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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2006, 10:07 Thread Starter
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Is progress under threat?

I went to the theatre last night to see Jerry Springer the Opera (which was really good) and there was some Christian group protesting outside and yelling about blasphemy at the people going in. It's mostly the same group that spend saturdays outside the sexual health advisory clinic shouting at scared teenagers who are pregnant and are considering their options. But it got me thinking it seems to me that there are lots of religious groups who are becoming more and more intolerant of others opinions, more vocal and influential these days. There was the recent controversy over some cartoons, protests by Sikh's about a drama play in Birmingham last year then there's an assault on a womans right to choose in the US, with one state even banning abortion and more to follow.

This is just part of it though. Increasing numbers are joining extremist religious groups and living, voting and increasingly willing to kill to have their beliefs dominate others. Much of the past century was characterized by a widespread belief that as the world developed religion would dwindle in importance. That seemed to be true for a long time but more recently the opposite is happening. Fundamentalist Islamic movements are gaining strength across the Muslim world and beyond, in the United States Christian fundamentalism holds more political and cultural power than ever before. Similiar movements have arisen within Judaism and Hinduism. These are all movements that reject rational inquiry as the best way to explain the world and empirical evidence as the best way to formulate policy. They are driven by a desire to turn the clock back to a mythical golden age when life was supposedly untainted by decadent secular influences. They alone believe that they have the truth and worst of all they have an increasingly fervent desire to impose their beliefs on others. There is no toleration of dissent and those who hold different or no beliefs are frequently deemed as less of a person.

I don't care if a person wants to live an ultra-religious life for themselves that is fine, what i really object to is them trying to control or influence my life too which seems increasingly to be a problem. It seems to me hard won freedoms, which were achieved only after decades and even centuries of struggle are under attack from all directions!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2006, 11:07
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If nothing else I see this as good reason not to move somewhere... or not to read every little piece I see in the media.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2006, 11:38
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There's no such thing as progress as far as I'm concerned in the context you are talking.

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Originally Posted by annax
I don't care if a person wants to live an ultra-religious life for themselves that is fine, what i really object to is them trying to control or influence my life too which seems increasingly to be a problem. It seems to me hard won freedoms, which were achieved only after decades and even centuries of struggle are under attack from all directions!
It's impossible to quantify freedom. The truth is everyone wants to live in a society which is controlled and influenced, but the degree to which this occurs can never be perfect. Personally I am rarely directly affected by "ultra-religious" types trying to control my life. In fact I would say the influence from Capatalist cultures is far more negative and oppresive on my life.

Alot of what you state as fact is entirely subjective and I think a misinterpretation and generalization of religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annax
This is just part of it though. Increasing numbers are joining extremist religious groups and living, voting and increasingly willing to kill to have their beliefs dominate others. Much of the past century was characterized by a widespread belief that as the world developed religion would dwindle in importance.
Obviously alot of terrorism is terrible, but to generalize about extremist religion and terrorism in such a way misses the point. Do you sympathise with what Nelson Mandela and other terrorists did in South Africa to gain freedom? It's easy to desensitize yourself from terrorism through their portrayal in the media but the truth is alot of extremist religious people and terrorists actually have extremely important issues as motives, which are completely ignored.

I'm not religious in any way, but to generalize and dismiss religion in the way you have is exactly the same behaviour as you deplore of extremist religions.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2006, 15:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuick
It's impossible to quantify freedom. The truth is everyone wants to live in a society which is controlled and influenced, but the degree to which this occurs can never be perfect. Personally I am rarely directly affected by "ultra-religious" types trying to control my life. In fact I would say the influence from Capatalist cultures is far more negative and oppresive on my life.
Basically, someone who wants freedom doesn't talk about murdering people, for that is not the point. Freedom is the freedom to make all choices concering oneself, everything that doesn't affect other persons directly. the only gray area is things that can affect others, like how use of drugs can make one violent. but if I want to do something really dangerous that will not hurt anyone but me, then the state have nothing to do with it.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2006, 16:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan
Basically, someone who wants freedom doesn't talk about murdering people, for that is not the point.
But in the loosest sense killing people in itself is needed to maintain an ideal of freedom. Say you are living under a totally oppressive regime (not like the ones claimed in the media, and objectively oppressive regime), then to gain freedom murder has to be used, but this in itself contradicts the idea of freedom.

