Sunday, October 08, 2006

Since we can not know all that there is to be known about everything, we ought to know a little about everything (B.Pascal)

Instead of typing this post, I really should be reading about the role of the brain stem in controlling REM sleep periodicty and wakefulness, but at the moment I think I'm appalled at the sheer level of hate and what seems to be ignorance to be abound.

I have a lot of respect for people who voice their unpopular opinions among others. It takes a lot of courage and a safe environment to do so, and not be told that they are wrong. I mean, who is to say what is absolute right and absolute wrong?

However much I respect different opinions, I have a slight problem with ignorance and lack of human compassion. Good friends of mine are of a (political) conservative nature, which is absolutely and perfectly fine, until it goes to the point of being outlandishly offensive to human life.

"Terrorism" is not new. Seriously. If anyone bothers to pick up a history textbook of any kind, you will see that this so called terrorism is not a new invention by any means. Every movement or struggle for freedom has been seen as an act of terror by some person, government or country for thousands of years. The U.S struggle for freedom from the British had its own acts of terrorism. Do you think the Sons of Liberty weren't deemed a terrorist group? The Boston Tea Pary, all the violent acts of rebellion for the Townsend Acts, the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, the Coerervice Acts, etc. didn't look like terrorist acts?

And of course, acts of agression deemed as terrorism have been seen all over the world. The Filipinos used guerilla tactics to achieve independence from Spain back in the 1880s, India did it with the British in the 1940s, hell it even happened during the American Civil War. These are the examples that first come to mind due to what I'm studying, but there are COUNTLESS others.

And so the question becomes, how do you combat this problem? One recent suggestion I've heard is to eradicate the all the countries that might have individuals (ie. Muslims) involved. This suggestion also insinuated that the loved ones of these people in these terrorist nations would not be missed because eradicating them would be the right thing to do to protect the rest of the world (?). That to me sounds like a complete lack of human compassion and genocide. I don't think killing people off in the millions is the solution to any sort of problem.

I think the U.S government, along with decades upon decades of racism against Muslims, has finally settled into the minds of people as a given truth. Pope Benedict recently used a quote from Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus:
Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
Its comments such as these, which I find to be sheer propaganda in this day and age. The historical context of the Pope's comments are completely sound (comprehensive explanation) but in such a volatile sitauation than the world is in now, why would you even use such remarks? I find comments like that to be used for cemmenting an even greater schism between the religions, and find that it will only lead to further hate. As the Pope, a spiritual leader and guide to many people, this was a completely thoughtless act. Public figures have a certain responsiblity that comes with their exalted standing in society, I just wish some of them would recognize that.

Like the old saying goes, with great power, comes great responsiblity.

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