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View Full Version : Why Torture (Simulated or Otherwise) Is Stupid


Tysyacha
12-26-2007, 02:50 PM
A person under torture will say anything, confess to anything, and betray anyone. He or she will renounce former beliefs, quivering and probably bawling on the inside or out. However, is the information that he or she gives to the torturers accurate or true? Maybe so, maybe not. Here is my theory why:

If a person tells the truth under torture, he or she has truly been broken. S/he has forsaken the capacity to lie and thus protect his or her friends, beliefs, and country. S/he has given it up in order to be free from the pain. S/he has sold herself to to the torturers to remain alive and, likely, sane.

A person who lies under torture has not truly been broken yet, because s/he still clings to the capacity to lie to his/her torturers in order to protect him/herself or others.

Of course, it takes time, intelligence, and effort to validate information extracted under torture. Let's say a person has told the truth. S/he may or may not be released; my theory is s/he will more likely be incarcerated still.

If a person lies and the torturers discover the lie, they will return and perform more torture until their victim truly breaks and tells the truth.

Either way, torture, even simulated torture, is stupid, cruel, and barbaric. It is not the gathering of information, but the destruction of a human being.

SilentScope001
12-26-2007, 04:35 PM
Wait, what?

You made an entire argument why torture works, and then you say it's stupid? You argued that if a person lies under torture, just torture, and you'll find out anyway?

How is it stupid then? Didn't you provide clear and conclusive evidence that torture should be used even more then? Rather, NOT using torture is stupid, because by being constrained to your moral belief that torture is wrong, you are losing all the beniefts of torture.

Now...in response to the actual point instead of your argument (being a Devil's Advocate):

Your only argument is that it harms humans...which is pretty easy to argue against (if I torture someone, and then use that evidence to save people's lives, obivously I saved more lives than harmed, therefore, it can be seen as moral...or at the very least, I figured out the TRUTH, and truth is far more important than the surivial of a criminal). But in a simulated enviroment, it only harms numbers, are you stating that numbers should not be harmed?

And what if a person likes torture? Then how does it harm them?

Tysyacha
12-26-2007, 04:42 PM
It is not stupid in the sense that it does not work, because as I unintentionally proved, torture does work (sometimes). It is stupid in the same way that slavery and gulags are stupid: the ends (cheap labor or, in torture's case, gathering information) do not justify the means (destroying human lives).

There are much better and more humane ways to practice production and employment (paid wages). There are also much better and more humane ways to gather important information (collaboration with those fighting the terrorists, online research, etc.)

That's what I meant, anyway.

SilentScope001
12-26-2007, 04:52 PM
Eh. I know many people would be a bit uncomfortable with the idea of bribing a terrorist with money.

Still, I was arguing that the bulk of the post inadventurely supported torture. I'm okay with whatever argument people make, I have no opinon on torture (I won't do it), but, I just feel that helping your opponent out isn't exactly a good idea. Debate is war, after all...

Tysyacha
12-26-2007, 04:54 PM
I agree, and I didn't mean to do just that. Thanks for the tip, anyway. :)

If I liked torture, I guess I wouldn't think it harmed me because I liked it. I'd be getting pleasure from it. However, my body and mental faculties would be harmed. As for numbers--those "numbers" are numbers of individual humans.

Rev7
12-26-2007, 05:00 PM
I am sorry, but how else are you supposed to get information out of someone? I myself don't ever want to be tortured. Say that you are a soldier that is captured by the enemy, what do you think that they would do? They would torture you to no end until they got the information that they want.

Tysyacha
12-26-2007, 05:01 PM
You could bribe them, but as SilentScope said, that's not a very popular idea.

Web Rider
12-26-2007, 05:40 PM
You could bribe them, but as SilentScope said, that's not a very popular idea.

It's not a very SANE idea, that's why it's not popular.

Man A hates me.
Man A's friends are planning to kill me(but I don't know when).
I give Man A a thousand bucks to tell me what his friends are planning.
Man A and friends now have a thousand dollars more to work with to kill me, and they know I know that they're planning to kill me.
Man A and friends change plans, I prepare for the plan I know of.
Nothing happens when I'm prepared.
A week later Man A and friends kill me.

yeah....bribing that guy was REAL effective.

Torture of a singular individual in a void is not very effective, but when you've got multiple people, including infiltrators of the group trying to kill you, sending you information on what's planned, you can compare if what a person tells you is true or not.

It's quite literally that simple.

Dagobahn Eagle
12-26-2007, 06:30 PM
I am sorry, but how else are you supposed to get information out of someone?You don't honestly believe the only way to interrogate someone is to torture them?

I myself don't ever want to be tortured.So this whole Golden Rule deal of yours wasn't that important to you after all, eh:rolleyes:?

Say that you are a soldier that is captured by the enemy, what do you think that they would do? They would torture you to no end until they got the information that they want.Two wrongs don't make a right. And either way, not all armed forces in the world use torture.

We'll be in 2008 in a few days, guys. Think a little before you post. Next you'll advocate running planes into buildings. I think it's time for this (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5381698503276912483&q=our+search+for+security&total=861&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0) again.

Your only argument is that it harms humans...which is pretty easy to argue against (if I torture someone, and then use that evidence to save people's lives, obivously I saved more lives than harmed, therefore, it can be seen as moral...The Ticking Time Bomb fallacy. Reality doesn't work that way.

or at the very least, I figured out the TRUTH, and truth is far more important than the surivial of a criminal).First of all, you never know if the person you're torturing is 'a criminal' or innocent. And secondly, torture is dreadful at finding 'the truth'. Torture just makes the victim tell you what you want to hear, and if you can't tell the difference, I think you need to sit down and ponder it for a few minutes.

Rev7
12-26-2007, 07:15 PM
Think a little before you post.
Did I not state my opinion? BTW, I do think before I post. :)
You don't honestly believe the only way to interrogate someone is to torture them? Are we not talking about trained terrorists? Please list other ways to interrogate terrorists other than torture.
So this whole Golden Rule deal of yours wasn't that important to you after all, eh So what golden rule are you talking about, "do to others as you would want done to yourself", I am not torturing anyone. I never will either.
not all armed forces in the world use torture I am just curious, how would you know...

I am sorry if I seem a little 'harsh' , but this is a tough topic to talk about... apologies in advance...

SilentScope001
12-26-2007, 10:14 PM
BIG DISCLAIMER: I do not advocate torture. I merely advocate for having arguments be improved.

Tysyacha: The concept about simulated beings being given the same rights as non-simulated beings (in this case, the right to avoid torture) have been discussed here (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=177562), with the mass majority rolling their eyes at me talking about the oppression of writers. One of the posters, ED, said that you can do whatever you want at all...so, you might be interested in looking at that thread.

The Ticking Time Bomb fallacy. Reality doesn't work that way.

Doesn't matter if it is a fallacy, I said people can argue it that way. The fact is, torture can gain knowledge, and then that knowledge be used to win a war. To think it can save lives...debatable. But it can gain knowledge. Torture has been with us for a long time, mind you.

First of all, you never know if the person you're torturing is 'a criminal' or innocent.

Considering the fact they are arrested, it is sorta assumed that the prevailing thought is that they are criminals. "Guilty before proven innocent" would be the motto of the interrogter.

And secondly, torture is dreadful at finding 'the truth'. Torture just makes the victim tell you what you want to hear, and if you can't tell the difference, I think you need to sit down and ponder it for a few minutes.

And I point back to Tysyacha's first post. If the person lies, and you find out he lies, then you'll go and torture him some more to finally break the guy.

yeah....bribing that guy was REAL effective.

To argue on the other side, the US can (and does) in fact bribe. I remember stumbling upon a website by the US government trying to raise money to pay for informants. Sad to say, I don't have the URL, but bribing DOES work. There has been rumors that the United States was able to keep Sunni attacks in Iraq down by bribing local preists.

In fact, I would recommend it (because if we are willing to buy uber-tanks to destroy Enemies of the State, we should be able to bribe other people), altough, to be perfectly honest, if we expect criminals to betray their cause just for a bit of cash, we would be severly underestimating human nature, and being pretty insulting in the process to the very cause...After all, do you really think that American troops are going to go out and defect to Enemy Fores if they are given $500,000?

And don't forget "plea baragins". They aren't bribing either, but they gather useful information.

Achilles
12-26-2007, 10:24 PM
Please list other ways to interrogate terrorists other than torture.
NPR report from the Army's intelligence training post, at Fort Huachuca, AZ (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1894835)
NPR interview with various people regarding torture in the media (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15148243) (Listen for comments from intelligence expert Col. Stuart Herrington).

My 2 cents: torture is absolutely morally justified in "ticking time bomb" scenarios (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ticking_time_bomb_scenario). Fortunately, the constraints for establishing such a scenario are so stringent that it's highly unlikely we'll ever have to worry about 2nd guessing ourselves.

Rev7
12-27-2007, 02:28 AM
Is not torture a form of interrogation? Would you not think that these terrorists, in America's case, are interrogated first, and if the suspect doesn't 'cooperate', things escalate into torture.

Achilles
12-27-2007, 02:59 AM
Is not torture a form of interrogation?No. There is no dependent relationship between the two. You can have torture without interrogation and interrogation without torture. To state they are somehow mutually dependent is just incorrect.

You asked for examples of interrogation that did not involve torture. I provided you examples of military intelligence experts giving interviews where they state quite clearly that torture not only doesn't work but provides bad intelligence. In all fairness, I imagine that you could probably find similarly qualified individuals that would argue the exact opposite. So I guess at some point we'll have to use common sense and critical thinking to make up our own minds about which arguments have the most merit.

Would you not think that these terrorists, in America's case, are interrogated first, and if the suspect doesn't 'cooperate', things escalate into torture. Who gets to decide what "doesn't cooperate" means?
If I ask you to tell me what you know and you tell me that you know nothing, couldn't I argue that you aren't cooperating?

Tommycat
12-27-2007, 06:12 AM
Actually during SERE training you learn that torture is a bad way to get information. It gets you someone willing to say or do whatever you want to stop the torture, but what they say is what they think you want to hear whether or not it's true. Torture is a very poor interrogation method.

Lance Monance
12-27-2007, 11:12 AM
All I know is that if I was faced with torture, I would probably say the truth first, and if they proceed to torture me, THEN I would say whatever I think would make them stop. People who received some kind of intelligence training may react in a different way and try to deceive their interrogators though.

Dagobahn Eagle
12-27-2007, 03:09 PM
So what golden rule are you talking about, "do to others as you would want done to yourself", I am not torturing anyone. I never will either.Moot point. You advocate it against others even though you do not want it done unto you.

Considering the fact they are arrested, it is sorta assumed that the prevailing thought is that they are criminals.In a totalitarian country, maybe.

"Guilty before proven innocent" would be the motto of the interrogter.But 'innocent until proven guilty' is the motto of democratic nations. My point, either way, was that if you advocate torture against suspects, heck, even convicted criminals, you will be torturing people who are as innocent as you, your parents, and your best friends. There are already ample examples of this happening.

