Levinas, your help is needed

I took part in the Levinas reading group in hotel "The Philosopher" in Amsterdam. The teacher / discussion leader said that in his lectures he can talk about Levinas for 10 minutes or for much longer, but the result is in fact the same. To talk longer doesn't really add much. He said it's not difficult to explain Levinas. But personally I find it very difficult. There are plenty of examples in my daily life of the phenomenon that Levinas describes, about how our relationship becomes ethical immediately when I meet another person. I am responsible for how I treat the other person. The other makes an appeal to me not to kill him or her. But it happens so often - fortunately most of the time not in a literal way - that the first person kills the other, treats him/her as an object. And this is very difficult to explain; it's so hard to make people see what's happening and explain why it's problematic. And I think Levinas is right that the face of the other plays an important role. The absence of the face of the other on the internet enlarges the chance that the other will be treated as an object. Below is an example from Orkut that speaks for itself. Or at least I hope so, because I don't know what else I can say to explain what I mean... . Or maybe I can add that you can see there are many words in Stefans discourse that point towards generalizations: he is talking about "they" (Muslims), "all Muslims", about people who blindly follow their faith, about people who think that women like to be beaten, about the SS, and so on. These topics, and the generalizations towards all Muslims, are irrelevant for the discussion. In fact the Islam is irrelevant for this discussion completely. The question is just if it's likely that Wilders will be sued for using a Danish cartoon image without permission. Stefan doesn't talk about that at all.

The Orkut discussion went as follows: Khalid said something and in return Stefan made a generalization towards “Muslims in general”.

Stefan replied:

“Esther, I'd talk to Khalid like an individual if he didn't sound EXACTLY like another copy of the myriad of Muslims I've already debated:

Why should I assume that he has a mind of his own when he's just another mindless copy of all the other Muslims? They're INTERCHANGEABLE. Sometimes, I wonder if they're not just an exercise in AI - Artificial Intelligence. A program spewing out the same silly stuff without any connection with what the other person tells them. There's never an actual RESPONSE. And no, that has nothing to do with MY posts, because non-Muslims are immensely diverse. Even when we totally disagree, I get completely different answers every time - except on some issues, where leftists are also totally uniform. But you usually can get them away from those by going into other subjects.”

I said on Orkut:

"Stefan WOULD talk to Khalid like an individual IF he didn’t sound like many other Muslims, IN THE EARS OF STEFAN. Khalid is a unique individual, that’s for sure. The question if there are any other people who are more or less like him is totally irrelevant for the discussion between Stefan and Khalid. And I am sure that Khalid will not believe just any story he reads on the internet. Stefan even dares to doubt if Khalid has a mind of his own. Nobody is interchangeable. Instead of over one billion unique individuals, he considers all these human beings as programmed clones who all say the same. I have never seen such a clear example of “dehumanization of the other, as Levinas describes it."

Stefan replied:

"Stefan even dares to doubt if Khalid has a mind of his own.

I don't "dare to", I OBSERVE that he does not have a mind of his own! He's been EDUCATED not to have one. BRAINWASHED would be the proper term. Since his earliest childhood. That's the only explanation for why Muslims all think so damn much alike that you can perfectly interchange them in any debate. You can take Khalid here and exchange him against literally hundreds of others just like him I've previously debated.As soon as the debate turns toward Islam, the reaction of otherwise educated people becomes the same as that of all the other Muslims - PREDICTABLE! If someone's reactions and arguments are that predictable, then he is NOT using his own brain to respond, he is only aping what he has been taught before. I'm not the one "dehumanizing" him, HE was dehumanized by those who indoctrinated him with the ideology of Islam!It's exactly like extremist sects - Scientology or what not: they master the technique to perfection, too. The followers are told EXACTLY what they should think and how they should respond to certain questions. They are brainwashed until they accept everything they've been told.You know perfectly that the first aim of religious sects is to DESTROY INDIVIDUALITY, because they demand OBEDIENCE more than anything else.

Nobody is interchangeable.

They BECOME interchangeable, once they've been absorbed into a collectivist organization. Or do you expect that you could have gotten much out of an SS soldier?

Instead of over one billion unique individuals, he considers all these humans as being programmed clones who all say the same.

Not "the same" - the same RESPONSES! They dispense with thinking, because thinking would only get them into conflict with their religion. And the Quran and hadiths are very clear about it: if something seems to contradict the Quran, you have to reject it. The Quran is "never wrong". Don't you realize that the MAIN reason I oppose Islam is precisely because it dehumanizes people so much?! The loss of individual thinking, of submission to an ideology is absolutely devastating to any society. Islam demands just that."

I replied:

"You said that Khalid is "just another mindless copy of all the other Muslims". But every human being has got a mind of his own. What you are saying are things that you invented yourself. You don't know Khalid, you don't know if he is brainwashed, and in fact it's irrelevant. Even if he would be brainwashed he still has his own mind and consciousness, he is still responsible for his actions and you cannot treat him like a mindless object."

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?