February 3, 2012

Another Honor Killing That Isn't About Honor, And Even Less About Nietzsche

honor killing canada.jpg
what a shame



KINGSTON, Ontario -- A jury on Sunday found three members of an Afghan family guilty of killing three teenage sisters and another woman in what the judge described as "cold-blooded, shameful murders" resulting from a "twisted concept of honor," ending a case that shocked and riveted Canadians.

Another killing that involves the words, "Muslim", "family", "daughters", "honor."  And "Canada."  Yikes.  Do you really need the details? You do if you want to get it right.  Otherwise, feel free to call it an honor killing and get booked on the Glenn Beck Show and Al-Jazeera on the same day.

[Canadian] Defense lawyers said the deaths were accidental. They said the Nissan car accidentally plunged into the canal after the eldest daughter, Zainab, took it for a joy ride with her sisters and her father's first wife. [The son] Hamed said he watched the accident, although he didn't call police from the scene.

The trouble is that Hamed watched the accident from inside a Lexus SUV that happened to be pushing the Nissan into the canal.  Don't worry, the four women were dead long before they got in the Nissan for their joy ride. The prosecution contends the dad and the son conspired to do this, but of course prosecutors hate men of color.

In order for this to be an honor killing in the traditional sense-- note the words honor and traditional-- the purpose of the killing has to be to remove shame from the family.  In this logic, an honor killing is not simply punitive but a selfless act, because it puts the murderer at risk of punishment (and grief) so that his descendants may live with honor.   It is for the sons so that they can grow up and marry without carrying the shame of their mother or sister's actions; for the surviving daughters so they won't be thought of as whores like their sister.

So this would make perfect sense:

Prosecutors said the defendants killed the three teenage sisters because they felt they had dishonoured the family by defying its strict rules on dress, dating, socialising and using the internet.

The problem is that this isn't why the women were killed, it is the post-hoc rationalization for why they were killed.

II. 
 

The prosecution said her parents found condoms in [younger daughter] Sahar's room as well as photos of her wearing short skirts and hugging her Christian boyfriend, a relationship she had kept secret. [Youngest daughter] Geeti was skipping school, failing classes, being sent home for wearing revealing clothes and stealing, while declaring to authority figures that she wanted to be placed in foster care, according to the prosecution.



shafia daughters.jpg


The daughters had been dressing western, dating, using the internet and disrespecting their old man [and brother] for a very long time-- across three Western countries-- without ever being murdered, not even once.  The father didn't like these things, thought them abhorrent, beat the girls, but did not kill them.  During all this, this honorable dad had no problem resigning his son to the fate of "brother of sluts", he wasn't worried his other daughters would be the "sisters of whores"-- or become corrupted themselves; nor did he appear mortally wounded by being the father of harlots.  

In other words, this had nothing to do with honor.  Why did this murder happen when it did?

III.

First, let's dispense with the religion:  "He was not religious as some have said. I never saw him do prayer."  You will observe a ubiquitous lack of religiosity in North American "honor killings" up until they are actually committed.  Suddenly everyone finds God.  That's the history of America: come here for the freedom; stay for the cash; and if things get hairy say only God can judge you.

What's necessary for this kind of a murder isn't a surrounding community that supports honor killings-- where in Canada are they going to live before some Molsen swilling hockey enforcer runs them down?-- but a group of people who validate that some behaviors are shameful; again, even if they abhor honor killings themselves.  In other words, someone to crowdsource the superego.  "I don't condone what he did, but I understand."

The family had first moved to Australia, where he would not have been able to commit this crime because:

[The father]Shafia did not appreciate the local Afghan women's support group reaching out to his wives.

These Australian Afghan women were supporting the women, not him.  His wives were being "seen" by enough people as individuals, more than a reflection on him. So he left.  When he got to Canada, he found this:  

Despite the overwhelming evidence presented at trial, some in Montreal's Afghan community have trouble accepting that the deaths were murder. "The parents were building a house for the sake of their children. How could they go and kill them?" asked Victoria Jahesh, who works with an Afghan women's group in Montreal.
The key difference is that even while the Canadian group would never condone honor killings,  the family is still viewed as his family, the women as his wives, etc.   He (to them) remains the main character, it's his movie, everyone else supporting cast.   I'm sure the group thought they were supporting the women in various ways, but the manner in which they understood the world-- for brevity let's just call it in this case patriarchal-- reinforced the very problems they thought they were alleviating.  "A father loves his daughters," they would say.  Yes, that's obvious.


IV.



"There can be no betrayal, no treachery, no violation more than this," Shafia said on one recording. "Even if they hoist me up onto the gallows ... nothing is more dear to me than my honour."

What could possibly have been so terrible?  Such a betrayal?  She had already had sex, lots of sex, condoms in her drawer in her parents house sex.  Isn't that dishonorable enough?

No.  What got her killed was this: she got married.

In the spring of 2009, Mr. Hyderi learned that [oldest daughter] Zainab was to marry her boyfriend [a Pakastani-Canadian]... The marriage to the boyfriend was annulled after one day, and another plan was hatched for Zainab to marry Mr. Hyderi's younger brother. But before that could happen, the Shafias set off on a summer road trip....

You know what happens next.


Marriage is freedom (weird, I know.) Marriage means she belongs to another man, he has no power over her-- unless she marries an approved castmember.  And if she gets married to an outsider, then the next thing you know all the daughters get married, and he is left.......



V.

I can understand (read: smell it from a mile away) the motivation of the father for killing his family, but in order for the son to have cooperated with this madness his father must have convinced him that what he was doing was right even though he himself knew it was wrong.  From a theological perspective, that sin is worse than murdering his daughters, because he did the "devil's work" and corrupted his son's soul, pretending it was God's will. 

When Nietzsche said "God is dead" he meant that God is not necessary for our morality anymore.  When he says we killed God, he means that our science, skepticism, education, have pushed us past the point where believing in miracles is possible; but as a consequence of this loss we are lost, have no goals, no aspirations, no values.  God was made up, but he gave us a reason to progress.

The resulting nihilism requires us to either despair, return back to medieval religion, or look deeper within us and find a new source of human values.

Yet... none of those things happened.

The post-modern twist is that we didn't kill God after all: we enslaved him. Instead of completely abandoning God or taking a leap of faith back to the "mystery" of God; instead of those opposite choices, God has been kept around as a manservant to the Id.  We accept a "morality" exists but secretly retain the right of exception: "yes, but in this case..." 

Atheists do this just as much but pretend they also don't believe in "God".  "Murder is wrong, but in this case...."  But of course they're not referring to the penal code, but to an abstract wrongness that they rationalize as coming from shared collective values or humanist principles or economics or energy or whatever.  It's still god,  it's a God behind the "God", something bigger, something that preserves the individual's ability to appeal to the symbolic.

"...but in this case..." Those words presuppose an even higher law than the one that says, "thou shalt not."  That God-- which isn't a spiritual God at all but a voice in your head-- the one that examines things on a case by case basis, always rules in favor of the individual, which is why he was kept around.

But the crucial mistake is to assume that the retention of this enslaved God is for the purpose of justifying one's behavior, to assuage the superego.  That same absolution could have been obtained from a traditional Christianity, "God, I'm sorry I committed adultery, I really enjoyed it and can't undo that, but I am sorry and I'll try not to do it again." Clearly, Christianity hasn't prevented people from acting on their impulses; nor have atheists emptied the Viagra supplies.

The absence of guilt is not the result of the justification, it precedes the justification.  Like a dream that incorporates a real life ringing telephone into it seemingly before the phone actually rings, the absence of guilt hastily creates an explanation for its absence that preserves the symbolic morality: I don't feel any guilt............................... 

.......because in this case...


VI.

But no one likes to see the consequences of abstract philosophy played out in a submerged Nissan, so I'll just offer you some advice.  Rageful narcissists are the most violent not when they are insulted or attacked or hated but when they are abandoned to objective reality, the one that doesn't comply with their mirroring demands.  Such a person invariably is backed by an enslaved God, which means all things are possible.

If you do manage to leave, don't look back.


http://twitter.com/thelastpsych










Comments

It's Molson dammit!... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 11:18 AM | Posted by Jason: | Reply

It's Molson dammit!

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Right, what a lie. It total... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 11:39 AM | Posted by Caroline: | Reply

Right, what a lie. It totally makes sense that he would off his daughters for leaving *him* and living their own lives and acting like all his teachings did not matter (which they didn't). I wonder, does he know that he did it because of this, or does he believe his own justification to some extent ("I'm dong this for Islam").

The closing remark of this piece of writing is just perfect.

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Having never visited a nati... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 12:37 PM | Posted by Marco Polo: | Reply

Having never visited a nation where this kind of behavior is allowed, I wonder how they handle it. Do they just act like nothing happened? A few girls who used to be here are no longer? Courts? Media? Mosque mass for the dead? Lost and found ad in Craigslist? Lionization of the bloody-handed?

If little if anything happens, that would lead to questions about the cultivation, frequency, and persistence of narcissism in native Moslem cultures.

Here I was thinking narcissism was a product of WASPY, shallow, over-indulged, capitalist, Great Satan consumerism. Are there different skeins of the disorder?

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Marco Polo,I bet y... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 12:53 PM | Posted by Cosine: | Reply

Marco Polo,

I bet you have visited a nation where a similar kind of behavior is allowed - young people killed by people close to them without public outcry. But of course you don't think of it that way.

Think of American inner cities - young black men (and women) dying daily. Minimal police investigation and only cursory media attention, because what's the point? and because they deserved it - i mean they live there, they know those people, they're involved in x y or z, or they must have been, because why else would they have gotten killed, etc.

I can't speak for the way honor killings are tolerated but I suggest you really carefully consider why you think that's so different from how drive-by shootings are tolerated. Young girls are all innocent, urban black kids are all guilty? Or - sex is not worth being killed for, but drug dealing is? Or - what other reason?

