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  #1  
Old 09-14-2003, 02:43 PM
Rashak Mani Rashak Mani is offline
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Atheism and Liberalism better due to lack of Nuts ?

Everytime some thread starts going the islam = evil... someone comes up with the argument that some bad apples doesnt mean the whole lot is compromised. Now we have crazy christians... wacko jews and a few buddhist violent monks. The other 99% naturally arent doing much. Still...

How many crazy atheists have we heard about ? How many pro-choice supporters killing anti-abortion activists ? How many Liberal activists engaging in conspiracies or killing politicians ?

We have seen the opposite plenty of times thou. Religiously inspired killers, killing of abortion doctors and right wing activists killing the Israeli Prime Minister and other examples...

Am I wrong ? Are there numerous examples of said killers ? Does this just mean the moderates are wussies who wont fight for their beliefs ? Or that what I am getting at it correct... that non religious, non extremists are better overall than other groups ? Can the "bad" cases be dismissed as irrelevant ?
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2003, 02:54 PM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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Well, there are and were left wing extremists who commit crimes, including murders...the Weathermen in the US, Baader-Meinhof Gang in Germany, etc.

Also, Madelyn Murray O'Hair, even though I think she was right in a lot of ways about religion, was pretty odd.
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2003, 02:58 PM
Rashak Mani Rashak Mani is offline
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Liberals arent lefties... necessarily... even thou some call them commies... doesnt make them so.

I should have put examples of extremist lefties in the above post too.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2003, 03:04 PM
edwino edwino is offline
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Yerk. Stalin and Mao come to mind. Bad apples abound regardless.
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2003, 03:17 PM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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Stalin and Mao were Liberals? Yikes.
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2003, 03:47 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Timothy McVeigh was an agnostic. Ted Kascynski was a whacko environmentalist. Stalin and Mao murdered millions.

There aren't any groups made up of humans that don't have nutcases in them.

Sorry.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2003, 03:54 PM
DreadCthulhu DreadCthulhu is offline
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Don't forget ALF and ELF (Animal and Enviromental Liberation Front, respectively.), two domestic left-wing terrorist groups. They have a habit of torching SUV's, releasing research animals, burning new housing developments, ect.
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  #8  
Old 09-14-2003, 05:36 PM
Rashak Mani Rashak Mani is offline
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Have they killed anyone thou ?

(Stalin and Mao Liberals ? Wow... you guys are sick...)
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2003, 06:23 PM
Soup_du_jour Soup_du_jour is offline
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Have they killed anyone thou ?

(Stalin and Mao Liberals ? Wow... you guys are sick...)
Mr McVeigh and Mr Kascynski did kill people. Quite a few, if I remember correctly.

Stalin and Mao were extreme Communists, which is generally considered a "far left" ideology.
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  #10  
Old 09-14-2003, 06:27 PM
Soup_du_jour Soup_du_jour is offline
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Oh, perhaps I should clarify.

In the United States, the dichotomy of liberal/conservative is generally used interchangably with leftist/rightist. It has quite a different understanding outside of the States, or so I hear.

If you have a different definition, Rashak Mani, perhaps it would help if you could say what you mean by "Liberal."

Oh, and Shodan. Tell me you had to look up the correct spelling of Kascynski.
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  #11  
Old 09-14-2003, 06:43 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Geez, if December had started this thread from the opposite viewpoint, there would be about 100 flames in here already.

No left-wing nuts? Please. Everything from animal liberation extremists to the weather underground, the Black Panthers, the SLA, the Baader-Meinhof-Gang, The Japanese Red Army, the Red Brigades, et. ad nauseum. For that matter, almost every terrorist organization in the middle east would associate itself with the left.

Today we have the Worker's World party, the 'Free Mumia!' crackpots (Mumia Abu-Jamal himself is a radical who was convicted of shooting dead a police officer), various Marxist and Stalinist organizations who STILL haven't learned the evils of Communism, eco-terrorists, and worst of all, the Baldwin family.

And if you're going to include 'right-wing activists' killing the Israeli prime minister, do we get to include the Egyptian militants who killed Anwar Sadat?

How about other assassins? Oswald was a Marxist. Sirhan Sirhan was an Arab who apparently shot Robert Kennedy because of Kennedy's support of Israel. I see the Unabomber and McVeigh have already been mentioned.

