Is Islam actually peaceful?

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by juantoo3, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    What is it... Does the world just want to have romantic notions that the past was some etheral bliss?

    Or are you just negative Nellie's that believe since it ain't wine and roses now it is worse than before?
     
  2. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    More like an endless supply of rose colored statistics.:D
     
  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    You are correct there...with violence, rape, animal cruelty, murder, all on the decline....we do have an endless supply of statistics to prove the point.
     
  4. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    FIFY, Then yes...

    All in all as bleak as the Media seems to portray the world, there are fewer and fewer Civil Wars, Territory Wars, Clan wars, Family Fueds (not the game show), Murders, rapes, assaults, etc than there were a few decades ago. we are more connected now. Governments are more accountable, Criminals are easier to track down, lines have mostly stabilized (except the age old Syria debacle), and enemies are more conscious of possible losses. 20 dead marines meant nothing in 1960... today 3 dead marines could mean the start of WW3, in which the weapons used would kill hundreds of millions on the global scale, IF WE ARE THAT LUCKY!!! No leader wants their names associated with the absolute destruction of their country or the world (well almost all of it).
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Perhaps it was so, Wil, but the trends suggest that's a post-war anomaly, coming to its end.

    The trend of the last few generations is the rich industrialised nations are getting richer and more powerful, because their security technologies, be they nuclear weapons or anti-theft devices in cars, are more sophisticated. So crime levels are dropping not because people are getting nicer, but because crime requires increasing levels of sophistication if you're gonna get away with it. And there are other crimes, like sex-trafficing, etc. which simply go unreported. And the cyber crime against banks, again played down by the banks ...

    Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined” has many critics among prominent thinkers. His assumption that Biblical accounts of warfare, Homer's Illiad and the like supply reliable statistical data is ... over-stated and somewhat literalist reading of history.

    I think he refers to the “Long Peace” after WWII, but perhaps that peace should be seen as a stalemate, rather than any significant indicator of an improving human nature.

    According to reports, last year 180,000 people were killed in internal conflicts, a number 3.5 times higher than it was in 2010. Deaths from terrorism have risen fivefold over the past 15 years, killing more than 32,000 people in 2014. UNHCR estimates that almost 60 million people are now either refugees or internally displaced because of conflict and violence. This is the highest it has been since the Second World War and equates to almost one per cent of the world’s current population.

    The latest figures for deaths by homicide are at almost half a million a year. Violent demonstrations are more prominent and perceptions of criminality are rising.

    The global economic impact of military and security spending, interpersonal violence, civil conflict and terrorism in 2014 was $14.3 trillion or 13.4 per cent of world GDP. This is equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom and represents an increase of 15.3 per cent from 2008.

    Such figures are staggering. History, I would have thougth, comes nowhere near such figures.

    While they do not negate Pinker’s observations, they do highlight that complacency is a luxury that we can ill afford.

    The recent release of the Global Peace Index (GPI) from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) shows that peace over the past eight years has had two distinct and divergent trends.

    For example, in 2014 Europe continued long-term trends of improvement as homicide rates and interpersonal violence continue to drop to record lows. Concurrently, escalating civil war and steep rises in terrorism in the Middle East have caused severe deteriorations in peace in the region.

    Such trends show that the distribution of peace across the globe is mirroring wealth: wealthy countries are becoming more peaceful while the poorer are becoming more violent.

    Considering that more than two billion people live in the 20 least peaceful countries in the world, the net effect of this widening peace gap is disproportionately skewed to the negative.

    Whether you believe the world is more peaceful depends on your frame of reference and statistical choices.


    I suggest your opinion is accurate from the POV of those in the West who enjoy the fruits of industrialisation, but even for those, the dangers of the future are looming. As the wealth continues to accrue to an increasingly smaller percentage of the world's population, the unrest at the injustice will spread.

    Conflicts in the Middle East will continue. Yemen is already being spoken of as the next hot-spot once Syria is sorted. And how will America react to Russia's seizing the military initiative in Syria?

    The cold truth is, there's money in conflict, and there are vested interests in seeing conflict continue.

    Why will the West not challenge Saudi Arabia, whom is known as a 'deep pocket benefactor' of groups such as Al Quaeda? Because we do deals with Saudi. Why was Pakistan not held responsible as the country from which 9/11 was organised? Because Pakistan threatens to side with Russia if we upset them.

