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Old 12-09-2015, 09:47 AM   #1
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compassion justice trumps hate speech

Maybe the human race is getting there.

I'm seeing a politician using his considerable wealth and influence to deliver shocking ideas, racist and religiously prejudicial stuff that should have been buried in fascist leader's graves long ago with their rotting brain matter, used to lure a fearful and emotionally susceptible populace.

And it isn't really working. I am starting to feel maybe the human condition is starting to really show progress. Oh sure, this guy has some supporters, but he doesn't get any more than the ones he already had. The side show sells more tickets but no one else is buying, just peeking in under the tent flaps. More and more people seem to realize, we've seen that, our mothers and fathers and grandparents lived through it, survived it, sometimes actively struggled against it, and we're not going to go back there.


"Man must now become imbued with new virtues and powers, new moral standards, new capacities" Abd'ul Baha
 
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:38 AM   #2
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Yes a sad speech but at the same time the reaction to it showing the world is looking towards Unity.
 
Old 12-09-2015, 01:44 PM   #3
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What frightens me is the people who support this man
 
Old 12-09-2015, 06:24 PM   #4
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I think that mankind can mature after being jaded by hardship. Over time, those who were jaded become the silent majority. Then, at some point in time, they see events unfold that they have seen before, and a fury rises inside that silent majority. I think we are entering this day. The masses are aghast at the volume of a dangerous minority, and soon they will counter that hate with the same vigor, only their message will be of a righteous theme. And that majority will find that when they unite, and they all have been feeling the same way, they can, finally, do something about it.

The suffering ain't over yet, but I think the dawn of the Kingdom will come before the end of the 21st century. (Not to be confused with the Dawn of the Manifestation or His Religion.)
 
Old 12-10-2015, 05:13 AM   #5
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Detachment is the way to look at this Trump. Is he real, or are we just watching "Trump - the movie" - a sequel to such favourites as Monty Python and The Producers:


Last edited by gnat; 12-10-2015 at 08:14 AM.
 
Old 12-10-2015, 05:15 AM   #6
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Or, why not Blackadder's Christmas Carol, with the famous line "Bad guys have all the fun":


Last edited by gnat; 12-10-2015 at 08:13 AM.
 
Old 12-11-2015, 09:01 AM   #7
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Back in innocent 1966, a record was produced, The New First Family 1968, where the unimaginable was predicted - an actor, Cary Grant had been elected president (haha - how hilarious, right!). Little did they know that, actually, some years later an actor was elected to play the role of the president.

Is there anyone today who dares do a record or a film, where in some near future a multibillionaire is elected president?

Just some possible scenes:
The president sells the intercontinental ballistic missiles to a conglomerate of important U.S. companies
The president exports five million poor to the Central African Republic
The president creates a Muslim reservation in Alaska


Is it even funny?

gnat

P. S. Feel free to criticize this piece of dark humour.

Last edited by gnat; 12-11-2015 at 09:19 AM.
 
Old 12-11-2015, 12:00 PM   #8
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the joke wore thin. the reality is unsettling
 
Old 12-11-2015, 02:44 PM   #9
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Friends.... This is a political thread...let's not.
 
Old 12-11-2015, 03:04 PM   #10
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Friends.... This is a political thread...let's not.
It's more than political Fadl. It's a commentary on an absurdity, a very dangerous absurdity
 
Old 12-11-2015, 08:58 PM   #11
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it is not a political thread at all. When something like this rampant racist demagogue is that apparent, and there is that much rejection, well it is sad there are supporters, but I am very glad there are also so many rejecting it.

I find it a reason to be optimistic, actually.
 
Old 12-12-2015, 02:37 AM   #12
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It's more than political Fadl. It's a commentary on an absurdity, a very dangerous absurdity
That is a political comment.
 
Old 12-12-2015, 02:45 AM   #13
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it is not a political thread at all. When something like this rampant racist demagogue is that apparent, and there is that much rejection, well it is sad there are supporters, but I am very glad there are also so many rejecting it.

I find it a reason to be optimistic, actually.
That is an apparent political comment, and I think it is dangerous for Baha'is to tread here. You are welcome to your political views, naturally, but it is better to keep them private than air them as a Baha'i and on a Baha'i forum. As a Baha'i, I find it this discussion itself much more troubling than anything going on in American politics. Your views about any politician are only your views, and for any view you may have there is someone with just as strong an opposite view that is why we should not go there. If there are people who support Trump or whoever, they are welcome here and we do not criticize them nor engage in partisan politics. That is a core principal of our faith, and I ask you to reflect on that and abstain from such discussion here.

