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Keep it strictly, or die! 33%
Take it or leave it. 16%
Only when the Taliban is looking. 16%
What's that? 33%

Votes: 6

 Jakarta News

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 22, 2001

I may have somewhat of a reputation for bashing on Judeo-Christian religions. It's been asked why I hate God so much. Well, truth be told, it isn't God I hate. It's cliche, but it's Her followers I detest so much.

However, in the spirit of impartiality, I'll point out an example of people who get a little too hard-nosed about the Muslim faith.


More diaries by SpaceGhoti
Where'd it go?
Hey, osm
I am now truly amused
Hilarity Ensues
Environmental Doomsday Clock stutters?
Theological musings
Public Life

Nine MSN, an Australian-based news website, has this to report from Jakarta. In a nutshell, a hard-line Muslim group in Jakarta has taken to vandalising some nightclubs who refused to shut down for Ramadan, and who attempted to bribe the group into NOT vandalising them.

People just aren't happy unless there's somebody they can oppress.


"Oppress"? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by tkatchev on Thu Nov 22nd, 2001 at 10:44:33 PM PST
Last time I checked, substance abuse and adultery are not universal human rights. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Did you stop to think that perhaps these Muslims were extremely offended by the actions of said "night clubs"?

Oh right, I forgot that you are blinded by your personal little crusade against God.

Peace and much love...

On the other hand (none / 0) (#2)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 12:04:05 AM PST
Vandalism and vigilante righteousness are not universal human rights, either. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Did you stop to think that perhaps these Muslims had no authority to commit extensive property damage, as well as loss of revenue for these "night clubs"? According to the article, the local government had passed some rather vague laws permitting the clubs to operate even though strict orthodox Muslims frown on it. The religious group that trashed the night clubs are not on record as having attempted legal channels; they just went in and trashed things. Perhaps they were truly offended by the bribe offers; that's still not justification for violence.

Oh right, I forgot that you are blinded by your religious fanaticism for your God.

I will concede that these night club owners probably got what they were asking for. I don't live in Jakarta, and I don't know the streets like they do. However, the article gave the impression that such bribes were commonplace, intended to provide some protection from religious zealots like this. Their crime was in attempting to bribe zealots that were more interested in peity than money.

What people do on their own is their affair. Running a legal business that provides a service other people want is not a crime, even if somebody's religion says it's sinful to do on certain days or hours. If these businesses were attempting to force people into their doors, I'd say close 'em down. But nobody was forcing these zealots to violate their religious precepts, they merely assumed the right to punish others for such violations. That's about as moral and ethical as burning heretics at the stake, it just doesn't smell as bad.

A troll's true colors.

Where... (none / 0) (#4)
by tkatchev on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 12:08:15 AM PST
Where did you get the impression that I was condoning violence by these Muslims?

All I'm trying to say is this: learn some perspective. This is not oppression.

Peace and much love...

Impressions (none / 0) (#6)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 02:55:38 AM PST
I got that impression when you attempted to justify their actions. Silly me.

Punishing someone for not sharing your values sounds like oppression to me. I'd give you a dictionary definition of it, but you always hate it when I do that.

A troll's true colors.

Game Over. (none / 0) (#7)
by tkatchev on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 05:08:56 AM PST
Once a liberalist starts to rant about dictionary definitions, he has lost the game.

This is a sort of Universal "Godwin's Law", to use g**k lingo.

The root of the problem is the fact that liberalists are trapped in a maze of their own verbal constructions. To a liberalist, the world is the word. The liberalist doesn't realize that behind the written word lies the physical, real-world construction. The words we use are simply reflections of concepts existing outside us; words aren't entities in-of-themselves, they are rather mappings of our thought processes.

So, for example, our friend "SpaceGhoti" thinks that by disproving my usage of the word "oppress" he wins the argument. Little does he realize that, in fact, there is a concept of real-life oppression in the real world; all the dictionaries in the world will not change the fact that "oppression" actually, objectively, does exist in the world, and this fact will never change, no matter what language you speak and dictionary you use.

Peace and much love...

you haven't exactly (none / 0) (#9)
by alprazolam on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 10:01:18 AM PST
given a reason why this shouldn't be considered oppression. Sure it's not going to get human rights activists going, but if the government looks the other way while vigilante groups enforce a value system that people don't agree with and which is based on some ridiculous concept of 'religion' which is opposed to the universally accepted notions of human rights, you're on your way down a slippery slope.

Definitions (none / 0) (#13)
by SpaceGhoti on Sat Nov 24th, 2001 at 07:55:51 AM PST
Hmm...a new version of Godwin's Law. I'm amused. Truly.

Yes, oppression exists in the world. It exists in the world even in places (like the Holy USA) where it isn't supposed to exist. Does this mean we should sit back complacently and ignore it? Or should we point it out and encourage others to discourage it? Maybe find ways to fight it?

I find that a little education goes a long way. You can't do something about a problem if you don't know (or don't acknowledge) that a problem exists. We don't have to agree on the solution to the problem, but absolutely nothing can be done until we agree that there is a problem.

You say that a Muslim group vandalising night clubs in Jakarta for violating the holy days of Ramadan isn't oppression. I think suppressing anyone's freedom because it violates your concept of holiness is oppression. We therefore disagree that there is a problem, or if there's a problem, what the problem is.

