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In The West, Children Have Special Status

AllbuddhaBoundAllbuddhaBound Veteran
edited December 2013 in Faith & Religion
We in the west put children first, then women and finally men. Buddhist countries used to put men first. I know they still do in Thailand. Christianity puts men first in the bible. Several other religions tend to put men first.

Is equality evident anywhere in the world?

Comments

  • I agree that figuring out who is actually being placed first is not clear. But the point is, is there anyplace on earth where people are actually all treated equally?
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    What kind of equality are we talking about? The Gini Index measures equality based on income distribution. Apparently, according to the CIA, Sweden is #1..

    Oh, it's also #1 for gender equality too.

    riverflow
  • What kind of equality are we talking about? The Gini Index measures equality based on income distribution. Apparently, according to the CIA, Sweden is #1..

    Oh, it's also #1 for gender equality too.

    Hello: Well if everyone is equally poor with little opportunity for
    upward mobility, equality really doesn't mean much. After WW1 because of reparations Germany (mostly the whole population) was reduced to a diet of cabbage and potato
    soup. This is probably a major force in bringing the National Socialists (NAZI's)
    to power. They repudiated the huge insurmountable debt and ended a lot of suffering.
    The point is: The German population was mostly equal-equally starving. That is not
    a goal worth pursuing.

    A free market produces upward mobility by rewarding production and excellence. This does create inequalities but most everyone does pretty well. It is not inequality that is the burden on a population it is a failure to be productive as a nation. In America we have the 14th amendment which theoretically makes everyone equal under the law. Mostly no one is beneath the law or treated as lesser citizens. Some are above the law. The super rich use a corrupt tax system to avoid taxes and about 45% pay no taxes at all (those are the low income) who are given special privilege. Mostly the middle class bears the burden of government costs.

    I guess this does make inequality but because of the free market there is very little hunger and none are hungry of necessity as free food is everywhere abundant. So Sweden may have equality of outcomes but everyone is pretty poor-relatively speaking.

    Most governments try to keep their population at or near subsistence. This allows for the creation of a few (or a couple hundred as in China) billionaires who are connected to government power. So, there is a lot of difference between equalities. Maybe the question would be better put as: Is there someplace where there is a classless society and almost anyone can get ahead if they work hard and avoid stupid mistakes and costly habits? Of course America is that example and maybe that explains why so many people from all over the world want to get to the Golden Mountain-America.

    I know where people are unequal by law and religious dictate and that is Dar Al Islam.
    I know where people are mostly equally very poor because of constant inefficiencies
    and that is Socialist Nations everywhere. The equal your question refers to seems to be equal in outcomes and that is not a natural condition and the effort to enforce that ideal leads to disaster and a general decline in the well being of most everyone. mtgby



  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    Dennis1 said:



    Hello: Well if everyone is equally poor with little opportunity for
    upward mobility, equality really doesn't mean much. After WW1 because of reparations Germany (mostly the whole population) was reduced to a diet of cabbage and potato
    soup. This is probably a major force in bringing the National Socialists (NAZI's)
    to power. They repudiated the huge insurmountable debt and ended a lot of suffering.
    The point is: The German population was mostly equal-equally starving. That is not
    a goal worth pursuing.

    [...]

    I guess this does make inequality but because of the free market there is very little hunger and none are hungry of necessity as free food is everywhere abundant. So Sweden may have equality of outcomes but everyone is pretty poor-relatively speaking.

    1) You are putting up a strawman - obviously we're not talking about being equally impoverished here.

    2) Swedes are "pretty poor" relative to...? Personally, I'd rather have a strong social safety net than tons of disposable income. I suppose it really comes down to where you stand on such issues.

    I think though, in the end, the amount that Americans pay for private services more or less balances out the taxes that more social democratic countries pay.
    Maybe the question would be better put as: Is there someplace where there is a classless society and almost anyone can get ahead if they work hard and avoid stupid mistakes and costly habits? Of course America is that example and maybe that explains why so many people from all over the world want to get to the Golden Mountain-America.
    America is "classless?" Maybe in writing. If you compare the 38% of people living in Flint, Michigan who are unemployed to any of the "Real Housewives," I don't know how you can say that the US is "classless."
    I know where people are mostly equally very poor because of constant inefficiencies
    and that is Socialist Nations everywhere. The equal your question refers to seems to be equal in outcomes and that is not a natural condition and the effort to enforce that ideal leads to disaster and a general decline in the well being of most everyone. mtgby

    I'm not sure how having a strong social safety net contributes to the "general decline in the well-being of most everyone."
    riverflowbetaboy
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    "Classless" can have multiple meanings.

