Superior/Inferior Cultures?
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06-04-2015, 08:00 AM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
(06-04-2015 03:24 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  This is my primary point. Western (modern) cultures have memetically evolved toward the of respecting human rights. "Backward" (less civilized or more primitive) cultures, such as those based on the Islamic traditions, do no have this respect for human rights. The "needs" of the culture (to preserve itself) is the dominant theme of these cultures--"Tribalism--"Our tribe (or race) is superior to all other races" type mentality. This tribalism (lack of respect for the "human" rights of non-members of the tribe) makes the culture inferior to other, more civilized, cultures.

It is the basic principal of "respect for human rights" which make a culture superior, not the culturally-specific traditions that a people engage in.
Western cultures have taken marginal steps towards recognizing a concept such as "universal human rights." They've also reduced mankind to a greasy cog in a machine, whose only purpose is production of capital which the worker basically never sees. And the West also seems to consider basic human rights a special privilege of their own people. In other words, the West is very tribalistic. So, as I said, marginal steps, but steps nonetheless.
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06-04-2015, 08:50 AM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
(06-04-2015 03:51 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(31-03-2015 06:11 PM)The Germans are coming Wrote:  I do not believe that some cultures are infirior or supirior.

What is crucial to me is that I believe that not all cultural practices are acceptable and tolerating these is in direct conflict with common human values.

Throwing accid into a womans face because she doesnt wear a vail, marrying a 14 year old girl to some 68 year old pervert, stoning someone to death because they had sex before marriage.

These things are unacceptable. But there are social justice warrior assholes who claim that critizising these parctices is "racist".

Fuck them and fuck those "cultural practices".

(05-04-2015 02:48 PM)Res Publica Wrote:  All cultures have goods and bads. All nations should strive to improve their culture, while preserving their heritage. Cultural practices help bring about a sense of identity within a nation, but some practices are simply undesirable and should be forgotten. My own Anglo-Saxon ancestors, for example, had something called a "wergild". This was a fine you had to pay when you committed a crime. The problem with this is that it applied to every crime. If you raped a woman and you had the money to pay her you could get away with it. Even murder could be forgiven if you paid enough to the family. This practice is one we are better off without. The Arabs, unfortunately, have had their original culture almost totally replaced with Islamic delusion, which is why they lack the genius that other semitic cultures tend to nurture. As such there is very little to be admired in the current Arab culture, and if the Arabs want to achieve their greatness they will have to leave Islam behind.


Current fundamentalist interpretations of Islam are antithetical to what most of us would consider social progress, but Islam in-and-of-itself is not a insurmountable barrier to social progress. Much like how Christianity and other religions can be re-interpreted or marginalized to make room for progress, so can Islam; and it's happened before already.



WHAT LED TO THE GOLDEN AGE?

“The Golden Age” was based on several factors (5)⇓ . Muslims following the guidelines of the Prophet studied and searched for knowledge (1⇓ , 5⇓ , 6)⇓ . The Quran is clear: “The scholar’s ink is more sacred than the blood of martyrs”, while the Prophet promoted medical research preaching that “For every disease, Allah has given a cure.” (5)⇓ Communication became easier because the Muslim Empire united extensive geographic areas. Scholars travelled to teach or share ideas. Furthermore, the Arabic language became a unifying factor (4⇓ , 5)⇓ . Translations from Greek, Latin, and Chinese into Arabic were innumerable, thus removing language barriers for scholars. During the same period, Arabs learned from the Chinese how to produce paper and books became more available (5)⇓ . Libraries were established in Cairo, Aleppo, Baghdad, and urban centers in Iran, central Asia, and Spain, while bookshops with thousands of titles opened in several cities (4⇓ , 5)⇓ . Finally, The House of Wisdom, an academic institution serving as a university, was established in Baghdad in 1004 C.E. (5)⇓ .

http://www.fasebj.org/content/20/10/1581.full



Government sponsorship

The Muslim government heavily patronized scholars. The money spent on the Translation Movement for some translations is estimated to be equivalent to about twice the annual research budget of the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council. The best scholars and notable translators, such as Hunayn ibn Ishaq, had salaries that are estimated to be the equivalent of professional athletes today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about, here is what Arab civilization looked like before Islam (and the picture here is a ruin of that civilization, not even it in its full glory).
[Image: Petra-ruins-jordan-day-5-XL.jpg]
Now here is what Arab civilization looks like after the adoption of Islam.
[Image: _63412931_nelson_yemen_impoverished_marg...2.0025.jpg]

And it wasn't a "reinterpretation" of Christianity that has the the West to greatness, it is a rejection of Christianity stemming from the enlightenment that has made our civilization great.

