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How do you define extremism?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by AcidJiles, 22 Nov 2010.

  1. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    John Ware asks: How do you define extremism?

    Another a story on religious schools teaching social separation, why did labour in particular and other governments allow religious schools to have such a position within the education sector? A third of schools are of a religious denomination although the majority will be Christian ex grammar schools for who the only religious element is church on a Thursday. The rest however often have different curriculums of which only certain parts are decently examined by OFSTED. Every child in the UK going to school should be taught a secular non-denominational education and not be allowed to discriminate who can join either through religious denomination or a curriculum that is skewed in a particular direction. Choosing pupils through ability through is fine although these tests should be focused on intelligence and capacity to learn more so than on what a child knows (otherwise poorer students will be misrepresented).

    "Following a lengthy study, the centre right think tank Policy Exchange, today publishes recommendations about how to protect children of all faiths from religious fundamentalism in the classroom. "

    I think they should remove the word fundamentalism from this. Protecting children from religion and the enforcement of any belief system upon them should be a primary tenant of educating our children. Children are not religious, no one is born of a religion and until they reach maturity they do not have the intelligence, reason, comprehension or lack of parental control to make a true choice for themselves.

    We live in a secular nation and believing in a religion should be respected and accepted. Freedom of belief is fine but children do not have freedom of belief and this very different from morals and sociality accepted behaviour that parents will give to their children. Don't have much time so can't explain my reasoning on this further but interested in what people here think.
     
    Last edited: 22 Nov 2010
  2. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Extremism is to force your belief system onto others because you consider it the only correct one.

    Think it over.
     
  3. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    As this article and panorama report seems to be aimed at Islam I thought I would quote this section.

    The catholic church is not great on tolerance and equality either.
     
  4. MacWalka

    MacWalka New Member

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    As someone from just east of Glasgow, I can safely state that segregation, inequality and intolerance are still rife (though better than it has been in the past) due to religion in schools here.
     
  5. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    Thing is what I am suggesting is freedom, the choice for children to make up there own minds when they are able too instead of being indoctrinated. If this is extremism then I don't know what the world has come and hope your not that naive that you can't see the difference. I don't want to force the children to believe in anything but they have to have choice. If you think that by giving children choice is forcing a belief system on them so be it but its a million miles away from what a family who brings up a child to believe in a religion which I class as being effectively child abuse in certain cases. My mother was brought up exclusive Christian brethren and took 40 years to move on and think on her own so I know what I am talking about.

    Do you seriously think that for example a Muslim parent who keeps a child segregated from the rest of community, sends them to a Muslim school so they only talk to Muslims and maybe even only from their own branch of the religion that this is a good thing and that having a standardised school system with no bias towards one religion or another and teaching children to make up their own minds based on evidence and their own reasoning whatever that choice maybe is a bad thing?

    Do people within a society not have a responsibility to integrate, to learn the language and to accept the general culture. If they disagree with it so what, they chose to move here and therefore need to accept that. In the same way I wouldn't expect to live as I wanted to if I went to Saudi Arabia but then I would never move there because of that. I don't expect the people to drink down the local pub every Friday or take part in the local church fete but over time they become a part of the community and their children integrate even more through schools and the children they become friends with. The last 30 years of British history is an example of a complete failure of multiculturalism, I want foreigners to move to the UK and add their own uniqueness to our own, but they have to become a part of it and not set themselves apart while taking all the advantages that the UK provides (I don't mean benefits, I mean well paid jobs, healthcare etc). All the above could apply to any religious group.
     
    Last edited: 22 Nov 2010
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    I seriously think that you are proposing to dictate to parents what belief system they should raise their children with. Nineteen Eighty-Four much?

    I agree that people should integrate into the society they choose to live in and should raise their children accordingly. But the typical and repeated mistake that you are making (yet again) is to think that you can force them to. To force people to integrate is just forcing them to conform to party rule. Stalin's Soviet Russia, Hitler Germany, Khmer Rouge's Cambodia. That all worked out well then.

