A Philosopher's Blog

Trump & The Muslim Ban

Posted in Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Religion by Michael LaBossiere on December 7, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has found what seems to be a winning strategy: when a poll shows that he might be losing his lead, he makes an outrageous statement. His poll numbers then rise. On December 7, 2015 Trump said that the United States should forbid all Muslims from entering the country.

In making his statement, Trump asserted that “…the hatred is beyond comprehension” and that the ban must last “…until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses…” He apparently thinks that Muslims “…believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” Since Trump is the leading Republican candidate, his remarks carry significant weight. As such, they demand serious consideration.

There are three main areas in which Trump’s proposal needs to be assessed. These are the legal, the moral and the practical. I will start with the legal.

While I am not a constitutional scholar or a lawyer, Trump’s proposal seems to be unconstitutional. There is no legal precedent for applying a religious test for admission to the United States and, most importantly, it would violate the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment. As such, even if such a law were passed by Congress, it would almost certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court. Since I am not an expert in this area, I would certainly defer to those who know this field.

As might be expected, the morality of Trump’s proposal depends on what sort of moral theory is used to assess it. Those who hold that morality is based on Christianity would presumably accept the command of Leviticus: “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.” This would seem to forbid such exclusion. Naturally, it could be objected that this command does not apply to Muslims—the challenge is providing the scriptural support for this claim. It could also be pointed out that the text is about the foreigner residing among us and, as such, does not forbid preventing the foreigner from coming here to reside. This sort of loophole is best debated by religious scholars.

For those who prefer ethics not based on religion, one standard approach is to consider the matter from the utilitarian standpoint. This would involve considering the harms and benefits of such a ban, weighing them, arguing that morality is a matter of consequences and then drawing the appropriate conclusion. This also brings in the practical assessment of the plan by considering its effectiveness or lack thereof.

Given what Trump says, he seems to think that the ban would protect Americans from harm. In one sense, he is right: if no Muslims are allowed into the country, then the Muslims that are kept out cannot harm Americans here. Americans would just face the usual dangers from everyone else and each other—and the leading cause of violent deaths of Americans is, of course, other Americans. As such, the increase in safety would be incredibly small.

There are numerous negative consequences to consider, such as the harm that would be done to refugees fleeing wars as well as the many Muslims who come to the United States to engage in peaceful, productive and beneficial activities such as working, learning, teaching, and being tourists. There is also the harm that would be done to the Americans who benefit from these activities. In practical terms, this could be measured in dollars lost. In moral terms, it could be measured in harms done.

In addition to the domestic harms, there is also the harm to America’s reputation. To impose such a ban on Muslims would be to throw down and stomp upon our claims of religious tolerance and religious liberty. We have claimed that we will take in the tired, the poor, the huddled masses that yearn to breathe free. To refuse to allow people into the country would repudiate these words. This is said to be the home of the brave. To impose such a ban would be to make this the home of the fearful and the intolerant. The harm to our reputation in the world would, I believe, be quite serious and would greatly offset any alleged gain in safety from the ban. This can, of course be countered by arguing that either the impact to our reputation would be insignificant or that it would be outweighed by the alleged gain in safety.

Finally, this sort of ban would be a propaganda gold mine for groups like Daesh. It would serve as excellent evidence for the claim that the West is at war with Islam and would serve as a powerful recruiting tool. Those banned from entering the United States would also have resentment against America, resentment that could in some cases be fanned into the flames of radicalization. This would, ironically, put Americans at greater risk. This could also be countered by arguing that such a ban would not have the claimed effect or that the positive impact of the ban on safety would outweigh the negative.

Given that the proposed ban is unconstitutional, immoral and would be ineffective as a means of providing protection (but very effective as Daesh propaganda) it should be evident it is an awful idea. In fact, its mere proposal is already harming the United States.

 

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  1. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 7, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Trump is working for Hillary. Have you not figured that out yet?

  2. TJB said, on December 7, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Actually, Trump’s role is to make Ted Cruz look like a moderate.

  3. TJB said, on December 7, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I think the argument can be cast a little differently. Mike, do you remember the “prime directive” in Star Trek?

