Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 12th Apr 2009 10:55 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The weeks just keep flying by, don't they? It's time for another Week in Review, and this time, we actually have a few interesting things to review. Microsoft is going on the full assault against Apple and Linux on netbooks, Canonical retaliates, the IBM-Sun deal is still the talk of the week, and we did a podcast. This week's My Take isn't a happy one, but it is an important one.
Order by: Score:
v "We can learn so much"
by oelewapperke on Sun 12th Apr 2009 11:47 UTC
RE: "We can learn so much"
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 12th Apr 2009 12:03 UTC in reply to ""We can learn so much""
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Muslims? Are we talking about the same country? Rwanda has a Muslim population that's smaller than that of many European countries. 93.5% is Christian, 4.6% Muslim.

I'm wondering whether or not you are actually talking about Rwanda - I think you are referring to maybe Sudan or Somalia. Rwanda is too much to the south to have fallen under Islam influences.

As of the bible reference... Practice and preaching, huge difference between the two. Especially since the Genocide in Rwanda was christians killing Christians. You know, like most other wars in the world were Christians killing Christians. Religion had nothing to do with the Genocide, as it was a strictly racial issue. Rwanda has been a purely Christian country/kingdom for ages.

Edited 2009-04-12 12:14 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: "We can learn so much"
by zima on Sun 12th Apr 2009 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE: "We can learn so much""
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

While I generally agree with what you're saying (and as for general topic, I guess I won't say much more - it's hard to add anything...), I don't see the reason to paint christianity in such a bad light in comparison to other religions.

Most of religions are flawed like that / don't work as advertised.

Edited 2009-04-12 13:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: "We can learn so much"
by Calipso on Sun 12th Apr 2009 14:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "We can learn so much""
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

I don't think Thom was attacking Christianity. He was just pointing out, to the original post that was blaming the genocide somehow on Islam, that Islam has nothing to do with it since it's a mostly Christian country..

If anything, it's the original poster that is trying to paint Islam in a bad light.

Edited 2009-04-12 14:11 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: "We can learn so much"
by zima on Sun 12th Apr 2009 14:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "We can learn so much""
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

If he was attacking it or if he wasn't...that's beside the point; I certainly wouldn't care (actually I would be the first to attack christianity due to ways it fraks up my country). It's just that I've got a slight impression that Thom was giving other religions some slack...when they're all basically the same.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: "We can learn so much"
by StephenBeDoper on Sun 12th Apr 2009 19:22 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: "We can learn so much""
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm curious: how exactly is he "giving other religions some slack"?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: "We can learn so much"
by zima on Mon 13th Apr 2009 04:01 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: "We can learn so much""
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

y saying that most wars of the world were christians killing christians. That's quite a...far fetched hypothesis. Not only because you'd need some numbers to back it up...wars, killing were always present, (almost) nevermind the religion.

Edited 2009-04-13 04:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: "We can learn so much"
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 13th Apr 2009 04:20 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: "We can learn so much""
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Ah yes, I missed that particular claim - it does seem a bit questionable.

Although I would suspect that he's simply talking in terms of the predominant religions of the countries involved - rather than stating some sort of value judgment against Christianity (or in favour of other religions).

While he doesn't specifically state that, I think it's implied by the following sentence (where he points out that the Rwandan genocide was not religiously-motivated). At "worst," it looks like he's pointing out that Christianity/Christians don't have a better record than most other religions when it comes to participating in wars.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: "We can learn so much"
by sbenitezb on Sun 12th Apr 2009 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: "We can learn so much""
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

All religions suck. Specially those that divide people. Still people believe in a superior being, but not in Santa Claus.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: "We can learn so much"
by vivainio on Sun 12th Apr 2009 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "We can learn so much""
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

All religions suck. Specially those that divide people. Still people believe in a superior being, but not in Santa Claus.

Blaming stuff like this on religion is quite convenient - it creates the illusion that we are somehow "above" this stuff, because religion is quite irrelevant in the western world.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: "We can learn so much"
by _txf_ on Sun 12th Apr 2009 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: "We can learn so much""
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Plenty of people in the US would disagree with you. But thankfully its influence is decreasing rather dramatically.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: "We can learn so much"
by zima on Sun 12th Apr 2009 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: "We can learn so much""
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Blaming stuff like this on religion is quite convenient - it creates the illusion that we are somehow "above" this stuff, because religion is quite irrelevant in the western world.

