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Noam Chompsky calls Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens Frauds!

 
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03 February 2016 14:13
 
After_The_Jump - 03 February 2016 12:35 PM

@ NIclynn

And I’m saying if it’s not clear at this point, it’s one of those things that requires additional reflection, not more words.

And:

Difference of opinion here, as I said before - sometimes we just have to agree that we’re not going to agree. Thanks for the talk guys.

So you’re going to avoid any further discussion about how religious belief impacts behavior, and you’re going to do so because the one 6-sentence Harris quote you cherrypicked doesn’t include information that’s easily identifiable in any number of other places?

Yes, that about does it then~


Admittedly I am fascinated by the number of ways you’ve managed to declare that these referents are self-evidently obvious without ever actually supplying one (and no, loosely related topics don’t count). At this point I’ve decided that this particular path is too difficult for me and the references will reveal themselves after death. Glad you managed to see their manifestation in this lifetime though. wink

 
 
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03 February 2016 14:37
 

@ Niclynn

At this point I’ve decided that this particular path is too difficult for me

Since that’s too difficult for you, let’s try something easier: perhaps you can provide me with the ‘specific referents’ you had in mind when you mentioned the Conservative right’s approach to extremist terrorism? You didn’t mention which Conservatives specifically, nor did you mention what they said specifically. Thus, I’m questioning whether or not Conservatives actually take the approach to extremist terrorism you claim they take. Can you clear this up? I’ll wait patiently.

[ Edited: 03 February 2016 14:55 by After_The_Jump]
 
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03 February 2016 15:40
 
After_The_Jump - 03 February 2016 02:37 PM

@ Niclynn

At this point I’ve decided that this particular path is too difficult for me

Since that’s too difficult for you, let’s try something easier: perhaps you can provide me with the ‘specific referents’ you had in mind when you mentioned the Conservative right’s approach to extremist terrorism? You didn’t mention which Conservatives specifically, nor did you mention what they said specifically. Thus, I’m questioning whether or not Conservatives actually take the approach to extremist terrorism you claim they take. Can you clear this up? I’ll wait patiently.


Well, since I was the one who originally raised this point, I’ll refer you to where I brought it up a couple of pages back, when you said: “I’m going by what you actually stated, damn near verbatim actually: “The thing is, I find I like the conservative right far better on the topic of extremist terrorism because there is no dancing around in circles of self-justification”. Those are your words, are they not?”


And I replied:

Yes. And how is that “doublespeak?” (I later included a description of what I meant by that, btw, since, to be fair, you couldn’t know from the above quote unless you assumed something like “every thing any person who identifies as conservative has ever said about terrorism”.)

 
 
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03 February 2016 15:45
 

@ Niclynn

Well, since I was the one who originally raised this point, I’ll refer you to where I brought it up a couple of pages back

I don’t think you understand; I’m asking for the ‘specific referent’ - which member of the Conservative right specifically were you talking about, and what did they say? The description you just cited is really just ‘loosely related’ because it doesn’t include the ‘specific referent’.

I’ll wait patiently.

 

 
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03 February 2016 15:54
 
After_The_Jump - 03 February 2016 03:45 PM

@ Niclynn

Well, since I was the one who originally raised this point, I’ll refer you to where I brought it up a couple of pages back

I don’t think you understand; I’m asking for the ‘specific referent’ - which member of the Conservative right specifically were you talking about, and what did they say? The description you just cited is really just ‘loosely related’ because it doesn’t include the ‘specific referent’.

I’ll wait patiently.


Right - so, my point is that I realized earlier that I made a mistake and self-critiqued that. So why would we be talking about the statement that I already corrected?

 
 
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03 February 2016 16:22
 

@ Niclynn

Right - so, my point is that I realized earlier that I made a mistake and self-critiqued that. So why would we be talking about the statement that I already corrected?

Yeah, I still don’t think you understand. Your correction didn’t include the specific referent for the belief you mentioned. Rather, you’re correction further clarified the belief. I’m asking for the specific referent who holds the belief. Are you telling me there is no one from the Conservative right who takes the approach toward extremist terrorism you find ‘far better’? If you aren’t telling me that, then surely you can tell me the name of the person who holds that belief, right? And surely you can tell me what they specifically said, right?


