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In Advance of Ramadan, Indonesian Gov't Starts Massive Censorship Push 184

Posted by timothy
from the night-time-is-for-snacking dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Indonesian government has blocked access to 1 million pornographic websites in advance of Ramadan, the country's holy month. Internet censorship is nothing new in Indonesia, but the scale of this particular restriction is unprecedented. Apparently this is only the beginning. Minister Tifatul Sembiring said Wednesday his office would target more sites through the country's holy month, and beyond."
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In Advance of Ramadan, Indonesian Gov't Starts Massive Censorship Push

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  • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:25PM (#40720085)

    That is a worthy notion, as we are just as bad about letting our dominant religion limit our freedom. Here in the US, our own dominant religious element has decided for us:
    - Prostitution will be illegal (mostly), in spite of the high demand
    - Alcohol is restricted, in some places illegal to sell at all times, in others illegal to sell at certain times (frequently Sunday mornings)
    - Same sex partners cannot have a legally binding marriage, with full benefits
    - You may be married to one, and only one person (who must be of the opposite sex) at any given time (granted, I don't think our legal system could handle the larger case, presently)
    - In some settings you may be limited about what you can say on certain topics (sex, evolution, religion, etc.)
    - "G.D." is a forbidden expression on television

    It's true some of these things may HAVE BEEN democratic at one point or another, but are enshrined now. You can't, say, change alcohol laws without a small but vocal minority trying to get you unseated from government. It was democracy for our grandparents, but it's dictatorial for us.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:32PM (#40720141)

    Actually it isn't in Indonesia. The country is founded on it's five principles "Pancasila"
    The belief in monotheism is part of the constitution,...
    HOWEVER, Islam is not the state religion, despite the overwhemling majority of citizens claiming to be Muslim.
    In fact Atheism is illegal in the country.

    It's not so surprising when the population mostly still believes in ghosts and spirits.

  • by pwizard2 (920421) on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:51PM (#40720229)

    In fact Atheism is illegal in the country.

    I wonder how they enforce that. All someone would have to do is not openly admit to being an atheist.

    The sooner the world gets rid of religion, the better off we will be. Religion holds us back... for the first time ever in history, the combined knowledge of humanity is available in one place for those who care to look for it and yet these theocracies throw it away in favor of blind faith in primitive mythology. Sure, they're just blocking porn right now, but what stops them from blocking anything that undermines their power? It's absolutely sad that some 7th century Arab tribesman's scam to get money, power, and women has persisted all the way to the 21st century. Christianity is not much better, however I give it credit for not being in the "killing people" phase anymore.

  • by PPH (736903) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:00PM (#40720287)

    In fact Atheism is illegal in the country.

    Blessed be FSM. RAmen.

  • by causality (777677) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:54PM (#40720565)

    In fact Atheism is illegal in the country.

    I wonder how they enforce that. All someone would have to do is not openly admit to being an atheist. The sooner the world gets rid of religion, the better off we will be. Religion holds us back... for the first time ever in history, the combined knowledge of humanity is available in one place for those who care to look for it and yet these theocracies throw it away in favor of blind faith in primitive mythology. Sure, they're just blocking porn right now, but what stops them from blocking anything that undermines their power? It's absolutely sad that some 7th century Arab tribesman's scam to get money, power, and women has persisted all the way to the 21st century. Christianity is not much better, however I give it credit for not being in the "killing people" phase anymore.

    Religion isn't the problem. Using the force of law (i.e. men with guns) to enforce your brand of morality on others is the problem.

    Religion is only one excuse for doing this. "For your safety" or "for the children" are others. The process is the same. The excuse is just that -- an excuse. It's all about power, control, and trying to force everyone to be like yourself because you are too insecure to be an individual. These are people who derive security from being among the like-minded. Consequently they feel threatened by someone who does not agree.

    These are petty, egotistical little tyrants. The thing to understand about ego is that in its own eyes, it is never wrong and never at fault. Therefore, if my insecurity causes me to feel threatened, I absolutely cannot attribute that to insecurity or any other fault within myself (even though that would lead to personal growth*). I must blame it on the person who makes me feel insecure by believing something I don't. It's a scapegoat. If I happen to have political power, then I can put the force of law behind this. If not, I can cry about how "offended" I am and try to shame the other person into submission.

    Most people are like this, unfortunately. This is part of why the world is the way that it is. That's why when most people find a radio program or TV show offensive, simply not listening or watching isn't good enough for them. They have to try to take it off the air. That's why people who don't drink alcohol want to support "no alcohol sales on Sunday" and other stupid, easily circumvented laws (stock up Saturday). It's why people who don't do drugs support throwing people in jail and ruining their lives over possession of a plant, even though they weren't driving intoxicated or otherwise endangering anyone.

    They're cowards who don't have the strength to be individuals. That's why they cannot allow others to be individuals and make their own personal choices. Deep down they know they're cowards, so they try to appear big and fearsome. State power certainly satisfies that requirement, so they ally themselves to it. They're compensating** for personal shortcomings instead of facing them. The hardest part to understand is that these are subconscious processes -- the people themselves believes they're sincere and would probably pass any polygraph test. It's basic denial that becomes "fact" when it goes on long enough. The only exception to that would be most of the politicians, who view these cowards as little more than useful idiots who can be exploited to advance state power.


    * Avoiding the introspection and never developing the courage to face one's own faults and work to remedy them makes these things self-perpetuating and self-reinforcing.

