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#1
I'm thinking about writing an article about this due to recent events on my college campus, and I'm curious as to what you guys think


Do you see violent threats against Muslims in the US a racial tension or a religious tension?


I personally lean more towards the threats being a racial tension. After Nina Davaluri, an Indian American, won Miss America, many people were upset that a Muslim/terrorist won Miss America, despite Davaluri's Hindu beliefs and Indian origin. Additionally, in 2012, a Wisconsin Sikh Temple was gunned down by an anti-Muslim gunmen, despite the fact that it was a Sikh temple, not a Muslim one. The thing that these two cases have in common is that the people involved "looked Muslim" (brown-skinned, with facial features and names that would denote South Asian descent over Latino, Native American, or African descent) and so were targeted as Muslims, despite their lack of association.

On the religious side, there is not much that has happened by Muslim Americans that would cause religious tension. Muslim holidays have not been generally recognized as American holidays, and mosques are usually situated within their own institutional facilities rather than sharing facilities with other religious organizations. From what I've experienced, most anti-Muslim sentiments I've seen/heard are related to 9/11 and the wars of the past decade or so, as well as the political conflict zones in the Middle East.

what do you think?


edit:
let me be clear - I personally count "what someone looks like" as a racial judgement. one cannot actually "look like a Muslim" - Muslims come in all colors from all over the world. if someone is judging someone for "looking like a terrorist", I consider that racial discrimination, not religious discrimination. if someone is judging someone for fasting during Ramadan, that is religious, imo.
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Last edited by vintage x metal at Nov 12, 2015,
#2
Interesting thread topic

I feel here would not be half as many issues if Muslims had not been enemy number 1 for the past decade or so. So it's politically/religiously motivated in my opinion. You often get ethnically white Muslims who are discriminated against. People can't see past things like the clothes, the beards etc. which I'd point towards it more being a religious thing as opposed to a racial thing.

I'm in the UK so I can only offer my perspective of that, but I had several Pakistani, Indian and Sri Lankan friends throughout my time at school and they were never called "terrorists" or stuff despite being brown.

When you think of the ethnic make up of that part of the world, it ranges from Asian, to Persian, to Arab, to other groups like Kurds so it's really about the religion in my view rather than the race.
#3
A little of this, a little of that. The Boston bomber was white but still a terrorist.
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#4
Unfortunately not enough people make the distinction. I disagree with your thoughts only in the sense that it "started" as a religious tension that was then assigned to a "race" (which was unfortunately any brown-skinned person that looked even vaguely Middle-Eastern, or what many were led to believe Middle-Eastern looked like).

But the underlying problem is a religious one, not a racial one, or more properly an ideological one, since it's equally as false to claim Islam as the problem as it is to claim it's a race war.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Nov 12, 2015,
#5
Quote by Arby911
Unfortunately not enough people make the distinction. I disagree with your thoughts only in the sense that it "started" as a religious tension that was then assigned to a "race" (which was unfortunately any brown-skinned person that looked even vaguely Middle-Eastern, or what many were led to believe Middle-Eastern looked like).

But the underlying problem is a religious one, not a racial one.

so recently, I stayed home for the whole day because there were threats to kill all Muslims on campus yesterday. I don't identify as Muslim, though I grew up in a Muslim household, but I doubted that if someone was ignorant enough to make those threats, that they would "check" to see if I was Muslim or not. but I'm brown-skinned and my name is Saadia - easy "Muslim" target.


in this case, I have a hard time seeing the problem as "religious", even if religion is a contributing factor
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#6
Quote by EndTheRapture51
I'm in the UK so I can only offer my perspective of that, but I had several Pakistani, Indian and Sri Lankan friends throughout my time at school and they were never called "terrorists" or stuff despite being brown.

When you think of the ethnic make up of that part of the world, it ranges from Asian, to Persian, to Arab, to other groups like Kurds so it's really about the religion in my view rather than the race.

