Thaelman Urgelles Nice article. But you know, I don't think we read classics for practical reasons. Practical reasons are below the purely aesthetical reasons why we read classics. I don't know if it makes you smarter, but it definitively makes you a fuller person. It gives awareness of our human condition above our animal drives. It connetcts with our higher being. Books on policy and international issues are boring, and most of the times are proved wrong one decade later. Many of them are a waste of time because most of the things they call for are not even within our reach, so there is no reason to feel guilty. BTW, talking about violence, the most violent book of all times is called The Illiad, and it's one of the most fantastic poems ever written.
Thaelman Urgelles BTW, Start Trek Into Darkness was amazing. No spoilers, but I can tell you that Abrams really tricks the audience more than twice, in a good sense. You never know what's coming. And even though the plot is very convoluted, it's very well edited and you understand everything, much better than the previous one.
Thaelman Urgelles I mean, shutter island has a very misterious plot, and the ending is totally appropriate. It's a totally schizophrenic movie. Again, I liked its lovecraftian style. I also watched it only once after some real drinking.
Thaelman Urgelles I don't know what you guys are talking about. I enjoyed Shutter Island quite a lot. It felt like a Lovecraft story. I must add all of Geroge Lucas' Star Wars prequels, which I think were a criminal blunter against the original ones.
Thaelman Urgelles I actually liked Kurosawa's "Dreams". It's not a real film, in the sense that it does not follow any of the characteristics of a complete film story, and it's more like a collection of curious short clips. Some of them are unbearable, I know. But the one inside Van Gogh's painting, the army coming out of the tunnel, the trees turning into gods (or something like gods), were amazing.
Thaelman Urgelles Nice article. Everything you say is true. However it's not bad to have 5 years plans. Just don't take them too seriously. It's more like a guide than a real life plan. Why? Because many unexpected things happen in the way: you meet people, you realize new things, you experience terrible setbacks that force you to change your world view. So as long as you are open to unexpected opportunities, and have the wit and willpower to take them, you'll be fine, even if you live your whole life worried about Con Edison bills. It's the middle class life. Money problems never go away. I've learned to live with that reality.
Thaelman Urgelles If I can add, thank God the numbers favor sharia law. The topic is so interesting and varied that the Western view of it is nothing but a reduced caricature. Sharia law is as plural as Western secular law (and much older), with different schools, interpretations, exagerations, etc. We have positivism, iusnaturalism, historicism, and all kind of views that our modern shools of law debate daily, and many of us don't really recognize the difference between all of them. So is with the Sharia law. Muslims have their own tradition. Why would we pretend that they should change their own historical experience for ours? It's arrogant nonsense.
Thaelman Urgelles Nice article Areej. However I'm not sure if your conclusion follows. That there is pluralism in Islam doesn't mean that it is actually a subjective and individualistic faith. No faith claiming the truth of God can be subjective. Differences of opinion doesn't mean that it depends on the individuals, but on the different schools of thought followed by individuals. In Suni Islam Malikism and Hanafism are as old as Islam itself. The Shia schools that followed al-Sadiq have also shattered into various sects for centuries. But they are different traditions regarding a single universal idea. Not individual ideas based on individual perceptions. I think pluralism describes better what you are trying to say, just as in Christianity.
Thaelman Urgelles I take brainwash is a form of coersion, and maybe you'll agree with that. But then, what's the difference between home education and school education? Both are brainwash. What is your definition of education, where government run impersonal institutions are somehow less coersive than parents who deeply love and care about their children? It's very convenient to think that home education is brainwash when parents are religious, and it is not when they are not. When you are less than 16 years old and your mind is young, all kind of education is coersion. I was born an atheist, in the original state, as you said. I barely received religious education. I was wrong. I converted. No brainwash. I was trully convinced.
Thaelman Urgelles Educate people until religions die out naturally is another story? How is that not coercive? I guess if the freedom to educate people is also a two way street, then religions can also educate so that it will never die out. Even more, if religions want to educate people so that Liberal thinking dies out naturally, it would also sound pretty legitimate in those standards.
Thaelman Urgelles Maybe you are not realizing that more than anything else, marrying and having babies is one of the most rewarding things in life. I think Romney might just be pointing that fact: that having a full family is the road to true happiness. Not success, not money, not fame, not various sexual partners, but a loving family. Coming from a man as wealthy as he is, I think it's a humble and true advice. NOTE: you did make me laugh at the end anyways.
Thaelman Urgelles Why would any employer want to have access to your private life? If you don't have criminal records, then there is absolutely no reason why. Asking for paswords is like asking for your home keys. What's the reasoning behind this apparantly absurd policy?
