Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Estebonrober, Oct 17, 2020.
You sum it up quite good, amazing eloquency.
False equivalence. Two false equivalences, actually. And a misrepresentation of a straight-up murder, to boot. All in all, three terrible statements.
I didn't claim people involved were being rational (though with regards to interpretation of scripture, they are. In a fundamentalist manner, for sure. But logical according to the scripture provided. It's like how evangelical Christians can be - a lot of religious text provides excuses for a lot of rubbish behaviour). Nor did I claim anyone was being "cool-headed".
"utter destruction" and "cuddles" are not the only two options for dealing with extremism.
The teacher was attacked. There was no argument, simply a lesson, and a completely unwarranted murder in response to that lesson. Not that there will always be such a response, so you can't logically claim that this is what always will happen. And yet you talk about being rational? I think your rationality flew out of the window the second you read the word "Islam".
People should realize that there are major differences between muslim countries. It's not like any muslim from Lebanon/Jordan or similar is close to muslims from central asia (Pakistan-Afganistan) or sub-saharan ones. That is like thinking the population of Sweden is very similar to the US and some South American country, cause they are all typically christian majority.
There is, of course, the "muslim brotherhood" movement in the ME, currently spearheaded by Turkey with money from Qatar.
No, I don't. Because in no way did I imply that all mental illness has something to do with extremism or violence. That's your projection onto what I said.
If you want to go with this argument, then I would be equally perplexed by your suggestion that people with mental illness are incapable of logical behaviour. They're not mutually exclusive. Sociopaths can be mentally ill. They're also perfectly capable of being logical.
You're right, it was a bad comparison on my part. That doesn't make yours any better, however, nor does it counter the other points I made.
And there's no projection. Your exact words were:
Please explain to me how that is not drawing an equivalence between mental illness, and religious extremism?
Religious extremism is a subset of mental cases, just as violent tendencies are a subset of mental cases. But that does not mean mental cases = religious extremism.
"All A is B" does not mean that "all B is A". Come on, that's pretty simple logic.
I didn't say it equaled it. I said you were drawing a line between them. And now, here you are, calling religious extremism a form of mental illness. On whose authority? How does that play out for people who are religious in a completely regular way, who have mental illnesses? Do you not understand how demonised mental illness is? And you want to throw religious extremism under its umbrella?
Not only does that open up a defense of religious extremism on the grounds of it not being the person's fault (as can be the case at times with mental illness), which sucks, because that generally isn't the case, but lines work both ways. This is what you don't seem to get with your little pet theory. It's nice to have a simple explanation to explain away a horrendous phenomenon, but this one is problematic on a number of levels. It negatively impacts perception of mental illness. It's vastly reductive. It allows extremists to get out of consequences for their actions (for example, see the long and storied history of the insanity plea in legal cases). It skips the massive area of recruitment and indoctrination which factors heavily into extremist cells and networks.
I understand hasty generalisations. I don't understand the need to defend them to the hilt. Is it because I was so emphatic in my rejection of your theory?
So you have a problem with the statement "mental illness can lead to violent tendencies"? That's drawing a line between mental illness and violence. Would it "negatively impact perception of mental illness"?
And I believe your words were "drawing an equivalence". Now you've changed it to "drawing a line". There's quite a bit of difference there.
I'm sympathetic to the argument that mental illness diminishes responsibility. Perhaps this isn't a statement that can be used medically or legally, but in everyday parlance we have no problem calling religious fundamentalists nutters. Your rhetoric up to this point, though, is wild.
I use them interchangeably, being a programmer, because we have equals, equals equals, and strict equivalence (this isn't me saying I'm right with that). Notably, I only used "equivalence" in my second post, because you kinda rejected the first post. First I said it would put people with mental illness down (in terms of public image and general understanding). A better phrasing would be "draw a line connecting", perhaps. But that is very incredibly tedious and subverting the entire point of discussion.
You made a link between the two. There is already a link between specific cases of mental illness and aggressive behaviour. It doesn't suit generalisations well, which is why I tried to avoid getting caught on the tangent. Well-studied, has been for decades. If you had something like that under your belt, and could actually reference it, maybe I'd have been less shocked at your "all religious fanatics are mental cases".
Religious fundamentalism is a belief. A very human belief. It is often reinforced by authority or straight-up indoctrination, and from there radicalised to extreme (terrorism) activity. You don't have to have a mental illness to ascribe, or be induced, to this worldview. Ergo, religious extremism isn't even a subset of mental illness, as per your later claim.