Who have you got on your list for right-wing crackpots again? A handful of idiots who bombed some abortion clinics?

Oh yeah... The 'Crazy Christians' and the 'Wacko Jews'. Hard to argue with solid, non-bigoted characterizations like that.
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  #12  
Old 09-14-2003, 07:12 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Geez, if December had started this thread from the opposite viewpoint, there would be about 100 flames in here already.
Everyone who's posted so far has disagreed with the OP. December might've gotten flamed, but as far as I know, Rashak doesn't have the reputation and propensity for jerkiness that december had.

Quote:
Sirhan Sirhan was an Arab who apparently shot Robert Kennedy because of Kennedy's support of Israel.
Was supporting Israel really a conservative notion in the 1970s?

Quote:
Does this just mean the moderates are wussies who wont fight for their beliefs ?
By nature, you wouldn't expect a moderate to be bombing places. That's an extremist tactic for sure. Doesn't make them wussies, it makes them, you know, possibly more sane.

Quote:
Or that what I am getting at it correct... that non religious, non extremists are better overall than other groups ? Can the "bad" cases be dismissed as irrelevant ?
Non-religious? No, there are plenty of bad eggs cited above. Non-extremists? Well, there's the tyranny of the majority or whatever, but I don't know of any middle-of-the-road terrorists.
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2003, 07:28 PM
Fang Fang is offline
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Even if you don't consider them "liberals" (which you'll probably define as non-violent people, or some such nonsense), Stalin and Mao were atheists. Also, I'd say if you had to assign modern nationalist groups and political leaders an ideology, it would be liberalism/leftism (I'm thinking here of IRA, ETA, Nasser, etc.)
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  #14  
Old 09-14-2003, 09:02 PM
Ptahlis Ptahlis is offline
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Regarding Stalin's and Mao's atheism: A more apt way to put the question would be "Has there been any atheist who committed murder/terrorist acts and so forth because of their atheism?" I don't think either of the above qualify in the same way that abortion doctor killers do. As far as extreme liberals go though, aren't anarchists usually classed as extreme left?
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  #15  
Old 09-14-2003, 10:49 PM
Soup_du_jour Soup_du_jour is offline
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Don't forget about the FARC, [b]Fang.
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  #16  
Old 09-14-2003, 11:00 PM
Brutus Brutus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ptahlis
Regarding Stalin's and Mao's atheism: A more apt way to put the question would be "Has there been any atheist who committed murder/terrorist acts and so forth because of their atheism?" I don't think either of the above qualify in the same way that abortion doctor killers do. As far as extreme liberals go though, aren't anarchists usually classed as extreme left?
The communist states did go pretty ape-shit on their various religious groups at various times.
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  #17  
Old 09-14-2003, 11:21 PM
Ptahlis Ptahlis is offline
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Originally posted by Brutus
The communist states did go pretty ape-shit on their various religious groups at various times.
Agreed. But I think their atrocities were provoked by political motives rather than religious ones. Of course religious leaders can also act out against people or things for purely practical reasons, but it can be difficult to tell just when that is so if they use religious arguments to justify their actions.

Religion is often a powerful motivator, and the threat of punishment/promise of reward that drives many fanatics to do things ordinary folks find reprehensible doesn't have any equivalent in atheism so far as I can see. I guess it's because I consider atheism a sort of zero-point with regards to telling people how to live their lives or make moral decisions. I don't think it can make anyone do anything or justify any action whatever.
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  #18  
Old 09-15-2003, 12:11 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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It's a little hard to imagine anyone motivated by non-belief. O'Hair was an exception, but she wasn't a criminal. Why would she qualify as a bad apple?

Certainly there are non-Christians and non-theists that are capable of violence. G. Gordon Liddy and Fidel Castro, for example. But neither were motivated by their lack of belief. And certainly, Liddy was not left-wing.

One problem that I do think is caused by extreme religious fundamentalism is repression. That can lead to emotional turmoil and acting out.

