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squirrel
10-01-2012, 02:48 PM
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/10/kumawar-dev-faces-execution-in-iran/#comments

I suddenly realize one thing. We are in peace for a too long time. Most of us probably forget that we are subjects of different sovereigns. And since they are independent to each other, there will be time when they go to war against each other. Fairly speaking, Iran and the USA have been in confrontation against each other, and as RPS reported Kuma War does have content about attacking Iran.

While we are exercising right to freedom of speech, we tend to forget that national security should be placed above this right. Capital punishment may be too harsh. However, making a game about attacking one's own country is no doubt a crime of treason.

Anyway, I dont believe that CIA funded the project. The US government doesnt have to. Millions of people have paid for Battlefield 3, which is such a profitable project. Why would one need to invest to develop game to be distributed free of charge?

Truly hope that this is just a diplomatic showdown between the two countries. I still dont see that the two countries would eventually go to war. Things dont have to be in that way.

P.S. First time I heard of this game. Will give it a try some day.

FuriKuri!
10-01-2012, 02:55 PM
However, making a game about attacking one's own country is no doubt a crime of treason.

No. Just no.

Jams O'Donnell
10-01-2012, 02:55 PM
Any reason this comment isn't added to the blog post comments, squirrel?

squirrel
10-01-2012, 02:56 PM
Any reason this comment isn't added to the blog post comments, squirrel?

Discussion is more interactive here, I guess? And actually I did leave a comment there.


No. Just no.

Let me use an extreme example: what about someone develops a flight sim to train crashing a plane to Buckingham Palace to assassinate the Queen?

No, no offense. This could be a crime, dont do it. But you see the point here?

LaunchJC
10-01-2012, 03:14 PM
Let me use an extreme example: what about someone develops a flight sim to train crashing a plane to Buckingham Palace to assassinate the Queen?

Are we talking a flight sim where you CAN crash into something, or one specifically intended to train people to do so?

FuriKuri!
10-01-2012, 03:16 PM
Let me use an extreme example: what about someone develops a flight sim to train crashing a plane to Buckingham Palace to assassinate the Queen?

No, no offense. This could be a crime, dont do it. But you see the point here?

No I don't. Sure sounds like it'd be fun to play though!

Unaco
10-01-2012, 03:18 PM
Reminds me somewhat of Ai Weiwei, and his treatment by China.

squirrel
10-01-2012, 03:24 PM
No I don't. Sure sounds like it'd be fun to play though!

zako (speechless, and sweating)


Reminds me somewhat of Ai Weiwei, and his treatment by China.

In China talking anything politics you will still do fine as long as you dont mess with corrupted officials' sources of income...... And Mr. Ai happened to mess with their sources of income.

Harlander
10-01-2012, 03:27 PM
While we are exercising right to freedom of speech, we tend to forget that national security should be placed above this right.

Sure, but making a game about a fictional attack on a country doesn't do any harm to that nation's security - and an individual's right of freedom of speech should certainly be placed above a nation's self-image.

metalangel
10-01-2012, 03:30 PM
No. Think about what Blackburn does to get himself into the whole interrogation mess in Battlefield 3 if you're going to use it as an example.

Shane
10-01-2012, 03:32 PM
Just as I was beginning to think that the day couldn't get any worse...

FuriKuri!
10-01-2012, 03:33 PM
I'll expand a bit rather than continue to be willingfully flippant.

The idea that such 'thoughtcrime' be regarded as treason is, to me, absolutely repugnant. I don't care if it's a game, film, book or a song, it's only an act of treason if you've got defence secrets or something steganographically (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography) embedded. The mere suggestion to me that someone should be imprisoned, tortured and executed over merely spreading an ideology is so utterly abhorrent I don't even know where to begin.

I honestly feel sorry for you if you think like that or, worse, seem to have been told/educated to think like that.

Grizzly
10-01-2012, 03:34 PM
However, making a game about attacking one's own country is no doubt a crime of treason.
The World in Conflict and Red Alert and such devs would be shot on sight if that were true. WiC especially, because a few americans happily slaughter russian civilians.

lasikbear
10-01-2012, 03:46 PM
There already was a game of the JFK assassination where (I believe) you were scored on how accurately you performed to the actual assassination. Guess thats more of a reenactment game rather than a training for the future game.

gwathdring
10-01-2012, 04:38 PM
I don't believe in Treason. I understand the practical reasons to have a "treason" charge for dealing with spies, though I don't believe there is anything inherently immoral about ideological betrayal of one's nation. I believe governments have a right to punish more practical betrayals as in the case of espionage or selling dangerous weapons to our enemies (of course, if you live in the U.S., it is usually the government supplying our enemies with weapons ... so ... that makes the whole treason thing kind of awkward), though I would have to examine the practical betrayals on a case-by-case basis to determine whether I thought something immoral had occurred--however necessary it may be to consider the activities criminal.

Practically speaking, I owe a lot to my government. But from an ideological standpoint, I owe nothing to my government. I was conscripted into the service of this government and as such, while I am still beholden to it's laws I may well live as a citizen without ever having willingly offered my allegiance and support and thus without condoning or accepting the ideological ramifications of being a part of my nation. I reserve the right to withdraw all ideological support from my nation at any point in my life. I realize that, again, in practice this world is not so perfect as to allow us free reign to choose our home nation and flit about the world as though it were some sort of strange shopping experience. That is not a freedom that our world can offer in a sustainable manner as of yet. But no one does, or ever shall, own my mind.

Stepping away from ideology, there is a wholly practical side to this argument as well. When we police people for their ideas, it becomes impossible to prove anything. When we police people for their public ideas, it becomes impossible to differentiate between fictional and non-fictional ideas without hearsay--I can easily claim I intended only a fiction or intended my country to be the heroes of the story despite the invasion. Then we are back to the policing of private ideas: is it truly an intentionally negative portrayal or simply an unfortunate fiction? Once we start to punish people for fictional ideas, we can then punish them for fictional crimes. After all, if it is wrong to fictional commit treason by fictionally invading your country ... what makes fictionally murder of a child reasonable? There is, as far as I can see, no clear line at which to stop. The policing of ideas is far too mutable to really serve as an effective political or moral policy. Ideas of treason are no different. Let us rule and judge people by their acts, not their thoughts. It is both simpler, and to my mind, better.

Cooper
10-01-2012, 05:10 PM
The mere suggestion to me that someone should be imprisoned, tortured and executed over merely spreading an ideology is so utterly abhorrent I don't even know where to begin.