    Let say that as a nation we decide that we will not interfere with Islamic civilization and we don’t want them to interfere with our civilization. Why would this be unethical?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 8, 2015 at 11:48 am

      There is nothing inherently unethical about adopting a non-interference policy; although it could run afoul of any moral obligations we would have to each other (this would be analogous to having a non-interference policy as an individual that would involve walking past people who are drowning, starving, being assaulted and so on).

      There would be many practical problems as well. We would need to define Islamic civilization and then separate it from the non-Islamic. This would presumably involve removing all Western oil companies, banks, and so on from any connection with Islam. It would also require removing all non-Muslims from Islamic lands and vice versa. This would require deporting American citizens, which might involve some legal problems. The damage to the world economy would be significant, but perhaps you would see this as a good policy.

      • TJB said, on December 8, 2015 at 11:40 pm

        It is not clear that the world economy would be damaged unless you don’t believe Muslims are capable of pumping their own oil out of the ground. Non-interference means we will not meddle in their affairs and they will not meddle in our affairs. This does not preclude sending humanitarian aid in the event of a disaster.

        • WTP said, on December 9, 2015 at 12:02 am

          unless you don’t believe Muslims are capable of pumping their own oil out of the ground

          TJ, do you believe Arabs are capable of pumping their own oil out of the ground?

          • TJB said, on December 9, 2015 at 6:24 am

            Yes, of course. But only if they have to.

            • WTP said, on December 9, 2015 at 2:44 pm

              Have you ever talked with anyone who has worked in Saudi Arabia in the oil production business? Or worked in any other technically challenging endeavor?

            • WTP said, on December 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

              Here, read this link (as an example) about Saudi Air Force pilots. This is very typical of what I have heard from other endeavors. I can vouch for the basic point in this specific comment in regard to RSAF as a guy who used to sit right next to me at work was engaged in working with them and creating a system for training them. They kept rejecting the training system because it kept rejecting their pilots. The pilots could never be at fault, the insistence was that the training system was flawed. Only when I pointed him to a WSJ (IIRC) or something similar in the general media that explained essentially what is in this comment did he understand the true nature of the problem he was dealing with.

              http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/40-173.aspx#startofcomments

            • TJB said, on December 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

              No, but I understand that the Saudis outsource all real work.

            • WTP said, on December 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

              heh…and this from that very same comments section:

              The main activities of the Saudi employees (during their two hour ?work? days) seem to be criticizing everyone else, getting their relatives hired and looking for kickback opportunities. If the American staff ever gets pulled out, I estimate 48 hours before the ability to export crude oil disappears because none of the Saudis know how the valves and pumps work.

  4. TJB said, on December 7, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    “It would serve as excellent evidence for the claim that the West is at war with Islam and would serve as a powerful recruiting tool.”

    It is funny that the same people who claim that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam also claim that Muslims will flock to ISIS if we criticize Islam. It is hard to take such people seriously.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 8, 2015 at 11:52 am

      I certainly don’t claim that Daesh has nothing to do with Islam. They see themselves as Islamic and operate within the framework that they regard as true Islam.

      Since I do not believe that Mohammad was a prophet of God, I think that Islam is fundamentally in error. But, I also recognize that I could be mistaken about this, so I am willing to accept a policy of religious freedom for everyone on the basis that no one really knows who (if anyone) has got the one true view. Now, if some folks want to kill me because they think God has told them to do so, then we have issues that can probably only be settled by their deaths (or mine) or their modifying their views.

      • TJB said, on December 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm

        Obama: “ISIL is not Islamic.”

        • ronster12012 said, on December 9, 2015 at 6:41 am

          But what would he know? Is he an islamic scholar or lying poitician?

  5. TJB said, on December 7, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Interestingly, if Trump were in France or the Netherlands he would probably face charges for “inciting religious hatred,” or something along those lines.

    Here is the US–for now at least–we have the 1st Amendment so that we can discuss these issues openly.

    Naturally, the Dems are trying to undermine the 1st Amendment. They are Dems. That is what they do.

  6. WTP said, on December 7, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    Testing…

    • TJB said, on December 7, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      For whatever reason, as soon as you denote an ideology a “religion” it gets a free pass.

      Personally, I give no free passes.

      • WTP said, on December 8, 2015 at 10:19 am

        Eh…could say the same about education. Take any sort of racist, sexist, or other-ist bullshit and create a “studies” course for it at a University or fill a syllabus with polemics and sophistry and it gets a free pass as well. At least religion doesn’t take money out of my pocket.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 8, 2015 at 11:56 am

        What do you mean?

