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#1 Deepwater6

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 12:56 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2...mbed/index.html

 

It seems every day the carnage on the news gets worse. Syria seems to be the worst of it right now, but its hardly the only place where human on human violence occurs weekly.

 

What is it, that has brought out the worst in us? What is it that has made mankind have such disregard for life? How can world leaders and military commanders who can make a difference not act to stop it when they see this brutality?

 

We can attribute it to all the excuses man usually fights for, religion, land, resources take your pick. This era seems different in my opinion. This era seems to be particularly cruel and inhuman.

 

I lived through most of the cold war and though it may have been stressful dealing with MAD, things seemed relatively balanced. Now the threat of MAD still hangs over our head and bigger countries are still equipping smaller countries to manipulate them.

 

The mass migration of refugees shows the extent of how terrible things have become.  How hard it must be for some to leave the home their proud family has occupied for generations? Starving entire cities and killing anyone who tries to flee to safety is beneath human.

 

There were plenty of civilian deaths in other wars. What's different now is how adept the media is at getting us the news and photos. You would think seeing and reading about the slaughter would make us want to stop it. What's most upsetting of course is the children and innocent civilians.

 

If its possible to be ashamed of your planets entire race, then I am.

 

So I ask again, what is it that has brought the worst in us?

 

 



#2 JMJones0424

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 12:07 AM

Outside of a minor quibble , I don't disagree with anything you've said.  It may be that the ability of the news to bring evidence of carnage has increased disproportionately from said carnage.  I have not done the analysis required to support this hypothesis, but it is at least supported by the claims made by Steven Pinker in his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature

 

This is not to say that there are not currently dire situations, but rather that I am not convinced that the current situations are more dire than they would have been in the past.  This also, unfortunately, doesn't at all answer your question.

 

What brings out the worst in us?  I think there can be evolutionary support made for tribalism, resource control, xenophobia, and many other terrible ideas that we as a species are striving to overcome.  I think our ability as a species to think communally, to empathize, and to consider the future consequences of our actions are also evolutionary traits.  It is obvious that we do not live in a Utopia, but I am not yet convinced that the situation is necessarily worse now than it ever was in the past.  The fact that you and I can recognize injustice and can strive to work against it is promising.  Less than 50 years ago, it was completely acceptable to carpet bomb a city in order to compel an enemy to surrender.  Now, it is a scandal, as it should be, when a few civilians are killed due to targeting errors.  Abject violence is not generally celebrated.  This is progress.  It is no comfort for those that have been wronged or are now dead, for sure, but I am not sure that we as a species are not better off than we were even a century ago, much less a millennia ago.



#3 superpsycho

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 02:06 AM

http://www.cnn.com/2...mbed/index.html

 

It seems every day the carnage on the news gets worse. Syria seems to be the worst of it right now, but its hardly the only place where human on human violence occurs weekly.

 

What is it, that has brought out the worst in us? What is it that has made mankind have such disregard for life? How can world leaders and military commanders who can make a difference not act to stop it when they see this brutality?

 

We can attribute it to all the excuses man usually fights for, religion, land, resources take your pick. This era seems different in my opinion. This era seems to be particularly cruel and inhuman.

 

I lived through most of the cold war and though it may have been stressful dealing with MAD, things seemed relatively balanced. Now the threat of MAD still hangs over our head and bigger countries are still equipping smaller countries to manipulate them.

 

The mass migration of refugees shows the extent of how terrible things have become.  How hard it must be for some to leave the home their proud family has occupied for generations? Starving entire cities and killing anyone who tries to flee to safety is beneath human.

 

There were plenty of civilian deaths in other wars. What's different now is how adept the media is at getting us the news and photos. You would think seeing and reading about the slaughter would make us want to stop it. What's most upsetting of course is the children and innocent civilians.

 

If its possible to be ashamed of your planets entire race, then I am.

 

So I ask again, what is it that has brought the worst in us?

