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Thread: Religious tend to support torture more often

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    So it's your assertion that your typical religious voter who support a slightly greater degree of torture than your typical non-religious voter is obviously suffering from 'religious delusions' which exacerbates their pre-existing schizophrenia?
    No my assertion is that it is obnoxious to assert that religion makes one more ethical and non-religion makes one's ethical sense muddied. My further assertion is that taken to the extreme it's a proven fact that the opposite is true and that extreme religious obsession goes hand in hand with mental illness such as schizophrenia.

    As for your average religious folks I don't think they are any more or less sane or any more or less ethical than their non-religious counterparts and while there's evidence that religious obsession can lead to mental instability there is no evidence that religious moderation produces more of a sound ethical mind when compared to a non-religious peer.
    Last edited by talloulou; 05-05-09 at 05:04 PM.

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by WillRockwell View Post
    Since an ethical sense has nothing to do with religion, it is the presence of religion that muddies the ethical sense, and the false confidence in its certainty that causes people to ignore common sense and caution. Or perhaps you were being ironic?
    Oh goodie. Any chance at reasonable discussion just went out the window with It's arrival...

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by WillRockwell View Post
    Since an ethical sense has nothing to do with religion...
    Go no further, we disagree on basic highschool lebvel sociology and untill that is resolved we will not likly be able to debate the issue.

    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agents_of_Socialization]Socialization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Primary socialization occurs when a child learns the attitudes, values, and actions appropriate to individuals as members of a particular culture. For example if a child saw his/her mother expressing a discriminatory opinion about a minority group, then that child may think this behavior is acceptable and could continue to have this opinion about minority groups.
    Secondary socialization

    Secondary socialization refers to the process of learning what is appropriate behavior as a member of a smaller group within the larger society. It is usually associated with teenagers and adults, and involves smaller changes than those occurring in primary socialization. eg. entering a new profession, relocating to a new environment or society
    .
    Agents of socialization are the people and groups that influence our self-concept, emotions, attitudes, and behavior.

    The Family. Family is responsible for, among other things, determining one's attitudes toward religion and establishing career goals.

    Education. Education is the agency responsible for socializing groups of young people in particular skills and values in society.

    Peer groups. Peers refer to people who are roughly the same age and/or who share other social characteristics (e.g., students in a college class).

    The Mass Media.

    Other Agents: Religion, Work Place, The State
    .

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Go no further, we disagree on basic highschool lebvel sociology and untill that is resolved we will not likly be able to debate the issue.

    Socialization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Nothing there supports your view.

    You can be religious and teach your child to love thy neighbor while I'm irreligious and teach my kiddo the same thing.

    Morals are passed down through generations regardless of adherence to religious dogma. I'm willing to bet that despite my faith I teach my kids many of the same values and morals that my very religious sister teaches my nephew. I just do it without God, without promise of heaven, or threat of hell. Being good for the sake of being good can be a matter of pride even in the absence of a master, a reward, a punishment. I consider any of my thoughts on God or Gods or Alien beings to be completely extraneous in so far as raising my kids to be beautiful people.
    Last edited by talloulou; 05-05-09 at 05:11 PM.

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    No my assertion is that it is obnoxious to assert that religion makes one more ethical and non-religion makes one's ethical sense muddied. My further assertion is that taken to the extreme it's a proven fact that the opposite is true and that extreme religious obsession goes hand in hand with mental illness such as schizophrenia.
    Your source did not support that claim.

    Religious delusions were one of many possible complications on top of pre-existing schizophrenia.

    You are saying that they go hand in hand when your link doesn't say that.

    How many of the 742 people polled by CNN (of all sources) suffered from schizophrenia?

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    As for your average religious folks I don't think they are any more or less sane or any more or less ethical than their non-religious counterparts and while there's evidence that religious obsession can lead to mental instability there is no evidence that religious moderation produces more of a sound ethical mind when compared to a non-religious peer.
    Since 42% of non-religious people also supported torture, there is only a 12% polarization of public opinion on torture here; not 54% as the article and your argument would lead the casual reader to believe.

    Your first attempt to explain this 12% difference in opinion was to call religious peoples insane. Since your link did not support your claim, I see no reason to agree with it.

    Also, the article itself says the sample was to small, so we can toss out the entire poll right now.

