Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Daedelus_Kite
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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Daedelus_Kite » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:21 pm

Interesting topic and I agree with your sentiment. Whatever functional purpose such psychological-insecurity-derived tribalisms and prejudices may have served in the historical development of human societies and cultures have surely now long since been invalidated. I repudiate xenophobia and all of its ignorance-borne, fear-bound ilk. I am no philosopher by academic standards but I strongly believe that this is a stand worth taking and that rational, intelligent responses to the fear-driven narratives of hate are our best tools to educate, disprove and (at least partially) eradicate this ideological scourge

spike
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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by spike » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:50 pm

On seeing this article on xenophobia I had an imaginary thought: Does xenophobia add to the chaos of the world or does it do the opposite in some pushback way?

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:33 pm

Are we going politically correct here? Is there going to be a 5k run for the cure? How about a ribbon? What colour? Are Daleks still allowed to be xenophobic, through a grandfathering clause? Can we still be xenodisliking, a watered-down version? And can I have a coffee first, before we come to any major conclusions, here?

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Nick_A » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:57 pm

Thinkers Against Xenophobia will just result in nice conversations, good scotch, and maybe getting someone into bed. Expecting anything more is naive. Since we are as we are, everything remains as it regardless of the finest speeches.

Xenophobia is just an exaggeration of normal human concerns and the need for prestige. If people wanted to outgrow it, they would have to agree with the depth of Simone Weil's observation and become capable of it. That won't happen. The need for prestige based on external conditions would deny the necessary humility so would never allow it

"The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.

Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.
This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings. Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality. Whoever in fact does not feel this respect is alien to that other reality also." ~ Simone Weil

Dalek Prime
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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Dalek Prime » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:09 pm

spike wrote:On seeing this article on xenophobia I had an imaginary thought: Does xenophobia add to the chaos of the world or does it do the opposite in some pushback way?
I need more imaginary thoughts. The real ones do me no good.

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Nick_A » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:15 pm

Spike wrote:
On seeing this article on xenophobia I had an imaginary thought: Does xenophobia add to the chaos of the world or does it do the opposite in some pushback way?
I think you are confusing Xenophobia with Xenaphobia which is a fear that Xena, the Amazon Warrior Princess will jump through the TV screen and kick your butt if you don't behave. People with Xenaphobia learn not to start trouble so eases the chaos of the world. Come to think of it we could use some Xenaphobia on this site.

spike
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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by spike » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:02 pm

When you think about it most of the Xenophobia in the world exists in one region, the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran do not want outsiders living in their midst. They hate cosmopolitan, open societies for fear of losing their identity and power. Countries like Syria and Yemen are tearing themselves apart because their rulers can't abide by sharing power with other ethnic groups. In the end the Middle East's xenophobia has led to chaos and destruction due to the fact that such narrow thinking restricted the development of the diverse, open societies, like in the West, that would have helped sustain their futures.

Originally the xenophobic tendencies of the Middle East did help keep the chaos of the world at bay by not cultivating 'messy' open societies like in the West. However, in today's modern, interdependent world such a phobia has worked against them because it has stifled the progress and advancement needed for those nations to survive and continue. Xenophobia restricts the new blood that is essential to keep societies going.

Xenophobia is fuelled by a lack of empathy. There is a lack of empathy in the Middle East, among tribes and nations, to fellow citizens of the region.

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by spike » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:42 pm

I watched the BBC documentary "Order and Disorder" and thought of Xenophobia.

The documentary, narrated by Jim Al-Kalili, is about energy and the science that explains it - thermodynamics. Now, if there is a theory of everything I would say it is thermodynamics. Thermodynamics delves into the energy of the universe in its totality, the hows and whys. Human social orders, because they are just as much a part of the universe, are within its orbit and not immune to its effects. In fact, social orders are particularly susceptible to the laws of thermodynamics and its so called law of entropy. Closed systems don't deal well with entropy because in them chaos and disorder increase naturally. So a way to overcome the effects of social entropy, societies should open themselves up to the outside world. Xenophobia in the social context increase entropy because it closes things off. That is why we see the chaos in the Middle East, because its societies have tended to been closed and xenophobic, in the process discouraging any new energy, or new blood, from entering that could have revitalized the region and its systems.

Jim Al-Kalili was born in Bagdad, Iraq. As explained by Wikipedia, he is currently Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey. Now, if Britain had been xenophobic and closed itself off to individuals like Al-Kalili it would have closed off a great deal of the energy sources that have helped grow and sustain British societies. Britain's energy and strength for remaking and rejuvenating itself has come from the fact that for most of its history it has been an open society, always open to new members, which has helped repel many of the xenophobic tendencies that could have consumed and done it in.

Throughout its history Britain has been a vanguard of science. British science and it openness has made some great discovers that have advanced and changed the world. Science, however, can also suffer from xenophobia if it shuts itself off from open thinking. There have been instances in the twentieth century when Russia and Germany shut themselves off from 'Western' science (and economics) because they believes it was one sided and prejudice. However, their closed ways of doing science cost them, eventually bringing them decline.

Languages can also behave xenophobic. The English language has never had problems in accepting words from the French or the Germany to add to its repertoire. On the other hand, French has always been affected by purism, hence the reason English dominates today. One of English's strengths is that it remains open and flexible, and un-xenophobic. English doesn't worry so much about being polluted by other sources.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:52 pm

“The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.”

I wonder if Anja would go so far as to recognise that a positive self attribution to be a member of a nation, race or class is in itself an act of prejudice?

And surely that is exactly what is unfolding with ritual madness in Brazil today.

spike
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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by spike » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:54 pm

The banning of the Burkini on the beaches of southern France is certainly a demonstrable sign of Xenophobia.

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:37 pm

spike wrote:The banning of the Burkini on the beaches of southern France is certainly a demonstrable sign of Xenophobia.
AGREED.
http://www.themideastbeast.com/wake-bur ... s-speedos/
Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 23.35.51.png
Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 23.35.51.png (250.29 KiB) Viewed 1762 times

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:24 am

Hmm. Does 'xenophobia' apply to everyone equally? I suppose the native Americans were 'xenophobic' then when they objected to the newcomers. What about those 'xenophobic' Iraqis? After all, yanks are as human as they are. As for the English objecting to the Germans. How 'racist'! Apparently the Australian aborigines were not 'xenophobic' enough, since they ended up essentially extinct, ditto the Moriori.
Funny how the PC are so silent about the 'xenophobic' Japanese. I wonder how many muslim refugees Japan takes annually?

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:36 am

Not equally no.

Tonight I saw a play with a Welshman, and Irishman, a Yorkshire man of one whose name suggests Scots descent. At least one was openly gay. No, this is not the line up of a 1970s joke. And the play was written by a man of Jewish parents.

I just do not think that would have been possible 100 years ago, yet no one even referenced it on during the Q&A.

Xenophobia is a cultural choice.

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Re: Thinkers Against Xenophobia: How To Deal with Pride and Prejudice

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:41 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote: Xenophobia is a cultural choice.
And some people prefer their own culture. The 'xenophobic' Fijians preferred their own culture and objected to the Indian takeover. They didn't give a shit about PC Western sensibilities. 'Xenophobia' is just another shallow, meaningless word used by the PC to stifle opposition. Like the over-used 'racist', which has lost all meaning.

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