(And here is a reconstruction of what a pre-Islamic Arab city would have looked like.)
[Image: Paradaesios%20reconstruction.jpg]

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06-04-2015, 09:25 AM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
Respect for human rights is generally a trait seen in large empires and their allies, as it becomes adaptive in order to allow different cultures to work in coordination with each other towards a common goal. The Persian Empire, present day Iran, was one of the early pioneers of religious freedom at its apex. When it ended, tolerance no longer served the adaptive advantage it once did and ceased to be relevant.

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06-04-2015, 09:49 AM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2015 01:41 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
(06-04-2015 08:50 AM)Res Publica Wrote:  
(06-04-2015 03:51 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Current fundamentalist interpretations of Islam are antithetical to what most of us would consider social progress, but Islam in-and-of-itself is not a insurmountable barrier to social progress. Much like how Christianity and other religions can be re-interpreted or marginalized to make room for progress, so can Islam; and it's happened before already.



WHAT LED TO THE GOLDEN AGE?

“The Golden Age” was based on several factors (5)⇓ . Muslims following the guidelines of the Prophet studied and searched for knowledge (1⇓ , 5⇓ , 6)⇓ . The Quran is clear: “The scholar’s ink is more sacred than the blood of martyrs”, while the Prophet promoted medical research preaching that “For every disease, Allah has given a cure.” (5)⇓ Communication became easier because the Muslim Empire united extensive geographic areas. Scholars travelled to teach or share ideas. Furthermore, the Arabic language became a unifying factor (4⇓ , 5)⇓ . Translations from Greek, Latin, and Chinese into Arabic were innumerable, thus removing language barriers for scholars. During the same period, Arabs learned from the Chinese how to produce paper and books became more available (5)⇓ . Libraries were established in Cairo, Aleppo, Baghdad, and urban centers in Iran, central Asia, and Spain, while bookshops with thousands of titles opened in several cities (4⇓ , 5)⇓ . Finally, The House of Wisdom, an academic institution serving as a university, was established in Baghdad in 1004 C.E. (5)⇓ .

http://www.fasebj.org/content/20/10/1581.full



Government sponsorship

The Muslim government heavily patronized scholars. The money spent on the Translation Movement for some translations is estimated to be equivalent to about twice the annual research budget of the United Kingdom’s Medical Research Council. The best scholars and notable translators, such as Hunayn ibn Ishaq, had salaries that are estimated to be the equivalent of professional athletes today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Golden_Age

Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about, here is what Arab civilization looked like before Islam (and the picture here is a ruin of that civilization, not even it in its full glory).
[Image: Petra-ruins-jordan-day-5-XL.jpg]
Now here is what Arab civilization looks like after the adoption of Islam.
[Image: _63412931_nelson_yemen_impoverished_marg...2.0025.jpg]

And it wasn't a "reinterpretation" of Christianity that has the the West to greatness, it is a rejection of Christianity stemming from the enlightenment that has made our civilization great.

(And here is a reconstruction of what a pre-Islamic Arab city would have looked like.)
[Image: Paradaesios%20reconstruction.jpg]


1 - The Islamic Golden Age was Islamic, which nullifies your previous points. Also, have you fucking seen Dubai?

[Image: Dubai-City-Most-Popular-Attractions-Visit.jpg]


2 - Christianity didn't prevent Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, Francis Crick, and countless other scientists from advancing our scientific understanding. Islam, much like Christianity, can be used to prevent progress; but it's not a uniquely Islamic trait.

See Also: Dr. Kenneth Miller; biology professor, author, science advocate, key witness in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trail, and a Roman Catholic.