[ Edited: 03 February 2016 16:25 by After_The_Jump]
 
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03 February 2016 16:32
 
After_The_Jump - 03 February 2016 04:22 PM

Yeah, I still don’t think you understand. Your correction didn’t include the specific referent for the belief you mentioned. Rather, you’re correction further clarified the belief. I’m asking for the specific referent who holds the belief. Are you saying there is no one from the Conservative right who takes the approach toward extremist terrorism you find ‘far better’? If you aren’t telling me that, then surely you can tell me the name of the person who holds that belief, right?


This is a message board so no, I’m not going to name people I know and totally invade their privacy - this is why I went back to the statement and corrected by being more specific about what I meant, for clarity.


I am not a public figure doing an interview with a journalist that I know is going to be printed, however, so this seems like a rather obvious distinction to me. If you disagree, ok, I think that’s an odd standard but that comes back to difference of opinion. I certainly wouldn’t want the same standards for message board posts as I would for news interviews, but again, I guess that’s subjective.

 
 
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03 February 2016 16:49
 

@ NIclynn

This is a message board so no, I’m not going to name people I know and totally invade their privacy

You’ve never heard one single public figure of the Conservative right express publicly the belief you attributed to the whole group? If you’ve heard even one member of the Conservative right say it publicly, then you can quite easily name the specific referent and what they said without “invading their privacy”.

As it stands, the following appears true: You attributed a specific belief about extremist terrorism to the Conservative right, and yet you apparently can’t name one person from the Conservative right who holds that belief. Are the only members of the Conservative right you know who hold this belief people you know personally? Doesn’t seem like a lot of people on the Conservative right hold the belief you attributed to them then…...

Ya know, your hypothesis here isn’t very promising considering you haven’t provided one single data point to back up your assertion about the beliefs of the Conservative right, and you can’t name any specific referents to boot.

I am not a public figure doing an interview with a journalist that I know is going to be printed

Can you cite the journalist who interviewed Sam Harris when Harris gave the quote we’re discussing (specifically, the quote about empathy and sympathetically listening)? I’d like to read the full interview, since it appears you have confirmed it was indeed an interview with a journalist and that Sam Harris knew it was going to be printed.

Thanks!

[ Edited: 03 February 2016 16:52 by After_The_Jump]
 
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03 February 2016 17:54
 
After_The_Jump - 03 February 2016 04:49 PM

@ NIclynn

This is a message board so no, I’m not going to name people I know and totally invade their privacy

You’ve never heard one single public figure of the Conservative right express publicly the belief you attributed to the whole group? If you’ve heard even one member of the Conservative right say it publicly, then you can quite easily name the specific referent and what they said without “invading their privacy”.

As it stands, the following appears true: You attributed a specific belief about extremist terrorism to the Conservative right, and yet you apparently can’t name one person from the Conservative right who holds that belief. Are the only members of the Conservative right you know who hold this belief people you know personally? Doesn’t seem like a lot of people on the Conservative right hold the belief you attributed to them then…...

Ya know, your hypothesis here isn’t very promising considering you haven’t provided one single data point to back up your assertion about the beliefs of the Conservative right, and you can’t name any specific referents to boot.

I am not a public figure doing an interview with a journalist that I know is going to be printed

Can you cite the journalist who interviewed Sam Harris when Harris gave the quote we’re discussing (specifically, the quote about empathy and sympathetically listening)? I’d like to read the full interview, since it appears you have confirmed it was indeed an interview with a journalist and that Sam Harris knew it was going to be printed.

Thanks!


ATJ, I can’t keep up with the goal posts you’re moving here. You win, ok? I feel terrible and have a sneaking suspicion that I’m accruing bad karma, and you’re talking about God knows what and sound, despite your assertions to the contrary, upset. So you win. I’m sorry for not providing whatever it is you needed here, and that’s my fault. Let’s leave it at that.

 
 
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03 February 2016 18:16
 

@ Niclynn

ATJ, I can’t keep up with the goal posts you’re moving here.

The goalposts are in the same plot of logic you put them in. I’m asking for a specific referent from the Conservative right who holds the belief you ascribed to the group.