BTW, what violent Buddhists is the OP referring to? If I understand correctly, Buddhists are not theists anyway.
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  #19  
Old 09-15-2003, 01:39 AM
chuckster chuckster is offline
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<i>Don't forget ALF and ELF (Animal and Enviromental Liberation Front, respectively.), two domestic left-wing terrorist groups. They have a habit of torching SUV's, releasing research animals, burning new housing developments, ect.</i>

They havn't killed anyone yet, but it's only a matter of time. I know they torched a building under construction recently, and three construction workers asleep in the buliding at the time werre lucky to get out.
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  #20  
Old 09-15-2003, 05:12 AM
bifar bifar is offline
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Can I just add that liberalism isnít necessarily the antithesis of religion, quite the opposite Ė especially outside of the US. So it is quite possible to be a religious nut and a liberal.
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  #21  
Old 09-15-2003, 07:42 AM
Dogface Dogface is offline
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Pol Pot, extreme atheist, ordered the destruction of all religions as part of going back to "Year Zero". Of course, this meant that lots of people got killed.
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  #22  
Old 09-15-2003, 07:51 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ptahlis
Agreed. But I think their atrocities were provoked by political motives rather than religious ones. Of course religious leaders can also act out against people or things for purely practical reasons, but it can be difficult to tell just when that is so if they use religious arguments to justify their actions.
Sound like (no offense) the No True Scotsman defense.

If you assume that Stalin killed political groups because of his political beliefs, why not equally assume he killed religious groups because of his atheism?

Thus he killed the kulaks because he believed they presented a threat to his vision of a communal society. He killed Christians and Jews because they presented a threat to his vision of an atheistic society. Mao and Pol Pot did the same thing.

And Soup_du_jour - yes, I looked it up, but for an earlier thread on much the same topic, where we discussed if ELF was a terrorist organization or not. That was the thread where I cited the sawmill worker who was horribly injured and barely escaped with his life after ELF spiked a tree.

And I believe they recently went on an SUV arson spree. I can dig up a cite if you like.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #23  
Old 09-15-2003, 08:02 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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"Does this just mean the moderates are wussies who wont fight for their beliefs?"


No. It means that most moderates are sane. Most moderates don't latch onto some idea that strikes their fancy and then use that idea to define the world around them in terms of "good" and "evil".

There are nut-jobs on both the right and the left side of the spectrum. Anyone who believes so strongly that they have all the answers is a lot more likely to eventually lose patience and turn to extreme methods to "educate" the rest of the world.
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  #24  
Old 09-15-2003, 10:02 AM
Rashak Mani Rashak Mani is offline
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Originally posted by Soup_du_jour
Oh, perhaps I should clarify.

In the United States, the dichotomy of liberal/conservative is generally used interchangably with leftist/rightist. It has quite a different understanding outside of the States, or so I hear.

If you have a different definition, Rashak Mani, perhaps it would help if you could say what you mean by "Liberal."
LIBERAL = LEFT means STALIN was a Liberal ? I doubt Stalin could be called a liberal in any concept of the word. I suppose Liberal can only mean Left inside the USA then.... dont you agree ?

Liberal outside the USA means people who defend certain economic and political views that value smaller govt or less interference. Opposite of Conservative in most of the world. Not necessarily leftwing... but certainly tending to Center Left... or Center.

In Brazil for example the Leftwing is Conservative and some of Rightwing politics tends to be Liberal. The issues are more economic policy thou here.
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  #25  
Old 09-15-2003, 11:14 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally posted by Rashak Mani
LIBERAL = LEFT means STALIN was a Liberal ? I doubt Stalin could be called a liberal in any concept of the word. I suppose Liberal can only mean Left inside the USA then.... dont you agree ?

Liberal outside the USA means people who defend certain economic and political views that value smaller govt or less interference. Opposite of Conservative in most of the world. Not necessarily leftwing... but certainly tending to Center Left... or Center.

In Brazil for example the Leftwing is Conservative and some of Rightwing politics tends to be Liberal. The issues are more economic policy thou here.
Well, OK, but in your OP you mentioned -
Quote:
How many crazy atheists have we heard about ? How many pro-choice supporters killing anti-abortion activists ? How many Liberal activists engaging in conspiracies or killing politicians ?
which led me to conclude that you were defining "liberals" as an American would.

So in terms of religious vs. atheists, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot are counter-examples of atheists being just as bad as religious folk, or worse. As far as other causes traditionally associated with the Left in America, like environmentalism, Ted Kaczynski is another counter-example.

