I just read in the Global Chronical of Higher Education that Iran is now limiting the number of students who can take humanities because they believe "instruction in these human sciences in the universities will lead to
reservations and doubts in religious principles and beliefs."

I am not disagreeing that there is some truth in that. But, really? Human sciences are the ones they are worried about? Not biology, astronomy, geology, etc.

Either way, I am always amazed at people's ability to hold on to religious beliefs dispite clear evidence to the contrary.

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I just read in the Guardian that an Israeli court has convicted a Palestinian man of rape after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman who had believed him to be a fellow Jew.

I am not disagreeing that men will say anything to get laid. But, really? The sex *was* consensual, after all. Isn't this a case of Israel taking zionism and its resulting racism a bit too far? I mean, incarcerating someone for merely not being Jewish? Enough?

Either way, I am also always amazed at people's ability to hold on to religious beliefs despite clear evidence to the contrary.
I, also, am amazed at the fear of education. How can anyone believe that knowledge, of any kind, is dangerous or wrong?

Here's the thing, I think the religious are just afraid of any kind of education, whether it be Human sciences, biology, or anything else, because it DOES open the mind to other ideas and concepts. And we all know how much freethought is encouraged...

It's disgusting to me just contemplating that there are people in the world who want to learn, and they're being stonewalled because of ignorance! Shameful.
I agree. I am also amazed that so many people believe that faith in something without evidence is a virtue.
It's an axiom they work very, very hard to instill as it creates a very necessary logic trap:

If faith is a virtue then it is good to have faith (circular logic) and anyone without faith is not virtuous therefore they can not be trusted (poison the well).

A very effective one two punch...
When I was young, I thought that in humanity's great new world that was the post-WWII mid-20th century, there could be nothing worse than having Orwellian-like communist governments; but the Islamists are showing us otherwise.
>You have to remember, it's Iran's faith that keeps its Government in power.

Well it doesn't seem to be working very well, from the few accounts I've heard (Maziar Bahari, a government official who have fled (can't remember name), and the US government) thinks that the military has taken a majority of the power within the country.
But it is an Islam-driven military lot. If in power they will want the support of the mullahs too. To think that their history of the world starts with Adam and Eve and the talking snake because that is what the epileptic Mohammed said all those centuries ago.
This facts are shocking and difficult to digest. But this has been the intellectual universe of Iran’s fundamentalist leaders ever since they first came to power three decades ago.

Indeed, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s ultimate goal is leadership of the whole world. A review of his speeches and writings shows that he is convinced that United States is undergoing a process of disintegration and will collapse the same way the Soviet Union did. Therefore, devout Muslims should prepare themselves to fill the void and assume world leadership.

In the eyes of Iran’s fundamentalist leaders, Judaism and Christianity lost their raison d’être the moment Islam appeared 1.400 years ago, because the new religion incorporates the other two. Indeed, the Shiites, which school of thought Ahmadinejad belongs to, believe that when the missing 12th Imam or Mahdi reappears as the Messiah, the whole world, Jews and Christians included, will become Shiite Muslims.

Today Iran is investing huge sums to produce every conceivable weapon from fighter planes to missiles that can reach all of Europe and the eastern seaboard of the United States. In the view of its President and the people he represents, a military clash of civilization is inevitable. For them, the two highest values are jihad (holy war) and shihada (martyrdom).

Muslims are born to fight and die for the spread of Islam, in the hope of reaching heaven. Life is therefore a continuous struggle between true believers, the Shiites against the infidels, Jew, Christians and others. And in this cosmology, Western culture is built on the basis of Christianity – Islam’s only rival in the dissemination of religion across the world.

And according to Ahmadinejad’s belief system, victory in the inevitable clash will eventually be Islam’s, because, in his view, “The Islamic movement is the rising sun and the Western world is in decline.”
No doubt Islam is built into Iran's military as well but the military leaders seem more interested in power than religion. I wouldn't put it past them to overthrow the Ayatollah in a coup or just strip him of power and leave him as a figurehead.
everyone seems to talk about Iran and Pakistan as if they're the only backwards, primitive Muslim countries around. The Islamic world's bigger then these two countries and alot of Muslims are always making the point that Americans have such a narrow view of the Islamic world.. sometimes I tend to agree with them.

For me, it's like this. I could care less what they do in their pre-modern society with their stoneage laws, as long as they keep it there where it belongs, and the US government does help the situation with it's marauding in the middle east.

What I care about is what they do here, and to some degree in Europe, where I live. And for some reason, I think if the US left them alone, they'd probably leave us alone.
Ths US obviously. The US has a long history of attacking itself instigating fights to start wars ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9kiWphCXQg&feature=player_embedded ); and from what I can remember, the US has attempted to start this war twice already with speedboats and that other Naval thing that happened. I think what it comes down to is that the US is simply not ready for a war like this, and despite Bush saying that the Vietnam Syndrom is over, it's still with us. That's why they don't want to institute a draft even though two virtual draft bills, "National Service Act" if anyone remembers the particulars of this last decade in history, made it through both houses twice during Bush's reign.


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