Existential crisis - please Help!

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by aaqucnaona, May 16, 2013.

  1. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    So, I was writing a response to this post by Fraggle:
    And in responding to that last Sentence, it all just came out:


    I know. It is kinda a central mental conflict right now for me - while I deeply sympathise with individuals, I dispise Humanity as a whole for what it is right now - what its doing and what its failing to do. And yet, I have a rose tinted optimism about our future as a species - no doubt because of my Humanist ideology. So I a stuck between accepted my [somewhat justified] misanthropy at the risk of nihilism or having a somewhat unrealistic optimism to allow for existential humanism to give my life meaning.

    I do think we are unworthy of being this planet's superspecies what with many a human willing to kill others for ideological differences or money or a myriad other reasons, but then I think its asking too much off a 10,000 yr old civilisation to be perfect. And then I think of all the good that humans do - of W.H.O. and Hawkins and Mozart and of my own ancestors who worked their asses of to gradually give me, in collaboration with countless other forgotten and unappreciated people, smartphones and GMOs and the internet. Perhaps we are not so bad after all. If this is it [it most likely is] and all we have is each other, its a fine idea to find meaning in improving life for all and purpose in doing whatever one can for our civilisation.

    And yet as I think this, I see the news, I see religious fanatics slinging shit [or bombs] and selfish leaders seizing power, I see the pope discourage condom use in the most Aids afflicted area in the world and third world children starving. And then I see other people do what they do - eat themselves to obesity because they have some or the other issue, gossip about neighbors, follow celeb relationships and watch "reality shows" while they grind out a job just for the money. And then I think - Am I ever going to make a difference? Is anything worth doing? And then I go a full circle as I think - are these people really at fault here? Are they not doing just what they have been conditioned to do? I was lucky to have a good childhood, an early interest in science and a good, functional, supportive family. Is it not my duty, as some what has a better lot than others, to improve theirs?

    But as the circle completes again, I cant just find the motivation to do anything. And so I feel guilty and undeserving of what I have as the meaning in my life and my purpose for the future seep away like a handful of water. This was not an issue at first and I know its my problem to solve, but its affecting everything now - my sleep, my studies, my healthcare; hell, I am even worsening at sports. Promises made months ago and deadlines set weeks ago are not being met & the days are blending together, day after day, week after week. My parents have their own issues and as I am about to turn 19, I am feeling the squeeze of responsibility. This forum helped me what I was in the process of losing my faith, perhaps it can help me now too. Btw, guess religious people do not have this issue to deal with, huh? But Its worth it.



    I have started reading Unweaving the rainbow by Richard Dawkings and plan to read Carl Sagan's books to help deal with this. Neil Tyson's video - the most amazing fact and Doctor Who's episode "The Rings of Aktaten" both helped. Unweaving the rainbow is helpful too. Rewatching the earlier episodes of Breaking Bad helped as well.

    Any other books/movies/lectures that might help? Any advice you have for me?

    Ref. The post in question - www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?134639-Homophobia&p=3070805&viewfull=1#post3070805
    & my reply to it - http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?134639-Homophobia&p=3070854&viewfull=1#post3070854
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Humans are violent, we just have to deal with that biological fact. If we weren't violent, we could not have come this far. Take comfort in the fact that modern societies are less violent than ancient ones.

    What's wrong with reality shows? I love the fishing and gold mining ones. These are real stories about real people.
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  5. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    Yes, but its not the violence that gets me. Its the tiny picture that people focus on, its that total unawareness of the Big picture and the widespread reign of irrationality, all trivialities that hold us back if we only just try. Maybe I am projecting onto all of humanity. I dunno.

    I mean the shit ones, like music shows and the like. Besides, why what those when we have good tv in the form of shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, etc. For that matter, have you seen David Attenbrough's series titled "Africa"? It came out this year and if you cant access it any other way, just pirate it in HD - its one of those things you simply cannot miss. But it is that perspective, that big picture, in context of which I am filled with despair at the daily lives of my fellow man, and of mine.
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  7. elte Valued Senior Member

    Aaqucnaona, I wish you well. I can only let you know what I've figured out, and that is that our human condition is bad like you say largely because people with religious views caused the world we now have, and it shows what happens when lives are lived according to bad information.