You win, ok?

I’m not trying to win anything; I’m trying to have a conversation.

I feel terrible

I see no reason for you to feel terrible. 

and have a sneaking suspicion that I’m accruing bad karma, and you’re talking about God knows what

I’m talking about 2 things:

(1) a specific referent (person) who holds the view toward extremist terrorism that you ascribed to the Conservative right, and

(2) the journalist you implied interviewed Sam Harris when Harris said the quote you offered here about listening to Jihadists sympathetically.

That seems quite straight forward; straightforward enough to be understood by mere mortals even. What part’s confusing about either of those?

and sound, despite your assertions to the contrary, upset.

This is the second time you’ve ascribed anger to me, which is interesting because it’s a response that doesn’t in any way address the content of anything that’s been said. You obviously can keep guessing at whether or not I’m angry (I’m not), but I think it should be pointed out that your trying to guess my anger level isn’t a substantive response to anything we’ve been talking about.

I’m sorry for not providing whatever it is you needed here, and that’s my fault.

I don’t need an apology, nor did I request one. You’re free to apologize as many times as you’d like though.

Let’s leave it at that

Sure thing

 

[ Edited: 03 February 2016 18:19 by After_The_Jump]
 
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03 February 2016 21:52
 
After_The_Jump - 03 February 2016 06:16 PM

I’m talking about 2 things:

(1) a specific referent (person) who holds the view toward extremist terrorism that you ascribed to the Conservative right, and

(2) the journalist you implied interviewed Sam Harris when Harris said the quote you offered here about listening to Jihadists sympathetically.

That seems quite straight forward; straightforward enough to be understood by mere mortals even. What part’s confusing about either of those?


What’s confusing is the endless goalpost shifting. But I will ascribe good faith to you here, and assume this is just a difference of opinion, that you do in fact see a connection with these demands to the conversation we were having. To my mind, this has nothing to do with my original statement, which was essentially:


I’m questioning Harris’s quote due to lack of an apparent reference. (I don’t mean question in that I think he’s lying, I mean question in that I don’t agree with his standards of what constitutes “empathetically listening”, which would be a minor point to many people but is a major one to me.)


When you respond to that with - “Well, hey, what about you, I know you already corrected this other statement, but remember that one time it seemed like you were vague about conservatives… we should talk about that... and as for the linked quote you provided, I need the full interview, it’s not enough that you gave a link, if I don’t have a full transcript then I can’t even discuss because reasons…” I mean look, if you’re accusing Sky News of libel, fair enough, but I don’t think the onus is on me to go looking for first hand sources every time I read a news story - I highly doubt that you do this as a matter of practice. But again, if you think the story is libelous, fine, but I don’t think that every time someone says “Hey, I saw X on the news” you reply “That’s a bunch of crap, did you go to the scene and interview people there yourself! If not I don’t really believe that happened!”.


So yes, we can goalpost shift and change standards until the end of time, which seems to be the direction this thread is headed (and why, btw, this really is my last response - I do feel rude not responding when you respond with questions and comments, but I feel like if we don’t create a stopping point this will go on forever, so hope you don’t see it as rude when I don’t respond to this particular chat again), and in the end that’s subjective - but usually what we have as a general paradigm are the standards that we use in day-to-day life. In daily life, if someone says “I think conservatives are ok, some of my conservative friends think…” do you reply “That is totally null and void unless you can provide a public figure who also holds that opinion!” (and not really related to my point - I said I wanted a specific reference from Harris, not that said reference had to be in some kind of leadership or public position - they can be Joe Schmoe, makes no difference). Or, in day to day life, if someone says “I saw something on the news”, do you say “I don’t believe it unless you went to that place yourself and / or saw first hand evidence of what happened.” I’m guessing probably not. So again, yes, you can throw out arbitrary standards for “Well you have to provide me with this…”, and that’s subjective, but it seems to me that you’re changing your standards for this particular conversation (If not, good God, how long does it take you to investigate every story you hear on the morning news? How do you ever get to work?), and again, we can get into a kinda cool post modern conversation where we do that until the end of time, but at the moment I am a bit short on time. So. Not ignoring you when I don’t respond again, but I do think we have to create a stopping point here.