And I don't think you can say "oh, but I/my friends/good people don't tolerate drive-by shootings..." oh yes. oh yes you do. We all do. This isn't a "horrible other cultures tolerating senseless crimes" thing. This is a "humans ignoring distasteful crimes that don't directly affect the powerful" thing.

And if you think I'm exaggerating the scale of inner city violence, I am perfectly willing to submit this to the gods of statistics - frequency of honor killings vs frequency of inner-city drive-bys, by population.

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"I distrust those people wh... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 12:59 PM | Posted by Anna: | Reply

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows, because it always coincides with their own desires."

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it had nothing to do with r... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 2:03 PM | Posted by Pops: | Reply

it had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with tribalism.

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What's the difference?... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 2:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Pops's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

What's the difference?

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Cosine, nice name.... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 2:55 PM | Posted, in reply to Cosine's comment, by Marco Polo: | Reply

Cosine, nice name.

Given the number of unsubstantiated assertions you offer, you won't be surprised at my glee in accepting your gracious gesture to back them up with evidence. I was operating under the premise that when I separated one kind of cultural narcissism from another, that domestic subcultures were accounted for. I miscommunicated with you, sorry. I'll insert "to include every enumerable victimized subset hereinafter established," when I get around to it.

Perhaps what happened is that you read "Muslim," looked for a few key words, and kicked into paradigm, short-thinking mode. Perhaps not. Either way, I am unable to think about the relationship of Islam to narcissism without thinking about people who practice Islam. That is especially true when viewing cultures that are almost singularly Moslem, in an effort to more fully understand narcissism.

Forgive me, but hyper-senstivity to the use of a common word, threatens to make "Moslem" the M-word. We lost "gay" to that, no matter how it is accepted by those thus called. I think if the word "gay" were being used today for the first time, it would be rejected as stereo-typing. Whatever. "Moslem" is a proper noun of long and wide history. It is okay to use it as a noun. They taught us that in rhetoric class, remember?

As to your statistics, please, the latest from the FBI, and any three think tanks of your choosing, and feel free to add whatever you've assembled independently.

Are you sitting down? I happen to agree with some of your assessment of our dark underside, and agree wholeheartedly that we might not want to keep sweeping it under the rug.

The lesson for me here is that narcissism is provided for across the species, but it might wear different feathers elsewhere. Which led me to ask what other varieties of narcissism are there? Being an English major, I went to Shakespeare. Iago came to mind. Some of the people I might think of as extreme, raging narcissists, like Hitler, Stalin or Mao, might be so deeply rooted in other dysfunction that it does injustice to narcissism as a stand alone condition.

What do you think?

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These Australian Afghan ... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 3:02 PM | Posted by The Devastator: | Reply

These Australian Afghan women were supporting the women, not him. His wives were being "seen" by enough people as individuals, more than a reflection on him. So he left.

This is pretty interesting. It almost feels like you're independently deriving feminism from first principles. Now you know how Leibniz felt, I guess.

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Read Mark Durie on the sub... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 5:52 PM | Posted by Jol K: | Reply

Read Mark Durie on the subject of Islam.

The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0980722306?ie=UTF8&tag=markduriecom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0980722306

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thank you for this blog. Th... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 6:11 PM | Posted by bep: | Reply

thank you for this blog. Thank you for this writing. thank you for bringing your view for me to see. i hope you get out much more than everyone of us from this .You are giving back the most beautiful gift . that of shared enlightenment ...

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I have learned reading thes... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 8:37 PM | Posted by Jez: | Reply

I have learned reading these articles to ask the question "What does the author want to be true?" Is everything about narcissism? Was it always like this?

His/hers way of seeing the world makes sense to me. It is also sad and depressening but reality usually is.

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to Jez: Remember that Alone... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 9:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Jez's comment, by Jay: | Reply

to Jez: Remember that Alone is a psychiatrist; he doesn't have much cause to interact with mentally healthy people. He sees a lot of narcissism in his work, I assume, and tends to see it wherever he looks (he mostly looks at Hollywood and criminals, both groups that probably have an elevated incidence of narcissism). In real life, as far as I can tell, depression is more common than narcissism, but is less likely to make the news.

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God was made up, but he ... (Below threshold)

February 3, 2012 10:57 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

God was made up, but he gave us a reason to progress.

It could have sworn you were going to say "God was made up, but he provided a central character to our story that wasn't us."

Atheists ... an abstract wrongness that they rationalize as coming from shared collective values or humanist principles or economics or energy or whatever. It's still god, it's a God behind the "God"

As an atheist I'd say that God is only just another rationalisation for an abstract wrongness.

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Wow! Tedious. Theologically... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 1:22 AM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

Wow! Tedious. Theologically outdated and inaccurate. And I’ll pay you five bucks if you stop saying ‘us’ and ‘we’ for a while.

I’m not clear if/why because they’re Afghan, people assume they’re Muslim? Because the only time I heard it was from Alone (once) and this is not one of his better papers; I’m not assuming he checked this out. (The piece does mention the man was not religious). Is it because we are to assume some group validated that some behaviors are shameful? Because you can find that anywhere.

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This is totally unrelated, ... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 1:41 AM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

This is totally unrelated, but I'm interested in the idea of self-help and the self-help movement and narcissism. Not psychology, not psychiatry. Anyone?

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Ginny, the point of the pie... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 5:50 AM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by MikeWC: | Reply

Ginny, the point of the piece has nothing to do with whether or not the man identified as religious. Also, why are you calling it theologically outdated? That does not have anything to do with his point either. 1) It's not a theology paper and 2) death of God theology is still a thing.

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Hey you guys. Alone never s... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 6:05 AM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

Hey you guys. Alone never said any of these people were narcissists. I didn't think so, so I looked it up. The dude's a sociopath.

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‘From: MikeWCGinny... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 6:39 AM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

‘From: MikeWC

Ginny, the point of the piece has nothing to do with whether or not the man identified as religious. Also, why are you calling it theologically outdated? That does not have anything to do with his point either. 1) It's not a theology paper and 2) death of God theology is still a thing.’

There are a lot of directions I could go with this. I feel really ambivalent. Look, before I answer your question, answer me this: What do you consider to be ‘the point of the piece?’ Why did you single out my comment (and not any others)? … I’m calling it theologically outdated because it is (why did you think I was calling it that)? (But now that I think about it, I would add ‘grossly oversimplified and appealing to the …oh hell. Maybe I’d just say, ‘so stupid.’). Consider the paper itself, and the comments; do you think theology is irrelevant? Why? Oh: ‘death of God theology is still a thing.’ By thing, I assume you mean idea. Uh…. I didn’t say anything about Nietzsche. But the whole death of God ‘thing’ is mainly philosophical, as Nietzsche intended it, not theological.

OK: I’ll trade you an answer for an answer.

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Really? You drop with in a... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 6:57 AM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by MikeWC: | Reply

Really? You drop with in a pair of fly-by shots at the post, first implying racism and then a non-sequiter critique of the alleged theology therein, I ask you what you're talking about, and you respond with a question?

I'd like an explanation of what you meant, but I'm not interested enough to play that game.

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Oh, fine. I will make myse... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 7:06 AM | Posted by MikeWC: | Reply

Oh, fine. I will make myself into a liar after a minute's thought.

The point is in section VI. It has nothing to do with his professed religion or lack there-of.

Strange how "responding to" becomes "singling out." Why'd you "single out" TLP to criticize? Surely there are many other people on the internet who are even more wrong. Quick, they're getting away! Or in other words, I responded just because I wanted to.

What on Earth does theologically outdated mean? Psychoanalytically inflected theology is still a thing today, if you want something more contemporary and specific than Nietzsche (who I did not mention, you did).

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"In real life, as far as I ... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 8:07 AM | Posted, in reply to Jay's comment, by Or: | Reply

"In real life, as far as I can tell, depression is more common than narcissism, but is less likely to make the news."

Not that there's any shortage of depressed narcissists.

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Quote: ‘Oh, fine. I will m... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 8:50 AM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

Quote: ‘Oh, fine. I will make myself into a liar after a minute's thought.

The point is in section VI. It has nothing to do with his professed religion or lack there-of.

Strange how "responding to" becomes "singling out." Why'd you "single out" TLP to criticize? Surely there are many other people on the internet who are even more wrong. Quick, they're getting away! Or in other words, I responded just because I wanted to.

What on Earth does theologically outdated mean? Psychoanalytically inflected theology is still a thing today, if you want something more contemporary and specific than Nietzsche (who I did not mention, you di’:END QUOTE

‘The point is in section V1 isn’t an answer; I’m interested in what you think. Section V1 was written by Alone.
I never said it had anything to do with ‘his’ religion. In fact, the idea that the paper is ‘about’ Alone, let alone his religion….
I singled out TLP because he has big shoulders and people abuse him all the time. Although actually, I don’t remember criticizing him, just his paper. Except I did once say in another post that blogs are written by doofuses for doofuses. (Wow, I called him a doofus. Do you think he’ll be OK)?
‘Strange how “responding to” becomes “singling out.” What you really mean is, you think this reflects poorly on me but you’d rather imply than just say what it is. Technically, I am, in fact, the only person you responded to….therefore singled out? I don’t know. It sounds factual to me, but I’m still interested in what you think it ‘means.’
Do you feel safer or better about yourself when you imply (or are you inferring? I don't know)...actually, scratch that. I'll rephrase: Do you feel bad when you express a direct opinion? Does it feel bad or wrong to talk about yourself? Do you define yourself mainly by contrasting yourself with others?- Etc.
‘Surely there are many other people on the internet who are even more wrong. Quick, they're getting away! Or in other words, I responded just because I wanted to.’ …..I guess you are saying there are people who are more wrong about things than TLP, and that since I am apparently so critical I should/would catch them and stomp on them? I can’t begin to criticize this because it appears you are saying…what? That I enjoy criticizing people but should only target the ‘more wrong’ ones? This is you attributing your thoughts to me, I’m pretty sure (cuz I play a psychiatrist …not on tv, on the internet!)…no, but seriously, I never said anything about other people deserving criticism or deserving criticism more. It is your judgment, not mine. Do you have an interest in protecting TLP? Why, and why is that necessary at all? And the last sentence, which implies it somehow wrong for me to post ‘just because I wanted to.’ Why? Say it.'When people do things just because they want to, I feel....?'

