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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Philosophy & social issues rant: Savage vs Civilized dichotomy, oversimplification, gray areas, collectivism, hypocrisy & double standards

Before you read this, just to let you know, this is NOT to bash on European culture. In fact, in my personal opinion, western values is overall, the best culture family in terms of interactions between people. This article is only intended to talk about some of its imperfections.

And, I do NOT identify as liberal.

Also read: The broken/convoluted uses & definitions of "racist".
When it comes to who's considered "Savage" and "Civilized", especially by western social conservatives, things are painted like a classic wild west film; good guys (light hats) vs bad guys (dark hats). But in reality, any thinking person should know that life is not always going to be that clean-cut.

Now, I know that the culture of some groups in the east (or anywhere for that matter, of course) that I certainly feel are wrong (mistreating children, involuntary body modification, attacking outsiders, mistreating animals, etc). But, are all westerners are civilized they think?

Let's go back in history. Just like some other places, Europeans had their own fair share of conflict and human and animal rights abuses for hundreds of years. 
Fast forward to Christopher Columbus "discovering" the Americas (you can look up on how earlier Europeans came thousands of years before) and European colonialism, as usual, the European colonists had a clean-cut black-white belief that their culture, beliefs and lifestyle was the best. Sometimes, they had some respect for natives and didn't use much force. But often, they forced the Natives to adopt their beliefs and lifestyle (ie with forced religious conversion), or took them away against their will, which is, depending on who's involved and who's doing what, is worse than letting others do as they please as long as, again, they respect the rights of others.
Similar things have happened in the age of Islamic conquest, and now with Islamist militants and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Anyway, I am sure that many agree that forcing people do adopt your beliefs and lifestyle when they're not infringing on the rights of others, taking people and/or making them do work involuntarily, not allowing females to vote or hold political office, and so on and so forth isn't exactly considered civilized. 

Also, the way that "Savage" societies are depicted are often very collectivistic and rather rigid. While there are tribes and cultures that are quite violent and can be said to be savage to some extent, of course, this is not always the case. 
Let's take the Trobriand islanders, for instance. I've heard that they don't exactly wear a whole lot of clothes, and their views on human sexuality are, let's just say, very taboo in mainstream western culture (I prefer not to voice my views on this yet). And, they were, at least for the most part, in compliance with the declaration of natural rights, even more than their European counterparts whose ancestors, like in many other places, slaughtered each other and enforced collective punishment. An example was how German minorities in Poland were being treated horribly pre-World War 2, and how after Germany invaded to connect east Prussia with the rest of Germany and later take over the rest of western Poland (the Soviet Union got the eastern half), the German military also enforced collective punishment, even again lightly armed to unarmed civilians.
In the early 20th century and before, and maybe sometimes to this day by some individuals, the Trobriand islanders would be labeled as "savage". However, I don't think that they're violent (hardly at all in fact), have decent respect for the rights of others, and females are actually treated pretty well! Do you think that a society like that is truly "savage"?
Then again, the word "savage" can mean several types of people, with the ultra-violent being grouped in with those who had taboo belifs but were nonviolent and, for the most part, respectful to the rights of others.

I'm not so sure about most other people, but I think that acting morally and ethically is infinitely more important than dressing modestly and practicing abstinence (before marriage) is combined.

Then again, an irony of American Christian culture is that anything that has to do with sex (even fictional) is very taboo, yet violence is openly accepted (not that I disapprove of violent fiction). To give you an example, I've seen articles where people, say, are criticising sexual fiction, but I have seen almost no one criticising, say, stories about race wars.
A more direct example is seen here. People are using written law more than a personal sense of morals and ethics, see the Seventh Sister (the woman dealing with Ezra) interact with Ezra in a taboo way (as in her taste in guys being seen as strange in the eyes of the audience). But, nobody ever minds that the characters are trying to literally kill each other. I know that it's primarily intended to be a kid's show, but hopefully you'll get the idea.

In case I didn't make it clear earlier, having a 2-way-only system with nothing in between is not accurate, nor is it a good way to classify people. If you think so, then let me ask you this: do you eat the most healthy food for you every time you eat food, or do you eat unhealthy and eat pure junk food like a hog? That should give you can idea of what a false-dichotomy fallacy is like.

I can guess what you're thinking (that the guy who wrote this article hates western culture and thinks western society is savage). Actually, I never said that I entirely hated western culture or thought that all westerners are savages. In fact, I hold much of the philosophy and way of life held by many other Americans (this almost definitely came from my upbringing), although I create a little of my own (I can also take a pinch of a few select attributes of certain religions and certain cultures. There is no need to accept or reject cultures as a whole). There will almost always be an aspect or part of a culture that I personally have no respect for whatsoever (rather it be involuntary body modification, the use of pressure or coercion, the non-defensive use of force, etc).

Going on a little tangent, except for a divine being or deity (ie god) being offended or certain things acting as distractions, I have little understanding of how things such as the sexual revolution, an individual's sexual orientation, marriage legality, or something like that significantly contribute, if at all, to the rotting or degradation of society or how it makes families go bad or anything like that. My views on the issue of marriage is the same as StormCloudsGathering's stance which is explained on Gay Marriage Beyond the Debate, along with Ryan Dawson's, Jesse Ventura's, and Skallagrim's through the rest of the linked playlist. 