I feel like that might be because it's not such a thing here in the UK, though. I mean, 7/7 didn't have nearly as big an impact on us culturally as 9/11 did to America, so the kinda fear of terrorism and by extension radical Islam isn't as embedded into us as it is the Americans. In my experience, anyway.
#7
Quote by Arby911
or more properly an ideological one, since it's equally as false to claim Islam as the problem as it is to claim it's a race war.



This is pretty much how I feel about it.
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#8
The order is: Race -> Religion -> Culture -> Geopolitics

You explained the race-religion link yourself: the guys "looked Muslim"; he didn't say "they looked brown".

Religion is the primary excuse for the tension. The problem, allegedly, is with Islam in particular. It's a bad thing to have on your resume. Humanist fundamentalists like Sam Harris say this explicitly.

The attribution of the tension to Islam is a misnomer though. What it really is is the dominant culture afraid of absorbing something it sees as foreign and mysterious. This was obviously exacerbated massively by 9/11.

But what cause 9/11 (and other anti-American anger)? Studies have consistently shown that the main reasons are geopolitical; to do with America's involvement in that part of the world; nothing to do with differences in belief, ways of life, or skin colour.

Good video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDqYzAvYdQk


EDIT: Should probably say what the background to this video is: Sam Harris hates Greenwald for calling him out on his racism. The guy in the left of the video made a video trying to reconcile the two. The above video is Greenwald explaining why Harris and those like him are, indeed, cocks.
Last edited by WhiskeyFace at Nov 12, 2015,
#9
Quote by vintage x metal
so recently, I stayed home for the whole day because there were threats to kill all Muslims on campus yesterday. I don't identify as Muslim, though I grew up in a Muslim household, but I doubted that if someone was ignorant enough to make those threats, that they would "check" to see if I was Muslim or not. but I'm brown-skinned and my name is Saadia - easy "Muslim" target.


in this case, I have a hard time seeing the problem as "religious", even if religion is a contributing factor


I understand, but I don't think that's in contravention to my post?

Why do people identify "Muslim" in that way? Simply because as you noted, it's not possible to determine religion (and thus potential intent) with a visual inspection, so they key on what they CAN see.

It's not right, but it's not unexpected or contrary to human nature either. I've been in places where being a white guy wasn't the most pleasant of experiences, and while what I was perceived as had nothing to do with who I really was, I could understand why the people felt as they did. They didn't hate my race per se, but they were wary of what I might represent, and with good reason.

I am sorry that happened(s) to you and others though, and many people are doing what we can to combat such nonsense, but it's not likely to go away in the near-term.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Nov 12, 2015,
#10
Quote by Arby911
it's not possible to determine religion (and thus potential intent) with a visual inspection, so they key on what they CAN see.

this is precisely why I think it is racial, though.


I guess we will relate to if differently. because I'm brown-skinned, this isn't a religious thing for me (no one is potentially attacking me for my religious beliefs, which are best described as atheist.) for someone who isn't physically threatened, "the situation" is defined not by your everyday experiences but by some abstracted discursive analysis of some abstract "racial war" (I precisely did not use the term "race war" in my own post because I don't think that is an adequate term to describe, well, anything really.) I don't think there is a "war on Islam." But I do think there is a vulnerability that surrounds people who "look Muslim" rather than those who explicitly "follow the religion of Islam" - which is why I provided the examples that I did.


If the problem is ideological, why are Sikhs being shot? probably because of how they look, right? not because of their ideologies. the perpetrators may have assumed that there was ideological dissonance between the Sikh people they shot and themselves because of how the Sikh people looked, but they didn't shoot them because of something that Sikhs believed in, so much as the assumptions that they made based on how these people looked.
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#11
Quote by vintage x metal
this is precisely why I think it is racial, though.