Rev7
12-27-2007, 03:46 PM
Who gets to decide what "doesn't cooperate" means?
"doesn't cooperate" can mean many thing yes, from telling the truth to not telling the truth, to not talking, to spitting, the word can mean many things. Obviously the person who interrogates someone gets to make that decision. Proper interrogation techniques should, and most of the time I think that they are being used.

****I am NOT saying that I support torture, or that I encourage it. I am just trying to look at the situation from a different point of view. I don't want to hear about people being tortured. I don't think that torture should be the first thing thought of when interrogating people. I don't want to torture someone, and I don't want to be tortured. I also wish that proper interrogation techniques are used all the time, without torture. I do not believe in torture at all. Hopefully this will change your view on my opinion on this matter. Thanks!****

By the way Achilles, thank you for the links!

Tysyacha
12-27-2007, 04:10 PM
HK-Tysy7:

"Query: If THEY torture, and WE also torture, then how can WE lay claim to the 'moral high ground' "?

"Proposition: WE may do it in the name of our countries, our god(s), our fellow men, or even the cause of 'good' as opposed to 'evil'. However, THEY do the same. The one who decides what is 'good' and 'evil', who is 'innocent' and who is 'guilty', is more likely the torturer. The victim may admit to his or her own guilt yet not believe it at heart."

MJ-W4
12-27-2007, 05:08 PM
Actually during SERE training you learn that torture is a bad way to get information. It gets you someone willing to say or do whatever you want to stop the torture, but what they say is what they think you want to hear whether or not it's true. Torture is a very poor interrogation method.This seems to be the point in this matter: Human history shows that people will say absolutely anything under torture, therefore, torture is nothing more than base cruelty for cruelty's sake.

Tysyacha
12-27-2007, 05:17 PM
If human history shows this, then why is our own American government promoting and practicing it? America is a democracy, which means that the majority rules. Does this also mean that the majority of people in America favor the use of torture?

I could be wrong, but I don't THINK so.

MJ-W4
12-27-2007, 05:28 PM
^ That's what we Europeans have been wondering about to no small extent. Why, as it were, is the US government promoting torture?

For lack of any sensible explanation, and sarcastically speaking, I might have to assume a blatant lack of history books on your side of the big pond. At least, history books available to the US powers that be. :(

Tommycat
12-27-2007, 08:47 PM
If human history shows this, then why is our own American government promoting and practicing it? America is a democracy, which means that the majority rules. Does this also mean that the majority of people in America favor the use of torture?

I could be wrong, but I don't THINK so.
Actually, the governmtnt is not promoting the use of torture, some portions of it are, and I think I stand on the side of McCain on the issue of using torture. Those of us that have been through SERE training, know its faults. McCain was actually tortured in a POW camp, and has a pretty good perspective on it. Though I think the main issue is what they consider torture, and what they consider interrogation techniques. It seems the contention is really the point where interrogation becomes torture.

I think the majority of Americans right now have a vengance mentality more so than actually getting to the truth of the matter. They really don't care about people they see as subhuman garbage. Is it right? No, but the mentality is rather pervasive right now. The majority either don't care about those at Gitmo, or want revenge taken out on those that may have had something to do with it.

Achilles
12-28-2007, 01:44 AM
If human history shows this, then why is our own American government promoting and practicing it?I don't have an answer. If I had to guess, then I would say that our gov't hopes to demoralize or somehow subjugate Muslim people (i.e. "Look what we can do to you"). What I think many of us fail to grasp is that this tends to foster the opposite reaction (i.e. people that feel that they are oppressed by a nameless, faceless force tend to resort to acts of terrorism for revenge).

America is a democracy, which means that the majority rules. America is a democracy which means that the voting majority rules. In a perfect world, there wouldn't be any need to make the distinction, but we don't live in a perfect world. In fairness to your point though, every man and woman of legal age could vote and we could find ourselves in the exact same position. This would tell us one of two things: 1) at least 51% of Americans agree with these kinds of policies or 2) our elected officials act with impunity to achieve their own goals despite what their constituencies want.

Does this also mean that the majority of people in America favor the use of torture? It's possible. I think to a certain degree many of us have been convinced that this is just the world we live in now. Watch enough episodes of "24" and I imagine it becomes easy to automatically equate "torture" with "justified" in one's mind. Tell people that don't know better and/or don't care that the people being tortured are terrorists (even though they aren't permitted a trial, access to the evidence against them, or the ability to face their accusers), and I imagine that most people will say "Oh, alright then". No matter that our government can just decide that anyone (including you or me) is a threat.

PoiuyWired
12-30-2007, 02:35 PM
I don't have an answer. If I had to guess, then I would say that our gov't hopes to demoralize or somehow subjugate Muslim people (i.e. "Look what we can do to you"). What I think many of us fail to grasp is that this tends to foster the opposite reaction (i.e. people that feel that they are oppressed by a nameless, faceless force tend to resort to acts of terrorism for revenge).



QFE.

Especially true when your "Target Audience" tend to treat being tortured and/or killed as martyrdom with a one way ticket to happy afterlife...

Its almost like a big neon sign saying "72 virgins here I come" attracting even more oppositions.

Achilles
12-30-2007, 11:11 PM
Especially true when your "Target Audience" tend to treat being tortured and/or killed as martyrdom with a one way ticket to happy afterlife...

Its almost like a big neon sign saying "72 virgins here I come" attracting even more oppositions.Once again, imperialist America marches headlong into conflict against opponents they don't understand at the behest of the military industrial complex. Can't wait for Flag Day.

RobQel-Droma
01-03-2008, 02:25 PM
The majority either don't care about those at Gitmo, or want revenge taken out on those that may have had something to do with it.

Well, considering that those at Gitmo are bloodthirsty Muslim terrorists who would love to see us all dead.... just a thought. :)

Once again, imperialist America marches headlong into conflict against opponents they don't understand at the behest of the military industrial complex.

I agree with you only so far that the prospect of death for Muslims seems not to be very bad. But what are we supposed to do with religious fanatics that are still stuck back in the fifth century, and that want to kill us?

"Imperialist America": first of all, tell me how we are somehow oppressing and subjugating foreign peoples...

Secondly, how would you set up America, if you could change this supposed "Imperialistic" view? Surely you aren't a proponent of communism.

jonathan7
01-03-2008, 02:40 PM
Well, considering that those at Gitmo are bloodthirsty Muslim terrorists who would love to see us all dead.... just a thought. :)

I'm sure Jesus would think like that... Or did he say something about the other cheek?

I agree with you only so far that the prospect of death for Muslims seems not to be very bad. But what are we supposed to do with religious fanatics that are still stuck back in the fifth century, and that want to kill us?

To be honest I see little difference between Bush's Christianity and Bin-Ladens Islam; both are opressors who will use violent means to promote their vision of that which is the 'true God'.

RobQel-Droma
01-03-2008, 08:15 PM
I'm sure Jesus would think like that... Or did he say something about the other cheek?

Ah, well. I guess that just means we should let them all go. In fact, might as well let them kill us all, since, according to you, Jesus said we can't defend ourselves from people trying to murder us.... :dozey:

BTW, how does the classic and over-used WWJD apply to the situation? Maybe its just me, but when someone tries to kill me, I don't sit there and let them kill me. I defend myself, especially when that person could go on and kill other people along with me.

To be honest I see little difference between Bush's Christianity and Bin-Ladens Islam; both are opressors who will use violent means to promote their vision of that which is the 'true God'.

Are you kidding?

Show me one place where Christians today have "violently" oppressed someone or cut their head off. I would think you would know that Jesus taught exactly the opposite....

I'm sorry, but your claim is absolutely false.

EDIT: My apologies. It would appear from another thread that you are a Christian, so sorry for assuming you weren't. :)

jonathan7
01-03-2008, 08:32 PM
Ah, well. I guess that just means we should let them all go. In fact, might as well let them kill us all, since, according to you, Jesus said we can't defend ourselves from people trying to murder us.... :dozey:

BTW, are you a Christian? Or just using the classic WWJD to to suit your argument?

Oh, I'm a Christian; and even if I wasn't it doesn't ignore the validity of the argument. The point still stands that would Jesus torture someone? Answer; no. Would Jesus want you to torture someone? No.

There is a big difference between defending oneself and torture. You may want to have a read of 1 Corinthians 13 and have a pray about your attitude towards torture as quite simply it isnt Christ like.

Are you kidding?

Show me one place where Christians today have "violently" oppressed someone or cut their head off. I guess this answers my question, you probably aren't a Christian. Otherwise you would know that Jesus taught exactly the opposite....

I'm sorry, but your claim is absolutely false.

Sorry have you seen the history of the Church? You heard of a thing called the Crusades? (which incidently is why and when Jihad was invented) Interestingly pretty much all the Christians leaders at the time called for the Crusades. Then there is a history of Catholics killing protestants and vice-versa; of course there is the usually conveniant argument that of course they weren't real Christians! Of course we are called not to judge; so how do you know if they were trusting in Christ or no? And do you really doubt the religious fervour of the Conqistadors who smashed infant Inca heads so they would get to heaven?

What I believe is this; anyone who believes they are in possession of absolute truth will become a tyrant and persecute others. If Christians were given the opportunity to kill one another today over their doctrinal differences I'm in no doubt most would. Indeed most Christians that I meet with their demeanor and attitude only futher my belief that that is true.

"Arendtís phrase 'the banality of evil' continues to resonate because genocide has been unleashed around the world and torture and terrorism continue to be common features of our global landscape. We prefer to distance ourselves from such a fundamental truth, seeing the madness of evildoers and senseless violence of tyrants as dispositional characters within their personal makeup. Arendtís analysis was the first to deny this orientation by observing the fluidity with which social forces can prompt normal people to perform horrific acts." (From Chapter 12, pages 288-289) Philip Zimbardo Ė The Lucifer Effect

Thanks for reading.

Achilles
01-03-2008, 09:04 PM
Well, considering that those at Gitmo are bloodthirsty Muslim terrorists who would love to see us all dead.... just a thought. :) I'm wondering how it is that you know this. Of the hundreds of people held there, only one has received a trial. For all you know, everyone there is the tree-hugging middle eastern equivalent of a hippie. I'm perfectly willing to consider that everyone there might be a "bloodthirsty muslim terrorist", but without due process I have to accept that there is no way to know for sure. I guess some of us might be willing to accept whatever the Bush administration says about these people, but others of us probably need something a little more credible.

I agree with you only so far that the prospect of death for Muslims seems not to be very bad. I guess converting them to christianity at sword-point is no longer an option? Oh well, I should've seen that coming. Help me remember what christ's message was about loving your enemies? ;)

But what are we supposed to do with religious fanatics that are still stuck back in the fifth century, and that want to kill us?Funny, I imagine that they have similar concerns about religious fanatics stuck back in the third century that actually have been killing them. :) (not to mention the jews that they don't seem to play well with who have been around for much longer).