I honestly feel sorry for you if you think like that or, worse, seem to have been told/educated to think like that.Thing is, we currently have people here in the UK under arrest for suggesting that gay people should be killed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/10/muslim-anti-gay-leaflet-hateMaybe no torture, and we thankfully have no death penalty. But 'all they were doing' was spreading an ideology. I for one, think this kind of intervention on violent hate is no bad thing.

That being said, this bears little to no resemblance to the Kumar War guy in Iran. But the idea that all acts of speech, regardless of content, should be free, is absurd. Speech designed to incite violent predjudice should be countered.

Rauten
10-01-2012, 05:31 PM
I've never played the game, so I can't say whether imprisonment would be right or wrong.

If it's a standard manshooter where the "enemies" just happen to be iranians, I'd say it's wrong.
If it's specifically engineered to cast Iranian officials, government and military under a bad light, to make it look as if they should be disposed of and the US of A should take over control for the good of the people, then a certain small penalty might be in order.

BUT BLOODY DEATH PENALTY?! IT'S A GODDAMN VIDEOGAME FOR CHRISSAKES!!

Drinking with Skeletons
10-01-2012, 05:49 PM
Here's the only thing I have to say, heartless and cold as it is: the guy lives in Iran; what did he expect to happen? This is kind of like when Western reporters go gallivanting around the Middle East hellhole-of-the-week and get kidnapped and/or murdered. They get upset, and they prattle on about the right of a free press (not to mention the ever-present implication that, since they are liberal journalists they are on the side of the "oppressed peoples" and shouldn't be lumped in with the right-wing fascists) as if a Western conception of "rights" is universal and innate and not the result of the application/restraint of power by governments.

Sometimes you just need to realistically appraise those in power and decide whether or not it's worth poking them. No one gets up in arms when someone in the U.S. gets arrested for not paying taxes, even though everyone hates paying them and isn't nearly 100% satisfied with how their taxes are spent; I doubt the many people in Iran who know better than to create something that depicts an attack against their government are going to lose much sleep over this guy.

SMiD
10-01-2012, 06:04 PM
Here's the only thing I have to say, heartless and cold as it is: the guy lives in Iran; what did he expect to happen? This is kind of like when Western reporters go gallivanting around the Middle East hellhole-of-the-week and get kidnapped and/or murdered. They get upset, and they prattle on about the right of a free press (not to mention the ever-present implication that, since they are liberal journalists they are on the side of the "oppressed peoples" and shouldn't be lumped in with the right-wing fascists) as if a Western conception of "rights" is universal and innate and not the result of the application/restraint of power by governments.

Sometimes you just need to realistically appraise those in power and decide whether or not it's worth poking them. No one gets up in arms when someone in the U.S. gets arrested for not paying taxes, even though everyone hates paying them and isn't nearly 100% satisfied with how their taxes are spent; I doubt the many people in Iran who know better than to create something that depicts an attack against their government are going to lose much sleep over this guy.


Actually, I believe he lives in the US but is visiting relatives in Iran.

Drinking with Skeletons
10-01-2012, 06:10 PM
Actually, I believe he lives in the US but is visiting relatives in Iran.

Didn't realize that was the same guy. Having said that: that's even worse! Americans have absolutely no business traveling to the Middle East. Period. They do not like us and no amount of humanitarian aid, liberal sermonizing, or nation building will change that. The only possible path to better relations is for them to whole-sale reject radical political-religious ideologies, and that can only happen from within. I realize he has relatives there, but now I imagine he wishes that they had come to visit him.

R-F
10-01-2012, 06:35 PM
Thing is, we currently have people here in the UK under arrest for suggesting that gay people should be killed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/10/muslim-anti-gay-leaflet-hateMaybe no torture, and we thankfully have no death penalty. But 'all they were doing' was spreading an ideology. I for one, think this kind of intervention on violent hate is no bad thing.

That's different. That's inciting to killing, not about spreading an ideology.

If these games were specifically about how all Iranians were to die, then a jail sentence might make sense. Not torture and execution, obviously.

Fiyenyaa
10-01-2012, 11:35 PM
Didn't realize that was the same guy. Having said that: that's even worse! Americans have absolutely no business traveling to the Middle East. Period. They do not like us and no amount of humanitarian aid, liberal sermonizing, or nation building will change that. The only possible path to better relations is for them to whole-sale reject radical political-religious ideologies, and that can only happen from within. I realize he has relatives there, but now I imagine he wishes that they had come to visit him.

Please don't speak for hundreds of millions of millions of people in one massive generalisation.

I bet he does wish that his relatives visited him instead of the other way round - that doesn't mean he has "no business" being there for that purpose.
If I go and visit relatives in the USA, is that me taking a journey I have no business in taking? Or is it somehow morally justified even though the only difference is that of practicality?

DarthBenedict
11-01-2012, 12:37 AM
Why exactly should national security be more important than free speech?

A nation without free speech does not deserve security.

Harlander
11-01-2012, 10:18 AM
Because failures in national security can, in rare cases, lead to mass deaths.

hamster
11-01-2012, 11:00 AM
Doesn't seem like it has anything to do with national security. Smells more like fear to me.

Xercies
11-01-2012, 11:52 AM
Sometimes you just need to realistically appraise those in power and decide whether or not it's worth poking them.

No No No. You should always poke governments in control that seem to be a dictatorship, thats how you get public opinion on your side and start to get the revolution in order. Happened in Czechoslovakia, happened in Libia, happening in Syria. You should really do that, and yes there is every chance you could die for it, but if you didn't do it then you are just propping the government thats already there and not doing anything to fight it.

squirrel
11-01-2012, 11:53 AM
If the conviction is about propaganda, then it's about national security. National security threat is much more than open rebellion, sabotage or spying.

For instance, in China, I heard that (I may be wrong. I just heard from my friends. I dont have friends who are familiar with military justice. In fact, most GIs here dont know a damn about military law. You need to learn the law only if you want to lead as officer, I guess.) if anyone who has an affair with the spouse of a military personnel, he or she would be charged of jeopardizing national security (but not as serious as treason) since such an unethical act, while should be considered civil dispute in most cases, would demoralize the military in such a case.

