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VII- HD: colonialism at work. 
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DWill wrote:
Penelope, Yes, it does seem to be true that certainty and conviction in matters of religion turn out to be destructive in one way or another. I wonder why this is, because certainty & conviction seem to be good things when not coupled with religion. I'm all for watered-down faith, too, if faith must exist. But that is anathema to believers, of course. Will

What a conundrum this is. The problem, as I see it, is that many faithful people are dogmatic about things that are simply false, such as the virgin birth. When our system is built upon a lie, it is rather like the statue described by Daniel with feet of clay. This is destructive. However, it should be possible to begin with scientifically verified statements and work from there to assess what religious claims are compatible. My belief system, which I know seems far-fetched, seeks to apply this approach. I think Will is correct that fervour about falsity is destructive



Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:19 am
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Post Penelope, DWill and Robert Tulip about religious belief
Please continue the very interesting discussion you started about religious belief on this thread, using the following link :)

http://www.booktalk.org/post30989.html#30989

(HD thread)


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Last edited by Ophelia on Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:46 am
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Sorry Ophelia, it is too easy to veer away from the subject at hand. I would rather if possible try to relate comments on religion to HD. Looking back over this thread, it seems the fact that the humanity of the Africans had an almost revelatory quality to Marlow inspired the comparison with religion. Falsity can be a powerful inspiration, as without a set of false convictions (Yeats' 'passionate intensity') the whole colonial enterprise would have foundered in uncertainty. Racism was an essential motivating rationale. Without the underlying fundamentalist beliefs in European superiority and divine right of conquest (Honi Soit) it would have been hard to ignore the clinking of the chains. For those raised with an assumption of cultural relativism an absolutist outlook seems utterly evil, whereas the absolutist sees the relativist as insipid and incapable of action.



Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:08 am
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OK Robert, I'll leave the thread for religious belief in HD then, having two at this stage would be confusing.

So the link is:http://www.booktalk.org/post30989.html#30989


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Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:40 am
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Sorry Ophelia

We shall try to keep to the topic.

:rant:



Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:25 am
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Penelope - have you ever read the story of North America's 'pilgrim'?

She was an middle-aged woman who just picked up and left her home - went walking for peace - they called her 'Peace Pilgrim'.

I've never seen anything that tells what her real name was.

I was inspired by her story . . . here's the link to it right here:

http://www.peacepilgrim.net/book/index.htm

-----------------------------

Penelope wrote:
The Africans - chains clinking behind him- shadowy figures, dying slowly..the old Africa....perhaps

The were not a threat.....to Marlow's eyes they were shadows of the past system. 'But they were still Men' - He says this like a revelation!!

To the explorers and plunderers - the Africans were just a nuisance....like the Jews in Germany were a nuisance to Hitler's plans - so he called them 'Dogs'. In Brazil now, there a children who live in the sewers and scavenge and they call them 'Rats' (this issue is being addressed - I understand). When we start to call groups of people by the names of animals it is always a warning sign. But Marlow realises, 'they were Men'.

The Pilgrims - even today a 'foot' pilgrim in Europe still carries a staff. If. you visit Santiago Di Compostella in Northern Spain - you can still see pilgrims with staffs who have walked across Europe, through Avignon in France. I like to visit places of pilgrimage myself - but I don't walk all the way.

Eldorado - means Land of Gold - which says it all really - Pilgrims are not meant to be seeking Gold......

Shades of 'The American Dream' here......as in 'The Great Gatsby' I think.



Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:00 am
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Will, I think there's too much put into our heads about 'blending' . . . when I was thirteen (it was the year 1956), I was in Florida . . . my father, being a CNR man (railway) took us all down there on the train - we rode free, of course.

Dad was a truck driver for the CNR - it was called 'CN Express' - he didn't actually work on the trains. Our pass entitled us to take one trip 'out of the country', meaning to the 'States' per year. Guess we could have gone farther - South America, maybe - dunno'.

Anyway, that was the only time we ever went that far on the train - Dad liked driving and wasn't one to go to 'foreign places'.