    How about making them want to? Even twenty years ago this was not an issue. But we went medieval on the Middle East and all xenophobic about Arabs in this county, and all of a sudden a large number of immigrants find themselves alienated from a culture that frankly is not much of a shining example to our own children, never mind theirs. We are not exactly selling our more enlightened, morally superior culture here.

    Perhaps we ought to consider why it is that even White British Christian parents want their children taught in their own private schools.
     
  7. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    I am confused as to how I am forcing anyone, especially parents to raise their children? As much as I would like to I am not advocating forcing parents to bring their child up non religiously that is an opinion on what is right and wrong not what is practical or realistic to do.
    In relation to schools however the government has a duty to educate children for the real world unencumbered by myths, legends and lies. Within the home parents have the control but in schools government should provide and monitor a fair unbiased education for children. That is all I am advocating. My comments about integration include any group that separates itself dramatically from society and reality and I have experience of this from Christan's. My comments were mostly about Muslims as they are the easiest to define and were in the news article.

    When people move to a country they are joining a community and if they do not wish to join it then they should not come. That's sounds harsh and as I said before I don’t expect the world just a reasonable effort to learn the language and not to separate themselves within their own enclaves. Practically this would entail a certain level of english before entry and then another test say 2 years later with improvement expected. How you achieve the second part is harder but if I saw some good ideas I would back them. Any group within the UK that separates itself off from society who is already here is just as guilty.

    Our culture however is more enlightened and morally superior but we have already had this discussion elsewhere so we will have to agree to disagree on that.

    As a side note I often write quite harshly due to my AS but if in conversation my points would come off with less bite to them so if you could presume all my comments are on the softer side that would be appreciated.
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    I wouldn't worry about that. I'm Dutch. By British standards we're all a bit AS. It's the culture thing again.

    Agree with you that state schools should be secular. To be honest I am not that keen on private schools on principle, but if we had decent state schools then perhaps parents would not consider them so compelling (after all they cost a bundle).

    Integration works both ways of course; we have to accept people with their own cultural quirks. If we expect them to be exactly like us we are talking about assimilation. If we continuously remind them that they are not, we are talking about marginalization.

    When the Afro-Caribbeans and Asians came to the UK in the 1960's, they wanted nothing more than to fit in and be treated the same as the rest of the population. They weren't. They SO weren't. At the same time there has been a trend in British societal development from a sense of community and social responsibility to a sense of individuality and personal entitlement. As Thatcher said: "There is no such thing as society". What we see today is the result of that: people doing what they want, when they want, screw the rest. On a geo-political stage we pretty much do the same. What lessons are immigrants supposed to learn from that? How can they behave like integrated, socially responsible UK citizens when even the indigenous population won't?
     
  9. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't that make everyone an exteremist? After all... most of the time we always believe we are right and they are wrong?

    Hell I act like an extremeist sometimes, can get all angry and demand people do things in accordance with how I see the world. That much I do know and understand.

    Wouldn't go on a killing spree for it though... not yet anyway >.<
     
  10. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    The difference is that you and I (I hope) aren't trying to force it down anyone's throat. I have my opinions, I have ways that I think are the best way, but if someone chooses to do otherwise, I respect that.

    I also don't buy the "brainwashed for life" argument. Lots of people change religions several times in their lives, regardless of how they were raised. It's been my experience that the most rabid fundamentalists are often the ones who convert later in life.
     
  11. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    See that depends, I can get a little arty farty with people who annoy me. My overall 'faith' for lack of a better word is basically to get exactly where you want to be, no-one stands in the way, Anyone who wrongs you should be smashed... to be fair it's difficult to explain without knowing me personally, Just think Space Marines... google them if you can't :p

    True... The Islamist (if you've ever read that) is a fantastic book, literally about a kid who was indoctrinated from the age of ten onwards to spread hate about the west, he literally got up and walked away when he 'grew up' and then 9/11 happened... man just read the book it's fantastic and told from the point of a post-extremist.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Got it in one. Extremism is about forcing your beliefs onto others; to make the world accommodate to your views instead of accommodating your views to reality.