BTW, I read from CNN that even Mr. Hekmati is developing translation programme for US military. I guess most of you would agree with the military importance of such programme, which in fact is a threat to Iran's national security. Of course, first thing first he is not convicted for such development anyway, so the main issue here is still the Kuma game. As CNN put it, the fact merely drew Mr. Hekmati bad attention from the Iranian authority. I truly hope that Mr. Hekmati will eventually be released and return home safe. And of course, America and Middle East please dont go to war.

archonsod
11-01-2012, 07:09 PM
I suddenly realize one thing. We are in peace for a too long time. Most of us probably forget that we are subjects of different sovereigns. And since they are independent to each other, there will be time when they go to war against each other.

You're confusing being a legal subject with having any kind of loyalty towards the government. Most people would be happy to bump off their own government for a few hundred quid if they thought they'd get away with it. In fact, I'd happily pay a few hundred quid to be allowed to shoot Cameron.


While we are exercising right to freedom of speech, we tend to forget that national security should be placed above this right.

Bollocks to that. I don't recall ever agreeing to be part of any national collective nor do I particularly want to be in one.


Oh, and you might want to note a fair few games were released in the 80s which positively encouraged, let alone simulated, killing Margaret Thatcher. Nobody batted an eyelid. Generally speaking anyone famous is generally considered fair game for that sort of stuff, it's only when it involves 'innocents' that people start complaining.




If I go and visit relatives in the USA, is that me taking a journey I have no business in taking? Or is it somehow morally justified even though the only difference is that of practicality?

If the USA had declared it's intent to wipe your people out, repeatedly imprisoned, attacked and when it could killed your people, and you still decided to go visit despite the fact doing so is not only not recommended by your own foreign office but they also advise it could lead to a criminal prosecution? I'd say it was worthy of a Darwin Award myself. But then I reckon common sense should come before any notion of rights.

Tei
11-01-2012, 07:23 PM
Iran has every right to be pised at UK and USA for the past history thing.

But getting some dude in jail for creating videogames shows that Iran is a bunch of sociopaths and assholes that deserverd to be mocked.

Nationalist my ass. There are humans, nations is just something we create to make our life better. You are not your house, your house is where your live. I hate that retarded nationalistic mindset.

Wizardry
11-01-2012, 07:55 PM
But getting some dude in jail for creating videogames shows that Iran is a bunch of sociopaths and assholes that deserverd to be mocked.
No. He was convicted for spying, not just for "creating video games".

c-Row
11-01-2012, 08:11 PM
No. He was convicted for spying, not just for "creating video games".

Well, for creating a certain type of video game.


Hes charged with espionage, and with being paid by the CIA to create pro-US propaganda in the guise of videogames.

Simply creating another Match-3 clone probably doesn't get you sentenced to death over there, true.

Wulf
11-01-2012, 08:13 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/10/muslim-anti-gay-leaflet-hateMaybe no torture, and we thankfully have no death penalty. But 'all they were doing' was spreading an ideology. I for one, think this kind of intervention on violent hate is no bad thing.

That makes me sad. It's xenophobia in its purest form, and belief/religion is used as a shield. Other beliefs/religions used to pull this sort of crap, but generally they seem to be a bit more grown up, these days. (One can hope, anyway.) What I'd love to see is a movement of Muslim people who ostracise for this sort of belief.

To be honest, if it's outright acidic, aggressive, and violent xenophobia with no justification (and what justification could there be?), it's just hate, and it shouldn't be part of a religion or belief system. If it is, then it makes that system of belief or organised religion quantifiably unethical. And I don't see why we should award a quantifiably unethical religion full ethical reprieve.

Really, some organised religions and systems of belief just need to grow the heck up. As these sorts of shenanigans just show the practitioners of such a religion as small-minded and violent, nothing more than stereotypical troglodytes barely capable of reason. And this only applies to religions which are like that, of course. It's down to each person to decide how they act, and act in the name of their religion.

And keep in mind that I'm not talking about calling people nasty names here. I'm talking about people who advocate genocide in the name of their religion. Not cool. That's not on no matter who's doing it. (Why is the world so obsessed with genocide these days? What the hell is up with that? It's like we've gone as far towards civility as we're capable of, and now humanity as a whole is just rubberbanding back toward more primal habits. Blargh.)


That being said, this bears little to no resemblance to the Kumar War guy in Iran. But the idea that all acts of speech, regardless of content, should be free, is absurd. Speech designed to incite violent predjudice should be countered.

Wholeheartedly agreed. If you can vocally and vehemently support an idea like that, then you're not far away from perpetrating that idea on a bad day. All it takes is the thin, silken lines of taboo of modern society and civilisation to snap for a person to act out their desires.

Y'know, it's funny. This is why I find perverts who keep themselves to ethical endeavours the most safe people to be around, as their primal drives seem to be toward sex, and less toward violence. I never feel comfortable around a person who enjoys too much violence, and speaks vocally of their love of it. It's not a 'thought crime' that, but still, there are levels of this. Some people love violence, and then that can progress to people wanting to vocally advocate violence against a group of people.

Really, give me an ethical pervert any day of the week. I feel genuinely comfortable around them. It may be a strange thing to say, but frankly, it's just how I feel.

FuriKuri!
11-01-2012, 08:15 PM
Birds of a feather? ;)

archonsod
11-01-2012, 08:54 PM
Simply creating another Match-3 clone probably doesn't get you sentenced to death over there, true.

Yeah, seems to me the real issue here is Iran is targeting the wrong developers. Anyone got the contact details for the Iranian government? I've got a list of Facebook game developers I believe may have been involved in some espionage against their country ...

Rii
11-01-2012, 11:08 PM
Please don't speak for hundreds of millions of millions of people in one massive generalisation.

So far as generalisations go it's a fairly accurate one. The problem is that it implicitly buys into the 'they hate us for our freedoms' nonsense, rather than the truth which is that America is disliked in many parts of the world largely because of the things it has done there. I like how Stephen Walt put it:


Ever since 9/11, there's been a tendency to assume that anti-Americanism in the world was mostly due to poor marketing, and that it would decline if we just came up with a better sales pitch. So the Bush administration appointed a former advertising executive to work on polishing America's "brand" (without success). This response is understandable, because Americans (and some other countries) don't want to admit that a lot of the opposition they face isn't due to a misunderstanding about what they stand for or what they are doing. On the contrary, opposition has arisen because other societies do understand what we are doing, and they don't like it anymore than we would if someone were doing the same thing to us.

[....]

Bottom line: To believe that you can fool people into liking policies that are contrary to their interests is a pernicious form of wishful thinking, because it discourages us from asking whether it is the policies themselves that ought to change.

