a reply to: The angel of light
Thanks for another interesting reply.
I really find our discussions fascinating.
Firstly I feel that materialism is also a part of the human condition, and there's a small but growing movement who are against this tendency to blame
everything on the West.
Ironically a lot of anti-Western thought (or occidentalism) actually originates in the West.
But since the West has developed democracy and freedom of speech, that critique is welcome.
I wouldn't try such social critique in communist countries, sharia-controlled regions, or African monarchies and dictatorships.
Most of these non-Western systems also don't allow much, or any freedom of religion.
Try spreading Taoism or Krishna Consciousness on the streets of Saudi Arabia, or the Islamic Sate (as you could do in any Western city) and see what
Critique should come from all sides, before we promote something really evil in the name of being "anti-Western".
At least speaking from South Africa, I'm seeing our rhinos stripped for consumption in non-Western countries, like Vietnam, for traditional Eastern
Same with the pangolin for Asian foods, lion bones for medicine, and live big cats for the exotic pet craze amongst multi-millionaires in the Islamic
Never even mind the fish, the poor sharks (harvested for their fins for Asian cooking), our abalone - all done by non-Western countries.
Meanwhile, in "horrible" old Western Europe, the forests are growing back, and I've seen debates on native species like boars and bears moving back
close to towns.
No, the West has got many things right, it's the non-Western world that needs severe criticism.
I've seen Western people standing and dancing in the streets from dawn till dusk to collect money for their non-Western gurus.
Meanwhile many of these gurus are literally sitting on golden thrones, and have collected huge personal wealth.
Then I see African monarchs and dictators ripping-off their countries and people, and in South Africa the corruption of the ruling ANC is legendary,
all while they keep up an anti-Western discourse as a smoke-screen.
I see how hundreds of thousands have fled fighting between Sunnis and Shiites (non-Western sects).
I see how hundreds of thousands have fled Eritrea, where the population is forced into gulags under the pretense of "national service".
Eritrea is part of the African Union and an observer in the Arab League, but where do people flee to? - that "horrible" old Western Europe (not the
closer Arab countries).
And Europe tries to save them and take them in, out of sheer human kindness, while non-Western smugglers traffic them.
Slavery (which the British empire stopped in Africa) is still rife in Islamic parts of the world, and there are millions of slaves, and while the
majority of Muslims are not in any in favor of slavery, there are Islamic clerics who support it.
Name me one Western church that endorses slavery today?
The world has gone topsy-turvy, and the biggest polluters and human rights abusers are enabled with anti-Western sentiments that are complete
Where do the green movements, modern conservation and pressure groups for indigenous peoples (like Survival International) come from?
That horrible old West off course.
Where do pensioners get begging letters to fight starvation in far off lands, because they are known to be caring and generous?
Definitely in Europe.
Not to generalize about all Chinese people (especially not our local, historic community) but the Chinese are often called the "new colonists" in
I've seen an influx of Fujien Province Chinese since 2006, and if ever there was a greedy, money-grabbing culture who abuse their workers, sell
rubbish goods (at no refund), and corrupt everything it is them.
So don't tell me about "Western materialism", when non-Western greed is destroying us.
As far as hormones are concerned in the environment, yes, that should be a matter of concern.
I'm skeptical whether hormones can cause people to feel transgender or homosexual (as some also allege).
When aversion therapy was still common in the West (as it still is in some non-Western countries today) hormones failed to change sexual orientation
or gender identity.
It just messed up people who didn't want to change their bodies.
The famous gay mathematician Alan Turing, for example, was forced into aversion therapy, and he was given hormones that caused him to grow breasts,
until he committed suicide.
Apart from that, people who might be considered "transgender" today have been around for a very long time.
The hijras in India, for example, have their own deities, and they traditionally not only dressed like women, but were also castrated.
That's one of many non-Western examples one could mention.
Modern egalitarian homosexual relationships were actually pretty rare, and in many societies the feminine partner was considered "gay", but the
masculine partner was regarded as "straight" (no matter what the sexual orientation).
Many studies in African townships here suggest this is still the case.
I believe Caitlyn regards herself as still straight, which means she's a lesbian?
Not for me to say, and we'll see what happens.
She will still have a tension between masculine and feminine qualities as a trans-woman, as we all do anyway.
Being transgender is a huge step, and I doubt that because it's more visible tons of people will be doing it just because of Caitlyn.
However, as far as minors and adolescents go, I find it immoral to intervene in someone's development like that.
For example, when I was younger I was a lot more feminine, and with the wrong psychiatrist I could have been misdiagnosed as transgender.
There was a time when it was considered better to pressure a gay person to change gender, rather than having a homosexual in society. I'm sure some
still hold that bias, for example in Iran, but also probably elsewhere.
Unless it's an inter-sex person who was wrongly categorized as an infant, they should wait for surgery and hormones until at least 18 or 21.
Well, at that age it's their own choice.
There have been cases of people who want their former gender back, and never mind the surgical risks at such a young age.
On the other hand, truly transgender people also face a lot of discrimination, and some claim they only did it later in life because their parents
were now dead, their kids were independent, and they were finally free to go ahead with the process.
That also speaks of a lot of sacrifice, consideration and a great soul.
No, I've been so disappointed by anti-Western movements who bear nothing but bad fruit.
I'd rather go back to the gods of my European ancestors (that's Odin on my avatar), which is also a bit romantic and pre-modern, but I'm no longer
ashamed to be Western, and nobody can convince me we are worse than any other part of the planet.
That's a joke compared to what is actually happening.
In fact, that's occidentalist cultural chauvinism, and even racism against the indigenous people of Europe.
Sure discuss materialism, but not just "Western materialism".
edit on 9-6-2015 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)