I hope you're not going to try to make a case for getting my posting priviledges revoked in order to silence me.
That’s the furthest thing from my mind. I hope you remain a member in good standing. As for me, my pattern here is intense involvement for a time, and then a long absence until some kind of sick addiction draws me back!
So my hidden agenda is that I’ve been trying to bail out of these forums for at least a week, and our little dust-up has just delayed me! I just hate leaving a discussion in such a stupid state of near-total lack of communication. And, frankly, adversarial types of discussions where inevitably substance is lost under a flurry of “gotchyas” just wears on my nerves.
Here’s some more background: several years ago, in light of political events we all know about, I spent some time learning about Islam, re-reading the Koran looking at some of the hadith, peeking into the earliest Muslim biographies of the Muhammad, and reading a few serious books on the subject, while avoiding the merely tendential at either extreme. Partly what I learned is what I tried to set out above: that Islam can be a positive or negative force, and that for the sake of us all we’d better hope that moderate forces win out in the end and that grass roots Islamist movements do indeed find their better angels.
But I also learned that constitutionally I’m the last person to carry on detailed debate on the nature, history, and effects of Islam because I have no instinctive sympathy for the religion even on its good days. For me, Islam summarizes a lot of what I object to in the Abrahamic tradition as a whole – and this is an inference I’m sure you can easily draw from some of my other threads (“cult of obedience,” et al). So again that’s why I merely wanted to suggest some middle ground between you and Tao. That’s the only contribution I wanted to make. And it was more a “pointing” than a point.
So while I’m tempted to get on for another ride on this merry-go-round, I can’t think of a logical reason to do so except out of ego, to nail down my position, show where I’m right and you’re wrong, to get in the last word. In fact, whoever is driven to get in the last word has probably already lost the argument.
But perhaps we can end with a brief discussion of less messy topic, where can respectfully exchange views. See next post.
(face in the clouds)