In regards to mass shootings and conflict of ideologies...

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Dervish, Jun 12, 2016.

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  1. The mourning thread isn't the place for this, and for the love of god, do not turn that thread into a politicized argument thread. If you want to do that stuff, here's the place. Go nuts, but be respectful and avoid heated arguments. Please.

    I don't even want to have to post this because honestly, I believe all we should really focus on is the victims and the rest can wait. However, almost immediately news and internet comment sections pop up about everything from the dangers of Islam, gun control, and everything in between and it's the same damn arguments every time.

    There's just a few things that get under my skin after any of these horrible tragedies happen, and it usually boils down to people co-opting the tragedy to push their own agendas. You will see the gun control crowds screaming about how the shooter should have never been able to access firearms, the gun rights fanatics saying that it could have been prevented if people were allowed to carry, the religious saying awful shit about it being God's will, the non-religious saying this is further proof that religion is a cancer, and every other thing under the sun. People want answers, they want tidy solutions.

    The problem is... there are none. This is not a clean cut crisis with easy answers, or even an acceptable plan for moving forward, and a large part of that is conflict of interest between opposing groups that deadlock anything that's proposed to help combat these types of issues. The other part is nobody really has an answer, and if we're focusing on the fact the shooter was an Islamic fanatic, let's talk about why the solution simply isn't declaring war on the concept of radical Islam.

    Just ask anyone how the war on drugs is going, for instance. The effort to criminalize drug possession and use by putting excessively harsh penalties on citizens has led to an explosion in the US prison population with people who largely are in jail for something that is considered a minor misnomer in other countries, and since having a criminal record basically destroys their employment prospects, many go into worse crime. The sudden increase in demand has also directly been responsible for the rise of Mexico's drug cartels. What the whole war on drugs set out to do ended up making the problem so much worse.

    I bring that up because while people are demanding we declare war on radical Islam, starting with ISIS, I think they're forgetting that starting with the Bush administration, the world's been locked in the whole War on Terror. What started off with the 9/11 attacks quickly led to an invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban for harbouring Al Qaeda and its leader Osama Bin Laden who orchestrated the attacks. The West went after the Taliban and Al Qaeda with conventional military force, and like we found out in Vietnam, you can't win a conventional war against an unconventional insurgency. When you can't tell the difference between a villager and the enemy, you don't know who to target. You hit the wrong guys, and you create more enemies. You hit the right guys, and you just created Martyrs.

    After over a decade in Afghanistan when the combat forces of NATO pulled out, the Taliban remained, as did Al Qaeda. If the objective was to dismantle those organizations, it was not achieved by any means.

    And so, the US has since been attacking Al Qaeda and other terrorist cells by invading the sovereignty of other nations, famously invading Pakistan with a SEAL team to assassinate Osama Bin Laden, and committing drone strikes on locations across the Middle East; even in countries that are friendly to the US, like Yemen. Bin Laden was killed, but like a Hydra, cut off one head of Al Qaeda, and another will take its place.

    I'm not even going to do more than touch upon the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq leading to the toppling of a stable government and giving rise to ISIS in the first place, but suffice it to say, it's becoming clear that the way we've been approaching military conflict with this kind of enemy is ineffective, much the same way that Europe preparing for another long and static trench war at the outset of World War II allowed the modern Nazi German military to effortlessly conquer most of Europe by 1941 and bring the Britian and France, two of the most powerful nations on Earth, to their knees. However, the Allies adapted and were able to defeated Germany through a number of factors, but the fact remained that warfare changed forever.

    And now, we're in another one of those changes. Conventional warfare cannot work against an enemy that knows no nationality or borders, and have an ideology that spits in the face of the treaties and accords developed nations have signed. We have spent the past century operating under the idea that we will fight a conventional foe who has agreed to the same rules we have, and so we geared our armed forces towards fighting foes like the Soviet Union and China, and after the Gulf War in 1991 broke out, we saw how effective our armies were at destroying the Iraqi military, one of the most powerful in the world at the time, because we were superior in every regard and came prepared.

