Jake Barreau Intro. to Global Cultures Take Home Exam 2 December 11, 2008 Word Count: 2389 Partner: Ali Vogel & Kelly Mendola 1. A) As the Dalai Lama is an advocate for global peace and harmony, it seems quite obvious that he would be a supporter of the United Nation?s civil and political goals described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, the Dalai Lama had the belief that religion was not necessary to fulfill these goals; he believes the recognition of the similarities shared by all, which are ??love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, [and] a sense of harmony?? (Dalai Lama, 22), is the first step. Article 20 states, ?Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.? The Dalai Lama would most likely agree for both religious and nonreligious reasons; he points out the world?s leading religions and believes that each is capable of facilitating the basic values of life (Ethics for the New Millennium, 20). He would stress the fact that ??whether we are rich or poor, educated or not, of one race, gender, or another, we all desire to be happy and to avoid suffering? (Ethics for the New Millennium, 4). His general ideology is that happiness and may express his or her beliefs peacefully. A second goal of the UN is that ?Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person? (Article 3). Again, the Dalia Lama would most likely agree. He would point out his beliefs that these rights are shared desires of all people, and that one can achieve true happiness through the happiness of others. B) In order to achieve the goals set forth, the UN proposes that by ??keeping this declaration constantly in mind?? and through teaching and education, the goals can be met successfully. The UN believes that general observance and knowledge of the goals is the first step toward their achievement. Secondly, the UN states that, ?Any nation that signs this Civil Covenant is under immediate legal obligation to abide by its provisions? (Elder, 3). Along with this provision comes legal punishment if terms are not met. I believe that the Dalai Lama would be in complete concordance with the means of achieving these goals, with the exception of legal punishment if terms were breached. I believe that he would promote loyalty to the goals through different means in order to avoid violence at all costs, which could potentially violate another goal. C) In regards to the aforementioned goals, I believe the Dalai Lama would add to these goals a sense of unity among all, rather than that of individualism. He may add something about service towards others in order to achieve personal happiness. Far more important is that they be a good human being? (Dalai Lama, 19) sets the standard for his basic ideology. While the Dalai Lama stresses that religion is not necessary in order to achieve this happiness, as he points out that a vast majority of people are not active participants in religion, I feel that he would add religion into education. The Dalai Lama may change the idea of government enforcement to include more about individual responsibility. There is a question as to if the goals of the UN are unfair to some countries ? there are countries that can essentially veto whatever they choose. The Dalai Lama may criticize this ?power? and urge that there is equality among all countries. D) In terms of Article 20, the Dalai Lama would add a sense of shared meaning among all, and that everyone should help others in order to achieve happiness. They would describe the necessity and importance of acting ??toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood? (Ethics for the New Millennium, 23). In regards to Article 3, the Dalai Lama would support this with his suggestion of disarmament and the fact that he believes there needs to be ?Zones of Peace?, which has already been successfully carried out in Antarctica (Discussion 12/4/08). 2. While there is no single, unifying religion, religion serves to unify those who relate to a shared set of beliefs. Every society has some sort of religion, according to Emily Durkheim. Religion is something that is ?sacred? and ?shared? (Lecture 9/24). Religion serves several purposes in everyday life in society. Religion provides answers to the phenomenal universe and to the theory of creation. As explain by the Dalai Lama in Ethics for the New Millennium, religion supports ethical behavior ? each specific religion has a moral code. Christians believe in the phrase, ?Do onto others as you would have done onto you.? In the Judaism faith, a similar proverb is observed ? ?What is hateful, do not onto another.? Also, Native Americans believe that respect for life is the foundation of religion. Religion promotes solidarity; ceremonies held each year (i.e. marriages and funerals) serve as reminders of a particular religion and its practices. However, when considering the same idea, solidarity can create beliefs that only a certain group will go to heaven; each group considers themselves to be the ?chosen ones.? Religious morals raise the question: Is religion an impediment or a stimulus for moral action? According to Marx, religion keeps people from wondering how the world can be improved; one?s fate is simply accepted. On the contrary, Kimball asserts that people can be driven to action because of religious beliefs. While two groups of people may practice the same religion, this does not always result in the same practice of said religion; certain people may place more emphasis on different teachings than others. What happens, then, when followers of the same religion act differently on their specific interpretations? The 9/11 attacks in New York City by the Muslim terrorist group Al-Qaeda and the apartheid in South Africa demonstrates once such instance of this dual usage of Christianity. A) Osama bin Laden used his Muslim faith as support for his desire to use violence to oppress anyone who is non-Islamic. On September 11, 2001, bin Laden targeted Americans, hijacking planes to be flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. However, other Muslims who use their faith as a means of resisting violence believe that the attacks on America were un-Islamic. While bin Laden believes that his Muslim faith justifies his attacks, others believe that his violent acts go against the laws of Allah. The apartheid in South Africa began with the process of colonialism. The Dutch colonized the areas belonging to the black, indigenous people. This was the beginning of what would turn into a war between the oppressed (the indigenous people) and the oppressor (the Dutch Christians). The Dutch came to South Africa with the idea that they were ??surrounded by ?primitive heathens?? [and] the whites had no doubts as to which race was superior and who had been chosen? (?Facts About the Region?, 18). They treated the South Africans as inhuman criminals. The barrier created due to the superior weaponry and introduced diseases by the Dutch only aided in furthering separation. Desmond Tutu and the indigenous people represented the resistance. Tutu helped to create and front the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Through this, accused persecutors were made to come clean about the actions during the apartheid, what they did to receive amnesty, and provide a political motive justifying their actions (Lecture 11/19). Amnesty hearings showed the horrors of the government ? weapons were planted on dead victims and booby-trapped hand grenades were made available to activists. B) The Dutch reform churches were obvious proponents of the apartheid. The general idea of the indigenous people was one of disgust and inferiority. While in the Khoikhoi society, one European said, ??