        • TJB said, on December 8, 2015 at 11:50 pm

          It means that once something is declared as a religion, criticizing it becomes racist.

    • ronster12012 said, on December 9, 2015 at 5:18 am

      Oh dear….let’s not bring logic and consistancy into it….

  7. ronster12012 said, on December 9, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Michael

    …………………………………………………
    “He apparently thinks that Muslims “…believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” Since Trump is the leading Republican candidate, his remarks carry significant weight. As such, they demand serious consideration.”
    ………………………………………………….
    Insofar as moslems are in good standing then they must believe in jihad.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_of_Islamic_scholars_on_Jihad

    https://www.2600.com/news/mirrors/harkatmujahideen/www.harkatulmujahideen.org/jihad/o-jihad.htm

    http://www.peacewithrealism.org/jihad/jihad04.htm

    etc etc…..so it would pay to ascertain the truth of Trumps statement rather than just assuming he is wrong.

    ……………………………………………………………
    “While I am not a constitutional scholar or a lawyer, Trump’s proposal seems to be unconstitutional. There is no legal precedent for applying a religious test for admission to the United States and, most importantly, it would violate the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment. ”
    ……………………………………………………………..

    Moslems cannot sincerely make the pledge of allegiance AND still be moslems…..therefore they cannot logically become US citizens.

    ……………………………………………………………….
    “Americans would just face the usual dangers from everyone else and each other—and the leading cause of violent deaths of Americans is, of course, other Americans. As such, the increase in safety would be incredibly small.”
    ………………………………………………………………..

    Yeah. but the same applies anywhere, if one is going to be assaulted or killed then the assaulter or killer has to be in close proximity to the victim.

    That is different to the question of additional increases of risk. Import 1 million Finnish or (white) Scandinavians or Dutch or Germans and you have lowered your risk of crime for the US population. Bring in 1 million Somalians or similar and you have raised the risk to the US population.

    So what course does a responsible government take?

    ……………………………………………………………………..
    “In addition to the domestic harms, there is also the harm to America’s reputation.”
    ……………………………………………………………………….

    Au contraire….the reputation of the US would improve. It would show the world that political correctness is dead, that ethnostates are back, and that multicult was a silly idea to begin with.

    …………………………………………………………………………….
    “There are numerous negative consequences to consider, such as the harm that would be done to refugees fleeing wars as well as the many Muslims who come to the United States to engage in peaceful, productive and beneficial activities such as working, learning, teaching, and being tourists. ”
    ……………………………………………………………………………..
    Do refugees have an actual claim on a potential host nation? And is that claim, even if it exists a perpetual claim or merely till their home country situation improves? In other words, is it a backdoor migration scheme?

    And for every moslem that comes to do the above there is probably an american that has been edged out.
    What obligations do you have to look after your own before foreigners?

    …………………………………………………………………………….
    “To impose such a ban on Muslims would be to throw down and stomp upon our claims of religious tolerance and religious liberty. We have claimed that we will take in the tired, the poor, the huddled masses that yearn to breathe free. ”
    ……………………………………………………………………………..

    Your BFF, Israel has no problems in that regard. They just do it…..So can you!

    Anyhow, why should you show tolerance for people, insofar as they are moslem and therefore believe in Sharia law, that are incapable of being civilized? Not today or tomorrow, but when their numbers are such that they can impose their values on you they will.

    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    “This is said to be the home of the brave. To impose such a ban would be to make this the home of the fearful and the intolerant. ”
    ………………………………………………………………………………………

    That’s just marketing shit….there are brave people everywhere, it just depends on the circumstances.

    And brave doesn’t mean foolhardy either.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

    “Finally, this sort of ban would be a propaganda gold mine for groups like Daesh. It would serve as excellent evidence for the claim that the West is at war with Islam and would serve as a powerful recruiting tool. ”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Well, the west and islam are at war. As for ISIS, that is just a US/UK/Israel/Turkey/Saudi/Qatar financed and supported destabilization group formed for geopolitical reasons. That is why the US was allegedly bombing them for 18 months and they only got bigger, whereas Russia bombed them for 1 month and they not only got smaller but the US was very upset about Russia bombing their terrorists…..says it all..

