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Patriotism is dangerous
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Post Patriotism is dangerous 


I believe patriotism and religion are the two most dangerous threats to peaceful human existence. Patriots tend to believe maxims such as "my country right or wrong." People of one religion tend to believe their religion is the best, and all others are somewhat inferior. Patriotism and religion are the causes of almost all wars. Why, if I live in Philadelphia, should I feel a greater kinship with someone in Oregon than someone in Budapest? Why, if I go to a methodist church, do I think the episcopal doctrine has some fundamental flaws?


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Post Jerk! 


Patriotism is what has built every good thing we humans have ever created. The act of working togther for the common good is the most ancient and beneficial practice in human history. Pride is also an important part of our own self image. Being proud of one's school, state, and country is an important and healthy part of our mental health.


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Post True vs False Patriotism 


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Ricky Rick,

You gotta do your homework. Webster defines Patriotism as: "Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one's country." What could be wrong with that? What about that says anything about "my country right or wrong"?

William Samuel Johnson said "Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels." But it is clear from his positive statements about patriotism that he was addressing the concept of false patriotism. Warmongers who wave the flag and demand unquestioning loyalty are the scoundrels. Those who follow them may just be naive.

"Why, if I live in Philadelphia, should I feel a greater kinship with someone in Oregon than someone in Budapest?" Duh. Because you speak the same language, eat similar foods, watch similar TV shows, pay the same taxes, listen to similar music. Because you are both Americans! If you feel a greater kinship with Hungarians, then move there.

"Why, if I go to a methodist church, do I think the episcopal doctrine has some fundamental flaws?" Well, if you don't think Methodist doctrine is superior to that of Episcopals, then become an Episcopalian. You ought to attend a church that upholds your doctrine.

Actually, it is my faith that builds kinships with those of other nations, other tongues, other cultures, some within our own borders, and keeps me from wanting to war with those who are different.


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Post Homework 


Howdy Non,

Uh, I am an american, but I do not speak english frequently, I do not watch the same shows as most americans, I certainly eat different foods than most americans, I don't actually listen to music, but I do pay taxes to the IRS. I don't think I'm so unusual either, as one of the cool things about america is the fact that we are one of the least culturally homogenous countries on the planet.
Personally, I feel a great kinship with all humans, and with all beings for that matter.

I suppose these days that patriotism as a concept has been pretty well pre-opted by the scoundrels. If someone announces that they are a patriot, we can be pretty sure they are probably one of the type that considers their country superior.
Politics is seldom a win-win proposition, and "devotion to the welfare of one's country" usually implies that in any given transaction, the patriot would prefer that their country be on the winning side, and have little regard for the possibility that the other country involved would be on the losing side.

The word patriotism is a bit like the word "faggot." There may be a definition in the dictionary, but the real world significance of the word is different. These days, a patriot is certainly understood to be a military action favoring, unquestioningly prideful person. Notwithstanding the fact the Webster defines "faggot" as a bundle of small branches, most people use that word as a reference to a homosexual.


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Post Re: Jerk! 


Hsu-G wrote:
Patriotism is what has built every good thing we humans have ever created. The act of working togther for the common good is the most ancient and beneficial practice in human history. Pride is also an important part of our own self image. Being proud of one's school, state, and country is an important and healthy part of our mental health.


Pride goeth before the fall.

Its being a humanitarian that has done all those good things. There is no need for pride of any kind, the task is done out of good will. Doing something to make yourself feel better about anything is just wearing a mask over the evil you do on a regular basis. If you helped people on a regular basis pride would wash away and it would be a common occurance, if you're an asshole 90% of the time then suddenly give a hobo a dollar you really feel accomplished. Kind of sucks but there's humanity for you.


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Post Bundle of Sticks 


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Well Rick,

You got me. I thought somebody might trip me up on that, because there are so many foods, TV shows, and types of music that one can partake of. But as to language, your diction is so excellent, that I would not have thought English would flow rarely off your lips. May I be so bold to ask: What is your common language?

You wrote: "I suppose these days that patriotism as a concept has been pretty well pre-opted by the scoundrels. If someone announces that they are a patriot, we can be pretty sure they are probably one of the type that considers their country superior."

