist" to being called a "dirty paki". Fair play, you've made an argument so shit and ridiculous and far-right that I just don't know how to reply. It's a write-off. I give up.

Play fair Jon, Coel also included the terms 'Scum', 'Chav' and 'Gammon' and I'm pretty sure that they can be as hurtful to the recipients as 'Dirty Paki', etc. 

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> There's a 50 year literature going backwards and forwards on the secularisation thesis in the sociology of religion, its interesting research but sort of frustrating too because there are no clear answers. From what I've seen there isn't any real universal experience either way, there's not a consistent experience across "western countries" let alone across developed and developing countries.

Only 50 years? Nietzsche was banging on about God being dead 150 years ago and Marx was touting religion as opium of the people decades before that. Of course I could be wrong, but as I see it the main problem with researching religious attitudes in isolation to wider societal norms, is that it's impossible. Organised religion in the West has always been tied up with education, law and politics. It's inexorably linked because the powers that be have always utilised it as another handy lever of control. Science and education have undermined the church's standing and so it's utility and influence has waned.

> And because it's so hard to really define what 'being religious' means, it's also hard to say if societies are becoming less religious or not.

I think there's a pretty clear trajectory in the UK. Do you really disagree?

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Not Boris himself, accepted.  But the attitudes that lead them to support Boris *can* be a core part of their identity.  A teenager growing up in a Brexit-supporting, Tory- or UKIP-voting family might have attitudes about Britain, brexit, the Tory party, immigration, etc, that they regard as key parts of their identity.  And if you're essentially telling them to "go f*ck yourself" because they support Boris, you're pretty close to saying "go f*ck yourself" for their cultural and political identity, an identity that expresses itself in support for Boris Johnson.

No, Coel, it’s not because of their political identity, but because of what they do.

Telling a black person to f*ck off just because they are black is not the same telling someone who is trying to harm you to f*ck off.  The first is pure racism, the later is self defence. 

1
squarepeg 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Jezz0r:

Well its gonna be king Boris......

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Exactly, thank you for this glimmer of light in this dismal thread. Finally someone who gets it.

No Rom. He doesn't 'get it'. You haven't enlightened him. He's made his own mature and considered contribution completely separate from the third rate 6th form guff you've been serving up.

2
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> No Rom. He doesn't 'get it'. You haven't enlightened him. He's made his own mature and considered contribution completely separate from the third rate 6th form guff you've been serving up.

I wasn’t referring to my contribution when I said  he gets it. As usual, you understand nothing.

1
TobyA 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Well the secularisation debate in particular, not sociological or anthropological studies of religion in general.

> I think there's a pretty clear trajectory in the UK. Do you really disagree?

Not disagree in the sense that less people go to church now than 30 years ago, but it does depends on what you mean by "being religious". When you are looking from a sociological perspective rather than a theological one, it is a really complicated question.

1
Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I wasn’t referring to my contribution when I said  he gets it. As usual, you understand nothing.

You can keep saying I understand nothing but it was you touting the West as "saturated with judeo-christian values and ethics." Care to expand on that? The West is actually saturated with Greco-Roman values and ethics with a huge dollop of Anglo-Saxon fettling. The whole 'Judea-Christian moral and ethical underpinning of the West' was a well meaning fallacy invented be the liberal left in the 1930's in a desperate attempt to mobilise mass social solidarity to counteract the rising tide of anti semitism. 

Yeah Rom, I understand nothing mate.

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Well the secularisation debate in particular, not sociological or anthropological studies of religion in general.

OK, but if you mean secularisation in the traditional sense then you have to accept that the church wields nowhere near the influence it did even 10 years ago.

> Not disagree in the sense that less people go to church now than 30 years ago, but it does depends on what you mean by "being religious". When you are looking from a sociological perspective rather than a theological one, it is a really complicated question.

I'm perhaps being a little dense. Do you mean that people are less involved in organised religion yet remain essentially spiritual in how the interpret the world?

RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I think there's a pretty clear trajectory in the UK. Do you really disagree?

Is it that clear ? In the UK, Christianity, which is by far the biggest group, has declined. However pretty much all other religions are growing.

Mathematically, this means that if the trajectories  stay exactly as they are (a pure hypothetical) for a sufficient amount of time, then you will get an increase.

Post edited at 23:03
Jon Stewart 20 Jun 2019
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Play fair Jon, Coel also included the terms 'Scum', 'Chav' and 'Gammon' and I'm pretty sure that they can be as hurtful to the recipients as 'Dirty Paki', etc. 

