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The Real Problem?

This idea started with religion, but I think it branches out to a number of other things as well.

At first I wondered if there was any difference between religion and politics. On the surface, both seem to be ways of living, but this wasn't true. Distilled down to the heart of it, politics is about mediation between a number of parties. Religion is a structured belief system shared amongst a people. There's definitely a large area where these two cohabitate, but they aren't the same.

So I wondered about religious conflict. Then I wondered about general social conflicts. In the US, the most infamous is the Black vs White conflict. In places like Iran and Iraq, the Sunni and Shia conflict is the most glaring. In history, we all know about the Crusades in general. In all of these, I found it hard to believe that people hate each other for their religion or their culture. In actuality, people seem to be particularly fascinated or enamored with something new. There is much cultural diffusion between these peoples and many even take wives and such from the opposing side. To me, these things are not evidences of real cultural, racial, or religious hatred. But there was conflict. Why?

Politics. I'm thinking that at the heart of all these so-called discords between ethnicities, cultures, religions, and the like, it's rooted in political conflict and as we can see today, political conflict polarizes people into sides. The actual original argument becomes lost and as time goes on it simply becomes about us versus them.

Political conflict is definitely, deeply secular in nature, and usually is based on actions, incentives, resources, and power. Yes, the general definition of politics, as shown above, is much more general and implies mediation. But that's not what we are working with in the world. The kind of politics that is causing the problems isn't (shocker) about problem solving. It is the brokerage or mediation of power, resources, and influence between different groups. Who get's what, and, consequently, who doesn't. Who get's the best land? Who get's this amount of money? Who get's rights? Yada yada.

In my opinion, it's only when culture becomes politicized- becomes a tool by which one decides who get's what and who doesn't; a tool of force or control- that things like religion, culture, and such come into conflict. I'd say that at the heart of it there is no conflict other than political conflict. When these things seek to force or control, it has become political. Your belief in god is a private affair, but when your belief begins to interfere with how another lives their lives- directly or indirectly- it becomes political. When race or culture becomes the bases upon which decisions of who get's what is made, it has become political.

And in truth, can this viewpoint be blamed. Look at all the conflicts past and present. They're all about people seeking things. Was the Crusades really about a bunch of religious people duking it out over their belief of God, or was it about control of some things? The conflict had the veneer of a religious dispute, but it was political in nature. No one would care whether the Imam or a publically elected person headed the religion of Islam if that position or religion didn't affect the lives of people too much. But because religion has so much direct power there, the question is extremely political. In the US, religion still has a lot of power, but it is indirect and not easy for most people to trace into key decisions and so people don't really care whose the Bishop and who's the Pope. Religious issues don't really merit any attention when they don't control or force people counter to their natural inclination.

So when these things pop up, maybe it's best to recognize this not as a conflict between groups based on religion, sex, culture, race, etc. Recognize this as a dispute over the use and distribution of power, influence, and/or resources.

Comments

I think it is more ego than anything else. Both religion and politics give some people the permission they want to force their views of right and wrong on others. But it's not really about being right. It is, underneath the rhetoric, about being, or feeling, superior.
 
Religion has significant influence on a way of life. When two ways of life are in fundamental conflict, politics is a method of resolving that conflict, either with force, compromise, or other means.

Of course, sometimes it doesn't get that far, when you have a religion that says infidels should either be converted or destroyed, no questions asked. When the religious text *instructs* that, and when people *interpret* it in that way, that isn't really political. It may have political consequences, but the issue actually pertains to the faith.

I'm not convinced that politics is the source of all problems. Whether we build a wall or not is more than just an opinion. There's a lot going on psychologically; I think Professor Peterson and others have done a great job at studying how our political disposition isn't entirely a whimsical choice.

The fact that some people took wives from the other side indicates that some people were not on board with fighting the other side. It doesn't erase the fact that some people took the *lives* of people on the other side, and what their motivations were is speculation that ranges from psychopaths, to mercenaries, to those seeking fame and fortune, to those who were possessed by their religious beliefs.

The latter, in theory, would not slay another man in hand-to-hand combat thinking about distributing power, influence, or resources. He's thinking about survival, and he's thinking about the fact that his God wills it. And that's no less real than some bureaucrat with a funny mustache who is consciously using religion as a political scapegoat.
 
Jack of all trades;bt11009 said:
I think it is more ego than anything else. Both religion and politics give some people the permission they want to force their views of right and wrong on others. But it's not really about being right. It is, underneath the rhetoric, about being, or feeling, superior.

