Do Not Be Afraid Of The Future

People have always been afraid of change. Here and now is not perfect, but it is stable. It is reliable. It is dependable. The future may seem strange and unknown and scary and it might include things that make you uncomfortable, it might include things you personally do not like. But please try to see past that and try to have faith in humanity.

Do not be afraid of the future

The fact is that the World is now better than before. Generally speaking, there are fewer childhood deaths than before, there are ...fewer deaths from preventable diseases, we as a species are more sensitive to problems of minorities, we are more concerned about animals, we are more socially aware and sensitive to injustice. This progress was not easy to make, it was painful, but we did it.

We now turn to the needs of our planet which needs our help, we turn to address problems of people that are not able to live in their homes, we turn to eradicating remaining preventable diseases, we turn to the problems of less fortunate, we turn to try to give even more rights and justice to people who love each other and want the ability to continue to do so. We turn to continue increasing happiness on a global scale.

These are all worthy causes. This should be our future. Do not be afraid.

The Red Herring of – Not All Christians, Muslims, Buddhists …

TL;DR – Religion cannot be ignored as a cause of hate. Religion cannot get a free pass.

19. 06. 2017, on Monday morning, around 12:20 AM a terrorist has driven a van into pedestrians in London. The man intentionally rammed into worshippers attending Ramadan night prayers at the mosque. All of the casualties were Muslims.

This is truly a despicable attack as it was targeted at peaceful worshippers. Same as other terrorist attacks, victims turn out to be people who generally have nothing to do with current problems in the world – innocent bystanders.

Naturally, as you can imagine, social media immediately exploded, with both sides being quick to point out that not all Muslims are terrorists, not all Christians are terrorists, not all Christians are radicalized, etc., etc..

This somehow really, really, really seems to miss the entire point of discussion, because every “NOT ALL …” proclamation merely stops any further conversation and this is in nobody’s interest, really. The thing is – terrorism does happen. We as a species need to be able to figure out WHY. No, you do NOT know why. Some of the greatest minds in politics, philosophy, even science are NOT 100% certain WHY.

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Image by Pexels / Pixabay - Public Domain

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The Gender Wage Gap

The times we live in are difficult enough without people trying to sell so-called “fake news” as facts. Fake news is a term which was popularized by Trump in order to basically deceive his supporters that the media is dishonest. But just because in his case “fake news” cry has proven false, that does not mean that this phenomenon does not exist. We live in times where people spend huge amount of their day scrolling. Many times they scroll across some headline and believe it, without thinking or even clicking on it. Combine this tendency for instant gratification with the plainly simple truth that media these days does care a great deal about clicks, in order to get advertisements, so they form headlines like in a “you won’t believe” manner that are designed for people to click, just co confirm their bias or see something incredible.

Also, this era we currently live in has been greatly exposed to the dangers of relativism and dishonest post-modernism, so, some people even harbor a belief that everything is basically opinions, without any absolute truths. This state of mind is of course, deeply troubling, as this is exactly how we fall into the traps of believing that everyone can only say being bigoted is part of their culture and we cannot say anything against it.

How to get a coin?

Having said that, one of the movements that is sure to get a huge amount of smearing is feminism. Feminism has the potential to be deeply troubling to first of all, white patriarchal-type males which find it deeply troubling that women can possibly be on their level. Second of all, feminism poses great danger to basically all religions, as all of them think of women as lesser beings than men. Next, feminism can even be challenging to the established norms of society, where it is almost expected in some countries that women should stay at home and take care of children or even submit themselves to men’s desires. Even if we ignore all of this, it would still be in the interest of some corporations to spend less on salaries. If salaries are made more or less equal, they stand to lose. So, hopefully one can see what the motivation would be to try and prove that there is no such thing as a wage gap. Sorry to say this, but this establishment, whatever it is has managed to gain some leeway, because as has been argued before, today people generally are quick to believe anything they see online.

This post will try to bring to the table facts about the Gender Wage Gap. So, let us continue.

Or rather – rant is over, let’s begin. We’ll begin with quoting from Wikipedia, as it nicely summarizes what is actually happening.

There are two distinct numbers regarding the pay gap: unadjusted versus adjusted pay gap which takes into account differences in hours worked, occupations chosen, education and job experience. For example, someone who takes time off maternity leave will likely not earn as much as someone who does not take time off from work. Factors like this contribute to lower yearly earnings for women, but when all external factors have been adjusted for, there still exists a gender pay gap in many situations (between 4.8% and 7.1% according to one study). Unadjusted pay gaps are much higher. In the United States, for example the unadjusted average female's annual salary has commonly been cited as being 78% of the average male salary.

