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Everything posted by J.C.MacSwell

  1. To assert the blame more clearly on Hamas (they are Palestinians...but read below)than is typical in this thread, including the comparison of Gaza to a concentration camp, despite that Israel alone doesn't control the perimeter, and inside Hamas has been diverting resources toward the destruction of Israel that were intended for, or could be utilized to help, other Gazans lead a more normal life. Not that Israeli leadership is not responsible for some aggravating of a bad situation in Gaza or on the West Bank. Unfortunately yes. Israel is justified in some of their actions even when innocent deaths occur. Hamas started the current war. If just you and I were hostages of the Hamas leadership, and Israel had a chance to take us all out, our deaths would be justified. If it was you and I, plus the rest of the members on this Forum, perhaps not. (I don't know where they draw the line) I'm on record alluding to the fact that I don't believe everyone in Hamas is evil, never mind other Palestinians, but unfortunately wars are never fair to the innocent. In this war instigated by Hamas, Israel is obligated to protect their citizens and, by the rules of war, try to limit Palestinian civilian casualties. How well they are doing in those regards is certainly open to debate but they are certainly not acting like everyone in Gaza deserves to be bombed. They are putting boots on the ground and putting their soldiers at greater risk than if they simply did that...small comfort as it may be to the Gazan civilians in harms way due to Hamas's war. So I hope for a ceasefire, even if I don't believe one should be demanded of Israel. Israel should be very wary though of breaking any of the rules of war...and also very wary of the long term results of any actions they take. Does a late term fetus and their civilian mother both count?
  2. Personally I write God, rather than god, when referring to a supreme god, regardless of which religion, if any in particular and of course regardless of whether He/She exists as I certainly cannot know. (there is an underlying assumption on my part that if He/She exists it's the same One for all people and all religions regardless of the belief details that a religion might have ) I would mostly use god rather than God when referring to lesser gods, but not for the purpose of denying or belittling someone's God. But if it was a religion with multiple gods I might capitalize any where that was their custom. I see no reason to change that. Similar I think to what I now see the TheVat just posted.
  3. This brings to mind the agreement between India and China not to use firearms within a couple kilometres of the Line of Actual Control in the area of disputed border between the two countries. Unfortunately at times casualties including fatalities sometimes occur when fighting erupts but at least those casualties are considerably lessened along with reduced tendencies for escalation than otherwise would be likely. "According to the agreement, they can’t use firearms, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fistfights or fights with swords, axes, clubs, and more. Although shots have been fired, when this has occurred, both sides have immediately denied it as neither wants to be in violation of the agreement." https://www.sandboxx.us/news/these-are-the-unique-weapons-used-in-the-border-clashes-between-china-and-india/#:~:text=While the soldiers had rifles,batons%2C stones%2C and others.
  4. Some do to some extent. Can't do that. It would contradict the very post you were quoting me from.
  5. Until He stops working in mysterious ways that's unlikely to change.
  6. Correct me if I'm wrong but in the Abrahamic religions isn't everyone but God considered a sinner? The point being that unless someone claims they are God that doesn't necessarily put them higher on any moral ladder. People do judge though, often in a way that seems to imply they think they are better. I just don't see this as unique to the religious. Do you not judge? Do you not have a moral compass and some guiding principles? I can see the advantage of not committing to a set of rules in a book you haven't read yet (often the starting point where faith comes first and a fuller understanding of the "rules" second) but each and everyone making up their own rules isn't necessarily good either. Progress on at least some critical agreements can be made but I think more easily in a group of say, 10 than 100 and say 40 million (roughly Canadian population) rather than 8 billion...but somewhere along the line in any group where a hierarchy does not yet exist, especially in the bigger ones, someone might decide they should be the leader...and someone else might also...or instead decide that supporting the first might move them "up" in the group...and away we go...the ladder is set up and ready to go...the race is on for some...and the indifferent are set up and encouraged to have at least a slightly easier time following and at least a slightly harder time not...and often judged accordingly. Doesn't seem unique to religions. Do you not feel you have a strong sense of "self" though, beyond (or maybe emergent from?) your physical being?
  7. My intention was defining it as something you consider yourself aside from your physical body, assuming there is such a thing. If there isn't I think it's almost certain, at least in my mind (lol because that's where I assume my soul would be), that we do not have free will. Most people believe they have free will and some essence of self but can't prove it, and I think that is how I would define my soul So I guess that's roughly how I choose to define it, but I can't even be certain I have a choice, though it feels like I have both a soul and free will right now, being alive and all. So assuming it exists...the question becomes what happens to it when you die? Since it really doesn't lend itself to a scientific investigation, it can't be proven as correct thinking...so religion, unencumbered by provable lines of thought, gets to reign over this type of question. That's the best I think I can do at the moment...weak-ass as it seems.
  8. Yes. Religions have answers to those ranging from good through terrible. Science can't answer them...though I guess some might try to claim they have scientific answers for them. But I was thinking more along the lines of "what happens to our souls when we die?".
  9. That's a good post explaining your position but a far cry from supporting any characterization of anything anywhere in this thread suggesting "Palestinians have screwed up and now everyone there deserves to be bombed?"
