The cancer of intolerance and how to fight it

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by nancyallen, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. nancyallen Jedi Padawan

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    I'm sure many people in the world are angry at those from all walks of life who have chosen to persecute any given group for one reason or another. We have national leaders locked in a maniacal obsession to wipe out the people they have an innate hatred for. We have the deaths of homosexuals being called for by some religious maniac. And we have maniacs who wish to have children removed from their parents and worse simply because of their beliefs. All these maniacs suffer not from the cause they claim to fight for but the cancer of intolerance. This ugly trait opposes the basic right people have to follow and practice their beliefs and live their live as they are. Not only do these people discredit the belief they follow or fight for, I think most of us live where people have fought and died for our basic rights and freedoms. These rights and freedoms would not exist if those intolerant of beliefs and people of any background, color or stripe had their way. Whatever must be done to hunt down those with intolerant views must be done. Those who are intolerant must be exposed. And those who are intolerant must be stopped. Intolerance and those who spread their intolerance like a cancer are the cancer. It is this cancer that must be cut out. I ask all of you on how we can work together in fighting this cancer, a cancer that affects us all.


    EDIT: Locked per author's request.
  2. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Nov 6, 2001
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    Nancy, I mean this very respectfully, and with the intent of helping both you and the rest of us: Please try to use more paragraphs in your posts. It would probably lend your words to greater understanding from members here. This is not meant with any kind of ill intent or disrespect. It's just honestly hard to read your writing. People tend to avoid or just skim big blocks of text, no matter where they are (books, magazines and online).

    As for the actual content as I can decipher it, I must again remind you that you continue to use extreme examples and mistake them as mainstream. The people who wish to make your fears a reality are vastly outnumbered by those who do not wish it (by the hundreds of millions to maybe hundreds of thousands, and even the latter number may be a bit high).
  3. nancyallen Jedi Padawan

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    That may be the case, however for Westboro extremists to commit their acts of hatred it's a black mark against religion. Kim Jong Ill's personal war against America is a black mark against North Korea. By fighting against such intolerance we can move for better understanding.
  4. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    But Nancy, what I don't think you seem to understand is that if there is a problem with intolerance, it is not toward people who believe in Christianity or anything related to it in the United States. Christians make up the majority in this country, and make up the vast majority of the declared religious affiliations among politicians. In short, you have nothing to be concerned about.

    There will always be extremists, but in no way do you need to be concerned about any kind of mass movement.

    Also, Kim Jong Il is not in any way engaged in a war with the United States (except in the sense that the Korean War never officially ended).
  5. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
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    What is your working definition of "intolerance" nancy? What is the threshold before a contrary view takes on the mantle of "intolerance"?


    Your opening post doesn't really leave much for discussion as it is more of a statement, but this is where I'd like you to start if you don't mind.
  6. nancyallen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
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    Certainly. For a specific example of intolerance we can look at the Westboro church as an example and their belief that we should kill homosexuals. Now that is an intolerant act, that is an intolerant belief. On the one hand those who believe this would certainly be in the minority, and we could just pass them off as crazies. On the other hand examples of these extremist intolerants are brought up again and again from people who hold the view that either those who in this case follow that particular belief could become like this (perhaps a clearer example might be Jesus Camp and the concern of indoctrinating children into a holy war for Christianity) or the minority of those who do hold these extremist and intolerant beliefs might find voice and try and rally others to those beliefs, they may gain status and power where they might be able to sway others to their views or try and change policy, in the case of Westboro they could try and make homosexuality illegal.

    One thing I do want to stress is that this is in no way an indication of the Christian belief they identify themselves as, the same as any other extremist from a belief or people is an indication of what they are about. They do by default of being Christian or by identifying themselves as a given belief or people represent them, and by identifying themselves as Christian and flouting their hatred and intolerance of homosexuals, Westboro portrays Christians as being hateful and intolerant of homosexuals. Christianity may speak out against homosexuality, but most Christians wouldn't take it on board anywhere near to the level Westboro does. Just the same because they identify themselves as Christian it represents Christians as being hateful and intolerant. I hope that example answers the questions you have.
  7. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
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    I'll try once more, and then that'll be it (partly because I need sleep): Nancy, it's so hard to read your posts. I want to, but my eyes revolt, and I doubt I'm alone. Please, please try to use paragraphs.