"Imperialist America": first of all, tell me how we are somehow oppressing and subjugating foreign peoples... :eyeraise:

err...take a look at U.S. foreign policy since say, the Monroe Doctrine. FDR to present should be of particular interest.

Considering how well our last foreign policy discussion went, I won't be replying beyond what I've stated above. You've already made up your mind and no amount of evidence is going to change it.

Secondly, how would you set up America, if you could change this supposed "Imperialistic" view? I'd stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars each year on imperialistic type things (maintaining military bases, troops, and equipment in foreign countries, etc).

Surely you aren't a proponent of communism. No, not at all, however I have to wonder what communism has to do with the discussion.

Take care.

RobQel-Droma
01-03-2008, 10:48 PM
I'm wondering how it is that you know this. Of the hundreds of people held there, only one has received a trial. For all you know, everyone there is the tree-hugging middle eastern equivalent of a hippie. I'm perfectly willing to consider that everyone there might be a "bloodthirsty muslim terrorist", but without due process I have to accept that there is no way to know for sure. I guess some of us might be willing to accept whatever the Bush administration says about these people, but others of us probably need something a little more credible.

Point conceded. However, one wonders why exactly they are in there if not for the reason of being enemy combatants.... Some of us don't automatically accept that whatever Bush does is wrong, either.

Oh, and BTW - you haven't happened to have heard what some of the guards have to say about the inmates, have you?

I guess converting them to christianity at sword-point is no longer an option?

Thankfully Christians (or those who claim to be) have passed that point in history (say the fifth century :D ) where they went against the Word of God and persecuted people for their beliefs, in case you didn't know.

Unfortunately: Muslims haven't. They still consider it acceptable to murder people for their religious beliefs

Help me remember what christ's message was about loving your enemies?

He said not just to pray for our friends, but to pray for our enemies. That is what His message was, and that is what we should do (although it is hard sometimes, I won't lie). You have a point, I guess. When seeing people who mindlessly murder innocents for their belief, it is easy to forget that.

However, just a couple things. One, you don't believe in Christ. Two, how do you feel toward the Muslims? Do you consider them the way you consider Christians, or do you think what they are doing is ok?

Funny, I imagine that they have similar concerns about religious fanatics stuck back in the third century that actually have been killing them. (not to mention the jews that they don't seem to play well with who have been around for much longer).

To whom are you referring to?

err...take a look at U.S. foreign policy since say, the Monroe Doctrine. FDR to present should be of particular interest.

So you believe that interfering with tyrannical dictators to try and help other nations on the road to democracy is Imperialism?

Considering how well our last foreign policy discussion went, I won't be replying beyond what I've stated above.

Fair enough.

You've already made up your mind and no amount of evidence is going to change it.

You do realize that I could say the same about you for any number of subjects, right? I could say that about quite a few in fact; I think most do. Unless there is some kind of earth-shattering evidence, or we are arguing over a point that one of us is already unsure about, opinions probably won't change that much here.

I'd stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars each year on imperialistic type things (maintaining military bases, troops, and equipment in foreign countries, etc).

Good. Then, hopefully, we'll have enough to try and bribe the terrorists who come trying to blow up our buildings, since we don't have any military left.

Oh, I'm a Christian; and even if I wasn't it doesn't ignore the validity of the argument. The point still stands that would Jesus torture someone? Answer; no. Would Jesus want you to torture someone? No.

I don't think He would either.

However, that doesn't ignore the validity of my argument about defending oneself. If it helps to clarify, I was not condoning torture, I was condoning the need to defend oneself if necessary, whether or not it causes your enemy discomfort. (I'm not talking about torture when I say "discomfort")

There is a big difference between defending oneself and torture. You may want to have a read of 1 Corinthians 13 and have a pray about your attitude towards torture as quite simply it isnt Christ like.

That's ok - I know what it says. :) Since I haven't really condoned torture, I'm not sure how you make assumptions about my attitude. All I did was mention the mindset of most of the fanatics at Gitmo. I was trying to point out that they are not innocents who have had their feelings hurt. They are, as I said, bloodthirsty fanatics who would like to kill us all because we are somehow evil.

Sorry have you seen the history of the Church? You heard of a thing called the Crusades? (which incidently is why and when Jihad was invented) Interestingly pretty much all the Christians leaders at the time called for the Crusades.

The actions of the Catholic Church were wrong.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Tell me how religious wars that took place centuries ago have anything to do with your statement of "Bush's Christianity" today.

Then there is a history of Catholics killing protestants and vice-versa; of course there is the usually conveniant argument that of course they weren't real Christians! Of course we are called not to judge; so how do you know if they were trusting in Christ or no?

Well.... they weren't. Obviously, they weren't. Just from looking at the teachings that came from the Bible (the same that you use when talking about judging) they were not real Christians. I don't think Jesus would accept those who kill others because they don't agree with them.

And do you really doubt the religious fervour of the Conqistadors who smashed infant Inca heads so they would get to heaven?

Neither do I doubt the religious fervour of the Muslims. I don't really see your point.

What I believe is this; anyone who believes they are in possession of absolute truth will become a tyrant and persecute others.

*cough* Jesus *cough*. :)

Are you telling me that He didn't believe He had possession of absolute truth? Or that He didn't believe in absolute truth?

First you tell me you are a Christian, then you start saying that good people don't believe in absolute truth.... I'd be grateful if you'd clarify your position on this before I start assuming what you believe. ;)

If Christians were given the opportunity to kill one another today over their doctrinal differences I'm in no doubt most would.

1) I'm not sure how they have any less of a chance than the Muslims do.

2) Most "doctrinal differences" are things either minor, not in the Bible, or things that Jesus would never have people fight about. The Bible never advocates killing people for religion. Perhaps you are talking about this in the your experience with Christianity as organized religion, and not Christianity as the lifestyle.

Indeed most Christians that I meet with their demeanor and attitude only futher my belief that that is true.

You can't have met very good Christians, then. :)

Could you give me an example? I'm kinda interested to hear what your experiences have been.

Thanks for the reply.

Achilles
01-04-2008, 12:11 AM
Point conceded. However, one wonders why exactly they are in there if not for the reason of being enemy combatants.... Some of us don't automatically accept that whatever Bush does is wrong, either.A good question that some transparency in our process would surely help to answer. Right now the policy is "if we think you are an enemy combatant, then you are one". These guys could have actually used guns against coalition forces, provided guns for use against coalition forces, hid guns that were used against coalition forces, involved with the manufacturing of guns that were used against coalition forces, or they could be goat farmers that were turned over to coalition forces by a member of a rival tribe for the reward money. We don't know.

Oh, and BTW - you haven't happened to have heard what some of the guards have to say about the inmates, have you?The guards that aren't permitted to speak about their duty at gitmo? No, I don't believe that I have.

Thankfully Christians (or those who claim to be) have passed that point in history (say the fifth century :D ) where they went against the Word of God and persecuted people for their beliefs, in case you didn't know.That doesn't appear to be the case at all. First, christians are still actively seeking to christianize the world (sometimes violently). Second, the bible tells us to persecute people for their beliefs, in case you didn't know.

However, just a couple things. One, you don't believe in Christ. So? I can't reference your holy book to point out hypocrisy unless I buy into your religion too? That doesn't make very much sense.

Two, how do you feel toward the Muslims? Do you consider them the way you consider Christians, or do you think what they are doing is ok? Kinda vague, but I'll try my best to answer what I think is the spirit of the question. No doubt that islam is incredibly good at promoting violence. At the end of the day though, all of the monotheisms are violent. Just because islam is arguably the most violent doesn't mean that it's bad and the other two are good.

To whom are you referring to?Christianity.

So you believe that interfering with tyrannical dictators to try and help other nations on the road to democracy is Imperialism? Helping to over throw tyrannical dictators and continuing a policy of imperialism can be separate things.

You do realize that I could say the same about you for any number of subjects, right? I could say that about quite a few in fact; I think most do. Unless there is some kind of earth-shattering evidence, or we are arguing over a point that one of us is already unsure about, opinions probably won't change that much here. Not all opinions have equal status at the table. When we evaluate people's reasons for thinking certain ways about things, we tend to place more value on those reasons that are well-supported and well-thought out.

When I have an opinion on something, the odds are incredibly good that I've put a great deal of thought and research into the matter. Otherwise, I tend to admit that I don't know what I'm talking about and/or watch from the side lines.

Anytime that you feel that you have a sound argument for how my thinking is flawed on a particular subject for which I do have an opinion, you are most warmly invited to share it.

With respect, by way of comparison, I don't see that your opinions are well supported and there have been times in the past where you've seemed very much unwilling to consider that you might be wrong about something. I have noticed lately that you've been making an effort to be more open-minded and I think that's very commendable. I hope this feedback is taken in the manner in which is was intended.

Good. Then, hopefully, we'll have enough to try and bribe the terrorists who come trying to blow up our buildings, since we don't have any military left. I'm not sure I follow the logic behind this statement. Even though we have hundreds of military bases overseas, the majority of them are still domestic. I think it's quite tenuous to say that "end imperialism" = "disband the military". Our one country account for almost half of the world's military spending. Surely this kind of "defense" spending is justified in for a nation that has oceans on two of its borders and allies on the others [/sarcasm]. I'm just saying that maybe we could still have a decent domestic, non-imperialist military for about $100 billion per year (instead of the other kind at half a trillion dollars per year).

mur'phon
01-04-2008, 03:48 AM
So you believe that interfering with tyrannical dictators to try and help other nations on the road to democracy is Imperialism?

I could see your point if America hadn't been interfering with democrasies as well, helping them on their way to pro-american dictatorships.

Achilles
01-04-2008, 04:07 AM
I could see your point if America hadn't been interfering with democrasies as well, helping them on their way to pro-american dictatorships.QFT

jonathan7
01-04-2008, 09:49 AM
That's ok - I know what it says. :) Since I haven't really condoned torture, I'm not sure how you make assumptions about my attitude. All I did was mention the mindset of most of the fanatics at Gitmo. I was trying to point out that they are not innocents who have had their feelings hurt. They are, as I said, bloodthirsty fanatics who would like to kill us all because we are somehow evil.

You may want to consider what it means to be innocent. In Gods view are any of us innocent? Are you sure they are all booldthirsty fanatics? Did you read the Zimbardo quote?

Personally I feel sorry for the majority of mankind as they have neither the wit nor the intelligence to see their ignorance.

The actions of the Catholic Church were wrong.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Tell me how religious wars that took place centuries ago have anything to do with your statement of "Bush's Christianity" today.

Well.... they weren't. Obviously, they weren't. Just from looking at the teachings that came from the Bible (the same that you use when talking about judging) they were not real Christians. I don't think Jesus would accept those who kill others because they don't agree with them.