    That led to us being utterly unprepared to fighting the dangers of an ideology; how do you declare war on someone without allegiances to anyone but their twisted interpretation of faith? That man who shot up the Pulse nightclub was identical to every other mass shooter in every regard except for the fact he was a religious extremist who was extremely homophobic. He was a US citizen, he had all of the right documentation and bought his weapons legally, and until he actually committed that horrific crime, he had no record, even if he was interviewed and investigated by the FBI for his relation to a known suicide bomber. The hundreds of thousands of soldiers, the 2 billion dollar stealth bombers, and fleets of the most combat proven tank in the world were powerless to stop one man with legally acquired weaponry to kill 50 innocent people and shoot dozens more. How, exactly, do you combat that threat?

    By declaring war? We already tried that and as I outlined, it didn't work. You simply cannot declare war on something intangible like an ideology. Who do you invade? How do you do it? I promise you, even if we wiped out ISIS, we still have dozens of other terrorist organizations in the world, and ISIS grew from the void of Saddam's government and splintered off of Al-Qaeda, which is based in several cells across the world. Once again, you could have the biggest and most powerful military in the world, but it will be powerless to stop a single man with the right documentation, background check, and ability to obtain weaponry from carrying out atrocities.

    Do you ban the religion in your country? That certainly won't turn all of the peaceful moderates of that faith living in your country (and outside of it) against you. You simply cannot selectively violate someone's freedom of religion without setting a dangerous precedent of picking and choosing. I hate going back to the Nazis (and Soviets, for that matter), but do you really want to follow in the footsteps of two horrible nations that outlawed Judaism on an official level? How far will you be willing to go to root out the religion in your country if you did it? Deportation, fines... concentration camps? At what point do your actions to protect yourself make you look like the villain?

    All I'm trying to say is we have to accept the fact that we're facing an enemy that's unlike any we've faced before, and we can't use the tried and proven tools that were successful in the past to do it. Do I have answers? Of course not, and neither do experts who spent their entire lives researching this stuff. All I do know is you cannot and must not target an entire religion because a tiny fraction of people who share that faith are monsters. Trust me, if all ~1 billion Muslims in the world were terrorists or extremists, then we'd be living in a hell of a different world right now. We need to care about the plight of people who suffer at the hands of these monsters, regardless of their faith. The tragedy that happened in Orlando early this morning is something that happens daily in several Muslim countries. We need to be careful not to look at everything too simplistically and use a hammer when a scalpel is needed. It's easy to hate, it's harder to understand, but it's also the right thing to do.

    Now that that's off my chest, some final thoughts on the whole gun control situation in the US.

    Most of these mass shootings in recent years have been committed by people who legally purchased and obtained their firearms, there's no denying that. I think it's about time that the US federal government stops making firearm ownership a state by state issue and start stepping in line with virtually every other developed nation and start regulating this at a federal level. Universal background checks and licensing mandatory. There's places in the US where someone, as long as they're 18 years old, can walk into a store or a gun show and buy a gun, no questions asked. The whole 2nd amendment is so vaguely worded that lawyers are STILL arguing to this day of what exactly it means. The fact that gun ownership is seen as a right instead of a privilege rather than a right is a dangerous precedent that's turned the United States into unarguably the developed nation with the highest murder statistics. Gun control doesn't mean punishing the average citizen and gun owner; it just means that bastards like the ones in Orlando, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Colorado, and countless others may have never been legally allowed to purchase a firearm, and prevented countless other shootings besides.

    I say this as a gun owner who has written letters to his own government with concerns about my property rights and concerns about the reclassification of legally obtained firearms; get your shit together, America. Suck up your pride, stop sucking the teat of lobbyists and the NRA, and step in line with all the other countries in the world who figured this shit out decades ago.

    Now that's out of my system, and I only wrote this little rant because IMMEDIATELY after every. Single. One of these tragedies these issues are brought up and it's driving me fucking insane, feel free to post your own thoughts on the matter and leave that other thread for the victims, I'm giving you a space to rant your hearts out about the shit that everyone won't shut up about.

    Once again, please don't start acting like assholes to one another. Want to know why nothing ever gets done after any of these shootings happen? Because people won't stop arguing and fighting one another to actually try to find a goddamn solution and we end up in a perpetual cycle of a lot of talk and no action.
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  2. Agree 100%

    I may be in the minority, but I say that the only way to combat this ideology, is with the ideology of love.

