RACISM, SEXISM, COMMUNITARIANISM.. ARE WE HUMAN ?

 

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Our world is made up of diversities and this is what makes its specificity: people who live together despite their differences in culture, color of skin and even language. However, as human is what he is, there are conflicts due to these differences, which threaten the relative peace and equilibrium in which we live. We face racism, sexism and communitarianism. Racism and sexism are discriminations. The first one is based on race or ethnicity and the second one on gender. Communitarianism is “a collection of interactions, among a community of people in a geographic place”. It seems weird to talk about interactions between people when racism and sexism exists.  We must say, these phenomena are not recent and I can not hide how futile I find these considerations. This ideology that human have to be subdivided into groups or live with people that are exactly like them is totally rum. Are racism and sexism parts of our daily lives ? Can we speak of communitarianism when human beings live on the street and without resources? Are humman as good as what we want to believe ?

 

« All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood ». This is the first article of the United States Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The second article supplemented this one adding that everyone may have theses rights « without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin ». these things were beautiful to write and hear, but, more difficult to respect. In fact,theses measures didn’t change anything on somepeople perceptions of women or minorities.

When we talk about racism,we know that the victims are black people, Asian, Hispanic and Arabic. They are human being like other,but are considered as inferior. We hear of the domination of one race over the other, the “white supremacy”; that leads to violence against individuals considered “non-whites”. Groups defending “white supremacy” can be found in many countries and regions where the population considers themselves “white”, including North America, Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

The « Ku Klux Klan » was created for this in 1865 in the United States for the respect of the “white supremacy” and every day, we count more and more victims of racism.

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Sexism is another flaw in our society, it is something we have seen before and which continues in some societies. Women are stigmatized and have a well defined role in society while men can do everything. The belief that women are nothing without husband for example pushed Indian society to ensure that widowed women were burned after the death of their husbands or abandoned on the streets.

In early Europe, people claim that women were witches. In Malleus Mallifcarum, it is said : « All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman … What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours ». Even in modern societies,  positions of responsibility are denied to the weak sex: the woman. Sexism is still present.

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Communitarianism is a difficult thing. It is a philosophical notion complicated to explain because often confused with communism. According to Wikipedia France, communitarianism is “a philosophy which holds that “the individual does not exist independently of his belongings, whether cultural, ethnic, religious or social”. This word has a double sense. In fact, some people see it as a sensitization to live together as a great community. However, considering this, it becomes impossible to leave people on the street without reacting and without helping one another. It turns out that things are more complex than that.
For the detractors of this philosophy, communitarianism, calls into question the neutral public space and places a community hierarchically above others and demands a strong cohesion of its members in almost all the aspects of their life. There is also a competitive or even fighting differentiation with other national or community entities. It would mean that the notion of unity and of living together is unfortunately a utopia.

 

I will finish saying that it is really difficult to see the future of the world in an optimistic view when we take into account these phenomena. Racism, sexism and communitarianism merely divide a world that is constantly threatened by conflicts. It is up to the population to show that human are not as bad as some of us can think, avoid separation and be united against these scourges that ruin society and our well-being. However, are people ready to  accept all their differences ?

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THE ROLE OF WOMEN AND MEN IN SOCIETY (20th century and now)

 

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Nowadays, we assist to a kind of gender role conflict in society. According to the website Psychology of men, « gender role is generally defined as a set of attitudes, behaviors, and self-presentation methods ascribed to members of a certain biological sex ». It seems like men and women don’t really know their role in society; if we can consider that they have a specific role. Historically speaking, that head of household was always male. A few years ago, men had the upper hand over women. They were regarded and women were neglected; even the most elementary right such as the right to vote were prohibited to them. Women had to be submissive and remain to take care of the house while men worked and were the “dominant”. But the rapidly developing world has brought about many changes into the traditional roles of both men and women. For me, we must not limit a person’s abilities to his or her sex, and both men and women have an important place in society.

What are the role of women and men in society ? I will try to give an answer showing firstly women role in ancient society and now and secondly, men role in ancient society and now.

