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OfflineTwirling
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The Problem Of Ethnocentrism & Achieving Better Solutions
    #3010140 - 08/16/04 07:39 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

A major theme in the way the mind works is adaptation. People seem to take on their environment as a matter of survival. When viewing the different cultures around the world, it seems as if a lot of people?s beliefs and outlook on life are the result of the culturally learned values (thanks Sociology 101!). That?s not to say that everyone in a given society is going to adapt and take on one singular value or concept. Fortunately, life is much more variable and diverse than that, however, when examining the that exists in ethnocentrism society/societies as well as concepts of spiritually, it?s helpful to recognize the way people learn their perspectives and behaviors.

Part of the reason why we have societies, is people have banded together for protection. This of course, creates a lot of tension between different societies, as well as creating the need to separate people by differences so that people could know who to trust and who is an enemy. Societies, historically, have been segregated by race as a matter of people simply identifying with what is familiar to them. Religion has also played a major part in survival, as it?s a guideline on how to live well and helps people survive during times when they might not have otherwise have had hope. Part of the problem is, because people become dependant on the ideology, they tend to judge one and another on differences in religion as well as sometimes trying to force their beliefs on other people.

As I?m sure many people on this board are aware, psychedelics often help dissolve the learned belief systems, as well as learned behavior. This can be a beautiful and wonderful thing, full of positive change and optimism, or it can also be a painful, and sometimes destructive result. However, for the people who are looking to connect and find more meaning in life than perhaps what they?ve so far learned, it can provide a way to feel connected to everything. They tend to increase the emotional response to what a person is experiencing in their environment. Sometimes people feel more empathy for people in different countries, of difference race, and of different religion. It?s a lot harder to be ethnocentric when you can actually feel things which might normally be repressed or perhaps blocked by the defense mechanism of ethnocentrism.

The are a number of reasons why psychedelics aren?t the magical cure of ethnocentrism, but rather could play a major role in helping to reduce it. First and foremost, is people have the right to believe what they want, and not use any substances they don?t want to. Second is that not everyone is going to experience that connection, at least not without guidance, and sometimes not even then. Added to that is the legal problems and taboo nature of psychedelics.

One of the biggest problems is simply that some people have lived in such poor and emotionally unhealthy conditions that they?re either not looking to change, or unwilling. It?s rather hard for these people to put trust in other people, since they?ve learned that trusting people only leads to hurt. That?s not saying that psychedelics or any other types of therapy in general can?t help someone who?s been through something like that, but rather that people in these conditions have problems which require changing the environment more so than simply trying to change perspective.

Another problem facing society is the rather obvious ones of poor living conditions, torture, inhumane treatment, violent crime, and so on. There are so many areas in the world where these things are not only commonplace, but accepted and encouraged. There doesn?t seem to be an answer to those problems, other than trying to influence them in a positive way through support of the people who are trying to survive or escape those situations.

I really think it?s possible to achieve a utopia one day, and for people to have understanding and tolerance of one & another. There isn?t any guarantee of that, and if it?s going to happen, it will probably take years of hard work and change. The encouraging thing is that the more positive effect people try to have on each other, the more it encourages those people to help others. Another way to look at it, is that progress is often the matter of new ideas gaining acceptance slowly through the long run. Inter-racial marriage is a good example. While there is still plenty of racism in America, it wasn?t too long ago when the seen of a white woman with a black man would cause people to claim that it was immoral. Such claims would be considered by many to be very racist by today?s standards.

Progress can work both ways, however. An event like 9/11 can easily cause people to regress to racism and judging people by their looks. That?s part of the difficulty of making a positive difference, is that old habits die hard. What other option do we have though, but to try and do whatever we can to help each other, while also trying to appreciate life in our own way, while we still can.


So the big question is, what are the positive things which are being done, and can be done to overcome ethnocentrism and the negative environments people are in? I don?t think there are any giant solutions which are magically going to solve these problems, but it?s good to discuss them, and rather than looking for a singular, simple answer, it?s more about small things which people can do.


--------------------
The very nature of experience is ineffable; it transcends cognitive thought and intellectualized analysis. To be without experience is to be without an emotional knowledge of what the experience translates into. The desire for the understanding of what life is made of is the motivation that drives us all. Without it, in fear of the experiences what life can hold is among the greatest contradictions; to live in fear of death while not being alive.



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InvisiblePsyllyMe
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Re: The Problem Of Ethnocentrism & Achieving Better Solutions [Re: Twirling]
    #3010238 - 08/16/04 08:09 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

utopia would be boring........the story line has been exhibited in such places as star trek......(i know its just a tv show with a philisophical theme) as would a place called "heaven"...... but the thought of such a place keeps many folks working 9-5 and paying extreme medical bills to avoid such a place( funny huh).......personally i believe diversity is essential.......