    If we continue to condemn Islam as a whole, we are just alienating all the peaceful muslims. We are giving ISIS more and more ammunition in their war of words against the United States. We are showing the Muslim community, that we are infidels.

    However, if we show them no hate. No discrimination. And just show them love and acceptance, then over time, the muslims of the world will see that we are not terrible people.

    Most of the Muslim countries hate us, not because of Islam itself, but because of politics. Iran hates us because of political events, not Islam. The citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan hate us, because we invaded their country. Killed innocent civilians, and destabilized them for ISIS to take over. Then just left. We caused them nothing but pain. It has nothing to do with Islam.

    ISIS is using that hate as fuel, to convince those that it is a war on Islam. That we hate Muslims. That we should be eliminated.

    We should help them rebuild their countries. To show that we care. We need to show Muslims love. So the world sees, so muslims everywhere see that we are not the terrible country we are supposed to be.

    The reason ISIS is able to grow, and flourish is because we are giving them the fuel. We are fueling their ideologies.

    They move into these war torn places and recruit people. Young men whose family members were killed by a U.S. airstrike. They feed off that emotion, and tell that young man that he will have the chance to punish the Muslim hating west for killing his family. I have heard many stories like this.

    Though I know this will never happen. Humanity never responds to hate and suffering with love. We always respond with more hate and usually cause more suffering. We don’t know how to solve the problem, because we are unaware that we are contributing to the problem. My opinion.

    Edit: This is a quote I just found in a book I am reading for my degree. IT is called Celebration of Discipline. It is a Christian book written by a popular Christian Theologian, Richard Foster. “Of all the spiritual disciplines none has been more abused than the discipline of submission. Somehow the human species has an extraordinary knack for taking the best teaching and turning it to the worst ends. Nothing can put the people into bondage like religion, and nothing in religion has done more to manipulate and destroy people than a deficient teaching on submission”
    #2 Boba Fit, Jun 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
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  3. [​IMG]

    Prob'ly shouldn't have opened pandora's box, really. Guess I may as well try to explain, though, since @Dervish here has gone and flung open the doors. No offense, mate. You needed to express your piece, and I'm willing to bet a lot of people do. So here's my ten pence, for whatever it's worth. :ferret:

    Warning: I am an atheist. Keep that in mind when I say the following. I'm not saying that "there is no God" because I cannot prove nor disprove that. These are just my thoughts, and some of them are not nice thoughts.

    My way to express grief for the situation was to express exasperation at the fact that it's still happening several years later, consistently, and that there's going to be a lot of platitudes rather than meaningful statements. For those who don't know what a platitude is, let me fill you in: "A remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful."

    "Too often to be interesting or thoughtful."

    These type of mass shooting events inspired by Islam (whether you consider it "valid" or "invalid" is a cute way of saying you're uncomfortable with extremists, in which case, feel free to ignore the rest of this) are a monthly fucking affair. They've been on the rise over the past couple years, not the decline. It's getting worse, not better. With every event I see the same barrage of "I feel bad about this" and nothing gets done. I see the same barrage--on every side--of idiotic non-sequitur that distract from the fact that people are dead, and going to keep dying by the dozens (if not hundreds), until we do something about it. I don't think the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan were smart moves. I disagreed with them at every level back then, and I disagree with them now--because we went in for the wrong reasons, and we had no end game strategy. You can't defeat terrorism, terrorism is a concept, it's idiotic to propose it or even try. And, embarrassingly enough for Bush Junior, the only WMD's that were found were sold to those factions by Bush Senior. oops.

    The worst part is that nobody wants to address the elephant in the room. That elephant being Islam. That elephant being that these people have sworn a life-long oath to never stop trying to murder every single person in the Western World who does not capitulate to their backwards, bronze-age beliefs about society, women, and the LGBT. That is, dictatorship, sexual slavery, and genocide each respectively. This faction has not stopped and will never stop trying until it is literally incapable of it anymore.