I think this is the worst argument I've ever heard. You and Coel are trying to paint the poor children of the right wing of the Tory Party as victims of merciless bullies, tormenting their souls by ridiculing the very core of their identity. Violins, really? It might be an amazingly shit argument, but it's pretty good joke. Tickled me, anyway!

1
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> You can keep saying I understand nothing but it was you touting the West as "saturated with judeo-christian values and ethics." Care to expand on that? The West is actually saturated with Greco-Roman values and ethics with a huge dollop of Anglo-Saxon fettling.

What you fail to understand (again) is that none of this is mutually exclusive.

We have Judeo-Christian morality with a Greco-Roman intellect (let’s see if anyone gets the reference)

Post edited at 23:09
Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Is it that clear ? In the UK, Christianity, which is by far the biggest group, has declined. However pretty much all other religions are growing.

> Mathematically, this means that if the trajectories  stay exactly as they are (a pure hypothetical) for a sufficient amount of time, then you will get an increase.

Not what most are reporting. 2017 was the first year where the majority of Uk nationals declared themselves as having no religious affiliation.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/04/half-uk-population-has-no-religion-british-social-attitudes-survey

Stichtplate 20 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> What you fail to understand (again) is that none of this is mutually exclusive.

> We have Judeo-Christian morality with a Greco-Roman intellect (let’s see if anyone gets the reference)

Judeo-christian morality? What's that when it's at home then? Care to expand? You'll have a job...it's a meaningless term, it has no basis in reality. It's just pure guff.

Edit: and why've you discarded the rest of the post? Let me guess, bit too specific? You don't really do specifics do you, much prefer sticking to vague pontification and high handed declarations that people are idiots if they don't appreciate your genius.

Post edited at 23:21
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Not what most are reporting. 2017 was the first year where the majority of Uk nationals declared themselves as having no religious affiliation.

Argh, WHY don’t you understand shit ? Do I need to make a drawing for you to understand ?

YES the overall number of people with no religion in increasing, for now, and that is driven primarily by the number of Christians decreasing. However other religions are growing. 

So mathematically, it has to start increasing again at some point if you keep the trajectories for each religion the same. (As you obviously cannot have a negative number of Christians).

Capisce ?

Post edited at 23:35
1
RomTheBear 20 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

You totally failed to get the reference. Never mind again....

Stichtplate 21 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Argh, WHY don’t you understand shit ? Do I need to make a drawing for you to understand ?

Yes please. Make me a drawing.

> YES the overall number of people with no religion in increasing, for now, and that is driven primarily by the number of Christians decreasing. However other religions are growing. 

> So mathematically, it has to start increasing again at some point if you keep the trajectories for each religion the same. (As you obviously cannot have a negative number of Christians).

Yes I do see. Except religious affiliation isn't driven by mathematical models. In fact mathematical models are shite at predicting anything big messy and human. This is why stuff like stock market crashes, dissolution of empires and teenage mutant ninja hysteria, keep appearing from nowhere and biting us on the arse. Here's an illustration for you; in 2001 390,000 UK citizens declared themselves to be Jedi knights, a precipitous rise from a base line of zero a couple of years previously. By your logic we should now be over run with Jedi Knights. We aren't, their numbers had more than halved by 2011.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/articles/howreligionhaschangedinenglandandwales/2015-06-04

Much of the rise in other religions is driven by immigration. Religiously minded immigrants aren't coming in at nearly the rate that old indigenous Christians are dying, now that increasing longevity is flattening out the ONS predicts an extra 130,000 deaths by 2040, half of those extra deaths will be over 85's. Guess where that cohort stand on religion? I thought you were good at maths? I barely scraped an O level.

> Capisce ?

Sorry, don't speak Italian either. 

Edit: Third time of asking: What exactly is this judeo-christian morality you keep going on about? Can you define it at all? Even a little bit? You know, like specifics?

Post edited at 00:17
TobyA 21 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> I'm perhaps being a little dense. Do you mean that people are less involved in organised religion yet remain essentially spiritual in how the interpret the world?

Yes, from New Age stuff to obsessions with celebrities or fandom. There is plenty of research that says no, people are just becoming less religious - and they're not replacing it with something else that provides the same function. But that isn't uncontested.

RomTheBear 21 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Yes please. Make me a drawing.

> Yes I do see. Except religious affiliation isn't driven by mathematical models. In fact mathematical models are shite at predicting anything big messy and human.

Yes, I agree, completely, thats exactly why I called bullshit on your idea that the current trajectory means anything at all, and described it as a pure hypothetical. Not only that but I’ve shown to you that even if this hypothetical was true (it most likely is not) you’d still be completely wrong.