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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06-04-2015, 05:43 PM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
What metrics can be used?
The number of people who die unnecessarily, given the technical level?
How cohesive families are?
How much a culture impinges on other cultures?
Level of technical advancement?
How self determined each individual can be within the culture?
The criteria I just came up with (though wonderful) betrays to the observer my cultural biases.

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06-04-2015, 07:48 PM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
(05-04-2015 02:48 PM)Res Publica Wrote:  The Arabs, unfortunately, have had their original culture almost totally replaced with Islamic delusion, which is why they lack the genius that other semitic cultures tend to nurture. As such there is very little to be admired in the current Arab culture, and if the Arabs want to achieve their greatness they will have to leave Islam behind.

Actually, much like Christianity glomming onto pagan concepts in order to find acceptance in Rome, Islam subsumed many concepts of Bedouin tribal culture in order to ease its acceptance in that culture.
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08-04-2015, 10:49 AM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
(06-04-2015 05:43 PM)Billy Bob Wrote:  What metrics can be used?
The number of people who die unnecessarily, given the technical level?
How cohesive families are?
How much a culture impinges on other cultures?
Level of technical advancement?
How self determined each individual can be within the culture?
The criteria I just came up with (though wonderful) betrays to the observer my cultural biases.

We might begin with:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator [Natural Processes] with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".

Sounds like pretty good criteria.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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08-04-2015, 02:02 PM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
(08-04-2015 10:49 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  
(06-04-2015 05:43 PM)Billy Bob Wrote:  What metrics can be used?
The number of people who die unnecessarily, given the technical level?
How cohesive families are?
How much a culture impinges on other cultures?
Level of technical advancement?
How self determined each individual can be within the culture?
The criteria I just came up with (though wonderful) betrays to the observer my cultural biases.

We might begin with:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator [Natural Processes] with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".

Sounds like pretty good criteria.

It may indeed sound like a good criteria to you, but it's still pretty arbitrary.

I think this is boiled down to a value metric. There's values that differ from peoples perspectives and in total a societies as well. The Declaration there is pointing out things more about liberty, fairness, and happiness; however, those ideas of secular views aren't generally valuing the same things a Religious view is valuing. The religious ones still want their authoritarian god trust and some loyalty to it as a premier value.

So both cultures are generally going to be better at achieving their own ideal values better than ones not as actively reaching to achieve them.

Personally I find Tradition, sanctity, and loyalty not as worthy to be taken seriously as plenty of others. But I also want to recognize that is not so for all.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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08-04-2015, 02:35 PM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
I'm surprised most are basically saying human rights are good and human rights contribute to a better culture when:

- There is no evidence universal rights exist, except for a piece of paper that looks nice and the first article starts with the most complete utter bullshit I've ever read

- Western culture has engaged and still engages in terrible human rights violations - Torture, invasion of foreign countries, slavery, sexism, racism, homophobia, class struggles, etc.

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" - Friedrich Nietzsche
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08-04-2015, 02:44 PM
RE: Superior/Inferior Cultures?
(08-04-2015 02:02 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  It may indeed sound like a good criteria to you, but it's still pretty arbitrary.

I think this is boiled down to a value metric. There's values that differ from peoples perspectives and in total a societies as well. The Declaration there is pointing out things more about liberty, fairness, and happiness; however, those ideas of secular views aren't generally valuing the same things a Religious view is valuing. The religious ones still want their authoritarian god trust and some loyalty to it as a premier value.

So both cultures are generally going to be better at achieving their own ideal values better than ones not as actively reaching to achieve them.

Personally I find Tradition, sanctity, and loyalty not as worthy to be taken seriously as plenty of others. But I also want to recognize that is not so for all.

Oh, man, does that mental block ever cause people trouble.

To speak very broadly there are five general "foundations" for judging interaction in human beings (fairness, reciprocity, empathy, hierarchy, purity, more or less). Each of us - due to all the various influences on us, from the most fundamental, genetics, to the environmental and social factors during our development, to things as facile as the documentary we watched last week - emphasises and values them differently.

It is not bad to disagree on such matters. There is no right answer. Much though we'd all really, really love to think of ourselves as being self-evidently correct when it comes to differences of opinion.

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