I think that might be some of it. Some people have honest intentions to some degree, but in the end, religion or politics wouldn’t be so bad if it was simply contained to self. But they rarely ever are. All of them seek to control their environments and, thus, come into conflict with differing views.
 
We have lots of armed conflicts going on that are about territory and resources. Often the best way to get control is by force. What that does is ensure the enrichment of the conquerers. It could just be about taxing the conquered or it could be about getting rid of them permananently.

Fanatasism is something else. Though often the result is the same. The fanatic uses a higher being's justification. That higher being in some cases is substituted by a higher ideal, like in Communism. In both cases you have fanatics that justify their actions for a greater cause. Their actions and beliefs always separate the righteous from the evil. They of course, are the righteous.
 
Kevin;bt11018 said:
We have lots of armed conflicts going on that are about territory and resources. Often the best way to get control is by force. What that does is ensure the enrichment of the conquerers. It could just be about taxing the conquered or it could be about getting rid of them permananently.

Fanatasism is something else. Though often the result is the same. The fanatic uses a higher being's justification. That higher being in some cases is substituted by a higher ideal, like in Communism. In both cases you have fanatics that justify their actions for a greater cause. Their actions and beliefs always separate the righteous from the evil. They of course, are the righteous.

Fanaticism can be something else, sure. But there are broad places where fanatcism becomes political. On a practical level they are almost as inseperable. One’s ideas cannot be divorced from ones actions. And your actions affect other people. They way you think, in and of itself, is a political concern. But since your thoughts have a relatively minor impact on others, you aren’t much of a concern. If you were, say, Hugh Jackman or Leonardo DiCaprio, or the head of the NRA, there is much greater concern over how you think. If your actions are actually affecting things to a considerable degree, you are a great political concern. The same is true for fanatcism. No one cares what someone is howling about in the subways of NYC. Only when their howling begins to gain force do they become a concern.

And...perhaps...the physical conflicts are not separate from fanticism either. It might not be religion in the strict sense we define it, but what else besides a strong belief and/or subservience to an idea motivates thousands or hundreds of thousands of men to walk around the world killing each other an destroying things? What’s the argument that leads up to it? Is that not politics?
 
Smith;bt11012 said:
Religion has significant influence on a way of life. When two ways of life are in fundamental conflict, politics is a method of resolving that conflict, either with force, compromise, or other means.

Of course, sometimes it doesn't get that far, when you have a religion that says infidels should either be converted or destroyed, no questions asked. When the religious text *instructs* that, and when people *interpret* it in that way, that isn't really political. It may have political consequences, but the issue actually pertains to the faith.

I didn't expect you to be among those who would be using this line... Too many Islamic peoples all over the world openly consort with the west and readily accept aspects of our culture.

You know my opinion on this one, though. Terrorism, based on the popular reasons people believe it to be, makes no sense to me at all.

I'm not convinced that politics is the source of all problems. Whether we build a wall or not is more than just an opinion. There's a lot going on psychologically; I think Professor Peterson and others have done a great job at studying how our political disposition isn't entirely a whimsical choice.

The fact that some people took wives from the other side indicates that some people were not on board with fighting the other side. It doesn't erase the fact that some people took the *lives* of people on the other side, and what their motivations were is speculation that ranges from psychopaths, to mercenaries, to those seeking fame and fortune, to those who were possessed by their religious beliefs.

The latter, in theory, would not slay another man in hand-to-hand combat thinking about distributing power, influence, or resources. He's thinking about survival, and he's thinking about the fact that his God wills it. And that's no less real than some bureaucrat with a funny mustache who is consciously using religion as a political scapegoat.

I didn't mean politics being the problem as an absolute. Impassioned aggression is definitely a thing, but impassioned aggression usually flares and recedes just as quickly. It's also usually small scale. And large-scale acts of impassioned aggression, I would say, are likely to have political pre-existing conditions in which some event triggered that response. The straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. This is to say that the impassioned act was in response to political conflict.

I'm thinking the fact that so many westerners believe the people of the Middle-east are in flux for religious reasons rather than political ones stems more from a pretty successful propaganda campaign than reasoning.
 
kaminoshiyo;bt11020 said:
I didn't expect you to be among those who would be using this line... Too many Islamic peoples all over the world openly consort with the west and readily accept aspects of our culture.

You know my opinion on this one, though. Terrorism, based on the popular reasons people believe it to be, makes no sense to me at all.



I didn't mean politics being the problem as an absolute. Impassioned aggression is definitely a thing, but impassioned aggression usually flares and recedes just as quickly. It's also usually small scale. And large-scale acts of impassioned aggression, I would say, are likely to have political pre-existing conditions in which some event triggered that response. The straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. This is to say that the impassioned act was in response to political conflict.