The Nietzsche and ‘God is dead’ stuff…. Re-read it, all the posts,in a few days…. You don’t appear to be saying a whole hell of a lot, it all just sounds defensive. “You corrected me, and I can’t let it go!” But if you can find something really incorrect that I said about Nietzsche or ‘God is Dead’ than let me know. I’m tired now and I’m sick of you. I bet you’ll see some kind of meaning that reflects poorly on me in that, as well. In a way though, it has been a pleasure. Just because (oh God, now you're going to say I need/enjoy drama, I bet) no, just because. It is a dialogue, not just a bunch of posts, and it appears to be kind of unique. I'm biased; I wish the computer was more like a conference call than alone individuals talking, in a way, to themselves.

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Oh: ‘death of God... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 9:04 AM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by Rooster: | Reply

Oh: ‘death of God theology is still a thing.’ By thing, I assume you mean idea. Uh…. I didn’t say anything about Nietzsche. But the whole death of God ‘thing’ is mainly philosophical, as Nietzsche intended it, not theological.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Death_of_God_theology

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/deathgod.htm (an evangelical dictionary)

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,941410,00.html (from 1965, but it's still a hipster thing to mock "Time", right?)


etc. etc.

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As an atheist I'd say th... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 9:36 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Medusa: | Reply

As an atheist I'd say that God is only just another rationalisation for an abstract wrongness.

No, it's just another word for abstract wrongness. You missed the whole point.

This is the problem I have with most atheists (being pretty much an apatheist myself). They take the concept of God just as literally as they claim the religious do.

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I suppose that response is ... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 1:37 PM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by MikeWC: | Reply

I suppose that response is my karmic punishment for not going with my original instinct and ignoring you. I love how you just assume I'm going to accuse you of needing drama - the thought hadn't crossed my mind until you said it. Do you get that accusation a lot?

All your bizarre psychologization of me aside, I really am just curious. What did you mean when you said the theological side of this was outdated?

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One clarification, that I a... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 1:40 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

One clarification, that I am surprised is necessary:

I never said it had anything to do with ‘his’ religion. In fact, the idea that the paper is ‘about’ Alone, let alone his religion….

I know I was using the pronoun "he", but I was obviously speaking in response your post about the father in the story. Why would you think I was talking about Alone's religion? That's just one of your many baffling interpretations.

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I'll respond to you when yo... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 2:53 PM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

I'll respond to you when you make a substantial 'I' statement that is about your thoughts/feelings/whatever (you still haven't said what you think the point of the story is); own some of your shit. It is not *all* about expressing 'yourself' primarily in terms of criticizing me. (At least I hope not). (Oh--- and it is possible you may not have to make a substantial 'I' statement. I may have to settle for an insubstantial 'I' statement. Because I'm not at all confident you can even do it at all.)

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Oh--- (this is not for Mike... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 3:09 PM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

Oh--- (this is not for MikeWC/Anonymous, who thinks I was accusing people of racism): I feel bad if anyone thought I was saying that. I don't think anyone here is racist. Honest.

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@Jay: " . . .Alone ... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 3:33 PM | Posted, in reply to Jay's comment, by Marco Polo: | Reply


@Jay: " . . .Alone is a psychiatrist; he doesn't have much cause to interact with mentally healthy people. He sees a lot of narcissism in his work, I assume, and tends to see it wherever he looks . . ."

I think his patients are emotionally troubled to one extent or other, but I don't agree that Alone doesn't have contact with "normal" people. (My quotes.)

On the other hand, I wonder if Alone's trenchant humor is a coping mechanism, a way for him to deal with the insanity that surrounds him, especially the craziness of the system's side of things. That'd drive me loopy, too.

I could be wrong, of course, but it is fun to talk about him like he isn't here.

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And, an ad banner for Nissa... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 4:56 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

And, an ad banner for Nissan appears to the right of this post, as I read. Marketing for the win!

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A problem with Islam is tha... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 5:06 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

A problem with Islam is that a narcissist can easily find theological support for such killings and convince others to assist in the name of Allah. Look at Bin Laden.

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You know what? I give up. I... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 5:50 PM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

You know what? I give up. I am really angry, and it is very clear to me that on a certain level I now just want to stomp you into the fucking ground. (But I don't mean it in a literal physical sense, of course). It isn't good for me anymore. And my conscience is telling me that, since the best thing I ever got from anyone was love, acceptance and compassion, it is probably good for you too. And I certainly can't offer you that. So, you win. Say whatever you want. I am walking away from this site. I have a weird sense I shouldn't be here, anyway.

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Oooops! Accidentally replie... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 5:53 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

Oooops! Accidentally replied to wrong post---the above post is for you.

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For some time this was one ... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 6:01 PM | Posted by Eipa: | Reply

For some time this was one of the few places in the internet where the articles were scarier than its comments. It's disturbing that these times seem to be gone. I do think TLPs writing is outstanding btw.

To all the debates above, honour killings are not per se narcissistic. This murder is not about religion, but that's what the father wants to believe it is, and more importantly what he wants us to believe.

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seek professional help for ... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 7:38 PM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by JimmyJoe: | Reply

seek professional help for whatever it is you have going on. and wear oven mitts at all times.

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I think the son should have... (Below threshold)

February 4, 2012 11:07 PM | Posted by Monica: | Reply

I think the son should have been given a chance to enter society as a free man relatively soon. He was only 18 at the time of the crime. At that age, he was young enough to be unduly influenced by his parents, almost like a child, or to feel that he was just stuck there rather than able to leave the family or call the police. In a way, it's not fair to him. He may be redeemable.

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In cultures where women are... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2012 12:30 AM | Posted by Information Addict: | Reply

In cultures where women are still seen as the property of a man, it seems possible that males would be more likely to grow up perceiving themselves as the main character in their own movie, although I have no data on that.

In this tragic mass murder of half a family, the wife (the second in a polygamous marriage)was also guilty. I guess she was just playing her role (based on culture? Was she also a sociopath?) And what about the son?

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I just read the two previou... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2012 1:22 AM | Posted by information addict: | Reply

I just read the two previous posts by TLP. In the news reports about the murder trial it was reported that there was jealousy between the two wives over who had the most/best jewellery/gold and that it was a reflection of status and worth to the husband (I believe it was first wife who was getting short shrift.)

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My take on honor killings i... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2012 6:40 AM | Posted by Cliff Arroyo: | Reply

My take on honor killings is that they're an extreme product of societies in which group loyalty is the primary value, results not intentions matter and where a young woman's sexuality is an asset for her family to be exploited for the family's material gain.

In such societies the worst thing a person can do is harm their group (usually defined as some kind of extended family). It doesn't matter whether they intended to or not they've hurt the family, become an enemy and must be punished for their treason as harshly as possible to remind the rest to not let down the team.

That said, your version of this particular nastiness sounds pretty likely.

"the history of America: come here for the freedom; stay for the cash; and if things get hairy say only God can judge you"

This needs to be put on a plaque somewhere.

"Rageful narcissists are the most violent not when they are insulted or attacked or hated but when they are abandoned"

This should be the new subheading on Penelope Trunk's blog.

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The difference is that reli... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2012 9:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Ryan: | Reply

The difference is that religions change, while the tribalism and honor killings remain constant.

In the middle east, honor killings began with Bedouin tribes and other Arab tribal groups centuries before monotheism spread to them; back when each tribe had their own gods. Honor killings did not leave when tribal religions changed to Christianity or Islam. Similarly, despite the deep divide between Hindus and Muslims in India (also Muslims in what is now Pakistan), one thing they have in common is honor killings, which conversion to Islam did nothing to change. So I would imagine the situation is not very different between the two regions in Afghanistan.

Moderating, converting or even eliminating the religion will not work, because it does nothing to address the reasons people choose to commit honor killings and where their mindframe comes from. They may try to justify it through Islam, or Hindu beliefs, but Islam or Hinduism do not promise 72 virgins or nirvana for honor killers, the motivation comes from elsewhere.

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"I feel really ambivalent."... (Below threshold)

February 5, 2012 11:21 PM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by Hikikomori: | Reply

"I feel really ambivalent."

Uh oh.

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should it be 'narcissism: t... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 8:54 AM | Posted by stacy: | Reply

should it be 'narcissism: the white man's burden' or 'the white man's burden: narcissism?' both. 'it's okay this time...because.....'

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Alone's posts are scary to ... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 12:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Eipa's comment, by inanna: | Reply

Alone's posts are scary to you? Really?
If reading scares you, why not take up knitting?-Ambrose Bierce

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"A problem with Islam is th... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 12:37 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by EugeneInSanDiego: | Reply

"A problem with Islam is that a narcissist can easily find theological support for such killings and convince others to assist in the name of Allah. Look at Bin Laden."

Umm... Look at Christians who kill (in the name of God) doctors that provide abortions - with the assistance of others.. is that a problem for Christianity?

Look at Christians who kill (in the name of God) gay people - with the assistance of others... a problem for Christianity?

Look at Christians who support Jews who want to make war (in the name of God) on Muslims - with the assistance of America ... another problem for Christianity?

Look at Christians, whom Jesus commanded to 'Love one another with all your heart' - hating and loathing everyone (again in the name of God) who disagrees with, or resists them, - also with the assistance of others... The entire problem with Christianity?

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@inannaYes,... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 1:06 PM | Posted, in reply to inanna's comment, by Marco Polo: | Reply


@inanna

Yes, Bierce:
" All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher." brainyquote.com.