I choose to follow Arvuda into battle!


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Offlinedmtrypr
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Re: The Problem Of Ethnocentrism & Achieving Better Solutions [Re: PsyllyMe]
    #3011042 - 08/16/04 11:52 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I like what you have to say and think that your post was very well written. I too am lucky enough to have had sociology (as well as philosophy,psychology,social problems,etc.) and thought that it was a very informative class. We need to recognize cultural relativism in order to overcome ethnocentrism. The nationalistic attitude that many american's are now cultivating is a tad disheartening, but I believe that it is a stage in our countries growth (we are rather new at this compared to the rest of them). Are we really any better off by concentrating on our superficial differences? I think not. Are we accomplishing anything by squabbling over land/oil/etc. I think not. We spend so much time picking out what is wrong with others that we miss the opportunity to address our own deficiencies. My idea of what is meant by a "utopia" is a world where individuals are free to choose what is right for him/herself without fear of prosecution. A world where mutual respect is the rule rather than the occasion. This is what the american founders attempted to ensure with our constitution, however, that has obviously been mutated beyond any recognition. The thing that gives me hope, is the fact that no matter how shitty things get, there are always people who provide a shining example of what we all aspire to. I believe that as a race we will eventually "get it", but you are right, it will take a lot of work. Sadly, I feel as though we will be beset by grave natural disasters in the near future if we do not start to take responsibility for what we are doing to the environment, each other, and ourselves. No kingdom on this earth has been everlasting, no country has lorded over all for very long. It looks to me as if there ARE natural laws at work that guide our history. History itself is a story of coincidences and long shots, who knows how the story will end?


--------------------
"There is no greater power in heaven and earth than the thought of the son of man. Though unseen by the eyes of the body,yet each thought has mighty strength, even such strength can shake the heavens." -Gospel of the Essenes


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The Problem Of Ethnocentrism & Achieving Better Solutions [Re: Twirling]
    #3012783 - 08/17/04 12:01 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I had a nice street skate to the east of my neighbourhood, and the city has been developing from a very depressed white trash demographic to a moderately cosmopolitan multi racial mix.

I went into one store (yuppie bar) to ask for a long americano to go, but they treated me like an alien invader so I left.

Later I went into an ethiopian bar and they served me right away, but I was definitely mr white stranger on wheels dressed in black.

So many Halal Pizza pie places, greek, italian, asian, but the preponderance was the white trash drunk hang out - get away from the family and pretend the waitress is your goddess type places.

Amidst this - the youth of the white trash were hanging out - dressed as rappers - tough, and very territorial about their space on the sidewalk. Misogynistic, Spitting constantly (can you stop after doing it for a few days - I mean don't the saliva glands get screwed up into a constant production mode?).

I wondered how to heal the territoriality - how to enable social mobility, would the white trash youth be stuck there ending up in bars and beating eachother, while an endless sequence of miltiracial migration enters the country and climbs the social ladders -doing anything to get away from the scary (dangerous) territorial hork tough dummies.


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OfflineTwirling
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Re: The Problem Of Ethnocentrism & Achieving Better Solution [Re: dmtrypr]
    #3012815 - 08/17/04 12:21 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

dmtrypr said:
The nationalistic attitude that many american's are now cultivating is a tad disheartening, but I believe that it is a stage in our countries growth (we are rather new at this compared to the rest of them).




That's an interesting idea. If you look at what's going on in America right now, people are very divided between Nationalism & questioning our leaders. Perhaps, and I'm really hoping, that this will cause that growth that you're talking about to happen.

And I agree with you about the utopia. I think people need to be able to choose their own lifestyle that makes them happy, as long as it's not at the expense of others.


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OfflineTwirling
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Re: The Problem Of Ethnocentrism & Achieving Better Solution [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3012838 - 08/17/04 12:28 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
I wondered how to heal the territoriality - how to enable social mobility, would the white trash youth be stuck there ending up in bars and beating eachother, while an endless sequence of miltiracial migration enters the country and climbs the social ladders -doing anything to get away from the scary (dangerous) territorial hork tough dummies.




That's another intresting angle. Perhaps those who have the least work the hardest to get the most, while those who look down on others end up with what they deserve?

Sometimes walking through NYC, you get the impression that most people down there are really comfortable with each other's racial diversity. I'm sure there is plenty of tension at times, but it seems like most people are so used to having such a mix that it doesn't matter.


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