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Old 10th November 2012, 07:41 PM   #41
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Maybe. What were the competing values they were contending with? Were they under orders, were they protecting something else?
So the fact that they had "competing values" justifies the Nanking Massacre?

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Is it them you dislike or their actions?
Both.

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
You remain in the realms of black and white, us and them and are oblivious to it. You are proving my point for me. Cheers.
So you do not dislike the people who danced on the streets when the planes hit the towers?
At least, you agree with them partially?
If I say I disagree with them totally am I thinking black-and-white?

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Do you think they had no reason to celebrate the destruction of a symbol of their enemy?
Not enough to dance when 3000 people died.
So, you are sympatizing with the people who supported Al Qaeda?

Originally Posted by 000063 View Post
Where people come from and where the media they consume comes from are not the only influence on their beliefs.
I have never said "only"

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Oh, and for the record, I don't have any problem with the morality of kamikaze pilots at all.
This sums it all up.
I do have a lots of problems with people who took their and other hundreds of people lives only not for surrendering on a war they started.
I guess 90% of the people all around the world, including most Japanese would agree with me and strongly disagree with you.
I do not have any statistics at hand, as I assume this matter is quite obvious.

Last edited by John Mekki; 10th November 2012 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 10th November 2012, 08:18 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
This sums it all up.
I do have a lots of problems with people who took their and other hundreds of people lives only not for surrendering on a war they started.
I guess 90% of the people all around the world, including most Japanese would agree with me and strongly disagree with you.
I do not have any statistics at hand, as I assume this matter is quite obvious.
And if 90 per cent of people jumped off a cliff...?
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Old 10th November 2012, 09:52 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
What is your metric for the stupidity of a mentality? Because from an evolutionary standpoint, I hate to break it to you but that mentality has proven to be enormously successful. [..]
You really think so?
Yes, Ziggurat is correct, and your decision to quote extremes doesn't change that fact. Would you even exist today if your forefathers and mothers hadn't evolved the 'us' and 'them' mentality that drove them to protect and nurture their own 'us' against the 'them' who were competing for the same food resources, mates, territory etc etc.

They even instilled that same 'us' and 'them' mentality in you, as evidenced by your choice of words in your OP.

There are certainly times we can choose to rise above our instinctive us/them mentality, but anyone who supports a football team, has kids to care for or is patriotic for their country is automatically using 'us' and 'them' behaviour which, unlike the narrow range of examples you gave, can often be a positive thing.

If my parents didn't prioritise me over other kids, or if people who worked for me didn't feel my firm was best to work for then I'd be pretty upset!
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:15 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So you do not dislike the people who danced on the streets when the planes hit the towers?
Understanding someone's behaviour doesn't automatically mean you condone it.
Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
If I say I disagree with them totally am I thinking black-and-white?
If you disagree with them isn't this you indulging in 'us' and 'them' thinking? Didn't you say you moved to 'another way of thinking' 'a few years ago'?
Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So, you are sympatizing with the people who supported Al Qaeda?
Evolution - this is 'us' [John Mekki] and 'them' [Alfie] and 'them' [Al Qaeda] thinking.
Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I do have a lots of problems with people who took their and other hundreds of people lives only not for surrendering on a war they started.
'Us' and 'them' again. It's OK when it's 'us' killing people illegally, but not when it's 'them'.
Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I guess 90% of the people all around the world, including most Japanese would agree with me and strongly disagree with you.
'Us' and 'them', 'me' and 'you', it is ingrained in us all, it's just that some of us understand that it is our natural behaviour, which means we are self aware and can therefore use rational thought to decide when to override our instincts. Others are trapped in this habitual thought process through lack of self awareness.
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:20 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Yes, Ziggurat is correct, and your decision to quote extremes doesn't change that fact.
Who defines what are "extremes" and what not?
Are the 500000 soldiers that died in Stalingrad "extremes"?
The 70 million Iranians who do not have access to some medicines?
The 47 million Americans on food stamps?
All "extremes"?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Would you even exist today if your forefathers and mothers hadn't evolved the 'us' and 'them' mentality that drove them to protect and nurture their own 'us' against the 'them' who were competing for the same food resources, mates, territory etc etc.
Apparently, you did not understand one single iota of what I wrote.
What you wrote has nothing to do with the main point I was talking about.
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:23 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Understanding someone's behaviour doesn't automatically mean you condone it.
I think this comment was not direct to you anyway..
Hallo Alfie was talking about "liking and disliking".
So we are not talking about understanding why people drive planes into skyscrapers, we can leave this to some criminal psychiatrist

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
If you disagree with them isn't this you indulging in 'us' and 'them' thinking? Didn't you say you moved to 'another way of thinking' 'a few years ago'?
No.
Because I, probably differently from you, do not condemn them for being "them", but for what they did and would use and actually use the same parameter for condemning "us" when "we" do the same thing.