He must have been paid by the quote. Eight pages at BrainyQuote.

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This was cross posted to Me... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 1:44 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

This was cross posted to Metafilter, where the atheists are upset you accused them of believing in God.

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Monica... really, you think... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 4:53 PM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

Monica... really, you think an 18 year old who pushed his sisters and another woman into a lake to drown them is redeemable? Really? No, seriously... really???
Unless you are willing to be the one to try it, please don't assume the rest of us wish to accept that risk so you can demonstrate your superior compassion.
My suggestion: YOU redeem him. When he gets out, invite him into your home to live. But, if you do, I'd suggest you wear a life jacket at all times.

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Marco Polo, at 2/3/12 at 2:... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 8:15 PM | Posted, in reply to Ryan's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Marco Polo, at 2/3/12 at 2:55 PM:

Megalomania, a sense of entitlement, passivity, fatalism, and concern for appearances are common as dirt in the Arab world -- although the positive side of these characteristics is unflappable poise, immense courage, and impressive (if not very innovative) scientific and philosophical ability, along with stunningly beautiful art, architecture (now largely defunct), music, and poetry. _The Arab Mind_ is a great source for this, but you should also investigate primary sources -- Arab literature and the now-vanished genre of "letters of travel," which flourished in the 19thC but was present as early as the 1100s, maybe earlier.

The usual travelogue perspective is a Christian traveling in Arab lands; modern anthologies have focused on Arabs traveling in Christian ones. For the first category, I recommend Kipling's _Letters of Travel_; for the second, _In the Lands of the Christians: Arabic Travel Writing in the 17th Century_, compiled by Nabil Matar. _Al-Jabarti's Chronicle of Napoleon in Egypt_ is also very interesting going.


Ryan (2/5/12, 9:13 PM): Your intuition, if that's what it is, is absolutely correct. Islamic honor killings are condemned by the Islamic clergy, but they've never been able to change the Bedouin mindset on this (or a lot of other things -- female 'circumcision,' for example). See Raphael Pattai's _The Arab Mind_ for details, or go to the primary sources and see the dynamic in action.

A lot of the current Islamist situation has more to do with tribal fears and individuals with grudges, rather than Islamic doctrine and tradition. (Individuals with grudges: Bin Laden offered to defend Saudi Arabia against Iraq with his mujahideen, but King Abdul Aziz had the audacity to snub him by declaring that his mountain irregulars would be outclassed by Saddam's mustard gas and Soviet armor. "We will fight them with faith," Bin Laden promised, and he never forgave Abdul Aziz or the United States for not giving him the chance.)

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Quran (18:65-81) ... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 8:21 PM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Quran (18:65-81) - This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killings, in which a family member is murdered because they brought shame to the family, either through apostasy or perceived moral indiscretion. The story (which is not found in any Jewish or Christian source) tells of Moses encountering a man with "special knowledge" who does things which don't seem to make sense on the surface, but are then justified according to later explanation. One such action is to murder a youth for no apparent reason (74). However, the wise man later explains that it was feared that the boy would "grieve" his parents by "disobedience and ingratitude." He was killed so that Allah could provide them a 'better' son. (Note: This is one reason why honor killing is sanctioned by Sharia. Reliance of the Traveler (Umdat al-Saliq) says that punishment for murder is not applicable when a parent or grandparent kills their offspring (o.1.1-2).)

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On the other hand, I won... (Below threshold)

February 6, 2012 10:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Marco Polo's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

On the other hand, I wonder if Alone's trenchant humor is a coping mechanism, a way for him to deal with the insanity that surrounds him, especially the craziness of the system's side of things.

But wouldn't that be a very narcissistic way to look at it? Look at me, my work is killing me, I am the real victim here?

Isn't it more likely that Alone's humor derives from the fact that he/she has a sense of humor and wishes to maximize eye balls on his/her blog?

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Yes, I think that someone w... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 12:08 AM | Posted by Monica: | Reply

Yes, I think that someone who's only 18 can be psychologically and/or economically dependent on his parents to the point of being as docile as a child even though legally, in many jurisdictions, he is legally adult. I think in Ontario, the age of majority is in fact 19. Some parents simply continue to treat their legally adult children as if they were still minors and what is the child going to do, if he's not quite ready to be financially independent? As a matter of fact, maybe the wife, too, felt afraid of her husband and stuck with little choice if she denounced him or criticized him too much. At least, she was a grown woman but at 18, that's different.

As a matter of fact, I feel that the family had the right to talk in their own car without the police spying on them. I can't believe they even spoke a language that is not very common in Canada and the police took the trouble to find out what they were saying anyway! Their private conversations recorded without their permission should not have been admitted in court as evidence, even if that would have been the technicality that would have prevented conviction. Because when there is such a technicality, the accused should benefit. Or, I don't think recording them like the police did is right. I'm saying that even though I think they actually committed the murders.

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Sounds like Canada did the ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 10:23 AM | Posted by Tickety Boo: | Reply

Sounds like Canada did the honorable thing. Let's hope these three make some nice friends in jail.

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Age of majority? Financial... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 1:43 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Age of majority? Financially independent? What the flip does that have to do with anything????
This isn't a question of when he can sign a contract. He killed his own sisters! He pushed them into a lake to drown!
You still think he can be rehabilitated.
Like I said, when you welcome him into your home when he gets out, I'll believe you. Not before.

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It might be some of both an... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 1:45 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Marco Polo: | Reply

It might be some of both and more. Two things about narcissism:

1. I'm not able to put the right names on them yet, but it looks as though some "symptoms" of narcissism can exist in a non-narci; they can also be symptoms of something else, including an emotionally healthy person.

2. The word doesn't mean the same thing to all who use it. It's like "post-modern," it can mean so many various things to different people, it has become almost useless.

I probably need to reread the core indications of NPDisorder. "Cultural narcissism" is a whole other bag of tricks, especially in how diversely it understood to be.

I agree that blogging has its self-promoting aspects, but journalizing often acts as a balm, a soother, as a review of the bidding, an enforcer of discipline, as a method to think things out, as well as a vehicle for a shrink who makes house calls.

This may be naive, but I think Alone didn't start this to drive readers to his blog. He started it to connect and share. There are no rules against generating revenue in the process. For me, T.L.P. Alone can do what he wants, as long as he doesn't lie here.

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But his father, or his pare... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 2:01 PM | Posted by Monica: | Reply

But his father, or his parents, influenced him, and he was young enough to go along with that. He was working, but for his father, so he was financially dependent, too, thus not necessarily able or willing to do anything that would jeopardize his vulnerable economic status, for instance leaving that household and reporting his father to the police.

If a guy who's just 18 is nevertheless totally independent, such as by working and making good money in a business that is not under his relatives' control (having a mcJob doesn't count), living on his own or, even better, with his own wife or even with his own kids, then I'm willing to admit that this is an independent human being who can freely decide to kill or not to kill his sisters. But a guy who's a student, living with his parents, working for dad, etc., that's a teenager who can easily be treated as a child and made to do what his parents want. Also, since this was a family issue, I don't think he would kill strangers, so of course I would trust this guy in my home or office. If he ever gets out of prison, he'll be older as well, thus a different person. More of a reason to welcome him into my home!

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Look at Christians, whom... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 5:07 PM | Posted, in reply to EugeneInSanDiego's comment, by conditional religiouness: | Reply

Look at Christians, whom Jesus commanded to 'Love one another with all your heart'

You must be talking about the new testament Jesus that is kind and appears on toast and stuff, but not the old testament Jesus, the mean and jealous one that demands you kill anybody that isn't a follower

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The old Testament Jesus?</p... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 5:16 PM | Posted, in reply to conditional religiouness's comment, by Tickety Boo: | Reply

The old Testament Jesus?

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I sure hope you don't have ... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 5:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Monica's comment, by Tickety Boo: | Reply

I sure hope you don't have kids. You would invite this guy into your home and your life? Next you'll be telling us that you'd consider marrying him, like those women who glommed onto the Menendez brothers. Oh, they're orphans! They're all alone in the world!

He's an adult. If he was under the control of his dad, he was ... an adult. An adult who beat his sisters up, to keep them in line, when his dad travelled outside the country on business.

But he is kinda cute. The big guys in jail will like him a lot.

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No, I don't have children.<... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 5:39 PM | Posted by Monica: | Reply

No, I don't have children.

If I were not in my early 40s, which is too old for him, and if, of course, I got to know this guy and he proposed, yes, I would consider marrying him. Why not? To be honest, yes, I find him cute. The Menendez brothers were rich and educated so, of course, they, too, would be the kind of guys I would marry.

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You got to know this guy ..... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 6:05 PM | Posted, in reply to Monica's comment, by Tickety Boo: | Reply

You got to know this guy ...? You know everything you need to know. He killed three of his sisters and his step-mother. His step-mother, who did nothing to even piss any of them off except be alive! Well, until Cutie took care of that!

And now he's sobbing because he's figured out what's waiting for him in jail.

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It's his father's fault. Th... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 6:14 PM | Posted by Monica: | Reply

It's his father's fault. The mother and the son probably wouldn't have killed anyone if it wasn't for the father's influence. I would even say, put the father in prison and let the mother and the son be free to raise the remaining kids instead of paying for others to raise the kids and paying the cost of prison for 3 people rather than just one.

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Do you know that this looks... (Below threshold)

February 7, 2012 7:24 PM | Posted, in reply to Marco Polo's comment, by Eipa: | Reply

Do you know that this looks as if you were rationalising your own narcissistic traits? I don't know what Bierce would say but at least narcissistics and non narcissistics both have noses. And the idea that Alone makes jokes because he likes humour doesn't sound that crazy to me.

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Monica, you are so heartles... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2012 4:07 PM | Posted by DanC: | Reply

Monica, you are so heartless... You only want to marry *cute* murderers. What about the Charlie Manson's and Sirhan Sirhan's of the world? Don't they deserve your love, too?
Now, why don't you go back under your bridge with the rest of the trolls...

