Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Racism

As aforementioned in my article about the meaning of life, this is going to be a piece all about the ignorance of racists.

The common perception of a racist is a person who discriminates against another because of a different skin colour and/or ethnic background. Racism, of course, actually covers a much larger ground than just skin colour: racial discrimination usually derives from highlighting taxonomic differences between persons or groups. This could include weight, religion, sexual orientation and, well, just about anything. In a sense, it’s simply bullying somebody because they’re different.

I’m fairly sure that most of us in our lives can hold our hands up and admit we’ve been racist to someone at some point. Quite usually, though, it’s a harmless jibe and not intended as anything hurtful. Unfortunately, in some cases, the roots to racism are much, much worse, and the results can be sickening.

The worst case of racism we’ve seen in recent years was the culling of the Jewish faith during the second World War. Around an estimated 6 million Jewish people died during Hitler’s regime. If we add in the Polish ethnic, homosexuals, Jehovah’s witnesses, the disabled, soviet civilians and prisoners of war, the actual loss of life could be anywhere from 11-17 million people who died for Hitler’s racism.

Hitler believed he could purify Germany into a master race called the Aryan race. According to Theosophy, the Aryan race was a master race that ruled the world from Atlantis some 12,000 years ago; around 10,000 BC. They were one of seven ‘root’ races that man descended from, the originator having lived some 18 million years ago. They are widely believed to be of northern European decent; the Teutonic knights were thought to be offshoots of the fifth race. What is also widely believed is that they possess a far higher intelligence than any other race. This was undoubtedly Hitler’s, as well as many other Nazis and theosophists, incentive to create this master race once more, believing themselves to be of this sacred blood.

This was the justification for Hitler to implement the Final Solution through Heinrich Himmler. This is the whole essence of why racism is so unimaginably wrong. A select few had opinions that the weaker of the race and the people believed not to be of Aryan descent should be preened from society, and millions upon millions of people lost their lives. The idea of  creating a blonde haired, blue-eyed race is beyond belief. Besides the fact that it’s impossible to trace bloodline back 18 million years to a legendary race, which in all likelihood was a myth, genetics don’t work that way either. This is showing the very worst side of racism, how the ignorance of a few can destroy a world.

In the modern-day world, not much has changed. There are those out there who still believe the Aryan race should separate from the rest of the world and create one super-race. The Jewish faith is still as discriminated against because of age-old stereotypes and cultural hatred. Homosexuals are riddled with abuse for a sexual orientation they are born with. Coloured people are stereotyped as thieves and thugs: in many countries they are still treated no better than farm animals. And vice-versa: white people are discriminated against by coloured people. The latest racism is Islamophobia, because of the extremist few who caused atrocities in the name of religion. It’s never-ending.

To change the views that some individuals and cultures harbour would take generation upon generation upon generation. Yet that would be far too optimistic. Some people are far too set in their hatred of anything different to accept and teach the ways of acceptance and understanding: some cultures often uniting together in the hatred of a shared perceived enemy.

Regardless of where you were born, what religion you follow, what colour you are or what sexual orientation you have, you are you. They way you were born is the way you were meant to be, and nothing in the world should make you feel differently about that, the same way that you should embrace all the different cultures around you, and certainly not discriminate against them.

It’s mindless, ignorant bullying. There is no justification for racism, it’s an abomination which destroys lives and cultures.

The only racism I’d like to see is against the racists themselves.

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The Cycle of Life

My inspiration for writing this article is something that I feel strongly about, yet will never be able to physically change. But hopefully, by the end of the piece, I’d like  to have made some people aware of their actions and possibly change your perspective on certain aspects of the life around us.

The cycle of life is, quite simply, amazing. The complexity of our eco-system is truly breath-taking. Each and every animal or plant you see devours something else in order to sustain life and, considering there are an estimated 10 million different species on earth, the cycle of life is immense.

Think about the number of animals and plants we consume during our lifespan as humans. Say an average person lives for seventy years, the amount of life we consume to stay alive ourselves is phenomenal. This is just one cycle of life, the world as a whole has hundreds of thousands.