Post edited at 01:28
RomTheBear 21 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> This is why stuff like stock market crashes, dissolution of empires and teenage mutant ninja hysteria, keep appearing from nowhere and biting us on the arse. Here's an illustration for you; in 2001 390,000 UK citizens declared themselves to be Jedi knights, a precipitous rise from a base line of zero a couple of years previously. By your logic we should now be over run with Jedi Knights. We aren't, their numbers had more than halved by 2011.

Exactly ! It doesn’t follow a linear behaviour or in fact anything remotely predictable.

Hence why telling us that the trajectory is clear is a whole load of bollocks.

I think that for the first time ever you actually understood something.

Post edited at 01:16
1
RomTheBear 21 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Yes, from New Age stuff to obsessions with celebrities or fandom. There is plenty of research that says no, people are just becoming less religious - and they're not replacing it with something else that provides the same function. But that isn't uncontested.

People are not getting less religious anyway. Globally it’s rising.

RomTheBear 21 Jun 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Edit: Third time of asking: What exactly is this judeo-christian morality you keep going on about? Can you define it at all? Even a little bit? You know, like specifics?

I think that what most people mean by that is the basic moral principles shared by both Christianity and Judaism. You shall not murder, you shall not steal, love your neighbour like thyself, the traditional family, common decency etc etc. 

I agree it’s a pretty vague term but i think that most people get the idea nevertheless.

Post edited at 01:36
Gordon Stainforth 21 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

(Speaking as someone who is not religious, but as a historian with broadly Xtian values) it's not vague at all. The basic moral principles are laid out in the ten commandments plus the two extra ones that Christ added. In finer detail, there are the Beatitudes, arguably the best thing in the Bible (never forgetting the awesomely bleak Book of Job ) Oh, and the parables as well ... though many of those are rather more difficult to fathom, because the messages they convey are usually unexpected and rather subtle.

Post edited at 01:57
Stichtplate 21 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I think that what most people mean by that is the basic moral principles shared by both Christianity and Judaism. You shall not murder, you shall not steal, love your neighbour like thyself, the traditional family, common decency etc etc. 

> I agree it’s a pretty vague term but i think that most people get the idea nevertheless.

Basic morality predates both Judaism and Christianity by quite some stretch and loving your neighbour like yourself??? Yeah, that really caught on, bed rock of Western civilisation that is!

1
Stichtplate 21 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

>Yes, I agree, completely, thats exactly why I called bullshit on your idea that the current trajectory means anything at all,  and described it as a pure hypothetical. Not only that but I’ve shown to you that even if this hypothetical was true (it most likely is not) you’d still be completely wrong.

> Exactly ! It doesn’t follow a linear behaviour or in fact anything remotely predictable.

> Hence why telling us that the trajectory is clear is a whole load of bollocks.

> I think that for the first time ever you actually understood something.

Ahh right, so when you wrote...

Mathematically, this means that if the trajectories  stay exactly as they are (a pure hypothetical) for a sufficient amount of time, then you will get an increase.

and...

YES the overall number of people with no religion in increasing, for now, and that is driven primarily by the number of Christians decreasing. However other religions are growing. 

So mathematically, it has to start increasing again at some point if you keep the trajectories for each religion the same. (As you obviously cannot have a negative number of Christians).

What the f*ck were you on about?

Post edited at 03:55
1
Stichtplate 21 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> People are not getting less religious anyway. Globally it’s rising.

What total numbers in line with population growth or as an overall percentage? Any source for this?

1
Stichtplate 21 Jun 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Yes, from New Age stuff to obsessions with celebrities or fandom. There is plenty of research that says no, people are just becoming less religious - and they're not replacing it with something else that provides the same function. But that isn't uncontested.

If by the religious you include Justin Bieber fans, then I'm not too worried. I don't think anyone is about to lynch me fo thinking that Justin's a prat.

Coel Hellier 21 Jun 2019
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I think that what most people mean by that is the basic moral principles shared by both Christianity and Judaism. You shall not murder, you shall not steal, love your neighbour like thyself, the traditional family, common decency etc etc. 

One of those is not like the others!    Prohibitions on murder, stealing, supporting families, etc, are not "Judeo-Christian" values, they are *human* values, pre-dating the Old Testament and being common to all human culture.

"Love your neighbour like thyself" is specifically Christian (not Judaic), and is not taken seriously by anyone (not even Christians).  It's not a "basic moral value", and hardly anyone even attempts to implement it. 


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