    Additionaly, the question is flawed.
    "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"

    This leaves the definition of "important information" entierly up to the indivigual. That is compleatly unacceptable.

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Your source did not support that claim.

    Religious delusions were one of many possible complications on top of pre-existing schizophrenia.

    You are saying that they go hand in hand when your link doesn't say that.

    How many of the 742 people polled by CNN (of all sources) suffered from schizophrenia?



    Since 42% of non-religious people also supported torture, there is only a 12% polarization of public opinion on torture here; not 54% as the article and your argument would lead the casual reader to believe.

    Your first attempt to explain this 12% difference in opinion was to call religious peoples insane. Since your link did not support your claim, I see no reason to agree with it.

    Also, the article itself says the sample was to small, so we can toss out the entire poll right now.

    Additionaly, the question is flawed.
    "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"

    This leaves the definition of "important information" entierly up to the indivigual. That is compleatly unacceptable.
    FWIW I absolutely DID NOT state that the average religious person is insane. I specifically went out of my way to note that I personally don't believe being moderately religious or irreligious has any bearing on either your sanity or the soundness of your ethical compass.

    As to the torture question I have no real comment on it. I was just following the thread and decided to object to your prior premises. In regards to the OP I think it's more a political thing than a religious thing personally. Religious folks (esp. regular church goers)tend to be more conservative. More conservatives tend to not view the waterboarding as torture and it's an issue that has been overly politicized and discussed in an overly emotional polarized way.
    Last edited by talloulou; 05-05-09 at 05:30 PM.

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    I thanked both Wessexman and Celticlord for their posts three or four pages back, for bringing an intresting dimension to the discussion. I'd like to revisit it...the question is:
    - When faced with an adversary who uses heinous and dishonorable methods:
    1. To respond with whatever violence is necessary, even methods widely considered barbarous and dishonorable, if that is what is necessary to stop the adversary from futher threat to nation/family/etc.
    2. To respond within the limitations of honor and civilized warfare, despite the adversary's heinous methods, in order to preserve the honor and morality of one's self and one's nation.

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    The only thing that preserves my honor and my morality is, to borrow from Cyrano, three feet of steel.

    Therein lies the error of your philosophy. The civil restraints men of honor impose upon their conflicts are not the preservative of honor and morality, but are rather preserved by the conjoined honor and morality of every adversary; they are the conclusion, not the predicate. When even one adversary lays aside that honor and morality, and shreds the civil restraints previously maintained, that adversary invites upon himself the same unrestrained horrors he visits upon others. Against such an adversary, to refuse him the horrors he craves would a most ungentlemanly act.
    ...

    There is no victory in sacrificing friends, family, or countrymen for the sake of benighted principle. Dead kin are a disgrace when strength and fortitude might have saved them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman
    The limits are as much for the preservation of your honour and morality, things partially formed and reflected on and by your family, community and country, as anything else.

    They keep this vile baseness that you support at bay, they help to maintain something of civility and freedom, against this vileness that will spread and infect all once the veil in torn asunder.

    ...A man of respect, a conservative man, knows that his family and community have given him his morality, his personality to quite a degree and to sacrifice it to simply do anything to give them the basest security is to betray them and to partly pervert their victory and what will flow from it.
    Very nicely expressed arguments on both sides (even if it did get slightly acrimonious later). I loved the Cyrano quote, btw, and Wessex I'd like to know the source of the long quote in your previous post, it's very intresting.

    Personally, I find myself in between the two viewpoints. The Geneva Convention and similar treaties were intended to leave some civility in warfare, and humanity in the treatment of prisoners of war and civilians. Yet, there was the assumption that the enemy would be civilized and honorable as well... in Vietnam, for example, the US faced a foe that did not honor the Geneva Convention/etc. In the war against terrorism, likewise.

    In WW2 we destroyed civilian population centers as a means of destroying the will of the civilian populace to support their military and government in continuing to fight. We firebombed Dresden, nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and there's no arguing these were horrific acts that resulted in the death of noncombatants, including women and children.

    Yet, we faced an enemy who did similar things, and who committed incredible atrocities, and indeed we were in a war for survival. Losing would have meant allowing the world to be dominated by the Nazi's, with all that implies.

    Does the end justify the means? Sometimes... if you can even accurately visualize a world run by Hitler and his ilk, it would give you nightmares.