    About the best recommendation that I can give is to review your life up to this point and evaluate your skills, talents, and passions. Then with the help of professional counselors, choose a general education path and try to hone your talents, skills, and passions to find your vocation.

    A book that impacted me that I can recomend for insight is Sagan's The Dragons of Eden.
  8. Saturnine Pariah Hell is other people Valued Senior Member

    aaqucnaona, the solution is simple.
    I’ve laughed today once I saw the news on the T.V’s display of man’s sons dying under the pretense of monetary sums.
    I’ve laughed today when I heard the leader’s policies cause so much distain, I laughed again when they promised change
    I’ve laughed today at the reaction to such “tragic” losses of human life; I’m laughing again in a world overflowing with strife
    I’ve laughed today, at the statistics written on the walls, they drip with blood still red and bright in droplets that fall.
    I’ll laugh again at the pseudo pleas in their pathetic wails, I laugh again when people fight for material sales.
    I’ve laughed today, when a man of god told me that he loved me, I laughed again just as well when he said I’d burn in hell
    I’ve laughed, manically at everything the same, I laugh you see not because I’m entertained
    I laugh you see for this world made me deranged. We are a joke you and me. Everything we do is funny to me.
    I laugh today at a punch line to jokes so cruel and cold, I laugh you see at a future we’ve already sold.
    “Once you figured out what a joke everything is, being The Comedian is the only thing that makes sense”-Edward Blake, Watchmen
    My advice to you if you want to keep your sanity is humor, sometimes at the end of the day you've just got to say "fuck the world...fuck the world and smile!" and if that doesn't work out then let's just watch this world burn together.
  9. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Books... Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

    Seriously: Douglas Adams had some brilliant insights into the human condition.
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  10. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

  11. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    ** Thread moved from Free Thoughts to Comparative Religion.
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    You need to be careful with stereo types because it can create irrational illusions that can detach you from reality. I know more people who don't war, then who do war, yet humans are stereo-typed as violent. That stereo-type creates the illusion even peaceful people are violent? I need to forget what I see, and I play along with the illusion?

    The blacks in America suffered slavery at the hands of white slave owners, yet I can't find one slave or one slave owner. Yet, the illusion created by the stereo-types makes it appear both are everywhere and I belong to one of the categories even without cause and effect. In the land of make believe the gullible rule.

    These types of illusions are used to manipulate the vulnerable, and can lead to an internal crisis. This crisis is not really existential, but is more due to the irrational induction away from rational reality. The brain is trying to get back to reality; shuts down the input or makes you question the premises that bottle you up. The illusionists found that they can use this self healing to compound the discontent, since the solution they offer can never solve the brain problem; zombies.
  13. TheQueen Registered Member

    Humans are actually getting less violent... You might feel better after reading Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of our Nature.
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    It seems that merely the forms or expressions of violence are changing.
    Violence isn't just about beating someone with fists or clubs. Seemingly subtler forms of violence, such as blaming or misinterpreting, can hurt more than being beaten up with fists and kicks and the like.
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    That's interesting!
  16. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Seems to me you've peaked too soon. When all is said and done, you're a kid (albeit at it's fag end). You're trying to deal with issues that are best examined by people who have life experience. You seemed steeped in ideology, barely movable even, yet you can't really have a fully-fledged opinion as you have yet to experience so much.

    I remember when I was nineteen, how I thought and felt about things and issues. I remember how I would resolve things in my mind, and that was shaped by how I saw the world at that time. Now I see things differently (in a lot of cases), not because of science, religion, but due to my experiences, and dare say (if I'm around) they will change as I get older.

    I think you're being harsh on religion by always bringing in ''all wars are started by religion'' into it. All wars are started by people, that's the fact right there. If people use ''religion'' as a reason to start a war, that doesn't mean religion itself it bad, only the people who use it. I think the only way to get peace is firstly to regulate our sensual desires, ie.. everybody wants what they want, and therefore must have it. Such a system will increase the human condition that you describe. Now the thing is: are we prepared to regulate our sense enjoyment in order to make the world a better place?