As I said earlier, women were neglected before. The situation of women in the 20th century was not enviable. Her role was limited to being a wife and a mother. Recreation was banished and they were completely dependent on her husband. Indeed, females in the 20th century were not studying but rather the home school because the important thing was to train mistresses of house. In 1919, the french Senator Alexandre Berard said “Seduce and be a mother, that’s why the woman is made”. In French society, women were marginalized and had no social rights. They didn’t have the possibility to fight and this is why in 1935, the government even decided on the dismissal of women civil servants married to civil servants.

In Ancient Egypt, when a woman had to take a typically male role in public, as Hatshepsut did when she became pharaoh, she had to disguise her feminine features by displaying the insignia of power which people connected with the masculine holders of the title, such as the pharaonic beard. This shows how much it was not so easy to have a certain kind of power as a woman.

It was not only politically or socially that women were neglected. Their condition was not better from a religious point of view. The Christian religion, for example, made them temptresses because of the story of Adam and Eve, and the church made them guilty if they did not fulfill their duty as brides.
Abortion and contraception were banned in France. In Africa, women were not allowed to speak at the same time as their husbands or to rebel.

Now, we can say that women are well seen than before. After  fierce struggle for their rights, they have begun to be considered at their true value: persons determined and with the same intellectual capacities as men.

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It is not rare to see now women with in responsible position as chancellor like Angela Merkel or other important position like Christine Lagarde, a french woman which is the PDG of the International Monetary Fund. They also play a great role in the growth and development of the society and making it an advanced and modern society. There is a famous saying by the Brigham Young that, “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”. It seems like this is more and more respected even if we have some efforts to do in some countries.

Concerning men,their role in the 20th century and the role they occupy today has not really changed. Man has always played a role of provider. He must contribute to the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental well-being of his family. In order to do this, he must recognize that there are other currencies, in addition to money, that need to be provided.  He also has a duty to look after the family, protect. Even in the 20th century, they were seen as family chief. This is always the same except that now, women have a bigger place than before.

More than this, men have to support women and be positive role models for their peers and their offspring.

 

In conclusion, I will say that there is a big change between women role in the 20th century and now. They have now more responsibilities in society and are accepted. Men have always been valued in society and this is not likely to change now. The most important thing is to consider men and women as equal and having the same role in society. However, is this really possible when we see some countries where women are still stigmatized?

 

TECHNOLOGY: IMPLICATIONS OF THIS WORD

 

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Technology is a sensitive topic nowadays because it is a phenomenon that leads to many controversy. This word is difficult to define, because it includes several elements. According to the dictionary, ‘technology is science or knowledge put into practical use to solve problems or invent useful tools’’. It is also ‘a coherent set of knowledge and practices in a technical field, based on scientific principles’ according to The Larousse dictionary. The common point of these definitions is the evocation of science. There is no technology without science. For me, technology has its advantages and brings positive elements in our society. However, there are also negative effects of this phenomenon. The question is: What  is the impact of technology on our society ? Do we always have to encourage technology in a society which is developing more and more?

To answer this question, I would analyze in a first part the benefits of technology and in a second part the limits and consequences of technology for social life.

 

People usually say that technology and human life cannot be separated. Since approximately 50 years, this domain is in progress.  The most significant development made by technology is the progress of medicine. This progress has allowed to save many lives especially during wars and increase life expectancy of the population. It also allowed the eradication of many diseases such as rabies. Moreover,  with the proliferation of technologies that are able to overcome the obstacles of time and space. We can see it with the invention of airplanes, cars and particularly with Internet. This really linked people between them and the world is now considered as a « planetarian village ». People can communicate everywhere, maintain familial and understand others cultures. And that is really a good point for technology.

Furthermore, technology has facilitated men’s work. Worker’s no longer have to lift twice their weight because we have now many machines which permits to take the weight for them. There are also machines for calculations and it makes life more easily. The food industry has developed to because of the establishment of transformations machinery and tractors for agriculture.

Technology seems to be essential and more than necessary in this society where people cannot imagine themselves without phone and even micro wave. Many people are involved in an abundant number of relationships through technology. Are they ready to do without it ? What are the bad aspects of technology ?