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
'Us' and 'them' again. It's OK when it's 'us' killing people illegally, but not when it's 'them'.

'Us' and 'them', 'me' and 'you', it is ingrained in us all, it's just that some of us understand that it is our natural behaviour, which means we are self aware and can therefore use rational thought to decide when to override our instincts. Others are trapped in this habitual thought process through lack of self awareness.
See above
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:46 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post

What is your take on this?
a bunch of stupid bs
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:57 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Who defines what are "extremes" and what not?
Are the 500000 soldiers that died in Stalingrad "extremes"?
The 70 million Iranians who do not have access to some medicines?
The 47 million Americans on food stamps?
All "extremes"?
What? You are claiming that killing 500,000 people is not extreme?? Surely you were quoting those events to try and prove your point because they are extreme. You can't have it both ways.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Apparently, you did not understand one single iota of what I wrote.
What you wrote has nothing to do with the main point I was talking about.
Apparently you did not understand that I posted in response to the specific post I quoted, which is the usual way of making a point on JREF.

If you'd read my post you'd have seen it was directly related to your public reaction to Zigg's post. Zigg pointed out that the us/them mentality has been 'enormously successful' from an 'evolutionary standpoint'. You indicated doubt about it and I gave a perfect example of how that mentality benefits people, and has even led to your own creation. It's odd that you feel this has 'nothing to do' with the debate
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:00 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So the fact that they had "competing values" justifies the Nanking Massacre?
Let me say at the outset that I am no expert on Nanking so please accept any particulars I have wrong. But in general terms it would depend who you are talking about, i.e. the politicians, the generals, the soldiers? And which actions specifically are you talking about?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So you do not dislike the people who danced on the streets when the planes hit the towers?
I have never met them, how would I know if I disliked them?
I do not like their actions but I can understand (on one level at least) their joy.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
At least, you agree with them partially?
Not at all. I am viewing things from their emotional perspective. It's called empathy. Have you ever heard of this word or even understand its meaning?

You speak of moving away from "black and white/us and them" thinking yet seem totally oblivious to your own shortsightedness and lack of empathy.

This is really rather incredible from a psychological standpoint especially when we consider the things you say you value.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
If I say I disagree with them totally am I thinking black-and-white?
How are you not?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Not enough to dance when 3000 people died.
But would you celebrate the demise of your enemy?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So, you are sympatizing with the people who supported Al Qaeda?
Not for a second, but that is not the question we are discussing now is it? Hmm?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
This sums it all up.
Indeed it does. A reasonable person would see the sacrifice, the duty and the courage that the Kamikaze had to have had to effect the deeds they did. They were ordered to lay down their lives for a greater purpose and they did so willingly.

To ignore these types of facts when considering others - in this case their fallen - is to engage in exactly the black and white/us and them thinking you are speaking out against; it lacks empathy, insight and a certain intellectual and emotional intelligence.

You really are pulling your own case to pieces and making my (our) task very simple. Cheers.

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Understanding someone's behaviour doesn't automatically mean you condone it.
Quite.

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
If you disagree with them isn't this you indulging in 'us' and 'them' thinking? Didn't you say you moved to 'another way of thinking' 'a few years ago'?
He most certainly did say that. But he most certainly hasn't (based on comments to date) moved anywhere.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I think this comment was not direct to you anyway..
Hallo Alfie was talking about "liking and disliking".
But he answered for me beautifully, so I second his statement and would hope you can stop backing away from it. Please respond.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So we are not talking about understanding why people drive planes into skyscrapers, we can leave this to some criminal psychiatrist.
And I am about as close as you might come to that in this forum - I am a practicing qualified forensic counsellor who is just a few small units away from his psychology degree.

(I might also add that I think you mean psychologist and not 'psychiatrist' - there is a big difference you know).

Any person who knowingly performs an act like this will have competing values. The first one might consider of them is the (competing) value of his life over his death. You can start from there and work downwards - be careful though, it is a very long and complicated pathway you would be taking.

But it was you who raised the "us and them" mentality while totally oblivious to the myriad of considerations (conditioning, parenting, living conditions, personality, training, values etc) that result in the final act.

You continue to engage in "us and them/black and white" thinking and don't even know it.

I can't actually believe you are serious about this.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
No.
Because I, probably differently from you, do not condemn them for being "them", but for what they did and would use and actually use the same parameter for condemning "us" when "we" do the same thing.
Hang on. You just said that you disliked 'both' them and their actions (post #41). Now you say just their actions.

Perhaps I am having an influencing effect on you already. I could only hope I could do so well, so quickly with other clients.

