What made me think of this topic was another discussion that has been going on here about white males.
Here's my opinion; We as white males, specifically who live in the United States, are in the highest position of power and more importantly comfort than any other group or demographic definitely in the country and arguably in the world. We rarely feel discomfort or to put it more succinctly, we rarely feel the discomfort of the "other". The discomfort of the woman or the person of color or the immigrant are three that stick out in my mind. I'm sure there are others. We do not get looked at differently because of our skin or or body type or the way we dress. We are not judged because of these attributes or characteristics. We rarely feel the wrath of stereotyping we so often put on others. So when we hear anger from persons of color, immigrants or women, instead of reacting, we need to step back and listen. The burden is on us. Whether we like it or not, racism and misogyny is very much built into our society and we need to take the responsibility to deal with it more than any other group.
So for all white males out there, I challenge you, think before you react. Take the role of the other. Most importantnly, put yourself in situations of discomfort as much as possible. Attend an event that you are the minority, not the majority and see how you feel. This is our burden.
My question to you is; do you think this is our role to take? Do you think this is important? How do you, as a white male, see what your role or responsibility is in your society, United States or otherwise?
Stop! I'm crying with laughter! You are so far removed from making sense it is beyond belief. A majority of Europeans are not atheists, just like the 36% of Yukoners (highest frequency in Canada) state themselves as non religious, but they completely shy away from the word atheist, because everybody is playing Pascal's Wager, most people who pay lip service to "rationality" are but godless Faithers in disguise. You place your Faith in Christian values (western) and secularity, which is an illusion. When a church going person votes, they vote religious. This is the cost of democracy, a religious voter votes for a religious candidate.
Lesson: Canada is not secular, nor are most Western countries. Most countries simply have not been laundering their religious wars publicly because most, until now, have not been put under cultural strain. France is a perfect example of a previously homogeneous country which claimed it was secular. But in truth, they are generally catholic, but since there were no public discords, it was easy to pretend they had secularity. But now that Islam is knocking at the door, suddenly the catholic reflexes are resurfacing, just as if they'd always been, because they have always been.
The only concept you question is a sky-bound god, but you question none of all the cultural attributes which came about under that reign... that is naive at best, ... and at worst disingenuous.
I'm sorry - but if you don't think Canada, the United States, or rest of the west is secular - you are living in a delusion and a fairy tale and you have no idea what the word secular means.
And again, you fail to realize we had a scientific enlightenment which changed the foundations of western thought and the western world. Enjoy your delusions.
"A majority of Europeans are not atheists"
Whoa! There's less (read: a helluva lot less) social stigma attached as labelling yourself as an Atheist or Agnostic than as a Theist of any denomination over here. People who "go religious" usually have to come out at some point.They stick out like sore thumbs at any event because you have to not offend them. Even Italians limit their continual usage of dio porco when one of the rare remaining Catholics are around.
Even the state employed priests we have here, which are "under paid" according to their trade union which routinely threaten a 'strike of the priests'(!), are usually just people with a a Masters in Theology who's looking for a real job. ;)
We nationalized the Church when we nationalized the government. Then we went for a bit of persecution of the religious minorities and millions of insane people were exiled to North America. (Not the proudest moment in our history, but.. oh well, it's bygones already.) Popular delusions, if they must exist, should be as similar as possible.
An example: I never knew my only cousin was a Catholic, until he "came out" at my grandfathers funeral. It was considered intrusive and people (including the priest) shrug their heads at it afterwards. My grand uncles lambasted him for it at the celebration. Religion doesn't belong out in public.
Albert - exactly. We have exactly those same studies in the UK: change the name or gender of an applicant for a job - worse outcome foreigners, muslims and women. No question about disabled people either: the statistics are very clear. Studies of health outcomes of people going through exactly the same treatments in our same free health system show that treatments are worse applied (ie incorrect diagnosis, less follow up) for black and asian people than they are for white people. To suggest that observing this is racist (see above) is the clearest piece of ignorant privilege I've seen.
It is truly depressing that when these issues are raised the old MRA defence jumps out in force with anecdote against evidence, with victim blaming against understanding, ad-hominem against reasoned argument. If this is the response on thinkatheist....we are pretty screwed.
When I was reviewing applications for the position of security guard, we would usually weed out the Ali's, Mohammed's, and double Norwegian names such as Roy Johnny or Bjarne Andreas, as our statistics showed they had around 3-4x the sickleave absence (avg. around 20%) and worked around 25% less hours overall. The real process of elimination was never to call anyone with more than 5 grammatical errors on their CV to an interview unless they had fulfilled military service. Our major issue with muslim employees was violence against drug addicts and theft from customers.
If you had an Indian, SE Asian, Eastern European or Swedish name, you would usually be hired without interview as we had only positive experiences. These ethnic groups are widely percieved as being much more dutiful workers than ethnic Norwegians.