Although you are correct that in America, the only killings related to the pro-choice/pro-life debate are from anti-abortionists. Of course, the pro-choice side has had its way for the last thirty years or so, which may explain its lack of violence.

No matter how you slice it, you are going to be hard-put to find a group that is entirely free of crazies, regardless of ideology.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #26  
Old 09-15-2003, 11:23 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally posted by Shodan
And Soup_du_jour - yes, I looked it up, but for an earlier thread on much the same topic, where we discussed if ELF was a terrorist organization or not. That was the thread where I cited the sawmill worker who was horribly injured and barely escaped with his life after ELF spiked a tree.
Cite, please? My understanding is that nobody ever claimed responsibility for that sawmill worker's injuries, except for an anonymous letter to the paper claiming that God had demanded the tree be spiked; given that the mill was logging a small, family-owned stand of trees, it was hardly the typical ELF target.

I do agree that Stalin and Lenin and Mao and Pol Pot all count as examples of leftist extremists; I'd classify Hitler and Mussolini as rightist extremists, in the same way. In the United States right now, the only organized groups who advocate (and practice) murder for political purposes that I know of are on the right side of the political spectrum -- Identity Christians, pro-life extremists, and anti-tax militias. In the past, there have certainly been domestic leftist groups that did the same thing, but I'm not aware of any that are currently active.

It's very important to remember that the lunatic fringe does NOT invalidate the ideas of reasonable people. Those who murder abortion doctors do not reflect on those who advocate a legal end to access to abortion, any more than those who murder bankers reflect on those who call for greater regulation of the banking industry.

Daniel
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  #27  
Old 09-15-2003, 11:33 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Quote:
DW wrote:
In the United States right now, the only organized groups who advocate (and practice) murder for political purposes that I know of are on the right side of the political spectrum -- Identity Christians, pro-life extremists, and anti-tax militias.
Of course you left out Al-Qaeda, but I don't know know how you'd classify them on the left/right spectrum.
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  #28  
Old 09-15-2003, 11:56 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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I did leave out Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups that are based in other countries; I think it's useful for this discussion to look at terrorists who grew up in the United States. (It's not the only way to look at it -- note my acknowledgement of Stalin, Mussolini, etc. -- but it's one useful focus)

Daniel
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  #29  
Old 09-15-2003, 01:36 PM
Yumanite Yumanite is offline
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I think there's a big flaw in the premise that "lack of Nuts" would make a political stance better. After all, if the action of the wacko extremists don't reflect on the legitimacy of a stance, why would a lack of wackos even factor in?

Not that I'm claiming there exists a position free of wackos, you understand.
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  #30  
Old 09-15-2003, 01:41 PM
Yumanite Yumanite is offline
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I think there's a big flaw in the premise that "lack of Nuts" would make a political stance better. After all, if the action of the wacko extremists don't reflect on the legitimacy of a stance, why would a lack of wackos even factor in?

Not that I'm claiming there exists a position free of wackos, you understand.
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  #31  
Old 09-15-2003, 06:30 PM
Soup_du_jour Soup_du_jour is offline
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From John Mace
Of course you left out Al-Qaeda, but I don't know know how you'd classify them on the left/right spectrum.
I'd classify them on the obnoxiously far right. They're like Fascists with a militant religious tone. (Not to mention they fought the Soviets. )
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  #32  
Old 09-15-2003, 07:02 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Here is the case I was talking about. I think it was Earth First! rather than ELF.

I believe Dave Foreman, the founder, has renounced eco-sabotage, although his book is still available.


What you say about lunatics not discrediting a philosophical position is entirely correct.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #33  
Old 09-15-2003, 07:33 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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By the way, Canada's terrorists, the FLQ, were definitely left-wing. They wanted Quebec to seperate, and they wanted to 'take back the power' from businesses and 'cigar smoking men' and return it to 'the workers'.
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  #34  
Old 09-15-2003, 07:44 PM
Gadfly Gadfly is offline
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Extremists, whether far-right or far-left, tend to think in disturbingly similar ways. A pile of dung by any other name..
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  #35  
Old 09-15-2003, 10:35 PM
Ptahlis Ptahlis is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shodan
Sound like (no offense) the No True Scotsman defense.