I know this; I am a massive sinner and Christ is a great saviour. I know I sin every day despite being saved; nothing I do is any different from the above in the eyes of God. Jesus would disagree with alot of things I do but he still saves me, I see little point on conversing on this point as I doubt you are going too heed anything I say.


Neither do I doubt the religious fervour of the Muslims. I don't really see your point.

If you don't see the point I made above, I doubt you will see anythign else.

*cough* Jesus *cough*. :)

Are you telling me that He didn't believe He had possession of absolute truth? Or that He didn't believe in absolute truth?

First you tell me you are a Christian, then you start saying that good people don't believe in absolute truth.... I'd be grateful if you'd clarify your position on this before I start assuming what you believe. ;)

Jesus being in possession of absolute truth is somewhat different to me being in possession of it; him being God in human form and me a mere mortal. Intellectually I refuse to believe in absolutes because there is always a chance I could be wrong; that is not to say there isn't absolute truth, only no human can ever be in possession of it; for if you were human and in possession of it you are actually God; for absolute truth, in truth is knowing everything. You can think what you wish; if you believe me a Christian or not as little effect either way; Jesus will judge me.

With regards absoulute truth you may want to consider the following quote From John Wenham and his book 'Christ and the Bible'

"There is, then, no absolute proof that our Canon is precisely the true Canon and no absolute proof that any one word of the text is exactly as God gave it. But the quest for absolute proofs, whether historical or theological, is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of history, theology and the human mind. History is at best an approximation to truth based upon incomplete induction of the facts. Theology is a fallible human attempt to co-ordinate the data of revelation. The human intellect, even when renewed by the Holy Spirit, cannot know absolute certainty. In his inmost being the Christian believer has an absolute assurance (that is, an assurance which comes from God's direct witness within him), that he has heard the voice of God and that he is a child of God. But when he puts his beliefs into his own words the absoluteness of the truth of his statements vanishes."

1) I'm not sure how they have any less of a chance than the Muslims do.

Most Christians live in the West (where nowadays you get put in prison for such things) or in Countries where they are not in the majorrity; and tend to be persecuted by the majority.

2) Most "doctrinal differences" are things either minor, not in the Bible, or things that Jesus would never have people fight about. The Bible never advocates killing people for religion. Perhaps you are talking about this in the your experience with Christianity as organized religion, and not Christianity as the lifestyle.

"The Bible never advocates killing people for religion" - You read the Old Testament?

Lets test that; I believe Jesus is the Son of God; that he is the way the life and the truth, and the only way to the father is through him.

However I don't believe the Bible is either infallible or inerrant as I don't think the evidence supports that concludion. I believe woman should be allowed to be in leadership. I Believe the world is 6 billion years old, the universe is 14.7 billion years old and I think evolution could well be true. I don't like St. Paul; I think he wrote some brilliant stuff but I also think he was a mysoginist and a sado-masachist.

I'm happy to agree to disagree over the above are you?

You can't have met very good Christians, then. :)

The majority of anything is always just a byword for mediocrity.

Could you give me an example? I'm kinda interested to hear what your experiences have been.

Thanks for the reply.

My expierences are this; as a youngster I was continually told I wasn't a Christian, because I ask very awkward questions that cannot be answered; because shock horror I read philosophy and went night clubbing! Suffice to say my life has been literally on the line for Christ before; theres hasn't. I continually find when I take non-Christian friends to any Christian event they are judged and feel judged. Many of my gay friends quite rightly feel persecuted for Christians; who may be spewing out dogma; but seem quite lacking in the love of Christ. I often find CHristians falling out over the correct view of baptism, spiritual gifts, intepretation of the Bible etc. They are things to be discussed, but are not in the grand sceem important.

At this point I will quote A.W. Tozer

"It requires great care, and a true knowledge of ourselves, to distinguish a spiritual burden from a religious irritation. Often acts done in a spirit of religious irritation have consequences far beyond what we could have guessed. It is more important that we maintain a right spirit toward the others than that we bring them to our way of thinking, even if our way is right. Satan cares little whether we go astray after false doctrine or merely turn sour. Either way, he wins."

Take Care.

RobQel-Droma
01-04-2008, 03:23 PM
You may want to consider what it means to be innocent. In Gods view are any of us innocent? Are you sure they are all booldthirsty fanatics? Did you read the Zimbardo quote?

I'm not sure of the context in this question. I was not talking about them in reference to their salvation (or lack of).

I know this; I am a massive sinner and Christ is a great saviour. I know I sin every day despite being saved; nothing I do is any different from the above in the eyes of God. Jesus would disagree with alot of things I do but he still saves me,

And so am I, I agree heartily. I guess to rephrase it, the problem would be rather they really are saved. Do you know that they were? I understand what you're saying about Jesus' acceptance, but I don't know how He views those who twisted his message and used it as a call for war. I know He still loves everyone, but what I said, I think, still stands. You can't take that and say,

I see little point on conversing on this point as I doubt you are going too heed anything I say.

I'm not sure why you say this, as I have heeded a few things you have said. Unless you're just tossing that comment in there because.... whatever.


If you don't see the point I made above, I doubt you will see anythign else.

I'm sorry if you thought what you said was crystal clear. I still don't understand how someone's level of religious fervor makes any difference. They can still be just as wrong.

Jesus being in possession of absolute truth is somewhat different to me being in possession of it; him being God in human form and me a mere mortal. Intellectually I refuse to believe in absolutes because there is always a chance I could be wrong; that is not to say there isn't absolute truth, only no human can ever be in possession of it; for if you were human and in possession of it you are actually God; for absolute truth, in truth is knowing everything. You can think what you wish; if you believe me a Christian or not as little effect either way; Jesus will judge me.

Do you believe that murder is wrong? Just to take a little tangent.

With regards absoulute truth you may want to consider the following quote From John Wenham and his book 'Christ and the Bible'

With full respect to you and to him, I tend to trust the Bible and what it says more than anything else. And I don't remember the Bible teaching a message of relative truth.

Most Christians live in the West (where nowadays you get put in prison for such things) or in Countries where they are not in the majorrity; and tend to be persecuted by the majority.

So if we were the majority, we would persecute everyone else? Well, maybe. It certainly happened back in Rome during Constantine, so I can't argue with you. However, while that might be true of those who follow Christianity, its not true of Christianity itself - I hope you understand what I mean. The actions of the followers can't make the actual message any less right.

"The Bible never advocates killing people for religion" - You read the Old Testament?

Read carefully. It was not for religion as much as it was for the enormous evil that was contained in those cultures. And it was not a general "kill all who don't believe" as in the Koran, but a specific targeting of evil and immoral cultures in the Middle East. Sometimes it occurred within the tribes Israel itself, because of immorality inside their own nation.

Now I know what you're going to say... :) "Oh, THAT makes a difference...." (sarcastically), and probably with good reason. But just stay with me: God, when the N.T. came (and before that), no longer brought about the destruction of people. Instead, Jesus came, and brought about a new covenant, and there's where you get "love all people, go out into all the world," etc.

Of course, some might consider the Bible advocating violence still. But it doesn't, it is not the same as the Koran. That is another myth in itself.

Take the Koran. It has advocating the murder of those who disbelieve, and still does. It doesn't preach a message of peace, it preaches a message of violence. Its very obvious if you read it.

Besides all this, I still have yet to understand what all this has to do with your statement of "Bush's Christianity" today, since you have yet to respond to me. You have told me about the Crusades, the Old Testament, and various other unrelated things, but I still don't know how "Bush's Christianity" is somehow similar to Islam. Since this was a starting point for this part of our discussion, I'd be grateful if you could answer that question for me.

Lets test that; I believe Jesus is the Son of God; that he is the way the life and the truth, and the only way to the father is through him.

However I don't believe the Bible is either infallible or inerrant as I don't think the evidence supports that concludion.

I believe woman should be allowed to be in leadership. I Believe the world is 6 billion years old, the universe is 14.7 billion years old and I think evolution could well be true. I don't like St. Paul; I think he wrote some brilliant stuff but I also think he was a mysoginist and a sado-masachist.

So Christianity to you is a "take what you want, disregard what you want" sort of thing?.... "I believe in the Bible, except for points A and D, where I don't like it?"...."Jesus is my savior, and my Lord, except where I have a different opinion?"

As for "evidence", please explain. I see you expressing your opinions (which I would think you would realize is not as important as God's, but whatever), but I don't know what evidence you refer to.

The majority of anything is always just a byword for mediocrity.

I would disagree, but thats ok.

My expierences are this; as a youngster I was continually told I wasn't a Christian, because I ask very awkward questions that cannot be answered; because shock horror I read philosophy and went night clubbing! Suffice to say my life has been literally on the line for Christ before; theres hasn't. I continually find when I take non-Christian friends to any Christian event they are judged and feel judged.

Well, I'm sorry for that. I can't really say, but if what you say is really what went on, then I must say: that isn't following Jesus very closely. But please don't let your experiences make it so you always have a "bad taste in your outh" every time you come into contact with other Christians.

Many of my gay friends quite rightly feel persecuted for Christians; who may be spewing out dogma; but seem quite lacking in the love of Christ.

Persecuted is something they should not be. I believe homosexuality is wrong, but that doesn't mean I would hate or not accept someone into Christianity. I know someone who is gay, and I don't judge him - I leave that up to God. In the end, we should try and bring the message to everyone, no matter who they are, and let them resolve their problems between them and God.

I often find CHristians falling out over the correct view of baptism, spiritual gifts, intepretation of the Bible etc. They are things to be discussed, but are not in the grand sceem important.

I agree.

A good question that some transparency in our process would surely help to answer. Right now the policy is "if we think you are an enemy combatant, then you are one". These guys could have actually used guns against coalition forces, provided guns for use against coalition forces, hid guns that were used against coalition forces, involved with the manufacturing of guns that were used against coalition forces, or they could be goat farmers that were turned over to coalition forces by a member of a rival tribe for the reward money. We don't know.

And your point is perfectly valid. However, its hard when half of those goat farmers might be manufacturing bombs and delivering guns to enemy forces, and the other half aren't. And we don't have any way to tell. Some people are going to get unjustly arrested, but since terrorists don't have flashing signs on their back saying "I'm a terrorist", we can't do anything about that.

And as far as I know, the Muslims in question at Gitmo were definitely fanatics/terrorists.

The guards that aren't permitted to speak about their duty at gitmo? No, I don't believe that I have.

Excuse me - I should have worded that differently. I was referring to some of the military who have been there and seen some of the Muslims held there. I 'll get you a quote later.

First, christians are still actively seeking to christianize the world

Correct.

(sometimes violently).

Incorrect.

I'd be interested for some evidence for this claim.

Second, the bible tells us to persecute people for their beliefs, in case you didn't know.

Incorrect, again. However, I'd love to see why you believe this is the case.


Kinda vague, but I'll try my best to answer what I think is the spirit of the question. No doubt that islam is incredibly good at promoting violence. At the end of the day though, all of the monotheisms are violent. Just because islam is arguably the most violent doesn't mean that it's bad and the other two are good.