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That's different. Sirhan an... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2012 4:49 PM | Posted by Monica: | Reply

That's different. Sirhan and Manson did not kill family members or follow their orders. When parents are abusive and their children kill them or, on the contrary, commit crimes to please their parents, that's almost a coming of age story. It's not the same thing as political murder or killing strangers for some weird reason. As well, in family murders, the murderer may have felt that he had no choice. Or, when the murderer is young, such as 18 or even in the early 20s and a student, he may have some redeeming qualities and deserve a second chance. Where is the compassion and forgiveness?

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This is yet another case of... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2012 6:56 PM | Posted by someone: | Reply

This is yet another case of Muslims being Muslims. Not much else needs to be said on the matter.

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@anonymous: "Quran (18:65-... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2012 7:13 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Marco Polo: | Reply

@anonymous: "Quran (18:65-81) - This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killing . . ."

Thank you. I've been reading a little about honor killing in wikipedia. In the back story, where the editors and contributors discuss the content, etc., one guy mentioned that there is no remedy or punishment for HK in sharia law. Your citations help solidify that.

The writer above who linked HK to cultural habit, and later (selectively) folded into Islamist scripture also makes a valuable point. For all I know, HK may have been going on since the Gilgamesh or before. If HK dates back to tribal cultures, there may be some kind of rationale that doesn't strike the modern ethic.

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"Atheists do this just as m... (Below threshold)

February 8, 2012 7:16 PM | Posted by Mark: | Reply

"Atheists do this just as much but pretend they also don't believe in "God". "Murder is wrong, but in this case...." "

This smells like one of those fact-free sweeping statements about unknowable things that people say because they would prefer that they be true.

It ain't like this is based on a study of atheists, right ? Extrapolated from what is (selectively) remembered from a small personal sampling, when one thinks of all the imperfect people one knows, perhaps.

But then such a query to ones' memory is not likely to return non aligning results. It's like the difference between asking "how do the genders compare, in terms of general intelligence" and asking "haven't you known some really dumb (men/women) ?"

Some kinds of atheism - like Zen Buddhism - place great emphasis on fighting the kind of subjective (or, eventually, narcissistic or psychotic) thinking that is required to exempt yourself from what you know to be right and wrong.

Of course, most religions try to do the same thing, some more explicitly than others; we just, for the most part, can't pretend to take them seriously on that score because they have such a lousy record of results.

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The statement is not that m... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2012 6:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Mark's comment, by Eipa: | Reply

The statement is not that most atheists technically are religious or narcissistic, but that you don't have to believe in god to feel backed up by him. There is no study which could prove or disprove this, as it is not linked to any empirical data.
Atheist doesn't refer to 'admirer of richard dawkins' and their buddhist friends but to 'person which would state that she doesn't believe in good if you asked her'.

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@Eipa"Do you know ... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2012 6:40 AM | Posted, in reply to Eipa's comment, by Marco Polo: | Reply

@Eipa

"Do you know that this looks as if you were rationalising your own narcissistic traits?"

You could be right there. I'm trying to sort things out.

"And the idea that Alone makes jokes because he likes humour doesn't sound that crazy to me."

I agree. Humor has lots of applications. I don't think he's crazy.

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This is seriously good stuf... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2012 2:33 PM | Posted by YOHAMI: | Reply

This is seriously good stuff.

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@Medusa:"Th... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2012 3:27 PM | Posted, in reply to Medusa's comment, by Marco Polo: | Reply


@Medusa:

"This is the problem I have with most atheists (being pretty much an apatheist myself). They take the concept of God just as literally as they claim the religious do."

Yes. Evangelical atheism. A real stumper.

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Rageful narcissis... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2012 5:51 PM | Posted by A: | Reply

Rageful narcissists are the most violent not when they are insulted or attacked or hated but when they are abandoned to objective reality, the one that doesn't comply with their mirroring demands.

I wonder what a healthy response is to an objective reality that doesn't comply with your demands. Is the paragon of mental health a psyche that doesn't make demands on objective reality? But people who don't make demands on reality, who simply accept, seem to be pushovers who cannot find fulfillment in life. What is the healthy way to mediate the disagreements between one's internal world (desire) and the outside world? Is violence always an evil, a signifier of an unhealthy internal life?

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If an honor killing ever ha... (Below threshold)

February 9, 2012 10:31 PM | Posted by Jon: | Reply

If an honor killing ever happened in my neighborhood, the murderer would be dead before he made it to the courtroom.

God Bless America, and F___K all this psychobabble.

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How can I help other people... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 1:50 AM | Posted by DGS: | Reply

How can I help other people?

Do things for them. Put myself in their shoes. How do I do this MORE?

Thanks

Life is scary if I do this. How to get over that fear of finding out, whether world is safe or dangerous. Or in between. Experience. Thanks that's 1.99$

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What I don't understand is ... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 3:34 PM | Posted by jonny: | Reply

What I don't understand is why the law asserts that this sort of thing is sane; i.e. in the best interests of those committing "crimes of passion".

Over 99% of "crimes of passion" are asserted by magistrates and judges to be in the best interests of the criminal; when they reject the pleas of "Not Guilty by virtue of insanity".

I would like to hear a judiciary make the case for why killing one's daughters can be in the best interests of the father. I would like to understand their argument for doing things like this, and simultaneously be sane.

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Yeah man, hurrah and all th... (Below threshold)

February 10, 2012 3:43 PM | Posted, in reply to Jon's comment, by jonny: | Reply

Yeah man, hurrah and all that. But you've got two big problems you need to snap out of your denial and deal with, because you're running out of time.

Dubya lied to Americans to fabricate a pretext to invade a sovereign state (whatever that Westphalia illusion is supposed to mean).

1. Domestically, Presidents know they can lie to you and kill your children - treason? Traitors? Who cares about such things. 50,000 Americans dead or missing limbs and other cool stuff like that. You don't care? Fine. But...

2. 3,000,000 orphans in Iraq have this ludicrous idea that you killed their parents. I mean, it's ridiculous; what possible motive could you have had to kill their parents. I'm embarrassed to ask, but - you know - DID YOU KILL THEIR PARENTS?

I couldn't hardly care less, but you should. Do you know what is going to happen when 3 million children think you've killed their parents? Islam licks its lips, and says "Thank you."

And the result is going to be...

BOOM

BOOM

BOOM

So many of you are going to die. But then when the children start hitting the age of 17 and stuff...you're going to scream "why is this happening". And the response will be:

"My fellow Americans.

These terrorists just hate your freedom."

-------

You know, cause French Intelligence warned you he was lying. And you started eating Freedom Fries.

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I'm posting this off topic ... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2012 6:47 PM | Posted by Emlyn: | Reply

I'm posting this off topic thing because I suspect it's entirely on topic.

You've seen the video of the father in the cowboy hat who rants about his daughter and shoots her laptop?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57374683-71/teen-whines-about-parents-on-facebook-dad-shoots-laptop/?tag=rtcol;dis

I suspect he belongs in the same category as the man in this article, but I'll leave it to the expert. I'd love to see a post on it!

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When I first saw that artic... (Below threshold)

February 13, 2012 4:05 AM | Posted, in reply to Emlyn's comment, by EIn: | Reply

When I first saw that article I immediately thought "I hope TLP covers this" haha.

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if you want to put yourself... (Below threshold)

February 19, 2012 3:39 PM | Posted, in reply to DGS's comment, by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

if you want to put yourself in others shoes, find people who are worse off than you (like people in a nursing home or soup kitchen) and volunteer one day/week. don't assume that is all there is to it though, you don't just go there and feel it---if the people you're trying to help have enough issues, you might have to read some stuff on the computer at at the library to get your knowledge down. I volunteered at a nursing home. Then, since an old lady threw a full glass of juice at me the first day (which made me cry) I figured out I'd have to get some skills for dealing with difficult people. So I read a book called Customer Service for Dummies. Eventually I found some other good stuff that was more specific to older adults, too (geriatric people). It ended up giving me an edge in any job I've ever had since just cause I did that.

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Marco Polo writes: All are ... (Below threshold)

February 19, 2012 4:13 PM | Posted by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

Marco Polo writes: All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher."
Was Bierce using irony here? He was smart and I'd assume so. Also because he said "is called" and not "becomes."
Of course, you could bring that back to Nietzsche. (Why not). He was a philosopher, but ultimately his own schtick kind of made him ridiculous. Or so I seem to recall- I admittedly gave up on Nietzsche a long long long time ago and my memory of why I thought his own, in a sense, gift eventually limited him-is *really* bad. Although it makes sense to me that we're all always vulnerable to, in a sense, being hoisted on our own petard. What can you do.

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Oh, I should have said irre... (Below threshold)

February 19, 2012 4:50 PM | Posted, in reply to ginnygeneva@gmail.com's comment, by ginnygeneva@gmail.com: | Reply

Oh, I should have said irreverent, not ironic. Of course he was being irreverent.

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I think Alone’s interpretat... (Below threshold)

February 19, 2012 8:25 PM | Posted by inanna: | Reply

I think Alone’s interpretation of Niezsche is pretty generous (and noncritical) here. I don’t have a problem with that technically, but there are certainly other things that could be said about the whole “God is dead,” and Nietzsche’s whole obsession with God-thing.