I myself, at 13, hadn't seen too many negro people - there were some here in Toronto at that time - most of them lived downtown - I was raised in the 'Beaches' - east end of the city.

I was fascinated with the black people down south - I'd met so many and seen so many on the train going down there, and at places where we stopped for a couple of hours.

When we arrived at our hotel in Miami, my mother was told to speak to me -seems I wasn't supposed to be socializing with the hotels porter - we don't do that here, ma'am, the hotel manager told my mother.

I wasn't supposed to be hanging around the staff's children outside their rooms either.

That first day, I got into all kinds of trouble - I went in the water at 'tide time' when nobody was supposed to be on the beach! Oh, that was thrilling - I actually experienced what is now called 'body surfing' - ha ha!
Just as I thought a wave was never going to let me go, I was plunked back on the sand gasping for air.

One of the beach house attendants promptly marched me back into the hotel - my parents were furious, of course!

I made friends with the other hotel guests, and some down by the pier - first boyfriend and all - he was 14 and his brother was an 'older' guy - all of 17.

We were there about 3 weeks - when we got on the train to go home, I made friends with a black girl - she'd been outside the washroom in our car, as the one in hers was in use, with others waiting.

We talked about the thing all 13 year old girls talk about - boys - and I got her to come and sit with me.

My parents weren't worried about it. Till the conductor came along and said to my Dad - your daughter's friend will have to go back to her car - we don't do that here, sir!

My father was furious - he told him he was an employee of the Canadian Railway and all that - but it didn't make any difference. If the girl didn't move, she'd be put off at the next stop.

I was so angry - I had no idea that there were places in the world where you weren't allowed to socialize with somebody because of colour.

Hadn't all the pictures I'd seen in my Sunday School books, showed a mix of colours? Weren't the children sitting at the feet of Jesus different colours? We were taught in Sunday School to respect people who were different, the blacks, the yellows and the reds.

I wasn't impressed with Southern America, lemme' tell ya'.

-----------------------------




DWill wrote:
We talk about the assimilationist ethic in the U.S., how supposedly it is greater than what operates in Europe/UK. One thing that so upsets people here is the preference ethnic groups appear to show for not "blending in" as much as groups did in the past. The melting pot is sometimes mocked now by multiculturists, but I have to say that I still believe that national identity should be maintained and should supercede whatever ethnic affiliation we also want to maintain.



Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:34 am
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Pen . . . that doesn't mean you're a 'racist' - it means that you don't like the smell of rotten garbage and you have every right to protest same.

It isn't because they're Asian - it's because the garbage smells.

I notice fruit stores here (that are mostly owned by Asian people) smell awful outside on garbage night.

In Chinatown - hoo boy! What a smell as you go past some of the stalls!

----------------------------


Penelope wrote:
Right DWill.....this is me being racist....but honest....and with great affection.....

Those Asians.....they are a bit of a nuisance in that.....they don't dispose of their rubbish correctly.....Well they don't have refuse collections in India....because they don't have that much refuse....they use everything.

They paint their houses....in the most lurid colours....not with quiet good taste....as we were taught.......because colour is very important to the Asian people.......it cheers them up!!!

And for such trivial reasons.....we condemn them and alienate them.... because they don't do things the way we do......and thus...there is hatred and alienation.....and those who seek to divide us.....have a potentially powerful tool. And I believe, unfortunately, that there are those on both sides who seek to divide....and weaken.

Ophelia....knows more about this than I do.....read her Journal.



Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:40 am
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The discussion on religion here gets very interesting - good idea making the separate thread.

I haven't delved into that thread far - I wanted to see where it began (here) first.

Now I know.



Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:51 am
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Carly,

I have just read the several posts you have written here, with great interest.

I loved what you wrote about your "railway" holiday to the States.

I've read some of the pages from the Peace Pilgrim site. Perhaps you should also post that link in one of the discussions about religion, I think the participants would be interested.


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Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:25 am
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