-- Foreign Policy Magazine: "Wishful Thinking: The Top 10 Most Unrealistic Expectations in Conemporary U.S. Foreign Policy (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/29/wishful_thinking?page=0,0)

WHO FUCKED WITH THE LINK SYSTEM FOR FUCK'S SAKE

Fiyenyaa
12-01-2012, 01:01 AM
So far as generalisations go it's a fairly accurate one. The problem is that it implicitly buys into the 'they hate us for our freedoms' nonsense, rather than the truth which is that America is disliked in many parts of the world largely because of the things it has done there.

Of course you're right to an extent, but I really cannot abide the attitude displayed in the post I quoted - i.e. doing anything half-decent will not make a blind bit of difference and so we shouldn't bother.
I also don't think that saying "they don't like us" is particularly helpful because it's literally buying into an us-and-them mentality when I'd be far more likely to sympathise with the person from "them" who is against the war despite being part of "us".

Nalano
12-01-2012, 01:05 AM
Didn't realize that was the same guy. Having said that: that's even worse! Americans have absolutely no business traveling to the Middle East. Period. They do not like us and no amount of humanitarian aid, liberal sermonizing, or nation building will change that.

Iranian people like us. Most people like us. They don't like what we do to their countries, but they tend to like us. The Iranian government, on the other hand, uses us as a bugaboo to keep a thumb on their people.

As for a game being decreed "treason," we have this thing called the First Amendment. Besides, nobody has depicted the destruction of America more than American media.

Wizardry
12-01-2012, 01:31 AM
Iranian people like us. Most people like us. They don't like what we do to their countries, but they tend to like us. The Iranian government, on the other hand, uses us as a bugaboo to keep a thumb on their people.
Most Iranians probably do hate Americans if you were to ask them. Of course, not if you just ask the Iranians living outside of Iran. The majority of those were aligned with the Shah and fled the country after the revolution, or at least are descendants of those who did.

Nalano
12-01-2012, 01:46 AM
Most Iranians probably do hate Americans if you were to ask them.

Have you asked any?

Wizardry
12-01-2012, 01:53 AM
Have you asked any?
Yes. I've asked every last one of 'em. Expect the statistics some time after the world ends.

Rii
12-01-2012, 02:02 AM
Most Iranians probably do hate Americans if you were to ask them.

I doubt it. Hating 'America' and hating 'Americans' are very different things.

But yes there have been lots of polls conducted throughout the Middle East and nobody there likes America, with the biggest wedge issues being (1) America's unconditional support for Israel and denial of Palestinians' rights and (2) America's support for the dictatorships they have to live under. Americans' freedom to watch porn in their underwear whilst eating nachos does not actually figure on the list of popular grievances.

Regarding the latter, as even some of the more intelligent organs of the American War Department have picked up on* there's a pretty direct correlation between the degree of support America provides a particular authoritarian government and how much the citizenry there despises America: America is far more popular in Iran, for example, than it is in Saudi Arabia.

* http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/dsb/commun.pdf (pg. 46)

Nalano
12-01-2012, 02:03 AM
Yes. I've asked every last one of 'em. Expect the statistics some time after the world ends.

Because I actually have Iranian friends - both here and there. And, funny enough, Jason Jones went there (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-23-2009/jason-jones--behind-the-veil---ayatollah-you-so) to ask why they hate Americans (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-17-2009/jason-jones--behind-the-veil---minarets-of-menace).


But yes there have been lots of polls conducted throughout the Middle East and nobody there likes America.

If the Tea Party and OWS are of any indication, neither do Americans.

Wizardry
12-01-2012, 02:29 AM
Because I actually have Iranian friends - both here and there.
So do I. And ex-business associates.


And, funny enough, Jason Jones went there (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-23-2009/jason-jones--behind-the-veil---ayatollah-you-so) to ask why they hate Americans (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-17-2009/jason-jones--behind-the-veil---minarets-of-menace).
THIS CONTENT IS UNAVAILABLE FROM YOUR LOCATION

There are plenty of Iranians who haven't forgiven America and the UK for what they did for a good 40 years last century. It's not something that will just go away.

mr.doo
12-01-2012, 02:38 AM
However, making a game about attacking one's own country is no doubt a crime of treason.


I can't believe we are having this discussion. It's a game for fuck's sake, and on top of it, a very unrealistic one (unless you are superman and can take 10 bullets in the chest and still walk away like nothing happened). Those games are freely available and were made for entertainment purposes, not to train the US military in a eventual iran invasion. And I'm pretty sure the biggest military force in the world has better tools than a CS knock off when it comes to training their soldiers.

Rii
12-01-2012, 02:46 AM
There are plenty of Iranians who haven't forgiven America and the UK for what they did for a good 40 years last century. It's not something that will just go away.

There will always be those who can't let go of the past, but I think most people are able to forgive in the presence of change. In the absence of change, however, the past returns to inform the present. America's problem isn't yesterday, but today.


And I'm pretty sure the biggest military force in the world has better tools than a CS knock off when it comes to training their soldiers.

Yeah ... they call it America's Army.

http://www.americasarmy.com/

Nalano
12-01-2012, 02:57 AM
There are plenty of Iranians who haven't forgiven America and the UK for what they did for a good 40 years last century. It's not something that will just go away.

Believe it or not, this isn't news for some of us. But at the same rate, there are Black Americans, whose ancestors were slaves, who were themselves victims of an insidious form of institutional racism that persists to this very day, yet don't spend their waking moments hating America and Americans.

Wizardry
12-01-2012, 03:18 AM
Believe it or not, this isn't news for some of us. But at the same rate, there are Black Americans, whose ancestors were slaves, who were themselves victims of an insidious form of institutional racism that persists to this very day, yet don't spend their waking moments hating America and Americans.
But it's not in the past, is it? Two of their neighbours have been invaded by the US in recent years, one of them for no legitimate reason, and the US has also continued to support the only country in the region with nuclear weapons, one that continues to mistreat the Palestinian people with illegal settlement building. Oh, and not forgetting the sanctions imposed on them.

Are there still plantations with black slave workers in the USA? Thought not.

Nalano
12-01-2012, 03:33 AM
Are there still plantations with black slave workers in the USA?

Nah, now they're Mexicans. Or, at least, they were (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/14/alabama-immigration-law-workers).

Also, "in the past?"

Wizardry
12-01-2012, 03:38 AM
Also, "in the past?"
Yes? Am I missing something?

Nalano
12-01-2012, 03:58 AM
Yes? Am I missing something?