“The post-modern twist is that we didn't kill God after all: we enslaved him.” Writes Alone.
Well, what is God if not enslaved? I’m not expecting this sentence to be wildly popular, but think about it. S/he creates the universe and everything in it and loves everything and everybody. God loves us so much, he gave us free will; we don’t even have to love God back. God loves us so much there are a variety of religions readily available to help us to try to love Him back: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, etc. A variety of prophets; if one doesn’t resonate with us right now, we can focus on another. All of these religions start with *love*: love God and all of God’s creation (or try to). God loves atheists, murderers, crazy people, and abortion doctors (even). God tries to do right by people, even if how He does it is pretty mysterious to us. Even if we get pissed. He’ll keep trying.
So ‘we’ didn’t ‘enslave God.’ He volunteered for the job.
Another thing: is you practice your religion or religions long enough and pray (even in the absence of any real belief), eventually recognizing grace, or feeling the presence of God, gets easier. If there is any validity to the ‘we enslaved God or maybe we killed Him’ type of thing it is probably the fact that humans have free will; if we want to block out evidence of grace, we can do it, at least for a time. (Hence, God becomes dead… to us).
“Instead of completely abandoning God or taking a leap of faith back to the "mystery" of God; instead of those opposite choices…” writes Alone.
I wish people would consider that faith is a complex idea. Some days we might not be inclined to allow for it. Some days we might have it. Some days we don’t need faith because we really believe; faith is superfluous. None of this diminishes God, although it may be good or bad for our ability to believe, to ‘see’ without having to try too hard.
The word ‘faith’ means inclining towards belief. It is only logical that some days this means we’ll be able to do this better than others. So feeling ‘closer’ or ‘further away’ are not so opposite; it is a continuum. Even complete abandonment can paradoxically lead a person back to God.
“We accept a "morality" exists but secretly retain the right of exception: "yes, but in this case..." writes Alone. Well, that is not so bad. People have principles they think are right, then they forget them, then life throws a curve and they have to figure it out and regroup, blah blah. Part of assuming the role of a grown up is accepting and grappling with the complexities of things; I place more faith in someone who is willing to accept complexities than someone who asserts their choices are always easy, divinely ordained and absolute for all humans.
Also, ‘we accept a morality exists’… implies universality (I guess)? Well, people struggle with this and they should; the bad part isn’t that it is a struggle, the bad part is, probably, if it isn’t, because then they probably aren’t really trying nearly hard enough or getting it even remotely right. Finding a humanist, universal interpretation of the Jesus story took *me*, anyway, a long time. I thought there was value in it; I still do. And because of the process, I’m especially pleased to say I accomplished *not* letting the Christian fundamentalists take Jesus away from me and I’m *refusing* to let them have the last word.

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Rooster... what was being ... (Below threshold)

February 20, 2012 1:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Rooster's comment, by inanna: | Reply

Rooster... what was being pointed out is that when Nietzsche wrote the whole God is dead thing, he meant it as philosophy, not religion. Look it up.
So you responded with links about death of God theology. Well, that was what happened when other, different people who never even knew Nietzsche took Nietzsche's idea for their own and used it for their own purposes.....
If you want to make a really *good* point then show me that death of God theology was what Nietzsche *really* intended. (That’d be difficult because the whole death of God thing is kinda disparate. It *would* be an impressive post; I don't think you will do it though. You don't apparently like to do any *work* to express yourself or make your points; you just want to paste links).

Seen on an old bumper sticker: My God is not dead; sorry about yours.

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"The resulting nihilism req... (Below threshold)

February 20, 2012 10:42 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"The resulting nihilism requires us to either despair, return back to medieval religion, or look deeper within us and find a new source of human values."

We have a new religion: science, which demands that we conform to a "value-free" conception of the world.

Also, CAT ads?? Really? Is anybody here going to be needing a "vocational truck" after they're done reading/posting here?

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"The resulting nihilism req... (Below threshold)

February 20, 2012 5:25 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by inanna: | Reply

"The resulting nihilism requires us to either despair, return back to medieval religion, or look deeper within us and find a new source of human values.We have a new religion: science, which demands that we conform to a "value-free" conception of the world.
How does science “demand that we conform to a value-free conception of the world.” Last I checked, science was not literally embodied; it has no mouth. Ergo, it can’t make demands. I mean, hello, FUNNY SENTENCE.
‘We’ is such a disingenuous little word. ‘We’ or ‘us’ is used four times in the above sentences. The intention behind it is generally: “you people, out there” and not, really, we; (although paradoxically, it *can* tell you *something* about the person who wrote the sentence at the same time---usually, that they’re a big fat jerk who is incapable of assuming enough personal responsibility to even say ‘I’).
You know when I use the word we? When I’m trying to manipulate someone. ‘We’ is my way of emphasizing that we’re all on the same team and even though they’re not liking this, I’m feeling them, HOWEVER…..
…and you know what? It tends to work. Really, really well.
But you know what is also funny?
"The resulting nihilism requires us to either despair, return back to medieval religion, or look deeper within us and find a new source of human values."
We have a new religion: science, which demands that we conform to a "value-free" conception of the world.
Ha, ha! The last sentence “We have a new religion: science, which demands that we conform to a “value-free” conception of the world” implies that some kind of value has been placed, that is: the dubious value of science. So despite the decided tyranny of science (and nihilism), the individual is still *free* and capable of thinking, whether they know it or not, because they ARE making judgments.
Yet I guess, since the writer is saying “‘We’ have a new religion…” Oh OK. Your religion is science, yet it has dubious value. Kind of funny.
Then there is the assertion: science demands us to be “value-free.” Well, whatever you say, I have no idea why or how this would work. Science: Eat. Sleep. Or you will die and/or get sick. I say there’s an intrinsic value being placed there. Science: vaccines are good as they prevent illness, etc. The value is: hey, we value human life. But outside of biology, there’s, I don’t know, physics. This one is trickier, I’ll admit. I used to like chaos physics and thought it was valuable because it made me feel as though God was all the way down inside seeming chaos; within the chaos, an order. The value: don’t give up on seeming chaos. I’m no physicist; that’s the best I can do. Uh…..Chemistry, of course, aids medicine. Astronomy: Wow, not just Earth, but the whole universe is beautifully designed and has worked remarkably well, for a long, long time. Last I read, it is scheduled to continue working for a long, long time, too; astronomers say so. Mathematics: I tend to feel like mathematics is poetry on some level; I feel good when I do math. Something about when you get good enough to disregard consciously thinking about all the rules and just do it. On the other hand, puzzles are fun, and it feels fantastic when you finally solve a hard problem. Plus, how in the hell did all those smart people even figure this shit out? Math has lots of rules, and yet, it is all made up. Someone had to sit down and literally make up the concept of zero; for some time in mathematics, zero didn’t even exist. It took *centuries* for the concept of zero as we understand it today to evolve. How does that not have intrinsic value for humans? Even if you hate math, doesn’t it make you want to say “Go, slightly crazy smart people!” It’s inspiring and suggests divine inspiration because it started from nothing and became quite a something, and that is the definition of a mystical experience, people. Nothing into something= creation ex nihilo, which is one *extremely important* idea, from theology, meaning basically that God created the universe out of nothing, or if you prefer, no thing, i.e. something intangible started it, but it became tangible, an entire gorgeous universe. And so, from God, to science, and back to God. Full circle.

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Religion was a source of va... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 1:09 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Religion was a source of values (i.e. it placed greater importance on some things over others, but also in that it told society what to value). Science is a source of values as well (It also places more value on some things more than others, i.e. sustaining human life). One can choose to value science, and but science can not tell a person or society what to value in the way that religion could. Science itself values objectivity (which is inherently value free), while religion did not. Scientific data and conclusions must be value free. Science and scientists can not have agendas (i.e. a value judgment); the results must be objective. Western society’s faith in science depends on objectivity and validity. In many cases, you confuse a value placed on science with values deriving from science. In many cases, you identify semantic technicalities despite your knowledge of the intended meaning. In some cases, you do identify values that follow from science, such as “we value human life.” “We value vaccines produced by science.” This is an example of human values guiding scientific research/progress, rather than science guiding human values.
Science can never decide what is good because it is value free. Science has to be objective because it has to maintain validity (consistent results), but this destroys its usefulness as a replacement for religion, because religion is a source of value judgments. Nonetheless, we have faithfully enshrined science as a system or body of knowledge which will ease suffering (as you so aptly pointed out) and bring rational enlightenment to all. Scientists can discover and know reality (metaphysics), but they will never be able to derive an ethics from it.
Religion- abstractly embodied in ‘God’- could tell people what values to accept (or reject): don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your mother and father. Science can not make value judgments unless the values follow from objectively obtained data. God is dead, and so is our ‘traditional’ source of values. Society values being value free. Great, where do we go from there?

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"It took *centuries* for th... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 1:13 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"It took *centuries* for the concept of zero as we understand it today to evolve. How does that not have intrinsic value for humans?" Yes, it has value to mankind. However, you will note that mathematics itself is value free.