If you assume that Stalin killed political groups because of his political beliefs, why not equally assume he killed religious groups because of his atheism?

Thus he killed the kulaks because he believed they presented a threat to his vision of a communal society. He killed Christians and Jews because they presented a threat to his vision of an atheistic society. Mao and Pol Pot did the same thing.
I read you Shodan. The distinction in my mind, and maybe it's an unimportant one to some (certainly their victims), is that while religions have some supernatural Authority whose "commands" must be followed, atheism lacks any parallel. So my classing of motives would go something like this:

Chinese crack down on Flaun Gong--> Basically about retaining power--> politically motivated.

Nutball shoots abortion doctor--> God says we should. --> Religious motivation.

Taliban bans music, dancing, and just about everything else.--> God told them to? All about increasing control over others?--> Political...or maybe religious...or maybe both.

When governments or other large groups act, I'm not sure you can ever discount political motives, even if they present it as a purely religious matter. When the actors are lone extremists or small sects of true believers, religious motivation is esier for me to believe. YMMV of course.

In any case, I can't seem to wrap my brain around how lack of belief would stir anyone into extreme action, which is where I commited my error. I define atheism as lack of belief, but some extremist might self-identify as an atheist and include 'dedication to the eradication of religion' in their defintion. I can't say "That's not true atheism" any more than Christians can say "Paul Hill wasn't a Christian." The best either side can do is say that "So-and-so warped atheism/religion."

In short, you're right, and I withdraw my objection.
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  #36  
Old 09-16-2003, 03:07 AM
ambushed ambushed is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ptahlis
As far as extreme liberals go though, aren't anarchists usually classed as extreme left?
That may be, but I don't see how that's philosophically justified. Anarchists hate all laws, which is a position to the right of libertarianism, which hates many laws and is also very far to the right. Liberals generally support just laws and government.
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  #37  
Old 09-16-2003, 08:02 AM
Rashak Mani Rashak Mani is offline
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Since the Americans cant get away from their Liberalism = Left... lets focus only on the Atheism part then ?

Stalin and Mao were "atheist" more as being against the power of religion of dominating the masses. I would even go as far as saying that they didnt have religion... not that they were atheists. Atheists think there is no god... Stalin and Mao just cared about power and religion was a problem for their power.
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  #38  
Old 09-16-2003, 08:08 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ptahlis
When governments or other large groups act, I'm not sure you can ever discount political motives, even if they present it as a purely religious matter. When the actors are lone extremists or small sects of true believers, religious motivation is esier for me to believe. YMMV of course.
[/B]

Is there a significant diference between political or religeous motives? It all boils down to enforcing your beliefs and rules on someone who doesn't believe the same way you do.
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  #39  
Old 09-16-2003, 08:23 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Shodan, your cite is a wee bit lacking; the only mention of the tree spiking is in these two sentences:

Quote:
In 1987, a sawmill worker was seriously injured when he was hit in the face by a shattered blade that had hit a spike in a tree. Tree spiking had been an Earth First! specialty, part of the group's campaign of industrial sabotage -- "monkeywrenching" in Earth First! parlance.
It doesn't mention that tree spiking was a technique invented by Wobbly loggers during the early twentieth century as a way of sabotaging sawmills, nor any of the other important details you can read about here:

Quote:
Initially, [the tree spiking] was blamed on Earth First!, and the media to this day continue to make that connection. It was later discovered that the only suspect was "a conservative Republican in his mid-fifties who owned land adjacent to the sale" (Foreman, p. 151). There is also evidence that the company (Louisiana-Pacific) knew that something might happen. For one, they had found dead animals left on their machinery as a protest and a warning. Still, they continued to saw the same wood, showing a blatant disrespect and lack of care for their workers. The next day, in fact, the saw struck a similar nail in another log from the same area (although no one was hurt). (Foreman, p. 152). The biggest problem with using the Cloverdale incident as an example of the dangers of Tree Spiking is that the mill itself was unsafe to begin with:

In a copyrighted interview with Alexander in the San Francisco Examiner, reporter Eric Brazil quoted the injured man as saying the band saw was cracked, wobbly, and due for replacement. Alexander said he had been complaining about the dangerous condition of the saw for two weeks. ... "If it had been a good saw, it would've handled the spike better," Alexander said. He further stated that he had almost not gone to work on the fateful day because of concerns about the saw. (Foreman, p. 152).
That's not to say that tree-spiking is okay. While its dangers are small, it *is* dangerous, and in 1990 (when I was involved with Earth First!), most of the group's most prominent members had renounced it. But not all environmental radicals have renounced it, and on the day that one of them ends up killing someone, they'll be on the same moral ground as abortion-doctor-murderers.