Thanks.
 
Old 12-12-2015, 03:35 AM   #14
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That is an apparent political comment, and I think it is dangerous for Baha'is to tread here. You are welcome to your political views, naturally, but it is better to keep them private than air them as a Baha'i and on a Baha'i forum. As a Baha'i, I find it this discussion itself much more troubling than anything going on in American politics. Your views about any politician are only your views, and for any view you may have there is someone with just as strong an opposite view that is why we should not go there. If there are people who support Trump or whoever, they are welcome here and we do not criticize them nor engage in partisan politics. That is a core principal of our faith, and I ask you to reflect on that and abstain from such discussion here.

Thanks.
Well, I think a lot can be learned from 'Abdu'l-Bahá's and the Guardian's comments to current events. The Guardian seldom mentioned world leaders and specific countries. Instead, he talked in terms of tendencies, such as nationalism, which in his texts seem to assume a life of their own. In the case of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, he was asked for comments on the Russo-Japanes war, 1904-05, which He refused to do. When the question was reformulated as "What should the Russians have done?", he gave a full gomment, though.

There are a lot of trends that can be discussed in a spiritual perspective, in the light of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's and the Guardian's treatment of such current events.

Best

from

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Old 12-12-2015, 03:49 AM   #15
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So, a way to treat this subject is to discuss it in terms of anti-Islamism - lumping together all Muslims in a common category, labelled "dangerous", a very dangerous tendency that is likely to lead to extreme polarization.

One could also add Bahá'u'lláh's words on statesmanship:

"The Great Being saith: The heaven of statesmanship is made luminous and resplendent by the brightness of the light of these blessed words which hath dawned from the dayspring of the Will of God: It behoveth every ruler to weigh his own being every day in the balance of equity and justice and then to judge between men and counsel them to do that which would direct their steps unto the path of wisdom and understanding. This is the cornerstone of statesmanship and the essence thereof. From these words every enlightened man of wisdom will readily perceive that which will foster such aims as the welfare, security and protection of mankind and the safety of human lives. Were men of insight to quaff their fill from the ocean of inner meanings which lie enshrined in these words and become acquainted therewith, they would bear witness to the sublimity and the excellence of this utterance. If this lowly one were to set forth that which he perceiveth, all would testify unto God’s consummate wisdom. The secrets of statesmanship and that of which the people are in need lie enfolded within these words. This lowly servant earnestly entreateth the One true God—exalted be His glory—to illumine the eyes of the people of the world with the splendour of the light of wisdom that they, one and all, may recognize that which is indispensable in this day.

That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."


That is quite a strong comment to this matter.

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 12-12-2015 at 03:55 AM.
 
Old 12-12-2015, 03:52 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by gnat View Post
Well, I think a lot can be learned from 'Abdu'l-Bahá's and the Guardian's comments to current events. The Guardian seldom mentioned world leaders and specific countries. Instead, he talked in terms of tendencies, such as nationalism, which in his texts seem to assume a life of their own. In the case of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, he was asked for comments on the Russo-Japanes war, 1904-05, which He refused to do. When the question was reformulated as "What should the Russians have done?", he gave a full gomment, though.

There are a lot of trends that can be discussed in a spiritual perspective, in the light of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's and the Guardian's treatment of such current events.

Best

from

gnat
Well said, gnat, and the Master and the Guardian are certainly good examples for us. We can also take into consideration that for Baha'is, the Universal House of Justice has the authority, if anyone does at all, to condemn a government or a politician, and apparently has not. There is wisdom in this.
 
Old 12-12-2015, 04:27 AM   #17
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Well said, gnat, and the Master and the Guardian are certainly good examples for us. We can also take into consideration that for Baha'is, the Universal House of Justice has the authority, if anyone does at all, to condemn a government or a politician, and apparently has not. There is wisdom in this.
And in a sense, whatever we Bahá'ís do every minute of the day is a political comment. The world has become politicized to an extent unimaginable in Bahá'u'lláh's and 'Abdu'l-Bahá's days. The politicization of our family lives, our professional lives and our exchanges with friends is mind-boggling. And the materialistic philosophy at the core of today's political decisions is so all-pervasive that we as Bahá'ís have to struggle with politics, at the same time not engaging in it. That is indeed a test.