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Thanks for responding.<br /... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 6:57 PM | Posted by inanna: | Reply

Thanks for responding.
It sounds like what you *want*, if anything, is for me to play it straight and take the original post as the truth and as an accurate description of Nietzsche and society. To appreciate it and find value in it as I would assume Nietzsche really saw it. To validate that God is dead. I have problems with *all* that based on principle, but I’ll try anyway.
I am, however, going to draw on other stuff Nietzsche wrote, and I will try to do it as most others have, not based on my opinion.
Just for giggles.
QUOTE: "The resulting nihilism requires us to either despair, return back to medieval religion, or look deeper within us and find a new source of human values." ENDQUOTE
I’m confused. Why are the only three options to either ‘despair’ or ‘return back to medieval religion’ or ‘look deeper within ourselves and find a new source of human values’? ? Why, for that matter, can’t we do two of those or three? Why was the only ‘religion’ to ‘return back to’ the medieval religion? That kind of statement makes no sense coming from Nietzsche if one expects a sincere, straightforward sentence. He’s not a church-goer, but he’s saying ‘we’ and suggesting ‘we’ might go back to the medieval church. He’s not a churchy type, yet he’s upset about the secularization of Europe, hello? The scary thing wouldn’t be if he was playing games with all this philosophy, with us, or with himself; the scary thing would be if he weren’t, if this was all quite serious.
Why, since Nietzsche had such issues about religion in particular, is he presenting religion as an option? For that matter, since he had such (complicated) issues with religion, why didn’t he become, oh I don’t know, a priest? He spent his whole life arguing about religion but he must have liked *something* about it. Unless he thought he was doing religion some kind of favor for its own good. Which strikes me as grandiose (at best). Even more grandiose if he never examined religion as it was and not as evidence that the church was medieval/ as evidence that the church was *not* medieval. (I’m so boggled at this point I think it might be possible he both thought the church was medieval AND he was upset with the secularization of Europe-he appears to be poorly adjusted to reality). If he thought the church medieval as it was around 1875 AD, (ballpark) why, in a sense, was that not a *good* thing? I mean, people tend to associate ‘medieval church’ with overbearing and powerful, but it might have prevented everybody from killing God. Also it would have been ‘a source of values.’
But I suppose juxtaposing the three choices (‘despair,’ ‘medieval church,’ or ‘look deeper within ourselves to find a new source of human values’) was only meant to lead us to ‘look deeper within ourselves…’ which was, anyway, what Nietzsche then proceeded to try to do for quite some time. I’m not sure why, if he was a rational thinker as many would suppose, he would assume he was capable of this. I mean, hello, he’s saying that society, including himself, are so fucked up due to medieval church/increasing secularization of Europe/ emergence of science that they’re nihilistic, but that’s okay; if he delves deeper within himself he’ll figure it all out even though there’s nothing to base ‘it’ on.
Did this guy ever crack up enough to simply get on his knees and pray? It would have been *better for him*, I suspect---psychologically, emotionally, ultimately mentally and, since I’m religious, spiritually.
OK, I’m *tired* and I did what I could.

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Thanks for responding.<br /... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 6:57 PM | Posted by inanna: | Reply

Thanks for responding.
It sounds like what you *want*, if anything, is for me to play it straight and take the original post as the truth and as an accurate description of Nietzsche and society. To appreciate it and find value in it as I would assume Nietzsche really saw it. To validate that God is dead. I have problems with *all* that based on principle, but I’ll try anyway.
I am, however, going to draw on other stuff Nietzsche wrote, and I will try to do it as most others have, not based on my opinion.
Just for giggles.
QUOTE: "The resulting nihilism requires us to either despair, return back to medieval religion, or look deeper within us and find a new source of human values." ENDQUOTE
I’m confused. Why are the only three options to either ‘despair’ or ‘return back to medieval religion’ or ‘look deeper within ourselves and find a new source of human values’? ? Why, for that matter, can’t we do two of those or three? Why was the only ‘religion’ to ‘return back to’ the medieval religion? That kind of statement makes no sense coming from Nietzsche if one expects a sincere, straightforward sentence. He’s not a church-goer, but he’s saying ‘we’ and suggesting ‘we’ might go back to the medieval church. He’s not a churchy type, yet he’s upset about the secularization of Europe, hello? The scary thing wouldn’t be if he was playing games with all this philosophy, with us, or with himself; the scary thing would be if he weren’t, if this was all quite serious.
Why, since Nietzsche had such issues about religion in particular, is he presenting religion as an option? For that matter, since he had such (complicated) issues with religion, why didn’t he become, oh I don’t know, a priest? He spent his whole life arguing about religion but he must have liked *something* about it. Unless he thought he was doing religion some kind of favor for its own good. Which strikes me as grandiose (at best). Even more grandiose if he never examined religion as it was and not as evidence that the church was medieval/ as evidence that the church was *not* medieval. (I’m so boggled at this point I think it might be possible he both thought the church was medieval AND he was upset with the secularization of Europe-he appears to be poorly adjusted to reality). If he thought the church medieval as it was around 1875 AD, (ballpark) why, in a sense, was that not a *good* thing? I mean, people tend to associate ‘medieval church’ with overbearing and powerful, but it might have prevented everybody from killing God. Also it would have been ‘a source of values.’
But I suppose juxtaposing the three choices (‘despair,’ ‘medieval church,’ or ‘look deeper within ourselves to find a new source of human values’) was only meant to lead us to ‘look deeper within ourselves…’ which was, anyway, what Nietzsche then proceeded to try to do for quite some time. I’m not sure why, if he was a rational thinker as many would suppose, he would assume he was capable of this. I mean, hello, he’s saying that society, including himself, are so fucked up due to medieval church/increasing secularization of Europe/ emergence of science that they’re nihilistic, but that’s okay; if he delves deeper within himself he’ll figure it all out even though there’s nothing to base ‘it’ on.
Did this guy ever crack up enough to simply get on his knees and pray? It would have been *better for him*, I suspect---psychologically, emotionally, ultimately mentally and, since I’m religious, spiritually.
OK, I’m *tired* and I did what I could.

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How can mathematics be valu... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2012 11:29 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

How can mathematics be value free when it is readily apparent to anyone who wants to see that it is evidence of the miraculous? You're saying 'take the intrinsic value out, I don't like it,' despite the fact that it as a science would not have survived since well before Christ if it did not have some inherent value for the humans who obviously love it, for one thing (mathematicians). And it's not a dead science either; people are still arguing about certain things and trying to sort them out. I looked all this up, but my memory is not great- I think whether certain numbers are real or rational or whatever, or even the real definitions of the same....If this did not have intrinsic value for humans it would not survive, but to be an important human value it does not have to be a readily shared value of all (it might be better if it is not)....people don't do things forever if they're not invested for more than the money; just because it is not a universal value/love, (in other words, you don't see it) you want to deny anything's there. If you try to divide things up to separate the divinity out of something because they've firmly committed themselves to a limiting view of objectivity, that is a reflection on them, and yeah---I guess they did kill God, although only for themselves. BUT, since it is so clearly a choice at this point, no whining about it on top of everything else. I'm not saying you would, but I sense some whinyness behind the whole God is dead, we have killed him, all of us, yet we want values, really really bad.....we killed God, but we're not responsible for it really... I'm ranting here, but this just kills me. You know, we killed God, yet its not our fault, yet we're going to really really fix it but apparently out of a vacuum since we're nihilists now..while continuing to disparage everything cause nothing's good enough. What all of this says to me (and I do realize I've taken away from strictly your post and ranted---it's partly the obsession with narcissism on this site that, as my shrink would say, activates people's issues, it bugs me) is POOR SENSE OF SELF, YET GRANDIOSE, OVERBURDENED SUPEREGO, YET AMBIVALENT ABOUT RESPONSIBILITY/GUILT. Narcissistic issues. Just IMO. It bugs me to say because narcissism gets more than its share of attention on this site already--I mean, that base is TOTALLY covered, but you know, it gets annoying.

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"If this did not have intri... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2012 2:35 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"If this did not have intrinsic value for humans it would not survive..." Yes, certainly mathematics has an intrinsic value to humans. Who am I to deny that? What do you think I am, a nihilist? :D The post that you replied to was simply pointing out that within the system of numbers that is mathematics, there are no values. Is 5 a "better" number than 1? What about 0 or 13? See? No values there. Mathematics itself is amoral; it can not dictate what is good or bad, or what is more important to mankind.

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"You're saying 'take the in... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2012 2:50 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

"You're saying 'take the intrinsic value out, I don't like it,'" Let's say I like mathematics. The value is intrinsic to ME, and not to MATHEMATICS.

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"It sounds like what... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2012 2:54 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply


"It sounds like what you *want*, if anything, is for me to play it straight and take the original post as the truth and as an accurate description of Nietzsche and society." You could certainly challenge the characterization of Nietzsche and/or society! I think the gist of "God is dead" is that medieval religion got to the point where it was ineffective (perhaps overbearing or everyone saw that it was corrupt), and society more or less got rid of it. With the advent of the industrial era, religion had outlived it's use. We no longer needed priests to tell us what to do/believe, or churches to congregate. Why go to a church when you could to go the city bar or city square? (industrial era = rise of the [Victorian] city). Ok, bars aside, what were the alternate options to God?
"The resulting nihilism requires us to either despair, return back to medieval religion, or look deeper within us and find a new source of human values." Nietzsche, as you probably know, is an existentialist. The moment that God (a definite source of values) 'died' (ceased to be useful), one could no longer look to the church for a moral code (something that tells you how to act). So where's the crisis then? The existential crisis is that man must now look to himself for guiding principles. Before = 10 Commandments (or equivalent) tell me what to do, After God dies = oh shit, nobody to tell me what to do now, must devise own code of ethics. People were free to think for themselves, and that was (and still is) a scary prospect.
So, all in all, it's not that Nietzsche wants society to go back to the medieval church, it's just that "society" will always need something that dictates/reflects (which one?) its values. It was once the church, but that is no longer. Now it might be media, or science. Despite this, there have always been people who did not rely on the church as a source of values, and therefore would not have had existential crises when the church fell.

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Extremely kind of you to re... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2012 7:00 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Extremely kind of you to respond. I'm super busy, but I have five minutes so I ran a search on morality and mathematics. Apparently there is this (new?) movement to use math to explain moral concepts-fascinating. Here's one of the sites- you will see they're using algorithms to explain morals (wow!). Have a good evening.
http://pizine.com/moral-math/

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You do realize I'm going to... (Below threshold)

February 22, 2012 10:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You do realize I'm going to keep lobbing these balls back unless I get tired, which I probably won't. :D I've married the mathematics idea, consecrated it, had it's baby and am now opening a savings account for the child's college education, so to speak. In a sense it's a done deal even if it is not: I love it, that's it.
Also, I forgot to hit reply to on the above comment, to you but it's still there.
I am going to do something else for a while. Maybe I will say something about Nietzsche (who I don't love, not even my own ideas about him, not even Alice Miller's, who probably called him----along with the majority of Germany's children around this time period---a person with severe narcissistic issues, because that's basically what Alice Miller does, discusses childhood abuse and then talks about narcissistic issues). (I really liked what she said about Sylvia Plath---everyone gravitates to the father, thanks to the famous 'Daddy' poem; people forget about the mother). Anyway, have a good night.