Daniel
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  #40  
Old 09-16-2003, 08:28 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally posted by ambushed
That may be, but I don't see how that's philosophically justified. Anarchists hate all laws, which is a position to the right of libertarianism, which hates many laws and is also very far to the right. Liberals generally support just laws and government.
Actually, anarchists have traditionally (especially at their height, during the nineteenth and early twentieth century) been opposed to private property as well, and the most famous anarchist crimes involved attacks against pro-business politicians or business leaders. Anarchist leaders famously competed with Marx for followers; Communist Anarchism was a big deal back in the day (Emma Goldman being the best-known example); and in the mid-twentieth century, Anarchists had their last two big hurrahs, with participation in the Spanish Civil War (initially on the same side as Stalin) and with the Situationist rebellions in late-sixties France.

It is the strong anarchist ties to the socialism and communism movements that identify them with the left. Capitalist anarchists are a relatively new phenomenon.

Daniel
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  #41  
Old 09-16-2003, 08:42 AM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Originally posted by Ptahlis
In any case, I can't seem to wrap my brain around how lack of belief would stir anyone into extreme action, which is where I commited my error. I define atheism as lack of belief, but some extremist might self-identify as an atheist and include 'dedication to the eradication of religion' in their defintion. I can't say "That's not true atheism" any more than Christians can say "Paul Hill wasn't a Christian." The best either side can do is say that "So-and-so warped atheism/religion."
I think an argument could be made by religious persons (though I wouldn't agree with it), that it isn't lack of belief that stirs atheists into action but lack of belief that permits atheists to act.

Julie
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  #42  
Old 09-16-2003, 10:51 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by jsgoddess
I think an argument could be made by religious persons (though I wouldn't agree with it), that it isn't lack of belief that stirs atheists into action but lack of belief that permits atheists to act.

Julie
In the case of Stalin, I think his belief in the coming "dictatorship of the proletariat" stirred him into action. Although you are correct that his rejection of morality based on other principles allowed him to justify his actions in killing millions. Same for Mao and Pol Pot. In other words, their actions were motivated by belief in a goal, and they felt they were justified in what they did by that goal.

Of course, you could argue that they were really motivated simply by the desire for power, just as you could find psychological explanations for terrorism by the KKK.

Marxism has a lot of parallels with apocalyptic religion - belief in an end to history, evangelism, a higher morality, and so forth.

I think at the extremes, nearly all ideologies come to be more alike than they are different, as Gadfly mentioned.

DanielWithrow -

Your cite is interesting, but -
  • I don't see the relevance that "tree spiking was a technique invented by Wobbly loggers during the early twentieth century as a way of sabotaging sawmills..." If by Wobbly, you mean IWW, that was a fairly left-wing organization, which would tend to support the notion that tree-spiking is a tactic largely of the left.
  • I will need a bit more that Foreman's say-so that the only possible suspect was a "conservative Republican". Especially since, as you cite, Earth First! endorsed tree-spiking at the time, and since Foreman himself mentioned the dead animals left "as a protest" on the site. He seems to know more about the whole affair than if he and Earth First! were totally innocent.
  • The idea that Louisiana-Pacific is in some way responsible because they were not intimidated by the threats of those responsible is morally indefensible. And this part about how it is really their fault for not using saw blades that could cut thru tree spikes is verging on offensive. The whole poiint of tree spiking is to use spikes that cannot be cut thru at the saw mill. To characterize a failure to surrender to the demands of extremists as showing "a blatant disrespect and lack of care for their workers" is ridiculous.
Would you agree that any abortion clinic that does not shut down after receiving bomb threats is showing "a blatant disrespect and lack of care for their workers" and women who wish to obtain abortions?