Now, to get even deeper, I'll mention how there are hardcore socio-political conservatives out there and how hypocritical their beliefs are. The following will just be examples of the fringe that exist.
Also watch: Racism in all Races.
Some believe in the use of force to prevent females from wearing a hijab, yet are inconsiderate to other people when open-carrying weapons. 
Some gung-ho individuals are opposed to any type of marriage other than a single male and single female marrying, and believe that homosexuals are an abomination and any type of sexual activity whatsoever other than reproduction is completely immoral. Yet, they think it is perfectly acceptable to go to Muslim schools and Mosques and spray them with flamethrowers and machine gun survivors, and take all Muslims who surrender, and use them as Sarlacc food (at the least) and would jump and cheer in joy at the sight of that happening.
(Note: the videos below do not need to be watched. They are simply bonuses, with the top one to to spice up the drama and the bottom one to provide information to people who aren't familiar with the Sarlacc.)

(Could also mention the crazy events of World revolution & War stories.)
Okay, that was a bit extreme (and some can say dramatic), but hopefully you get the idea. Remember, I am not saying that all conservatives are this bad, this is just to give you an idea of the extreme fringe. I've also met quite a few more sensible and moral/ethical conservatives.

Onto more extremes.

On one end of the spectrum, there are Ron Paul, StormCloudsGathering and Martin Luther King type of Christians who are not only rational, but also, sincere and respect the rights of others. On the other end, there are the Adolf Hitler type who if not irrational (there is a difference between irrationality and evil; watch "Is Evil Rational?"), are not so sincere and severely disrespect the rights of others. There are also the Fred Phelps-like type of Christians who show views that I just talked about (not that Phelps holds every single one of them) and support the Republicrat Republican party.

On one end of the spectrum, there are the Malala Yousafzai type of Muslims who wouldn't hurt a Mosquito, and have full respect for the rights of others (even though she is slightly naive in my opinion becuase of her overly-pacifist views.), plus the Tarek Fatah types who have a clue about what's going on around them. On the other end of the spectrum, there are the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi types of Muslims who believe in and seek world domination.

On one of of the spectrum, there are the Albert Einstein type of Jews who are moral and ethical. On the other end, there are the Rothschilds type of Jews who seek world domination.

On one end of the spectrum, there are the Ryan Dawson type of Atheists who are rational, sober minded, moral and ethical. On the other end, there are the Josef Stalin type of Atheists who are, if not crazy, are just plain evil. And there are the American "LiberalDempublican Democrat tribalists who fussed about things that Bush did, yet became quiet about their politician's crimes and have contributed to turning Occupy Wall Street into a controlled opposition movement, not to mention labeling themselves as "Progressive" but are scared to bring real change if it meant not doing it the traditional way (using force against the government), even if it was non-violent and value obeying the government over protecting humanity.

On one end of the spectrum, there are the Mahatma Ghandi type of Hindus who would never use violence, especially outside of the defense of self or others, and promote tolerance for those who respect the rights of others. On the other end, there are the Nathuram Godse type of Hindus that are pretty much the opposite.

On one end of the spectrum there are the Dalai Lama type of Buddhists who are sincere and will only use violence for the defense of self and/or others. On the other end, we have the anti-Muslim Buddhists is Burma/Myanmar who enforce collective punishment and doesn't even give due process to those being persecuted or targeted.

Similarly, there are Muslims who abhor non-related and unmarried males and females being near each other, and believe in involuntary bodily modification (ie circumcision), yet think it is perfectly fine to kill those who don't follow their exact belifs or criticise their belifs and ignore verses 95:4, 4.119, 40:64, 23:14, 27:88, 32:7 and 80:17-19, which restrict body modification.

There are Jews who think that it is unacceptable to even question the Israeli government, yet view themselves as the best people in the world to the extent that all gentiles and other Jews who don't agree enough should be enslaved and celebrate the killing of gentiles.

There are Hindus who think that is is wrong to hang be anywhere near anyone of a different social caste yet think it is perfectly fine or even good to slaughter their daughter for some dubious (or in my view, outright immoral, unethical and astronomically archaic, and outdated) "honor" reason or refusing to take part of involuntary marriages (yes, there are parts of almost every culture that I have no respect for whatsoever. Like I said before, I am not as politically correct as some people perceive me).

And so on and so forth. Hopefully you'll get the idea.

I'd also like to throw in Colion Noir's opinion on the NFL not allowing a Daniel Defense advertisement, which is described as "It's like teaching a 15 year old how to cook meth, pin prostitutes and gamble, but then beat him for picking his nose" (not that I have a problem with the latter 2). Or, if I were to say it, "It's like teaching a teenager how to cook meth, grow non-medicinal drug plants, smuggle dope and steal things, but then beat their teeth out for picking their nose".

What I feel like what goes on in American politics is that some conservatives (and a few liberals) give those who disagree with them 2 middle fingers and a big "F*** U!!!" type of attitude and ego (which may explain how people such as Ted Nugent or Donald Trump get popular). I guess that this just might be a part of why we get so little done in politics and social issues.
(Start at 3:38.)

"You treat someone like an animal long enough, and they're going to act like an animal." - TheYankeeMarshal, from the "My Thoughts on the Baltimore Riots".

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