    At no point, anywhere, did I advocate for discrimination against Muslims, or for Muslims as a whole collective to be punished in any way, shape, or form, for the actions of others who share the same ideological tree but who do terrible things in its name. I absolutely distinguish the difference between Moderates and Radicals and that's why I think one of the first things we should be doing is protecting the moderates and convincing them to our side. That is the first step to building a bridge between the Western world and the Islamic world, and we're ignoring it and allowing them to create segregated neighbourhoods where they keep to themselves and don't interact with the world around them. Where hate preachers gain easy access to their children to indoctrinate them. Why do you think there are hundreds of fighters emigrating from the western world to fight for Islam? It's not like that just fucking happens for no reason. It's because we've been ignoring it in our own backyard, we've been letting the radicals bully the moderates into line, and we can't let that happen anymore.

    If anything, I feel the most sympathetic toward moderate Muslims, who are trapped between two worlds, and being yelled at by every side to get in line. What they need is more compassion and empathy, not paranoia and distrust. They're the best allies we have at disarming this mess.

    Oh, and there is one thing I have to disagree with you on @Dervish and that is the point about ideology.

    After all, White Supremacy is an ideology, and some people still hold onto it to this day. Christianity used to completely dominate all of Europe, with inquisitions and crusades and witch-burnings and heresy being an actual fucking crime. You know, I heard Stalin's version of communism is the way of the future, and it's an ideology too. I guess Tank Man was an idiot for facing down several rows of Chinese tanks, because there's no way that China will ever, at all, fail. I guess because there's no identifiable easy target, we shouldn't even try, right?

    No. We should always try. This notion that we shouldn't try because it's an ideology is lunacy. Are we going to convince everyone to give up on an idea? No. Is it a good idea to roll over and take it up the ass when a group of ideology-touting nutbars start pushing for deranged shit? No. You fight. You fight in the intellectual arena, and if they're trying to literally murder you, you use force of arms. Yes, we don't know where the terrorists are, and trying to destroy them all is futile, but let's start with the support columns then. What feeds Islamic terrorism? Who gives them their money, their supplies, their recruits? Where do they reign supreme? How do they acquire resources? Where do they build their hideouts? Can we mimic that? If we can mimic that, can we disarm that? If it's poverty, how can we alleviate it? We did it for Japan and Germany post world war 2, and that turned out really fucking well actually.

    Giving up because it's an idea is absurd. You can fight an idea. You can't destroy it, granted, because ideas are thoughts, and you can't erase a thought, but you can damn well fight it if someone else's thoughts involve your subjugation.

    I should know. I'm an atheist. I'm surrounded by really stupid ideas on a regular basis. Like all the attempts there have been at forcing creationism into the classroom curriculum, because some people out there want to cling to desert fables harder than actual science, and insist on trying to indoctrinate everyone's children into their cult.

    As for people who want to claim that Islam is a religion of peace, feel free to read all about the religion of peace. Seriously, go ahead. I'm not at all claiming it's superior or inferior to any other religion. Frankly, again, I'm an atheist, I think they're all equally stupid. However, just as I would protest the notion that we shouldn't look into the cause of extremist violence in the name of Christianity, White Power, and other groups with a long and terrible history, I really only ask the same damn thing for Islam. It's not wrong to question it. I can point out that Islam has really vitriolic, horrendous shit in it. I can point out that there is a group of people, who believe in Allah, who believe in Muhammad, who take a literal interpretation of their religious text, that believe in the laws of the book before the laws of any government, who treat their obsessive fantasy as more valuable than reality and other human beings, who have been in various cult factions, committing mass murders and mass rapes for the past two decades.

    Let that sink in. This movement has been growing bigger, and more dangerous, and more regularly violent, for two decades. They push gays off of rooftops, they enslave women to be raped, they execute people with decapitations, and they do it all while praising their backwards desert God who endorses fucking pedophilia. You can't reason with these people, not that we haven't been trying.

    I am sick and tired of the empty platitudes. "I feel sorry for the family." Great, you going to do something about it? No? Oh, fucking fantastic. I guess that means we'll keep trading with Saudi Arabia, who gives us oil and funds terrorism. I guess that means we'll continue to ignore the segregated Muslim neighbourhoods and accuse anyone who suggests looking into those of being racist, in spite of hundreds of ISIL recruits pouring out them to fly to Syria... And, you know, Islam being a religion, not a fucking race.

