Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marriage

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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Malcolm » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:03 am

Indrajala wrote:
Malcolm wrote:Indian culture is very hygenic and civilized, actually. They suffer from overpopulation in the north. The squalid nature of India has many causes, mostly colonial.


Didn't you say...

And Indian cities, by and large, are dirty, dangerous and squalid, and always have been. It is their culture. Not ours. We can visit and enjoy it or hate it, but it is not our business to tell them what to do or how to run their country.


This is contradictory.



Not really. Until quite recently Indian culture was largely rural, not urbanized. The problems with overcrowding in the cities in India is a result of people leaving the land. And this has largely happened in the past 40 years. Nevertheless, Indian cities have been squalid, dense and overpopulated for centuries leading to the kinds of urban problems you perceive now.

On the other hand, Indian culture has a well established customs of hygene, that many follow very rigorously. But I have to confess, most of my experience in India is in the south. I have spent very little time in the North.

Of course, Chinese cities are just as filthy and just as dangerous. I have been to many of them, and find them to be no improvement over Indian cities. In Chinese cities you see many people dead drunk in the middle of the day, staggering around like idiots, the drinking there is appalling, not to mention the fact that everyone smokes like fiends. The country side is absolutely polluted with industrial waste, and it goes on and on.

Japanese cities, it is true, are generally quite clean, but for example, when I visited Kyoto in 1986, I was appalled at the amount of garbage there was in the woods, despite the fact that the areas where people live are neat and tidy. Also, universally, the toilets were often noisome pits rivaling some toilets I have seen in both China and India.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Luke » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:13 pm

justsit wrote:Not trying to insult anyone, nor are they even my ideas - these are classic Freudian causes of neurosis (shame, powerlessness, rejection).

Most modern psychologists don't place too much stock in Freud's ideas.

justsit wrote:The person in the video made some important points, yes. There is no doubt that the world is becoming more feminized. Frankly, it's about time. Men - and in the West, particularly white men - have run the world for millenia. We need a more balanced approach, as both men and women have unique perspectives and wisdom to offer.

Truly balanced would be fine, but this is often not the case. It's often just replacing many male tyrants with female tyrants, which I don't see as a great deal of progress. Many feminists have little compassion for men and see little value in them.

justsit wrote: If they are accepted with open hearts, and we can learn to work together instead of against each other, we may be able to make a better world.
If we are willing, we can get past our fears and really put the Buddhist teachings on self/other into practice. Maybe a little tonglen would help.

Zhen Li wrote:A bit sanctimonious no? Maybe you need to do some tonglen to learn some empathy towards people other than those the schools, media and government asks you to have empathy towards. But let's find common ground and agreement before we start writing our manifesto.

Yes, exactly. People are well-conditioned by their governments to think favorably of certain groups, but not others. For example, one can tell jokes about Arabs all day long in the US and it will mostly be seen as "harmless fun," but if one makes a joke about Jews, one will get a wide-eyed look of absolute horror as a result of how they have been conditioned by their media (I have nothing against either group BTW). But every culture has its protected groups and its vilified groups which figure into its cultural mythology.

Anyway, my apologies for going so far off-topic. I don't want to add anything more to this side conversation right now, since our common interest in Buddhism is more important than our political differences.

May all living beings in Scotland be happy! :buddha2:
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Jikan » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:19 pm

Luke wrote: Many feminists have little compassion for men and see little value in them.


Could you cite an example of ONE feminist of any significance who has little compassion for men and sees little value in them, much less many?

Note also: while neurosis no longer appears in the DSM, this is hardly uncontroversial. justsit's observations on feelings of shame and inadequacy have some merit even if you bracket out the Freudian patois.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Zhen Li » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:36 pm

Yes, exactly. People are well-conditioned by their governments to think favorably of certain groups, but not others. For example, one can tell jokes about Arabs all day long in the US and it will mostly be seen as "harmless fun," but if one makes a joke about Jews, one will get a wide-eyed look of absolute horror as a result of how they have been conditioned by their media (I have nothing against either group BTW). But every culture has its protected groups and its vilified groups which figure into its cultural mythology.

Right. The trick is getting beyond conditioning in our compassion, seeing that self and other, no matter their deeds or appearance, are no different.
Could you cite an example of ONE feminist of any significance who has little compassion for men and sees little value in them, much less many?