    Religion is the base platform, it can (if done properly) give clarity to the difference between spirit and matter, not just through words, but through method also. This would be a useful tool, as we could easily identify lust and greed, meaning we could see them for what they were, and defeat them. I know of no other method that can curtail the direction that we are being herded into now. The irony is, religion, the very answer to a ordered society, you regard as the worst thing. Then you ask so many qestions not knowing that the answers you seek are in the very thing you despise.

    My advice to you is to learn more about real religion, not the showbottle variety. Don't assume that you know about it. Learn, then decide, if you are searching for real answers. Those authors you mentioned can't really help you.

  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I think you should at least consider the possibility that you are experiencing clinical depression. I have experienced this much of my life and my thoughts of the futility of existence and of the nihilistic nature of our world tend to arise out of such mood swings. Speaking only for myself antidepressants have helped me alot and at least rid me of this burdensome sense of angst that wants to pass itself off as some great insight. It isn't. And don't buy the bs that says by simply changing your thoughts you can stop being depressed. Depression is like a fatigue or exhaustion that doesn't respond to being more upbeat and optimistic. It just is and, at least in my case, has been largely resolved with medication. Look into this. Maybe that's all this really is.
  18. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The existential feeling stems from the conflict between the natural inner you, who is based on eons of evolution optimized to the cause and effect of natural reality, and the social subjectivities connected to various alternate realities, posing as reality. Natural selection is about survival in the world of cause and effect. Alternate reality is at odds with these instincts.

    Let me give an example of such disconnect. An atheist might blame religions for war; religious wars. I live in America, and religion has no power or means to wage war, due to the separation of church and state. The atheists have control within the state, and the US has been in at least three wars in the past 10 years, yet religion is the one held responsible for warring by atheists. There is a conflict between atheists sale pitch and the hard reality data. The smoke and mirror pitches the past to hide the present.

    The data would be true if one said members of the Muslim religion like to war, since the data does show terrorism connected to this religion all over the world. But since that is true data, this is not pitched. It would be called profiling and is not allowed, since too much truth might upset alternate reality. It would help people gauge what is real and they might compare other sales pitch.

    A liberal sales pitch is blacks were slave and the whites were slave owners. This may be true historically, but what does it have to do with the present since there are neither slaves or slave owners in the USA. But in alternate reality these both still exist. You instincts will not be able to see this sale pitch, since the data does not exist in sensory reality, only alternate reality.

    If you really believe or have been conditioned in school by such sales pitches, you will become divided within yourself, since deep down the pitched data does not support the instinctive cause and effect that comes with the reality. Based on the inner divide, some will become fanatical to compensate for doubt (various compulsive behaviors), while others will fight against themselves tying up mental/emotional energy making one feel listless.
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Aww, almost like karma.

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  20. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    What do you mean?

    Fair enough.

    Well that depends, doesnt it? I mean, you are right in the context of the [recent] violence by Buddhists against Muslims. However, if a religion blatantly proscribes the elimination of the opposition [like Islam does], you can hardly call it "a bad use of a peaceful and loving religion".

    While the pursuit of unessential desires does exacerbate the situation, especially in a time like ours when our production and resource-cultivation technologies are limited; once that hurdle is overcome, would hedonism not be the primary driver of human progress? And is it not a worthy goal of the human endeavours to make as many people as happy as possible? Like I said, if this is it and each other is all we have, what else is a better goal?

    Except the fact that all the information we have gathered so far suggests that monism is the best model for reality.

    Yes, but what is more important - order at the risk of stagnation or progress at the risk of chaos? Besides, why do you think religion is the only answer to this? Do you not recon that just like Biology overtook the job of describing life from religion, the Humanities may one day take over the remaining functions of religion too? Religion is already inessential to 1.1 billion people [world population of the "nones"].

    I will resist calling it a "no true Scotsman" and instead request that you elaborate. FYI, I am doing a course called "Cultural Literacy for Religion" by The Teaching Company and am looking into the various religions of the world.

    The problem I have with religious answers is not what they say, its the methodology used to obtain them. That is, among the many answers religion have today and the countless others that are now forgotten, how do I tell which is real? If we were to roll back time by 10,000 years and replay human civilization, the religions would most certainly be very different, but the law of gravity, whenever discovered, will be identical to our own.