    Y'all really want to know what the rise of Donald fucking Trump is about?

    Here it is. Staring you in the face. Thousands screaming that they want to destroy you, your dog, your house, your government, your way of life, and everyone who refuses to capitulate to their demands.

    Two decades of terror breeds this sort of demographics shift. Something needs to get done, maybe not war outright--I'll concede war, at least for now, but at least do something about the segregated neighbourhoods. Can we at least save the moderates from being terrorized and bullied into silence and submission by the radicals in our own backyards or are we so fucking cowardly that we'd rather stand by and watch another gay bar get hit? Would it be better, or worse if it was a gay pride parade? Better, or worse if it was whites or blacks that got killed? Men, or women? Does the number matter? Ten, a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand?

    Just how many have to die, before the platitudes stop and we do something about it? Because this problem isn't just going to go away if we stick our fingers in our ears and hum really fucking loud. It isn't going to go away if we fight warfare with a traditionalist 20th century mindset either.

    And for those who still think I hate all of Islam or something equally retarded, here, let me fill you on a little secret: Here's a few of my political stances. Let's see if you can spot a fucking pattern.
    • I want to help Muslims, and protect them from vitriolic abuse hurled their way by xenophobic pieces of shit.
    • I want to take in Syrian refugees. Especially the families. I don't care if we risk getting hit with more terrorism--if a terrorist might slip in here or there--it's not worth telling thousands of people to die. I refuse to live in fear of maybes.
    • I think gun control is a common sense solution, even if it isn't always deployed properly.
    • I would rather hack off my left foot with a bonesaw than vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
    • Some of the people I respect the most in life are avowedly religious figures.
    • My own fictional universes (Legend of Renalta and The Last Bastion each respectively) both contain religious characters that are distinctly heroic protagonists and not evil in any sort of fashion.
    • The very first objective in my mind that involves defeating this modern spike of islamic terror involves protecting and convincing moderate Muslims themselves to side with us, and getting involved in their communities to help them fight off radicalist hate preachers.
    • I'm an atheist. I have utterly no preferential treatment toward any religion because I think they all have the equal right to believe in whatever fairy god parent best helps them sleep at night.
    • I absolutely believe and can see with my own two eyes that if you look hard enough, any religious text has wonderful messages of peace and love in it. Like everything in life, they aren't perfect ideologies, and they merely need moderates to abridge them to co-exist with the modern world.
    • I am, and have always been, avowedly against sexism and racism in any conceivable way.
    • I am an open ally of the LGBT community and go out of my way to make my role plays friendly toward the subject matter.
    Does this sound like someone who just hates things for no reason to you?


    I'm just willing to do the really painful thing of pointing out the flaws and issues with the holy book that these people follow, and that we should never give up trying to fight this terrifying ideology of hatred. Not all of Islam is hatred, there are multiple sects of Islam even--which one are you talking about, Sunni or Shia? There is a deranged branch of radical extremists that want to blow people up and institute a backwards, shitty theocratic dictatorship, based on their book. They've been trying for two decades.

    Now what the hell are we going to do about it? Because what we've been doing now has not been working. Plainly and clearly. And no, I refuse the idea of "roll over and take it." Fuck that. Yes, we might fuck up, we might make a mistake, we might do something wrong, but standing by and doing nothing sure isn't helping. Our piddling, half-hearted efforts of tactical bombing the middle east sure aren't doing shit. I'm fairly sure that bombing people and leaving them with rubble isn't really helping us in any way, shape, or form.

    So, let's readjust our tactics then. Stop treating this as a merely physical threat. It's ideological first. Now how do you dismantle a shitty idea?

    Well, first, you have to point it out. And question it. Question certain policies we've been doing, like throwing Muslims into segregated neighbourhoods and leaving them there, alone, without so much as bothering to curiously check into what the preachers are saying there once in a while.
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  4. @Brovo , I honestly do appreciate the contribution.

    One thing I want to clarify from my post is I absolutely think radical Islam is a threat and needs to be stood up to ("All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing", kind of deal), my point is simply that the way we've been combating it so far has been largely ineffective and there needs to be a new strategy and method.