Thaelman Urgelles True: at other people's doorstep. Marriage is a public institution, not a private agreement. I cannot force other people to believe, but I can claim that social conventions and institutions follow what I think is true. Gays are claiming the same, by the way. By demanding a marriage of their own they are bringing their sexuality outside their homes, into the public sphere and into civil institutions. They claim that marriage be no longer defined by religious conventions but by their own newly-invented terms. Under US laws they have a political right to make that claim. But what cannot be denied is that their claims goes in detriment of the religious claim to be the term that define that public institution. That's why we oppose.
Thaelman Urgelles Alright! Now I see what you meant. I also apologize if you felt insulted. I think we both agree in that a lot of our society is poisoned with unfair prejudices against Muslims because of the darn terrorists. The point is that marriage comes from a long tradition as a religious institution. When the government took away from the churches the authority to marry, then it became possible to marry whoever the government would want. The problem here is that marriage is not a self-defining condition. I don't choose to be married because I live with my girlfriend. I choose to be married because we publicly proclaimed to society our union through the institution of civil union and the sacrament of marriage.
Thaelman Urgelles Because you keep insisting on the Muslim card as if Muslims would actually enforce their marriage on us, when the truth is that that would not happen. You are insinuating that Muslims would enforce their religion on us. And that's far from the truth. Religion cannot be enforced. People cannot be forced to believe in God. But people can be peacefully educated in the path to believe in God. Whether they choose to do it or not is their private concern. But that religion has a role to play in evangelizing the population you cannot deny. When the government recreates society to dis-encourage the evangelizing mission, then is stepping into religious liberty. I think religious liberty is more important than sexual liberty. You disagree.
Thaelman Urgelles True that what people do with their lives is not of our business. We, Mr. Santucci, agree on that. That's why I think homosexuals have a right of privacy to do whatever they want in their private spheres. That's perfectly alright, and I don't think anyone is denying that. But when you decide to legislate on matters of public interest like the institution of marriage, then it becomes a public thing. When you decide to show off your sexual inclination in erotic demonstrations on the streets, then it becomes a public thing. And when an issue is public, then it concerns us all as citizens, we have a right to express what we think, and we have a right to oppose anything based on our ideas.
Thaelman Urgelles If you want to insist that I answer your question a a thought experiment and assume that the Muslim would actually conquer the US, then I think they will definitively respect us Christians and Jews. We would be discriminated and taxed, but not prohibited to practice our forms of marriage. If they have a right to do that is an irrelevant question, because power is not a right, is a capacity to do things your way. If Muslims conquer the US, well, the US will be Muslim. Do they have a right to make it that way? I don't know, but it would be a fact, isn't it? To tell you the truth I would probably consider conversion to Islam.
Thaelman Urgelles Well Mr. Santucci, this is the thing, it happens that Muslims don't do that. The people of the book (us), also called dhimmis, have a right to practice their own religion. Muslims don't force conversion. They have never done that on a systematic basis. They have conquered countries but they allow conquered population to be ruled by their own civil laws as long as a Muslim is not involved, as Christian Coptics, 10% of Egypt's populations, has endured for centuries. I'm not afraid of Muslims doing that because I don't have the series of prejudices and misinformed conceptions about Muslims that you appear to have. Besides, Muslims are far from becoming an important minority in the US. And if that happens, well, it will be a fact of history.
Thaelman Urgelles Well, I thought this was a conversation about religion, not about philosophy of logic. You don't come with concepts and language of an area into another one with a completely different subject. Logic is something and religion is another. You don't use biology theories to understand astrophysical calculations. If you want to talk about religion, you begin with the sacred texts. You don't do that in logic, of course, but you don't engage in a religious conversation with some Bertrand Russell reasoning.
Thaelman Urgelles Besides Muslims are far from imposing the sharia on anyone but themselves. As a matter of fact sharia traditionally applies only to Muslims, not to non Muslims. Not Muslims nor Christians are imposing anything on anyone. We want to preserve our institutions and you want to defile them. Your triumph shrinks our numbers. You cannot expect that we surrender our beliefs just like that.
Thaelman Urgelles I'm sorry but America has been a free country since George Washington took office. Blacks were not free; they were freed in 1863 (reaffirmed in 1964). Women were freed in 1920. And as far as I can remember the US has been a Christian country all the way through without the need of much compulsory legislation on that matter. Marriage has always been understood as the sacrament between man an woman. No one was being enslaved because of it. Gays decided they want to appropriate that institution for their own by changing its meaning. And you are darn right in that liberals want to force us to abdicate what we think is true and right. You said it yourself. Liberals want us to stop thinking like we do. We have a right to oppose.