Dude. The shit you're missing is fucking massive.

Wizardry
12-01-2012, 04:06 AM
Dude. The shit you're missing is fucking massive.
That there is still racism? Of course there is. But you specifically said "whose ancestors were slaves", which was the point I was focusing on.

c-Row
12-01-2012, 06:37 AM
An Iranian co-worker of a friend of mine told him that the majority of Iran's population is pro-western but is unfortunately ruled by a religious elite that doesn't share that view.

sinister agent
12-01-2012, 08:35 AM
Let me use an extreme example: what about someone develops a flight sim to train crashing a plane to Buckingham Palace to assassinate the Queen?

No, no offense. This could be a crime, dont do it. But you see the point here?



No I don't. Sure sounds like it'd be fun to play though!

Score multiplier for every corgi.

sinister agent
12-01-2012, 08:39 AM
An Iranian co-worker of a friend of mine told him that the majority of Iran's population is pro-western but is unfortunately ruled by a religious elite that doesn't share that view.

This adds up with what I've read and the (admittedly very little, and that limited to people on the internet who speak/write English, which is obviously not everyone) contact I've had with people there, and in a few neighbouring countries. But that's nothing new really, is it? The people in most countries would mostly get along okay on a personal level if we didn't all have fuckwit politicians stirring us up against each other all the time. Most people really just aren't that obsessed with hating some random people they've never met.

Nalano
12-01-2012, 09:26 AM
The people in most countries would mostly get along okay on a personal level if we didn't all have fuckwit politicians stirring us up against each other all the time.

Marx pointed out that the working class in different countries still have more in common with one another than they do their own wealthy countrymen.

c-Row
12-01-2012, 09:31 AM
The people in most countries would mostly get along okay on a personal level if we didn't all have fuckwit politicians stirring us up against each other all the time.

Every Civ player can probably relate.

Fiyenyaa
12-01-2012, 10:05 AM
This adds up with what I've read and the (admittedly very little, and that limited to people on the internet who speak/write English, which is obviously not everyone) contact I've had with people there, and in a few neighbouring countries. But that's nothing new really, is it? The people in most countries would mostly get along okay on a personal level if we didn't all have fuckwit politicians stirring us up against each other all the time. Most people really just aren't that obsessed with hating some random people they've never met.

A thousand times this.
Cultural differences pale into relative unimportance when confronted with common humanity.

soldant
12-01-2012, 10:24 AM
The people in most countries would mostly get along okay on a personal level if we didn't all have fuckwit politicians stirring us up against each other all the time. Most people really just aren't that obsessed with hating some random people they've never met.
You're right in part, but also partly incorrect about politicians, unless you define religion as another form of politics (which I wouldn't really disagree with). Although state-incited hatred definitely plays a part (and often a big one), so do other factors like religious extremism, ideological differences, personal history and experience, societal norms, etc, not all of which are directly under state control. It's still entirely possible for people to have a hatred or dislike for another state without governmental incentive. People tend to bind together with those who share similar beliefs.

The state can work the other way by forcing tolerance. Societal norms and attitudes however are much, much harder to change.

Nalano
12-01-2012, 11:26 AM
The state can work the other way by forcing tolerance. Societal norms and attitudes however are much, much harder to change.

What always struck me before I decided to study city planning was the fact that New York was by all rights eons more tolerant than Jerusalem, despite Jerusalem's population having plenty more time to get accustomed to one another. But then, New York is far more irreligious than Jerusalem.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
12-01-2012, 05:09 PM
People seem to be concentrating on the angle that he was a games developer and not that he was a highly trained ex-soldier who underwent specialized training in espionage. None of us really do know for sure what he was getting up to and there is a serious possibility that he was in Iran on a clendestine mission. Most nations over the last 50 years or so have had the death penalty for spies. He also knew the risks involved.

Should a country be allowed to defend itself against those that would choose to do it harm from within? Especially when they are at the brink of invasion or attack? I certainly think so.

I also think that RPS should choose to stay out of politics.

To paint this story as an innocent indie game developer being unjustly targetted by an evil regime isn't strictly honest or ethical.

Drinking with Skeletons
12-01-2012, 05:20 PM
A thousand times this.
Cultural differences pale into relative unimportance when confronted with common humanity.

Speaking as a gay man, cultural differences take priority for a massive number of people. And before someone says "that's not a cultural difference," everything is cultural. Do you believe a literal interpretation of the Bible that condemns homosexuality? That's cultural. Do you believe that there's nothing wrong with homosexuality because you aren't a Christian or belong to an open-minded denomination? That's also cultural. It doesn't matter that I have more in common with my fellow Americans than not, many--a majority even--would really and truly be happier if my rights were limited or even removed because their culture has instilled that belief in them. My state's got an upcoming vote on a bill which has a stated goal of removing the possibility that people like me might someday have more rights than we already have by removing many that we currently do have, even though we already have fewer rights in this state than straight people.

Let's use a more specific example and look at the tensions that have existed between Catholics and Protestants. In some parts of the world it doesn't make and has never made much of a difference, but in others--such as Ireland--there have been very serious conflicts between the two groups. A non-Christian with only cursory knowledge of the distinction, or a non-Christian--hell, even a Christian of certain denominations--who can't get past his or her own cultural perspective regarding the idea of a "one true religion" might find the whole thing kind of ridiculous, in an awful kind of way. And yet fervent Protestants or Catholics could argue endlessly about the matter--and have--with both sides able to pull up evidence of equal weight simply because it's a matter of faith and not fact.

At a macro level you're right, but culture goes down deep, and hatred can persist for hundreds, even thousands of years over issues that an outside observer might view as trivial. The bitter irony is that common humanity only trumps culture when the people in question not only share the same culture, but agree that they share the same culture.

archonsod
12-01-2012, 07:27 PM
This adds up with what I've read and the (admittedly very little, and that limited to people on the internet who speak/write English, which is obviously not everyone) contact I've had with people there, and in a few neighbouring countries.

It depends where you are. Important to note that the Iranians you find on the internet have the advantage of being able to access non-state controlled media. The same is broadly true of those in the cities. Those in more rural areas on the other hand are fed a constant diet of anti-West propaganda which blames the US / UK / Mossad for pretty much everything from the weather to delayed trains. So an awful lot of them really do hate Americans; albeit they're also probably under the impression Americans are all seven feet tall, fart fire and intend to eat their children too. Not to mention this is usually backed up by the local clergy, who are to Islam what the Amish are to Christians (to the point they'll happily blame cancer on sin / masturbation / otherwise pissing off God).