    That and I see a lot of people, and I mean a LOT, just blanket statement Muslims and Islam as evil, and I think it's critical to emphasize that the vast majority of Muslims are innocent and really no different than you or I. Whatever path we as Western society takes, we need to keep that in mind and not let fear dictate our actions, because fear makes people do stupid, awful shit. Be vigilant, not petrified.
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  5. Agreed. When we invaded Afghanistan (and then the US invaded Iraq on its own little misadventure) we had the wrong objective. We should not have been going in to defeat terrorism, nor just for WMD's. We should have gone in if for no other reason than that we had the moral imperative to shut down the dictators we created. Our grandparents & parents made a monster, it's on us to deal with it now, so future generations won't have to ask what New York or Paris was like before it was hit with a dirty bomb, god forbid nuked.

    We should be enabling and helping people out of their shitty situations, not drone striking them into submission. They already essentially live in mass poverty under a dictatorial regime, all bombing them is going to do is validate the words of hatred spewing from the psychotic head of the hydra.

    If we're going to win, and win without causing a mass genocide, we need to start at home. Where we have actual power and control. Otherwise, anything beyond our borders is a pipe dream.
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  6. I think people overestimate the level of control we have over this issue, as well as what that lack of control means going forward. The reason people hurt other people is because they believe it is in their interests to hurt them.

    I can't think of anything more sad or backwards than telling someone that they are better off for the suffering of others. It never works like that. With every death, even of a terribly backward person, everyone suffers. Some suffer because of the loss and others because of the vanity, but suffering is inevitable.

    When people are taught that the suffering of others is in their best interest, they cut themselves off from love and reason. If there were a way back from this point, I would have hoped that we would have found it by now. It is just, I don't think we can afford to fix a person once they get to this point. We weren't there to prevent them from breaking in the first place. Now that they've broke, there isn't anything at all we can do for them now. We don't even know these people. We don't know how they grew up. We don't know who they looked up to as a child. We don't know who they respect. We don't know who they love. How could we possibly save them from a poison so deeply rooted inside them?

    We can't... And while we leave them in this broken state, they break everything around them. The most loving thing I can offer these people is a swift death. We weren't there when they were still able to be saved. When someone told this poor person that they should kill innocent people, we weren't there to tell them how horrific it would be to think that way. We weren't there when they were looking for a role model to decide how to live their life. They trusted people... And those people repaid their trust by poisoning them.

    If only we had a chance to gain their respect, we could have solved this problem with love. But that point is far gone. It is beyond our power now. They hate us and wish to destroy us. We must destroy them first.

    The question without an answer remains. How can we defeat this ideology of hatred? How can we make sure that the poison isn't administered to more?
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  7. People screaming about gun control are always made to sound like a bunch of pansies. The gun fanatics act like they're having their guns ripped right out of their hands, when all people really want is more restrictions in order to get a gun. I believe that a person should have a psychological evaluation before they can get a gun. This is a weapon for crying out loud! You think just because a person hasn't committed a crime that they're not going to? There are hundreds of factors that change over the years, and I honestly believe that in order to get a license to own a gun you should also be evaluated to ensure that your mental status is the same as it was the previous year. Yes, it's a lot to ask someone, but owning a gun is a big responsibility.

    My honest opinion of this act isn't that it was strictly terrorism. Yes, it did play a part, but that's not all that it was about. It was homophobia, and intolerance. The shooter was bothered by two men kissing. I think that he had an emotional/physical reaction to what he saw and was disgusted with himself because of it. In his mind, to purge his thoughts he turned to religion with the idea that he would destroy what made him question himself. The group he turned to used his insecurities against him. Is it right? Not at all, but that's honestly what I think happened. Hell, maybe he was jealous at seeing two men in love when he couldn't even make his own marriage work. The point is, the guy didn't start off as an extremist. It was that one incident that triggered him. For all we know, if he had never witnessed those two men kissing when he did, he may have never done what he did. Of course we'll never know this for sure, it's really just a theory.