I dislike the term "nutter" and try to use words like it myself, less. But that's irrelevant, as I wasn't talking about "everyday parlance" at all. I took you medically at your word, in categorising religious extremism as a form of mental illness. If all you meant was a vaguely-offensive pejorative, perhaps just admit that instead of spending several posts trying to justify religious extremism as a subset of mental illness?
I mean, if you think this rhetoric is wild (good job attempting to portray what I'm saying as unreasonable through an emotional comparison), I haven't even mentioned "ableism" yet. Or "neurotypical"
I don't like the conflation of mental illness with violence either. Irl mentally ill people are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of violence.
But I don't think Aelf mean mental illness in the sense that you guys talking about, really, he already posted here quite long and his take on this issue is pretty much a known pattern, and that's anything but bigot.
I think what he meant here is, there is an initial abnormal tendency toward violent in religious extremist. I against the dominant narrative on reading terrorism and global jihad phenomenon, but that premise I think is worth a research in itself.
I don't think the group of mentally ill people that Aelf mean is the larger population of mentality ill people that you percept. Respect both you and Gorbles but I think you guys misunderstood him here.
Not sure why you had to "take it medically". I'd like to see you raise the same objection every time someone mentions terms like 'wingnut' then. That's pretty damn common here as well, but somehow you chose this instance to jump. I'm wondering whether it's the topic or something else that triggered such a response.
I'm not sure "vaguely offensive" describes it either. I am convinced that religious fundamentalists have a problem, that they are in a substantial way different from people who are not. Psychology is the only area I can think of that can explain such a difference. Brain chemistry? Neurology? I'm open to those possibilities.
Yeah absolutely, it doesn't suit generalisations well in the slightest. I try and avoid it myself (which is why I pushed back a bit even there). Sorry for contributing.
I took it medically because of things like you just said, attempting to explain it with psychology
It wasn't an off-hand remark. You specifically said you believe all religious extremists to be mental cases. You then attempted to justify this by claiming a link between religious behaviour (which, uh, is not unique to extremists, plenty of run of the mill religious folk attempt to push their values onto others) and mental problems of some unspecified description. If you didn't mean that, all you have to do is say you didn't mean that. But you keep saying things that lead me to believe you do!
Besides, I've gone on tangents about people denigrating mental illness before. Perhaps you need to read my posts more closely, if that's the kind of standard you want from me.
My opinion would be that religious extremism is incited by a general lack of stability (be it cultural or economic), twinned with cult of personality types exploiting a lack of education and religious faith. I've used "indoctrination" a few times, because I believe it to be the most apt for explaining terrorist cells (in particular). You don't see the leaders dying for their beliefs - it's often their followers. The exploited.
Well consider this one thing, in-order to convinced people to give their life for the cause, it took an immense amount of "indoctrination" time, so it is not the un-educated and the poor the one who get "doctrinated" the most, it would be the one who has lots of free time to study and learn and to internalized the argument.
So contrary to the popular believe that the pool of the extremists are recruited from among the poor and uneducated, the pool is mostly are among the privilege and educated, the new Western convert, a prestigious University student, a surgeon like Ayman Al Zawahiri or even a son of billionaire like Osama Bin Laden. The milenial jihadist are those who are well off enough to buy their own plane ticket to flew to whatever place they need to be in middle-east or central asia.
This is my main argument for my suppose to be thesis. And the recruitment it's not scriptural based, but it's through burning up emotion on our political and economical condition (like you stated), through the data of foreign intervention and humanity crisis that happened in the conflict zone, for many people they are mindless terrorist, but for them they are freedom-fighter who move the conflict and bomb from their land to the warm belly of capitalism.
The mother of terrorism is the US alliance interventionist policy, and the main reason Osama attacked America is not solely because America's support of Israel, but most importantly its support of Dictator in Saudi and Iraq that they want to toppled during 90s.
Even though I can sympathy on Aelf takes on terrorism, but me myself don't believe his hypothesis, but I don't see his hypothesis are ill intended.
You didn't take it medically at the start because of things I just said. That makes no sense.
