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Old 04-24-2011, 11:25 PM   #41 (permalink)
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So again it's a secular issue whose supporters often hide behind the banner of religion.

We don't allow Janes to run around in the US butt naked. It is pefectly reasonable and normal to enforce basic societal standards of dress.

If the Burkha is seen as a symbol of oppression (which it is), and there is evidence it is being used for nefarious purposes, then it is perfectly OK to ban it's use.

Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech are intended to protect the basic rights for both, not to be catchall excuses for every behavior.

For instance, I cannot strap a TV to my body that is playing hardcore pornography and then walk around in public showing it to children. Sure, it is a form of expression, but on the balance it serves no legitimate function and is outside what our society considers acceptable.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:52 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Slims View Post
So again it's a secular issue whose supporters often hide behind the banner of religion.

We don't allow Janes to run around in the US butt naked. It is pefectly reasonable and normal to enforce basic societal standards of dress.

If the Burkha is seen as a symbol of oppression (which it is), and there is evidence it is being used for nefarious purposes, then it is perfectly OK to ban it's use.

Is it oppressive? To who? to you?

Oppression is a subjective term based on the culture/religion/environment that the people live in. You may see it as oppressive, but women who wear it out of choice have claimed liberation from societial pressures. I find it amusing that the west had just jump on the bandwagon hoping to liberate the muslim women from their own 'oppressive' choices. Forcing a blanket legislation on an entire group on society can only drive them underground. It's no different from a muslim country forbidding the drinking of alcohol. Rumour has it that saudi has a massive alcohol blackmarket run by expats. It's going to happen regardless.

So where will the line be drawn next? No hijabs? No Abayas? no eastern clothing?

As for the nefarious purposes, do you mean armed hold ups? cheating in exams? again, the term nefarious is subjective. being evil, sinful or wicked in one country is not necessarily nefarious somewhere else.

im not sure what you mean by that comment, but most of these scenarios can be negated without handing down an all encompassing law. Giving the shop owners the right to refuse entry, or not allowing the woman to sit in exams until they have identified themselves properly are suitable ways to have people get in line with the idea of identification for security purposes.
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:43 AM   #43 (permalink)
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To free women from the oppression of sexualization, should we set minimum standards for dress in public? Nothing tight? No shorts/skirts, no mid-riffs, no cleavage/v-necks, etc.?

What's reasonable and normal?

What's "normal"? Who decides that?
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:44 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I have a question here that's a bit more fundamental.

If religion is philosophically ungrounded, what makes religious tolerance a virtue? In fact, what makes religious tolerance a virtue in the first place, given that most religions are necessarily exclusive and many contend that all non-followers will be condemned to eternal damnation?
Tolerating other religions seems to either result from pragmatism, lack of faith, or both.

I feel like this thread so far has been wandering through a variety of different stances and positions, and examining them, without addressing the fundamental underlying questions.

I've never seen a suitable justification for religious faith in a specific doctrine; I've certainly never seen one that could survive nesting of realities. (A situation in which all religious texts are purely fabricated, and one which is impossible to absolutely disprove. It's possible to construct a moral theory that survives reality nesting, but I'll save that for a later post.)

Why *should* France tolerate something which is detrimental to national function and security, and which most likely acts as a barrier to cultural integration, which is based on an expression of faith in something which isn't really testable, will never be testable, and basically has little to no predictive power in relation to this world we all live in?

Edit: That is to say, this item of garb is noticeably detrimental in that it hides the wearer's face; a key component of identification. This can become relevant even in situations where you don't go in expecting it to be, such as identifying which witnesses were present at a crime scene.

Last edited by cypher197; 04-25-2011 at 04:46 AM..
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:12 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Cypher, that's an interesting question: What makes tolerance of religion a virtue...

Stated another way though, what makes tolerance of diversity a virtue?

The way I see things, diversity is another form of the evolutionary arms race through knowledge. To enforce homogeneity is to reduce the amount of new ideas that may enter the marketplace of ideas. Thus, diversity, although uncomfortable to many is a necessary speed bump to encourage the development of ideas.