Islam is definitely the worst, and the most threat. I disagree with you when you say that all monotheisms are violent, as per my statement above.

Christianity.

Again, this ties in with some of the comments above.

Helping to over throw tyrannical dictators and continuing a policy of imperialism can be separate things.

You must be thinking of specific examples then, other than the ones I am referring to.

When I have an opinion on something, the odds are incredibly good that I've put a great deal of thought and research into the matter. Otherwise, I tend to admit that I don't know what I'm talking about and/or watch from the side lines.

If you do say so yourself. ;) But sure, I know what you mean.

With respect, by way of comparison, I don't see that your opinions are well supported and there have been times in the past where you've seemed very much unwilling to consider that you might be wrong about something.

However you want to see it. Often, one man's evidence is another man's B.S. :xp:

....well, so to speak. If you get what I mean.

Of course, since I believe in God, and you don't, doubtless many of my opinions will not seem to have much scientific evidence that suits you. It seems to be one of our biggest differences.

I have noticed lately that you've been making an effort to be more open-minded and I think that's very commendable. I hope this feedback is taken in the manner in which is was intended.

Well, if I can't take a compliment.... thanks. :D

I'm just saying that maybe we could still have a decent domestic, non-imperialist military for about $100 billion per year (instead of the other kind at half a trillion dollars per year).

The crux of the matter seems to be that you see us as occupying several other countries with military force and no good reason. I might be able to more thoroughly understand your position if you clarified where you think America is doing this.

Take care.

JediMaster12
01-04-2008, 03:51 PM
If human history shows this, then why is our own American government promoting and practicing it? America is a democracy, which means that the majority rules. Does this also mean that the majority of people in America favor the use of torture?

I could be wrong, but I don't THINK so.
It can't hurt them if they don't know. The only reson it comes to light is because someone makes the effort to get it to the light. Unfortunately with the way how our news media works it will put a spin on things.

As to torture there can be different levels of it. We are familiar with the physical forms of torture. The one that seems to work is the the psychological torture. Sure our soldiers are trained in the Name, Rank, Serial number if they are POWs but the mind is capable of tricking us into believing what we are seeing.
I guess a good example comes from the show Criminal Minds. In one episode the prisoner held at Getmo knew where the home grown terrorists were going to strike. The military struck out with the physical torture. It was Gideon who led him to believe that the days passed enough to get him to reveal the location. He gave it up thinking it happened after the explosion of the bomb. THe mind can to things like that, given the setting, the implications and the fact that stress figures into it.

I am not saying that I advocate the use of torture. Under the constitution it would strike as cruel and unusual punishment. However I don't deny that it exists.

jonathan7
01-04-2008, 08:26 PM
It can't hurt them if they don't know. The only reson it comes to light is because someone makes the effort to get it to the light. Unfortunately with the way how our news media works it will put a spin on things.

Ignorance is NOT an excuse for allowing evil; America is a democracy, quite simply if people cared and picketed enough "Gitmo" would not be allowed; although clearly if Britney Spears is pregnant is more impotant...

I cannot reccommend highly enough with regards this subject Phillip Zimbardo's 'The Lucifer Effect'; in fact I would go so far as saying all Politicians should be forced to read or not be allowed to be elected.

I will him quote again;

"Our usual take on evil focuses on the violent, destructive actions of perpetrators, but the failure to act can also be a form of evil, when helping, dissent, disobedience, or whistle-blowing are required. One of the most critical, least acknowledged contributors to evil goes beyond the protagonists of harm to the silent chorus who look but do not see, who hear but do not listen. Their silent presence at the scene of evil doings makes the hazy line between good and evil even fuzzier. We ask next: Why donít people help? Why donít people act when their aid is needed? Is their passivity a personal defect of callousness, of indifference? Alternatively, are there identifiable social dynamics once again at play?" (From Chapter 13, page 314)

Rob if you really want to carry on our discussion PM me and I will respond, we are very much off topic ;)

Tysyacha
01-04-2008, 09:25 PM
The worst thing about torture is: what distinguishes US from THEM if WE both torture?

(Note: I may have said that before, but I want to pose the question again.)

Achilles
01-04-2008, 09:57 PM
And your point is perfectly valid. However, its hard when half of those goat farmers might be manufacturing bombs and delivering guns to enemy forces, and the other half aren't. Half? Where are you getting your statistics?

And we don't have any way to tell. Some people are going to get unjustly arrested, but since terrorists don't have flashing signs on their back saying "I'm a terrorist", we can't do anything about that. Sure we can. "Due process of law" and "habeas corpus" are two excellent starting points. Currently they don't apply to foreigners, but apparently the "self-evident" truth that "all men are created equal" and other "inaliable rights" only apply to citizens. :dozey:

And as far as I know, the Muslims in question at Gitmo were definitely fanatics/terrorists. "As far as you know" based on what? As you have already acknowledged only one captive has been permitted a trial and no one has been permitted to see the evidence leveled against them or face their accusers. I find it difficult to state anything with any degree of certainty without evidence. If these men were given trials and found guilty then it would be much easier for me to agree with you.

Excuse me - I should have worded that differently. I was referring to some of the military who have been there and seen some of the Muslims held there. I 'll get you a quote later. Sounds good :)

Incorrect.

I'd be interested for some evidence for this claim.
I've already exceeded my "one response" (so much for will power), so this off-topicedness is partially my fault. I'll respond once more and then give you the final word. Subsequent responses will only address the topic.

Ahem...

You should probably put a little bit of effort into researching something before you state that something is "incorrect" out of hand.

You might want to do some digging on religiously motivated hate crime, religiously motivated genocide, and religiously motivated war. Persecution of Jews should by particularly easy subject matter to find. That should get you started.

Incorrect, again. However, I'd love to see why you believe this is the case. You either aren't that familiar with your holy text or are in denial regarding what it says.

Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Revelations are three books that spring immediately to mind, however I know that there are other books that contain intolerant passages as well. I'm not sure how far back you read in this thread (http://lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=181331), but you'll find lots of specifics there as well.

Islam is definitely the worst, and the most threat. I disagree with you when you say that all monotheisms are violent, as per my statement above. And you would be incorrect, as per my statements above/elsewhere. More on cruelty and violence in the bible (http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html).

Again, this ties in with some of the comments above. I repeat myself also.

You must be thinking of specific examples then, other than the ones I am referring to.I wasn't thinking of any examples. I was merely stating that a foreign military power can help an international military force overthrow a tyrannical dictator without turning it into an opportunity to expand their empire. Currently, we don't do that, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. Other countries do it all the time.

However you want to see it. Often, one man's evidence is another man's B.S. :xp: Sometimes evidence is just evidence and BS is just BS. To your point though, I agree that sometimes some people refuse to acknowledge evidence against their position because it makes them uncomfortable. I personally have never seen the benefit in clinging to false beliefs, but the unfortunate reality is that we all have to live the consequences of such thinking.

Of course, since I believe in God, and you don't, doubtless many of my opinions will not seem to have much scientific evidence that suits you. It seems to be one of our biggest differences.I don't think I'd have much of a case for atheism if I relied on scientific evidence because science can't rule out the existence of god. I think the crux of the argument is "how can one believe something for which there is no evidence?". It's not that I choose to be an atheist, it's just that there is no sound arguments for being a theist.

The crux of the matter seems to be that you see us as occupying several other countries with military force and no good reason. I might be able to more thoroughly understand your position if you clarified where you think America is doing this.Each of the countries that host one of the DoD's 766 foreign military installations. I thought that answer would have been obvious.

Take care.You too!

RobQel-Droma
01-05-2008, 12:14 AM
The worst thing about torture is: what distinguishes US from THEM if WE both torture?

I may be splitting hairs here, but first of all, THEY tend to torture for no reason. WE, on the other hand, at least when we do what we're supposed to do, torture because we are trying to save lives.

I think about this sometimes: Yes, torture is wrong in itself. However, just to ask a question (not saying if I believe it or not), what if there was a situation with the following choices? You could either torture an enemy combatant to get necessary information about an upcoming strike against civilians, or not torture that person to keep a "clear conscience" and so lose maybe hundreds of civilian lives. To me, sometimes I wonder if having one person endure physical/mental pain is less of a priority as the lives of hundreds, or even tens.

Half? Where are you getting your statistics?

Where do you get yours? (concerning the population of Muslim goat-herders currently living in the Middle East)

It was an example.

However, I could say this: one-third might make bombs and deliver weapons, one-third might be peaceful herders, and one-third might not do the first but still give info to enemies that could compromise the soldiers there.

To note one relevant issue, what happens if a bunch of those goatherders come up on a group of marines out in enemy territory? They could either let them go and risk letting their position be compromised (since the goat-herders might run to the insurgents), or they could hold them (not likely, since that would probably mean the end of their mission), or they could shoot them (which isn't likely either, since most soldiers - despite some opinions - aren't executioners; I don't think most people would).

So now, those marines lives are in danger. Of course, if they decided to do anything besides the first in that situation, or in any other similar situation where they are unsure of their allies, they would get crucified by the politicians and media. And if they don't, they probably all die.

Granted, you might say that this is not relevant, but I think it is. With all your insistence that these criminal insurgents be treated fairly, I think you forgot the safety of our own Armed Forces.

Sure we can. "Due process of law" and "habeas corpus" are two excellent starting points. Currently they don't apply to foreigners, but apparently the "self-evident" truth that "all men are created equal" and other "inaliable rights" only apply to citizens.

Well, I assume you can do all this by simply looking at them? Or asking the nice terrorists questions? ;)

I think that brings us back to what I said. Since we don't have any kind of assurance who is an enemy, and who isn't, we can't do anything but what we have been doing. In fact, to give them a trial, we have to arrest them, don't we?....

Many soldiers in Iraq address this question - and they are very unhappy about not being able to defend themselves properly. On the battlefield, do you expect soldiers to let the enemy shoot first, just because they are unable to find out who is an enemy (because that enemy does not wear any kind of identifying uniform?)

I find it difficult to state anything with any degree of certainty without evidence. If these men were given trials and found guilty then it would be much easier for me to agree with you.

I often wonder how you expect to identify terrorists. Do all enemy combatants have to be given a trial before you acknowledge that they are? Or are you just going to wait until they shoot you? :dozey:

You might want to do some digging on religiously motivated hate crime, religiously motivated genocide, and religiously motivated war. Persecution of Jews should by particularly easy subject matter to find. That should get you started.

The only time I remember genocide connected with the Jews in in reference to Hitler's Germany, and the Nazis. In fact, that was the first thing that came up on Google. I found no reference to any kind of Christian persecution of others going on right now or recently occuring. It tends to be the other way around - or have you not heard of what Muslims have done to Christians in several recent incidents?

If you were more specific as to which instance(s) you are referencing, that would help.

Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Revelations are three books that spring immediately to mind, however I know that there are other books that contain intolerant passages as well. I'm not sure how far back you read in this thread, but you'll find lots of specifics there as well.