    ** Compensation is not a deliberate, planned process. It's more like a form of energy. Being energy, it is neither created nor destroyed; it changes form. Their cowardice changes into the form of support for bad laws that deserve none. The fear and ignorance that makes "for the children" laws possible is also like this.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:00PM (#40720591)

    Religions are just a source of philosophy for people without the time or inclination to ponder all of life's questions themselves. If you have the time to read over the works of philosophers and come up with a consistent viewpoint, more power to you. Most people don't, and those people can therefore either live without any self-consistent views on morality, or they can adopt a ready-made set in the form of a religion.

    Consistent morality is important. Without it, people will just come up with a rationalization for whatever benefits them at this moment, with no regard for the long term implications. That path gets you state-endorsed torture, it gets you anti-death penalty people supporting drone strikes and assassinations, it gets you anti-homosexual pundits demonizing people when the very same Biblical verse against homosexuality also lists publicly denouncing someone as equally sinful, and so on.

    But hey, religious people are behind all of those examples! Yeah, that was on purpose. Did you notice how as soon as a "Christian" leader decided torture was okay, all his supporters went along with it? It's because they aren't truly religious, they just like belonging to a special club. They don't actually care about the morality aspect. I don't want to specifically pick on Christians either. The Muslim suicide bombers and their leaders are in the same camp. They don't actually care about the faith, they just care about their special club -- the leaders like the power, the followers like the sense of purpose. Take away the religion, and they'll just come up with something else to rally behind... maybe race, maybe economic policy, maybe whether they eat their bread butter side up or down. Atheism doesn't solve anything. What we need is people to care more about finding a consistent moral basis.

    Now, of course, organized religion is a problem, particularly when accepted without question. Any time that you accept a ready-made philosophy from a powerful organization, you have to assume that the organization has designed that philosophy to protect its interests. For example, contrast the core tenets of Judeo-Christian religions (don't kill, don't steal, etc.) with some of the lesser points (e.g. tithing). It's pretty clear that certain ideas are important, while others are just there so that some old men in Rome can live comfortably.

    In short, what people should do, for the good of all humanity, is learn the good lessons, throw away the bad ones, and stop treating it as a team sport. This goes for atheists too. There have been great philosophers who didn't believe in a God, but people like Dawkins just make things worse by making everything so damn confrontational. Instead of providing readers with a consistent moral viewpoint, he just strokes their egos and gets rich doing it. No different from the priest who tells his flock their God's chosen people right before passing the hat.

  • by myowntrueself (607117) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:25PM (#40720733)

    It's the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims fast for a whole month and then have a big feast at the end of it.

    Because it's a month long 'holiday' doesn't really do it justice. Life still goes on, just at strange hours and in strange ways. I've had islamic scholars tell me that part of the point is to experience hunger, so when some Muslims switch to being nocturnal they're missing the point. But that happens a lot of places, the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law so to speak.

    Technically Indonesia is not an islamic state, they recognize a couple of religions (some of Islam, some of Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism), but as is practically the case, with just shy of 90% of the population being (or at least claiming to be) Muslim you can't really get around Islamic tradition.

    Its far from a holiday and more a festival of self abuse. I worked under an executive who was a Muslim. During Ramadan he fasted himself almost into a coma every day. By 5 pm he was unable to think straight and could barely stand. He fucked up a number of critical contracts due to this. He made it very very hard on everyone else in the company.

    Guess what he had for breakfast? A couple of fried eggs. It was completely retarded.

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:39PM (#40720807)

    Er, they do fast. They fast for 12 hours a day, without water or food. If you try it for one day, you will understand how difficult it is (and you would also understand what being hungry means, which basically is the purpose). You start running low on blood sugar in about 6 hours, you feeling really thirsty in about 5-6 hours. And all of this, while you perform your regular duties, which is really tough when you are low on blood sugar and thirsty.

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:58PM (#40720921)

    You're (intentionally) equivocating. The Socratic method is to ask pointed questions as a means of testing a philosophy. Polemics, such as those written by Dawkins, make facile, feel-good arguments to make their readers happy. Both are confrontational, but one is constructive, while the other is all about running the other guy down.

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:01PM (#40720935)

    I doubt that was to spread Atheism or was a war against Theists. Nice try though.

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @01:14AM (#40721655)

    I bet you drank water (most likely with some electrolytes or juice). And point is not that it is really tough, but it is remind you of what hunger feels like for 30 days, every year. Also, when your break your fast together as a community, you bond with other members of the community (you also realize, irrespective of how rich or how poor you are, you are all very very similar, and share experiences. Its a beautiful thing in my opinion). Also you must know difficult it is to concentrate or code or play chess, when your brain is telling you that it is tired and asking you to go to sleep.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2012 @03:46AM (#40722191)

    I do definitely not "believe" that there is no god in the same sense as you might believe that there is one. And I think every atheist/agnostic will say the same.

    Your believe is based on stories and myths. I don't have that. Thats it. I am not believing in anything on the grounds of myths and stories.

  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @09:43AM (#40723453)

    This is a sort of "No True Scotsman" fallacy and a means of deflecting arguments that one cannot effectively counter. If the teacher cannot adequately explain the lesson to the student, then that is a failing of the teacher and not the student. The teacher needs to pick a form the student can make use of.

    Further, it is an implicit admission that said religious book of choice cannot be useful to every human in any one form. That's an important concept, emphasizing the importance of content over form.

    A universal theology has been, is, and will be, impossible.

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton

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