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WalkerJ 1
 
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 07:59 am
Re: Definitions
Jules wrote:
Yes, I think there is a distinction, but no, these have not remained consistent throughout our societal evolution.
By "generally consistent" I was referring behavior that has always--in some form or other--been viewed as "good" (kindness, compassion, sharing, providing, etc.) and "bad" (rage, violence, causing pain, lying, etc.). I think it's safe to say that these avenues of behavior have been defined consistently.

Jules wrote:
I think that the notion that good and evil are universal constants is a belief, of which everyone is entitled to their own, but is not a provable fact.
Exactly. And this is why I have been referring to it as theoretical (although 'hypothetical' would have been a better choice of words) all long.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 02:46 pm
it may also have something to do with how much power people allocate to people of religion. Like it's said, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely!" I believe that. Very Happy
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 02:50 pm
my last comment was for Winter
 
Jules 2
 
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2007 03:20 pm
Re: Definitions
WalkerJ wrote:
By "generally consistent" I was referring behavior that has always--in some form or other--been viewed as "good" (kindness, compassion, sharing, providing, etc.) and "bad" (rage, violence, causing pain, lying, etc.). I think it's safe to say that these avenues of behavior have been defined consistently.


This is precisely what I disagree with and seems to be a rather romanticised view of history. What do you base this statement on?

Violence has been rationalised and glorified for as long as societies have been in existence. Glorious victories and slaughter of enemies have been a source of pride for cultures since they began. Causing pain was perfectly fine as long as the victims were considered inferior in some way (gender, age, race, etc.). Slavery, torture, rape, mutilation, abuse, etc. have all been considered normal and even moral for thousands of years. It’s kindness and compassion (what I would call empathy) that is actually a relatively new concept.

These notions are what I am referring to in DeMause’s work. Here is some non-graphic information on his research, discipline and claims. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychohistory (His writings are extremely explicit though and I still can’t read them without being very triggered--Just a warning regarding the links to his work from this page.)

DeMause is not a cultural relative moralist. He is a strong advocate against child abuse and maintains that the treatment of children is the primary method for determining and developing the progression of a society, a position that from what I have read, is also held by Alice Miller. He is particularly hard on modern anthropologists, and considers many of them to be straight out apologists for child abuse.

A position held by DeMause is that religion is a result, not cause, of abuse and violence. He holds that the development of empathy in Western culture in the last few centuries is the primary cause for the societal move towards rationality and understanding of human rights and away from magical thinking, psychosis and brutality.

This makes a lot of sense to me personally, having experienced a microcosm of past societal “valuesâ€
 
winter 1
 
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 05:11 am
Re: Definitions
Jules wrote:
WalkerJ wrote:
By "generally consistent" I was referring behavior that has always--in some form or other--been viewed as "good" (kindness, compassion, sharing, providing, etc.) and "bad" (rage, violence, causing pain, lying, etc.). I think it's safe to say that these avenues of behavior have been defined consistently.


This is precisely what I disagree with and seems to be a rather romanticised view of history. What do you base this statement on?

Violence has been rationalised and glorified for as long as societies have been in existence. Glorious victories and slaughter of enemies have been a source of pride for cultures since they began. Causing pain was perfectly fine as long as the victims were considered inferior in some way (gender, age, race, etc.). Slavery, torture, rape, mutilation, abuse, etc. have all been considered normal and even moral for thousands of years. It’s kindness and compassion (what I would call empathy) that is actually a relatively new concept.


Pardon me for interupting. I have to say that it is not a relatively new concept. Well, I consider it perhaps a few thousand years old. Of course some people think that is relatively new. Though, from recorded history, we can see that there were people who did glorify and hold dear peace, love, humility, honesty, etc and so on as Walker said. Perhaps the majority of mankind were greedy and sick. Though, I don't think those are new concepts just because the masses were confused and ignorant. In fact, I think that men of renown and wise sages have held the same wisdom dear for thousands of years.