  8. ronster12012 said, on December 9, 2015 at 7:33 am

    One other thing that is relevant to this discussion is that of ‘hijrah’ or jihad by colonization.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/260019/hijrah-europe-robert-spencer

    So the gamble is that moslem ‘immigrants’ will be worth the risk of accepting them…..what if it goes pearshaped in 50 years time? What payoff is enough to compensate for the risk of accepting people whose religion has a concept of conquest by colonization……or is everyone so stupid they cannot conceive that others may despise them?

    And a character reference of your new friends entitled ‘Islam, the greatest murder machine in history’

    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/05/the_greatest_murder_machine_in_history.html?utm_source=hootsuite#.VmOzF7t4LRU.facebook

    Trump is spot on….and all the anti Trump hate only confirms it.

  9. ronster12012 said, on December 9, 2015 at 7:39 am

    And the 4 stages of moslem conquest if anyone is interested.

    STAGE 1: INFILTRATION

    Muslims begin moving to non-Muslim countries in increasing numbers and the beginning of cultural conflicts are visible, though often subtle.

    First migration wave to non-Muslim “host” country.
    Appeal for humanitarian tolerance from the host society.
    Attempts to portray Islam as a peaceful & Muslims as victims of misunderstanding and racism (even though Islam is not a ‘race’).
    High Muslim birth rate in host country increase Muslim population.
    Mosques used to spread Islam and dislike of host country & culture.
    Calls to criminalize “Islamophobia” as a hate crime.
    Threatened legal action for perceived discrimination.
    Offers of “interfaith dialogue” to indoctrinate non-Muslims.
    How many nations are suffering from Islamic infiltration? One? A handful? Nearly every nation? The Islamic ‘leadership” of the Muslim Brotherhood and others wish to dissolve each nation’s sovereignty and replace it with the global imposition of Islamic sharia law. Sharia law, based on the koran, sira and hadith, condemns liberty and forbids equality and is inconsistent with the laws of all Western nations. As the author and historian Serge Trifkovic states:

    “The refusal of the Western elite class to protect their nations from jihadist infiltration is the biggest betrayal in history.”

    The rest at https://civilusdefendus.wordpress.com/civil-defense/4-stages-of-islamic-conquest/

  10. ronster12012 said, on December 9, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Another interesting view on this topic, by Prof Kevin MacDonald..(luckily he has tenure)…who basically backs up what The Donster says re moslems. So it’s not all just crazy talk regardless of loudly leftists squeal.

    An interesting statistic in the article is that 51% of polled US moslems say that they should have the choice of being ruled by Sharia law instead of US law and only 39% say that they should be compulsorily be subject to US law.

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/12/trumps-statement-on-muslim-exclusion/

    What I would find quite amusing if it weren’t such a serious issue is how strenuously many will defend the rights of people who do not respect out culture or laws or even us (though that is in some ways understandable as many of us are in fact cucks unworthy of respect).

  11. ronster12012 said, on December 9, 2015 at 11:33 am

    A petition has been tarted in the UK ban Donald Trump from entering the UK as he supposedly has committed a thoughtcrime.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2015/12/britons-launch-campaign-to-ban-donald-trump-from-the-uk-over-hate-speech-violations/

    So another aspect of multicult, as we have found out in Oz, is the loss of freedoms. We have all sorts of Orwellian laws to shut us up. God i wish we had a first amendment…but when our constituton was drawn up around 1900 some of it was lifted from the US constitution. The idea of free speech was deemed to be so inherent in British legal trdition as to not warrant specific protection……ha, didn’t stop scumbag politicians 75 years later from starting to whittle it away.

  12. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 9, 2015 at 11:39 am

  13. TJB said, on December 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Turns out that during the hostage crisis President Carter banned all travel from Iran. Mike, any problem there?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 10, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Interesting point. On the one hand, he could be defended on the grounds that the ban is from a specific country that was engaged in hostilities as a country against the United States. Carter did not impose a ban on a religion though. We were, in effect, at war with Iran and not allowing people from an enemy nation to come visit could be seen as a good idea.

      On the other hand, it could be argued that the same logic could be squeezed to be used against entire belief systems and not just specific countries. So, if a bad self-proclaimed Christian murdered some people, Christians could be banned from the US. Or Buddhists or whatever.