I'll give you little example. In my country, a system has been built up to deal with family issues, such as divorce, custody and family conflicts. To an increasing extent I feel that the system has become problem-orientated, not solution-orientated. There are numerous cases, where counselling is so influenced by political priorities, such as support to battered wives and children, that the system becomes destructive and creates problems where there weren't any, identifying minor tendencies, turning them into major issues.

Having had dealings of my own with the system, I've been amazed by the potential of the system to produce serious cases out of nothing and toturn a blind eye to issues that are not included in the latest political instructions.

I do a little, now and then, in order to help people who have been stuck in the system. And it's amazing how much can be accomplished just through friendly, correct but concerned contacts with authorities - basiically conveying the message "we are watching this matter". And the same goes for the contacts with the people concerned. It means so much for a person caught up in the system to hear that someone cares and to get some friendly advice. It doesn't mean that one has to side entirely with the person. It's enough to say something like "My end goal is that soon your children will become a lot happier".

But I'm a Political Scientist. I know how the system works and try to use that knowledge to help people.

I can tell you that, for sure, thousands upon thousands of people are being mistreated by the legal system every year, in such areas as family law, refugee law, etc. It's an enormous pleasure to me to be able to do a little for one single person, and then another single person, and then another. I can't find a remedy for the overall sickness, but do a little.

To tell you the truth, this is more important to me than anything else. We are told by our Faith to help the downtrodden. Some Bahá'ís think that that is an injunction for the institutions. I don't. I believe that this is the very sense of being a Bahá'í. This is the reason why I became a Bahá'í. I really believe in serving mankind. It's taken me decades to figure out a few things that work, to find the detachment needed, to understand the limit of one's capabiliity. We can't carry people through life in our arms. But we can learn to speak to their souls, to "turn the proper switches" by means of a languages based on the virtues.

Well, that became very personal and maybe off-topic, but after all, I'm just a

gnat
 
Old 12-12-2015, 05:32 AM   #18
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Now you might think that such activities have earned me a lot of respect - that my family and friends love me for that?

No way. I live in a country with an almost deified public sector. People here tend to believe that they live in the best of countries - which in a sense might be true. Those who haven't run into such problems tend to be convinced that the government provides so many services that they don't have to do much themselves in order to help their fellow men. What I do, to them, is seen as superfluous, unnecessary things - that I meddle in things which are handled by the best experts and that my evidences to the contrary are disturbing and, most likely, based on an over-etimation of my own wisdom and understanding.

I ran into terrible family problems when my wife decided that I was helping "bad" people (her own, very personal view) and that basically I was betraying my family when helping those people (parenthetically, the story was turned into an invented tale of my alleged romantic affair with one of the persons I was helping - a story that was spread behind my back until I got to know about it a few years later). In that case, I'd say that it has to do with an idea of love and care being such a scarce resource that it should not be spread outside the immediate family, whereas I actually believe that those thing are infinite and just grow the more you spread them.

Another view that I come across is that one's life is based on material well-being - that such things like helping others are things that you can allow yourself once you are firmly settled in the material sense. It goes even further: sometimes I’m afraid that I runa cross a view that moral and ethics are things that you can allow oneself only when you have proven youself in he material sense.

So, I would say that basically what I encounter when trying to implement in my feeble way some of the tenets of our Faith is rather strong resistance, an attitude that someone who tries to remedy wrongs done by the system to individuals might even be a truly ”bad” person, who opposes a more or less ”God-given” (or however you describe it in a not very religious country) order.

Thus, it is not a road that I recommend to people who wish to sleep well at night. A much more functional way of being a Bahá’í is to lead an absolutey standardized professional life, absolutely not question any orders, to repeat holy verses without trying to implement them in any other way than by controlling one’s own behaviour, and hoping that God somehow will solve mankind’s poblems.

I’m absolutely open to the possibility that my perception of serving mankind might be harmful and just an expression of my own ego – that this urge to raise up the downtrodden is a huge egoistic feeling and that that is the task of the institutions – not of individual Bahá’ís.

My problem is that, to me, to just stay passive is living death.