I guess we will relate to if differently. because I'm brown-skinned, this isn't a religious thing for me (no one is potentially attacking me for my religious beliefs, which are best described as atheist.) for someone who isn't physically threatened, "the situation" is defined not by your everyday experiences but by some abstracted discursive analysis of some abstract "racial war" (I precisely did not use the term "race war" in my own post because I don't think that is an adequate term to describe, well, anything really.) I don't think there is a "war on Islam." But I do think there is a vulnerability that surrounds people who "look Muslim" rather than those who explicitly "follow the religion of Islam" - which is why I provided the examples that I did.


If the problem is ideological, why are Sikhs being shot? probably because of how they look, right? not because of their ideologies. the perpetrators may have assumed that there was ideological dissonance between the Sikh people they shot and themselves because of how the Sikh people looked, but they didn't shoot them because of something that Sikhs believed in, so much as the assumptions that they made based on how these people looked.


As I've noted, I understand that, and I think that we aren't really at odds here. I've mentioned the underlying rationale, you're looking at the unfortunate practical application.

Therefore the threats you mention are made against an ideology, but carried out against a stereotype.

It's not a race issue per se, but the net effect is the same as if it were.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#12
I think the heart of it is religious tension, not racial. There have been attacks on Sikhs and whatnot, but those stem from ignorance about religion. If Sikhs didn't "look like muslims" I doubt the attacks would have happened.


Despite the questionable race relations in the USA, I don't see treatment of black people or Asians deteriorating if we had to go to war with the DRC or China.


Edit: oh shit am I agreeing with Arby on something?
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Last edited by StewieSwan at Nov 12, 2015,
#13
exercise


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uboga gmajna, le vpup, le vkup,
le vkup, le vkup z menoj,
staro pravdo v mrak tulimo,
da se pretulimo skozi to zimo
#14
Quote by Arby911
It's not a race issue per se, but the net effect is the same as if it were.

If the net effects are the same, then I think it is important to consider and mention race, rather than solely treating it as a religious tension (even if it started based on that ideology)

For example, at my campus, there is support being provided through the Muslim Student Association (and by support I mean that the MSA students are passing out cookies and telling people that we should be in solidarity... ) However, speaking of it in terms of the Muslim Student Association doesn't really open a proper discourse for the many people affected by these threats, Muslim or not.
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#15
It's race. Of course it's race.
Racist Americans just say it's about religion as a scapegoat.

Islam has very little to do with anything. White people hate brown people, blaming it on Islamic extremists is just an excuse for them to justify their hatred.
#16
Quote by vintage x metal
If the net effects are the same, then I think it is important to consider and mention race, rather than solely treating it as a religious tension (even if it started based on that ideology)

For example, at my campus, there is support being provided through the Muslim Student Association (and by support I mean that the MSA students are passing out cookies and telling people that we should be in solidarity... ) However, speaking of it in terms of the Muslim Student Association doesn't really open a proper discourse for the many people affected by these threats, Muslim or not.


Ok, let's do that.

What race should we discuss?

Caucasian? Negroid? Mongoloid?

Or is it Ethnicities that we should be discussing? If so, which ones?

Arab(ic?), Pakistani, Hindu, Persian, Bengalis, Kurds? How do we know which one(s) to discuss if we can't tell the difference without talking to them? (Can you, absent obvious cultural artifacts?)

As I've noted, this affects anyone that meets our Western preconception of "Arab" so I'm not sure how we can discuss and ultimately change this for the better?

I'm open to suggestions, but I'm truly at a loss as to how we would proceed with what you seem to be wanting?

Poles and Norwegians didn't do the damage in South Africa either, but they are still just "white guys" to many of the people there, and thus suspicious.

How do we change human nature?

I'm not really trying to be argumentative, I just can't see a solution, but I'd like for their to be one.

Quote by GuitarGod_92
It's race. Of course it's race.
Racist Americans just say it's about religion as a scapegoat.

Islam has very little to do with anything. White people hate brown people, blaming it on Islamic extremists is just an excuse for them to justify their hatred.