[ Edited: 03 February 2016 21:56 by sojourner]
 
 
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04 February 2016 06:18
 

I’m questioning Harris’s quote due to lack of an apparent reference.

And, using the same logical standard, I’m questioning your quote due to lack of apparent reference too.

(I don’t mean question in that I think he’s lying, I mean question in that I don’t agree with his standards of what constitutes “empathetically listening”, which would be a minor point to many people but is a major one to me.)

Which is interesting on two levels: (1) you’re placing a laser-like focus on the “empathically listening” part, and yet that part has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Jihadists are being honest when they say they are doing what they do because of their religion. Either they are being honest, or they aren’t - anybody else’s “empathy” or lack thereof doesn’t change the scenario at all.

So: by your own admission, you have for days now refused to engage in any meaningful dialogue about whether or not Jihadists are being honest when they say their religion motivates them to do what they do, all because you think Sam Harris may have misused the term ‘empathy’ once. That’s a good lead-in to (2) You really don’t know Harris’s standards for what constitutes “empathetic listening”, because all you’ve got is one alleged 6-sentence quote to go off of. You’ve acknowledged he may have actually provided the information you say you need to gauge whether or not you agree with his standard for empathetic listening, but since you don’t know you’re going to assume he didn’t….. and then refuse to engage in dialogue about what Harris was actually talking about.

I mean look, if you’re accusing Sky News of libel, fair enough, but I don’t think the onus is on me to go looking for first hand sources every time I read a news story - I highly doubt that you do this as a matter of practice.

I actually do indeed do that as a matter of practice, and it doesn’t take that long at all. Look at your own article citation: it takes 30 seconds to read it and notice (a) there’s no author noted for the article itself, and (b) there’s no citation to any of the alleged comments in it. It takes another 30 to 60 seconds to google the quote itself, and notice that no other site has picked up on this alleged quote.

And here’s why that would seem to be important -
In the podcast discussion Harris had with Douglas Murray a few months back, Harris made a similar kind of comment. Specifically, he said he’s often accused of not showing empathy when he discusses the role religion plays in the behaviors of Jihadists, Islamists, etc. And he then makes the point that all he’s doing is taking these individuals at their word, which would seem “more” empathetic than those who don’t take these individuals at their word. And prior to that statement, Harris and/or Murray had discussed: the refugee from Minnesota who fought for Al Shabab (Ahmed Mohammed Isse), the jihadist who kidnapped and killed Daniel Pearl (Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh), and the two perpetrators of the Mike’s Place bombing in Tel Aviv (Asif Muhammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif). Further, Murray actually made reference to the work of the Henry Jackson Society, which has analyzed every single person convicted of Islamist related offenses in the Americas and the UK in the last 15 years. Harris has also regularly cited these 19 men and their situations as well during these kinds of discussions. 

So, not only were multiple ‘specific referents’ given, but a citation was made to a study regarding every single specific referent of the last 15 years (who’s been convicted anyway). And Harris’s mention of ‘empathy’ was specifically in response to the word being used as an attack against him, so he noted that he’s simply taking all of the above referenced people for their word when they say why they do what they do, which would seem ‘more empathetic’ than not taking them at their word.

So, why would you assume a completely different context for the quote you cited, when Harris is on record making a similar quote within all the very context you say he should have offered, and you have no source conversation for the quote you cited?

but usually what we have as a general paradigm are the standards that we use in day-to-day life.

Bingo! And you completely dismissed the standards we use in day-to-day life as it related to the one Harris quote you cited.

To that end: I will readily acknowledge the questions I was asking of you regarding your assertion about what the Conservative right believes were, in the face of the readily available information, absurd. That was the whole point - the point being that you’ve been doing exactly that same thing in regard to that one Harris quote for days now.

and not really related to my point - I said I wanted a specific reference from Harris, not that said reference had to be in some kind of leadership or public position - they can be Joe Schmoe, makes no difference

It’s definitely related, because you wouldn’t give me some ‘Joe Schmoe’ referent either. Now, if I was using your logic, I could have responded with something like: ‘Admittedly I am fascinated by the number of ways you’ve managed to declare that these referents are self-evidently obvious without ever actually supplying one (and no, loosely related topics don’t count). At this point, it seems the referents you won’t share will only reveal themselves to me after death. Glad you managed to see their manifestation in this lifetime though’.