    That's all. Thank you very much regardless.
  8. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    nancyallen - I find your intolerance of extremists disgraceful.
  9. nancyallen Jedi Padawan

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    Could you explain why we should not condemn those who wish to kill homosexuals or those who wish to wage war against those who hold different beliefs please?
  10. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

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    If I thought homosexuality was morally wrong and consciously avoided contact with suspected homosexual people, wrote a book on why homosexually was morally wrong but did not actively oppose homesexuality or homosexual people, did not resort to violence against homosexual people nor intruded into their lives, would I be part of the cancer called "intolerance"?

    What is the threshold before a contrary view takes on the mantle of "intolerance"?

    I oppose guns. I think they are stupid, dangerous things which only the military and the police force should have. Am I intolerant of the pro gun community? Should I be "fought against"?

  11. halibut Ex-Mod and 2015 Celebrity Deadpool Winner

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    I don't think you can tackle or eradicate intolerarism. What you CAN do is to get the message out that such acts are NOT typical of the group/people these extremists claim to represent. That's the larger issue IMO
  12. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
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    I'm more interested to know who put you in the position of deciding what was morally acceptable, and what is not. Who are you to judge?



    p.s. LothOnHoth made the point I'm attempting to make infinitely better than I currently am.
  13. nancyallen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
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    The same question can be asked of anyone who shows a clear definition of hate towards something. Who are Westboro to judge whether or not they should kill homosexuals? Who is Iran to decide it should wipe out Israel? I think these examples would be commonly accepted as intolerance.

    For me, a good place to draw the line would be to ask whether or not any given individual or group intends to turn their hatred of a belief or people into some kind of war, crusade might be a better word for it. Clearly Westboro do, they do not seem at all interested in trying to coexist with those who do not abide by what they say is right and wrong.

    Halibut recommends that we try and get the message out that the views of extremists does not reflect the views of everyone of that particular group. I ask however if doing that might be perhaps drawing more attention to the problem, attention that perhaps shouldn't be given. Could some people, Iran could be an example, be like Australian gangster Alphonse Gangitano and love the notoriety they receive for their views? Might making them...if not stop then make them feel ashamed and embarrassed to spread the cancer of intolerance be effective?
  14. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    Sep 19, 2000
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    Nancy, in the year you´ve been on this board, I have found you intolerant of outspoken atheists. Does that mean that you should be "fought against"?
  15. halibut Ex-Mod and 2015 Celebrity Deadpool Winner

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    How does that quote go? All it takes for evil to succeed is for a good man to sit by and do nothing. Or words to that effect.

    If Westboro (using your example) claims to be a christian organisation, then other churches saying nothing could lead to Westboro's claims being accepted by those who don't know any better. It would be more prudent for the churches to come out and say "These people do not reflect our views"
  16. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 22, 2001
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    The same should be said by all mainstream organizations against the fringe movements. Christians clarifying the message against Westboro, Muslims clarifying the message against Wahhabist extremists, etc., etc.
  17. halibut Ex-Mod and 2015 Celebrity Deadpool Winner

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    Definitely. I was just using the example raised by Ms Allen :)
  18. nancyallen Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 4
    To use atheism as an example, yes I am very much the idea of persecuting those who follow religion because they are religious. Specific examples would include pushing to make others feel ashamed and embarrassed to believe in religion, the idea that parents who teach their children should be arrested and atheists who declare war on religion. When I read comments that speak of tearing down religion I have to wonder just how far they intend to go in their struggle.

    By concentrating on the intolerance of certain atheists as opposed to atheism itself I very much intend to dial back on my past actions and instead concentrate my efforts on the intolerance of those who do not want to live with theists. To be even handed handed the same level of condemnation is directed at Christians who think we should kill homosexuals, to Ahmadinejad for wanting to finish the Holocaust. In other words I am not targeting atheists, rather the intolerants, because the problem with people who follow atheism or religion and are perhaps right of center is not their belief, it is their intolerance.

    By discussing the effect certain actions might have, on the one hand I think there is not nearly enough of an effort placed in the majority of any particular group separating themselves from the hateful minority. In some cases it is out of fear...the reason why Muslim clerics do not speak out against Jihad is because they could become a target. Using Westboro as an example though, they don't have the power, religious leaders can do more to speak out against them, and I think they should.

    On the other hand, what I was getting at by questioning the actions you suggested was that some, Ahmadinejad might be a good example, would love people talking about them, even if it is condemnation. Thus I ask if directly going after the source, religious leaders shutting down Westboro for example, might be more effective.
  19. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    You do? Even when those atheists have told you in clear English exactly the answer to that question?

    So in other words, your answer to the problem of intolerance, is to add more intolerance right back at it. That doesn't seem to be a very effective solution.

    More effective, perhaps, but are you really positing the idea that totalitarianism and censorship is preferable to disagreement? Again, that's just another kind of intolerance. And what's the difference between "religious leaders" shutting down Westboro, and atheists doing the same?