You are amazingly, breathtakingly ignorant, a virtual mirror image of the racism you imply that you despise.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Nov 12, 2015,
#17
I'm leaning more towards religious
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I hit 'em and they stay down
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#18
Quote by Arby911
You are amazingly, breathtakingly ignorant, a virtual mirror image of the racism you imply that you despise.

lol
#19
Quote by StewieSwan
I think the heart of it is religious tension, not racial. There have been attacks on Sikhs and whatnot, but those stem from ignorance about religion. If Sikhs didn't "look like muslims" I doubt the attacks would have happened.



Yes, this.
#20
Quote by Arby911
Ok, let's do that.

What race should we discuss?

Caucasian? Negroid? Mongoloid?

Or is it Ethnicities that we should be discussing? If so, which ones?

Arab(ic?), Pakistani, Hindu, Persian, Bengalis, Kurds? How do we know which one(s) to discuss if we can't tell the difference without talking to them? (Can you, absent obvious cultural artifacts?)

As I've noted, this affects anyone that meets our Western preconception of "Arab" so I'm not sure how we can discuss and ultimately change this for the better?

I'm open to suggestions, but I'm truly at a loss as to how we would proceed with what you seem to be wanting?

Poles and Norwegians didn't do the damage in South Africa either, but they are still just "white guys" to many of the people there, and thus suspicious.

How do we change human nature?

I'm not really trying to be argumentative, I just can't see a solution, but I'd like for their to be one.

lol Arby

races are fluidly defined and entirely dependent on what countries you are talking about or what scenarios you speak of. in Venezuela, my friend Maria is white. in the US, she is a woman of color or a Latina. in India, most people would probably just assume she is South Asian, because her facial features are fairly similar. what is her true race? there is none. it's all a social construction.

is a black/white mixed person black or white? in the US, probably black. why? because he looks that way. is race purely skin color though? no. latinos and south asians often have similar skin tones but are not considered the same race. I am the same skin tone as many black folk and I am not considered black (though many assume I am.) race is complicated, especially because it's culturally defined. in the US, italians and poles and irishmen weren't really "white" until sometime this century.


I don't know what you are so confused about (how did you even get to the sentence "How do we change human nature?") but I am just trying to write an article about how focusing on the Muslim Student Association isn't sufficient for talking about death threats towards Muslims on campus, but rather it is important to also talk about racial stereotypes that are associated with Muslims as well. the campus has a group created by the university's president that specifically creates events and talks surrounding inclusivity and discrimination, and currently they are only opening discussions led by Muslim organizations. it would be helpful to include scholars/organizations on campus who talk about race (including professors who do research on Asians and South Asians in the US) alongside religious scholars
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#21
Do we have to pick one?

Any reason is equally flawed. Is the car ruined because the wheels are missing or because the engine is flooded?
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#22
Quote by Dreadnought
Do we have to pick one?

Any reason is equally flawed. Is the car ruined because the wheels are missing or because the engine is flooded?

You gotta know which one in order to address it.
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#23
Quote by vintage x metal
lol Arby

races are fluidly defined and entirely dependent on what countries you are talking about


No, they aren't. "Race" has specific and well known meaning. This is not semantic hair-splitting, it's an attempt to see what you really want to look at.

You can't go redefining words in order to support your theory, at least not if you expect anyone to understand you?

I thought we were having a sincere conversation, not dealing in nebulous generalities?


As for the human nature comment, it's human nature to define people visually, and it seems that's what you want to change?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#24
Quote by chrismendiola
You gotta know which one in order to address it.


C) all of the above
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#25
Quote by Dreadnought
C) all of the above



Ok, you've defined it, now how do you address it?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#26
Quote by Dreadnought
Do we have to pick one?

Any reason is equally flawed. Is the car ruined because the wheels are missing or because the engine is flooded?

you don't have to pick one, no. just fruitful discussion.