Those who bombed the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970 (it was a Viet Nam war protest) set off their bomb at night. They expected the building to be empty. They were wrong, and they killed a young researcher who had nothing to do with the war in Viet Nam. Would you say that therefore the bombers were innocent? Why then do you feel that those responsible for the tree spiking should not be blamed when their actions lead directly to serious injury?

Nutcases are nutcases, and I don't see any shortage of them on either side of the aisle.

Unfortunately for both sides.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #43  
Old 09-16-2003, 01:42 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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Re; Atheism and Liberalism better due to lack of Nuts ?

Yes: I can positively state that very few if any children have died from anaphylactic shock arising from environmental contact with Atheism and Liberalism.
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  #44  
Old 09-16-2003, 02:14 PM
Azael Azael is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rashak Mani
Stalin and Mao were "atheist" more as being against the power of religion of dominating the masses. I would even go as far as saying that they didnt have religion... not that they were atheists. Atheists think there is no god... Stalin and Mao just cared about power and religion was a problem for their power.
Well that is perhaps an interesting line of reasoning but it doesn't address the fact that atheism has long been a facet of Communist ideology.

You know, "Religion is the opiate of the masses" and all that
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  #45  
Old 09-16-2003, 03:01 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shodan
DanielWithrow -

Your cite is interesting, but -
  • I don't see the relevance that "tree spiking was a technique invented by Wobbly loggers during the early twentieth century as a way of sabotaging sawmills..." If by Wobbly, you mean IWW, that was a fairly left-wing organization, which would tend to support the notion that tree-spiking is a tactic largely of the left.
  • I will need a bit more that Foreman's say-so that the only possible suspect was a "conservative Republican". Especially since, as you cite, Earth First! endorsed tree-spiking at the time, and since Foreman himself mentioned the dead animals left "as a protest" on the site. He seems to know more about the whole affair than if he and Earth First! were totally innocent.
  • The idea that Louisiana-Pacific is in some way responsible because they were not intimidated by the threats of those responsible is morally indefensible. And this part about how it is really their fault for not using saw blades that could cut thru tree spikes is verging on offensive. The whole poiint of tree spiking is to use spikes that cannot be cut thru at the saw mill. To characterize a failure to surrender to the demands of extremists as showing "a blatant disrespect and lack of care for their workers" is ridiculous.
First, the Wobbly cite isn't directly relevant now; at the time it happened, given the weird nature of the crime, there was speculation that the spike was an old Wobbly spike. Again, this spiking did not fit the normal EF patter for tree-spiking.

Foreman's info about it surely comes from contemporary news articles; if you'd like other cites, I encourage you to dig them up yourself.

You're correct that L-P can't be held totally responsible for the guy's injury; at the same time, it would've behooved them to replace cracked saw blades with functional ones. Deliberate Spikes are far from the only source of metal in trees, and cracked sawblades are very dangerous.

If an abortion clinic knew there was an active and violent pro-life movement in its area, and it refused to pay for outside lights, and a clinic worker got mugged because of the lack of basic security -- sure, I'd lay some of the blame at the clinic's feet. Obviously the mugger is primarily at fault, but the clinic didn't bother to set up minimal safety, and that's sucky on their part.

Finally tree-spiking is designed to damage saw-blades, but not by shattering them: a normal saw-blade will be stripped by a spike in a tree. Spiking was never intended to injure anyone; when it became clear that it could injure people if the saw blade was faulty, EF folks renounced it as a tactic.

The central point is that the spiking in which this guy was hurt was not likely to be an EF spiking; nevertheless, most public EF people have renounced tree-spiking. It is therefore not comparable to abortion-doctor murderers.

Daniel
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  #46  
Old 09-16-2003, 03:06 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shodan Those who bombed the Army Math Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970 (it was a Viet Nam war protest) set off their bomb at night. They expected the building to be empty. They were wrong, and they killed a young researcher who had nothing to do with the war in Viet Nam. Would you say that therefore the bombers were innocent? Why then do you feel that those responsible for the tree spiking should not be blamed when their actions lead directly to serious injury?
[/B]
I should've responded to this:
1) During the 60s and 70s, there were definitely violent domestic leftist terrorists. I'm confining my comments to the present day.
2) The bombers were not innocent.
3) If it turns out that the tree-spike in question was placed by an environmentalist, then the one who placed it is responsible, and my thesis about violent domestic leftist terrorists is false. If it wasn't, my thesis is not false.