I believe your statement was that the Bible advocates violence. This doesn't prove that. The orders in those books applied several thousand years ago. Not now. In fact, the command is one of love, as I remember. Like I said, its in the new covenant that Jesus laid down in the N.T.

Like I told jonathan7 - I'm not sure how that applies to Christians somehow converting at the point of the sword today, because they aren't.

And you would be incorrect, as per my statements above/elsewhere. More on cruelty and violence in the bible.

I believe that most of the addressed the O.T., which refers to what I said. God ordering Israel to go to war against extremely evil and immoral people.

However, I noticed that the site gave various examples in the N.T. I also noticed that the verses did not seem to record violence committed, but Jesus condemning evil and immorality. I don't remember seeing him cut those peoples heads off, or tell his disciples to kill them.

In fact, in one instance, the "Sons of Thunder" as they were called, tried to get Jesus to call down fire and brimstone on an evil city, but he refused. I think the verse had something to do with not judging people, and showing mercy....

I wasn't thinking of any examples. I was merely stating that a foreign military power can help an international military force overthrow a tyrannical dictator without turning it into an opportunity to expand their empire. Currently, we don't do that, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. Other countries do it all the time.

I don't know of any instance where we "expanded our empire".

I also don't know of these "other countries" doing the opposite.

It's not that I choose to be an atheist, it's just that there is no sound arguments for being a theist.

But as you have said before, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong), that simply having no evidence for something is not that great of a reason to believe the opposite.

Each of the countries that host one of the DoD's 766 foreign military installations. I thought that answer would have been obvious.

I don't see how it is obvious. You seem to think that our military is occupying every country in the world.... which we aren't. I myself find nothing wrong with keeping some kind of military detachment in countries that can threaten national security. Do you have some kind of specific problem with an installation in some country that "shouldn't have one", according to you? Or do you just not want us to have any kind of base in any country?

Thanks for your reply.

Achilles
01-05-2008, 12:48 AM
Where do you get yours? (concerning the population of Muslim goat-herders currently living in the Middle East) I don't recall offering any statistics on the percentage of goat herders in the middle east. Nice try.

It was an example. It didn't sound like an example. It sounded as though you were stating that half of the occupants were bomb makers. Now it sounds as though you wish to distance yourself from that statement, which is fine by me.

However, I could say this: one-third might make bombs and deliver weapons, one-third might be peaceful herders, and one-third might not do the first but still give info to enemies that could compromise the soldiers there. Yep, you could say that. And I could ask where you're getting your stats again. And then you could dodge the question by answering my question with a question again. Or we could just acknowledge that we have no way of knowing under the current policy and then make a decision as to whether we're ok with that or not.

PS: I'm not and it appears that you are.

To note one relevant issue, what happens if a bunch of those goatherders come up on a group of marines out in enemy territory? They could either let them go and risk letting their position be compromised (since the goat-herders might run to the insurgents), or they could hold them (not likely, since that would probably mean the end of their mission), or they could shoot them (which isn't likely either, since most soldiers - despite some opinions - aren't executioners).

So now, those marines lives are in danger. Of course, if they decided to do anything besides the first in that situation, or in any other similar situation where they are unsure of their allies, they would get crucified by the politicians and media. And if they don't, they probably all die. Yep. This would appear to be an inevitable reality of conducting unconventional warfare against a guerrilla force in native terrain. I suppose the options are a) use more nukes b) don't get drawn into these types of conflicts or c) get used to having to deal with crappy situations. I suspect that 'c' is probably the option that we're stuck with.

Well, I assume you can do all this by simply looking at them? Or asking the nice terrorists questions? ;) I'm not sure how one "does" due process or habeas corpus by looking at someone or asking them questions, but sure.

I think that brings us back to what I said. Since we don't have any kind of assurance who is an enemy, and who isn't, we can't do anything but what we have been doing. In fact, to give them a trial, we have to arrest them, don't we?....You appear to be confused, so I'll start over:

Current Process
1) We decide you're an enemy combatant.
2) You go to Gitmo
3) You stay there until...?

Proposed Process
1) We suspect that you're an enemy combatant.
2) You are taken into custody
3) You are given legal counsel, a trial, a chance to see the evidence against you, and the opportunity to face your accusers.
4) If found guilty, you go to Gitmo
5) If found innocent, you go home.

If the Proposed Process sounds familiar, it's because it's the process that was developed by the Framers when they decided that they didn't want to create a government that simply threw people into prison indefinitely without charge or trial.

So your argument falls flat. We already arrest them. We already send them to prison. We just don't do the part where we try to find out if they're actually guilty of anything first. The fact that our country is doing this and that our laws don't prohibit them from doing it to us should be enough to shock you out of your apathy.

Many soldiers in Iraq address this question - and they are very unhappy about not being able to defend themselves properly. I'm not sure what this means.

On the battlefield, do you expect soldiers to let the enemy shoot first, just because they are unable to find out who is an enemy (because that enemy does not wear any kind of identifying uniform?) I politely decline your invitation to comment. The last time you and I had this discussion, it was shut down by moderators. My answer hasn't changed since that thread, so you want my response, you know where to find it.

I often wonder how you expect to identify terrorists.I suspect via a process very similar to the one we have now, albeit with additional steps that help ensure the accused is actually a terrorist before throwing them in prison.

Do all enemy combatants have to be given a trial before you acknowledge that they are? Yep, that's what "due process of law" and "habeas corpus" mean. :D

Or are you just going to wait until they shoot you? :dozey:I could be shot by lots of different types of criminals. I don't suppose I understand why I should fear a terrorist bullet more than a crazy drug fiend bullet.

Thanks for reading :)

Rev7
01-05-2008, 01:34 AM
But as you have said before, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong), that simply having no evidence for something is not that great of a reason to believe the opposite.
It is called having faith. :)

RobQel-Droma
01-05-2008, 06:20 PM
^^^
Sadly, faith seems to be looked down upon by several people here.

I don't recall offering any statistics on the percentage of goat herders in the middle east. Nice try.

The only reason I said this was because you made an earlier statement about not knowing who were insurgents and who were peaceful goat-herders. I think you are taking my example a little too literally. Put whatever numbers you want in there - or I could make it extremely vague: some might be bomb-makers, some might be peaceful goat-herders, and some might carry intel to insurgents.

But my point was, and still stands, that there are going to be some of each. And we can't easily distinguish them.

It didn't sound like an example. It sounded as though you were stating that half of the occupants were bomb makers. Now it sounds as though you wish to distance yourself from that statement, which is fine by me.

I acknowledge that that is how you interpreted my comment.

Usually "might" is not a word I would use when definitively stating statistics, either. :xp:

Yep, you could say that. And I could ask where you're getting your stats again. And then you could dodge the question by answering my question with a question again. Or we could just acknowledge that we have no way of knowing under the current policy and then make a decision as to whether we're ok with that or not.

Lol - coming from the man who has given me many interesting "answers" to some of the questions I asked him. But since that is completely off-topic, lets move on.

However, you don't seem to be ok with not knowing. At least, your solution appears to be "not be in the situation at the first place", so we don't even face the uncertainty. Whatever we do, though (IMO), we are going to run up against this situation if we stay there. And since I think we have good reasons for being in Iraq, we're going to have to deal with it. My problem is that our soldiers seem to be hogtied from taking appropriate means to defend themselves by the mindset of "due process of law" (not saying that due process of law is bad - its good). But we're at war, right?

Yep. This would appear to be an inevitable reality of conducting unconventional warfare against a guerrilla force in native terrain. I suppose the options are a) use more nukes b) don't get drawn into these types of conflicts or c) get used to having to deal with crappy situations. I suspect that 'c' is probably the option that we're stuck with.

This pretty much falls in line with what I said above. A is rather unconsiderate of civilians, B is not an option (especially since we can't control if terrorists fly planes into buildings), so C is what we're going to have to do.

I'm not sure how one "does" due process or habeas corpus by looking at someone or asking them questions, but sure.

Neither am I. I apologize, though - I appear to have been unsure of what exactly you proposed to do, which you explained below, so disregard this.

Current Process
1) We decide you're an enemy combatant.
2) You go to Gitmo
3) You stay there until...?

Proposed Process
1) We suspect that you're an enemy combatant.
2) You are taken into custody
3) You are given legal counsel, a trial, a chance to see the evidence against you, and the opportunity to face your accusers.
4) If found guilty, you go to Gitmo
5) If found innocent, you go home.

Good system. I have nothing wrong with it. Of course, if an enemy combatant happens to not be in the mood to face trial, I hope you don't mind if our soldiers don't hesitate to take action against that combatant (even if they are unsure of his status) for their own safety.

So your argument falls flat. We already arrest them. We already send them to prison. We just don't do the part where we try to find out if they're actually guilty of anything first. The fact that our country is doing this and that our laws don't prohibit them from doing it to us should be enough to shock you out of your apathy.

In repeating myself, I was merely unsure of what exactly you weren't ok with in our system.

I politely decline your invitation to comment. The last time you and I had this discussion, it was shut down by moderators. My answer hasn't changed since that thread, so you want my response, you know where to find it.

Fair enough.

I suspect via a process very similar to the one we have now, albeit with additional steps that help ensure the accused is actually a terrorist before throwing them in prison.

Which brings me back to my point - we don't have a crystal ball that tells us if they are or not. If there's a possibility they are, we have to take action; or risk the lives of our soldiers.

I could be shot by lots of different types of criminals. I don't suppose I understand why I should fear a terrorist bullet more than a crazy drug fiend bullet.

Just a thought... we're at war. This isn't the police rounding up "drug fiends" (to use your example), this is soldiers out there fighting against insurgents. For goat-herders that possibly could be aiding the enemy? Yes, your process works very good if carried out. For enemy combatants who could very well be planning to attack an American position?.... Well, I would consider soldiers protecting themselves more important than making sure the terrorist gets his trial and due process of law. I would think that is how war works.

Thanks for your response. ;)

Rev7
01-05-2008, 09:27 PM
Sadly, faith seems to be looked down upon by several people here.
As I have discovered in previous threads....

Just a thought... we're at war. This isn't the police rounding up "drug fiends" (to use your example), this is soldiers out there fighting against insurgents. For goat-herders that possibly could be aiding the enemy? Yes, your process works very good if carried out. For enemy combatants who could very well be planning to attack an American position?.... Well, I would consider soldiers protecting themselves more important than making sure the terrorist gets his trial and due process of law. I would think that is how war works.It depends on the situation, IMO.

Achilles
01-06-2008, 12:59 AM
Sadly, faith seems to be looked down upon by several people here. Not just here :D

The only reason I said this was because you made an earlier statement about not knowing who were insurgents and who were peaceful goat-herders. I think the statement was "or they could be goat farmers" (emphasis added), not that they were. I hope that helps.

I think you are taking my example a little too literally. Not sure how one would figuratively interpret something quantitative like "half", but ok.

