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[links] Link salad, airplane edition - Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-11-16 06:50
Subject: [links] Link salad, airplane edition
Security: Public
Location:Seat 6E, AA Flight 1185, at the gate at DFW
Mood:working, really, I swear
Music:boarding announcements on the PA
Tags:cool, politics, religion, science, tech, travel
xkcd features Cory Doctorow, superhero

I have some issues with this — Caught a current story on this lawsuit on an airport tv this morning. I'm a raging secularist, and an atheist besides, but I find lawsuits like this more than a bit silly. I will note that CNN Headline News filmed the 12-foot crosses so that they looked like the usual small roadside cross, I assume to make the American Atheist spokeswoman seem a bit silly.

British Airways runs "ghost flights"

Single parent genes

Are we getting closer to human cloning?

Saudi rape victim sentences to 200 lashes — This sentence was for being in an automobile with unrelated males.

How about this: Under Shariate law, a woman who simply reports a rape is considered to have admitted her guilt as an adultress, and is subject to penalties up to execution. If this horrifies you, consider the secular viewpoint on this. There is no difference between that sort of religious insanity and moves to teach Intelligent Design in school, except in the matter of degree. In both cases, people of faith are deliberately discarding rationalism in the name of their religious principles.

I think one reason the Right likes to characterize liberal-progressives as being sympathetic to Islamic terrorism is their own unspoken discomfort with how closely allied their fears and goals are to aggressive, conservative Islam. Liberal Western secularism is the enemy to both Evangelical Christians and Wahabbist Muslims. That realization is pretty much impossible to handle within the worldview of the lapel pin patriots on the right, so they behave much as closeted, self-loathing gays who displace with loudly public homophobia. (Who, oddly enough, are also found in numbers on the right.)
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J. Kathleen Cheney
User: j_cheney
Date: 2007-11-16 15:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I find lawsuits like this more than a bit silly

Yeah, I think the danger is in the precedent that it might set, because almost all military gravesites have some crosses or stars of David in them (usually carved on the stone). It would be a shame to remove the tombstones of, say, Civil War soldiers (as a broad example) because of this one incident...but that's where it could lead.
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elusivem
User: elusivem
Date: 2007-11-16 18:34 (UTC)
Subject: The military respects one's beliefs with its markers
Yes military markers have crosses. They also have chalices, lions, lambs, crescents, atoms, pentagons, nine pointed stars, wheels and some 50 other symbols. Utah chose only the Christian cross because it only endorses the Christian faith.

As for our historical markers, from what I have personally seen, it is a skull and cross bone, some dark angle or nothing at all; not a specific religious symbol.
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Rafe
User: etcet
Date: 2007-11-16 15:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, that made me press the YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME button.

As far as the overall notion - what's wrong with a larger version of the small roadside memorials that seem to be all over the damn place - a white circle with black lettering, set on either a post or tripod? There is nothing confrontational or denominational about them, and they're widely recognized as markers of highway fatalities.
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User: ex_chrisbil
Date: 2007-11-16 16:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"If this horrifies you, consider the secular viewpoint on this. There is no difference between that sort of religious insanity and moves to teach Intelligent Design in school, except in the matter of degree. In both cases, people of faith are deliberately discarding rationalism in the name of their religious principles."

Jay - thank you. This is the kind of logic that I try to apply to old Christian friends of mine daily. There is no picking and choosing with religion. It's dangerous - take it from someone who has been there!
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2007-11-16 16:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There is no difference between that sort of religious insanity and moves to teach Intelligent Design in school, except in the matter of degree.

Er...but the degree is so obviously wide as to completely destroy the primary argument (that there is no difference between the two insanities).

It's like saying science is bad because scientists supported the eugenics movement.
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User: ex_chrisbil
Date: 2007-11-16 16:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But one of the points that I and (I think) Jay are making is that once you're taught to believe one thing without evidence or balanced and considered thought, there is very little to stop you believe/acting on another.

I didn't put that very elegantly (and Jay, I don't mean to put words in your mouth, so correct me if I'm wrong).
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Brian Dolton
User: tchernabyelo
Date: 2007-11-16 17:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've long been aware of the irony that many of the reasons funamentalist Muslims hate Western civilisation - female emancipation, gay rights, etc - are precisely the same things that fundamentalist Christians fulminate about. And before someone points out a "difference in degree", is there really a difference in degree between those who carry out suicide bombings in Iraq and those who bomb abortion clinics in the USA?

The root cause is the same; the moment you start to go from "people have the right to determine their own parameters of existence" to "God says people who do this are evil and I'm going to take it on myself to prevent/destroy them!", you've crossed a line.

I am concerned, however, that secular ilberals are just as capable of crossing that line. I'm hardly a fan of the Taliban or Shari'a law (and I've been to Saudi Arabia and found the place utterly repugnant - in contrast, I must note, with other Islamic countries I've visited), but if people WANT to live under those conditions, then they have every right to. What they DON'T have is the right to stop people from leaving those states and going elsewhere - which, given that there are comparatively few women who want to live in a Wahabbiist/Shari'a society, should restrict the lifespan of such a culture somewhat.
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User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-11-17 01:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sadly, many of them think it is what they want.

Read Ayaan Hirsi Aliv
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
User: dirkcjelli
Date: 2007-11-17 01:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Quite a few things are not rational, Jay, and I'd posit that you'd never give up most of the non-rational parts of your life you enjoy.

Like What?
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2007-11-20 13:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Props!

I agree with you. One reason I *so strongly* want separation of church and state is that I don't want a state religion telling me what to believe.

And those strongly in favor of a theocratic state would have the exact opposite reaction if it was a denomination other than their very own in charge of things.

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