Rii
12-01-2012, 07:55 PM
It depends where you are. Important to note that the Iranians you find on the internet have the advantage of being able to access non-state controlled media. The same is broadly true of those in the cities. Those in more rural areas on the other hand are fed a constant diet of anti-West propaganda which blames the US / UK / Mossad for pretty much everything from the weather to delayed trains. So an awful lot of them really do hate Americans; albeit they're also probably under the impression Americans are all seven feet tall, fart fire and intend to eat their children too. Not to mention this is usually backed up by the local clergy, who are to Islam what the Amish are to Christians (to the point they'll happily blame cancer on sin / masturbation / otherwise pissing off God).

All of which is, of course, little different from the diet of anti-Iranian propaganda fed to the western masses.

Nalano
12-01-2012, 08:21 PM
Should a country be allowed to defend itself against those that would choose to do it harm from within? Especially when they are at the brink of invasion or attack? I certainly think so.

Hey, remember how Maziar Bahari got jailed (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/23/daily-show-to-blame-for-n_n_367978.html) for talking to a comedian?

Yeah.


All of which is, of course, little different from the diet of anti-Iranian propaganda fed to the western masses.

To be fair, over here it's just shoveled into a general anti-Muslim hatefest, where all aspects of Muslims (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jYDtVJ67MpEY_NjXVEVQw39B7QZg?docId=CNG.f8a13 57252414e391fa429a67d8b9601.d41) and Muslim culture (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/us/on-religion-a-one-man-war-on-american-muslims.html) are viewed with abject hostility (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/mosque_madness_at_ground_zero_OQ34EB0MWS0lXuAnQau5 uL) - that is, if you watch Fox or read the NYPost*. I'm not sure Joe Shmoe from Minnesota, fed on a steady diet of NewsCorp, could distinguish between Arab and Persian.

*Fun activity: Count the wanton falsehoods in the linked NYPost article

archonsod
12-01-2012, 09:30 PM
All of which is, of course, little different from the diet of anti-Iranian propaganda fed to the western masses.

Well yeah. When it rains around here we blame Muslim terrorists of an unspecified nationality.


I'm not sure Joe Shmoe from Minnesota, fed on a steady diet of NewsCorp, could distinguish between Arab and Persian.

To be fair if he's been watching Fox News the main problem would be distinguishing Iran from India. They're both reasonably close to each other after all, and both begin with the letter 'I'.

Fiyenyaa
13-01-2012, 01:51 AM
At a macro level you're right, but culture goes down deep, and hatred can persist for hundreds, even thousands of years over issues that an outside observer might view as trivial. The bitter irony is that common humanity only trumps culture when the people in question not only share the same culture, but agree that they share the same culture.

You're right, of course.
I tend to look at things with a more optimistic perspective than reality might actually warrant - but I do think that culture is basically a veneer that can change fairly easily (and indeed does) and that people are, on average, basically good and decent.

gwathdring
13-01-2012, 02:22 AM
[..] but I do think that culture is basically a veneer that can change fairly easily (and indeed does) and that people are, on average, basically good and decent.

I agree. Early cultural conditioning is a very strong part of our mental existence, but it is by no means immutable or irreparable. Likewise I think the argument that "everything is cultural" muddies the waters substantially without really adding new perspective to the issue. Furthermore I think "common humanity" trumps cultural imperatives all the time and that there is a yet more important factor in human behavior that typically trumps either--inertia. Habit. If we get used to behaving a certain way we tend to continue that behavior. Culture is by no means the only force that causes habit. It is merely the one we are most collectively aware of.

soldant
13-01-2012, 03:33 AM
I tend to look at things with a more optimistic perspective than reality might actually warrant - but I do think that culture is basically a veneer that can change fairly easily (and indeed does) and that people are, on average, basically good and decent.
It's probably true for the most part that people do what they believe is right, but I think that has more to do with the sense of reward and social cohesion than because they are good at a base level. Culture has a clear influence on what people believe is "good and decent" because culture, which includes shared experiences, ultimately is one of the factors that influence what we decide is "good and decent". There is no natural law which outlines what is right and what is wrong; only survival forms part of nature. Humanity (and to some extent higher order animals) constructs these terms and they form part of our culture. If most people are basically "good and decent" it's because there's a cultural inclination and acceptance towards "doing the right thing", or being a good citizen. And most societies do have this built in, because the only way we live together in such big communities is to cooperate. Humanity wouldn't have accomplished jack shit if we didn't learn to cooperate.

But by the same token you can inject hatred, whether political, religious, greed, or whatever, and decide it's "right" to hate another group. It doesn't necessarily have to be political or religious, and it doesn't necessarily have to contradict what is "good and decent" because their definition of "good and decent" can differ from yours, and who is to say which of us is right and wrong? Those are terms we construct on our own. Like culture, it can be changed.

Nalano
13-01-2012, 05:17 AM
But by the same token you can inject hatred, whether political, religious, greed, or whatever, and decide it's "right" to hate another group. It doesn't necessarily have to be political or religious, and it doesn't necessarily have to contradict what is "good and decent" because their definition of "good and decent" can differ from yours, and who is to say which of us is right and wrong? Those are terms we construct on our own. Like culture, it can be changed.

Moral relativism does indeed decree that we define what is "right," and any civil rights activist will tell you that the only thing that will stop racism is the death of racists and the education of their progeny: You have to learn bigotry when you're young to truly become a bigot, and there's no effective way of unlearning it.

But the great irony of the populaces living under the thumb of these repressive regimes is, they learn first and foremost the difference between a people and their government. It's only when you implicitly accept everything an authority says to you that you can be driven to hate the "other" quite so adamantly, and as such, the more repressive the leadership, the more cynical (and savvy) the citizenry. If your life is hell, you don't need it explained to you the difference between the will of the people and the will of the party.

My Russian and Ukrainian friends are the most prolific progenitors of black humor that I know, and I still joke with them that the basic difference between Irish and Russians is that Irish get drunk and write poetry and Russians get drunk and write prose, for everything else is the same: The dominion of a foreign elite (in one hand, English gentry, in the other hand, their own Russian burghers) and the imposition of a totalitarian system (Soviet communism or Catholicism). Nobody drank the koolaid: They knew they were fucked.

sinister agent
13-01-2012, 10:05 AM
You're right in part, but also partly incorrect about politicians, unless you define religion as another form of politics (which I wouldn't really disagree with). Although state-incited hatred definitely plays a part (and often a big one), so do other factors like religious extremism, ideological differences, personal history and experience, societal norms, etc, not all of which are directly under state control. It's still entirely possible for people to have a hatred or dislike for another state without governmental incentive. People tend to bind together with those who share similar beliefs.