    For example, when I first traveled to Thailand a Thai friend was not allowed in the hotel where my mother was staying because Thais could not afford to stay at such a hotel. I knew other Thais who were initially rejected in certain restaurants for the same reason...in their own country. Now that's class distinction.
    Invincible_summer
  • Hello Invincible Summer:
    I think my statements were pretty straightforward. I don't want to carry this fine venue into non-Buddhist realms. However in the name of engagement and Liberality I will respond to two (questions). First I would like to point out that this site is classless.
    What I mean is we all have the same rights and privileges. We all participate in the same way. No one is blanking out part of what I say because they disagree. Of course, if I were to abuse my fellow members and show disrespect I might be asked to cease and desist. That is true of any of us and that is what I mean by a classless society. Jason isn't in here with a special seat giving orders. The law treats us equally. In America that is what the 14th amendment does. It gives us all equal treatment under the law. If you haven't lived in America or if you haven't traveled to class societies you might not see the difference.

    Another example: Anyone can move up the ladder with great ease in a classless society.
    No one is expected to stay where they belong or behave as befits their station. There are no stations. There is no nobility. The rich have money and luxury but many people become rich and then they also have those privileges. This is not true in many places.
    The word upstart has little meaning here. Noveau riche also has little meaning.
    I needn't point out that our president is a POC. We have also had Catholics and...
    the first governor of Calif was Pio Pico a Mexican-naturally- there were a lot of Ex-Mexicans in CA.

    Lately we have erred greatly in accepting into our nation a large number of people who are here illegally. That is sad because they truly are a subclass and that is un-American.
    They are beneath the law they don't have the rights of citizens and yet they are not just visiting. This is unconstitutional and un-American and wrong. The people who want to keep these people here like chattel are not doing this out of love. They are promoting a subclass of people without the rights of citizens. People they can abuse and misuse.
    People who work cheap, have no rights and cannot easily go to someone fairer. This is
    wrong. This is done in the name of fairness and caring for these poor people but the actuality is anything but caring. It can take a lot of looking to see through to the truth sometimes. Saying charitable and high minded things is not charitable or high minded.

    One more:
    I said:
    I know where people are mostly equally very poor because of constant inefficiencies
    and that is Socialist Nations everywhere. The equal your question refers to seems to be equal in outcomes and that is not a natural condition and the effort to enforce that ideal leads to disaster and a general decline in the well being of most everyone. mtgby

    You said:
    I'm not sure how having a strong social safety net contributes to the "general decline in the well-being of most everyone."

    It is not the safety net that is inadequate. America has a safety net. Currently 47 million people receive food stamps-that is a safety net. That is also too many by half.
    Why? When a person has a job they have income and if it is a good job they pay taxes.
    They have pride and can build toward a future-planning and working to better themselves. In America a great number do get ahead and own a home (about 67%),
    raise a family and become part of the self sufficient nation that is the light of the world.
    As more people are supported by the state the state consumes more of the productive output of the nation. It gets harder to prosper in business because the tax overhead and regulations consume more of your output. You hire fewer you contract instead of expanding. It gets harder to get a job and unemployment rises. More people need the safety net. The government requires more and this is a downward spiral. Things get worse. Upward mobility ceases. This mostly hurts the middle and lower classes because income tax and regulations don't hurt those who are already rich. They don't depend on wages. They skip most of the taxes and have foundations and such which pay no taxes.

    When you try to force equality of outcome on a society the government takes more and more and that unproductive portion of society grows while production shrinks. People don't put in equal amounts of effort. People don't have equal talents. People are not equal but they should have equal rights. Your thesis would take away those equal rights in a vain effort to make outcomes equal. That rewards non-production and penalizes production so you get more non-production and less production. Eventually most people get poor with a veneer of super rich over seeing the slaves. This is history.

    I have written extensively on these subjects and if you are truly interested I will send you a 25 page article on fairness in the market society. You let me know.

    Enough of this now-please. Can we please get back to enlightenment type of discussions? mtgby
    sndymorn
  • I'm sorry, but I don't agree with the original postulation. Traditionally, in many societies where about the only way to survive is hard work and a home might need to be defended at any time, men are of more importance to the family than children because they're critical for the family unit to survive. Lose a child or two and more can be made. A grown man is a heavy investment by the group that is not so easily replaced.