    Hate is part of the biggest problem, but organized religion is as well. People are being told what to believe, they are having the messages of the bible and other religious books skewed because they are being taught by people who hold hatred in their heart. Groups like Isis and Westboro Baptist Church are claiming that they do what they do for their religion, that their god is against this group and that group, and if you belong to that group you are less than human. That is not what any religion is about, or at least not what it should be about. But really, have you ever read the bible? There is more violence in there than anything. Genocide, stonings, crucifixions, it's all in there. Is it really any wonder that extremist groups are as violent as they are? They have a handbook for murder at their center.

    But you can't abolish religion, and you can't control it. People are always going to take their own message from what they read whether it's right or not. So what can you do?

    The answer. Nothing, not directly. You can't ban religion. You can't tell people what to believe. The only thing you can do is keep to your own beliefs, do what you can to off balance the hate and hope that the good that you do will be paid forward. Screaming back at a person who's trying to spread messages of hate is not going to do anything. You can't ignore it either. That leaves only the option of overshadowing it. In today's society though, that's practically impossible.
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  8. In my opinion, obviously, there is something wrong mentally with that person. So, perhaps, if the government invested more time in easily obtainable health care, they could catch these abnormal behaviours before it turns into something terrible. Just my two cents.
  9. You would think, but it is rarely as obvious as it seems in hindsight. I'm not against people getting the help they need, but I'm worried that this is one of those platitudes that Brovo mentioned. When people say, let's provide everyone with healthcare, they tend to have no specifics about how to do it in a way that is sustainable. To provide everyone with a professional able to evaluate their mental and physical well-being isn't possible right now. Not to mention the fact that perfectly sane people also commit horrible acts. I mean, it would be ludicrous to say that the entirety of ISIS is insane. This person had friends and family who had no idea he was capable of this. How could the government detect this behavior where someone who spends every day with him could not?
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  10. Thank you. I appreciate this being said. Premeditation implies sanity, leave alone long term strategization.
  11. I never said that all of ISIS was insane, but more so, in the case of this one person, it could be a possibility. I don't know much information on the shooting, but in my opinion, someone who wounds and kills that many people, are not capable of rational thought.
  12. I assure you, some of the world's most successful mass murderers were more than capable of rational thought. Caesar and Alexander jump to mind.
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  13. @Countering with War:

    This is my basic idea of vouching for/supporting war.
    (Start at 4:16)

    In the anger and heat of the moment a War may seem tempting, it may look like proper justice, it may look like the best way to end the pain and protect others. But it in fact is the exact opposite, imagine terrorism as a fire that has been allowed to spread. And imagine war and fear as the oxygen that keeps the fire going, people keep throwing more oxygen at it hoping to suffocate the fire out and might keep it down, for a time, but eventually the fire will come right back up stronger than ever.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not delusional and expect us to go all Ghandi on all these issues. As effective as Ghandi and MLK were their tactics effectiveness had a lot to do with their environment and the law of the land. That doesn't work against people who would kill 5 year old's for what fairy tale their parents believe in. But there are non-violent and non-vengeful ways to resolve this issue, tackle it's source, tackle the climate that these terrorist feed on to get new recruits. Stuff like welfare, unity, education, just being good to your fellow man and building a better society. This makes everyone better off, and makes them far more likely to want to join the modern world rather than try tearing it down.

    Constantly I'm dealing with people who take situations like this and use it to vilify every single person whose a Muslim (and in some cases, every single person whose religious). Even if this thread ends up getting locked down, I wanted you both to know that this part was a breath of fresh air for me. Not that I don't agree with most of the points you guys made, but this part specifically really got me.
    #13 Gwazi Magnum, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
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  14. “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... For when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” -Friedrich Nietzsche.

    "38You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’h 39But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also;" -The Bible.

    "2:224 And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind." -The Quran.

    Take your wisdom wherever you wish, divinely inspired or from the mouth of an entertainer. What matters is past all the differences, we're all made of ashes and dust in the end. We all want certain things, and we can't make the world better without acting first. Whatever the misstep, whatever the mistake, whatever the pain. It won't end until we stop looking at each other as strangers, and start looking at each other as neighbours. It won't end until we won't allow ourselves to be ruled by fear, or to allow violent dictators untold power over millions of innocent people, or brainwashing of small children into hate filled cults created by vile men to reach for power by taking it from those who can't fight back.

    It won't end until society forces it to end.

