Changing Cultures
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27-02-2012, 11:53 PM
Changing Cultures
Fellows,

This is my first post so i'll try to keep it brief.

A friend of mine and I were discussion Muslim vs. Christian culture yesterday and he said some things that shocked me, but at the same time intrigued me.

He stated that he thought the entire muslim culture should be banned/shot/killed, OR that the children should be indoctrinated. He states that the change to muslim culture to make them peaceful would require an entire revamp of the area.

I found this funny as an atheist and asked him how Muslim violence was any different to christian violence and the only solid answer he could supply was "if i leave christianity i won't be killed". I tried to explain that in the middle ages you would have in fact been killed, but it fell on deaf ears.

So we would like to know, how would you go about changing a culture of violence (either christian muslim atheist jewish whatever) into a culture of peace?

He's sititng behind me as i post this and has promised to read and respond to every post, please give me your thoughts on right/wrong/moral/immoral, or just any input you have on the subject.

Shock And Awe Tactics-- The "application of massive or overwhelming force" to "disarm, incapacitate, or render the enemy impotent with as few casualties to ourselves and to noncombatants as possible"
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28-02-2012, 01:18 AM
RE: Changing Cultures
Every culture has its black sheep, ranging from the mad suicide bombers in Middle East Countries, to the murderers of abortion doctors in the United Stated. We cannot blame an entire culture based on a few mavericks. As a citizen in a Muslim country, I dare say that the Muslims I've met are friendly, nice and helpful.

My suggestion to convert a culture of violence to a culture of peace? Knowledge and education. A culture of violence is usually born out of the close-mindedness and a strong desire of preservation of culture and tradition. Using the murders of abortion doctors in the United States of America, we can see the reluctance in accepting such a practice by a group of conservatives. They fear a slippery slope scenario which will lead to genocide, and they feel that such acts are wrong as they feel the removal of the embryo from the mother is equivalent to the murder of a human being. They feel so strongly of their cause, that they are willing to murder another human being to prevent such practices from persisting. Through education, we can show these people the other side of the story, the mother's side, which most may not have even considered. By culturing a trend of questioning, to seek the hows and whys behind everything, people will be more accepting as they understand both sides of the issue.

Encourage children to question everything, encourage them to read and analyse the source material, and most importantly, encourage fruitful debates to allow children to see two sides to an issue. That, in my opinion, will lead to a culture of peace.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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28-02-2012, 02:48 AM
RE: Changing Cultures
I live in Singapore (secular and tolerant of all religions) but work in places like Indonesia and Malaysia too (officially Islam).
Trade is what creates peace along with the boring reality of everyday living.

There are small pockets of fundie Jews around the world but most want to simply observe their familiy traditions (in a secular context) and be left alone.
Malay muslims are pretty much the same and when I challenge my female friends and colleagues about the official inequalities in Islam, many smile and say, "yes, isn't it great, my husband has responsibility for my well-being". Headgear / fundie clothing is optional and peace and trade and general lethargy have relegated religion to just traditions.

Same in the UK (my birthplace) where the Church of England is the official state religion but no-one gives a shit (see recent opinion polls sponsored by the Richard Dawkins Foundation).

Although Indonesia has its fanatics (see the uproar caused by an elected official who put "god does not exist" on his facebook) people here don't get upset about religion unless their buttons are pushed.

I even had a chat with a Jakarta taxi driver (he asked me my favourite football team, and my reply was "I'm an atheist, I don't worship anyone") about religion and I showed I knew quite a bit about the Quran and said it was an upgrade of the Old Testament. I could tell by his whitening knuckles that he was angry but he changed the subject because the tolerant version of Islam is usually preferred. In other parts of Indonesia it might have been more dangerous to criticise their word of god.

So yes, kids here are still being indoctrinated (as in the USA) with TV-Islam propaganda but general levels of peace, prosperity, trade and knowledge are increasing every day.

Gentle pushing of the boundaries will win in the end. Keep explaining the truth, as calmly as you can. There are rationals born (re-born) every day.

But always be on your guard against the propaganda from the other side... radical clerics in the UK, Pakistan etc. promoting Sharia Law.

"Build up that wall"

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28-02-2012, 09:09 PM
RE: Changing Cultures
It will be up to the Muslim people to reform from within.
We cannot do it from the outside.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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28-02-2012, 09:25 PM
RE: Changing Cultures
See the problem that we've experienced is that the culture in itself does not want to change. I have personally seen a public beheading stoning and flaying in the past month because "Allah demands it" and I even got pushed to the front because "to be stoned/killed in front of an infidel is even worse punishment".

When Hitler was indoctrinating children it was total immersion, the family, the friends, the entire country was helping to convince people that nazi's were right in their ways. We don't have the luxury of all that support because Muslim people do not think they are wrong.

It's similar christians in a way, however most christians don't take the bible literally anymore. they say "its up to your interpretation", but the way i understand it that line of thinking is heretical in Islam. They take the Quran and interpret it literally on a daily basis. And as we've seen through personal research and even the blog post made by Meg, the Quran says some pretty messed up stuff, like the bible.

So how can we get them to change their interpretation? If you conver, like the man in Iran, you are killed. If you interpret it in your own way, you are punished. In a religion based out of fear, how can we change them to be more peaceful?

Shock And Awe Tactics-- The "application of massive or overwhelming force" to "disarm, incapacitate, or render the enemy impotent with as few casualties to ourselves and to noncombatants as possible"
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