I agree there. I would like my country to be superior. I would prefer that the United States be an example, a beacon of hope to the oppressed people of the world, but it is not. We have a theoretical foundation--the U.S. Constitution--that stands above the founding documents of many other nations. But in practice, our government ignores that foundation, and has become despotic, especially through its military interventions. There are superior countries, and I have considered the benefits of exile, but that would be to give up the fight.

Faggot. Yes, I know that definition. You make a good point. So much of language is co-opted by those in power. Ability to dissent is being weakened by the destruction of the language. We are on the path to Orwellian Newspeak.


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Cheshire,

And a man can learn to walk on all fours and live amongst wolves, but he will be eaten.


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“And he made it clear in other places that someone who considers religion or nation an important human category is in danger of severing the heart from its ability to act compassionately.”

Coleman Barks, The Essential Rumi

Ethics is, in a sense, a matter of who's in and who's out. Everyone who's in is to be protected from everyone on the outside. In the most extreme case, someone who cares only for him/herself has an ethics which justifies doing anything to anyone who threatens their well-being in any way. Nationalists draw the circle more widely, including their fellow citizens in the sphere of protection. Humanists take a more global approach. The truly spiritual consider all life to be part of their group, their side, their own.

This is why, for example, the God of the Old Testament could say, sure, go ahead and slaughter all the men, women and children of your enemy -- they're not The Chosen People. All I'm saying is that the narrower our circles of inclusion, the more conflict there will be.


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Post God doesn't play favorites 


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Numbalum.
You got one thing wrong. God never did any "slaughter" on people just because they weren't "The Chosen People." He was always ready to welcome those not "chosen," if they sought truth and forsook evil. That is the principle of welcoming the sojourner.

In Deuteronomy 9:4, Moses conveys the words of God: "Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,' whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you." (my emphasis.)

One example of the wicknedness that God used his "chosen" to eliminate: Moloch worship, part of which was sacrificing babies by burning them alive.


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Post you show me your bible, i'll show you mine 


here's the sort of thing i had in mind in describing the tribal ethics of the ancient Israelites (from the King James Version). please note that my intention is not to single out or bash anyone, but rather to suggest that any insider-outsider ethics exposes itself to demonizing the Other.

1 Samuel 15:2-3

2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

Numbers 31:2, 17-18
Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites...
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Deuteronomy 20:13-17
And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, [even] all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities [which are] very far off from thee, which [are] not of the cities of these nations. But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee [for] an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; [namely], the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee


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I don't want to get into proof texting, and if I started it, sorry. But there were some really nasty people in "the Promised Land," and it is difficult for us, in this culture of "treating" "offenders" rather than punishing criminals, to conceive of a culture so tainted by evil that God wanted them all wiped out.

But I would be hesitant to accuse Almighty God of "insider-outsider" anything.



_________________________________________________________
"The only thing that interfered with my education was my education."
NonPartisan


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Maybe it's just semantics, but I think that patriotism only becomes dangerous when it grows into nationalism. Patriotism is someone fighting for a country they believe in. Nationalism is someone believing in their country blindly. Patriotism brings about good change like the American revolution or the French revolution. Nationalism brings about things like World War I and the Cold War.


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is it just me, or has everything beautiful been tainted by human description? as a species we tend to overanalyze and justify that which makes us feel better. whether it be a worthy cause or an unnecessary fear. why not just observe and be free?
"those that talk don't know, those that know don't talk." lao tzu


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Non-Partisan,
You said:
"Actually, it is my faith that builds kinships with those of other nations, other tongues, other cultures, some within our own borders, and keeps me from wanting to war with those who are different."
Aren't you the same person who posted the article on wanting to "kick black butt"? I would say that you certainly are trying to go to war with those who are different than you.

One of the most redeeming things about America is it's diversity. Patriotism, in theory, is pride in your heritage. In America, we all come from different cultural backgrounds. Diversity is to be celebrated but the American version of Patriotism is just a euphemism for Nationalism. It is used to alienate those not like ourselves and for some reason that has come to include our fellow AMERICAN CITIZENS.


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