    And I'm afraid we won't get there until we have at least one more, brutally awful war where millions will die.

    All we can do in the meantime, as the world gets ever more broiled in hatred, is to remember that strange man with the odd accent likely wants little more from life than you. He just wants to go to work, do his job, get paid, and go home to his family. He just wants a home. A place for his dog. And he needs to understand that you're not yet another racist out to get him, you just want to go to work, and do your job, get paid, and go home to your family.

    Can't say it's easy. Nothing in life ever is easy. It's always hard, really hard. You have to accept that some people out there will never love you and some people out there will seek to destroy you simply because you were born in the wrong circumstances or believe the wrong things. Hatred is a virus that corrupts the mind. It kills anything valuable that was there and disposes of it in favour of rotted thoughts of perfection and paradise. It turns smart people into paranoid lunatics, and makes grown adults behave like overly sensitive children, afraid of anyone questioning what they believe, for fear of their own self-important fantasy vanishing away.

    Thing is, this is a fantasy. It's a beautiful thought, but nothing more.

    Sometimes war is inevitable. Sometimes terrible people get power and use it to do terrible things. Sometimes there is no other choice than to take the long, hard road, and survive at any cost.

    All we can do is forgive. And if war hits, continue to forgive. And wherever it goes, continue to forgive. Wield empathy and compassion where dictators wielded whips and guns. That's the only way we will win, and it will never be an eternal victory. Wherever humanity is, there will be monsters, waiting until the right climate in order to flourish and spread a cancer to convince people to fear each other again.

    A kind man forgives. A smart man remains armed. A cunning man listens to what his enemy is saying. Never forget it, they won't.
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  15. Fear. The many ways you bloom I'd feel almost beautiful, could I not feel your emotion.

    Ratio knows no ideology. You can have two rational individuals who disagree with one another, for example. Or perhaps, just perhaps, no human being alive is truly capable of complete rational thought, influenced by our limited scope of perception and even after years of evolution still being driven by emotion and instinct.

    The honest answer though, is this;

    You cannot dismantle an ideology that drives people to these ends without knowing what drives the ideology. Is it poverty? Is it isolation? The Christian Bible tells us to stone adulterers, even if in the letter of the law that would be a horrendous crime. Christians actively denounce the Westboro church as 'not real Christians' all the time. Yet, do you want to know the funniest, most ironic thing of all? By saying 'this person cannot be rational, you are dehumanising. While you may not go out and pull the trigger on hundreds of people, at the very core you are admitting to the same fallacy. They are not rational, they are not fully human. They are not Muslims, therefore they are not men but they are pigs. They are the same statement; a manner of distancing our selves from what we fear or do not want to understand. However, we can understand. We all feel the same emotions.

    Who are these people? What sways them to act this way? It's not their faith, their faith is but a tool like Christianity was in the Crusades. It's a difficult question we wish to avoid because it makes us angry. Yet the greatest irony of all is that we value our anger over seeking out a solution. This is what is irrational.
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  16. Well said. Though I don't think that understanding will be the end of it.
  17. No, but it is a way forward.
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  18. I get that part. I'm not advocating we simply bend over and 'forgive' if someone comes right at us with a gun.

    But there's a huge difference between self defence, and violent vengeance.
    (Substitute 'God' for 'Violent Ideology')

    Basically you can be an insanely bright individual. But if you get caught in the wrong group or environment growing up it can do some serious damage and/or make some amazing exceptions to your rationale.
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  19. You understand then.

    There is nothing I have left to try and teach.

    Do you like your tea green or earl grey?
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  20. I don't have a long post to add. Becouse Brovo and Dervish are covering my opinion on the matter fairly well. I just want to add that I live and work with well integrated, moderate Muslims every single day. Several of them are Turks, who now have to see and hear about Erdogan turning their country into a warmongering, Islamo-fascistisk state day by fucking day. Several of them are Pre-war second generation, syrian immigrants. The fear and uncertainty I hear in their voices and the despair they showed during each of these dreadful attacks have eclipsed my own. Add to that my own countries Nationalists being on the rise and people fucking firebombing/lighting refugee housing on fire? It is a very unpleasant feeling growing in the pit of my stumache right now.
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