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 12-12-2015 at 05:54 AM.
 
Old 12-12-2015, 05:07 PM   #19
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That is an apparent political comment, and I think it is dangerous for Baha'is to tread here. You are welcome to your political views, naturally, but it is better to keep them private than air them as a Baha'i and on a Baha'i forum. As a Baha'i, I find it this discussion itself much more troubling than anything going on in American politics. Your views about any politician are only your views, and for any view you may have there is someone with just as strong an opposite view that is why we should not go there. If there are people who support Trump or whoever, they are welcome here and we do not criticize them nor engage in partisan politics. That is a core principal of our faith, and I ask you to reflect on that and abstain from such discussion here.

Thanks.
People aren't welcome here if they are going to promote prejudice
 
Old 12-12-2015, 05:39 PM   #20
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People aren't welcome here if they are going to promote prejudice
I wonder, do you see the irony of this statement and how it, in fact, promotes the very thing you say you oppose?
 
Old 12-14-2015, 06:22 AM   #21
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The Baha'i scriptures denounce racism and tyranny.

Were we to see the rise of someone like Hitler, would we have sat on our asses and said nothing, basically leaving it for better people to take care of, if they would?

That would make us ineffectual and pointless if we would not even speak.
 
Old 12-14-2015, 06:37 AM   #22
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The Baha'i scriptures denounce racism and tyranny.

Were we to see the rise of someone like Hitler, would we have sat on our asses and said nothing, basically leaving it for better people to take care of, if they would?
The Guardian did. Look up his writings to see how he coped with it. He is clear about tendencies, not shying away from the subjects, but avoiding to mention names:

In regard to Fascism and Nazism, he talks about "the forces of an aggressive and often hostile nationalism"

When writing about the Faith in the Soviet Union, he says that "the growing realization of the implications of its principles, with their emphasis on religion, on the sanctity of family life, on the institution of private property, and their repudiation of all discrimination between classes and of the doctrine of the absolute equality of men—these combined to excite the suspicion, and later to arouse the fierce antagonism, of the ruling authorities, and to precipitate one of the gravest crises in the history of the first Bahá’í century."

Now, he was the primary representative of the Faith, so we individual Bahá'ís cannot be expected to speak and write as if we represented anything more than our own opinion. Still, it's a good idea to let oneself be inspired by Shoghi Effendi.

gnat
 
Old 12-14-2015, 07:06 AM   #23
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That is an apparent political comment, and I think it is dangerous for Baha'is to tread here. You are welcome to your political views, naturally, but it is better to keep them private than air them as a Baha'i and on a Baha'i forum. As a Baha'i, I find it this discussion itself much more troubling than anything going on in American politics. Your views about any politician are only your views, and for any view you may have there is someone with just as strong an opposite view that is why we should not go there. If there are people who support Trump or whoever, they are welcome here and we do not criticize them nor engage in partisan politics. That is a core principal of our faith, and I ask you to reflect on that and abstain from such discussion here.

Thanks.
If a man is running for office and eats a life baby on television, am I to sit on my hands and wait for God to do something about it, or should I shut my mouth and put my head in a book? Because neither will accomplish much more than at least acknowledgement of the very sort of things we stand against.
 
Old 12-14-2015, 07:41 AM   #24
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If a man is running for office and eats a life baby on television, am I to sit on my hands and wait for God to do something about it, or should I shut my mouth and put my head in a book? Because neither will accomplish much more than at least acknowledgement of the very sort of things we stand against.
Who eats a baby on tv? I want to sign the protest list!

gnat
 
Old 12-14-2015, 02:45 PM   #25
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I wonder, do you see the irony of this statement and how it, in fact, promotes the very thing you say you oppose?
Not at all, I prefer to be forthright as opposed to sanctimonious
 
Old 12-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #26
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Not at all, I prefer to be forthright as opposed to sanctimonious
You've done it again! Your gift for irony is noted, my friend.

Last edited by Fadl; 12-14-2015 at 11:54 PM.
 