    Why do you say that?
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    You need to take a longer-term perspective. Look at what our species has accomplished in a mere twelve millennia. We started out as a pack-social species of nomadic hunter-gatherers, who regarded all other packs as hated and feared competitors for scarce resources. Reexamination of ancient remains using modern instruments has disclosed the fact that more than 50% of Paleolithic adults died as a result of violence. More people were killed by other people than by all other causes combined!

    Since the invention of the technology of agriculture we no longer need to fight over food--as a species anyway, of course there are still a few benighted communities. Violence has been steadily abating. Genghis Khan was the high water mark, killing ten percent of the people his armies could reach with the transportation technology of his era. Compared to the Stone Age, it's fair to rephrase that as only ten percent! The high water mark since then was WWII, whose military leaders succeeded in killing only three percent of the people they could reach--which in the 1940s was everybody--60 million people. Since then there have only been one or two conflicts with body counts over a mere one million, and today we weep over a battle that kills one hundred people--that would have been a slow news day in 1944.

    Your optimism is reasonable. As we evolved out of the Stone Age, we have consistently used our uniquely enormous forebrains to override the instincts passed down in our DNA. The obvious example is BASE jumping: no other non-flying mammal would step off a cliff. But more importantly, we're overriding our pack-social instinct and becoming steadily more herd-social. In our cities we live in harmony and cooperation with complete strangers. But better than that, we now consider ourselves as kin to people on the other side of the planet who are nothing more than anonymous abstractions. The internet and cellular technology have even improved on that: we can send those people e-mails anytime we want, or even talk to them if we care to! One graphic artist in Israel has started a movement which so far has enlisted thousands of people in Israel and Iran, promising that they do not want to bomb each other, regardless of the propaganda their shit-for-brains theocratic governments keep spewing out.

    Yes, there are still forces that conspire to reinforce our Stone Age instincts and divide the world into Us and Them. But the forces pulling us closer together become stronger with every new technology: agriculture-->city-building-->wheeled vehicles with domesticated animals to pull them-->writing-->sailing ships-->railroads-->electronic communication-->digital communication.

    SciForums is a place of science, it says so in our name. So let's celebrate the achievements of science, engineering and technology in overcoming our Inner Caveman.

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    Actually the first cities in Mesopotamia were built 11KYA, a mere one thousand years after the Agricultural Revolution both permitted and required our ancestors to stop chasing their food across the landscape and settle down in permanent villages. The technology of city-building spread rather quickly to Egypt, India and China. The folks on this side of the planet had to invent it for themselves so the Olmecs didn't figure it out until around 5KYA--hampered by the need to build their cities with no draft animals! We've only recently managed to domesticate the bison, and AFAIK nobody has even bothered trying with the moose and the mountain goat. Oddly enough we have reindeer on this continent (we call them "caribou") but our Arctic people didn't try to domesticate them. Pigs domesticate rather easily but I don't think anyone anywhere has tried hitching one to a cart.

    You are wise beyond your years.

    Don't get me started on religion. It's a relic of the Stone Age that we just haven't been able to shake off. Belief in the supernatural is what Jung calls an archetype, an instinct programmed into the DNA in our synapses by evolution. Perhaps it was a survival trait in an ancient era whose dangers we can't imagine, or it might just be an unfortunate mutation passed down through one of our species's genetic bottlenecks. Fortunately some of us have mutated away from it: there has been no religion in my family for three generations.

    Sounds like a lengthy way of saying, "People aren't perfect." In aggregate each generation leaves the world slightly better than they found it, and that's what matters. Of course that isn't a monotonic phenomenon and there have been some astounding backslides, but averaged over 12,000 years we're doing very nicely, thank you. Let us have our weaknesses, especially if we enjoy them. Only a few hundred generations separate us from our Paleolithic ancestors, and that simply isn't enough time for our biology to evolve to fit this new reality we've built for ourselves. There is still an Inner Caveman inside each of us. We placate him with beer and TV and motorcycles and football and pizza and a domesticated wolf at his feet who thinks he's God, and most of the time that works. But every now and then he goes Paleolithic on us and does something that breaks the rules of civilization. Most of the time no serious harm is done and he sneaks back into his Barcalounger hoping nobody noticed. It's only when an entire community is exorted into going Paleolithic at the same time, that we have wars. And as many of us have noted, that exortation comes from our religious leaders as often as not. Sure, they blame the civil leaders. But it's a little facile to blame only Hitler for the Holocaust, which was nothing more than the culmination of two millennia of violent antisemitism that was one of the defining characterstics of European Christendom, and which was happily endorsed, or at least studiously ignored, by the vast majority of the European Christian population. The proof of this is that when the war was over and the Europeans were wallowing in contrition, they offered to do anything they could to make it up to their Jewish refugees except let them come back and live among them again. The Brits actually pulled off the coup of getting rid of them permanently by sending them to Palestine and renaming it "Israel"!