Daniel
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  #47  
Old 09-16-2003, 07:29 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow
First, the Wobbly cite isn't directly relevant now...
True, which is why I questioned it.

Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow

...at the time it happened, given the weird nature of the crime, there was speculation that the spike was an old Wobbly spike. Again, this spiking did not fit the normal EF patter for tree-spiking.
Of course, it may be possible that the spike was there for eighty years, but, as you mention, Earth First! used tree-spiking enough to have a pattern. Since they used and encouraged the practice (before that point), and since they renounced it afterwards, I would imagine they were prime suspects, if nothing more.

Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow

Foreman's info about it surely comes from contemporary news articles; if you'd like other cites, I encourage you to dig them up yourself.
Surely?

I don't trust Foreman any further than I can drop kick him. It sounds an awful lot like something he pulled out of his ass to try to deflect suspicion from the only group in the area actively engaged in tree-spiking - and, as I mentioned, he seems to know a great deal about the motives of those who were trying to frighten Louisiana-Pacific out of logging the area.

In any case, it is a bit too self-serving to be credible.

Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow

You're correct that L-P can't be held totally responsible for the guy's injury; at the same time, it would've behooved them to replace cracked saw blades with functional ones. Deliberate Spikes are far from the only source of metal in trees, and cracked sawblades are very dangerous.
Oddly enough, the only metal in the tree that damn near killed the sawmill worker came from a tree-spiking. The saw blade in question didn't seem to have any trouble with any other trees.
Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow

Finally tree-spiking is designed to damage saw-blades, but not by shattering them: a normal saw-blade will be stripped by a spike in a tree. Spiking was never intended to injure anyone; when it became clear that it could injure people if the saw blade was faulty, EF folks renounced it as a tactic.
And, as I mentioned, the bombers of the AMRC in 1970 thought they would bomb the place at night, and hold casualties to a minimum. They were wrong too.

And every mainstream pro-life advocate disavowed bombings and violence within hours after the first incident of abortion clinic bombing.

The parallels of tree-spiking and abortion bombings seem almost exact. Acts of violence, leading to death or serious injury, and renounced by the less extremist elements of the movements that motivated the violence.

As I said, nutcases are all alike, whether they want to "Save the Forests!" or "Save the Babies!".

Regards,
Shodan
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  #48  
Old 09-16-2003, 08:14 PM
Sofa King Sofa King is offline
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I humbly present the entire body of my work here at the SDMB as primary evidence contradicting the original argument.

And I don't know how elucidator feels about the Magical Sky Pixie, but I nominate him as a crazy-assed liberal alongside myself.

And I second it, too.
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  #49  
Old 09-17-2003, 11:39 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Shodan, I followed the case while it was happening. I can vouch from memory that Foreman's recounting of it was reflected in the contemporary media. If you don't trust him, that's fine, but you'll still need to show some cites implicating him. Foreman's no angel, but I've never seen any evidence whatsoever linking him to this spiking.

I look on it like this: A doctor performs abortions. She also has attracted the attention of a stalker. When she refuses to date the stalker, he shoots her and kills her. Is it appropriate to blame radical pro-lifers for her murder?

It isn't making excuses for the radicals to say they're not at fault in this case.

The tree spiking looks like it was done by an angry neighbor, not by someone working under EF's rubrick. While I think tree-spiking is an unacceptable and unethical tactic, I'll need to see some shred of evidence before I'll hold any EFer accountable for this particular crime.

Daniel
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  #50  
Old 09-20-2003, 07:25 AM
Urban Ranger Urban Ranger is offline
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The basic question is: what is a nut? []

Lenin and Mao believed in the violent overthrow of oppressive governments by the proletariat. Were they nuts? Why?

US militia believes in the right of bearing of arms, so they can resist the government if necessary. Are they nuts? Why?

Falun Gong followers believe that each of them have this little "wheel" revolving around in their body and that Li is a living god. Are they nuts? Why?

BTW, Ted Kaczynski is not an environmentalist. If you read the Unabomber Manifesto, it should be clear.
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