I don't think it was blaming it on religion per se, just pointing out that religions don't actually stop such things...which makes them objectively worthless (nevermind that ethnic differences do sometimes breed also on religious ones, and vice versa)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: "We can learn so much"
by _txf_ on Sun 12th Apr 2009 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: "We can learn so much""
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Religion by its very definition divides people (from other religions and from different sects of the same religion). So saying that there are special religions that are inclusive and non-divisive is basically stating an oxymoron.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think the difference is in theologies that specifically seak to divide versus theologies that are accepting of other's choice of beliefe.

The Thugee where we get the term "thug" from was/is a very hostile religion. It specifically teaches that anyone who isn't thugee must die; no chance to become thugee even, no "i repent" clause.

By contrast, Christianity has evolved into a much more accepting religion. Being not-Christian is no longer a a fast-track to burning or crusifiction; in rational places anyhow, there are extremist Christians a plenty still.

In similar fashion, Muslim teachings are very much "do onto others as you'd have done" but the corruption of the teachings used as a leadership tool for extremists is where you get the intent to divide people along religious lines.

You could also look at something like Daoist belief where all life is valued and killing another person or any living creater is a heinous act.

I think there are definitely "friendly" religions and branches of more divisive religions also. The trick still remains understanding the theology and determining if it is actual teachings or a corrupt leadership that promotes harming others.

Reply Score: 2

RE: "We can learn so much"
by kaiwai on Sun 12th Apr 2009 14:06 UTC in reply to ""We can learn so much""
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Unfortunately you won't win favours by many here unless you subscribe to cultural and moral relativism that seems to pervade the post modern west. What is worse these days is the inability by some to separate culture from race - the net result is that they interpolate race and culture together to the point that one can't separate. Infact, they commit the same fallacy which racists do - a racist makes the claim that there is knowledge that is acquired through the genes which makes one race better than another.

What the cultural relativist does is pretty much the same claim - that the knowledge, namely 'culture', is genetically spread. What they also claim within the same breath is that since these things are genetic that they aren't responsible for what happens which then spread outs into moral relativism and how westerners are all too happy to shrink away from advocating human rights in non-Western countries under the cop out story of, "I don't want to impose our values on them" (which is a nice way of saying, "I don't think those people of a different race are worth of having the same human rights that I do").

Oh well, I'm bracing myself to get modded down to minus 3000.

Edited 2009-04-12 14:11 UTC

Reply Score: 5

pg--az Member since:
2006-03-15

inability by some to separate culture from race


Separation-of-variables is a nice holy grail. In Physics I learned to check for nice decomposition into rectangular or polar coordinates. The trajectory of a napkin falling inside the Starship Enterprise at Warp 6.

Co-evolution is of course more intricate - sexual selection in Birds-of-Paradise...

Generally African Culture seems have settled into "Crazy Eddie" mode a la Niven-and-Pournelle. Focusing on the killing-binge-phase of Rwanda, the baby-binge is forgotten.

Check out "The Great Somali Welfare Hunt" for insight as to what happens when Crazy-Eddie meets our high-minded-culture. Crazy-Eddie is close to a "Dominant Strategy" in game-theory-speak. Garrett Hardin always reminded one that "Crazy Eddie" was a difficult strategy to beat, tit-for-tat all you want.

Reply Score: 1

zegenie Member since:
2005-12-31

Sometimes I wish there was a mod-down for "Confusing".

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Sometimes I wish there was a mod-down for "Confusing".


When I read his post it sounded like the dredging out of the old Psychohistory as the basis for why some people act the way they do - specifically he sounded as though he was raising issues pertaining to Psychogenic modes and the conflict between two modes meeting.

Just a side note, I'm neither a materialist or discursive constructionist when it comes to issues of social construction - I find that both take things to the logical extreme and ignore the fact that humans aren't just a matter of cause and effect, black and white, and the idea of one basic premise can be extrapolated to all situations within social construction. Humans are a mixture of rational and irrational so the expectations of finding a perfect theory that encompasses it all is ultimately an exercise in futility.

Edited 2009-04-13 00:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

pg--az Member since:
2006-03-15

Of course from MY viewpoint I was hoping for "insightful".
Just recently I had chanced across "The Great Somali Welfare Hunt", which for conciseness is far superior to "The Camp of the Saints". The Game-Theory-Speak was intended to maybe teach a new word or two, years of programming have convinced me that the "Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis" is justa fact, the words/memes you have available really alter perception. Anyway if you have a MORE concise disaster story on how intentional-population-explosion subcultures will deliberately game any Welfare-state, I would really appreciate knowing about it.
To my mind, the Central Principle of any Welfare State is that folks MUST be ASHAMED of being on welfare - once you've got a subculture which thinks of the system as simply a resource to be SHAMELESSLY exploited, that State is Toast. Specifically, Arizona is Toast and I Live Here, it's cautionary to note that moving to Maine would not help.