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"The post that you replied ... (Below threshold)

February 23, 2012 12:13 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

"The post that you replied to was simply pointing out that within the system of numbers that is mathematics, there are no values. Is 5 a "better" number than 1? What about 0 or 13? See? No values there."-You, the only person who is reading this post :D


Mathematics is much more than a 'system of numbers.' '5' is not mathematics; it's 5. Even 5 and 7 are *not* mathematics.

But still mathematics would have a very hard time without 5.

Is 5 better than 0? I say 0 is much better, as it represents nothing, nil. The Greeks even took this idea, originating in math (not in philosophy) and got down with a question: how can nothing be something?--- That's nice.

I just checked the internet. I LOVE THE INTERNET. Apparently there are philosophers of mathematics at Cambridge. Cambridge!!!

Nietzsche (I think I'll have a bumper sticker made up that says 'Nietzsche is dead'). Uhhhhh, I have heard Nietzsche is *considered by some* to have *written something relevant to existentialism.* Not that he is an existentialist. Here's my takeaway from Existentialism: 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'. Nice!

I have a hard time conceiving of a Nietzsche who, on a metaphorical level, 'eats' let alone pudding. To 'eat' is to derive nourishment from something 'other', usually deliberately. Pudding is a particularly yummy way to do this. Does not sound like Nietzsche to me.

Of course, he did once have sex with that prostitute, at least. (And maybe got syphilis from it). But there appear to be more points in favor of his being a really wretched human being...even compared to other philosophers. And psychologically fucked (an important psych term). I love crazy people, (they are cute, and they're often *very* easy to read) but everyone's gotta draw the line somewhere....although it is nice he threw his arms around that horse---you do recall...?

I know-the Nietzsche remarks may be a bit weak or fluffy. I stand by what I said about numbers, though---that's my throw-down.

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Oh, crud. See above post (a... (Below threshold)

February 23, 2012 12:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Oh, crud. See above post (apparently I can't remember to hit 'reply to.'

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OK hon (yes- I'm being a sn... (Below threshold)

February 23, 2012 12:51 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

OK hon (yes- I'm being a snot), I think I've 'got' you, and the chick who wrote this is from the Department of Pure Mathematics at Cambridge (presumably she's no slouch):

http://cheng.staff.shef.ac.uk/morality/morality.pdf
Philosopher: But it can't be morality.
Me: Why not?
Philosopher: Because morality is about what's good and bad, and there's no such thing
in mathematics. Mathematics is all about truth and falsity.
Me: Er, no it isn't.
Philosopher: Ok|is Fermat's Last Theorem morally good or bad?
Me: Er...I don't think the proof is very moral, but I don't actually understand it.
Philosopher: [snorts] Are you telling me that you can say a proof is correct, but that it's
`morally wrong'?
Me: [animatedly] Yes!

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Alright. Somehow I decided ... (Below threshold)

February 23, 2012 3:43 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Alright. Somehow I decided to write the paper I sensed was in me but didn't want to write. Complete with 'What Alone meant' re: Nietzsche post---yes, the entire post--- which is the last place I'd be inclined to go to on purpose. (Worse than the N word, worse than going after his commentators). This is going to be hard. I'll post it if it ever gets done. I loathe people who get into saying what other people *really meant* because they tend to get it wrong, but in a way, it's a fun experiment. In a way.


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On "morals of math"- That's... (Below threshold)

February 24, 2012 10:49 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

On "morals of math"- That's really cool. Interesting how rules of math can be metaphors for moral rules. Morality is still not inherent to mathematics though.
"Mathematics is much more than a 'system of numbers." True. So it's a system of numbers and rules perhaps? Either way, it is a science and as such, it is designed to reflect objective reality with as much fidelity as possible. Objective reality is amoral. Therefore, mathematics is amoral. A=B, B=C, so A=C. See what I did there?
"Mathematics is all about truth and falsity.
Me: Er, no it isn't." Please be so kind as to explain.
"I don't think the proof is very moral" So it's amoral?! Or does "not moral" mean morally wrong?
You've found some very interesting connections between mathematics and philosophy here.

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I'm re-posting the stronges... (Below threshold)

February 24, 2012 12:17 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I'm re-posting the strongest post and reiterating that it comes from Cambridge. But unless you can respond to this post in a meaningful way, and I think you know what I mean, and I don't think you have the ability to, which sort of undermines you responding to it meaningfully... you're just sort of stubbornly reiterating what you've said before. At least make a new point, a better arguement. I have. It is this post. Respond to it.


OK hon (yes- I'm being a snot), I think I've 'got' you, and the chick who wrote this is from the Department of Pure Mathematics at Cambridge (presumably she's no slouch):

http://cheng.staff.shef.ac.uk/morality/morality.pdf
Philosopher: But it can't be morality.
Me: Why not?
Philosopher: Because morality is about what's good and bad, and there's no such thing
in mathematics. Mathematics is all about truth and falsity.
Me: Er, no it isn't.
Philosopher: Ok|is Fermat's Last Theorem morally good or bad?
Me: Er...I don't think the proof is very moral, but I don't actually understand it.
Philosopher: [snorts] Are you telling me that you can say a proof is correct, but that it's
`morally wrong'?
Me: [animatedly] Yes!

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You know what? I officially... (Below threshold)

February 24, 2012 1:51 PM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

You know what? I officially quit. I'm starting to feel like an asshole.
A person could argue that mathematics isn't even real, or that applied mathematics isn't pure mathematics... this could go on forever. It was fun for a while, now it is not.
I have found the more I look up, the more I find good arguments for things that go against what I assumed was true. 500,000 people---no, actually pretty much everybody I know---would assume, for example, that the medieval (Catholic) church was super corrupt, but it took less than 5 minutes on google to to find an decent argument from a credible source that says this is more misconception than fact, particularly when you compare it to other churches (Luther), which were corrupt as well, blah blah. Presumably the same could be said of other institutions, etc. Of course, people expect more because it is, after all, the church.
I don't have a good closing line. It was fun for awhile. Now it is not.

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I think this is a good exam... (Below threshold)

March 4, 2012 6:47 PM | Posted by Marie Gronley MD: | Reply

I think this is a good example of how we are influenced by society and our environment. This has nothing to do with God but everything to do with a malleable mind and the influence of social norms. Consider someone with a drinking problem; they will tell you that they were born with it, yet this is probably a learned behavior that has become their nature - yet this behavior is so ingrained that the individual believes it is the nature they were born with. It takes generations to drive out the barbarians of a society.

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I like your post.... (Below threshold)

March 4, 2012 7:23 PM | Posted, in reply to Marie Gronley MD's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

I like your post.

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Bienvenue à - <a h... (Below threshold)

May 2, 2012 11:47 PM | Posted by tn requin: | Reply


Bienvenue à - http://www.tnstocker.com ----

meilleur sevice de la manière suivante:

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I am going to try on my pas... (Below threshold)

May 10, 2012 4:03 AM | Posted by S: | Reply

I am going to try on my passive aggressive hat: thanks for somehow breaking the Tab key so it takes me to the top of the page.

Now on to business: what is your theory regarding why 'this' never happened?

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I guess it's a coincidence ... (Below threshold)

July 9, 2012 11:20 PM | Posted by technoviking: | Reply

I guess it's a coincidence that Muslims keep doing these sorts of things over and over again around the world...

Couldn't have anything to do with the institutionalized misogyny in Islam?

Good job putting up the smoke screen for them.

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"In other words, this had n... (Below threshold)

September 6, 2012 12:59 AM | Posted by Phineas: | Reply

"In other words, this had nothing to do with honor"

Whoa.

"Honor" as it occurs in this religion, may be a post-hoc justification of the media, community, heck, even of the perpetrators themselves. But this doesn't preclude it as a an important ingredient in cooking the crime.

Perpetrator:
"That bitch is gong to leave me?! What? She CAN'T... what about her family... what about ME"

Sure, let's take this as a narcissitic rationalisation. And then:

"...she forgets her place, she must be reminded. What she is doing is DISHONORABLE... she can't do this to the family..." [muderous plan ensues].

This is all speculative, of course. But there is a reason we see more honour killings per capita in Afghanistan than in Canada. And when it does occur in Canada, only within certain demographs.

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I find it amazing how these... (Below threshold)

September 6, 2012 2:43 AM | Posted by Marie Gronley: | Reply

I find it amazing how these killings are starting to hit home; especially in Arizona and how the press "down-plays" these murders; especially the army psychiatrist. What if these were Evangelical Christians or Catholics, what would the press and federal government do then?

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"What if these were Evangel... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2012 5:50 PM | Posted by tornpapernapkin: | Reply

"What if these were Evangelical Christians or Catholics, what would the press and federal government do then?"

Well... the guy who was in the video spanking his teen daughter regained voter support. Not that spanking = killing and I don't even know why that popped into my head at that moment, but rather I suspect that the press might create drama and then let it sink into oblivion so we can pretend the world is a better place?

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Are you the person who writ... (Below threshold)

June 14, 2013 12:07 PM | Posted, in reply to Marco Polo's comment, by damian barna: | Reply

Are you the person who write to George Filer of MUFON?
If so I need to speak with you. Contact me at damianbarna@verizon.net
This conversation is a matter of life and death.

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Hey, a year later, THANK YO... (Below threshold)

June 17, 2013 3:06 PM | Posted, in reply to Cosine's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Hey, a year later, THANK YOU.

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"Rageful narcissists are th... (Below threshold)

January 2, 2014 6:21 PM | Posted by Steve D: | Reply

"Rageful narcissists are the most violent not when they are insulted or attacked or hated but when they are abandoned to objective reality, the one that doesn't comply with their mirroring demands."

You just described every mass killing in recent history. The grad student who knew he was a failure and shot up a theater. The goths who rejected society but couldn't accept society rejecting them, and shot up a high school, all of them.

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