    Fundamentalism is a mind set --a way of thinking rather than a specific set of beliefs. The beliefs or religion is incidental. It could be anything. It can be replaced by anything. A Fundamentalist can go from one rabid religion to another. What they seek is the comfort of absolute certainty. Those who grow up past that mental age of 11 realise that there is no such thing, and learn to tolerate uncertainty and to work things out for themselves.
     
    Last edited: 23 Nov 2010
  13. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    I broadly agree with Nexxo and Cthippo, but I have one small bone of contention :)

    Suppose someone thinks that the most deeply rewarding, fulfilling and moral life is one in which women must never leave the house, hold a job or learn to read (Islam). According to standard multiculturalism/pluralism the correct approach is to allow practitioners of this to continue doing so, and to debate them in the hope of them changing their own minds.

    My problem is that we can't (and don't) let some things happen - we make the decision for people. In this sense, we are all fundamentalists. Sure we teach people the controversy (sometimes), but if they then make the opposite decision to us, we punish them.
     
  14. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Read my post in the Poppy Burning thread. :)

    "Punishing" or "forcing" fundamentalists to change does not work because it fits in the way they think: Yours is not to question or understand. What is not proscribed is forbidden, at pain of death. Just follow the rules. The more you are challenged, the more proof it is that you are 'right' and they are 'wrong'. The more you suffer, the more righteous you are. Persecution becomes martyrdom.

    What fundamentalists want is certainty in a big, complicated and scary world. They are mentally pre-adolescent. Power is authority, things are black and white, it's boys against girls and sex is scary and uncomfortable.

    So you have to give them a framework to handle such uncertainties and make them feel safe. We know that when education and quality of life goes up fundamentalism tends to go down, because life becomes more informed, safer, more predictable and less scary.
     
  15. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    Good post :) but I don't see how it relates?

    My claim is we are all fundamentalist with regard to some things - that it's a sliding scale rather than two camps. Consider the UK government recently saying that faith schools cannot teach kids how to cut off the hands of thieves. I completely agree with the government on this, but it is a fundamentalist approach - it is never right to teach kids how to do this.

    Ask any normal person why it's wrong to be hate people because of their skin colour and they'll say something to the effect of 'it's wrong'. I agree, but its fundamentalist - ie respecting everyone equally is fundamental.

    Surely the right thing is to be fundamentalist about the right things :) free speech, free enquiry, freedom of thought, etc.
     
  16. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    Just re-read this bit

    from t'uther thread. I entirely agree, people are almost surely the best judges of what's best for them (interesting debate about what to do if they aren't, but for another time I'm sure). But if it's a parent deciding their child cannot have any medical invervention? I think in this case we can decide for them. And this is the case with society at large - peoples actions effect each other, so we cannot be entirely free to do what we want.
     
  17. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    It relates to:
    In that respect it agrees with you: punishing fundamentalists for their beliefs is an act of fundamentalist thinking.

    Doesn't work like that. If someone asks me why you cannot cut off the hand of a thief (or teach a child that this is the appropriate way to punish a thief) I can give a pretty well-reasoned argument as to why not. It is not just a matter of: "Well, it's just wrong". Similarly I can give you some pretty good reasons why it is wrong to hate people based on the colour of their skin. It is not just a random rule or principle --there are logical and ethical reasons behind it.

    Female genital mutilation? I can tell you why that is wrong. Gender discrimination? I can tell you why that is wrong too. Persecuting people for their religious beliefs? Invading a dictatorship? Corporal punishment? I can tell you why all these things are wrong. And it won't involve some deity having told me so, or warm fuzzy feelings, or spurious arguments about the size of women's brains or archaic arbitrary societal norms.