[the Khoikhoi] yet show so little humanity that truly they more resemble the unreasonable beasts than reasonable man?having no knowledge of God? (Sparks as quoted in ?Facts About the Region?, 18). The idea of the chosen people can be traced back to Calvin?s idea of predestination. The European people used this ideology in order to justify their actions of pillaging and enslavement. They ??possessed guns and a religious faith that established both a physical and an imagined superiority that set them apart absolutely? (?Facts About the Region?, 18). Desmond Tutu stood out as a spokesperson against the apartheid in South Africa. Archbishop Tutu stated that, ?Without forgiveness there is no future, but without confession there can be no forgiveness? (Tutu as quoted in ?Facts About the Region?, 31). His active role in the aforementioned Truth and Reconciliation Commission drew television and radio coverage translated into 11 different languages. Light was beginning to be shed on the thinking of the whites of that time. Many people did not believe, however, that simply telling the truth made up for the beatings, tortures, and deaths. 3. The spectrum of gender roles wasn?t always as grey as it is now; things used to be much more black and white. There are many questions about the role that women played throughout history. Were they written out of history? Inventions, for example, in the food and sewing areas, which were typically made by women, were not considered to be nearly as important as other inventions. Also, women were the first computer programmers, but at that time work such as that was considered to be clerical. There is also the question if there was ever a female pope. Questions such as these about the role of women present an interesting question: Is being a woman a sufficient condition for being oppressed as a woman? The examples that have been discussed would suggest that being a woman is a sufficient condition for being as a woman and is also sufficient for sharing a common world view. A) (1) All of these women were oppressed by men. La Malinche was viewed as ??an exploited victim of the tragic love affair which is said to have taken place between herself and Hernán Cortéz? (Del Castillo, 122). Her role in the conquest of Mexico by the Aztecs was sorely misinterpreted, and, as a result, she was depicted as being a traitor to her country. She became the female embodiment for negativity in Mexican culture. In the same respect, Jean Morris was sexually exploited by the narrator. He views her as a sexual object. ?She entered my [the narrator] bedroom a chaste virgin and when she left it she was carrying the germs of self-destruction. This germ may be viewed as an exotic idea or perhaps even natural sin. Fragrant Lotus was pressured to bind her feet in order to please the men of her time. She had to have ?elegant? feet in order to attract suitors. Granny is quoted as saying, ?They?ll bring suitors to your door, get you a good husband, and guarantee you fame and fortune for your whole life!? (Jicai, 20). Bound feet were a ticket to marriage in a sense. (2) Also, it can be argued that these women were denied certain educational benefits that the men of their time received. In Seasons of Migration to the North, it is implied that only men are given the opportunity to travel to the North to receive further education. Therefore, Jean Morris, and the rest of the women in the novel, was never viewed as more than a sexual object to the unnamed narrator, who spent eight years studying in England. In Fragrant Lotus?s case, she was always viewed as an intellectual subordinate to men. The men would test their knowledge about foot binding at competitions and would be the ones to determine the winner. Finally, La Malinche, although she was an interpreter that helped Cortéz against Moctezuma, he ??could not imagine me dealing on a level with?? him, and she was only used for interpreting and sex (La Malinche). Although La Malinche is considered to have been diligently instructed for being a child of noble birth, she was taken from that and had become a common person. B) While all of these women share forms of oppression, they each experience specific time and place forms of oppression which set them apart. For example, La Malinche was sold into slavery, which does not technically exist in any of the other examples. Also, foot binding, which Fragrant Lotus experienced, was most definitely specific to 20th century China. Lastly, the oppression that Jean Morris was a part of was specific to the Sudan and the internal conflict of the narrator during that time. 4. Globalization was a term coined in the 1960s and really exploded in the 1990s. Think of property as something that one owns. Part of the idea of globalization is that the same ideas of economics apply everywhere. As suggested by Ameer Ali, globalization ?has come to mean a borderless world.? This ability of ?outsiders? to come in and ?own? others? land has led to several instances of conflicts over property. A) For example, the disagreement between Egypt and Britain over who was entitled to ownership of the Suez Canal. The canal was built as a trade route by the British-owned Suez Canal Company between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, property of Egypt. Despite its location, the canal was controlled by the British and ??profits were flowing in the pockets of the company?? (Elder 9/10/08). Issues over who had the rights to use the canal continued from 1959 until 1963 when Egypt made all final payments to the Suez Canal Company, making them the official owners. Another example is the Kibbutzim society. Kibbutzim?s strength ?lies in its essential social nature which strives for complete harmony of the individual and group?for the maximum development of each individual?? (Spiro, 11). Kibbutzim practices are centered toward the civilization as a whole, rather than the individual. Labor is considered something that builds character rather than some means of financial stability. Whatever is produced by means of labor is considered to belong to the community. Kiryat Yedidim founders chose to be workers, thereby eliminating a sense of social hierarchy and a desire to rise in power. As a result, ownership took on completely new meaning. Lastly, there is the example of how globalization has caused conflict in the case of the indigenous Chiapas of Mexico who lost their rights in the government after being annexed to Mexico. Although it was the Chiapas? property that was taken over, they were not allowed to have a voice on any issues concerning their land or government. In 1994, the Chiapas organized a revolt in an attempt to gain recognition. B) There are many differing cultural ideas concerning property that have undermined globalization. For example, colonialism in India regarding the taxing of salt raises the question: Did the British have the right to tax the salt? When considering Columbus, there is obviously a different view of property regarding the enslavement of the indigenous people and the complete violation of their rights. Also, during WWII, the French wanted to tax Vietnamese peasants, which is where many conflicts stemmed from.
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