Wikipedia

To learn more, keep reading.

So, basically, there are two ways of looking at it, to begin with. Then, of course, things are different in different parts of the world, but Canada and the US are not that different from each other, and while EU seems better, it’s far from perfect. But any better result would be contrary to the idea that there’s pay gap which you might argue that this blog post is trying to prove, so it’s fair to include all three kinds of data – US, EU and Canada. Other world countries, like those in Africa can only make things worse, so they cannot generally be used as a rebuttal.

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Progressives do not simply keep quiet

Hijab shouldn't be just treated as a part of the culture without thinking and we should not automatically glorify it as diversity. The very fact that it is forced in Iran, for example, tells us that it's not simply a matter of choice and culture.

Woman wearing hijab

Forbidding things or telling people what to wear is not the solution and it's not what progressives do. And IMO, EU court ruling allowing bans on all religious symbols didn't do that.

This ban is in a way also a protection, either all religious symbols are banned or none, so hijab cannot be singled-out. In a way, it’s also all-or nothing ban. Either you ban all religious symbols or none.

I digress. The point is that in fact, turning a blind eye on suffering and comforting yourself that it's simply a cultural thing is also not what progressives should do.

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From the archives: Pro Choice Discussion – Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy

Let this be a lesson to you: always try to save anything important. Especially if it’s in writing, you never know when you might need it and what you might lose by not saving it.

Such was the case with this entertaining discussion on Instagram. Discussion was about whether consent to sex is a consent to pregnancy. Long story short, I posted this image on Instagram:

consent_to_sex_not_to_pregnancy

During this discussion this person blocked my account, so this means I cannot see her account anymore and cannot reply to her. The only way to continue discussion would be for me to use a secondary account. And that is beyond pathetic, so I will not do that.

So, in case I’m not making myself clear: account is not deleted, it’s still there, it’s that entangledlife account is blocked from seeing her posts anymore. The original post is still there in case anyone’s interested.

I decided just to copy the points that I made there in effort to both preserve the arguments I had at the time and to potentially help Pro Choice visitors of this site with any such discussions they might have.

So, it started with this woman trying to refute what was written on the image, with something like “if you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have sex.”, to which I replied:

People have the right to non procreative sex.

To which she replied basically that the only use of sex is procreation.

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It’s their culture!

One thing that has a big tendency to both annoy and to actually damage the World is the “It’s their culture” proclamation. There are real problems with it. Basically, this proclamation is often heard when trying to defend bigoted, racist, sexist or misogynist behaviour. Effectively we’re saying that people are entitled to their own culture, and the often horrific behaviour is simply the part of the culture, so we should all simply live with it.

Group of Women Wearing Burkas

By Nitin Madhav (USAID), exact source, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Most often it is used when somebody tries to criticise actions of Islam extremists and/or treatment of women in Islam, but it’s not limited to this use. It’s also used to justify circumcision, or teaching that God created the Earth is six days in schools. However, it’s lately mostly used about Islam, so this post will continue in this tone.

First of all, when you use this argument, you’re applying the different standard to the people you’re saying this about. A standard which is less strict about women’s rights, for example, than we in the West are accustomed to. This in of itself is bad, as basically people who say things like “this is normal in their culture” are guilty of racism of low expectations. It comes down to “these brown people, we just expect this from them, we cannot hold them to the same standard as us”. Well, isn’t this a repulsive thing to think and say?

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Stance On Muslim Ban

Since this page doesn't particularly care about Religion, and in fact, it makes a point of mocking it in order to promote science and reason as opposed to superstition, you might expect that I would welcome Muslim ban from the US.

Oh, how wrong you would be.

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First of all, this ban violates the Refugee Convention which requires the countries to take refugees based on humanitarian grounds.

Second, this ban violates Secular principles, meaning the separation of church and state. Secularity is a key principle in today's modern world and every modern Country's Constitution is secular. Because church (Religion) and state should be separate, religious beliefs (or lack of belief) cannot be the cause of discrimination. In simpler terms: once you allow the discrimination of one religion, a door is open to discriminate any religion and lack of religion, meaning Atheists could come under attack, same as Muslims are now.

Third, this ban is xenophobic, hateful and despicable. There were already many measures in place to ensure that no terrorist comes into the US and there was no real reason to do this, especially when you also notice that this ban does not apply to countries where Trump has business ventures.

Muslim Ban is potentially the first step on the journey towards a country where one religion is in fact more important than other religions and actually towards a country where church and state are so tight that the belonging to the “right” church assures you are above others.

I support the right of people to choose their own religion, as well as their right to give up their religion. Simply put, you believe what YOU want to believe, not what your Country tells you to believe.