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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A common false assumption and its reversal.

That being a member of a religion or of a country means that whatever another member or group of said religion or country does that we are individually responsible. i.e. That all UK citizens are responsible for the actions of the UK Government, Army, etc. (overstating the power of Democracy, strangely enough)
And reversed, that the actions of a few represent the actions of an entire larger group. i.e. A small group of extremist radicals equals the actions of every other Muslim. (overstating the influence of religion on individual action)

This rage is  the impotent rage of ineffectual people against what they see as an 'evil' controlling force. One that they feel they do nothing against but throw themselves screaming at.
Their failure highlights the larger failing of World society via Religion, we are told that we are individually important and responsible (we are) but feel unable to act in the manner we feel we must (we imagine ourselves as more important/influential than we are).


Ent said...

We are unable to act in the way we feel we must - that is the problem. When someone does something you see as completely unethical, and they are supported by elite powers (I mean here unobtainable and all pervading powers) and the indifference of society there is nothing left but impotent rage. When there are enough people around you impotently raging it becomes potent rage. The danger in this is not that it is uncontrollable, but the opposite - hence people like the EDL - raging at the injustice of the impotence of their bleak lives are funneled off and harnessed by people who want to gain power (e.g. money) through selling papers etc. and direct the injustice onto a scapegoat. The same is true in the student protests and green movements - the rage shows injustice and impotence - but real care is needed to remain an autonomous individual within the movements, and to divine truly what the injustices are and how they came about - a really hard thing to do without heaps of self questioning and hard thinking and exploration...

Like the above..

Sorry, a bit rambley there.

Claude said...

I've been thinking a lot about this. Probably in a wrong way but here goes. We are part of a social structure, be it a country, a group, a family. It's normal that we assume more than just individual responsibilities for the actions of those structures. Actually, we've been told that no man is an island. We also learned, with Schleirmacher, that the "slightest movement of each individual is conducted like electricity through a long chain of a thousand living links." Emerson said, "There is a relation between the hours of our life and the centuries of time." It's quite hard to dismiss the consequences, and also the importance, of our actions and reactions. Past, present and future.

Sometimes I'm very tired, and I need a rest from the whole world resting on my shoulders.:-)

I don't think that we achieve much with organised demonstrations. I also believe (like Ent) that a protest, even very sincere, often becomes a political tool used by the wrong people with ambitious motivations.

But my voice and my action are important. I don't speak and act to boost my ego. And I have no illusion that I can change the world. Yet, in my lifetime, whatever I saw that needed to be rectified, I have tried to be involved. Sometimes only one person at a time can be taken out of a ghastly, unfair situation. Sometimes, what we do will erase only parts of the evil that has been perpetrated. But for me to ignore it would be to deny my humanity. It also would mean some sort of approval for the past and present evils. And no hope for a better future.

Paul Sunstone said...

Some of the most important changes we can make to this world, we cannot bring about in others, but only, with effort, in ourselves.