Put whatever numbers you want in there - or I could make it extremely vague: some might be bomb-makers, some might be peaceful goat-herders, and some might carry intel to insurgents. This seems like a very reasonable statement to make.

But my point was, and still stands, that there are going to be some of each. And we can't easily distinguish them.Agreed.

Usually "might" is not a word I would use when definitively stating statistics, either. :xp: What about "half"? :xp:

However, you don't seem to be ok with not knowing.Since I stated that I wasn't ok with not knowing, I don't think we have to say that it seems that way :)

At least, your solution appears to be "not be in the situation at the first place", so we don't even face the uncertainty.That's the position I would tend to advocate, yes.

Whatever we do, though (IMO), we are going to run up against this situation if we stay there.I agree.

And since I think we have good reasons for being in Iraq, we're going to have to deal with it.Yes, so long as our government continues to share your opinion. Hopefully, we're only 379 days away from that no longer being the case.

My problem is that our soldiers seem to be hogtied from taking appropriate means to defend themselves by the mindset of "due process of law" (not saying that due process of law is bad - its good).Since due process isn't currently applied (here or there) I can't imagine why you would think this is the case. Our soldiers are "hogtied" because insurgents don't wear uniforms or hold rank in an established military, therefore "the bad guys" look just like "the good guys". This gives them a strategic advantage, right up until the point we decide to just kill everyone and let god (or allah...or nobody) sort it out.

But we're at war, right?I think the adage says that means that everything's fair.

This pretty much falls in line with what I said above. A is rather unconsiderate of civilians, B is not an option (especially since we can't control if terrorists fly planes into buildings), so C is what we're going to have to do. Based on your statements, I find it odd that you would factor in consideration for civilians. This is the group in which anyone can be a terrorist, remember? Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Good system. I have nothing wrong with it. Of course, if an enemy combatant happens to not be in the mood to face trial, I hope you don't mind if our soldiers don't hesitate to take action against that combatant (even if they are unsure of his status) for their own safety.First, trial isn't something you decide to face. You go no matter what. You can plead guilty or refuse to offer a defense, but you don't get to opt out of your trial. Second, combat has nothing to do with due process. If someone is shooting at you, you shoot back with the intent to kill them before they kill you. Due process is for all the people that get rounded up after a battle or on suspicion of being enemy combatants.

In repeating myself, I was merely unsure of what exactly you weren't ok with in our system.I'm not ok with the fact our gov't thinks it's perfectly acceptable to throw people in jail without a trial. It very much flies in the face of damn near everything this country is supposed to stand for. Mostly because it makes us exactly like the oppressive governments we fought against for our freedom 200+ years ago and exactly like the oppressive governments that we presume to pass judgment on today.

Which brings me back to my point - we don't have a crystal ball that tells us if they are or not. If there's a possibility they are, we have to take action; or risk the lives of our soldiers. See previous comment re: consideration for civilians.

Just a thought... we're at war. This isn't the police rounding up "drug fiends" (to use your example), this is soldiers out there fighting against insurgents. And? I'm still not sure how this counters what I said. The "War on Terror" trumps the "War on Drugs"? If homeless people start carrying weapons, then I'll duly add the "War on Poverty" to the list of possible things my possible death could be considered collateral damage for. In the mean time, I'll let others fear "War on [insert abstract concept du jour]" while I continue to fear bullets shot by crazy people with guns.

For goat-herders that possibly could be aiding the enemy? Yes, your process works very good if carried out. For enemy combatants who could very well be planning to attack an American position?.... And your earlier argument that we can't tell friend from foe? Do you only remember that's the case when it works for your argument? I remember it all the time.

You seem to think that all these "enemy combatants" were rounded up on a battlefield somewhere with guns in their hands. I suggest you actually sit down and read the military commissions act and disillusion yourself of this falsehood as quickly as possible.

Well, I would consider soldiers protecting themselves more important than making sure the terrorist gets his trial and due process of law. I would think that is how war works. Yeah, I think that's how war works too. I think you're still fuzzy on how due process and habeas corpus work though. If it helps, try to think of it as "what happens during fighting" and "what happens when not fighting". "During fighting" people shoot guns at one another. "Not fighting" people try to find out if people are guilty of things other people say that they've done (which is pretty easy to establish of said defendant was actually captured while fighting). I don't think anyone is advocating that we starting calling "time out" during the middle of a firefight to set up a court trial (complete with a judge, jury, witnesses, etc). I really thought my step-by-step break down of the process in our last exchange would have cleared this up, but hopefully this helps as well.

Thanks for your response. ;)My pleasure. Take care.

Dagobahn Eagle
01-06-2008, 04:08 AM
Look, put this into perspective. Even the worst serial murderers and rapists in the States get free trials. There are tens of thousands of murders in the States every year (as opposed to zero deaths from terrorism each year), and yet murderers get free trials, lawyers, and the right to go free if found innocent by the court. Do you support torture for people who are suspected for participation in robbery, murders, serial murders, hostage-taking, etc., too? These people kill far more Americans each year than the terrorists ever can.

Yes, a goat-herder from Afghanistan could be a bomb-making terrorist-in-training. Just like a burger-flipper from Bronx could very well be a drug-producing, raping psychopath planning to shoot up the hood with his gang just for the sheer sick pleasure of it. Yet no one's saying that if we arrest a burger-flipper from Bronx because we suspect he knows something about, say, the brutal bank robbery downtown that left seven dead, he should be subjected to torture and indefinite detainment. But after all, how do we know that the gangsta we let go today may not shoot up his high school tomorrow? Or rob a bank? Or go on a rape spree? Or, Heck, blow up a police car with an IED? In your neighborhood?

Murderers do not wear uniforms. They hide among their fellow civilians. We can't tell a murderer from a peaceful citizen. We still manage to deal with them just fine without torturing them. Nobody sent Cho's family to Gitmo after he shot up his school, did they?

My problem is that our soldiers seem to be hogtied from taking appropriate means to defend themselves by the mindset of "due process of law" (not saying that due process of law is bad - its good). But we're at war, right?Just like SWAT teams storming a building with a hostage situation risk their lives because they don't just gas the place, like the Russians did when one of their theatres were taken over by Chechen rebels. Just like police in High Schools risk getting shot because they don't just expel all the students with mental problems (any one of them could be planning to shoot up the school, remember?).

Tommycat
01-06-2008, 04:47 AM
Well not to advocate torture, but DE, your analogy tends to fall apart in that murderers are singular entities with limited scope, as opposed to terrorist groups(like Al Queda) which have a stated objective of attacking the west. Gang members are closer, but still are not an organized militant group bent on the destruction of our culture. Terrorists have a network of people working toward a goal of killing us. There is a lot of information coming out of Gitmo, that you are not privy to. And rightly so, you don't want the enemy to know that we don't know they don't know that we know about what they know. This information may be used to coordinate attacks in such a way as to reduce the possibility of non-militants getting involved. Nothing sells the terrorist side more than innocent victims.

Dagobahn Eagle
01-06-2008, 05:26 AM
Well not to advocate torture, but DE, your analogy tends to fall apart in that murderers are singular entities with limited scope, as opposed to terrorist groups(like Al Queda) which have a stated objective of attacking the west.Lots of terrorists act on their own. Was Timothy McVeigh part of a terrorist network?

Gang members are closer, but still are not an organized militant group bent on the destruction of our culture.Does that matter? What if all the terrorists were Hell-bent on destroying the States the way Joshua slaughtered Jericho, while huge coast-to-coast gangs 'only' want to strike it rich? The former still does far less damage to the States.

Terrorists have a network of people working toward a goal of killing us.And gangs have networks of people working towards a goal of robbing you blind, raping your sister, and enslaving you to monthly 'protection' payments. And even in a high-income neighborhood, I believe you still have a higher chance of a random thief or Bubba's thugs walking into your house to do you ill than of Ali Muhammad Haffa from Afghanistan crawling through your window with his turban and anthrax-laced sabre.

There is a lot of information coming out of Gitmo, that you are not privy to.As Achilles said, how on Earth do you know how efficient Gitmo is being? Are you privy to this information?

Nothing sells the terrorist side more than innocent victims.I so strongly agree, which is one of the reasons why I argue so strongly for shutting Gitmo the Heck down.

Many official speeches regarding operations in Guantanamo have also stated the same thing. I remember Rumsfeld even alluding to this several times.You couldn't find a more biased source?

Tommycat
01-06-2008, 05:38 AM
As far as how I know what I know, I can only say that I know. I'll leave it at that. You can either believe me or not, it makes no difference to me. I know that Gitmo is more effective than it is given credit for.

Timothy McVeigh was a singular entity, yes, but he was basically the leader, the insurgent, and the whole command structure. So if we can capture the whole of the terrorist network, then yeah that works.

As far as gang members are concerned, you won't get any sympathy from me about them. I would just assume treat them the same way as we treat terrorists.

Meh you want an official source that that has access to top secret information that can be revealed to the world? And it has to be unbiassed? Whatever. You can go to the CIA and request an official statement regarding Guantanamo, and it's effectiveness.

Achilles
01-06-2008, 12:22 PM
Well considering I said it was information you are not privy to, I don't see it as a backpedal. If you want an official answer, please direct all inquiries to the CIA. Many official speeches regarding operations in Guantanamo have also stated the same thing. I remember Rumsfeld even alluding to this several times. So no, no backpedaling.Oh, so you don't have access to it either? Then you don't know. You're simply taking an administration known for lying at their word.

As far as how I know what I know, I can only say that I know. I'll leave it at that. You can either believe me or not, it makes no difference to me. I know that Gitmo is more effective than it is given credit for. You don't know, you believe. Big difference.

Timothy McVeigh was a singular entity, yes, but he was basically the leader, the insurgent, and the whole command structure. So if we can capture the whole of the terrorist network, then yeah that works.Emphasis on "if". Too bad we have no way of knowing how effective Gitmo is because we have no transparency.

Not to mention the fact that going into other people's countries and abducting their citizens, transferring them to "black" prisons to be tortured, then to Gitmo for indefinite detention is actually creating terrorists (i.e. the incredibly pissed off family members back home), I don't see how the policy is capable of accomplishing what you think it is.

Meh you want an official source that that has access to top secret information that can be revealed to the world? And it has to be unbiassed? Whatever. You can go to the CIA and request an official statement regarding Guantanamo, and it's effectiveness.You made the statement, sir. The onus is on you to either back it up or admit that you can't, not on us to do your legwork for you. You said there is a lot of information coming out of Gitmo. Please support your statement with evidence. Thanks.

Rev7
01-06-2008, 02:29 PM
These people kill far more Americans each year than the terrorists ever can.
Well, as of the moment that is true. Terrorists could kill a lot more if they had the chance to. The terrorists that we in America, and all over the world, are up against kill for a different reason, I guess you could say. They want to kill us because the just hate us, and want the world to be Muslim. Most murders do happen because one person hates another one and kills him/her. There is a different effect. I am not saying that someone that is murdered, doesn't wound the family and friends greatly, there is just a different effect. After 9-11, America was changed, we went to war once again, defense was upped, security at airports was upped, along with many other things. This has changed America. They just have different effects.