And I didn't "attempt to explain it with psychology". Again, projection. I basically said I believe psychology can explain it - that's a more agnostic take than what you're suggesting. Same as when you characterise what I said as "denigrating mental illness". You used your programming job as a reason for your loose use of the term "drawing equivalence". Not sure why you feel you can make such interpretations and think it's fair or reasonable.
And you can characterise the use of terms like 'wingnuts' as offhand remarks, but they are based on the same premise - that people with a certain set of behaviours or attitudes are crazy. If you'd like to jump and cast stones, I think it's fair to expect you to do so consistently. So can I expect that from now?
This take can similarly be charged with "drawing equivalence" between extremism and lack of education or lack of economic stability. That's potentially denigrating disadvantaged members of society. God knows they are already often conflated with criminal candidates of one stripe or another. You wanna take that analysis back lest you violate your own standards?
I don't think they were ill-intended, but I think they're just too focused on trying to nitpick semantics now.
You have a good point about there being those with the time for indoctrination. My analysis stems from an older reading of the situation in parts of the Middle East where the wealth divide is perhaps the largest at times. It doesn't necessarily apply to suburban France (for example). Honestly, I'd probably need a whole thread on it, plus a weekend for reading. I just don't get the time to read anymore!
See, now I think you're just being awkward on purpose. I took it medically because that's the first impression I got from the language you used. That impression has been reinforced by the stuff you've continued to post. I explained this in the following paragraph, but you've chosen to fixate on my first sentence, for some reason.
My programming job explained your nitpicking of semantics between a few similarly-written phrases. Like I said, this wasn't a claim that I was therefore right. I provided an alternative phrase that should satisfy your increasing pedantry.
On that note. If you believe something can be explained with psychology, you are attempting to explain it as psychology being the core subject matter; the meat of the answer. You're not attempting to explain it with anything else. You haven't offered any other rationale. These semantics are boring. Heck, I didn't even characterise what you said as "denigrating mental illness". That was in relation to arguing with other posters. I believe you need to take a step back, because you've now moved onto reading things that aren't there.
With regards to "wingnuts", that's clearly a pejorative. You calling all religious extremists "mental cases" is invoking a phrase used for the mentally ill. I didn't take it as being meant as an offhand insult. I took it as written, without reading anything else into it. I mean, I could take it as an offhand insult. Which would you prefer? You keep avoiding saying what you actually meant in favour of attempts to trip me up linguistically. Why? Which is it, for you? Did you mean to say that you classify religious extremism as a mental illness, or did you mean it as a random insult which shouldn't be given much thought? Pick one and stick to it.
And now we're down to the downright petty You have completely conceded the equivalence in order to attack me with my own logic. This only holds true if you have accepted it as valid in the first place. Commit to a point, and own it. Like I did when I said I made a bad comparison.
Tying a lack of stability with a rise in extremism seems pretty bland, to me. Speaking in terms of the country as a whole. The same goes for a lack of investment in education. It is easy to deceive and mislead people who don't have the same education you do. The people I blame are the recruiters and the religious leaders that lead these extremists. The ones that knowingly twist scripture, and never pay the price for their words and actions. The difference here is key. You were blaming mental illness (however indirectly). I am not blaming the people for their lack of education, or their economic circumstances. I am blaming their leaders, their government, external hostile forces, and everything that forces them into a situation where it is easy to prey on them. There are other recruitment vectors, like haroon was discussing. But in both cases it comes from those doing the recruiting.
But your whole thing is about semantics. It's about the meaning of what I said, absent context (especially at the beginning). So it's kind of rich that you're complaining about semantic arguments now.
Labeling something as pejorative or random insult doesn't divorce it from the premise on which it is based. If you have a problem with the premise then you have a problem with the pejorative too.
I would also contest your notion that "mental case" is a medical term or is used to refer to medical cases (again an issue of semantics, which you started on). That's certainly not true in my experience.
And I've already told you that I didn't mean it medically. I've also explicitly explained what I meant by my initial statement. Again, I'm not sure why you choose to interpret the entirety of what I said as "avoiding saying what (I) actually meant". That too is "reading things that aren't there" or, rather, not reading things that are there - both of which you've done.
This is not concession or even a continuation of my argument. It's a rhetorical method to demonstrate why your positions are inconsistent. It isn't anything earth-shattering or unusual in arguments.