There's all sorts of views all across the spectrum in every radical field that range from moderate to outright genocidal. Valerie Solanas for example advocated the extermination of the male sex, but as for moderate feminism (by the likes of Carole Pateman or Judith Butler), the language of "patriarchy:" the idea that men are to blame for any dissatisfaction regardless of intentional actions, is really quite hurtful to a lot of people when it's taken seriously by institutions - it often means no job, where one would have been before, due to quotas, or no place in shelters for battered spouses and their children, because they view men as being the problem and never possible victims.

We just need to have compassion and love one another. Groups aren't responsible for problems, groups don't exist, only individuals and their individual intentions to do good or harm.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Luke » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:21 pm

Jikan wrote:Could you cite an example of ONE feminist of any significance who has little compassion for men and sees little value in them, much less many?

Zhen Li already addressed this point very well.

Jikan wrote:Note also: while neurosis no longer appears in the DSM, this is hardly uncontroversial. justsit's observations on feelings of shame and inadequacy have some merit even if you bracket out the Freudian patois.

Shame and inadequacy could motivate just about any human action. What I find objectionable is the implied subtext that any person who finds a single fault with feminism is neurotic in some way. This tries to mask the possibility that some men--and women--may object to parts of feminism on rational grounds.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:33 pm

Jikan wrote:Could you cite an example of ONE feminist of any significance who has little compassion for men and sees little value in them, much less many?

Well, I haven't looked at her stuff in a while, but if I recall correctly, Mary Daly might fit the bill.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby rory » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:57 pm

Luke:
"Yes, exactly. People are well-conditioned by their governments to think favorably of certain groups, but not others. For example, one can tell jokes about Arabs all day long in the US and it will mostly be seen as "harmless fun," but if one makes a joke about Jews, one will get a wide-eyed look of absolute horror as a result of how they have been conditioned by their media (I have nothing against either group BTW). But every culture has its protected groups and its vilified groups which figure into its cultural mythology.

Anyway, my apologies for going so far off-topic. I don't want to add anything more to this side conversation right now, since our common interest in Buddhism is more important than our political differences. "

Luke; I know you reside in Hungary and I can tell you that where I live in the US no one makes rude jokes about Arabs (or do you really mean Muslims), we (Jews like myself) all have good and respectful relations. I had and have many friends who are Twelver Shi'a, Ismaili, Sunni,Kurds, Pakistanis, Indians, Lebanese etc...And yes jokes about Jews are considered horrible due to the Holocaust and the returning anti-semitism in Europe, especially visible now in Russia and Hungary (my Hungarian Jewish friend posts frequently about this). Please tell me of a Muslim country where Jews have equal rights. Actually tell me one where a lesbian Jewish woman such as myself has equal rights under the law.

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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Zhen Li » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:11 am

I think Luke's point is really that the kind of reaction you'd get from telling a joke about Jews, or other certain groups, is different from telling a joke about others. The standards are clearly different. You'll get an ostracising reaction if you tell a joke about Jews, a harsh reaction if you tell a reaction about blacks, and a highly contingent reaction if you tell it about Arabs, Asians, or women - depending on how sensitive the person being joked with is. On the other hand, jokes about white people, and jokes about Americans (and Anti-Americanism in general) is positively encouraged.

Why is this so? I think it is a combination of genuine self-annihilating actions (e.g. foreign intervention), and a high standard of tolerance which has allowed such sentiments to enter mainstream, and which has not had the gall to present clear counter arguments to proposals of a feminist hue or with things such as affirmative action. To the first, clearly the solution is that Americans need to change their ways of acting. To the second, clearly the solution is more compassion from all parties involved. I don't think that white Americans or any such groups ought to fight back, they should just show compassion in whatever manner they can, but only in accordance with truth - if it appears to be false or contrived, just don't give in.

On the first point, I'll just share this rather humorous quote from Carlyle, it's a bit hard to penetrate, but if you read carefully you may see the wit in it,
Latter Day Pamphlet 4 wrote:And at all times, and even now, there will remain the question to be sincerely put and wisely answered, What essential concern has the British Nation with them and their enterprises? Any concern at all, except that of handsomely keeping apart from them? If so, what are the methods of best managing it?--At present, as was said, while Red Republic but clashes with foul Bureaucracy; and Nations, sunk in blind ignavia, demand a universal-suffrage Parliament to heal their wretchedness; and wild Anarchy and Phallus-Worship struggle with Sham-Kingship and extinct or galvanized Catholicism; and in the Cave of the Winds all manner of rotten waifs and wrecks are hurled against each other,--our English interest in the controversy, however huge said controversy grow, is quite trifling; we have only in a handsome manner to say to it: "Tumble and rage along, ye rotten waifs and wrecks; clash and collide as seems fittest to you; and smite each other into annihilation at your own good pleasure. In that huge conflict, dismal but unavoidable, we, thanks to our heroic ancestors, having got so far ahead of you, have now no interest at all. Our decided notion is, the dead ought to bury their dead in such a case: and so we have the honor to be, with distinguished consideration, your entirely devoted,--FLIMNAP, SEC. FOREIGN DEPARTMENT."--I really think Flimnap, till truer times come, ought to treat much of his work in this way: cautious to give offence to his neighbors; resolute not to concern himself in any of their self-annihilating operations whatsoever.