    Of course you are. As one of the very many lucky people who have intelligence, a good education, and good mentoring from your elders, you will certainly be a productive member of society. But like most of us you may have to settle for accomplishing things that are merely bits and pieces of the grand scheme, none of which are obviously noteworthy individually. Make your company slightly more efficient and environmentally conscious; teach your children to be good adults; vote for the candidates who will lead civilization forward; perhaps write a poem or a song or a story that brightens someone's day and lifts him to a higher level of consciousness and productivity. You won't notice these things as you do them, and quite probably no one else will either. But in a "village" that now has seven billion inhabitants, you can hardly expect everyone's minute contributions to be noted, much less celebrated.

    You will have to learn that there is honor in modesty: that just because you're not given credit for something doesn't mean that it wasn't the right thing to do. That usually happens in our 30s and 40s.

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    Seeing that written by such a young person almost makes me weep. Thank you so much!

    We all go through these cycles. Don't worry about it. All you're telling us is that you're a fairly normal human, which is a good thing. You're still young enough that your endocrine system is A) not quite in balance and B) powerful enough to override the rational part of your brain from time to time. Go jump up and down at a rock concert; play a sport; camp out amid some beautiful scenery; play with your dog. (If you don't have a dog, go out right now and get one. During the past 12,000 years they've gone through more than ten thousand generations, so their instincts have evolved a lot faster and further than ours. They are much better adapted to civilization than we are, so they have a lot to teach us. Deep down inside, each of us is still his "ancestral wolf.")

    There is such a thing as "sub-clinical depression." On the one hand, this too shall pass, so you simply have to survive it without causing any serious problems for yourself or others. On the other hand, it would be worth talking to a professional, to learn from the experiences of the sixty bazillion teenagers who came before you and went through exactly the same thing.

    Bingo! A new force from the world of adulthood is making its way into your life. This is absolutely not a problem you should expect to solve on your own. Props to you for bringing it here, but geeze the average SciForums member isn't much older than you, and even some of the grownups here might not be your best role models. Please do yourself (and the people in your life) a favor and find someone a little better qualifed to give you the advice you need! I may seem like a nice stable trustworthy adult, and at 69 perhaps I am, but I never raised any children so I can only see your problem from your perspective, not from the perspective of an experienced elder of the tribe.

    I see that you haven't lost your sense of humor!

    Indeed. I gave the statistics above. Even in times not so ancient, we were more violent. The murder rate in European cities in the Middle Ages was about 100 times as great as in the most violent American cities like New York and Washington.

    We need stories, we need dreams. They are full of metaphors, which bridge the gap between reality and fiction. The give a simplified view of the universe that helps us make sense out of it. I am alarmed by the fact that the younger generation of Americans would rather watch ordinary people do ordinary things than be taught to dream.

    What's wrong with the talent contests? We've had talent contests for centuries before television. "American Idol" has produced quite a few stars, and even the losers turn in astounding performances. "So You Think You Can Dance" is utterly amazing. Some of the routines these young kids develop on their own are incredible. And they too have gone on to become highly-regarded professionals.

    Since the invention of television, entertainment has become a much larger industry than it used to be. There's always room for one more star. I've gone to see both Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry in concert.

    It's been well established that laughter is good for our health. It releases beneficial endorphins. And one of the many great things about it is that it is contagious! When a person sees someone else smiling, the probability is that he will start smiling too.

    One of the little things I try to do to make the world a tiny bit better is to just walk around smiling.

    You need to recognize the fact that our modern, peaceful, cooperative life is built almost entirely on ideas that came into our heads via reasoning and learning. But deep down in the nether regions of our brain, there is still a caveman lurking.