Last edited by Hallo Alfie; 10th November 2012 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 10th November 2012, 11:30 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I think this comment was not direct to you anyway..
Irrelevant, this is a public forum, not a private club or Victorian dining room, we don't just 'speak when spoken to'.
Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Hallo Alfie was talking about "liking and disliking".
In post #22 Alfie commented 'Things are either right or wrong, good or bad, us or them. In fact it is this assumption that is narrow minded, just as much as the one you decry.' in reference to you seeing things in black and white. Your comment "So you do not dislike the people who danced on the streets when the planes hit the towers?" is an example of that black and white thinking. I was indicating that many feelings can co-exist and they can all be valid, such as:

I believe the people who danced on the streets have false religious beliefs.
I feel they have been indoctrinated in their thinking.
I understand that if I had had their indoctrination then I may have behaved in the same way.
I do not condone dancing in the street at any person's death (except, perhaps, M*rg*r*t Th*tcher )

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So we are not talking about understanding why people drive planes into skyscrapers,
Who was talking about that? I wasn't, see above.
Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Because I, probably differently from you, do not condemn them for being "them", but for what they did and would use and actually use the same parameter for condemning "us" when "we" do the same thing.
Please don't make assumptions about what I would and would not condemn, unless you quote evidence from my own posts.

Condemning 'them' for what they do still comes back to condemning 'them'. Condemn the deed, not the person.

Personally I'm not that black-and-white in condemning people, I believe some illegal acts can be justified regardless of whether it's 'us' or 'them' doing them. I even believe that when it's 'us' doing certain illegal/immoral acts (eg Guantanamo) it's actually worse than 'them' doing them as we purport to be civilised and world leaders.

Very, very rarely are things as black and white as you paint them, which is why you cannot prove that us/them thinking is detrimental as there are so many variables to consider.
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Old 11th November 2012, 09:23 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
It is the “Us” vs. “Them” mentality.
It is a way of thinking shared by millions (billions?) of people all over the world, maybe the majority of humankind.
I'd go so far as to say that the exception is probably as rare as psychopathy or thereabout. It is how we think at an everyday level.

Tribalism comes with being a social animal. It exists not just in humans. To be angry about it feels as meaningful as being angry over the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Ever seen people write things on the Internet that are obviously wrong? It is very likely that these positions are bound up with their self-identities, particularly if the subject is related to religion and/or politics. To retract from these positions then is not simply a matter akin to "I was wrong about the capital city of Texas". It is to retract your self-identity and perhaps going through an identity crisis. Which can be very psychologically painful.
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Old 11th November 2012, 05:38 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by joolz View Post
I believe the people who danced on the streets have false religious beliefs.
What are the "true" religious beliefs and what are the false ones?
Does having a religious belief discount dancing on the streets when other people die?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
I feel they have been indoctrinated in their thinking.
What makes you thinking that you are not?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
I understand that if I had had their indoctrination then I may have behaved in the same way.
And then it would not be morally wrong to dance in the streets when other people are dying?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
I do not condone dancing in the street at any person's death (except, perhaps, M*rg*r*t Th*tcher )
"do not condone" means "condemn"?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Condemning 'them' for what they do still comes back to condemning 'them'. Condemn the deed, not the person.
So we should condemn the deed of 9/11 but not Osama bin Laden?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Personally I'm not that black-and-white in condemning people, I believe some illegal acts can be justified regardless of whether it's 'us' or 'them' doing them. I even believe that when it's 'us' doing certain illegal/immoral acts (eg Guantanamo) it's actually worse than 'them' doing them as we purport to be civilised and world leaders.
Then we more or less agree.
Still why then so few Americans stood up to condemn, for example, Guantanamo?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Very, very rarely are things as black and white as you paint them, which is why you cannot prove that us/them thinking is detrimental as there are so many variables to consider.
So, maybe Osama di Laden was not 100% wrong in causing the death of some 3000 people?
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Old 11th November 2012, 05:42 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by joolz View Post
What? You are claiming that killing 500,000 people is not extreme??
Exactly the opposite.
I was claiming that that people (soldiers) decide to sacrifice their lives (or money, or well-being) for what they (in my opinion wrongly) believe as a "just cause" is quite normal in history
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Old 11th November 2012, 05:43 PM   #54
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Did you miss my post 49 there John Mikki?
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Old 11th November 2012, 05:52 PM   #55
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Let me say at the outset that I am no expert on Nanking so please accept any particulars I have wrong. But in general terms it would depend who you are talking about, i.e. the politicians, the generals, the soldiers? And which actions specifically are you talking about?
The actions by the Japanese army during the Massacre of Naking.

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
I have never met them, how would I know if I disliked them?
I do not like their actions but I can understand (on one level at least) their joy.
So maybe they are good people.
And their joy for the deaths of 3000 people maybe is "understandable".

I beg to differ.
I guess that the vast majority of US people would indeed beg to differ

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Not at all. I am viewing things from their emotional perspective. It's called empathy. Have you ever heard of this word or even understand its meaning?
Shall we be "empathic" also with Osama bin Laden?
What about being empathic with the Nazis that gassed children in Auschwitz?
Shall we be empathic with them as well?
Maybe they had some far-away reason to do what they did.
If I say that I condemn both them and their actions do I think "black-and-white"?

