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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Concern....

I appreciate the concern some people have expressed for my safety and the safety of my family since I have been very critical of Muslims and the religion. So, I think that it is important to keep these things in mind....

1. I do not get much readership, so chances are that there are few crazed Muslims reading these pages. Probably too busy beheading Innocent victims or shooting barbers that cut men's hair to non-Islamic short lengths. Also, Arabic language readers may-or-may-not be able to fully comprehend what I am saying and many probably can't read at all.

2. It would be very difficult for crazed Muslims to track me down using this venue to identify me.

3. If they have the capacity to track people on the net, then this is truly dangerous not just to me but to many many others. Better to find this out now.

4. There is no way that terrorists or threats will keep me quiet. This is exactly the problem. Barbarism in the Muslim world should not threaten the very freedoms that we have and that do impact our lives positively.

5. If one disagrees with what I say since they think that it is inappropriate, not neighborly or downright crazed, then they have a point. But I have chosen to be controversial.

6. I worked with many Muslims and when September 11th happened, many said that this was not their religion. I believed them at that time, now I do not. Most are strangely silent and they have the responsibility to speak out for moderation and common sense. I do not see this.

7. I am a believer in people. I believe in natural right and natural law. I think that people are innately good. I think that the coercion and threats that Islam imposes on people is a violation of natural rights. No one should be forced to live under a regime where apostasy is punished by death, children are murdered by parents due to wrongs against the nebulous concept of family honor and arbitrary death at the hands of angry Muslims cloaked in the vile concept of Sharia Law is tolerated and not exposed to what it is, a tool of coercion and violation of natural rights.

8. If someone actually does attempt to kill me for what I say here, then this proves my point. Their behavior should not be tolerated.

Also, I have been considering what Socrates said a couple of thousand years ago...
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
So what does this mean?

Socrates said this while defending himself in court after he had been found guilty of heresy and sedition. Heresy is a crime that threatens an established religion, and sedition is a threat to the state, both typically punishable by death.

Socrates was charged with these crimes since he was annoyingly very vocal, routinely telling people what he thought about them, bluntly communicating what was on his mind and embarrassing and angering many prominent people in ancient Athens. Socrates routinely walked around insulting and chastising his neighbors. Kind of crazy, I suppose, and they wanted him to be silenced.

When found guilty, however, he was offered some sort of clemency to the sentence of death to keep his mouth shut. But, as this passage explains....
If they thought he could just keep his mouth shut and stay out of trouble, that would be impossible. First because to keep his silence would be a disobedience to a direct command from God. Of course he knew they could not believe he was serious about this God thing so he puts it a different way, he explained to them that he felt it was his responsibility, "... to let no day pass without discussing goodness and all the other subjects about which you hear me talking and examining both myself and others," he felt that this activity, "is really the very best thing that a man (or women) can do, and that life without this sort of examination is not worth living ..."

He chose death rather than silence. He chose death because he considered participation in that type of conversation whose goal it is to find the truth, to search for wisdom, essential for the nurturing and growth of the soul as well as for the health and welfare of the state. The love and pursuit of wisdom was both religious and patriotic. He believed his death would be a witness to this belief. It was out of piety and patriotism that he accepted to be a martyr in defense of the right and the responsibility of the citizen to participate in independent critical thinking.
Socrates was put to death with a lethal dose of hemlock.

Since I live here, in this virtual world and also in the real world, I fully intend on continuing to pursue truth since I think that my participation, no matter how small, is an addition to collective wisdom. I believe that this is what God wants and intends for us to do. I also think that no matter how difficult this personal examination is, the exploration of us as a people(s) and the review of our culture(s) is the only way that we will grow and lead our children to fuller, more productive lives.

Anyone that does not agree with what I have said here, then should look to Voltaire and what he said about my right to say what I say....
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
He actually never did say this in his writing but some believe this is what he intended to say. Voltaire was also threatened by death for his participation in questioning the wisdom of the day and many of the early philosophers had to code their beliefs and criticisms in order to stay alive.

And all of this leads me to think of the quote sometime attributed to American civil rights leader Martin Luther King on non-violent resistance....
"If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi and nonviolence. But if your enemy has no conscience like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer."
Bonhoeffer was a leader in opposing Nazism, anti-Semitism and the horrendous German treatment of Jews. He was put to death on direct orders by Adolph Hitler just days before Hitler committed suicide. I feel that I am in good company. So, do Muslims have a conscience?

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