  14. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm

  15. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

  16. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm

  17. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm

  18. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm

  19. ajmacdonaldjr said, on December 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm

  20. WTP said, on December 9, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Something I conceived of 30 years ago, but damn if some guy who actually did the actual real-world work to write, publish, and publicize the idea gets all the credit. Mike’s right, life just ain’t fair.

    Here’s a term you need to know — the “Overton Window.” Developed by the late Joseph Overton, a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the “window” refers to the range of acceptable political discourse on any given topic. As the Mackinac Center explains, “the ‘window’ of politically acceptable options is primarily defined not by what politicians prefer, but rather by what they believe they can support and still win re-election.” The key to shifting policy lies not so much in changing politicians but in changing the terms of the debate. In other words, “The window shifts to include different policy options not when ideas change among politicians, but when ideas change in the society that elects them.”

    The Left — dominating the media, the academy, and pop culture — is unmatched at moving the Overton Window. Consider gay marriage, a subject once so far outside the mainstream that less than 20 years ago, Republicans and Democrats united to pass the Defense of Marriage Act to define marriage under federal law as the union of one man and one woman. Now? That view is such an anathema that it’s difficult to get — or retain — a job in entire sectors of the economy if you openly hold to the traditionalist position on marriage.


    The leftward pressure on the Overton Window has been relentless, with conservatives reduced to applying herculean effort to simply maintain the cultural and political status quo. Yes, the Tea Party has nudged Republicans just a bit to the right, but it’s a sign of the success of the Left that a relatively unchanged GOP can be labeled as ever more extreme and “reactionary.” And few realities show this leftist success better than the fact that the Window now enables expressions of overt leftist hatred and bigotry — against Christians, against conservatives, against whites, and often against Jews. Then along came Donald Trump. On key issues, he didn’t just move the Overton Window, he smashed it, scattered the shards, and rolled over them with a steamroller. On issues like immigration, national security, and even the manner of political debate itself, there’s no window left. Registration of Muslims? On the table. Bans on Muslims entering the country? On the table. Mass deportation? On the table. Walling off our southern border at Mexico’s expense? On the table. The current GOP front-runner is advocating policies that represent the mirror-image extremism to the Left’s race and identity-soaked politics.


    While many of Trump’s actual proposals are misguided, nonsensical, or untenable, by smashing the window, he’s begun the process of freeing the American people from the artificial and destructive constraints of Left-defined discourse. Serious and substantive politicians like Ted Cruz will get a more respectful hearing, and PC shibboleths about allegedly boundless virtues of Islam and immigration will be treated with the skepticism they deserve.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428200/donald-trump-overton-window-american-political-debate

    • ronster12012 said, on December 10, 2015 at 5:58 am

      WTP

      I have thought something similar for awhile. The Donald has permanently changed the debate. He deserves a knighthood or your equivalent for his efforts.

  21. ronster12012 said, on December 10, 2015 at 6:29 am

    London cops agree with Trump’s comments about no go zones. they say that in some areas of London they cannot wear their uniforms even in their own cars.

    Do you americans want that?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3352406/Scotland-Yard-mocks-Trump-s-claims-London-police-terrified-Muslim-areas-officers-claim-tycoon-RIGHT.html

  22. ronster12012 said, on December 10, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Trump has annoyed the jews by telling them he is not for sale. They find that quite offensive as they own the rest of the political system….what’s so special about Trump that he thinks he is above being bought by them. Jews are also extremely annoyed with their goyim because after all their work conditioning them their support of Trump just increases.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/12/donald-trump-gives-non-kosher-speech-to-gop-jews.html

  23. TJB said, on December 10, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Many in the UK want to ban Trump from entering their country because they don’t like his beliefs.

    Is the irony of this position totally lost on them?

    • ronster12012 said, on December 10, 2015 at 10:05 am

      TJ

      The proponents of this ban would no doubt see themselves in favour of free speech but would exclude anything that hurts their feels on the grounds that it is rather ‘hate speech’. One irony there is the amount of hate directed at Trump by people allegedly against ‘hate’..

      The British government tried to stop Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti moslem politician, from entering Britain though from memory that was somehow overturned. Amazing that they try to stop his free speech while rolling out the red carpet to thousands who do not believe in free speech whatsoever.