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Originally Posted by Johan
Freedom is the freedom to make all choices concering oneself, everything that doesn't affect other persons directly. the only gray area is things that can affect others, like how use of drugs can make one violent. but if I want to do something really dangerous that will not hurt anyone but me, then the state have nothing to do with it.
The truth is every single choice you make in life is interconnected with everyone else, whether directly or indirectly, to some extent. Therefore everything you do is a "grey area", something which affects you indirectly can affect you far more seriously than something direct. Everyone wants a different degree of freedom, but total freedom in itself just doesn't exist, and that creates problems.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old March 7th, 2006, 22:48
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Jerry Springer is this the talk show host you're talking about! If its not delete my post please

Isn't stuff like Jerry Springer the downfall of our society? I mean he has trailor park whores fighting it out, ghetto trash cursing at one another, and brings the Ku Klux Klan and Black panthers into a room together to fight, he has mom and daugthers having sex, mom screwing her daughters boyfriend. All he does is take advantage of the weakest minded people and exploit them for $. I don't necessarily think of that as progress.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old March 8th, 2006, 02:24
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Originally Posted by croatian batman
All he does is take advantage of the weakest minded people and exploit them for $. I don't necessarily think of that as progress.

Having the freedom to capitalize on the retarded and ugly side of humans, is progress though, no? p
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old March 8th, 2006, 03:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croatian batman
Isn't stuff like Jerry Springer the downfall of our society?
Yes.

And whoever doesn't like the religious right in the US, can move to Canada. Here when a politician says "God" he goes down 5 points in the polls.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old March 8th, 2006, 03:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annax
I went to the theatre last night to see Jerry Springer the Opera (which was really good)
Don't go to see crap. You wouldn't eat garbage and you shouldn't watch it either. I assume you saw it in London? There's plenty other worthwhile things to see.

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Originally Posted by annax
and there was some Christian group protesting outside and yelling about blasphemy at the people going in. It's mostly the same group that spend saturdays outside the sexual health advisory clinic shouting at scared teenagers who are pregnant and are considering their options.
That's nothing. There's a group of "Christians" protesting at military funerals here because they hate gays. What one has to do with the other is beyond me, but it has come to motorcycle groups also attending the funerals to drown out the protesters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annax
But it got me thinking it seems to me that there are lots of religious groups who are becoming more and more intolerant of others opinions, more vocal and influential these days. There was the recent controversy over some cartoons, protests by Sikh's about a drama play in Birmingham last year then there's an assault on a womans right to choose in the US, with one state even banning abortion and more to follow.
Not more intolerant than in the past. The Inquisition was pretty intolerant. It took the French revolution in 1789 to give Jews all the rights of French citizens. The English murdered each other with great regularity during the back and forth Catholic-Protestant reigns of Henry VIII, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth I. So I don't see much unusual now. As for the abortion thing, it won't stand up before the Supreme court even with the two new judges. Other than that, a very thoughtful post.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old March 10th, 2006, 16:16 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbird
Not more intolerant than in the past. The Inquisition was pretty intolerant. It took the French revolution in 1789 to give Jews all the rights of French citizens. The English murdered each other with great regularity during the back and forth Catholic-Protestant reigns of Henry VIII, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth I. So I don't see much unusual now.

I didn't make it clear but i was referring to the progress made since the enlightenment. I didn't say the enlightenment because some would consider that a "western" concept that is not applicable to other cultures (i would disagree) and infer that my complaint was with a perceived increasing Islamic conservatism/fundamentalism and it's influence on "western" society in recent history - but my concern is much broader that that and applies to every religious group.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old March 10th, 2006, 16:18 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croatian batman
Jerry Springer is this the talk show host you're talking about! If its not delete my post please

Isn't stuff like Jerry Springer the downfall of our society? I mean he has trailor park whores fighting it out, ghetto trash cursing at one another, and brings the Ku Klux Klan and Black panthers into a room together to fight, he has mom and daugthers having sex, mom screwing her daughters boyfriend. All he does is take advantage of the weakest minded people and exploit them for $. I don't necessarily think of that as progress.

I agree with the comments on the Jerry Springer Show, i'd never go to see that! (although i may think it's alot of crap i'm not going to go out and protest over people who do go nor threaten to kill Jerry Springer because i don't like his show which is the point i'm getting at)

Jerry Springer the Opera is a "proper" opera/musical with baritones, sopranos and an orchestra (etc). It's really funny in places and has won lots of awards since it started playing in London a few years ago and is now on a national tour, and might be heading to Broadway too. I'd definitely recommend going to see it
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old March 13th, 2006, 20:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croatian batman
Isn't stuff like Jerry Springer the downfall of our society? I mean he has trailor park whores fighting it out, ghetto trash cursing at one another, and brings the Ku Klux Klan and Black panthers into a room together to fight, he has mom and daugthers having sex, mom screwing her daughters boyfriend. All he does is take advantage of the weakest minded people and exploit them for $. I don't necessarily think of that as progress.
KKK vs Black Panthers, trailor park trash fighting each other and a bunch of milfs getting screwed ? I gotta tune in more !

Jerry, Jerry !

S R B
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old March 13th, 2006, 21:56
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Define Progress...Let's start with the basics...

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