    But my experience in Korea taught me people are the same everywhere. The children are treasured just as much as here by the mother and father.



  • We in the west put children first, then women and finally men.

    Only on the Titanic. ;)
    And even then, it was higher class women and children first. Pretty much nobody cared that many immigrant women and children were stuck below decks because nobody unlocked the iron grates meant to keep them from mingling with the better people on the ship.
    riverflowInvincible_summerbetaboy

  • Is equality evident anywhere in the world?

    I don't feel it is evident anywhere in the universe.
    The question is perhaps about respect, parity of opportunity and making the best of all the sentients in the world, even fundamentalists . . . ;)
    vinlyn said:


    So for me, it's more about addressing needs than even being able to be equal.

    People are varied. Children have greater purity and less experience, how are we to value these?

    Many adults because of gender, arbitrary castes, classes or other profiling are given more or less opportunities. As caring sentients (hopefully) we perhaps try to empower and enable all our brothers and sisters . . .
    That is my plan.

    :wave:
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    Dennis1 said:



    Enough of this now-please. Can we please get back to enlightenment type of discussions? mtgby

    A) This thread wasn't about enlightenment. B) You started it!
    I don't want to carry this fine venue into non-Buddhist realms.
    Eh well the OP wasn't so explicitly about Buddhism in the first place.
    The law treats us equally. In America that is what the 14th amendment does. It gives us all equal treatment under the law. If you haven't lived in America or if you haven't traveled to class societies you might not see the difference.
    It seems like your definition of class is very much entwined with legality (the Constitution) and liberty (what people are free to do), while I'm approaching it from more of a socio-economic perspective. In this case, I do suppose that most of the Western world is "classless," but part of my point is that what's written on paper and supposedly enshrined in law doesn't necessarily result in social and economic "classlessness."

    The law is supposed to treat every American citizen equally, sure. But not every American has equal access to education, health care, housing, etc.
    Another example: Anyone can move up the ladder with great ease in a classless society.
    No one is expected to stay where they belong or behave as befits their station. There are no stations. There is no nobility. The rich have money and luxury but many people become rich and then they also have those privileges. This is not true in many places.
    It's true - the Western world offers many opportunities that other, less-industrialized countries cannot.

    However, social mobility in the US - the American Dream - is just that. A dream:

    Data shows that in most of the US, less than 15% of the bottom-fifth of earners will make it to the top-fifth of earners. People from the Federal Reserve Board, Indiana University, and the US Treasury Department have found that there is "an increase in 'permanent inequality' -- the advantaged becoming permanently better-off, while the disadvantaged becoming permanently worse-off."
    Lately we have erred greatly in accepting into our nation a large number of people who are here illegally. That is sad because they truly are a subclass and that is un-American.
    They are beneath the law they don't have the rights of citizens and yet they are not just visiting. This is unconstitutional and un-American and wrong. The people who want to keep these people here like chattel are not doing this out of love. They are promoting a subclass of people without the rights of citizens. People they can abuse and misuse.
    People who work cheap, have no rights and cannot easily go to someone fairer. This is
    wrong. This is done in the name of fairness and caring for these poor people but the actuality is anything but caring. It can take a lot of looking to see through to the truth sometimes. Saying charitable and high minded things is not charitable or high minded.
    Whoa whoa whoa... you're saying that the US is classless, yet you're referring to illegal immigrants as "truly a subclass?" So it's not a legally enshrined "subclass," but here you're basically exemplifying the socio-economic/political aspect of "class" that I'm talking about.

    It is not the safety net that is inadequate. America has a safety net. Currently 47 million people receive food stamps-that is a safety net.
    Maybe "safety net" wasn't the right term to use. I meant more than just food stamps. I'm talking about universal health care, free public education, etc.
    This mostly hurts the middle and lower classes because income tax and regulations don't hurt those who are already rich. They don't depend on wages. They skip most of the taxes and have foundations and such which pay no taxes.
    So it's not an issue with social equality per se, so much as the way it's often carried out in the socio-economic-political realm. Whose fault is it that the rich aren't taxed enough? Well I'll tell you that it's definitely not the pinkos who want to foist equality of income upon the unsuspecting populous!
    When you try to force equality of outcome on a society the government takes more and more and that unproductive portion of society grows while production shrinks. People don't put in equal amounts of effort. People don't have equal talents. People are not equal but they should have equal rights. Your thesis would take away those equal rights in a vain effort to make outcomes equal. That rewards non-production and penalizes production so you get more non-production and less production. Eventually most people get poor with a veneer of super rich over seeing the slaves. This is history.
    Inequality seems to be a big part of history, regardless of political ideology. It could be inequality under the law, social inequality, economic inequality, gender inequality... I don't have any illusions that perfect equality (in any of these realms) will ever happen. That doesn't mean though that societies shouldn't take steps to make things fairer for the greater majority.