You see the world through western eyes and morality. Most of the world's population has little regard for the sanctity of life. In most places in the world, life is very cheap. Lives are lost everyday to the brutality of men who seek only to make life better for themselves.

 

A disregard for life is not limited to third world countries or just to people who seek to increase their own power and wealth. You would be surprised at how many well meaning people destroy lives on a massive scale because they think they know what's best for others.

 

A westerner would be aghast at a culture in which a father would let a daughter drown without lifting a finger to help, yet in several cultures it would be the right thing to do. The head of the house would be considered too essential to the survival of the family to risk saving a daughter that contributes nothing. Perhaps an effort might be made for an only male heir if the risk where not to great but for a father to risk his life for a daughter would be unthinkable.

 

The western view of life is the exception and new to the world. For must of history, life has been cheap, and people have been too busy trying to survive themselves to consider lives, outside their own immediate family, of having any real importance or value. 



#4 A-wal

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:51 AM

You see the world through western eyes and morality. Most of the world's population has little regard for the sanctity of life. In most places in the world, life is very cheap. Lives are lost everyday to the brutality of men who seek only to make life better for themselves.

 

A disregard for life is not limited to third world countries or just to people who seek to increase their own power and wealth. You would be surprised at how many well meaning people destroy lives on a massive scale because they think they know what's best for others.

 

A westerner would be aghast at a culture in which a father would let a daughter drown without lifting a finger to help, yet in several cultures it would be the right thing to do. The head of the house would be considered too essential to the survival of the family to risk saving a daughter that contributes nothing. Perhaps an effort might be made for an only male heir if the risk where not to great but for a father to risk his life for a daughter would be unthinkable.

 

The western view of life is the exception and new to the world. For must of history, life has been cheap, and people have been too busy trying to survive themselves to consider lives, outside their own immediate family, of having any real importance or value. 

You have an entirely warped view of the world from the far too common western superiority complex tinted glasses. My guess is you've never actually been to any of these places you're quick to condemn. Yes there is cruelty and suffering in the world, a good deal of it caused by western incursions in oil rich regions for their own ends with public support gained through a one sided and corrupt media but there's also love a beauty in the world.

 

I agree with JMJones0424, I'm sure things a better now than ever before. In just the tiniest fraction of human history the world has been completely changed forever, I think the fact that we're aware of suffering and injustice that weren't before is the main reason that things seem worse and the main reason why they're going to get better.



#5 superpsycho

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 08:51 AM

You have an entirely warped view of the world from the far too common western superiority complex tinted glasses. My guess is you've never actually been to any of these places you're quick to condemn. Yes there is cruelty and suffering in the world, a good deal of it caused by western incursions in oil rich regions for their own ends with public support gained through a one sided and corrupt media but there's also love a beauty in the world.

 

I agree with JMJones0424, I'm sure things a better now than ever before. In just the tiniest fraction of human history the world has been completely changed forever, I think the fact that we're aware of suffering and injustice that weren't before is the main reason that things seem worse and the main reason why they're going to get better.

I've traveled all over the world though mostly around Asia, both in the military and as a civilian, so I have been to these places and it was never as a vacation.

 

Spend time in some of the more isolated regions of the world, the mountain villages of Korea, the Middle East, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia or the endless rice fields of China. Most third world countries have some modern areas tourists like to visit but few westerners bother to really get the know the culture or get back into the areas where life has not changed for hundreds of years.

 

The majority of the world does not see life as we do or have the same values. For most people, death and violence is the norm, not the exception. For them it's just part of life.


Edited by superpsycho, 30 August 2016 - 09:37 AM.


#6 Deepwater6

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 01:42 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk...00-2c04890e8fc9

 

Thanks for the comments guys, I found this breakdown on the condition of Syria on BBC. I find it interesting and sad at the same time.

 

All war is terrible but they happen, that's the reality it. I just feel this war has gone on so long, and you would think our planetary consciousness would have overtaken the politics by now.
 