Edited 2009-04-15 15:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: "We can learn so much"
by StephenBeDoper on Sun 12th Apr 2009 19:18 UTC in reply to ""We can learn so much""
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Gee I wonder which culture pushed that whole forgiveness thing ? I seem to recall something about a carpenter that got killed by Roman soldiers. Might have something to do with it ...


Riiiight. You, there's a quote that nicely sums up my feelings on that line of reasoning:

"Jesus came to Earth to tell us to love one another - and his followers have spent the last 2,000 years killing each other over exactly how he said it."

If we learn from Rwanda's example, we will allow massive fertility, leading to shortages, and we will learn to allow massacres to solve the problem the idiotically large birth rate caused (yes ours is too small, but only a little bit, we certainly cannot survive even small minorities with a birthrate of 5 or higher)


For one, it sounds like you're putting words in Thom's mouth - read his post and it should be clear that those aren't the examples he's suggesting we learn from. And even aside from that, you seem to be oversimplifying the concept of "learning from an example" to mean "follow the example to the letter."

I strongly suggest you read up on the concept of a "negative object lesson." Commonly described as learning from your mistakes, or the mistakes of others.

Reply Score: 2

It is sad..
by hollovoid on Sun 12th Apr 2009 12:59 UTC
hollovoid
Member since:
2005-09-21

I have followed many of the hardships in Africa, and the Rwandan genocide is got to be one of the worst, if not. And whats worse.. you have to look for information on it, as it is largely ignored in the media, at least in this country (US) unless theres an actor to look at people just don't want to hear it. Well it deserves to be heard, and heres to hoping we may see peace come to africa as a whole, its people have suffered for too long.

Reply Score: 5

Dum de dum!
by Buck on Sun 12th Apr 2009 15:31 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

I love it how when Thom brings controversal topics such as religion or genocide or even Xbox game review everyone's having a polite conversation, "excuse me" and "sir" are flying around. However when Eugenia pops in once a year to give us some video-related news it just ends up being a disaster in the comments. Too funny!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Dum de dum!
by hollovoid on Sun 12th Apr 2009 21:56 UTC in reply to "Dum de dum!"
hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

Some people just wont let a grudge go. It's also sad.

Reply Score: 2

Rwanda
by sithlord2 on Sun 12th Apr 2009 18:14 UTC
sithlord2
Member since:
2009-04-02

The history of Rwanda is strongly connected to my country (Belgium). Congo and Rwanda were Belgian colonies under King Leopold II.

It's a shame that our government exploited those colonies. During the colonization, there was a high amount of slavery, mass-murder and rape. Meanwhile, we plundered those colonies of all their natural resources.

If my country's government handled the situation in a proper way, much of today's conflicts in those countries could have been avoided.

EDIT:

It had nothing to do with islam, btw. Stop confusing a religion with the people who abuse religion.

Edited 2009-04-12 18:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Rwanda
by sj87 on Mon 13th Apr 2009 10:27 UTC in reply to "Rwanda"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

Stop confusing a religion with the people who abuse religion.

Religion is a simple utility for a small group of people to abuse a big group of idiots.

The base of every religion is a belief "a superior force does exist". But it's not a religion until someone creates rules who say what is considered as "believing" and what is not. Since a rule doesn't mean anything unless braking it is followed by a punishment, rules of course say what will be done to those who don't "believe". (KILL KILL KILL)


...and since fairies and gods do not exist, rules are always made by people who want other people to follow their command -> Religions' only purpose is to serve as a tool of abusement.

Edited 2009-04-13 10:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Rwanda
by sithlord2 on Mon 13th Apr 2009 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Rwanda"
sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

SJ87:

I'm Buddhist so I don't believe in a God either. My religion helped through a lot of harsh times during my life. Where is the abuse in that?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Rwanda
by sj87 on Mon 13th Apr 2009 11:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Rwanda"
sj87 Member since:
2007-12-16

Well, yea, buddhism isn't a real religion, because it lacks the small group of abusers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Rwanda
by darknexus on Mon 13th Apr 2009 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Rwanda"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

SJ87:

I'm Buddhist so I don't believe in a God either. My religion helped through a lot of harsh times during my life. Where is the abuse in that?