Would that have been a nonsensical response from me? Yes. Was it also a nonsensical response from you? I’m guessing you can see where I’m going with this.

Or, in day to day life, if someone says “I saw something on the news”, do you say “I don’t believe it unless you went to that place yourself and / or saw first hand evidence of what happened.” I’m guessing probably not.

And presumably, you can see a chasm of space between those two extremes, no? Dare I say, there’s a rather happy middle ground where by we can reasonably confirm a given person’s position, can ensure we’re speaking with a general knowledge of the context, and it doesn’t take all that long to do it. Seems reasonable enough to me.

so hope you don’t see it as rude when I don’t respond to this particular chat again

I’m not sure why you keep coming back to this kind of tangent. Let me try to be clear one more time: I don’t care what you do, because it doesn’t bother me one way or the other. Respond, don’t respond. I’m happy to have an actual conversation about the actual topic of Harris’s quote, I’m happy to identify for you how illogical your position toward one word in Harris’s quote is, I’m happy to point out how your assumptions about that one Harris quote are likely wrong, and how your assumptions about that quote are being used as a reason to not talk about anything else, and I’m happy to not hear from you again.

Pick any of those that you’d like!~

 

 

 

 
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04 February 2016 07:17
 
After_The_Jump - 04 February 2016 06:18 AM

In the podcast discussion Harris had with Douglas Murray a few months back, Harris made a similar kind of comment. Specifically, he said he’s often accused of not showing empathy when he discusses the role religion plays in the behaviors of Jihadists, Islamists, etc. And he then makes the point that all he’s doing is taking these individuals at their word, which would seem “more” empathetic than those who don’t take these individuals at their word. And prior to that statement, Harris and/or Murray had discussed: the refugee from Minnesota who fought for Al Shabab (Ahmed Mohammed Isse), the jihadist who kidnapped and killed Daniel Pearl (Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh), and the two perpetrators of the Mike’s Place bombing in Tel Aviv (Asif Muhammed Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif). Further, Murray actually made reference to the work of the Henry Jackson Society, which has analyzed every single person convicted of Islamist related offenses in the Americas and the UK in the last 15 years. Harris has also regularly cited these 19 men and their situations as well during these kinds of discussions.

 

Well cheese louise man, if you had that referent in your head all along why didn’t you post it about twenty posts ago, ha ha! I will look at these later, although I’m not entirely sure this speaks to my point - was able to quickly Google Asif Muhammed Hanif and I don’t see him making any statements one way or the other, and it seems he was largely motivated by politics, as the only ‘statement’ I could find was that he was possibly handing out pro-Palestine literature before the attack. So not sure what in his story Harris was empathetically listening to. As for empathy:

Which is interesting on two levels: (1) you’re placing a laser-like focus on the “empathically listening” part, and yet that part has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not Jihadists are being honest when they say they are doing what they do because of their religion. Either they are being honest, or they aren’t - anybody else’s “empathy” or lack thereof doesn’t change the scenario at all.


Right - see, this is what I mean about listening. I didn’t ask whether or not Jihadists are being honest. I asked about Sam Harris’s quote, and whether he’s actually doing what he says he’s doing. So you could say “That’s a stupid thing to want to talk about, why do you care about Sam Harris’s empathy levels?” and I could be like “I don’t know, I think it’s like a weird Buddhist thing or something, like I want confirmation that the practice actually works and I get a little uptight and judgey if I think a prominent meditator type is not meeting some standard (I was just bitching about Ram Dass in another thread as well)”. But when you kind of change the topic from “Where is the evidence that Sam Harris is actually sympathetically listening to people here?” to “Are jihadists telling the truth (and there is a lot to be said about that - I think if you look at the life story of any jihadist they make multiple statements about their motivations, so cherry picking the religious ones seems like an un-comprehensive approach, but again, not my primary topic here, except as it relates to my original question.) then of course we’re going to talk past each other.