    At the same time, the idea of children coming to harm is appalling to me. As a father, I can't help but see any child being hurt or killed and thinking "that could be my child". I know it happens, in war. I know we can't always avoid "collateral damage." I do have issues with targeting civilians deliberately, even though I accept that it might be necessary in some extreme cases. It's a hard call, to me, and one that doesn't sit well and never will.

    To carry the issue into personal analogy, let's assume we lived in some lawless state of anarchy. Say my neighbor and I have a dispute, and he wants to fight an equal and fair duel with me, and that will be the end of it one way or another. If the circumstances made it seem necessary, and if I believed it would end the conflict without further threat to my family, I'd probably give him his duel. He's an "honorable" opponent.

    On the other hand, let's say the neighbor says, credibly, that "one dark night he's going to kill me, my wife, and my children." Okay, thanks for the warning bud. I'm going to kill him quickly in the most expedient manner possible, preferably by surprise from behind. He is a dishonorable opponent; not only is he undeserving of an "honorable combat", you couldn't trust him to keep it "fair" anyway.

    Even though he'd threatened my family, however, I would not go after his wife and children in this scenario. If he's the sole threat, there's no reason to.

    What if it went beyond that, though? What if his young sons vowed they'd kill me and my sons at some unspecified later date? What if his wife vowed she'd see my entire family dead, even if she had to raise her entire household to live for that goal only?

    One solution would be to kill the lot of them, women, boys, girls and babes.

    I find that solution morally very distasteful. I'd rather move my family to another state and change my name.
    Okay, maybe moving away is not an option for some reason... what do I do? Frankly I'm not sure. Fear for my own children would push me to kill them all, but revulsion at the idea of killing children would make that very difficult.

    There are some things I won't do, no matter what the cost is. There are some moral issues that simply go beyond all self-intrest, imo. There is a short list of things I wouldn't do even to save my own child... deliberately torturing someone else's children being one of them.

    I suppose my position is something like this:
    1. You can fight honorably if your adversary is honorable.
    2. If your adversary uses evil and vicious methods against you, it is possible that you may have to go beyond your normal boundaries to beat him...BUT:
    3. There is a line that you can't cross, not for your adversary's sake but for the sake of your own morality and the example your actions set for your own side.

    Everyone's "line" is probably a little different. Mine is probably further out than Wessexman's, maybe not quite as far as Celticlord's.

    Anyway, I thought that aspect of the debate was intresting enough to bring back for another look.

    G.

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    and Wessex I'd like to know the source of the long quote in your previous post, it's very intresting.
    It iss from Edmund Burke, Reflections on the revolution in France.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post

    You can be religious and teach your child to love thy neighbor while I'm irreligious and teach my kiddo the same thing.
    .
    I think what he is saying is that moral beliefs must to a degree grow out of the small-scale socialising units of society and also "click" with the shared beliefs of society. Both a lack of real morality and shared belief within the family and community as well as a great conflict between these and society at large could cause problems.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Religious tend to support torture more often

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    I find the premise that absence of religion causes a muddied ethical sense absurd. The further premise that religion typically brings clear ethical sense evokes deep deep belly laughter.
    It is not religion per se, it is shared belief systems on such things as ethics, spirituality and metaphysics. These are imbibed to the individual through the small-scale associations of everyday life to a significant degree which when healthy help to socialise him to the larger goals of society. There doesn't have to be anything inherently religious in these although they tend to end up that way.

    If this is missing then it will bring discomfort to the individual(such as anomie; see Durkheim's On Suicide.), he will look for ways out or for something to stamp that a shared belief system onto society. But this will not be an organic one that has grown up over centuries and relies on the coordination of the many small-scale associations in society, it will be a top down one that imposes itself on these associations. That is what De Tocqueville realised when he said:

    “When the religion of a people is destroyed, doubt gets hold of the higher powers of the intellect and half paralyzes all the others. Such a condition cannot but enervate the soul, relax the springs of the will, and prepare a people for servitude. When there is no longer any principle of authority in religion any more than in politics, men are speedily frightened at the aspect of this unbounded independence. Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. Religion is much more necessary in democratic republics than in any others. How is it possible that society should escape destruction if the moral tie is not strengthened in proportion as the political tie is relaxed?”
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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