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
You speak of moving away from "black and white/us and them" thinking yet seem totally oblivious to your own shortsightedness and lack of empathy.
I agree.
I am not emphatic at all with Osama bin Laden.
And I do not care at all about why he did what he did.
I am empathic with the victims of 9/11.
And with me some hundreds of millions of American, I guess.
Maybe they are "shortsighted" like me

Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Indeed it does. A reasonable person would see the sacrifice, the duty and the courage that the Kamikaze had to have had to effect the deeds they did. They were ordered to lay down their lives for a greater purpose and they did so willingly.
And so the perpetrators of 9/11.
Shall we praise them for their "courage" and "duty" as well?
What about the victims of the Kamikaze?
What about the families of the US soldiers that lost their lives during a Kamikaze attack?
Will they be happy to hear that you see the "duty" of the people who killed their father and husbands?
Go tell them and see what they reply you.

Desplicable.

Last edited by John Mekki; 11th November 2012 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 11th November 2012, 06:05 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Who defines what are "extremes" and what not?
When a range of possible outcomes exist which we can characterized by some parameter, then the "extremes" are, quite obviously, the outcomes far away from the average. This isn't rocket science here. That such a basic concept was not obvious to you does not speak well for your ability to engage in productive discourse.

Quote:
Are the 500000 soldiers that died in Stalingrad "extremes"?
How many such battles have been fought throughout history? Very few indeed. So yes, Stalingrad was very much an extreme case.

Quote:
The 70 million Iranians who do not have access to some medicines?
As I already pointed out to you, evolution doesn't care if you're comfortable or happy.

Quote:
The 47 million Americans on food stamps?
Aside from the fact that you're outraged, one wonders what point you're even trying to convey with this example. Are we to conclude that we should give out fewer food stamps, so that this number would be lower? If we gave out no food stamps at all, would that satisfy you? Would that somehow indicate that we were engaged in less us-vs-them thinking?

Your argument is nothing but incoherent indignation.
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Old 11th November 2012, 06:09 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Desplicable.
Thanks, Daffy Duck

And once again you engage in the 'all or nothing', 'black and white', 'us and them mentality' that you decry. Do you even hear yourself?

As I said earlier, I really doubt you are serious here - given same, I will no longer be either. Fair enough?

Last edited by Hallo Alfie; 11th November 2012 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 12th November 2012, 05:21 AM   #58
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
How many such battles have been fought throughout history? Very few indeed. So yes, Stalingrad was very much an extreme case.
How many Germans had their home and/or land and/or job lost/destroyed after WWII?
How many Italians?
I would say 90% of both.
How many US citizens pay taxes which mostly go to the military apparatus or to bailout banks that does not give any direct profit to them?
How many Iranians pay taxes to a government that attacks Israel and which brings out sanctions to them?
I would say 90%? 95%

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
As I already pointed out to you, evolution doesn't care if you're comfortable or happy.
Agreed with that, but what this has to do with what I was saying?

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
If we gave out no food stamps at all, would that satisfy you? Would that somehow indicate that we were engaged in less us-vs-them thinking?
"we" who?

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Your argument is nothing but incoherent indignation.
It is incoherent to you as you jumped in a discussion I had with another poster without following the talk we were having.
Go back to the previous posts and try to follow, if possible.

Last edited by John Mekki; 12th November 2012 at 05:23 AM.
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Old 12th November 2012, 05:22 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
Fair enough?
Yes, Alfie.
Go be empathic with Osama bin Laden.
Oh, sorry, he is dead.
Please do not cry for this
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Old 12th November 2012, 06:05 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
Our brains haven't changed much since the dawn of the human race. And it will be a million years or more before they catch up with difficult concepts like "supermarkets" and "health care".

The internet isn't going to change people, any more than newspapers or telephones.
I'm not so sure - I think the internet and social networking has made it a lot harder to identify with a singular "us". Physical location doesn't imbue people with the same overarching sense of belonging that it used to. Shared interests, beliefs and attitudes play a much larger role in whom we spend time with and feel connected to than it did before. In time, and with advances in interactivity, politicians, scientists and everyone else will have friends in the countries that someone is trying to demonize. It will be harder to produce convincing propaganda about "the other" when people have chatted to them on FB the day before.

Of course it could all go babelfish on me - but I'd like to think otherwise.
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Old 12th November 2012, 06:06 AM   #61
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An interesting article in New Scientist (22/9/12 No.2883) "Warmonger or idealist: the roots of human conflict "

Called "Much ado about fighting" in the print edition.

It points out that conflict is in decline in the world overall, that collective aggression is just part of the whole spectrum of collectiveness the humans possess.