    Freedom of speech and thought? I can tell you why those are good things. Same with social welfare, national health, human rights, law and order; I can rationally argue for all of them.

    The difference between a fundamentalist and a rationalist (that would be people like you and me) is that fundamentalists just believe that This Is How It Is because [insert deity here] told us so and you cannot argue with it; while rationalists can tell you why things are the way they are because it makes rational sense, and if you put up a better rational argument they are happy to revise their ideas.

    Or as they said in Dogma: don't have beliefs. Have ideas.

    In those cases (as my post states) other people: medics, judges and independent advocates may indeed decide for them. It has happened. But just because in a society we cannot be entirely free to do what we want does not mean that we should be bound by arbitrary rules. Whether a child is treated against the parents' will is not decided on arbitrary rules either.
     
  18. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Why assume the responsibility for the problem, i.e. why worry about "defining extremism"? Could you legitimise extremism if you defined it? I guess some people could and I guess we would call them extremists.

    Are they wrong? Yes, to me. No, to their sympathisers.

    Are their views acceptable in our society? No. Absolutely not, under any circumstances. To me, that is. Of course, their views and means will be acceptable to others.

    So, what do we do? I don't know, and I don't have the answer maybe the OP is looking for.

    But, I know right from wrong, and I don't feel the need to define these values. If someone is unsure of the difference between right and wrong, f**k them. They have no place in society, and I have no interest in their views, wants or needs.

    What do we do with them?

    Again, I don't know, but I don't feel the need to account for them or take responsibility for them or their views. Regrettably society seems to feel the need to accommodate these people. We don't and we shouldn't.
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2010
  19. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Since I'm still up and feeling strongly about this...

    "Every child in the UK going to school should be taught a secular non-denominational education and not be allowed to discriminate who can join either through religious denomination or a curriculum that is skewed in a particular direction".

    You're arguing for common sense and a neutral platform. I agree entirely, but with reservations! I also extrapolate this principle to everyday life, business, the arts, the media, economics, etc... I'm totally for unregulated free "markets" in all walks of life. IMHO a completely open and free economic market will (eventually) render everyone equally empowered. Unfortunately that model isn't particularly compatible with socialism, benefits, a welfare state, the NHS, etc... in the short term, which most governments are interested in.

    Back on topic, regrettably by imposing our views however, we are also denying those with contrary views their right to send their child to a faith school, which is their right as a parent. That doesn't square with me.

    So, what do we do?

    Again, I don't know, however again I don't accept the responsibility for solving the problem. That's what I pay governments for. If I don't like their position I vote for someone else.
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    So you are saying:
    • Defining or examining the problem legitimises it.
    • It is not my responsibility to have to deal with it --that's what higher powers are for.
    • I feel what is right and wrong; I don't need to examine or define these values.
    • If they don't think the way I feel they should, they have no place in this society and they can **** off.
    Fundamentalist much? :p

    I also have to call you on your beliefs about unregulated free markets. The idea that they eventually lead to equal empowerment is unsubstantiated and flies in the face of all evidence (been following the news lately at all?!?) --and seems to come from someone who has never seen real deprivation up close. For starters: it defines people' power in terms of their economic productivity (not their value as human beings). Not everybody can be equally economically productive: the elderly, the sick and infirm, the physically and mentally disabled. So what power do they have?

    The reason that governments are forced to implement welfare and national health is because a fully free market economy does not work. The British NHS, for instance is six times cheaper than the American free market health care system, for equal and sometimes better health outcomes.

    Seriously, you sound like a Sun reader. "I know what's right and wrong, I don't need to examine my opinions, I don't need to understand others' and if they disagree with me they can eff off. The government should solve society's problems --it is not my responsibility. But at the same time I want them to back off, do nothing and let market forces sort it out.

    Jeez. You contradict even yourself. There is no coherence to your reasoning. You barely reason at all.
     
    Last edited: 27 Nov 2010

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