Re: Re:Re:Re:Thoughts on ChangeOctober 3 2003 at 2:05 PM
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|Mangi Nating |
Response to Re:Re:Re:Thoughts on Change
Culture is quite a difficult concept to define, so I will not make the attempt. However in order to continue our discussion I think it is important that we have a common understanding of what we mean, so I will use your definition of culture and work from there.
“…collective programming of mind involving patterned ways of thinking feeling and behaving in different situations”
The main points about culture are that it involves the collective and that it is dependent upon a particular situation. You also rightly stated that it is dynamic, and it was here where I think my earlier analysis may have been faulty. I thought that our culture was a fixed way of thinking, feeling etc… but in reality it changes by its interaction with other cultures.
From your definition then it is clear that our ‘culture’ must change if we are to progress in the modern world. The problem however is the process by which we effect the change, and whether such a change is possible. I will admit the possibility of change but I do not personally think that it can be achieved through force. So then we cannot change the criminal behavior of our citizens by increasing the police force. Force is met with more force because human nature has this indomitable characteristic about it. No free man wants to be a slave, and no one wants to be told what to do.
“one is through self-censorship/restraint and secondly by having these reinforced by people whom we view as icons, live this out in their lives”
Your view of how to create this change is through individual responsibility and reinforcement (If I understood you correctly). The problem with individual responsibility is that the ones who are responsible are not the ones whose behavior we are worried about, it is those who do not have that ability to restrain themselves, that are the ones who need to be changed.
Icons have an indirect effect on the minds of the people, and the problem is how to get the actions of these icons into public view. Another problem with this is that the individuals will have to see the icon as someone whom they wish to emulate. Unfortunately not everyone sees Marcus Bai as an expert on dental hygiene, and his exhortations may not be as effective as we imagine.
My view is that we can change the culture of our people by a two-pronged approach, firstly through religion and secondly education. Now this is contentious because some argue rightly that religion is a personal issue. So I think I will have to clarify what I mean before I can be able to make some suggestions.
I do not think one can divorce religion from social reality. We do what we do, in most cases, because of what we believe. For example if we believe it is wrong to murder because God condemns it, we will be less inclined to become murderers. I have met people who are opposed to religion because they believe it is a form of mind control used by the elite (priesthood, clergy etc…) upon the masses. I agree with these people and condemn the use of religion to control people.
However, when religion or more accurately personal spirituality becomes a relationship with God, guided by the precepts of scripture, it ceases to become a force exerted by the elite, and becomes a guiding principle from within. And it is here where the church needs to play a greater role. By imparting spiritual truth, and by encouraging people to have a personal relationship with God, the church not only plays its spiritual role, it has the effect of creating a society that is based upon ‘good’ values. There is no need for the secular Government to be involved in this, except perhaps indirectly through tax concessions etc… The onus is upon the Church to do its spiritual and social duty.
I have excluded other religions or atheism as forces for good because of my own beliefs. However I do not believe that the church or the state should prevent people from forming their own beliefs independently…i.e. no-one should be forced to become a Christian, Muslim, or Atheist etc…
Brats I will write more on the education later, and how it relates to the federal system of Government and our culture.
As always it is a pleasure to read your opinions and I hope others will present their views on change. I hastily wrote that I would not continue the discussion because of my disgust at the amount of attention homosexuality and the other deviant practices were been given. I think however it would be better to present arguments against these practices than to withdraw in protest.
I will await your reply and work on the piece on education.