Quote by Arby911
No, they aren't. "Race" has specific and well known meaning. This is not semantic hair-splitting, it's an attempt to see what you really want to look at.

You can't go redefining words in order to support your theory, at least not if you expect anyone to understand you?

I thought we were having a sincere conversation, not dealing in nebulous generalities?


As for the human nature comment, it's human nature to define people visually, and it seems that's what you want to change?

no, we can't change that, but we can talk about it critically.

Can you define race for me?

I'm surprised, you're becoming rather agitated for someone who agreed with most of my original post. Can you point out my insincerities, please?
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#27
it may help to steer discussion if yall refer to my OP edit
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#28
Quote by vintage x metal
you don't have to pick one, no. just fruitful discussion.


no, we can't change that, but we can talk about it critically.

Can you define race for me?

I'm surprised, you're becoming rather agitated for someone who agreed with most of my original post. Can you point out my insincerities, please?


Nah, I'm not agitated, I'm just confused as to some of the things you've said since your initial posting.

As for defining race, I refer you to any competent sociology/anthropology/biology textbook, where you will find arguments aplenty, which is why the term has fallen into disfavor. And why you're not really talking about race. (The most common school of thought seems to be that we are all one race, and other distinctions need different nomenclature.)

You can start here perhaps. http://blog.world-mysteries.com/science/how-many-major-races-are-there-in-the-world/

As for talking about it critically, I'm not opposed. I do wonder though, do you have even a single bit of evidence that indicates that it might be possible to eradicate the negative visual perception response under discussion from the entire human race without also destroying the positive benefits that come from it in other arenas?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Nov 12, 2015,
#29
I hate to post wiki articles but to make things simpler:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(human_categorization)

"Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics"

If we go by this definition, we can say that Muslims are being treated as a race in America (people can "look" Muslim in America) despite Islam not being tied to any particular race. "Looking Muslim" in America entails: brown skin, probably of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent but not necessarily
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#30
Quote by vintage x metal
I hate to post wiki articles but to make things simpler:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(human_categorization)

"Race, as a social construct, is a group of people who share similar and distinct physical characteristics"

If we go by this definition, we can say that Muslims are being treated as a race in America (people can "look" Muslim in America) despite Islam not being tied to any particular race. "Looking Muslim" in America entails: brown skin, probably of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent but not necessarily


Yes, I read that article earlier. I refrained from using that definition as it's pretty thoroughly skewered in any of several places later in the text, but I'm willing to use it as a point of reference if you wish.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#31
Quote by Arby911
I do wonder though, do you have even a single bit of evidence that indicates that it might be possible to eradicate the negative visual perception response under discussion from the entire human race without also destroying the positive benefits that come from it in other arenas?

why do you keep implying that this is what I am saying? can you please refer to the part where I say I want to completely eradicate human capacity to judge people visually?


also you know that I am currently getting my Master's degree in sociology, right? and we all agree that race is a social construction. it even says it in the first sentence of that wikipedia article I just posted, and that's an entirely rudimentary source.
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#32
this thread turned into an Arby shitstorm smh he even agreed with me to begin with

I disagree with your thoughts only in the sense that it "started" as a religious tension that was then assigned to a "race"


bruh we are literally saying the same thing and now you're acting like I'm trying to change human brains or something
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#33
Quote by vintage x metal
why do you keep implying that this is what I am saying? can you please refer to the part where I say I want to completely eradicate human capacity to judge people visually?


also you know that I am currently getting my Master's degree in sociology, right? and we all agree that race is a social construction. it even says it in the first sentence of that wikipedia article I just posted, and that's an entirely rudimentary source.


I'm not saying you've said that, what I'm saying is that to me it appears that what you want can only be accomplished by doing that. I don't yet see where you've presented an alternative methodology by which you believe it can be accomplished? I do concede that I asked you to defend against my hypothesis though, and that's unfair.