Old 12-14-2015, 09:56 PM   #27
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Who eats a baby on tv? I want to sign the protest list!

gnat
Nah....they're yummy in filo pastry
 
Old 12-14-2015, 11:40 PM   #28
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Not at all, I prefer to be forthright as opposed to sanctimonious
Please, namecalling is the end of communication. Let us not be so fond of our own views that we start to copy the habits of those politicians we can't stand.

gnat
 
Old 12-15-2015, 12:49 AM   #29
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Not at all, I prefer to be forthright as opposed to sanctimonious
Dear friend, we are all on a journey in this very Materialistic World, we are all going to struggle with the High calling that has been gifted to us to pursue!

I know I fall short many a time

We must consider it is never easy to offer kind well meant advice in a Forum setting, I know have done it often but we have to learn that we all see life different and all want the best for each other.

Forum Buddies we are, now shake hands and group hug

God Bless and Regards Tony
 
Old 12-28-2015, 07:10 AM   #30
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Actually, from reading news reports I gather that a partiicular candidate still has a lot of success. One could reformulate the question as "What if a person with those values becomes the President of the U.S.A?" One could ask what it means to oneself, to the community and to the world.

There are countries in Europe that are moving towards attitudes very unsimilar to our teachings. Such a development has consequences, personal as well as general.

gnat
 
Old 12-29-2015, 02:28 AM   #31
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People aren't welcome here if they are going to promote prejudice
Ouch. Guess I'll let the door hit me in the ass on the way out because I don't hate the same politicians you do.
 
Old 12-29-2015, 02:41 AM   #32
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If a man is running for office and eats a life baby on television, am I to sit on my hands and wait for God to do something about it, or should I shut my mouth and put my head in a book? Because neither will accomplish much more than at least acknowledgement of the very sort of things we stand against.
IMHO it is very worth while to take time to understand the position of those we find prejudiced. It's not black and white, these aren't horrible, hateful people who spit on everyone who looks different than them. Please consider listening to their concerns and not dismissing them. Making it even more emotional of a discussion does no good. These people have reasons that must be confronted with logic, and I just don't think presenting a new religious perception of kumbayah is not going to work in the short term with most of these people IMHO...

You can never truly make the right arguments and win them over if you don't understand the other person's thoughts and feelings. That doesn't mean you have to agree with them, it's just the ability to see how they connect the dots in their world view.
 
Old 12-29-2015, 06:36 AM   #33
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I once saw a supposed Baha'i discuss good things about the Ku Klux Klan on another supposed Baha'i forum, Rose. Someone might think the sun rises in the west every morning. That is their point of view. But it's wrong, and from a navigational point of view, hazardous. I'm not interested in why they are wrong, or why they feel the way they do. I'm certainly not going to change their tiny little warped minds.

And I think I am done, here.
This thread wasn't a good idea. This forum works well for some things, but clearly not all things.
 
Old 12-29-2015, 09:18 AM   #34
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This thread wasn't a good idea. This forum works well for some things, but clearly not all things.
I think it all depends on what angle one chooses in order to approach the subject. Let us say that we consider how Bahá'ís could or should act in a country where xenophobia is on the rise and the government adopts increasingly xenophobic laws, we ould have a meaningful discussion if we try to refrain from discussing identified politicians and parties. The Guardian made such statements concerning bot the Soviet Union and Nazi Gerany, although in a slightly veiled fashion.

There are difficult moral choices for Bahá'ís living in societies with unjust laws. Apartheid South Africa is a case in point. There might be such future and present ethical quandaries that could be worthwhile to dscuss, such as the choices of Bahá'ís working in administrative postions who are obliged to implement laws that, in a very tangible sense go contrary to the Faith's teachings.

Today, for example, it is impossible for someone in Sweden to become a midwife without performing abortions. There are probably many such examples if one starts to reflect on the subject.

gnat
 
Old 12-29-2015, 09:30 AM   #35
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Quite honestly, I believe that this discussion, in whatever way it started, could be extremely important, essential and potentially enormously beneficial. Let us not shy away from it, rather let us try to address it in a manner befitting to our Faith. And the Guardian might show us the way.

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 12-29-2015 at 12:09 PM.
 
Old 12-29-2015, 11:36 AM   #36
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I once saw a supposed Baha'i discuss good things about the Ku Klux Klan on another supposed Baha'i forum, Rose. Someone might think the sun rises in the west every morning. That is their point of view. But it's wrong, and from a navigational point of view, hazardous. I'm not interested in why they are wrong, or why they feel the way they do. I'm certainly not going to change their tiny little warped minds.