And an excerpt from Moldbug
The Secret of Anti Americanism wrote:As a young American living outside the US I often found myself exposed to the odd belief system that's often called "anti-Americanism." I had trouble understanding how or why anyone could think this way. Reality, which my father brought home every night in the slim and serious form of the Herald Trib, was one thing, and anti-Americanism quite another.

And yet the creed seemed quite popular. Moreover, it was no peasant superstition. If anything, the local elites - with whose spawn I was of course raised, and whose wealth and sophistication were undeniable - tended to be the most anti-American around. If anyone was pro-American, it was the people farther down the food chain. This was a puzzle, and it was quite some time before I had any satisfying answer to the mystery.

Among American intellectuals today we see basically two views of anti-Americanism.

If you are a progressive intellectual, you probably believe that anti-Americanism is the natural consequence of the notorious crimes committed by America in the past and present. We could call this the Deathworld theory, after an old sci-fi novel by Harry Harrison. Without debating the details of America's rap sheet, the basic problem with the Deathworld theory is that many other 20th-century powers committed notorious crimes - the Soviets, the Chinese, and of course the dastardly French - without creating any phenomenon even remotely similar to anti-Americanism.

If you are a conservative intellectual, you probably believe that anti-Americanism is more or less the modern equivalent of anti-Semitism, that is, an lie propagated by unprincipled politicians for the usual purpose of rising to power on a wave of hate. We could call this the Hitler theory of anti-Americanism - Hitler was certainly no fan of Jazz Age America, infested as it was by Negroes and Jews. The difficulty with the Hitler theory is that most (although not all) of the world's anti-Americanists seem to hate Hitler even more than they hate America, so it's a little difficult to imagine them borrowing his tricks.

There are certainly bits of truth to both the Deathworld and Hitler theories. But overall, they don't really jump out at me and say "yes! I am an accurate representation of reality." So perhaps it's worth digging deeper.

I see four really puzzling facts about anti-Americanism.

First, the actual content of anti-Americanism is basically nonsense. I guarantee you that if anyone capable reading this blog got to sit down for an hour and chat with Bush, Cheney, or any of their henchmen, they would come away with an impression of an enormously likable, intelligent and utterly sincere individual. Moreover, this impression is quite accurate. My father - a career Foreign Service officer with a PhD in philosophy - met quite a few of these people, because one of the tasks of an FSO is shepherding Congresspersons on junkets. Regardless of party affiliation, all American politicians are likable, all are fairly (if seldom extremely) intelligent, and all are quite sincere in their desire to improve not only America, but also the world. Why would they be otherwise? "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

Second, while it is not unusual for humans to believe nonsensical calumnies, anti-Americanists tend to be the best-educated, and generally most fashionable and sophisticated, people in their countries. It is not unusual for fashionable and sophisticated people to believe nonsense, but they need a strong psychological motivation to do so. Moreover, the obvious motivation - ethnic nationalism - tends to be quite unfashionable among these same elites. Not even French anti-Americanists believe that it's wrong for America to rule the world, because France should be ruling it instead.

Third, anti-Americanists don't actually seem to hate America or Americans. At least this is my experience, though of course there are exceptions. Often the line is that the US is the greatest country in the world, or would be if it lived up to its own values. Or they will tell you that they love the American people, but they hate the American government, Bush, etc.

Fourth, the world capital of anti-Americanism appears to be... America. Certainly, if there is a system of institutions in which anti-Americanism predominates, it's the Western university system, certainly the West's most prestigious universities are in America, and certainly anti-Americanism is no hardship to an American academic career. Where does Noam Chomsky teach? Not at the Sorbonne.