Anyway, this seems to fall into the same pattern of you objecting to things that you do yourself. Any kind of generalisation can invite scrutiny, but most people would agree that it's unreasonable or at least tiresome to object to generalisations as a rule. Saying that extremists tend to lack stability or education is a generalisation that could be nitpicked easily by pointing to many cases in which education or lack of stability isn't a factor. I'm not saying I would do that, because I think it's a reasonable thing to say, even without many studies confirming it. But if I were to be as strict as you seem to be about this sorts of things, then I would.
The word "blame" implies some kind of moral judgement. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that it's impossible to 'blame' mental illness in that sense. Sure, you might argue that you didn't mean "blame" that way, but if use the same loaded word for mental illness and recruiters and religious leaders that lead extremists, then you're going to look like you're drawing equivalence to make an emotional point.
I feel that here you implied my previous discussion with Gorbles. I don't nitpicked him lets get it straight, the dominant narrative is the sole reason why combatting terrorism is ineffective and futile, because they don't understand the force they are facing, they are just busy beating their chest off.
Back-then the more reliable (non-dominant) narrative was pretty much foreign, I can only think Michael Scheuer for instance. But now the recent study of global terrorism, a respected scholar like Thomas Hegghammer are pretty much blame the delusional reading of the dominant narrative as part of the culprit that created this whole mess. He also pretty much in agreement and in-line with the narrative that I put forward. It's not a simply an acrobat in argumentation to negate Gorbles.
I was not referring to your conversation with him at all.
But this is actually a reason why I think extremism cannot be explained by sociological factors alone, even though I accept that the sociological explanations are plausible. Like you said, it is often people with means and who might actually have the intellectual capacity to understand theological/ideological arguments that are good candidates for 'indoctrination' - and I put quotation marks there because the indoctrination is not uniform or likely even complete in any sense. I don't think it's tenable to insist that extremists completely or even mostly agree with their religious teachers. Consider militants operating in cells who may not have ready access to the right clergymen for consultation - they have to interpret the texts and teachings they've received. What are the chances their indoctrination is perfect? They just need to agree enough to do their 'jobs'.
That's not even going into religious fundamentalists who do not carry out violent acts, but who would impose their beliefs on others through other means. The way in which they are typically 'indoctrinated' are different from terrorists', and their circumstances often differ as well. What do they have in common with the terrorists? If the answer is not to be found in sociology nor in psychology and our (likely socially-constructed) ideas of normality within it, then where? And that's a genuine question of mine.
I never really think the weight is heavier to theology than that of "social-justice" and "community survival and self-defense" just like the right-wing extremist based "intention", suicide is a grave sin in Islam (UNFORGIVEN), it's so hard to makes people believe otherwise, except under a strong pretext of fighting great evil for the greater good.
People shouldn't down-play what people can sacrifices and do for a good caused. Some suicide bomb operation in Turkey were executed by left-wing activist, I don't think they did that looking for heaven, most of them were atheist to begin-with.
And it's interesting that you said many of the terrorist mentor and religious teacher are against their act. The West deemed Abdullah Azzam as the father of terrorism, while the ex leader of Taliban Mullah Muhammad Umar as the highest figure in global Jihad world. But do you know that both Abdullah Azzam and Mullah Umar strongly against Osama bin Laden plan to carry out the operation to US civilian? When 911 happened, which was after Azzam passed away, Usama did the operation without consulting to Mullah Umar, which caused tension between Taliban and Al Qaeda, and you know where Usama bin Laden reside at that time? In Iran not in Afghanistan. Both Al Qaeda and Iranian government had an agreement, this was also the reason why there was an absence of terrorist operation in Iran until the conflict in Syria arise. But the invasion to Afghanistan was pretty much an event that once again sealed the Al Qaeda and Taliban alliance to fight one common enemy which is/was America.
And the common Muslim, that people scrutinized and beat the crap out on the street, or shot them in the mosque, don't know an atom of crap about that. By isolating and pressuring them, they just correcting the narration that the global jihad put forward, hence feed more recruitment. So I don't really understand some "leftist" intellect who get flip out ape like to all Muslim whenever a random operation happened. This stuff is very political in nature, and 99% of Muslim crowd don't know jack crap about this.
edit: And the source of contention between ISIS and Al Qaeda were many, one of it is, Al Qaeda forbid ISIS to do an operation in Iran. This was clearly stated by ISIS spokesman Abu Maryam (IIRC the name it was long time ago, the research was conducted when I was still in Turkey)
Separate names with a comma.