Quote:
Why *should* France tolerate something which is detrimental to national function and security, and which most likely acts as a barrier to cultural integration
The way this is stated causes me to pause:
Tolerate--in that the majority should have the ability to dictate the ways in which minorities live? Is this a matter of tolerance or of accepting the necessary consequences resulting from a freer state?

With respect to national function and security, I'm curious how a blanket ban on burkhas function better than mandatory identification laws. In other words, the Burkha ban is far broader than necessary to effectuate the legitimate state goals of security..

Finally, as I stated before, cultural "integration" strikes me as unnecessary as it:
1.) Limits the marketplace of ideas.
2.) Imposes a standard by the majority on to a minority.
3.) Creates a subclass of individuals who "ought" to be shunned since they aren't integrated.

Should we persecute the amish because they don't 'integrate' and don't permit their children to attend secondary education? After all, their religion limits the economic opportunities of amish offspring. They're 'failing to integrate' aren't they? And how would you define integrate? Everyone speaks the primary national language? Wear clothing according to the majority of the individuals of that state?
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:05 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Hm, I suppose I only brought up cultural integration for two reasons;
1) Because it currently seems that a lack of integration is causing a lot of friction in France. Let us compare the Amish in America, who are more or less accepted, and aren't really trying very hard to expand; is there a lot of friction with the Amish?
2) Because I tend to view religions, which demand faith and are exclusive, and attempt to grow and order the rest of us about, as memetic poisons; faith is not subject to change through rational argument, because it is circular. ( The Amish actually release their kids into the outside world, to let them decide whether they want to be Amish or not. Is there a similar practice in Islam? )

In practice, Islam causes me to feel threatened in a way that the Amish do not. I look at the Islamic countries and see a lack of tolerance for alternate ways of thinking, and a variety of other things that bother me.* I can always leave (or never enter) Amish territory. The Amish aren't going to try to subvert my land's state.
We've seen Christians attempt to codify their interpretations of the laws of their religion in the US, and similarly with Muslims in Islamic countries.

I worry very much that if Islam becomes dominant, there will be an attempt to codify its laws into the laws of the state. This does not appear to be a risk with the Amish.
Furthermore, because it's based on faith, and because humans are flawed, it won't be weeded out amongst idea marketplace competition. Evolution, even memetic evolution, is an amoral force of nature. (edit: Just because an idea is more correct does not necessarily make it more accepted! )

* For example, there is a taboo in depicting the human face in artwork; and just like the complete covering of female body, I find this very troubling as it seems to indicate a shame of the human body and of being human.

edit: For further example, in Iran, gays are forced to undergo sex reassignment surgery because their religious-oriented government is in denial about a fundamental biological fact. I find this frightening.
Christianity, for all its problems, has been somewhat tempered over the years.

---------- Post added at 06:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:51 PM ----------

Regarding the law itself, I feel it fails to reach the underlying purpose that it should, which is that you want to see people's faces to be able to perform identification.

Regarding a tolerance for diversity of ideas; this is a useful (and therefore good) thing. The problem is, in part, that some of those ideas run inherently contrary to established fact and tolerance of diversity in general.

Are we required to tolerate intolerance?

If we approach the question from the perspective that tolerance is a top-level virtue, then it results in a contradiction.

However, if we approach it as a derived or dependent virtue which comes from fulfilling some other virtue, then there is no conflict.
As a Utilitarian, I can say without contradiction that we may refuse to tolerate intolerance, because tolerance itself has only instrumental value.

Last edited by cypher197; 04-25-2011 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:12 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Well, how would you define intolerance?

That an individual doesn't want their daughter to date until 18--is that intolerance? Or intolerance of the MTV glam lifestyle? Is that sufficient intolerance to necessitate state intervention?

Such an argument also presumes (without exception) that Burkhas are a symbol of intolerance--which in Slims case may be true--but not so for women living in a Western country.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:21 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Intolerance of sufficient magnitude to necessitate state intervention, to me, is defined in the same Utilitarian terms as anything that would necessitate state intervention. It's not particularly clear cut, and to get an absolute answer you would need perfect knowledge.