The state can work the other way by forcing tolerance. Societal norms and attitudes however are much, much harder to change.

I don't disagree, but I simply don't think the effects of those are as severe as is commonly represented, at least not on a large scale. Even people who rail about Iranians or Indians or the French or whatever tend to actually get on okay with them when they meet them. The typical refrain in my own family is to rant about immigrants or black people or asians, and then add a disclaimer so that it somehow doesn't apply to the people we actually know. Or our own family, who emigrated from Ireland at a time when the anti-immigrant rants were directed at them instead.

And it works the other way, too. For all that we hear about how people in the middle east despise us (and America even more), it doesn't seem to be all that true. American culture has become so massively influential partly because for all our whining, people actually like it. People like Americans. They might dislike American foreign policy or politics or some specific parts of American culture, but that's not so different to thinking that Germany is great except for the music, or that Britain is fine except for the dreadful obsession with celebrities.


It depends where you are. Important to note that the Iranians you find on the internet have the advantage of being able to access non-state controlled media. The same is broadly true of those in the cities. Those in more rural areas on the other hand are fed a constant diet of anti-West propaganda which blames the US / UK / Mossad for pretty much everything from the weather to delayed trains. So an awful lot of them really do hate Americans; albeit they're also probably under the impression Americans are all seven feet tall, fart fire and intend to eat their children too. Not to mention this is usually backed up by the local clergy, who are to Islam what the Amish are to Christians (to the point they'll happily blame cancer on sin / masturbation / otherwise pissing off God).


Fair points. But then there are people here/in the US who have access to more even-handed views, but choose not to bother with it (admittedly we're all guilty of this to some degree, if not on this than on other topics). I guess it kind of cuts both ways to some extent.

soldant
13-01-2012, 10:38 AM
I don't disagree, but I simply don't think the effects of those are as severe as is commonly represented, at least not on a large scale. Even people who rail about Iranians or Indians or the French or whatever tend to actually get on okay with them when they meet them. The typical refrain in my own family is to rant about immigrants or black people or asians, and then add a disclaimer so that it somehow doesn't apply to the people we actually know. Or our own family, who emigrated from Ireland at a time when the anti-immigrant rants were directed at them instead.
I don't necessarily dispute that individuals, when faced with individuals, will be able to like them. But humanity ultimately doesn't work on individuals. We all form part of a larger collective, whether we like it or not, and we all play some role in it. One single person, on their very own, does not change they world. They can stand as a figurehead to do so, but if only they believe what they say, they ultimately make no difference.

kataras
13-01-2012, 11:24 AM
I don't necessarily dispute that individuals, when faced with individuals, will be able to like them. But humanity ultimately doesn't work on individuals. We all form part of a larger collective.
Then it's an issue of representation being too important to leave it to professional 'leaders', regardless of political, cultural, religious authority?

soldant
13-01-2012, 12:24 PM
Then it's an issue of representation being too important to leave it to professional 'leaders', regardless of political, cultural, religious authority?
No, because whoever you put in power will have their own biases to bring to the table, whether they're a professional leader or not. You'll still get some sort of bias against some other system of belief or operation. Alternatively, you promote incompetent people to positions of power because "they're a good person". A good person doesn't always make a good administrator and can have disastrous results. If anything it's an argument against absolute power in a highly centralised concentration based on arbitrary "rights to rule" (e.g. dynastic succession, "appointed by God", etc).

kataras
13-01-2012, 03:34 PM
True but could be corrected if representatives could be recalled immediately, and replaced with someone else?

Tei
13-01-2012, 03:46 PM
I have not read the whole thread. But I have picked a few lines.

Nope.

People with a high culture, that live in a city, can be pro-western, even pro-freedom. But people from the iranian are probably as anti-western as you can get, and anti-freedom. Is probably a bad idea to show your face in a iranian town.

kataras
13-01-2012, 03:52 PM
What is high culture? Do you get it only if you live in a city? Does it necessarily make you a more open-mided or better person? Does being pro-freedom equal being pro-western? Is freedom found only in the west? Is the west a monolithic entity? So many questions... I don't know many Iranians but somehow the above statement sounds so wrong to me...

Nalano
13-01-2012, 03:54 PM
Is probably a bad idea to show your face in a iranian town.

"Y'better not come 'round here no more (http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Family-says-attack-on-Muslim-man-in-Tomball-2407967.php)."

*banjo*

Also, what the fuck is "anti-freedom"? Seriously? So much bull.

PeopleLikeFrank
13-01-2012, 04:12 PM
Also, what the fuck is "anti-freedom"?

I believe in those parts you call it "Republican."

Tei
13-01-2012, 06:58 PM
What is high culture? Do you get it only if you live in a city? Does it necessarily make you a more open-mided or better person? Does being pro-freedom equal being pro-western? Is freedom found only in the west? Is the west a monolithic entity? So many questions... I don't know many Iranians but somehow the above statement sounds so wrong to me...

People on towns are more conservative, religious and close-minded than the people on cities. Is just something about how humans work, I think.

The thing is that you can have friends in iran, that love the western world, and maybe these people know a lot of people that love the western world. But that means nothing, because probably everybody that lives in small towns buy the govern propaganda.

Drinking with Skeletons
13-01-2012, 07:43 PM
What is high culture? Do you get it only if you live in a city? Does it necessarily make you a more open-mided or better person? Does being pro-freedom equal being pro-western? Is freedom found only in the west? Is the west a monolithic entity? So many questions... I don't know many Iranians but somehow the above statement sounds so wrong to me...