#7 A-wal

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 03:08 PM

I've traveled all over the world though mostly around Asia, both in the military and as a civilian, so I have been to these places and it was never as a vacation.

 

Spend time in some of the more isolated regions of the world, the mountain villages of Korea, the Middle East, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia or the endless rice fields of China. Most third world countries have some modern areas tourists like to visit but few westerners bother to really get the know the culture or get back into the areas where life has not changed for hundreds of years.

 

The majority of the world does not see life as we do or have the same values. For most people, death and violence is the norm, not the exception. For them it's just part of life.

Seeing the world through the eyes of a soldier is every bit as warped as seeing it through the eyes of a typical tourist.

 

"Some of the more isolated areas of the world" is very different from "the majority of the world and not seeing life as you/we do or not having the same values doesn't automatically make their views or practices inferior or less enlightened. I get the feeling you equate different to inferior.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...00-2c04890e8fc9

 

Thanks for the comments guys, I found this breakdown on the condition of Syria on BBC. I find it interesting and sad at the same time.

 

All war is terrible but they happen, that's the reality it. I just feel this war has gone on so long, and you would think our planetary consciousness would have overtaken the politics by now.

Just don't assume we're getting on unbiased view of what's really going on. I'm not saying we're being outright lied to but we're really told the whole truth and you can really affect the overall picture by showing bits of it out of context.

 

I knew Syria was next on the list. I predicted that as soon as we invaded Iraq the second time. They had to wait longer because of public opinion against the war but this has always been about surrounding Iran.



#8 superpsycho

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:03 PM

Seeing the world through the eyes of a soldier is every bit as warped as seeing it through the eyes of a typical tourist.

 

"Some of the more isolated areas of the world" is very different from "the majority of the world and not seeing life as you/we do or not having the same values doesn't automatically make their views or practices inferior or less enlightened. I get the feeling you equate different to inferior.

 

Most of my work was training, teaching and consulting. Very little of it had to do with the military. To do the job well, you have to have some understanding of the culture. And, who said anything about seeing them as inferior. I'm simply saying their view of the world is different, not better or worse. And yes, it is more violent but when you live off the land it usually is. And believe it or not, most of the world is still undeveloped.



#9 A-wal

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:18 PM

And, who said anything about seeing them as inferior.

You did, a lot.

You see the world through western eyes and morality. Most of the world's population has little regard for the sanctity of life. In most places in the world, life is very cheap. Lives are lost everyday to the brutality of men who seek only to make life better for themselves.

 

A disregard for life is not limited to third world countries or just to people who seek to increase their own power and wealth. You would be surprised at how many well meaning people destroy lives on a massive scale because they think they know what's best for others.

 

A westerner would be aghast at a culture in which a father would let a daughter drown without lifting a finger to help, yet in several cultures it would be the right thing to do. The head of the house would be considered too essential to the survival of the family to risk saving a daughter that contributes nothing. Perhaps an effort might be made for an only male heir if the risk where not to great but for a father to risk his life for a daughter would be unthinkable.

 

The western view of life is the exception and new to the world. For must of history, life has been cheap, and people have been too busy trying to survive themselves to consider lives, outside their own immediate family, of having any real importance or value. 

This is a very skewed and entirely misleading view of the world.

 

And believe it or not, most of the world is still undeveloped.

Subjective statement but if you mean undeveloped as in the bleak picture broad bush strokes you used to tarnish most of the world with in your first reply then it's more like isolated pockets than than the majority of the planet.



#10 superpsycho

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 08:09 PM

You did, a lot.

This is a very skewed and entirely misleading view of the world.

 

Subjective statement but if you mean undeveloped as in the bleak picture broad bush strokes you used to tarnish most of the world with in your first reply then it's more like isolated pockets than than the majority of the planet.

Recognizing a lot of people are willing to use violence as they seek to do what they think is in their interest, is not saying they are inferior. Gangs exist in every major population center in the world. Villages raid each other in hard times to survive. People use violence to further any number of goals for many reasons. This is nothing new.