Perhaps the masses have not heeded the words of wise men in times past and wars and bloodshed have ensued. However, those words were said. Those concepts have been around for a long long time.

Cookie, for sure what you say is true. We can see from history. If religion has power over the people, eventually that religion will be used to control them. So religion should be more of a personal matter I think. For example I think it was James that said to care for widows and orphans in their distress is true and undefiled religion. I can't remember exactly who said that. Sounds like a good idea to me.
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2007 07:03 am
Jules wrote:
Quote:
DeMause is not a cultural relative moralist. He is a strong advocate against child abuse and maintains that the treatment of children is the primary method for determining and developing the progression of a society, a position that from what I have read, is also held by Alice Miller. He is particularly hard on modern anthropologists, and considers many of them to be straight out apologists for child abuse.


Thanks for the reference to deMause. I wasn't familiar with his work, although I am very familiar with Alice Miller. His model is a bit graphic, and I don't know how well it stands up to rigorous testing, but it's certainly thought-provoking, to say the least. I know of at least one anthropologist who definitely is not an apologist for child abuse. Her name is Jill Corbin with Case Western Reserve. She has done important work in cross-cultural assessment of child abuse, but I can't find any of her work on the web. Mostly, she's published in old-fashioned academic journals. You'll find her cited in a lot of the studies published online about culture and child-rearing practices. If you ever run across a Corbin article in your research, I strongly recommend it.

Your research on the subject of child rearing and maltreatment is quite impressive. Maybe you've thought about doing a thesis yourself?
 
evanman
 
Reply Tue 27 Mar, 2007 12:45 pm
It seems interesting that much of the major reforms of the past couple of centuries, in Europe, were brought about by protestant christians who acted under their christian principles.

Penal reform by Elizabeth Fry, Nursing & Health Care by Florence Nightingale, Abolitionism by William Wilberforce, International Aid by Henry Dunant, Social Welfare-social services--employment agencies by William Booth, Universal Sufferage by the Pankhursts, The British Labour Party by Kier Hardy, Trade Unions by the Tolpuddle "martyrs", Child labour reform by Lord Ashley of Shaftesbury, the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg, Education reform by Samuel Barnett, Establishment of municiple libraries by John Brotherton.

One of the few leaders of german resistence to Hitler was German theologian and Holocaust survivor, Martin Niemoller. His famous words are an inspiration: "In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."
 
Anonymous
 
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 02:21 pm
evanman wrote:
It seems interesting that much of the major reforms of the past couple of centuries, in Europe, were brought about by protestant christians who acted under their christian principles.


Point being? That's about as pointless as listing all the achievements of bhuddists in Asia. Quite naturally, whichever religion is popular is bound to produce historically memorable characters over the minority of the day. You would find few wiccan or muslim reformers from that period of Europe, because there were few followers of those religions, and the political and social climate would have made it difficult to make such affiliations public. Many prominent figures who were agnostic or athiest, were publicly believed to be a catholic or protestant. They would have likely received less support if they openly declared disbelief in God.
 
evanman
 
Reply Wed 28 Mar, 2007 02:39 pm
Point being that religion is not always a force for evil.

At its worse religion is a great evil, at its best it is a wonderful force for change.
 
Cookie 2
 
Reply Thu 29 Mar, 2007 06:53 pm
evenman wrote:
Quote:
At its worse religion is a great evil, at its best it is a wonderful force for change.


that sounds the same as illegal substances. i believe it was Sigmund Freud who accomplished a lot under the influences of cocaine?... seems to me anything has a good and bad side. i remember that most of my fluent times of clairity, works, art, etc. were done when i had a few to drink...so alc is good, as is it bad to those who abuse it, or cannot control it. that may be the point, - anything you let control you has a great oportunity to turn to bad, and if you can control it, maybe you can be a bit creative....??? :wink:
 
 

 
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