Death is integral to life. Without death, life wouldn’t (feasibly) be possible. Though I couldn’t be the one to shoot a cow or catch a fish, I accept that killing animals is part of the lives we have to live.

Vegetarians may well have a different view upon this: a natural argument being that we could physically survive eating only plants. This is a very interesting topic on morality in my view.

Where does plant-life come into it? Surely plant-life should have as many rights as an animal. Plants use the exact same cycles as any animal, though obviously the ingredients to sustain life are different. So shouldn’t the same respect be given to plants as is shown to animals, or does life have to have a brain to become worthy of consideration?

That is simply a thought for your own morality. I really don’t think there will be convictions for a person picking a daffodil in the future

What I find quite distressing is that size really does matter in terms of respect given to animals. It’s confusing to understand why. A person picks a flower in a forest, no-one minds. A person cuts down a tree in a forest, they are condemned. Animals are similarly afforded respect out of their simple uses to humans as well as their size. Why does a dog carry a higher right to life than an ant?

All too often I see people killing animals out of mere annoyance, savagery or even pleasure. Killing a fly for buzzing too loudly, a spider for being a spider, an ant because it’s small. You wouldn’t kill a dog for eating the last sausage roll you dropped. What possible right does anyone have to wipe out a life through annoyance. I truly abhor this notion.

Gamekeeper’s rearing pheasants, nurturing them through childhood, then letting them loose to hunt them down with guns. Fox-hunting and deer-hunting for social and sporting pleasure. Bullfighting for public entertainment. The list goes on and on for the unnecessary killing of animals.

That’s a list of things I’ll never be able to change, and no doubt the government will never effectively ban either.

But I implore you, the next time you see a fly buzzing around that annoys you, or an ant that strays into your path, think twice about needlessly destroying life which is so precious.

Onward Christian soldier…

Like most my age, I was brought up to believe that, approximately 2000 years ago, the ‘messiah‘ was born. As a child, I never imagined this to actually be true, just another fanciful tale told by my elders to instil discipline and structure to my life, much like any frightening tale such as the bogeyman.

How wrong was I? A total of around one billion people would put me in my place claiming Jesus was truly the son of God, and that to not believe in this would condemn me to an eternity in hell. Which is nice.

Thankfully for these one billion, the days of Jesus’ life were recorded by men, and even tops the bestsellers list. Albeit, as records show, quite some years after he died. And, well, I say his life, they did miss the first 30 years out. But never mind, he was probably still the pure human being everyone portrayed him as, I guess.

It doesn’t take too much reading of the Bible to find the common link with many other religions. The pages are strewn with violence and murder, all sanctioned and justified by one greater than us all. Or perhaps it isn’t murder. After all, the Ten Commandments tells us what not to do. Perhaps it’s the modern-day equivalent of self-defence, as religion surely couldn’t contradict itself on the most important of all rules. Could it?

The one thing any religion does insinuate is that essentially man are a flawed race; corrupted by greed, power, personal desires and money (well politics really). Yet we are asked to put blind faith into age-old scriptures written by men. In a time where politics reigned!

Being brought up in a Christian country, from a young age, this is what we are brought up to believe. Yet if fortunes had placed us 6500 miles to the east, we may well have been Muslim.

The Muslim faith has found itself upon hard times in recent years due to the teachings of Islam. The atrocities of 9/11 and the London and Madrid bombings, highlighted the extremist nature of a select few. Yet is this their fault? If, from a child, they’re brought up with no contradiction to the belief that the killing of others brings eternal glory, how are they to know better? Most days you read of crimes for money, as petty as a few pounds. When the reward is far greater, eternal life (with a few untouched ladies thrown in), to them I’m sure it would be crazy not to.

But it’s not just Muslims. You only had to look at the news last week to see a ‘Christian’ oneman mission in Iraq. Armed with a gun, a Samurai sword and scripture, Gary Brooks Faulkner set out to kill Osama Bin Laden. Who could condemn him? Seeking justice for the murder of thousands of innocent Americans. Well God, apparently.

Still, he isn’t the first and he won’t be the last to use a name to cover up crimes. The same way that execution shouldn’t be covered by the veil of ‘law’.

So what is the real evil here? Is it man? Is it simply extremists?

Or maybe it’s religion itself.