This goes back to what I was saying earlier: everything is cultural. The idea that one culture is not better than another is, itself, a cultural artifact, and saying that one culture is not superior to another could, in fact, be considered offensive to someone whose culture considers itself to be the one true path. I'm really not trying to knock religion, but both Christianity and Islam profess to be absolutely accurate, and profess rewards for true believers and severe punishments for infidels. The culture of Christians and Muslims, at their most literal (and pure, I would argue) levels hinge upon the idea that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

All of this is just a roundabout way of saying that we need to stop demonizing the idea of judgment. We have to judge other cultures' customs and behavior to maintain environments in which we and our loved ones can be happy. The idea that there is some kind of limit to what and how we can criticize other cultures is self-destructive. At some point we have to say to ourselves "This/these culture(s) is/are a danger to my community, my family, and myself, and I need to speak out against them." Respecting the cultures of others can only go so far.

soldant
14-01-2012, 12:11 AM
True but could be corrected if representatives could be recalled immediately, and replaced with someone else?
You'd have a largely ineffective government in that case. You can't have effective control if you're constantly recalling people and putting someone else in charge, it'd be paralytic. Nobody would ever get the chance to agree on anything. Immediate recall is pretty useless if some group starts their own campaign pretending to represent the group's best interests while putting their own person into power.


What is high culture? Do you get it only if you live in a city? Does it necessarily make you a more open-mided or better person? Does being pro-freedom equal being pro-western? Is freedom found only in the west? Is the west a monolithic entity? So many questions... I don't know many Iranians but somehow the above statement sounds so wrong to me...
"High culture" doesn't really exist, "culture" exists everywhere humanity exists and is (or was) shared between people who identify with that culture, and it can overlap with others. It isn't specific to cities. It doesn't necessarily make you more open-minded because it's easy to ethnocentrism to take hold if you encounter a different culture which you don't like, but it might encourage tolerance. There's no real "better person" answer because that implies you've found something worse than you, which is a fairly arbitrary definition (to the other side, you might be perceived as worse than them).

Freedom is not always western but the west does identify strongly with the idea of personal, economic and political freedom, which you're not likely to find in a theocracy for example (which are more likely in the "east"). The west and culture isn't monolithic. For example Australia shares a western culture with the US, but within that we have our own cultural differences which reflect a British heritage, or more recently reflect the impact of multiculturalism.

Nalano
14-01-2012, 02:46 AM
It isn't specific to cities.

I'd argue that cities are most definitely the harbingers of tolerance. New York isn't Atlanta, period. However, it's all in how you define "city."


...which you're not likely to find in a theocracy for example...

The Western World is chock full of theocracies. It's not like nobody noticed the evangelicals taking over the Republican Party, nor the Fourth Reichers showing up in Norway.

gwathdring
14-01-2012, 05:18 AM
I'd argue that cities are most definitely the harbingers of tolerance. New York isn't Atlanta, period. However, it's all in how you define "city."



The Western World is chock full of theocracies. It's not like nobody noticed the evangelicals taking over the Republican Party, nor the Fourth Reichers showing up in Norway.

Precisely the same thing as a Theocracy.

soldant
14-01-2012, 06:04 AM
The Western World is chock full of theocracies. It's not like nobody noticed the evangelicals taking over the Republican Party, nor the Fourth Reichers showing up in Norway.
They don't yet wield the kind of clout that they do towards the eastern world though... or moreso the middle east. Which something we need to safeguard against - the separation of church and state is paramount to the future.

Nalano
14-01-2012, 11:28 AM
Which something we need to safeguard against - the separation of church and state is paramount to the future.

You'll get no argument from me there. But as for insight as to who hates who and why, we'd be remiss in not pointing out our own whackaloons.

sinister agent
14-01-2012, 03:58 PM
The idea that anyone is anti-freedom is utterly absurd. What do they do, lock themselves in a box all day?

Nalano
15-01-2012, 12:05 AM
What do they do, lock themselves in a box all day?

I do that now, and lemme tell ya: The rent is ridiculous.

soldant
15-01-2012, 12:07 AM
The idea that anyone is anti-freedom is utterly absurd. What do they do, lock themselves in a box all day?
Why the hell do religions have so much power them?

- Thou shalt not allow homosexuality, because some mythical sky-man saith so!
- Thou shalt not worship false idols, because clearly I am the only true idol!
- Thou shalt not eat the following kinds of animals, because I am the sky-god and say so!

And so on...

gwathdring
15-01-2012, 04:06 AM
Why the hell do religions have so much power them?

- Thou shalt not allow homosexuality, because some mythical sky-man saith so!
- Thou shalt not worship false idols, because clearly I am the only true idol!
- Thou shalt not eat the following kinds of animals, because I am the sky-god and say so!

And so on...

That's not "anti-freedom" though. It is anti-homosexuality and anti-eating-certain-kinds-of-animals and so forth. You personally define the right to maintain status an so forth in society as a homosexual, omnivore or atheist. I personally think kicking a sleeping puppy is wrong; as such I don't see it as anti-freedom to be against kicking puppies. Someone in favor of kicking puppies might consider kicking puppies essential to their freedoms.

I don't think freedom is absolute, let alone exactly what you define it to be. One can be part of a religion with strict tenets and be "free" just as one can have a rigid but secular set of moral ideas and still be free.

As for religions having power ... it is a combination of tradition, emotional appeal, and spiritual appeal. Humans tend to enjoy spiritual explanations and pursuits and do so at all intellectual, economic and social levels. Religion is not some evil form of brainwashing without purpose, justification, or meaning. Or at least, it doesn't have to be and quite often isn't. Please don't pull a Richard Dawkins on me; I may be an agnostic, but that kind of attitude saddens me.

soldant
15-01-2012, 05:54 AM
That's not "anti-freedom" though.
Yes, it is. Homosexuality and "kicking puppies" has no comparison; in general liberal schools of thought still believe that freedom shouldn't result on the infringement of another entity's rights. Hence "freedom" does not incorporate "Kill someone for fun" nor is disallowing murder an infringement on freedom. The two don't even remotely compare.

The outlawing of homosexuality, worship of another religion, or choice of meal is an infringement on freedoms which do not necessarily cause harm to another (unless that religion preached hate for example). You're deliberately confining a person from what they want to do not to protect another entity but because you just don't like what they're doing. How is that proceeding with the idea of "freedom"?

Freedom isn't absolute but few modern people would disagree that anti-homosexuality (or indeed the homophobia expressed by some groups) doesn't form part of the struggle for "freedom". If you honestly think that "freedom" forms a part of following strict tenets without good reason, then I'd hate to live in your world.


As for religion - I'm actually not against most forms of religion, so long as governments remain entirely secular. I'm personally fine with personal religious choices so long as they do not go against the rights of others and are not purely exploitative (so I'm against Scientology for example). But they have no place in governance or in science. Arbitrary rules justified by cries of "Deus Vult!" isn't a good basis for society and does not lead to progression. People can practice religion and hell it can even have benefits, so long as they stay out of politics and don't try to force it on others.