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About imurray

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  • Birthday 04/22/1977

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    Ian M.
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    Graduate student primarily interested in rhetorical studies and theory. I'm not an Objectivist, Existentialist, Structuralist, Post-Structuralist, Deconstructionist, Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian, Modernist, Post-Modernist, or a two by four.
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    Rhetoric, philosophy, literature, sports, woodworking, etc.
  1. Adonis, I don't want to get into a "my missile is bigger than your missile" debate, but it must be acknowledged that if the US is desperate or our economic survival is seen as desperate then the US has other options rather than nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons - namely remote guided/unmanned aircraft. Public opinion towards such devices is unfavorable at the moment, but I can see that changing. I must say that I am dead set against any war as I believe, in war, nobody wins. However, I don't think we can look to Vietnam or our recent wars as examples of what a war with Iran would look
  2. The option would be that countries will either openly or covertly support a US victory. The global financial situation will benefit or at least not suffer (as much) if the US "wins" or comes out of it "okay" than if Iran "wins" or does grave damage to the US economy. Just my theory - I simply think that, when push comes to shove, developed nations will make the rational choice, that is, to protect their economic interests over irrational religious or even political differences.
  3. Adonis, I may not be an expert in Iranian politics or in touch with the thoughts and feelings of Muslims in the region and around the world, but I think you're missing a big part of this - the global economy. While on the face of things, China, Russia, etc. may appear to not be taking sides or hoping for the US to stumble - they are not stupid. I don't believe any of those countries would favor an Iranian victory over an economic collapse in the US. The global economy is a temperamental thing and no matter what you think or others may say - the US still plays a dominant role as importers/consu
  4. Xray, I know what a tautology is, if I didn't I wouldn't have used the term. You do not come across as a seeker, in all honesty. Frankly, you hijack discussions and lead them way off course with your so-called "questions". Ian
  5. I'd be happy to. You just did it again: Rich Engle and Panoptic, It looks like neither of you read my post thoroughly enough to notice the carefully placed modifiers. The result was a misunderstanding on your part. I wrote (bolding mine): "Believers often see oppressive governments as sinners who violate God's law." If I had left out the 'often', only then could it be called a 'sweeping generalization'. This passage contains many errors: The error lies in your assuming that it is just my personal opinion unsupported by facts. I base my conclusion on both personal experience and histor
  6. Indeed it does. Nice Galileo reference. Ian
  7. I'd be happy to. You just did it again: This is your opinion of how believers think and how they behave. It is not based on what actually happened (i.e., supported by rigorous research of historical events), instead it is based on what you think should happen if believers behave and think the way you say they do - your whole argument is a tautology. George is dealing with real people and real historical artifacts, not theorizing off the top of head or fitting historical events to his own way of thinking.
  8. Dennis and Xray: I think you're both falling into the same "trap". George has tried to piece together an accurate, objective, account of what was actually happening in the given historical period, to include: what people where reading, what people did, what people wrote/ said, who people interacted with, etc. He has obviously, necessarily, made some "subjective" leaps, but they are based on the facts that he has gathered through his reasearch. On one hand we have George who is trying to show what did happen through "objective" research and on the other hand we have Dennis and Xray telling him/
  9. George and Dennis: I am enjoying the exchange immensely. I don't have much to add to the conversation so I've been relatively quiet, but I have been reading every word. Xray: Of course you have the right to comment, but we have already had a discussion about altruism where you, George, and others went back and forth. The fascinating thing about this thread is that both George and Dennis have done an amazing job of contextualizing 'abstract' ideas within a well-researched 'concrete', historical, discourse. While it is true that the "debate on altruism" is relevant to the conversation and there
  10. George, Wow. I am truly looking forward to reading your new book once it is published. We have disagreed in the past and I'm sure we will disagree again in the future, but either way I can and hopefully will learn a lot from the way you think. It is rare to see someone who is adept at working with abstract ideas and is able to represent them in a clear and intelligable way; devoid of the pomposity of so-called "academic" writing. It is a combination any serious scholar aspires to. I have observed the same capacity for working with abstraction (accross multiple disciplines) in Foucault, but onl
  11. Unfortunately this line of argumentation will go full circle: Barbara may accuse Chris of echoing the left's party line against Beck and she'd be mostly correct and, in turn, Christopher may accuse Barbara of echoing the right's party line in favor of Beck and he would be mostly correct. This won't resolve the problem and, in my opinion, speaks to our collective myopia when in comes to the media. I'm currently thinking through what I think is a stronger argument against Beck and his cohorts on both the right and the left. To fully understand the problem we must take a full step back and look
  12. Need I say more? Not a single original thought in that whole diatribe. Look at it: she uses a few sources - the same sources that every one of Beck's followers use - because he provided them for them. Can't you see that supporting Beck IS supporting the status quo? You let yourself be manipulated into following "great men." How can you be a libertarian or for small government when you want and think you need great leaders just as much as those on the left? You just want leaders you agree with - and will fight for them as hard as the left fights for their own great men. The only way around this
  13. Great article, George. Something for me to think about. I'll be back with a more substantive response later if I can think of anything to add. I certainly can't see anything to criticize, but I may tie it back to the Beck discussion since that was part of the reason you reproduced this here. Ian
  14. My apologies. I didn't intend for this to be 'Branden Bashing", but it's your site and I respect your interpretation. My apologies to Barbara also - I didn't intend to disrespect you. I am aware of your contributions and accomplishments. I was born and raised just outside of Concord/Lexington/Boston and the feelings that are conjured in me when I walk on that historic ground are nothing like the the feelings that I get when I hear Glenn Beck. To me, and this is only my opinion of course, comparing Paul Revere to Glenn Beck dishonors the former to a degree that is incommensurate with what one
  15. What's to be blown up next? A suicide dog? Suicide fish? Michael When these animal bomb carriers have human casualties you might not find it so amusing. Ba'al Chatzaf I'm going to go ahead and defend Michael for a change - not that he needs my defense mind you, but I always like to agree with him when I can because we disagree enough about a certain other topic. Hahaha. Michael started his post by saying: I agree, I don't know what they will think of next. Sometimes the only response immediately available to us is to shake our heads and laugh - and then, once it sinks in, cry. I have all