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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:43 am

As a reasonably educated Brit I would say that Moldbug has little or no understanding of the phenomenon in question at all.
His rationalisation adds upto little more than a slightly whiney and puzzled ' you guys don't really hate us .'
The reality is both more complex and more visceral.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:03 am

:focus: ?
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:25 pm

Simon E. wrote:As a reasonably educated Brit I would say that Moldbug has little or no understanding of the phenomenon in question at all.
His rationalisation adds upto little more than a slightly whiney and puzzled ' you guys don't really hate us .'
The reality is both more complex and more visceral.



He does have a good point, however. In general, the crimes of other nations, Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, you name it, etc. certainly place people from these countries on very shaky ground when it comes to venting spleen against the Great Satan...
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:57 pm

But that's rather the point Malcolm. When an educated crowd of younger Brits break into spontaneous applause at any negative view of the USA at just about any stand-up venue , from a local Pub to the Edinburgh Festival, they are not inhibited by considerations of heinous behaviour by other nations.
As I said, its visceral. Its not a mindset that results from logic.
And the fact that Brits DO react like that can readily be attested to by anyone who has attended such venues.
If the comic wants a quick laugh then the royal family or the U.S. will get one every time.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:39 pm

Simon E. wrote:But that's rather the point Malcolm. When an educated crowd of younger Brits break into spontaneous applause at any negative view of the USA at just about any stand-up venue , from a local Pub to the Edinburgh Festival, they are not inhibited by considerations of heinous behaviour by other nations.
As I said, its visceral. Its not a mindset that results from logic.
And the fact that Brits DO react like that can readily be attested to by anyone who has attended such venues.
If the comic wants a quick laugh then the royal family or the U.S. will get one every time.


Well, it is not like the British Empire was this super benevolent entity.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:14 pm

Those who most typify the current anti-American sentiment which is widespread in the UK would agree with you..
I suspect that in part they see all that was worst about colonialism being replicated by current American foreign policy.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Berry » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:Well, it is not like the British Empire was this super benevolent entity.



Very true.

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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:42 pm

Simon E. wrote:Those who most typify the current anti-American sentiment which is widespread in the UK would agree with you..
I suspect that in part they see all that was worst about colonialism being replicated by current American foreign policy.



All the while oblivious to the fact their standard of living depends upon it.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Zhen Li » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:58 pm

Well I think he visceral type response is also present in the US too, as per the 4th point, in fact more so. Fundamentally, I think the question of whether you really hate America is something like whether or not you'd refuse to talk to or sit next to an American, which isn't the case.
Having grown up in an incredibly liberal and left-wing environment, I'll hear all the time complaints about US foreign policy, but an admiration of the principles of the American Revolution, or a listing of favourite presidents (usually something like FDR, Kennedy, Lincoln). Moldbug again,
The truth, in my opinion, is that Europeans hate not America, but the American government. And they hate not the American government, but the red government - Defense, the White House, and maybe (quite anachronistically these days) the CIA. In other words, they are just like the San Francisco liberal who "loves her country, but doesn't trust her government." The fact that the overwhelming majority of American government employees work for the blue government simply does not occur to her in this context, and nor to the Europeans.

(I always find it hard to wrap my head around red = right wing, blue = left wing, in the US)
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Malcolm » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:06 pm

Zhen Li wrote:(I always find it hard to wrap my head around red = right wing, blue = left wing, in the US)
:anjali:



It's a media convention collectively arrived at by the US media in the 2000 Gore/Bush contest.
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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Berry » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:39 pm

Simon E. wrote: When an educated crowd of younger Brits break into spontaneous applause at any negative view of the USA at just about any stand-up venue , from a local Pub to the Edinburgh Festival, they are not inhibited by considerations of heinous behaviour by other nations.
As I said, its visceral. Its not a mindset that results from logic.
And the fact that Brits DO react like that can readily be attested to by anyone who has attended such venues.
If the comic wants a quick laugh then the royal family or the U.S. will get one every time.


All these people who applaud negative views of the USA must be very different people to the ones I'm familiar with in the UK....but then I don't hang out in (Tory ?) pubs.

Returning to the topic title - its good news about gay marriage!

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Re: Scotland becomes 17th country to approve same-sex marria

Postby Simon E. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:54 pm

I am afraid your knowledge of Brit culture is somewhat awry.
Tory pubs would not feature stand-ups at all.
It is the left wingers in the UK that frequent stand-up venues and that are Anti -American.
As I am sure Brit forum members like Tellyontellyon would attest.
The typical Tory still sees America as the' City On A Hill '.
In fact the typical Tory would agree with Malcolm's assessment that the critics of the USA are most likely to be oblivious of their own debt to that country.
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