Group agression may be linked to our unparalled capacity for large scale cooperation and altruistic self-sacrifice

Our culture encourages group indentification (eg, dress code, food preferences etc), although today, this is usually much less violent in nature.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-conflict.html
You will need to subscribe to read the whole article.
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Old 12th November 2012, 07:01 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
How many Germans had their home and/or land and/or job lost/destroyed after WWII?
How many Italians?
I would say 90% of both.
So now you're not even going to try to form an argument, you're just going to spout random "facts".

Quote:
How many US citizens pay taxes which mostly go to the military apparatus or to bailout banks that does not give any direct profit to them?
If you're going to spout random "fact", at least try to make them plausible. No US citizen pays taxes which mostly go to the military or to bank bailouts, because both expenses are a minority of federal spending (never mind state and local government spending).

Quote:
Agreed with that, but what this has to do with what I was saying?
You keep pointing to examples where conditions make people unhappy, but which don't in any way prevent the continuation of society.

Remember, this all started because you claimed that an us-vs-them mentality was "stupid". But you never actually defined what you meant by that. When I pointed out that for a certain definition (namely, the survival of a society), such a mentality was NOT stupid but has historically proven to be quite successful, you tried to find counter-examples. But you have failed miserably in your efforts. Your examples have all been either cases where one us-vs-them society lost to another us-vs-them society, or cases where the society hasn't been existentially threatened at all.

Quote:
"we" who?
The United States, obviously.
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Old 12th November 2012, 07:11 AM   #63
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So, let me just get this straight. The OP opens by announcing that an "us vs them" mentality is "the most stupid kind of mentality that you can have". The opening poster then proceeds over the course of two pages to demonstrate an inability to see events from any perspective other than his own.

Tell me this is a wind up, right?
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Old 12th November 2012, 11:16 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
How many Germans had their home and/or land and/or job lost/destroyed after WWII?
Do you know how Germany was rebuilt after WWII?

I recommend this book every so often - you really should read it http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rulebook-Arg...2744198&sr=8-1
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Old 12th November 2012, 12:29 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
So, let me just get this straight. The OP opens by announcing that an "us vs them" mentality is "the most stupid kind of mentality that you can have". The opening poster then proceeds over the course of two pages to demonstrate an inability to see events from any perspective other than his own.

Tell me this is a wind up, right?
Only for us, I suspect.
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Old 12th November 2012, 01:03 PM   #66
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Us and Them
And after all we're only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do
Forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died
And the General sat, as the lines on the map moved from side to side
Black and Blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and Down
And in the end it's only round and round and round
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words the poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun There's room for you inside
Down and Out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about
With, without
And who'll deny that's what the fighting's all about
Get out of the way, it's a busy day and I've got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice the old man died
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Old 12th November 2012, 02:17 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
What are the "true" religious beliefs and what are the false ones?
I didn't claim there was a true religion. There is no such thing as god, so no religion involving one can be true. The people dancing in the street seemed to be religious and believe in a god, hence my statement that they, therefore, have false beliefs.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Does having a religious belief discount dancing on the streets when other people die?
Hardly, we are discussing religious people who danced in the streets when people died so you know the answer already. Anyone can dance at anything they choose, it's (mostly) a free world.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
What makes you thinking that you are not?
I have no religious beliefs so I cannot have been indoctrinated into their, or any other, religious belief.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
And then it would not be morally wrong to dance in the streets when other people are dying?
I said perhaps. I also put a grin after it to show it was humour. Then again, as someone said above, why is it unnatural to be happy when your enemy is dead? You Godwinned the thread, so I'll ask if you are sad that Hitler is dead? How many Americans danced when Bin Laden was murdered? What's the difference between dancing for one side or dancing for the other? If you really have no us/them mentality, as you claim, then you should despise those who danced at Bin Laden's death as much as you do those who danced at 9/11.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
"do not condone" means "condemn"?
No, it doesn't, I chose those words specifically. I do not condone dancing in the streets when people are dying, but, like others have said, I understand why those people did it.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So we should condemn the deed of 9/11 but not Osama bin Laden?
Interesting question. Osama bin Laden is a victim of his upbringing, and many other things beside. I wish he had been brought up an atheist as then he would not be guilty of such a heinous crime, and I do have a sprinkling of sadness for religious people in addition to the horror for the dreadful deeds christians, moslems and jews etc all do in the name of their religions. As I tried to explain to you, it is common to have multiple feelings about one thing. But don't now claim that I think he was right, my best friend lost a relative in the towers, it was one of the most shocking things I have seen. My horror at the event doesn't preclude pity towards Bin Laden for the sad and bitter life he must have led and it makes me so happy that I have no religious indoctrination, but I totally believe that he should have stood trial for his crimes and been locked away forever.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Then we more or less agree.
From what I've read so far I doubt it.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Still why then so few Americans stood up to condemn, for example, Guantanamo?
Because they put patriotism above human rights and the law? I don't know, you'd have to tell me why, I don't understand why you put up with it. You tend to expect something like Guantanamo in North Korea, but when the US does it then it's even worse as the US claims to be a world leader. Now you can't ever criticise N Korea/China/<insert any country here> if they set up a camp and imprison US citizens. But I bet you would complain.