      There’s no irony shortage in this topic…lol

      • WTP said, on December 10, 2015 at 10:39 am

        Radio talk show host Michael Savage (full disclosure, I’m definitely not a fan) was banned from the UK several years ago as well. And his ban was sustained by the “Conservative” party when Cameron became PM. Yet they have a problem with jihadi leaning imams. But hey, denial is just a river in Egypt. See our host’s comment “While I am no fan of what can justly be considered mere political correctness, I do agree that there are moral problems with what is often designated as cultural appropriation.” Dream until your dreams come true.

        • ronster12012 said, on December 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

          We would have to be approaching narrative collapse, don’t you think? It is just getting all too silly….

          As for your reference to ‘cultural appropriation’, I just try to ask the simplest questions first. Cuts through a lot of BS, though it does make one look like an ignorant redneck. Better that than making absurd assumptions for fear of looking like an ignorant redneck…lol

          And for Britain’s censorship of Michael Savage…once you start down the road of needing to protect people’s feelings from any possible upset it is a slippery slope(fallacy or not) to the censoring the Michael Savages of this world.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 10, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      I think their point is to be ironic.

  24. TJB said, on December 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Get a load of this one:

    A Depression-era Lebanon Valley College leader with the last name Lynch has found himself thrust into the middle of a roiling 21st-century debate on campus civil rights.

    Students at the private college in Annville have demanded administrators remove or modify Dr. Clyde A. Lynch’s last name, as it appears on a campus hall, due to the associated racial connotations.

    http://www.pennlive.com/news/2015/12/naming_of_lebanon_valley_colle.html

    Is it really fair to ask hard working people to support this nonsense with their taxes?

    • TJB said, on December 10, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      I know it is a private college, but tax dollars are still used to subsidize the students, etc.

      • WTP said, on December 10, 2015 at 1:37 pm

        Exactly. Stupid is as academia does.

        Remember, back to my point a couple days ago paralleling religion, these are educated people so either they get a free pass or, should you attempt to defund such from a taxpayer perspective, you are an ignoramus who fears education.

        • ronster12012 said, on December 10, 2015 at 11:29 pm

          WTP

          Perhaps there is no fundamental difference between religion and ideology. At least when everyone gave at least lip service to one religion everyone was somewhat on the same page….now with that gone it has been replaced with a myriad of sub-ideologies. now everyone gets to quarrel with everyone else ad infinitum.

        • TJB said, on December 10, 2015 at 11:34 pm

          WTP makes a good point. Education does often get a free pass.

      • ronster12012 said, on December 10, 2015 at 11:25 pm

        TJ

        It seems the only reason that they are trying this stuff on in the example you gave about a Mr Lynch, is that the students know that the school admin will roll over. No question at all. One microtrigger trumps(so to speak) history and reality.

  25. ronster12012 said, on December 11, 2015 at 2:56 am

    I just noticed an article headline makes an interesting point. That Hillary voted to invade Iraq and kill however many moslems but Trump didn’t(as of course he was in no position to do so).

    Therefore , why is Trump getting hammered for alleged anti moslem bigotry yet Hillary isn’t getting any flak for her role in killing tens of thousands of moslems? Media bias?…..nah, couldn’t be…

    http://augustafreepress.com/trump-didnt-vote-to-kill-1-million-muslims-in-iraq-hillary-did/

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 11, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      She should certainly be docked points for voting for the Iraq war. But voting for a war against Iraq is not a clear indicator someone is anti-Muslim. When we fought wars against other nominally Christian countries, we were not anti-Christian bigots.

  26. TJB said, on December 11, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I think a reasonable case against Muslim immigration can be made based on the precautionary principle. So the real question becomes: how many American lives should be sacrificed so that we can indulge in moral preening about our magnanimity in letting Muslims immigrate to the US?

    The precautionary principle or precautionary approach to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.

    The principle is used by policy makers to justify discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from making a certain decision (e.g. taking a particular course of action) when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on December 17, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      You raise an excellent point about the importance of values. If we are just engaged in moral preening by accepting refugees, then it should be assessed in terms of the risk versus the value of such preening. However, if we are acting on values that we regard as significant, then the assessment should include the significance of those values. People have often argued that freedom is worth the risk of war. Perhaps kindness to those who have been robbed of home is worth some minuscule risk.