And I think I am done, here.
This thread wasn't a good idea. This forum works well for some things, but clearly not all things.
Thought experiment: write down 5 reasons, from the other side's perspective, in their voice, why they feel the way they do. Saying "You're wrong, full stop" doesn't work. It shuts down communication. It shut down communication on a Baha'I forum, imagine what that attitude does with the average person.

You may not be able to change everyone's mind, but you can definitely help people who are more on the fence, in the middle of the chaos, lost and looking for direction. But to ever win an "argument," you have to anticipate the counters. Consider it a practice in empathy.
 
Old 12-29-2015, 12:37 PM   #37
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Thought experiment: write down 5 reasons, from the other side's perspective, in their voice, why they feel the way they do. Saying "You're wrong, full stop" doesn't work. It shuts down communication. It shut down communication on a Baha'I forum, imagine what that attitude does with the average person.

You may not be able to change everyone's mind, but you can definitely help people who are more on the fence, in the middle of the chaos, lost and looking for direction. But to ever win an "argument," you have to anticipate the counters. Consider it a practice in empathy.
There is much to this. Without in any way endorsing atrocities or trying to advise people to turn a blind eye to oppression, there are some interesting examples that could serve as an illustration to your words. Let us start from th Bahá'í view of man: that absolutey everyone has a seed within him, yearning to develop spiritual qualities. Here are some examples:

Zillu’s-Sulṭán: the son of Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh, who actively participated in the persecution of the Persian Bahá'ís, who even with his own hands almost beat the wife of one of the martyrs to death, who was called "The Infernal Tree" by Bahá'u'lláh. Still, both he and a son of his afterwards sincerely asked 'Abdu'l-Bahá for forgiveness, and 'Abdu'l-Bahá instructed two of his sons in such a manner that both became Bahá'ís.

Stalin: We all know of him. Still, when the famous pianist Maria Yudina received the Stalin Prize, she wrote to him that she would give the money to the church to say prayers for Stalin in order to atone for his terrible sins, so that at least someone would supplicate God for mercy on his behalf. Every night she prepared for being sent to a prison camp and eventually to her execution, but she survived Stalin and lived until 1970

Hitler: Any description needed? Still, I read an account for his taking special measures to help a Jewish doctor, who had been good to him in the past, leave the country.

This in no way is an expression of acceptance of, or submission under, atrocities. It is merely a reminder of how even the souls of the worst people can be touched in such a way that they - at least momentarily - are able to do "the right thing".

The moral, I think, is that we should - even in the worst of cases - try to avoid all-out confrontation and such condemnation that lead to such polarization that blocks the inroad to that little seed inside of everyone.

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Last edited by gnat; 12-29-2015 at 12:39 PM.
 
Old 12-29-2015, 11:28 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by gnat View Post
There is much to this. Without in any way endorsing atrocities or trying to advise people to turn a blind eye to oppression, there are some interesting examples that could serve as an illustration to your words. Let us start from th Bahá'í view of man: that absolutey everyone has a seed within him, yearning to develop spiritual qualities. Here are some examples:

Zillu’s-Sulṭán: the son of Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh, who actively participated in the persecution of the Persian Bahá'ís, who even with his own hands almost beat the wife of one of the martyrs to death, who was called "The Infernal Tree" by Bahá'u'lláh. Still, both he and a son of his afterwards sincerely asked 'Abdu'l-Bahá for forgiveness, and 'Abdu'l-Bahá instructed two of his sons in such a manner that both became Bahá'ís.

Stalin: We all know of him. Still, when the famous pianist Maria Yudina received the Stalin Prize, she wrote to him that she would give the money to the church to say prayers for Stalin in order to atone for his terrible sins, so that at least someone would supplicate God for mercy on his behalf. Every night she prepared for being sent to a prison camp and eventually to her execution, but she survived Stalin and lived until 1970

Hitler: Any description needed? Still, I read an account for his taking special measures to help a Jewish doctor, who had been good to him in the past, leave the country.

This in no way is an expression of acceptance of, or submission under, atrocities. It is merely a reminder of how even the souls of the worst people can be touched in such a way that they - at least momentarily - are able to do "the right thing".

The moral, I think, is that we should - even in the worst of cases - try to avoid all-out confrontation and such condemnation that lead to such polarization that blocks the inroad to that little seed inside of everyone.