If you don't want me to quote specific dictionary definitions on words, don't tell me what a word means or doesn't mean. You've repeatedly demonstrated that you don't have a good enough grasp of the language to challenge me, yet.

A troll's true colors.

The pernicious doctrine of American Universalism. (none / 0) (#3)
by moriveth on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 12:07:09 AM PST
This diary entry is the latest in a series of insensitive diatribes I have observed on Adequacy in recent weeks.

We must acknowledge that other cultures do not all think as we do, and not every people possess the same set of aspirations (money, sensual gratification) as Americans. To Muslims, America is not a beacon of freedom--it is a symbol of decadence, a modern-day Babylon.

Yes, SpaceGhoti. There are other cultures in the world. And who are you to say that our way of life is the One True Way? You reject the worship of God, but you prostrate yourself before the altar of American values.

Brought up in the intensely secular culture of the United States, you worship small freedoms like the freedom to consume alcohol above the establishment of civil society. Or, for that matter, freedom from hunger--a conclusion one might reasonably draw from your greater outrage over the inability of Indonesians to get wasted than you have displayed (as near as I can tell) over the hundreds of thousands perishing in Africa of starvation every year.

To condemn a Muslim nation for practicing its religion is to make the ignorant assertion that American values are universal. This is, admittedly, the avowed position of President George W. Bush, and in rejecting it, I in no way intend to display a lack of patriotism. However, we will never succeed in imposing our materialist culture upon the rest of the world, and in trying, we court our own destruction.

American Universalism (none / 0) (#5)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 02:52:15 AM PST
It's true. I do not worship a religious god, but I bow at the altars of secular humanism and American Universalism. However, I do not worship the American values of George W. Bush. I voted against the man. I do not call for the destruction of Muslim or Christian values.

Yes, you read that right. I don't call for the destruction of religious values of any sort. Those who find comfort in them are welcome to them. What I call for is an end to the abuse of religious values. One of the ways religion is abused, as described above, is the abuse and oppression of people who don't agree with those values. If that's an American Universal Truth, then by the gods yes, I worship it.

It's a very simple concept. You're free to think and do whatever you please. I'll retain my freedom to think and do as I please. I won't try to impose my values on you, and you won't try to impose your values on me. I won't force you to go to extreme lengths to avoid being offended by me, and you won't force me to go to extreme lengths to avoid being offended by you. There is a legal precedent for this within the United States legal code, but I'm too tired to find it right now. In other words, you're welcome to live any way you like, even if Americans in general wouldn't live that way. You're just not allowed to force anyone else to live that way who doesn't want to. That's not quite the One True Way, but I think it's an excellent touchstone for human values.

In my religion (such as it is) there is only one sin. That sin is the willful and deliberate act of harming or oppressing another person. If you get your jollies from inflicting pain on someone else, you'd better be damned sure that person wants pain inflicted on them by you. Otherwise, my values say that you're wrong and need to stop or be stopped.

That's pretty much it. There is, of course, a lot of gray area in this philosophy. Children and mentally incompetent individuals (the medical definition, please. I'm not interested in playing that game) are part of it. You could discuss those gray areas for megabytes without filling all the loopholes. The difference between this philosophy and that of, say Catholocism, is that this philosophy doesn't claim to have all the answers, just a foundation that places everyone on the same starting line. Where they go from there depends on their circumstances and talents, accordingly.

I don't deny the right of that Muslim group to not want people to go out and enjoy themselves as they see fit during their holy days. I deny their right to impose their values on those who don't choose to take them for their own. They could have attempted a non-violent method of imposing their values, such as through legal means. Instead, they chose vandalism. It is, as I said, an example of the way religion gets abused. It isn't enough that they choose their religion to enrich their lives; they have to make sure that everyone chooses it, like it or not.

A troll's true colors.

You know nothing about anything. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by TheReverand on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 08:58:41 AM PST
Arguing with you is futile. Tkatchev, don't bother.

Dear Rev, (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by osm on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 10:50:06 PM PST
You clearly do not understand our beloved Mr. Spaghetti's world. He doesn't have to know anything about anything because he knows everything! Much the way it didn't matter what Clinton The Whore did, because "is" didn't mean "is"!!!

Like myself, and practically everyone else on this site that didn't bubble up from the broken septic tank that spawned Mr. Spumonti, you are confined to thinking within the bounds of societal norms. Spamholio is merely trying to help us break those shackles so that we may enter a wonderful new age where all morality is relative and all ideas have meaning only within one's own private universe.

I'm just glad he is now banished to the wastelands of Australia, which should properly be used as a nuclear testing ground anyway.

Your argument is terribly illogical (none / 0) (#10)
by moriveth on Fri Nov 23rd, 2001 at 11:23:18 AM PST
I paraphrase:

My ideology is that no one should impose their beliefs upon another. Therefore, I support imposing my American way of life upon other cultures.

Really, why don't you think this through a little more carefully?

Question (none / 0) (#12)
by SpaceGhoti on Sat Nov 24th, 2001 at 07:40:39 AM PST
I have no problem with anyone practice a culture or religion they choose to follow. I oppose people persecuting others for not following the beliefs or traditions they feel should be practiced. How is that imposing the American Way of Life on other cultures?

A troll's true colors.


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