      • WTP said, on December 17, 2015 at 10:52 pm

        “It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.” – Harry Frankfurt

        In On Bullshit, the philosopher Frankfurt (2005) defines bullshit as something that is designed to impress but that was constructed absent direct concern for the truth. This distinguishes bullshit from lying, which entails a deliberate manipulation and subversion of truth (as understood by the liar). There is little question that bullshit is a real and consequential phenomenon. Indeed, given the rise of communication technology and the associated increase in the availability of information from a variety of sources, both expert and otherwise, bullshit may be more pervasive than ever before. Despite these seemingly commonplace observations, we know of no psychological research on bullshit. Are people able to detect blatant bullshit? Who is most likely to fall prey to bullshit and why?

        According to Gilbert (1991, following Spinoza), humans must first believe something to comprehend it. In keeping with this hypothesis, Gilbert, Tafarodi and Malone (1993) found that depleting cognitive resources caused participants to erroneously believe information that was tagged as false. This indicates that people have a response bias toward accepting something as true.

        http://journal.sjdm.org/15/15923a/jdm15923a.html

      • TJB said, on December 17, 2015 at 11:34 pm

        It is my view that we can help the refugees while they remain in the Middle East. As this is a perfectly workable solution, your insistence that they be brought to the US despite the risk and the objection of the majority of Americans can be fairly characterized as “moral preening.”

  27. WTP said, on December 11, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Not sure if I posted this here earlier or not, but the go-to answer for your Trump feelz:

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/12/10/when-it-comes-to-donald-trump-i-hate-everyone/

  28. TJB said, on December 11, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Scott Adams on Trump:

    According to my Moist Robot Hypothesis (that we are programmable meat) and paired with the Master Wizard view of the world, one can imagine a world in which all the big changes in society are engineered by a handful of living wizards at any given time. The wizards, in this context, have learned the rules of hypnosis and persuasion. This knowledge gives them access to the admin passwords for human beings. And they use it.

    Today I will tell you how to spot a wizard, if such people actually exist. Look for these clues:

    1. The wizard succeeds in a high-profile field without the benefit of as much talent as you would expect should be necessary. (This is the biggest tell.)

    2. People seem to have an irrational hate for the wizard that is not entirely explained by the wizard’s actions. Regular readers already know these unusual reactions are signs of cognitive dissonance. Wizards induce cognitive dissonance often, without trying.

    3. Look for an inflated ego combined with an unusually strong ability to withstand withering criticism. (Wizards get a lot of criticism.) The common view is that wizards are egomaniacs. In reality, the wizard works hard to remain ego-free, and hence can handle criticism well.

    4. Wizards are often more ambitious, and often more aggressive, than you think is normal.

    5. One or more major PR disasters define the wizard’s history.

    6. The wizard has a gift for simplification.

    7. Observers detect a reality distortion field.

    8. Wizards have an ability to succeed where other fail by changing the entire game as opposed to winning at the existing one.

    9. Wizards use words to create images and emotions in people’s minds.

    10. Wizards seek public attention.

    The wizard filter on the world isn’t necessarily true in some objective sense. The fun is seeing if the data and predictions fit the filter.

    For example, I see the early history of America as a handful of wizards manipulating world events. And I believe they were aware of their powers.

    And I see Trump as a modern wizard who is baffling the media because he is playing three-dimensional chess on their two-dimensional chess board. Trump is talking directly to people’s subconscious. Everything else he says is just a carrier signal.

    Someone asked me about Kanye West and his hilarious statement that he would someday run for president.

    Ridiculous, right?

    Except that Kanye is a wizard.

    I spotted him several years ago, and blogged about his genius then. He’s the real deal. And he absolutely has the tools to become president if he makes it a priority.

    Consider the reaction you are having right now to the idea that Kanye West could be president. Your reaction (plus the fact that he is a legitimate genius) is what tells you he can do it. At least according to my filter.

    Oh, and he’s a musical superstar who admits he can’t sing well. How did that happen, you ask?

    Scott

    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/134791529391/risk-management-trump-persuasion-series

    • WTP said, on December 11, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Well Kanye definitely had Taylor Swift pegged. But then maybe she’s a wizard too. Either way, we’re doomed. Not necessarily to a hell, but to a mind numbing purgatory. Which for some of us is a fate worse than hell. An Idiocracy run by academics, perhaps.


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