    What's the point of having the same right to do XYZ as everyone else when you don't have the opportunity to do XYZ for various reasons?


    riverflow
  • Treat everyone and every living thing with the treatment it requires. For example if you are at home and you are looking after a baby, the baby is sat in it's highchair fine eating it's food, yet the cat is clearly being sick, you need to divert you attention more to getting the cat seen to whilst still having your attention on your baby. It is a matter of balance and situation in my opinion.
    Invincible_summerlobsterriverflow
  • I think that in our personal choices, we even discriminate against ourselves. For example, when we believe our children are more important than ourselves, we are making a judgement. Yes, children do need protection because of their innocence. However, this can often morph into giving them higher status. Adults sometimes let their children run their home. This belief that they have a higher status, often does become over-indulgence.

    In accordance with Buddhist teachings, all people are equal and even more-so, it is important to stop comparing and putting anyone on a pedestal. People become very upset when you tell them they are as important as their children. They become self-righteous and start attacking. Hard one to overcome but it is a typical response.
  • We in the west put children first, then women and finally men. Buddhist countries used to put men first. I know they still do in Thailand. Christianity puts men first in the bible. Several other religions tend to put men first.

    Is equality evident anywhere in the world?

    It sounds like there is even a caste system in a family.
  • BarraBarra soto zennie wandering in a cloud in beautiful, bucolic Victoria BC, on the wacky left coast of Canada Veteran
    Could the OP please explain what a POC is? You say that your President is one.
  • MaryAnneMaryAnne Veteran
    edited December 2013
    POC = Person/People of Color
    meaning African/American, Hispanic/American, Asian/American, etc. Anyone not "white". This is a widely accepted term to use in the USA to indicate multiple races that are not white. I don't know if it's a commonly used term outside the USA....
  • MaryAnne said:

    POC = Person/People of Color
    meaning African/American, Hispanic/American, Asian/American, etc. Anyone not "white". This is a widely accepted term to use in the USA to indicate multiple races that are not white. I don't know if it's a commonly used term outside the USA....

    I've never heard it used in British Columbia.
    We have multi-culturalism.
    Folks are welcome to bring their culture, language and religion with them when they arrive. Different ethnicities are identified as such or in some cases by their religion such as with Sikhs.
    Generally all non whites are not lumped together.
    Apparently things might be different in Quebec. Not sure. I haven't been there.
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited December 2013
    White people are colored too......or else they would be clear. :D
    MaryAnneJeffreyKundo
  • MaryAnneMaryAnne Veteran
    edited December 2013
    Well, I want to clarify that "POC" is not a term we just slap on everyone we meet according to skin tone or place of origin. :)

    It came about (from what I understand) for usage in writing and speaking publicly whenever one wanted to make sure they included everyone when discussing "minorities"... especially since in some circumstances and instances people of (different) colors very well might not be in the minority; they could be the majority.
    And sometimes, in America, some people seem to forget that things are not just between or about "Blacks and Whites"... there's a whole rainbow of colors representing people of all backgrounds. We are truly a melting pot.

    You rarely hear the term "minority" or minorities any longer from more educated people (IMO). So yeah, I guess you can say using the term "POC" instead, is more "PC" (politically correct).

    I have never heard or read of any POC or people of any nationality complaining about the term... ::: shrugs::: It seems to be a pretty non-offensive and acceptable term.
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited December 2013
    ^^^ Well....that can debated, I guess.
    For the record...My family and friends do not
    like being called colored. Black.....thats
    fine......(maybe it's a southern thing)...

    sorry...going off topic here....
    I'm off to work....
  • MaryAnneMaryAnne Veteran
    edited December 2013
    It is absolutely NOT acceptable to call people 'colored'. At least not where I come from.
    I don't think I've ever heard that term said by anyone less than 80 years old - and not from the South.
  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited December 2013
    I new that black is acceptable. I don't think I knew that coloured isn't. I'm glad I do now.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Just for the record, "Colored" was a preferred descriptor used by many Black people in the United States at one period of time...specifically by emancipated slaves.
    VastmindBarra
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited December 2013
    ^^^ record noted. lolololololol
  • BarraBarra soto zennie wandering in a cloud in beautiful, bucolic Victoria BC, on the wacky left coast of Canada Veteran
    Thanks for explaining. I thought I was on top of that kind of thing, but as noted, it is not used in Canada, even though we have lots of people of varied colours.
    Sorry that I took this off topic.
  • My grandfather said 'colored' when he was alive.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Vastmind said:

    ^^^ record noted. lolololololol

    Odd that you find history funny.