  10. ...do you also feel or believe in characterizing Israel claim of a right to defend itself as "Palestinians have screwed up and now everyone there deserves to be bombed?". Is it helpful in that regard? For the record, I don't think you do, nor do I think CharonY does, and I think INow is just trying to defend it. But that's one nasty take if anyone honestly believes it. Fortunately the stakes on this forum are far less than for those charged with trying to solve the issue.
  11. Is that because you want a repeat of the Holocaust? Because that's about as accurate as CharonY's assessment...and apparently yours also.
  12. CharonY puts together excellent posts, but he seems to fuck up reading other posters.
  13. When Jesus was young he came running into Joseph's workshop saying "Dad, did you call me?" Joseph replied "No, sorry, I just hit my thumb with my hammer!".
  14. I guess this comes down to the fact that Science can't answer questions that Religion claims to answer. So if you are pondering the unknowable, Religion has something to offer where science does not.
  15. Most directly, Iran supports Hamas and it's terrorist activities. Hezbollah in Lebanon as well. Other Arab countries have supporters of Hamas. And as I mentioned Israel is outnumbered by the Islamic population 200 to 1, so a relatively small percentage of support becomes quite significant. Given that, Gaza is not quite as powerless as it might seem especially given the willingness to resort to terror and to hide behind civilians.
  16. I was critical of the longshots individually but not the idea of bringing them up. +1 in fact. As I said maybe they will help someone somewhere come up with something that might work.
  17. I didn't think it was required. Kidding, but serious that NATO countries should not get directly involved, other than perhaps peacekeeping along with non NATO countries after Hamas is removed aside. If somehow some elements of your suggestion could be incorporated in a pragmatic solution, that would be a very good thing. They can do more than the Palestinians, but unfortunately they cannot do more than all of the Arab and Islamic countries, which in population outnumber them 200 to 1. So if just 1% are willing to continue to act against them they are outnumbered 2 to 1. The Palestinians are isolated by all other nations in peace, but not in war, nor in acts of terror. Also add that it seems very unlikely to me that in numbers Hamas represents only 1% of the Gazan Palestinians. Surely many more condone their actions. I don't think they would have survived as long as they have if that was the case. Though I don't know
  18. Suggesting NATO countries take over from the IDF? At what point? Near future? Make it their job to root out Hamas and bring those criminals to justice? Under the auspices of the UN? Maybe after the war Hamas started is over? This also requires Hamas removal from the equation This suggests Israel promoting their choice of leadership to the Palestinians. I guess it's good to look at the better possibilities even if they seem like longshots. Might help eventually lead to a plausible solution where none seem workable at this time. But right now it seems like Hamas's removal is essential as a start, and only Israel is willing to do that. Until it's done or a reasonable proposal to take on that task by others willing to do it no one should be requiring any more of Israel than abiding by agreed laws of war to the degree that protects civilians (which unfortunately will never be sufficient even with other countries stepping in to take over the task of Hamas's removal). Insisting on Israel abiding by a truce they haven't agreed to, in a war declared by Hamas, requires a commitment to upholding the peace that no one is currently willing to offer. I will say though, that the rules of war could use significant improvement. I just don't know how. Maybe though as a start, a commitment to sanctions not just against obvious aggressors, but to those unwilling to sanction them or continue to support them... If NATO does form a task force to take over from the IDF to root out Hamas and bring the criminals to justice I think a good name for the operation might be "The Final Crusade".
  19. I think I probably could have best left that last paragraph out on my praise of Phi's post...but overall I think his post was a little more tolerant and achievable of progress than some previous. Tolerance where possible, and working toward achievable progress, I think are two of the keys for humanity needed right now.
  20. I am certainly onboard with that. +1
  21. I didn't say that. I said some of them were the basis of some of our better laws. I did mention guaranteed success, but wasn't claiming you were suggesting any guarantee, just a strong belief that without religions alone man was capable of "heaven on Earth", which you now have explained means something considerably less to you than utopia. I didn't say that. I said some of them were the basis of some of our better laws. That's hardly the same thing. If you are going to oppress and control peoples freedom of thought you might need to set up an oppressive hierarchy to do so...the very thing you are speaking against. I think it might be better to just focus on any resulting negative actions rather than ban religions entirely, which you seem to be in favour of. Any consistent human tendency, both good bad or both, obviously is allowed to manifest from some capability that is supported by our DNA. You might think the concept that some people are more worthy than others stems only from religion, without which no negative hierarchies would naturally arise but they are everywhere, some necessary and some not, and over time they tend to get abused by those in power. One of my examples was this forum. It certainly requires a hierarchy, and it's mostly good, but it's there. (I don't know which religious zealot among your staff set it up...but I'm sure you will turf them when you find them given your new found intolerance...that or maybe it's just inherent in human nature...😄)
  22. Because here, although we have evolved to have the capacity for peaceful coexistence, we have also all evolved to have the capacity for instinct to take advantage of those that demonstrate excessive pacifism. When not sure we tend to poke the bear to find out...
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