Given that all we have are estimations of reality, we must proceed based on those estimations instead. In my case, I was referring more to the exclusivity of the religion itself, which precludes acceptance of alternate ideas, or limits acceptance of alternate ideas.
I wasn't referring to state action regarding that case; more that we as individuals do not have to accept religion and are free to speak against it and attempt to reform or diminish it; the religious cannot tell those who would attempt to push religion away that they should be tolerant of religion in terms of tolerance of religion, or tolerance generally, being an inherent virtue.

Last edited by cypher197; 04-25-2011 at 03:43 PM.. Reason: typo.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:49 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dlish View Post
these forums have been happening for years. i know for a fact that theyve been happening in australia for many years now.

but that's not going to sell you any stories is it?
I haven't heard of any lately in the States. I think it would be a good idea for smaller municipal governments to fund basic education about the difference between a muslim and a terrorist
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:25 PM   #50 (permalink)
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I haven't heard of any lately in the States. I think it would be a good idea for smaller municipal governments to fund basic education about the difference between a muslim and a terrorist
at the forefront in this is this guy

Hamza Yusuf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Ironically he's an american muslim convert, but has lead the islamic world in calling for reconciliation between Islam and the West. There wouldnt be many muslims that wouldnt know of him. He was invited to the White house in the month after 911 by the bush adminstration as an advisor to the adminstration. You would find this article interesting. BBC NEWS | Americas | Islam 'hijacked' by terror
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:50 PM   #51 (permalink)
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FWIW, I am very much opposed to a ban on burqas, or any other kind of religious attire-- so long, of course, as those wearing attire that obscures the face, or is easily concealing, are prepared to unveil and submit to standard security checks at airports and the like.

I vehemently believe in the rights to free expression, and expression of one's religion, and am fervently opposed to any curtailing of those rights save what is absolutely necessary for public safety (which does not, AFAIK, mean bans on clothing, but, say, bans on the practice of human sacrifice for such religions that might practice it; or, quite differently, the practice of religious courts exercising capital punishment; and suchlike).

That said, I detest burqas, niqabs, and chadors-- as well, I hasten to add, as their equivalents in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world, and even the nominally equivalent garb for ultra-Orthodox men; as well as the equivalent garb amongst other fanatical forms of religion of any kind. I think regardless of the fact that it is often technically not "mandated," it is very often de facto compulsory as a result of right-wing social pressures in the fundamentalist world. I think such garments degrade the wearer, foster deeply unhealthy attitudes about the human body, sexuality, and egalitarianism in society, and also foster innumerable other oppressive attitudes that flourish best in a generally ascetic and puritanical environment.

But people need to be free to make their own choices about such things.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:09 AM   #52 (permalink)
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FWIW, I am very much opposed to a ban on burqas, or any other kind of religious attire-- so long, of course, as those wearing attire that obscures the face, or is easily concealing, are prepared to unveil and submit to standard security checks at airports and the like.

I vehemently believe in the rights to free expression, and expression of one's religion, and am fervently opposed to any curtailing of those rights save what is absolutely necessary for public safety (which does not, AFAIK, mean bans on clothing, but, say, bans on the practice of human sacrifice for such religions that might practice it; or, quite differently, the practice of religious courts exercising capital punishment; and suchlike).

That said, I detest burqas, niqabs, and chadors-- as well, I hasten to add, as their equivalents in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world, and even the nominally equivalent garb for ultra-Orthodox men; as well as the equivalent garb amongst other fanatical forms of religion of any kind. I think regardless of the fact that it is often technically not "mandated," it is very often de facto compulsory as a result of right-wing social pressures in the fundamentalist world. I think such garments degrade the wearer, foster deeply unhealthy attitudes about the human body, sexuality, and egalitarianism in society, and also foster innumerable other oppressive attitudes that flourish best in a generally ascetic and puritanical environment.

But people need to be free to make their own choices about such things.
This pretty much sums up how I feel about this. I don't think you can underscore enough this part: ...unhealthy attitudes about the human body, sexuality, and egalitarianism in society, and also foster innumerable other oppressive attitudes that flourish best in a generally ascetic and puritanical environment

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