Monday, February 01, 2016

Discrimination, an attack on judgement.

 I'm re-posting this from Sept. 2015. I meant to post it then but just discovered that I did not. Don't know how that happened. Anyway, it's about Dr Ben Carson being attacked in the press for discriminating against Muslims.



The Friday 9/25/15 print edition of the Detroit News carries an oped by Chicago Tribune writer Clarence Page titled "Muslim? What's so wrong with that?" About Ben Carson Mr Page says: "He has boldly called for religious discrimination against any Muslims who run for president." Page cites Carson's statement that "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that." Page goes on to point out that our Constitution requires that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States." True enough.

But Mr Carson is not guilty of religious discrimination. In fact he is properly discriminating against an ideology that is anti-American; Islam. There is of course nothing wrong with discriminating against or even for an ideology. I discriminate heavily for individualism, capitalism etc. We fought World War Two against two ideologies: Naziism in Germany and Shintoism in Japan. In fact, there is nothing wrong with discrimination as such. To discriminate means to discern differences and similarities. Nothing more. The only kind of discrimination that should be illegal is government discrimination for or against people all of whom are supposed to be equal before the law.

Mr Page however, treats Islam as if it were nothing more that another friendly, neighborhood religion. It is not. It is a complete philosophy and political system which is diametrically opposite that of the United States. Let's look at the differences in the five branches of philosophy as I see them.

1. Metaphysics, in Islam, the malevolent universe premise where misery and suffering are the norm and happiness the exception and can only be achieved in the next world with Allah. In America, the achievement of values and happiness are the norm while failures and suffering are the exception.

2. Epistemology, in Islam, faith is the main if not only form of knowledge. In America reason is the main and (and should be) the only means to knowledge.

3. Ethics, in Islam, the morality of sacrifice of all earthly pleasures to Allah. In America, the morality of rational self interest and respect of the life of others.

4. Politics, in Islam, a theocratic dictatorship which forces sacrifices on those unwilling to volunteer them. In America, Capitalism, a system of individual rights including property rights in which free trade is the main political virtue.

5. Aesthetics/art, in Islam, none. Since art is a concrete manifestation of human values, and since Islam is against human values, there is no art in Islam. In America, art is plentiful because Americans tend to celebrate the good that is in man's nature. Hero worship is big in America.

Islam has nothing in common with America. Mr. Page points to two Muslims in congress and how they are not bringing Sharia into America. So what? The president has a lot more power than congressmen and judging by how president Obama has been getting away with ignoring Congress and the Constitution, a bonafide Muslim would be worse than what we have now.

I suspect Mr Page being widely considered left leaning, doesn't want to miss a chance to  bash a popular Republican.

No, Dr Ben Carson is not a bigot but rather a loyal American who loves life. He wouldn't be a doctor if he didn't.


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