I'm thinking the fact that so many westerners believe the people of the Middle-east are in flux for religious reasons rather than political ones stems more from a pretty successful propaganda campaign than reasoning.

You seem to have an inability to accept that some sects of Islam of significant proportion hold fundamentally malevolent beliefs, and they do it with a good conscience because they have subscribed to divinity itself. To them they "know" they are doing God's work.

This isn't a new phenomenon. This dates back to the days before the Crusades. You can't make the argument that it's been a CIA ploy for over the last thousand years. You can't even make the argument that the Christians did it. The Crusades were a pent-up response to hundreds of years of unwarranted aggression.

If the religion is creating a negative political climate, you can't just fix the political climate. There's a reason why hundreds of years of Catholicism did not lead to a permanent dark age, and hundreds of years of Islam has. The Christians went through a reformation phase that said stoning gays is no longer okay, and we need modern civilization, and Islam didn't. Or at best it did, and then regressed. We could also get into race and IQ but even I'm not bold enough to do that in the open forums / blog section.

I don't think that the middle-east is in flux for strictly religious reasons. I just see a lot of apologizing from self-hating, ignorant, pathetic westerners, while the rampaging elephant in the room creates chaos and destroys the fine China, and will continue to do so until it's dead or the foundation itself collapses. Failure to acknowledge any and all of the issues with the migrant crisis, for example, is slowly spelling The End - in cursive - for Europe, and it will do the same thing to the United States. Mark my words. It will start with increased rates of assault, and rape, and thievery, and other crime, and if unchecked it will spread like cockroaches throughout the local governments, and at that point it will all be over.

Religion has a deep root and informed much of our laws (read: Constitution), morals, ethics, etc. And this is true for all nations. And it stands to reason that different religions will have different influences on their nations and their cultures. This issue will destroy the very foundations of society and civility if the oligarchy in Brussels wants to keep their thumbs up their asses and their heads in the sand. Being anti-immigration is not bigotry. It's the same reason why you don't let just anybody into your house, or marry just anybody, or let just anybody into your friend group, or your band, or your team, or your study-group.

People wonder how societies can be corrupted, or governments, or corporations, and the answer is slow and steady encroachment. Oh, Bob and his two friends are just the janitorial crew, they don't represent what Islam Incorporated is really about. Until they find a few susceptible office workers. And then those office workers get promoted. And then they start changing the "local laws" of their teams, and then they go on strike and force the state laws to change, until eventually anybody not on board either leaves or gets kicked out. Their interpretation is every bit as legitimate as the "moderate" interpretation, and it goes back to the inception of the scripture. Terrorism is a new weapon that they may have not even created, but the radicalism has always, always been there.

Give them an inch and they'll take a mile is more relevant now than ever. In Nazi Germany it started with the SA. In retrospect I bet every single person wished that it'd ended with them, too. But I'm sure there were many people saying something along the lines of what you're saying now, and they came to regret it.

"Oh, it's just the SA. Not all Germans are like that. They're receiving guns and funds from outside sources."

Guess it didn't take all the Germans now, did it? And I guess it didn't matter who funded them or armed them, either.

"Oh, it's just Stalin and his cohorts. Not all Communists are like them. They're reading the Marxist Bible incorrectly."

Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society. Dozens of examples of Aristotle's keen observation throughout history, and we're watching it happening live. Unless some drastic change occurs (eyes on Poland, Hungary, and other nations refusing to backdown to forced migration), I am of the opinion that our grandchildren will be lucky if Europe is still even around in anything except the history books.

Speaking of history books, I always recommend people take a little refresher course on the 1000+ years of jihad that span from long before the First Crusade, up until around the 1700s, and compare it to the comparably insignificant period of the Christian Crusades. The only thing we can thank Islam for, was helping unite a Europe that was divided. I guess it's expected, if you know anything about Mohammed and his great "There And Back Again", which unlike Bilbo's is the story of a ***celebrated*** and ***worshiped*** unethical pedophile, murderer, and warlord who united the region under one of the most reprehensible ideologies to date.

I hate to write you a book but I'm just trying to exhaust all possible ways of reiterating the same facts in hopes that you will begin to at the very least entertain them, and leave behind the fairy tale that tries to absolve Islam of any responsibility whatsoever, which is a sub-plot woven into the overall narrative that is currently promoting the erosion of western civilization.
 
Agreed with smith.Islam and wahabbism. Look at what wahabbism does in Saudi Arabia, that was osama bin laden's sect I believe. They named one of the important leaders in the united nations yoda from star wars in school in Iran. Which is a true fact.
 

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