Where do minorities blame white males for the own lack of effort? Straw man 1. Their own lack of achievement. Straw man 2. Their own lack of drive (did you think abotu what you were writing for just one second?). Straw man 3. Their own lack of will power to succeed. Straw man 4.
The fact that you have 'thought about it' doesn't mean you get it. Patrticularly going in with the closed minded attitude you seeme to have. The way to understand this point - invisible to white males if you are one? is to talk to people who are in those minorities. I have never heard any of them blame white males for their ills - even when pretty perceptive. They definitely blame the structures created and maintained by white males. But I have never heard that I am part of a deliberate, conscious conspiracy to keep them down.
You have missed the points of the argument significantly and badly misrepresented those you are trying to argue with. Could you correct that?
No - white males are the ones who are now openly discriminated upon - there is an institutionalized racism against the white man sadly.
Jimmy, haven't you learned from Europe's mistakes? Europe learned from their failed policies of multiculturalism in that it only continued oppression and segregation by the minority groups (Muslims) due to such mindset as yours. It was a long learning curve but it seems like you are starting out when the Europeans already learned their failures in such erroneous mindsets.
There are plenty of poor whites in America to compare them to poor blacks - there is not an institutionalized racism in America against minorities in gaining university admissions - the institutionalized racism is against whitey.
Sassan: this debate is utterly pointless. You are determined not to understand and to misrepresent me. A better example of privilege it has been my rare sadness to come across (though I've met plenty of smug successful immigrant children who don't see privilege).
If you want to continue to represent this debate as about racism against white people, well...really - nothing more to say. If you really think that being born white in the US is equal to being born black, on average. Again nothing more to say. Such utterly wilfull ignorance cannot be overcome.
And believe me (just for once): I strongly believe that the way out of cultural and economic poverty for European minority groups is likely to be found in rejecting much of their culture baggage. I hate much of the UK Muslim culture for example - just as I hate much of West Afrrican culture with it's shit values and low expectations, and misogyny and hierarchical abuse bullshit. I am totally not politically correct here. Screw their culture: it's abusive and keeps whole populations in poverty. How we get any progress on that is the question that I am concerned with.
Your analysis of European history is utterly woeful (and privileged) too, but no need to go there: the goal posts will just move and you will presumably not address the issues and repeat the same distractions, for another 24 hours.
When I say: this has nothing to do with racism, why do you continue to suggest I think it does? If you can make the link between in-built privilege and racism, fill your boots. But you haven't and think that repeating the same completely off the mark prejudices somehow contributes? I am so sorry that people are racist about you Sassan, the son of successful business people and a successful busines community. Couldn't we learn what it is about your community that made it successful and see if we could apply some of that to other groups who are not so successful?
Isn't the topic inherently racism against white people? I think that is what this topic is, racist.
It is the year 2011 my friend - if you are a smart and ambitious African American - you can create opportunities for yourself to be successful. Many African Americans have - this is a time of reason, logic, and progress. Not giving excuses for past grievances which are a thing of the past.
I am glad to here you speaking out against barbaric cultural practices. That made me happy and made me gain some respect for you (although I am sure that doesn't mean anything for you).
I have been to Europe - and I plan to move to the U.K. for my Ph.D.
The reason why I continue to say it has to do with racism is because you are singling the white man out - which inherently is racist in itself. And you stated yourself that your family members supported some political white figures you disdain. I truly ask you: do you think this has to do with your guilt in regards to that situation?
And no, I have never experienced racism in California.
And I have stated why it is that Persians are successful and well off in the United States and all of Europe: because we don't use excuses to hold ourselves down. We have a strong culture (I know I have been in the U.S. since I was 3 - although having spent considerable amounts of time in Iran) but most importantly - we don't put ourselves in a state of learned helplessness. I truly mean this. This is not some gibberish in trying to distract the issue. I used to be for affirmative action - when it was necessary - it is no longer necessary. It is not right to punish someone like Arcus who received higher test scores than the minorities who were accepted due to their race/status. In fact, this creates lower standards in society - as the best qualified candidate was not accepted.
Isn't the topic inherently racism against white people? I think that is what this topic is, racist.
Not really, though I suppose it's arguable. Even if so, it's marginal. A certain level of prejudice is inevitable in life. While I do believe in equality, there are still cultural issues based off of things like skin colour. The OP didn't create these issues; he merely observed them and is commenting on them.
'Racist' is a loaded term. It carries the weight of abuse, disdain, or unwarranted discrimination. I don't really see that as the case here. If 'racist' is being used in the sense of that which deals with race, well, that was established in the premise of the thread, so it's kind of a superfluous statement.
It is the year 2011 my friend - if you are a smart and ambitious African American - you can create opportunities for yourself to be successful.
The whole point is that, in reality, there are near irreconcilable discrepancies between the opportunities some are born into weighed against the average person. In my opinion, this is not strictly a matter of race, but this doesn't mean that there are no racial components. I don't know where the balance lies or what the correct solution is, but I do know that the dialogue is never going to get anywhere if it degrades into, "You're a racist", "No, you're a racist".