    It would seem that you're peachy with intolerance as long as you happen to agree with it. But then, as has been asked already, what makes you the arbiter?

    The real issue here, of course, is the assumption that intolerance is inherently a bad thing. It's not. I'm fairly intolerant towards rape and murder, and I don't think that kind of intolerance ought to go away. The real issue is not intolerance, it's the source of the disagreement at the core of the matter.
  20. nancyallen Jedi Padawan

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    To reverse the question what makes you the arbiter of taking the atheist fight to religion? I think for me it is a case of how much harm that intolerance will cause. Pushing to kill homosexuals is certainly a harmful form of intolerance. And I think it has been demonstrated how harmful intolerance of religion can be.
  21. halibut Ex-Mod and 2015 Celebrity Deadpool Winner

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    DMS said it much better than I could. Shutting down people's voices is just as bad as what those people spout. Educating people is much better than shutting down opposing views.
  22. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

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    But see, you can't reverse the question because I am not advocating the complete shutting-down of debate or the totalitarian subversion of dissenting views, whereas you are.

    You are saying one kind of intolerance is okay, but not another. Because you are drawing a line, you have to answer what makes you qualified to draw that line.

    I do not have to answer what qualifies me to draw a line, because I am not drawing one.

    You're saying, essentially "People who tell other people what to think are wrong, people who try to shut up others they don't agree with are wrong, and if they disagree we need to tell them what to think or shut them up!" Come on. You don't see how completely circular this is?
  23. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Mar 19, 1999
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    The word "intolerance" covers a lot of territory.

    If I were intolerant of homosexuals/Christians I might do some or all of the following:

    1. avoid homosexuals/Christians socially

    2. advocate for public policies against rights for homosexuals/Christians, such as the right to get a marriage license

    3. write a scathing book about the problem of homosexuality/Christianity in America

    4. discriminate against homosexuals/Christians in the workplace (e.g. refusing to hire a homosexual/Christian)

    5. advocate for a "final solution" for homosexuals/Christians that would deprive them of their citizenship, deport them, put them in concentration camps

    6. go out and find me a homosexual/Christian and drag him to death behind my pickup truck

    1 falls within my personal right of action as distasteful as it may be. 2 and 3 are clearly protected by my first amendment rights, 4 may or may not be illegal, depending on the situation (I may comfortably be able to get away with it if I'm crafty enough) 5. is hate speech worthy of scorn and quite possibly outside my first amendment rights although I would not be surprised if this point of view had its own blog or website and 6 will get me a minimum of life in prison if not lethal injection.

    Where's the issue here?
  24. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
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    You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the average atheist wants all religions to be shut down, and everyone to be intolerant of religion. That is simply not the case, and saying it is so does not make it so.
  25. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I've always considered organised religion itself to be the primary social institution responsible for the teaching of intolerance. My first experiences of Church related activity was a real eye opener. At school and at home, I was always taught the principle of equality, the concepts of social justice, feminism, affirmative action etc. These concepts were completely anathema to the Church group I attended.

    I was basically told that women could never join the Church in any capacity (women are there to mind their husbands, procreate and raise children), the idea of having blacks within the Church was unthinkable (just white people thanks)and the thought of having homosexual clergy or homosexuals within the congregation was equally unthinkable. In fact it was deemed offensive & repugnant.

    The young people in the congregation were warned about listening to rock music, attending concerts, encouraging friendships with non-christian people, ie, Jews and Muslims,(unless they were religiously indifferent and could be converted!) and generally associating with people of a low socio-economic status (unless it was in the course of a Church related activity). Poor people could be helped, but drug addicts could not be helped.

    I was asked not to wear my heavy metal T-shirts because of the satanic imagery - when I pointed out that the "imagery" was 100% theatre, like going to see a horror movie, most of the group was aghast that I would go see a horror movie.

    Now this was just a regular suburban Church.

    Today, in the Roman Catholic Church, I'm pretty sure there are still no women clergy, certainly no women Bishops or Cardinals, no openly homosexual clergy, certainly no Bishops or Cardinals, and I'm also pretty sure there has never been a black Pope - if there has, it was not in the last two centuries.

    If we were to undertake an analysis of Judaism, particularly Orthodox Judaism, Islam and its various factions and branchings, I think we would find more of the same.

    What we have is intolerance on a global scale.

    The irony here nancy is that people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are simply expressing their views about what they consider to be the harmful effects of religion as an institution for intoletance - they are taking the same stand you are, yet you condemn them for it.

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