Tommycat
01-06-2008, 09:14 PM
Oh, so you don't have access to it either? Then you don't know. You're simply taking an administration known for lying at their word.

You don't know, you believe. Big difference.

No, you want to think it's belief because I can't be more specific. That's fine.

Emphasis on "if". Too bad we have no way of knowing how effective Gitmo is because we have no transparency.
Gosh, we're not being transparent about information that is classified as SCI and compromising national security for your warm fuzzies. How will I ever live with myself?

Not to mention the fact that going into other people's countries and abducting their citizens, transferring them to "black" prisons to be tortured, then to Gitmo for indefinite detention is actually creating terrorists (i.e. the incredibly pissed off family members back home), I don't see how the policy is capable of accomplishing what you think it is.
Sure, think what you want. Believe what you want from your biased sources.

You made the statement, sir. The onus is on you to either back it up or admit that you can't, not on us to do your legwork for you. You said there is a lot of information coming out of Gitmo. Please support your statement with evidence. Thanks.
Meh I'm not allowed by contract to divulge any information outside of official statements. Since the official statements have been made by the administration, I can only reference you to their statements. If you want confirmation that the statements are accurate, you can make note that even the democrats(at least those with access to that information) aren't stating that there is not a lot of information coming out of Gitmo. Their primary concern(and rightly so, both moral and accuracy concerns) is whether we are using torture to gain that information.

Samuel Dravis
01-06-2008, 09:24 PM
No, you want to think it's belief because I can't be more specific. That's fine.Well, if you knew the claim wouldn't have any value then why did you bring it up? Whether it's true or not, not being able to back it up with evidence makes it effectively an opinion.

Dagobahn Eagle
01-07-2008, 12:12 AM
Well, as of the moment that is true. Terrorists could kill a lot more if they had the chance to.So could gangs. So could American terrorists (abortion clinic bombers, PETA fanatics who put animal testing sites on fire, etc.).

The terrorists that we in America, and all over the world, are up against kill for a different reason, I guess you could say.Yup. The Russians fight the Chechnyans (with brutal, horrific methods) because they're dead set against the Chechen ethnic group getting their own homeland the way Israel did. The Middle Easterners fight the Kurds (likewise with inhuman means) for the same reason - that they don't want to - God forbid - give Kurdish land back to the Kurds. The US occupies Iraq (detaining and torturing people without trial) because Iraq has oil they didn't want to give to the US. Wonderful causes, those, and wonderful ways to carry them out. Truly. Where do I sign up to become a War on Terror stormtrooper?

They want to kill us because the just hate us, and want the world to be Muslim.All the terrorists, eh? I've never heard a single Chechen rebel, Kurd, PETA member, IRA member, or for that matter Middle Eastern terrorist, to say he's doing what he's doing because he hates America and wants the world to be Muslim.

Look, it's starting to really get on my nerves how the GOP has made it so that oppressive regimes are able to just slap the label 'terrorist' on the opposition and have people like you automatically support them. It's an incredibly naÔve stance of you to take. I don't like the terrorist tactics (which is one of the reasons I dislike Gitmo), but to just classify them as evil because of their methods, or, even worse, because of a name they've been given by the people fighting them, is absurd to the extreme.

In short, you can dislike taking hostages, torturing, and killing civilians all you want. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't support the idea of Chechen and Kurdish homelands.

Most murders do happen because one person hates another one and kills him/her. There is a different effect. I am not saying that someone that is murdered, doesn't wound the family and friends greatly, there is just a different effect. After 9-11, America was changed, we went to war once again, defense was upped, security at airports was upped, along with many other things. This has changed America. They just have different effects.But is it a good one? No.

No, you want to think it's belief because I can't be more specific. That's fine. Strawman argument. We look at it as belief because you can't produce evidence otherwise. Just like you would take it as belief if I said there's no info coming out of Gitmo, but that I couldn't prove and had no way to know.

Gosh, we're not being transparent about information that is classified as SCI and compromising national security for your warm fuzzies. How will I ever live with myself?You know what compromises national security? Your blind trust of your leaders. Your support of something as barbaric as torture.

Sure, think what you want. Believe what you want from your biased sources. Nice try.

Meh I'm not allowed by contract to divulge any information outside of official statements.Again, what do you work as? Can you prove you have this employment? Can you prove you have security clearance?

Since the official statements have been made by the administration, I can only reference you to their statements.Listen closely now. Of course the people who created and support the torture at Gitmo will say it works fine. This goes without saying. Any politician who supports something will advocate it. Especially when he or she is a known liar. Do you take Communists on their word when they say Communism is the best thing since sliced bread? Do you blindly accept statements from Chinese mining corporations that their mines are safe? Do you take Putin at his word when he says Russian elections are not rigged? Let's shut down the Red Cross, Amnesty, and the UN election inspectors worldwide, then, and just ask the politicians how they're behaving. Would save a lot of people a lot of money, that's for sure:).

Whatever. Fine, but at least I have the administration backing up my claimLike they backed up their claims on WMDs in Iraq (I assume you've never read the Downing Street Memo)? Got'cha.

[...] and they are the ones who have been able to make the official statements.Sadly. Your side has....I, for one, have the statements made by the Red Cross inspectors visiting the facility. I have statements from former Gitmo guards and detainees, such as those depicted in The Road to Guantanamo. I have Amnesty reports. I have studies and reports on the inefficiency of torture, and its psychological effect on the torturer - I can refer you to the Stanford Prison Experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment) as but one example.

These sources tell me torture is going on at Gitmo, and that torture does not work.

Achilles
01-07-2008, 12:22 AM
These sources tell me torture is going on at Gitmo, and that torture does not work.If not at Gitmo then at one of the many black sites (aka secret prisons) operated by the CIA around the world.

Dagobahn Eagle
01-07-2008, 12:27 AM
Forgot about those. Sorry.

Tommycat
01-07-2008, 12:42 AM
Hmmm DE, I don't believe I have ever said that I support torture(please point out the post where I said I support torture). In fact quite the opposite. It is a poor method of retrieving useful information. I was merely pointing out that there is a difference between the crimes you specified as opposed to organized terror groups.

~snip~

Jae Onasi
01-07-2008, 08:22 AM
I've received reports about this thread, and it's closed until one of us moderators has time to evaluate this more completely.

Rogue Nine
01-07-2008, 10:02 AM
Guys, let's keep the discussion to the topic at hand, please. No more discussion on people's personal lives or what not. If you really want to bother each other with such trifles, then please keep it to PM.

I'm reopening, but any off-topic nonsense will be summarily deleted.

Aeroldoth
01-08-2008, 06:32 AM
They want to kill us because the just hate us, and want the world to be Muslim.
Can you elaborate on this? You made this comment in passing so I'd like to understand if this was just an off-the-cuff remark or something that has deeper roots in your belief system.

What do you believe motivates these terrorists (or any terrorists for that matter)? Do you believe they hate us for no reason? Do they hate us for our freedoms?

Rev7
01-08-2008, 07:01 PM
Can you elaborate on this? You made this comment in passing so I'd like to understand if this was just an off-the-cuff remark or something that has deeper roots in your belief system.

What do you believe motivates these terrorists (or any terrorists for that matter)? Do you believe they hate us for no reason? Do they hate us for our freedoms?
I am very sorry that I didn't elaborate, and I will do my best in the future to do so.

Okay, I was talking about extreme islamists. They have declared war on America. They want the world to be Muslim. I repeat, The Extreme Islamists. I don't know why these terrorists, the ones that I an refering to, hate us. It could be because we are not a Muslim country, we are too opened. It could literally be anything. It could be because of our freedoms, and them not accepting that. As I said before, I am extremely sorry for not elaborating. Thanks.

-Rev

Aeroldoth
01-08-2008, 09:34 PM
Good Gravy! Why are you apologising? I wasn't attacking or criticising you, just curious as to what you believed. You have no need to apologise.

I read DE's response to you on the subject, and while I agree with his anger towards this administration's handling and portrayal of things, I wasn't so clear on what your position was. I simply wondered to what extent you accepted what the admin was saying about them.

Rev7
01-10-2008, 01:18 AM
I was mainly apologising because I think that people, who happen to be Muslim, could have taken it the wrong way. I personally don't know who is Muslim and who is not, but I would rather be safe than sorry. :) I know that you weren't 'attacking me' or anything, I should really be more careful with what I say.

mur'phon
01-10-2008, 05:04 AM
I don't know why these terrorists, the ones that I an refering to, hate us. It could be because we are not a Muslim country, we are too opened. It could literally be anything. It could be because of our freedoms, and them not accepting that.

Personally I believe it has more to do with military bases, U.S "bullying", military strikes etc, than any freedoms, otherwise they would replace the "great satan" with an axis of evil of their own.

Achilles
01-10-2008, 06:56 AM
Personally I believe it has more to do with military bases, U.S "bullying", military strikes etc, than any freedoms, otherwise they would replace the "great satan" with an axis of evil of their own.Indeed. If the cause of aggression against the U.S. was jealousy over our "freedom" as we've been asked to believe, we'd see attacks in Canada, France, Germany, etc. All Western democracies would be potential targets. Instead what we see are acts of terrorism against countries that have participated in meddling in Middle Eastern affairs. If they say they hate us because we've put permanent military bases on their holy land, interfered with their governments, and killed their innocents, AND ALL THOSE THINGS ARE TRUE, then I don't understand why it is that we shouldn't believe them. It certainly makes more sense than trying to swallow the fabricated reason that doesn't make any sense at all.

Darth Manus
01-10-2008, 04:53 PM
This so-called war on terror has blurred the lines between good and evil and exposed some people for who they really are. Right now we have terrorism carried out by fanatics and state terrorism. People who would seem normal and even likable outside the military turn out to be subjecting other human beings to untold tortures. In seeking to combat their enemies, the participants in this so-called war on terror are becoming like the terrorists themselves.
And while corporate greed keeps the gears of the war machine turning, with the support of fanatics who would gladly burn every Muslim at the stake, America alienates friends and allies, hate spreads across the world, young people on both sides are taught to hate and kill, spurred by injustices and lured by promises of glory or revenge... and humanity shows a face that has always been there but wasn't so widely exposed since World War II or Vietnam.
As for torture, it is ridiculous to think it can ever be a viable information gathering tool, barbaric that some would even consider or advocate it and blatant that like so many things it becomes an end in itself. Torture for its own sake, for the torturer's amusement. The labels are irrelevant. Enemy combatants, infidels, terrorists, imperialists, those are just words that some use to dehumanize others and make it seem like it's all right to do with them as you please, since we're us and they're them.

Note that I am not taking sides. In my eyes and heart, they are both guilty and damned. I just feel sorry for the innocent people who get caught in the middle.