    Why is Turkey such a player in the current crisis? Because the US wants Europe to make Turkey a member of the European Union, because the Turks have made that a condition of US bases in Turkey.

    I've already heard sources here talking about the necessity of doing 'unsavoury' deals with outfits like Al Quaeda to combat Daesh ...

    In short there's bombs in Paris and shooting in the US ... the Brits are bombing now, the Germans are sending advisers, the French have upped their attacks ... so more money for the arms industry. We had pro-bombing MPs crowing about the unique addition to the global arsenal of British cutting-edge munitions in the conflict. One the one hand it was an advert for we can bomb without killing civilians, which is a nonsense, but on the other, deploying munitions in a live situation is the best sales aid you can think of.

    Research and the statistics suggest the world is certainly a less peaceful place than it was eight years ago, and perhaps Pinker's 'Long Peace' in the wake of WWII is in decline.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I am not looking at year to year or even anomalies within a decade....but the overall trend...

    And we are on the right path... Yes the current terrorist activities are a nasty blip on the radar...and if they continue unthwarted (which has potential due to the nature) would be detrimental to the course we are on.

    And yes there are pockets of activity which the media and warmongers like to focus on...but they are pockets...

    And yes the sex slavery is still rampant... But again that has decreased over the decades...
    Me... I hope the trends that are positive will continue... And those that are thorns will be addressed... But we are still on a decreasing overall curve when it comes to violence over the centuries...

    And when it comes to death and destruction worldwide I am ashamed we are still one of the leaders.
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Is unproven. Some argue it is, others it isn't. It depends what stats one chooses to ignore. The argument against seems more objective to me.

    Again I'd say there are other factors more likely to be the drivers. The nature of war has changed. And the means by which nations can bend other nations to their will has changed.

    Well I can only disagree.
    If we were as enlightened as you suggest, this issue, the one that's gonna be a decider, would be tackled. But it ain't, because there's no political will to tackle it. People hope that science will produce some magic wand solution rather than face the reality.

    The path is consumerism. It's extremely expensive in terms of world resources, and is unsustainable in the long term. If we were better people, we wouldn't be so greedy, nor so needy.

    In fact I'd say the trend is towards the less. In studies, societies at the bottom of the scale tend to be more altruistic than those at the top. Consumerism shapes us and the way we think, and the more we have, the more we want. The West is more self-absorbed now than ever it was. If we were as enlightened as you think we are, the environmental summits for one, would have achieved so much more. They haven't, because we're not.

    LOL. Continental-sized pockets ...

    Sorry, but it hasn't. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/07/human-trafficking-increasing_n_6425864.html http://www.rferl.org/content/interview-giammarinaro-osce-human-trafficking/24709444.html

    Not really. I think we tell ourselves that. We like to think of the pre-modern world as awful. Speak to historians and they'll put your right. It's our liberal attitudes that like to paint the world a better place for people like us, but really I think we're kidding ourselves if we believe that somehow man has 'progressed', especially when measure from the American experience, over The centuries had nothing to match the 20th. We peaked then, I'll grant you ... but to think that now we're over the hump is somewhat naive. It's just we, I think that's an assumption as well.
     
  8. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    True enough on paper, but as I said to Wil in #236, that means little to people who live in areas like this,
     
  9. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    To which I would only add that the next 50 years are going to strain the efforts of peacefulness as they have never been strained before. Population explosion, resource dwindling, heck even water is getting scarce enough that there is not enough to go around. Bill Nye (The Science Guy) said a piece about a direct tie between global warming and terrorism for one example. Times are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better again. If they ever do get better again.

    As Thomas suggested, unless we humans come up with a couple magic bullets to relieve the pressures on societies things are going to get nasty. Because human nature being what it is, we won't give up what we have even if it means we leave nothing left for our children.
     
  10. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    People are on you, wil, hard!
    You know I don't agree with you that the world is getting better, but it's more of an uneducated observation. The world just seems different, but not necessarily better. I wouldn't contest some of the statistics you have provided, some areas do look better than another point in time. But other statistic don't really look that good. That's the problem of statistics though, they don't reflect reality, just a sliver of it.
    So in the face of the mob that is on you, you have my moral support. Some things do look better!
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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