Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What's on my mind? Orlando.

49 killed, 53 injured by gunman in Orlando nightclub

While speculation in the media abounds, we know that neither religion nor gun regulations are the cause.
In the news, one candidate blames the Muslims, another blames the gun laws, and someone raises the issue of inadequate mental health care as the cause. Despite the claims of leaders who, for whatever purpose, blame this group or that, science has demonstrated that the phenomenon of 'us against them' is rooted in selfishness and in fear of loss.

Confusing cause and effect, it's easy to suggest that Islam is the cause of terrorism.  Similarly, we could say that Christianity caused folks to crusade and slaughter for hundreds of years. Both cases, however, are examples of extremist thinking by leadership and by followers, perhaps many of whom are deceived. By the time such behavior is chosen, the ideological origin has been morphed and adapted by the participants.  What follows is from power players, broken values, and corruption.

'Self above others' and 'self at the expense of others' are normally identified and corrected, at least initially, during the childhood years by family and community.

When a culture (whether political, religious, or national) supports the standard, peace follows as we saw along the Niger river for more than a thousand years.

When a culture fails the standard, the culture is warped violently, and civilization is at risk.*

Guess what the solution might be. :)**

Norman Rockwell's painting reminds us, the ethic
of reciprocity and tolerance is taught in every major
religion.  That's every major religion including Islam.

*E.g.: 'self above others' and 'self at the expense of others' give us racial discrimination, religious discrimination and persecution, class discrimination and elitism, intolerance, political polarization, oppression, disenfranchisement, and social ostracism. And bullying. It's all deadly.  

A civilization's fall, while not precisely predictable, appears to be inevitable, and with an average lifespan of around three centuries.  So the folks living along Africa's Niger river were a persistent civilization for more than a thousand years, how did they do that?

**Next question: at the very core of self and identity, what does it take to change us for the better?

Science tells us we're all bent this way or that, and most of the time, we're not even aware that our thinking is less than objective, that our judgement is self-serving, and that our criticism of others is often inaccurate and unwarranted. So what's the way out?

You might appreciate: Civilization's Reasonable Rise and Cities Without Citadels

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