  • While we're on the subject of race, does anyone else consider Hispanics, Caucasian? I mean, they are descended from Spaniards, who are from Europe. Now, look at the Italians, they are considered to be Caucasian, yet they have dark brown skin, often black/brown hair, and brown eyes, just like the Hispanics. They even speak a sort-of similar language.

    So why the distinction?
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited December 2013
    vinlyn said:

    Vastmind said:

    ^^^ record noted. lolololololol

    Odd that you find history funny.

    Nah...that's not what made me laugh.....
    too long and complicated to explain.

    Yes, I can be very odd at times.....
    cost of doing business. :cool:
  • @Zayl I think it is because they have roots from the native peoples also.
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited December 2013
    Jeffrey said:

    My grandfather said 'colored' when he was alive.

    Yes.....it usually tells of someone's age now a days.... The word is just
    considered not acceptable in the current times......that's all. :)

  • MaryAnneMaryAnne Veteran
    edited December 2013
    No one in my 100% Italian family has "dark brown" skin... Though we do tan quite nicely! :D My grandmother was very fair skinned, and her hair was just a medium brown, her eyes; hazel. My skin tone is not considered dark at all... Oh, it's not alabaster by any means, but certainly not "brown".
    I also know Puerto Ricans with very pale skin, dark hair and dark eyes. I also have a cousin (in-law) who is 1st generation Cuban-American, she is also fair skinned, but dark haired.
    I don't think the term Hispanic is based on skin tone. I think it's based on language and culture... however, I'm not claiming to be any sort of expert.

    OK, looked it up. This is what I found:

    "The difference between Latino and Hispanic:

    Latino
    generally refers to countries (or cultures) that were once under Roman rule.
    This includes Italy, France, Spain, etc. Brazilians are considered to be Latino, but are not considered to be Hispanic.

    Hispanic describes cultures or countries that were once under Spanish rule; Mexico, Central America, and most South America where Spanish is the primary language.

    In American-English, Latino has come to be equated with Hispanic and are often used interchangeably without offense despite identifying two different origins, but neither term should be used to describe a race. "
  • Acceptability drifts with time. Nobody in our (USA) current culture would use the word "colored" politely; it's considered mildly offensive, with an implication that the speaker is uneducated (according to my interpretation of current culture). But a few generations ago the colored people called themselves colored people. They formed the NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the organization still exists.

    The word Gay seems to have undergone a similar but faster evolution, just within my own lifetime.

    None of which has to do with Buddhists putting men first in Thailand.
  • Language is certainly 'fluid'... no doubt about that.
    At one time "negro" was acceptable, now it's not. We won't even go there with the other "n" word.
    With growing empathy, and civility, our words (should) start to reflect a little more respect for those we speak about.

    And for the most part, people seem to make an effort to be as non-offensive as possible. I know I do. If I ever use the wrong term or an offensive word, I assure you it's out of ignorance and not malice or bigotry.
    I just recently found out a word I've used to say someone was of Polish decent was not acceptable. I just didn't know! But now that I do know, I'll never use it again. Live and Learn- every day! :-D
    Vastmind
  • My cat has special status...we all serve him. Just to note, in merica...children's rights were based on animal rights.
  • LiiLii Explorer
    Vastmind said:

    Jeffrey said:

    My grandfather said 'colored' when he was alive.

    Yes.....it usually tells of someone's age now a days.... The word is just
    considered not acceptable in the current times......that's all. :)

  • LiiLii Explorer
    A funny I heard from a young child. She asked me if I had a boyfriend in the second grade and I told her I did. She asked me what color he was. I said "white." She said "well, was he actually white or did he have a skin tone?" Progress
  • LiiLii Explorer

    My cat has special status...we all serve him. Just to note, in merica...children's rights were based on animal
    rights.

    What do you mean?

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