The US imprisoned British people at Guantanamo without trial or presenting them with evidence of crimes, then you released some after years, still having produced no evidence.

I can empathise with US people for the overwhelming pain they felt at 9/11 and their natural reaction to kick out, but it didn't surprise me that the US did something as dreadful as Guantanamo as there seems to be so much cognitive dissonance in the USA as a whole, and the religious seem to be the worst at it - loving their 'god' with a bible in one hand as they break 'his' commandments with a gun in the other. Preach 'love they neighbour' while depriving gay people of basic human rights, condemning China for breaches of human rights while running Guantanamo. Nothing much changes. But all that should probably be in a new thread.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
So, maybe Osama di Laden was not 100% wrong in causing the death of some 3000 people?
You must know the answer to this already, it happened, if he felt he was 100% wrong he wouldn't have done it. If the nazi's felt their ideas were wrong then they wouldn't have murdered millions of people. Understanding that he thought he was right to do what he did does not, in any way whatsoever, mean that I, joolz, think he should have done what he did. Please look at the post above that explains the concept of 'empathy'.

Who knows what sickening behaviour we might indulge in if we had religious indoctrination. Scarily, the next genereration of children are already undergoing their indoctrination, on all sides of the religious fence.
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Old 12th November 2012, 02:21 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
So, let me just get this straight. The OP opens by announcing that an "us vs them" mentality is "the most stupid kind of mentality that you can have". The opening poster then proceeds over the course of two pages to demonstrate an inability to see events from any perspective other than his own.

Tell me this is a wind up, right?
This is now my take on John Mekki and this thread.
Every counterpoint he makes is an (increasingly ridiculous) appeal to emotion.

I doubt he could possibly be serious.
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Old 12th November 2012, 02:32 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Exactly the opposite.
I was claiming that that people (soldiers) decide to sacrifice their lives (or money, or well-being) for what they (in my opinion wrongly) believe as a "just cause" is quite normal in history
I guess your low opinion of a just cause means you'd choose to stand by while Bin Laden's successor invades your country. If you are so keen to embrace the people you have been railing against then maybe you are ceasing to see Bin Laden and his ilk as 'them', congratulations on changing your thoughts to fit your OP. Next step - embrace Hitler as part of your 'us' and not your 'them'.

Please keep up with the conversation and answer the original challenge to your OP. I'll recap for you .. Ziggurat stated "from an evolutionary standpoint..... that [them/us] mentality has proven to be enormously successful". You questioned his/her statement and listed rare extremes of that mindset where people had committed genocide/mass murder towards others. I stated that quoting some extreme examples does not invalidate Ziggurat's correct statement and I pointed out that your ancestors' use of their them/us attitude had led to you being born and nurtured.

So, if you really think them/us mentality is bad then I assume you don't plan to prioritise your own children when you are handing out love and care? You'd really treat all kids in the street exactly the same as your own kids?? If everyone couldn't care less about their own family 'us' then humanity would die out, well, at least the ones who thought like that, which neatly comes full circle to prove Ziggurat's point, that the them/us culture is more than 'evolutionary successful', it's an evolutionary necessity, no matter how unpleasant it can be when taken to extremes.

Case closed. Your own existence proves your OP to be wrong.
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Old 12th November 2012, 02:39 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Hallo Alfie View Post
This is now my take on John Mekki and this thread.
Every counterpoint he makes is an (increasingly ridiculous) appeal to emotion.

I doubt he could possibly be serious.
To paraphrase Groucho (badly), 'there is no sanity clause' on JREF.

Nothing surprises me here.

In response to my last post I expect him/her to post a denial of his/her existence as it's the only way to nullify my 'case closed' statement
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Old 12th November 2012, 03:29 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by joolz View Post
To paraphrase Groucho (badly), 'there is no sanity clause' on JREF.

Nothing surprises me here.

In response to my last post I expect him/her to post a denial of his/her existence as it's the only way to nullify my 'case closed' statement
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Old 13th November 2012, 06:41 AM   #72
John Mekki
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
So now you're not even going to try to form an argument, you're just going to spout random "facts".
I was talking about the "Us vs them" mentality

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
If you're going to spout random "fact", at least try to make them plausible. No US citizen pays taxes which mostly go to the military or to bank bailouts, because both expenses are a minority of federal spending (never mind state and local government spending).
I was talking about the "Us vs them" mentality.
I guess the US military takes about a trillion dollars per year.

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You keep pointing to examples where conditions make people unhappy, but which don't in any way prevent the continuation of society.
They do not prevent the continuation of the society, but they prevent the continuation of the lives of the people who were killed in Stanligrad, Russia, Vietnam, Iraq, Japan, etc. etc.

