Saturday, 28 April 2012

What's the problem with multiculturalism?

Some people like it. Some people hate it. I am just trying to figure out what it is.

If my neighbour came from a different country and cooks her rice in a different way, I am curious. Can I learn that? If she likes wearing unusual clothes, I am curious: I like ethnic fashion. If she looks very different from locals, as an artist, I am very curious. Could there seriously be any problem?

The problems arise when there is a religion involved. Maybe she wears a scarf all the time (or goes to a temple, never goes to doctors, prays, don't eat duck meat, etc). Maybe she thinks that it is right, good, proper thing to do and ones who don't do that are sinners, infidels, heretics, condemned? Neighbours will read this in her eyes - or just imagine they read it, but, anyway, this will be a wedge between them.

In my personal opinion, it is very difficult for a large number of believers to accept others, ones who don't believe in their gods. "Non-Christians can't do good deeds". "If they are not baptised in the Orthodox Church they will burn in Hell forever". "Their view of the world is wrong". "Demons tell them what to say". I've heard it all. Funny enough, their sacred books are on their side.

I think the very idea of multiculturalism is just a response to the last hiccups of religion. The only serious things which make living side by side for peoples from different cultures really difficult, are their believes. Believes in religious (also maybe ethnic or class) supremacy. Of course, there are cases of anti-social behaviour but "neighbours from Hell" don't need to be of different culture - every one has got their own lot. Majority of people no matter where from, by their social nature, will want to comply with neighbours, not terrorise them.

One can learn to overcome ones nationalistic or class pride. Yet every popular religion says it is the only true one, so this supremacy lies in its root. One either gives up all or the most of ones religious system - to live in real peace, to enjoy real friendship - or one forever looks at strangers suspiciousely...

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

So offended...

I actually think freedom of speech and expression means people should grow over being offended by what others think or say. Just ignore them or laugh at them. I feel it is religious fanatics and nationalists who get offended the most - so why we should join them? People should be allowed to ridicule them freely if they want to and also to explain freely why they are wrong. I think the open discussion is always better than kindergarten-ish, immature "I'm offended and I'm reporting you" attitude. In some cases ignoring somebody may work wonders. Imagine a preacher screaming on a street corner "You'll go to Hell if you don't listen to me!" And nobody even turn his or her head... That's humiliation.

Words "stupid", "ugly", "fat" are very offending. Would they be banned one day? At the moment its looks like the most important is the size of minority somebody has offended. If its negligible or powerless to protest - its OK...

All this charges for inciting violence and even just hatred... It is peoples choice what to say. It is your choice either plunge yourself into hatred and violence because of what you heard - or not. It is your personal responsibility.

I think kids should be educated to think free, to try to understand others, to count possible consequences of their own actions.  Not to be afraid to be persecuted for saying something offencive to somebody else. There is no freedom, no free thinking in that. And if you have an opinion there almost always will be somebody offended by it.