 
 
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04 February 2016 08:51
 

Well cheese louise man, if you had that referent in your head all along why didn’t you post it about twenty posts ago, ha ha!

Two things: (1) you weren’t asking for the ‘referent’ that was in my head, you were asking for the referent that was in Sam Harris’s head, and you were asking for it in regard to a quote you wouldn’t (and still haven’t) provided the source conversation for. (2) I did indeed reference the Douglas Murray podcast and it’s contents several posts ago. I’ve referenced the profiles of the 19 9/11 hijackers multiple times as well. I also referenced Adam Gadahn. Your response to all of that was “Admittedly I am fascinated by the number of ways you’ve managed to declare that these referents are self-evidently obvious without ever actually supplying one”. I’m glad that you now have acknowledged that said referents do exist, and have been ‘supplied’, but I’m not sure what stopped you from doing that quite a while ago.

Additionally: contrary to your assertion that the quote you pulled from Harris was given to a ‘journalist’ in an ‘interview’ that Harris ‘knew was going to be printed’, it seems much more likely that quote came from the kind of podcast discussion I referenced, and there was likely all kinds of ‘referents’ given during the dialogue; the very referents you have arbitrarily assumed (until now) don’t exist.

So not sure what in his story Harris was empathetically listening to.

Is it possible for you to acknowledge how Harris says he was using the term “empathy”? Again, as has been demonstrated, it appears he was talking about taking the person at their word as opposed to not taking them at their word. That’s it. There’s no reason to assume he meant some broader or more comprehensive application of “empathy”. He clearly used “more” (in both the podcast I referenced and the one quote you referenced) and he clearly articulated an opinion that taking Jihadists and Islamists at their word when they state their motivations is ‘more empathetic’ than not doing so. That is, on it’s face, a rather benign and non-controversial statement. You’re acting as if it’s some kind of bombshell worthy of unrelenting investigation (except, you won’t actually investigate it - you’re content with taking the quote and assuming whatever you want about it).

Right - see, this is what I mean about listening. I didn’t ask whether or not Jihadists are being honest. I asked about Sam Harris’s quote, and whether he’s actually doing what he says he’s doing.

Right, and you’ve spent post after post weaving this assumptive narrative that ends up looking nothing like the actual quote itself. He used ‘empathy’ and ‘sympathy’ in a very specific, defined way and you’ve roundly ignored that.

“Where is the evidence that Sam Harris is actually sympathetically listening to people here?”

And, again, within the context Harris described, he gave you the ‘evidence’. The evidence is that he’s taking the people in mention (Islamists and Jihadists) at their word, whereas people who accused Sam Harris of lacking empathy (Reza Aslan is one such person, as he did so in the debate between them that I’ve already cited) don’t take the people in mention at their word.

So, what “evidence” could prove Sam Harris was *actually* being “empathetic” in the way you define “empathy”? You seemed to loosely define the kind of empathy you’re talking about as simply “knowing someone’s name”. But, that’s not what Harris said (even though, as I’ve already demonstrated, he does know a lot of their names) - he said he was being ‘more empathetic’ than someone who didn’t take Jihadists at their word when they stated their motivations. Again, that’s a rather simple statement that’s hard to argue with - certainly, there’s no logical reason to scrutinize it the way you have, to the point of paralyzing any other conversation.

then of course we’re going to talk past each other.

I think it’s important to note that a situation of “Talking past each other” doesn’t also mean equal parts blame for the occurrence.

 

[ Edited: 04 February 2016 09:02 by After_The_Jump]
 
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04 February 2016 09:44
 

ATJ, the thing is, these things are subjective, but it seems to me that you are starting from a premise that you are staunchly committed to, and rearranging all of your justifications, arguments, and points of reference around that. (I feel like I see this manner of logic on Hoarders, where they’re like “No, I am going to use this box of straws from 1984, it’s wasteful to throw it out and you obviously don’t care about the environment!” - I mean, that’s entirely possible, it’s just the other person’s opinion that it’s not likely, or the usual standard of thinking about such things.) I cannot objectively tell you that your narrative is wrong or right, nor should I. It’s yours. So at this point, you’ve shared your narrative, and how this situation looks to you - thanks for that.

 
 
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