Yes, it does. And then it spends several hundred words in several different places explaining that a great many people in the field think that's bullshit. Don't pull this appeal to authority crap with me, you're better than that, and I've already said I'm willing to accept it as a working definition for the sake of the discussion. Take "yes" for an answer!!


Quote by vintage x metal
this thread turned into an Arby shitstorm smh he even agreed with me to begin with


Is your deliberate insult an attempt to get me to quit posting? All you need to do is ask. If you don't really want to discuss this, or don't want to discuss it with me, just say so. I won't apologize for not giving you the answers you seem to want, but I'll be happy to fuck off and let you see if you can find some sycophants that will?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Nov 12, 2015,
#34
Quote by StewieSwan
I think the heart of it is religious tension, not racial. There have been attacks on Sikhs and whatnot, but those stem from ignorance about religion. If Sikhs didn't "look like muslims" I doubt the attacks would have happened.


Despite the questionable race relations in the USA, I don't see treatment of black people or Asians deteriorating if we had to go to war with the DRC or China.

doesn't this implicitly make it racial, though? how does one "look like a Muslim?"

there are Muslims from many different regions of the world and of many different skin colors. a Muslim in Iran looks different than a Muslim in Malaysia, who looks different than a Muslim in Senegal

I think that, because aesthetics are involved (and not prayer styles or eating pork or other Muslim traditions), it is a race issue that started on ideological/religious biases, now thrust upon people who look South Asian or Middle Eastern
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#36
Quote by OddOneOut
I think america just hates brown people.


Nah, we love suntans.

Well, maybe not the non-removable ones, but still...


Silly comment deserves silly response.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#37
Quote by OddOneOut
I think america just hates brown people.

Ах, так вы не пьете и не курите?
Хорошо для вас: вы здоровым умрете!
#38
Quote by Arby911
I'm not saying you've said that, what I'm saying is that to me it appears that what you want can only be accomplished by doing that. I don't yet see where you've presented an alternative methodology by which you believe it can be accomplished? I do concede that I asked you to defend against my hypothesis though, and that's unfair.

Yes, it does. And then it spends several hundred words in several different places explaining that a great many people in the field think that's bullshit. Don't pull this appeal to authority crap with me, you're better than that, and I've already said I'm willing to accept it as a working definition for the sake of the discussion. Take "yes" for an answer!!

okay dude, be offended by me stating that I am studying sociology when you say that all sociologists have a simple, unarguable definition for something.

I know you like to pretend that you and I foster great discussion but really, I am one of the few people who is patient enough to continue debates with you. arby, I'm breaking up with you. these debates aren't fun and you aren't stimulating to me, nor have you ever been, and I'm tired of playing nice and engaging your discussions, so please don't take offense in me ignoring your posts from now on.
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#39
Quote by Arby911
Ok, you've defined it, now how do you address it?


That is a good question
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#40
Quote by vintage x metal
okay dude, be offended by me stating that I am studying sociology when you say that all sociologists have a simple, unarguable definition for something.

I know you like to pretend that you and I foster great discussion but really, I am one of the few people who is patient enough to continue debates with you. arby, I'm breaking up with you. these debates aren't fun and you aren't stimulating to me, nor have you ever been, and I'm tired of playing nice and engaging your discussions, so please don't take offense in me ignoring your posts from now on.



Aw, I'm crushed. I'm especially crushed at your sophomoric attempt at a strawman.

But not surprised, you tend to bail whenever anyone disagrees with you on anything more than a superficial level, and then the insults begin. You would have been so easy to string along, all you really want is approval. I'm not that guy. You're really not that good at debate, but you occasionally have interesting insights.

Have a nice life. I hope you find everything you're looking for.

Quote by Dreadnought
That is a good question


Nah, it's a sucky question because I'm not sure it can be adequately addressed, at least not in any manner more effective than the one we've been using since time immemorial.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Nov 12, 2015,
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