Best

from

gnat
Very good points. I appreciate the examples.

I've found that a lot of these issues in the political sphere alluded to in the OP are rooted in fear. Some fears are better rationalized than others, some come off more prejudiced than others...it's a range.

Side tangent, but relevant: As someone who struggles with anxiety, I know how difficult it can be to stop the "fear" response. It's a basic human instinct that can sometimes go haywire. If I'm having an anxious moment, what helps is reengaging the logical side of the brain. Studies show this to be the case as well, with lots of coping methods involving counting, simple math, puzzles, etc. But nothing makes me more defensive or upset in the moment than someone saying "Stop, you're being ridiculous." It de-legitimizes a real emotion I'm experiencing.

So in a talk therapy type of thing with yourself, it can help to ask what you are actually afraid of and what evidence you have for that fear. With anxiety like mine, 99% of the time there's really underwhelming evidence that I should be freaking out inside, and you can sometimes talk yourself out of those moments.

But I think the metaphor holds here, because if we understand the fearful (and presumably for argument's sake, prejudiced) person's reasonings, we can help reassure them with logic. You help them rewire the brain to not assess X or Y as a threat anymore. They learn to question their own instinctive reactions of fear and judge for themselves, "Is this a real threat or am I overreacting?" And maybe we'll even find, in some cases, a reason or two is legitimate, and then we work together on a solution.

The other reason besides fear, I think, for prejudice, is ignorance. Ignorance meaning lack of knowledge. Again, something that rational discussion can assist.

Of course, this hypothetical person has to be open to changing their views. And we have to understand that's not an easy thing for most people. Why is Independent Investigation of Truth so important? Perhaps in part because people need to find the truth themselves in order to believe it. Being told authoritatively (or worse, condescendingly) that a certain platitude is the "right way" is not the same as arriving at that platitude as part of your own investigation. We are all prone to cognitive dissonance, so it takes patience if we encounter people who have spent a lifetime arriving at their current worldview.

Another side tangent and then I'll shut up lol When I was a teenager, I was somewhat into libertarian ideology. I was surrounded by people who believed in "NWO" conspiracy type things. I'd seen all those weird documentaries at friends' houses. One of the first obstacles I faced with the Baha'i Faith was the "New World Order" bit. The idea of world-anything versus liberty-based countries was jarring to my preconceived ideas of how things should work. People will struggle with that disconnect with Baha'i principles, but the wrong approach and that oftentimes turns into a defensiveness that we see in politics. Even if you know your ship on an issue is sinking, you try to scrounge up the resources to bolster your POV because you don't want to admit you're wrong, lose face, whatever. It just takes time and patience and kindness.

To your point, people like Hitler and Stalin are so far in they're going to have a hell of a time stopping and going, "Gee, you know. You guys might be right. My bad." The more defensive we get people, the more invested in their side they get, and the less likely they are to ever find truth in those very principles.

I've spent years in politics, I've seen it (sadly) far too often.

/ramble
 
Old 12-30-2015, 03:29 AM   #39
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Very good points. I appreciate the examples.

I've found that a lot of these issues in the political sphere alluded to in the OP are rooted in fear. Some fears are better rationalized than others, some come off more prejudiced than others...it's a range.

Side tangent, but relevant: As someone who struggles with anxiety, I know how difficult it can be to stop the "fear" response. It's a basic human instinct that can sometimes go haywire. If I'm having an anxious moment, what helps is reengaging the logical side of the brain. Studies show this to be the case as well, with lots of coping methods involving counting, simple math, puzzles, etc. But nothing makes me more defensive or upset in the moment than someone saying "Stop, you're being ridiculous." It de-legitimizes a real emotion I'm experiencing.

So in a talk therapy type of thing with yourself, it can help to ask what you are actually afraid of and what evidence you have for that fear. With anxiety like mine, 99% of the time there's really underwhelming evidence that I should be freaking out inside, and you can sometimes talk yourself out of those moments.
"Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart possessed by fear."

Bahá'u'lláh

So, we actually managed to turn this discussion into something palatable. That quote from The Seven Valleys is one of my favourites, because it can be generalized and used as a rule of thumb. I have reformulated it as "Love and fear are like oil and water. They are mutually exclusive and the one chases the outher out."

gnat

Last edited by gnat; 12-30-2015 at 03:34 AM.
 
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