positive socio-religious engineering!

baza baza at themauvezone.fsnet.co.uk
Wed Jan 26 19:54:45 CST 2005

Andy Stone wrote:

> I'm relatively new to Ubuntu, so please pardon me if the views I 
> express here are old and worn:
> I came to Ubuntu for technical reasons, and have been very impressed 
> on that level. It is my main desktop now. However, I've been more 
> impressed with how Ubuntu and the community are really going for the 
> big one - trying to bring folk together in a spirit of hope and 
> co-operation. Startling if you think about it even in FOSS-world, yet 
> so simply executed. I thank you all for the good vibe.
> I am particularly interested in what's been happening on the religious 
> front - the most sensitive of areas. I write this now because from a 
> newbie's perspective, I think something good has come out of all the 
> ridiculousness over the excellent Warty artwork. I'll explain via a 
> slight digression:
> In the Ottoman empire, religious diversity was celebrated. There was 
> federal law, and another law per religion based upon its tenets. So in 
> practice depending on your religion you were legally bound by a 
> different set of rules to those of your neighbour. It is a contended 
> view, but the main line is that this led to tolerance and freedom 
> based on a celebration of differing beliefs.
> Contrast this with modern-day in my country - UK. Social pressure to 
> not highlight religious differences is now being backed up with 
> legislation. Children must not wear religious clothing to schools. We 
> are trying to make everyone seem the same, and hide those beliefs that 
> are different from others. This is tangibly breeding fear and hatred. 
> How bland, colourless and repressive.
> In the forums I frequently notice signatures containing religious 
> sentiment. I found myself at first bristling at this - as a pagan I 
> rarely see my views represented, and to be told other peoples beliefs 
> as though they were fact (Christ died for you, etc.) I saw as a 
> personal attack. However, I remembered the Ottoman Empire and realised 
> how totally, totally cool it is that here we express ourselves in that 
> way and it only adds colour. It is very liberating. I feel that this 
> is a change recently, and may in part be a positive reaction to the 
> fear-based niggles of a minority regarding the afore-mentioned artwork.
> It is amazing that we've reached this place. Ubuntu it seems to me is 
> shining a light on a dull fetid world in many more ways than just 
> technically. Where I live snowdrops have appeared - the first sign of 
> the returning year. This seems fitting to me
Err... ok.


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