 

Try walking the streets of Rio or some areas of East L.A. at night and see how long you keep any money you have. It's not a skewed and misleading representation of the world, it's the reality. What is skewed and misleading is suggesting violence is unusual.

 

Why do you automatically assume, saying most of the world is still undeveloped, is social commentary rather than simply meaning it doesn't have cities, farms and urban centers. There's a lot of jungle, forest, desert, tundra and frozen ground where people actually live there lives out.



#11 A-wal

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 02:03 PM

Try walking the streets of Rio or some areas of East L.A. at night and see how long you keep any money you have. It's not a skewed and misleading representation of the world, it's the reality. What is skewed and misleading is suggesting violence is unusual.

This is skewed and misleading:

You see the world through western eyes and morality. Most of the world's population has little regard for the sanctity of life. In most places in the world, life is very cheap. Lives are lost everyday to the brutality of men who seek only to make life better for themselves.

In fact it's just plain wrong because of the repeated use of the word most.

 

Why do you automatically assume, saying most of the world is still undeveloped, is social commentary rather than simply meaning it doesn't have cities, farms and urban centers. There's a lot of jungle, forest, desert, tundra and frozen ground where people actually live there lives out.

Mainly because of the overall tone of your first post.



#12 superpsycho

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:02 PM

This is skewed and misleading:

In fact it's just plain wrong because of the repeated use of the word most.

 

Mainly because of the overall tone of your first post.

How is stating fact misleading, except in your own mind because it doesn't fit your preconceptions?

 

I think you're assuming that saying people don't see life as sacred, means they don't value life. There is a difference. For most of the world, an individual life is important but not sacred. The family, ancestors, community, culture or religion are the things they regard as sacred depending on the region.

 

My post was not a narrative, so the only tone the text could have, is what you injected into it.


Edited by superpsycho, 31 August 2016 - 03:03 PM.


#13 A-wal

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 03:07 PM

I only have a problem with your assertion that what your saying applies to most of the world.



#14 superpsycho

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 04:20 PM

I only have a problem with your assertion that what your saying applies to most of the world.

Count the populations of western country's compared to the rest of the world. Count the number of country's that are actual democracies against the total number of countries. Muslim and Asian populations alone make up more than 80% of the world's population. I'd say that was most of the world.



#15 A-wal

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 04:35 PM

Muslim and Asian populations are very diverse you narrow minded ignorant so and so.

 

Also democracy is not a very good indicator of a nation's level of development, it's just one way of doing things and it's just for show a lot of the time.

 

All the US presidents apart from one come from the same bloodline. You can't just become the leader of a nation, you have to be born into it.

 

The difference with nations that aren't democracies is that they're more honest about it.



#16 superpsycho

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 05:50 PM

Muslim and Asian populations are very diverse you narrow minded ignorant so and so.

 

Also democracy is not a very good indicator of a nation's level of development, it's just one way of doing things and it's just for show a lot of the time.

 

All the US presidents apart from one come from the same bloodline. You can't just become the leader of a nation, you have to be born into it.

 

The difference with nations that aren't democracies is that they're more honest about it.

I've taught numerous Muslims and Asians over the years and earned their respect in each instance because I didn't judge their worth based on my own cultural bias. And I haven't tried to impugn your character or motives but apparently I'm the narrow minded and ignorant one?

 

Yes, they are diverse populations but as I said their cultures put family, ancestral honor and other factors above the individual, which is the norm for ancient cultures. Again, you make assumptions. I'm not talking developmental level, I'm talking environment factors and cultural outlook.

 

You seem to think social sophistication or technological level is the measure of a culture and the primary factors that shape their worldview.



#17 JMJones0424

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 09:23 PM

I'm sorry Deepwater6.  I intended to have a discussion with you but the ambient noise is too much for me to deal with.  I do recommend you read the book I linked, or if not, try to evaluate violent crime statistics over the last century.