I think, perhaps, you two don't have the same definition of "religion." I know I'm not sj87, but hey, I'm gonna jump in here anyway.
To me, religion and spirituality are two completely different things--not mutually exclusive, but not related either. Spirituality is, to me, believing in something that helps you make sense of the world and deal with hard times in your life. It need only make sense to you, the person who believes it, though it need not be something specific to you alone, such as Buddhism.
Religion, on the other hand, is an organization that uses a set spirituality to enforce certain behaviors and principles on its followers. It is, for all intents and purposes, a governmental system. If you do this, you'll be loved. If you do not, you will be punished. That sort of thing. And like any government, the ones at the top who make the rules don't typically have to follow them. Typically, the central tactic applied by this system is the idea of an all-powerful, supernatural being who is watching every move you make and will visit eternal punishment on you if you do not follow his rules... which, conveniently, only the higher-ups in the governmental structure are able to find out, and they then pass it on to you. Anyone with a brain, one would think, could see through this but apparently they can't.
From what I consider a religion, Buddhism doesn't qualify. I consider it more a spiritual belief than an organized, regimented, dictatorial religion.
Religion is a word that, like many related to it, each of us defines differently. The way I look at it, spirituality is a very good thing... it's only when it becomes a religion that it turns rotten.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Rwanda
by sithlord2 on Mon 13th Apr 2009 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Rwanda"
sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

Well, I can agree on some of your arguments. Religion should be not be practiced in a way to control the behaviour of other people. It should be practiced individually to gain moral discpline and do "the right thing". I think all major religions started out that way...

As soon as people use this spiritual practice to control other peoples behaviour, the religion loses his primary intend. In my opinion, this is not a problem with the religon, but with the people who use/abuse their religion for such ends.

PS: I heard from a lot of people that they don't consider Buddhism as a real religion :-) Altough it is very organized in some countries (ex: Tibet) and we do have concepts like heaven, hell, gods and demons. We just consider those as other elements of nature (like humans, animals, the earth, etc...).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Rwanda
by darknexus on Mon 13th Apr 2009 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Rwanda"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well as I said, the word "religion" means different things to different people. Here in the West, the U.S in my case, religion has come to mean the governmental, controlling style.
Whether all religions started out as individual spirituality isn't likely to ever be known. The trouble is, depending on what one person believes and the way he interprets a supposed holy work, it takes little to no effort to abuse it. It depends on the individual, the religious beliefs of that individual, and the willingness of those around him or her to follow. It's frighteningly easy to begin to slip into the mentality of "well, I'm forcing this upon others for their own good," particularly in cases such as the religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam where the central, over-powering concept is eternal reward or punishment and conforming to the rules is, supposedly, the only way to avoid being punished.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Rwanda
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 13th Apr 2009 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Rwanda"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Gosh I envy you. I wish my life were as simple as yours. Black, white, and that's it.

The soothing bliss of ignorance.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Rwanda - self development or control
by jabbotts on Mon 13th Apr 2009 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Rwanda"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The political use of religion is very much to control the many by the few. The most egregious examples are generally politically related.

I think it's worth pointing out that a religion can also be a tool for self development seporate from political governance. Many have a base set of rules for premoting good living.

In the desert, don't drink too much alcahol or mix your dairy and meet silverware; dehidration and lack of refridgeration can be life threatening given the environment. The *** faith comes out of the desert and pays attention to that lack of refrigeration.

In gereral, treat other's how you'd like to be treated. Help another in need and and so on.

These are not politically motivated controls but good recommendations for personal management.

I tend to prefer recommendations from Bushido and practice Iaido as my religion. This is purely self developmental as there is no sparing or practical need for sword skill in modern societies.

Ignoring self development goals while focusing on political abuses of religion is ignoring the key benefit of theology.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Rwanda
by wanderingk88 on Mon 13th Apr 2009 18:36 UTC in reply to "Rwanda"
wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

No one else makes the simple logical step from the plundering of natural resources by the West and the subsequent social chaos generated?

Whoops, I forgot we're in the West. Countries that kill each other have no relationship at all with the Western powers dominating the market.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Rwanda - we don't all give us a free pass
by jabbotts on Mon 13th Apr 2009 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Rwanda"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

As someone in "The West", I don't give my ancestry or nationality a free pass. It wasn't so long ago that England release it's last colonial land-grab. Hong Kong is slowly becoming part of China again though I hear it's still Islanders vs Mainlanders.

There's no shortage of messes past and recent from Westerner mucking about either. The use drops some rocks on brown people and the rest of us westerners get to inherit the fallout.

Reply Score: 2

wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

The worst thing about it is not that it happened in the past, it's that it's still happening nowadays... though the means of control and plundering are much more subtle than the colonialism of yore.

Edited 2009-04-13 19:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Same goals different names. The new religion is the corporation and "business rules".It's still a land and resources grab in the end.

Reply Score: 2