    One of the things we have done forever, to accommodate the needs of our caveman, is to play sports. Sports are quite violent, and they are genuine battles between you and an adversary. They activate many of the same areas in the brain as real combat. But the difference is that when the game is over, (usually!) no one is dead or even seriously injured. We're even able to get many of the same salutary effects from simply watching other people play sports. I've never been a sports fan--like religion, it seems to be absent from my DNA. But I envy the people who can sit engrossed in a baseball/football/basketball/soccer/tennis game or some other kind of athletics. It must be so cathartic! I envy the people who paste a sticker on their car with the name and logo of their favorite sports team, who talk passionately about the last game on their lunch break, who know the names of every member of that team and their win/loss numbers back to 1928.

    No no no no no. You're ignoring a century and a half of history. Just because slavery was outlawed, racism did NOT go away. Euro-Americans had been taught for hundreds of years that Afro-Americans are inferior and cannot ever be able to function as ordinary citizens. After the Civil War they continued to confine them to separate villages, limit them to menial jobs, prohibit them from dating or marrying "white" people, and persecuting them for (often imagined) crimes just to remind them that we were better than them. They were treated only slightly better in the North: they didn't actually practice lynching (very often) but there were "sunset towns" everywhere, where Afro-Americans were allowed to come and work during the daylight, but after dark they had to be out or they'd be thrown out roughly.

    Indeed. We see the violence around us and wish it were less. If you had a time machine and could bring back somebody from the Roman, Greek, Persian, Egyptian, etc. Empires, they would be astounded at how peaceful our lives are.

    With each passing decade, the percentage of the world population killed by government-sponsored violence keeps dropping precipitously. And make no mistake: since the beginning of the Iron Age around 2000BCE, governments have always been the primary source of violence. Even in the Middle Ages, when those European city-dwellers were murdering each other, their armies were slaughtering them by the hundreds.

    But it is very unlikely to kill you. Unless it drives you to suicide of course. And suicide wouldn't be such a problem if we didn't have so goddamned many guns in America. If you feel despondent it is so easy to open a drawer and pull a trigger. If you have to slit your wrists in a bathtub or hook up an exhaust pipe to your car window or find the right combination of pills or figure out how to tie a noose, the mood is much more likely to pass before you actually accomplish it--and you're much more likely to still be alive when somebody finds you.

    But religion actually is responsible for those wars. It's Islam vs. Christianity: restarting the Crusades. 9/11 was an attack on the "Great Satan." Yes I know that Backward Baby Bush tricked us into thinking that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 because the Saudis are his daddy's partners in the energy industry and he couldn't let us start demanding that he bomb Riyadh. So it was politics that put the war in the specific place where it was put, but it was still religion that caused the war in the first place.

    Muslims are like everybody else. 99.99% of them just want to make a living, support their families, and enjoy life. It's only a tiny minority of fundamentalists who believe in a warped meaning of jihad that requires them to kill infidels. Unfortunately that tiny minority know how to foment unrest among the majority, or at least how to get them to donate money to the cause. Even moderate Muslims in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria are sending donations to Islamic charities that funnel it to the madrassas in the Middle East that train the next generation of anti-American terrorists.

    You have an appalling ignorance of U.S. history since the Civil War. I spoke to this earlier in this post. It was only in the 1950s that there was a growing feeling that Afro-Americans should be treated like all other citizens. Ironically, it was the Religious Left (a phrase that was never coined at the time) who were in the vanguard of this movement. Then in the 1960s the Flower Children joined the movement. This is when the South broke away from the Democratic Party, which up until then had been traditionally segregationist. The party of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, then began its long evolution toward its current status: 95% white with its power base in the South. At the same time Christianity took a sharp turn to the Right and is no longer in the forefront of the civil rights movement.

    America elected its first President not of British ancestry in 1836 (Martin Van Buren). We elected our first Catholic President in 1960 (John Kennedy). But only in 2008 did we finally elect our first Afro-American President, and it's often pointed out that his mother was Euro-American.
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    It will cost you your job - and by this I mean that the violence of your coworkers will lead to you getting fired.
    They might as well kill you.
  23. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    How so?

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