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Remember, this all started because you claimed that an us-vs-them mentality was "stupid".
I do not think that a pilot driving his plane against a boat is veyr much intelligent.

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
But you never actually defined what you meant by that.
I tried my best in the opening post

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
When I pointed out that for a certain definition (namely, the survival of a society), such a mentality was NOT stupid but has historically proven to be quite successful, you tried to find counter-examples.
What you fail to understand is that "society" does not exist as a separate entity.
People exist.
In other words, would you consider "intelligent" to go to die of freeeze in Stalingrad for the Greatness of Nazi Germany?

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
But you have failed miserably in your efforts. Your examples have all been either cases where one us-vs-them society lost to another us-vs-them society, or cases where the society hasn't been existentially threatened at all.
See above.

Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The United States, obviously.
The "United States" do not exist.
There are few people with billions and tens of millions with none.
Who are you talking about?
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Old 13th November 2012, 06:48 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by joolz View Post
I guess your low opinion of a just cause means you'd choose to stand by while Bin Laden's successor invades your country.
And, say, the invasion of Iraq had to with AlQaeda?
The US bases in Japan have also anything to see with bin Laden?

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
If you are so keen to embrace the people you have been railing against then maybe you are ceasing to see Bin Laden and his ilk as 'them', congratulations on changing your thoughts to fit your OP. Next step - embrace Hitler as part of your 'us' and not your 'them'.
I can not understand what you are saying

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
Please keep up with the conversation and answer the original challenge to your OP. I'll recap for you .. Ziggurat stated "from an evolutionary standpoint..... that [them/us] mentality has proven to be enormously successful".
Not really for the 47 millions of Americans on food stamps

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
You questioned his/her statement and listed rare extremes of that mindset where people had committed genocide/mass murder towards others.
70 millions of Iranians suffering from sanctions on a population of 70 millions are "extremes"?
I would say they are the 100%
Or the 99%

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
I stated that quoting some extreme examples does not invalidate Ziggurat's correct statement and I pointed out that your ancestors' use of their them/us attitude had led to you being born and nurtured.
I do not think WWII, Vietnam War, Korean War and so on led me to be born and nurtured.

Originally Posted by joolz View Post
So, if you really think them/us mentality is bad then I assume you don't plan to prioritise your own children when you are handing out love and care? You'd really treat all kids in the street exactly the same as your own kids?? If everyone couldn't care less about their own family 'us' then humanity would die out, well, at least the ones who thought like that, which neatly comes full circle to prove Ziggurat's point, that the them/us culture is more than 'evolutionary successful', it's an evolutionary necessity, no matter how unpleasant it can be when taken to extremes.

Case closed. Your own existence proves your OP to be wrong.
You did not understand a single word of what I said.
Of course I would help my children and I would keep my children from being sent to war and die, since I am not a stupid "us vs them" believer.
I would let you to send your children to die for "war on terror" or "war on drugs", etc.
Got it now?
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Old 13th November 2012, 10:38 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
And, say, the invasion of Iraq had to with AlQaeda?
The US bases in Japan have also anything to see with bin Laden?
How can the US have bases if it doesn't exist?
Quote:

I can not understand what you are saying
IOTTMCO.
Quote:
You did not understand a single word of what I said.
Of course I would help my children and I would keep my children from being sent to war and die, since I am not a stupid "us vs them" believer.
I would let you to send your children to die for "war on terror" or "war on drugs", etc.
Got it now?
Yes, you and your kids are "us" and him and his kids are "them".
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Old 13th November 2012, 11:12 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I guess the US military takes about a trillion dollars per year.
Why guess?
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Old 13th November 2012, 12:07 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by 23_Tauri View Post
So, let me just get this straight. The OP opens by announcing that an "us vs them" mentality is "the most stupid kind of mentality that you can have". The opening poster then proceeds over the course of two pages to demonstrate an inability to see events from any perspective other than his own.

Tell me this is a wind up, right?
I thought it was a "baited" POE
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Old 13th November 2012, 01:25 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
And, say, the invasion of Iraq had to with AlQaeda?
The US bases in Japan have also anything to see with bin Laden?
I have no idea, the US certainly does some weird things, you failed to address my point on cognitive dissonance, you failed to say whether you'd choose to stand by while Bin Laden's successor invades your country. You don't seem to give coherent answers to anything you are asked. You refer to Iraq, if you don't see things as us/them then presumably you see Al Quaida as 'us' too, and therefore must disagree with the invasion of Iraq?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I can not understand what you are saying
Perhaps because you are locked into your misconceptions, if you aren't prepared to consider you may be wrong then you probably have a hard time understanding any other viewpoint. I'll explain again:

I said that if you don't see the world in terms of us/them (as you claimed) then you consider Bin Laden and Hitler as one with yourself and your kids. If that truly is your view (and you seem reluctant to answer that point) then I was merely congratulating you on being one of the few people in the world with that mentality.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Not really for the 47 millions of Americans on food stamps
If you had read the sentence you snipped, you will see that I agree with Ziggurat but stated that there are extremes of that mentality that are not desirable. The them/us mentality is not always justified, but your inference that it 'is a bad thing' unconditionally is worse as it would lead to people not caring for their own kids etc.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
70 millions of Iranians suffering from sanctions on a population of 70 millions are "extremes"?
I would say they are the 100%
Or the 99%
Is English your first language? You don't seem clear on the meaning of 'extreme'. Yes, millions of people suffering is extreme, and yet you added a question mark to that statement? Are you unsure? Are you saying you think it is normal?