Excerpt from Dimensions of Leisure for Life by Human Kinetics

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This excerpt shows how much technology take a great place in our daily life. It seems like people cannot live without it especially young people. Technology «had a profound impact on what it means to be social » according to Human Kinetics. This means that instead of making us more friendly or sociable, technology, with phones and computers, distances us from others and plunged us in a « parallel world » where we live with imaginary friends through social networks. It really affects our skills in society.  Television has the same impact. According to Dimension of leisure to life, « television contributes to the downfall of social values in this country. It does seem that many people spend less time with others in their community than they do with the people they watch daily on television ».
Moreover, with the technological advances, men seems increasingly pointless. This advance may create unemployment to the extent that man is replaced by machines in almost all areas. Technolgy gives the feeling for human to be obsolete.

One of the most important things to say about the  danger of technology is about the invention of atomic bomb. It is a permanent danger for the world that, in case of war, risk of being destroyed or losing much of its population.

 

Clearly, technology has changed people and their daily lives. Technological progress has led man to a better situation than before. Now, they have a developed world and the ability to communicate anywhere. However, it is more than important to regulate the use that men make with technology not to lead the world to ruin. I want you to ask yourself the following questions:  Do technologies help you build positive, meaningful relationships, or do technologies hinder this process? Are you ready to give up for two days the technological instruments that you  use the most ? Can you imagine what your life would be without technology ?

The impact of religion in our society

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Wikipedia defines religion as “a system of practices and beliefs for a group or community”. It also says that ” there is no definition that is recognized as valid for all that allows use today call religion”. For me , religion is one of the manifestations of the symbolic function by which men recognize and express their position in the world . Thus, in certain situations , it seems normal for men to implore God for a solution to the anguish . However , realizing this, it seems natural to say that religion is just a way to dispose of man. This leads us to ask ourselves the question: What is the impact of religion in our society?
We will try to answer this question by showing initially that religion is a factor of alienation of man and it is harmful to the latter and in a second time it allows the realization of individual freedoms.

The word religion comes from the Latin “religio” and it sometimes took as “religare” or “religere”. Taken as ” religere ” religion refers to the idea of contemplation and meditation. As “religere”,it refers to relationship between human being and God. You can find more informations about it and learn about the different forms of  religion going on this blog http://atheism.about.com/od/theismtheists/p/theismvarieties.htm

For Jean Paul Sartre, man exists first before being this or that. For him, man is an absolutely free and not dependent on any superior entity. This is why he writes in Existentialism is Humanism : “Man is what he is does”. We agree with this point of view because this is men that determines their actions and make their choice. Religion presents itself as an illusory happiness, a dishonesty that imposes rules to man and keeps him in the moral alienation. Moreover , religion has a bad impact because it promises man better and fantastic future in the afterlife if he complies with the legal recommendations that exists in the various holy books. These facts may be considered as illusions to manipulate human being and make them capable of anything to deserve the heavenly paradise.
Religion creates fanaticism. In Larousse dictionnary, fanaticism is defined as ” passionate attachment , excessive enthusiasm for someone, something.” This absolute and exclusive dedication can leads to intolerance and this is sometimes the case in religion. Fanaticism created by the religion is dangerous because it contains us and leads us to violence against all who do not share our beliefs.

This first part has allowed us to understand that religion sometimes appears as a factor of human servitude in a world where men aspire to freedom. However, does it not have a positive impact in our lives?

Say that religion has only bad sides would be bad faith because it stands as the foundation of social life. Its role is to purify our souls and to establish moral values. This is why Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote in Crime and Punishment: “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.” Indeed, everything would be allowed in a world without God. Men would be delivered to their desire and realize what they want without any mood. The presence of God is a deterrent because it forces men to live according to ethics. Religion also allows a man to overcome the destructive passions. Religion is therefore the most effective way to channel human behavior and vices of this one. Moreover, religion is a comfort factor for humans, who sometimes needs a refugee and a relief. The presence of God is beneficial for them and they feel less abandoned and alone.

Furthermore, religion is a way to have an explanation as to the creation of the world. Indeed,we often ask about the way in which the world was created and the purpose of our existence on earth. Religion gives us answers to these existential questions in the holy books. One can for example quote the Bible that says that the creation of the world was made in seven days. There is also the Gospel of John in which there are the following words: ” In the beginning God created the heaven and earth” and» In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God “.

All these facts can leads us to say that religion, despite the facts that it conducts sometimes to fanaticism, is so beneficial for human being. But, it belongs to everyone to choose to practice a religion or not to do so. Be practicing or believing must be personal and don’t have to be influenced.

 

Astou KONARE