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I do not think WWII, Vietnam War, Korean War and so on led me to be born and nurtured.
People tend to avoid answering a direct question when they know they are wrong. Yet again you are just listing random examples of extreme us/them behaviour instead of answering. I'll ask it again in simple words... do you think your ancestors nurtured their children in preference to other people's children? Your answer should be 'yes' as you have stated that you intend to do this too. Please confirm.

Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
You did not understand a single word of what I said.
Of course I would help my children and I would keep my children from being sent to war and die, since I am not a stupid "us vs them" believer.
I would let you to send your children to die for "war on terror" or "war on drugs", etc.
Got it now?
This 'defence' of the OP is actually either laughable or very sad. You emphasise 'my' and 'your' and don't seem to connect with the fact that you are referring directly to 'us' [your family] and 'them' [my family]. You are treating 'my' and 'your' differently, therefore you are applying 'us' and 'them' mentality, ergo, you define yourself as 'a stupid "us vs them" believer' - your words, not mine.

It proves, yet again, that you do have the us/them mentality that you claim not to have. It's blatantly obvious that you, like almost every other person on the planet, has evolved to see your own kids as 'us' and other people's kids as 'them'. You have evolved to care for your kids, but let mine die. I understand your position, it is quite normal, I take no offence as it's the way we evolved. You prove my point yet again.

The only way you could believe in your own OP would be not to prioritise your own kids.

Many things that are generally good for mankind, but, when taken to extremes, they can be harmful. Morphine is an example, exercise is another, even nurturing your kids can become harmful if you control them obsessively and thereby stunt their development. Us/them mentality is the same, it's necessary, eg when applied to supporting your kids and cheering your football team, but negative when used for racism or oppression etc.

Got it now?
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Old 13th November 2012, 01:36 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
How can the US have bases if it doesn't exist?
I let that can of worms go as it's loopy enough dealing with the OP

Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
IOTTMCO.
Thank you! I had assumed I was typing in English, good to have it confirmed.

Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Yes, you and your kids are "us" and him she and his her [AFSD] kids are "them".
FTFY Totally agree, I thought it would be obvious to anyone typing that sentence. That old cognitive dissonance again hmmm
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Old 13th November 2012, 01:49 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
I was talking about the "Us vs them" mentality
No you weren't. You were spouting random facts with no argument presented at all to indicate their relevance.

Quote:
I guess the US military takes about a trillion dollars per year.
You guess? But you don't actually know? Then why don't you try looking something up for once. It's not like that information is a secret. Then come back to us when you know how much we spend on our military, and what fraction of our federal budget that represents.

Quote:
I do not think that a pilot driving his plane against a boat is veyr much intelligent.
You still have yet to define your criteria for what does and does not constitute an intelligent vs. unintelligent mindset. Oh, and when evaluating the intelligence of others, it helps to spell words correctly and use proper grammar. Otherwise you won't look "veyr much intelligent."

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I tried my best in the opening post
If that was your best, it wasn't good enough.

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What you fail to understand is that "society" does not exist as a separate entity.
Who ever said anything about its existence being separate? I certainly didn't.

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People exist.
Thank you, Captain Obvious.

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In other words, would you consider "intelligent" to go to die of freeeze in Stalingrad for the Greatness of Nazi Germany?
Would you consider it intelligent to freeze to death in Stalingrad for the greatness of Mother Russia?

As I already pointed out to you, multiple times, the Nazis were only stopped by men who also practiced an us vs. them mentality. Without such a mentality, nobody would have been able to defeat the Nazis. Would it truly have been smarter to let the Nazis win?

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The "United States" do not exist.
Yes, actually, it does.
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Old 13th November 2012, 01:57 PM   #80
Noztradamus
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
How many Germans had their home and/or land and/or job lost/destroyed after WWII?
How many Italians?
I would say 90% of both.
How many US citizens pay taxes which mostly go to the military apparatus or to bailout banks that does not give any direct profit to them?
How many Iranians pay taxes to a government that attacks Israel and which brings out sanctions to them?
I would say 90%? 95%
Mistake. Always say 83%. It looks more plausible and less like you just made it up.


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Go back to the previous posts and try to follow, if possible.
It would help if you were actually going somewhere.
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