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This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
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Mr. Wolf Offline
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This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
This declassified CIA report from 1995 presents an interesting contrast between Judeo-Christian traditions of objective truth vs. Islamic focus on preserving personal dignity (face) at any cost, and why lie detection by polygraph does not work on muslims:

Most interesting snippet: "By definition and profession, Islam is the "surrendering of the self to the will of Allah," and it portrays a God remote, all-pervading, and wholly out of contact with the individual man. In prayers, to be sure, Muslims implore God to do well by them and lead them on the right path. But all of Muslim theology conveys the feeling that God is so all-pervading and at the same time so far above and removed from the individual that all human actions and their consequences are but the sequels of God's doings: the individual is merely an animate pawn. This supremely impersonal God, above and beyond rather than within a person, impresses on the individual no requirement to accept guilt or personal responsibility for anything or to develop a conscience differentiating between intrinsic right and wrong."

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-t...p_0001.htm

For those reluctant to follow a link to the CIA website, I've cut-and-pasted the article below:

"FACE" AMONG THE ARABS

Peter A. Naffsinger

George Washington, American children are told, having cut down his father's favorite cherry tree, showed his sterling character by confessing to the deed. An Arab hearing this story not only fails to see the moral beauty of such behavior but wonders why anyone would ever compromise his integrity by admitting thus his guilt. As to Washington's explanation that "I cannot tell a lie," the Arab asks how a man could rise to the presidency if he were not suave enough to use a well-concocted falsehood as a tactic in emergency behavior.

The values and rationale underlying these reactions are an aspect of "national character," a factor said to be of importance in estimating likely courses of national action and certainly of importance in dealing man to man with individuals. A syndrome of the Arab values can be called the face concept, an understanding of which is essential for a case officer in his interpersonal relationships with peoples stretching across North Africa and from Greece to Japan. Although we are concerned here specifically with Arabs, the same concept is applicable in a broad way to most Muslim groups and to some Far Eastern peoples.

An understanding of the concept will help define an area of potential difficulty in personal relations and give insight into stated and unstated Eastern attitudes. It will explain the extreme difficulty of resurrecting once-fallen political figures and getting them any public acceptance. It will show motivating forces which may be operationally useful, for example in contriving a character defamation.

The high value which the cultural patterns of the East place upon the concept of personal dignity is central to that behavior from which the frustrated American encountering it for the first time is likely to conclude that an Arab is a living non-sequitur or else deliberately perverse. Although there are many demographic and cultural subgroupings of the Eastern peoples-even the Arab may be an agricultural peasant, a nomad of the desert, a seafarer of the Persian Gulf, a sophisticated urbanite, a university student-the ideal of maintaining face has a universality among them, so that a general analysis of the concept will be pertinent, with minor variations, to all. Yet it should be borne in mind that, since cultural groups consist of individual men, there will be individual deviations from the generalizations drawn in the following discussion.

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Dignity vs. Objectivity
A society expects from all its members an adherence to its own norms and values. According to the degree to which they do so adhere, people are judged acceptable or not acceptable in that society. For the American, earning social acceptability by maintaining his honor is a matter of equating honor with personal integrity. The American manifests his integrity by an uncompromising willingness to face objective truth and fact. Personal respect and acclaim go to him who makes a ruthless search for facts regardless of how self-damaging the results may be.

The American can apologize for revealed shortcomings and gain respect and prestige with an honest effort to correct his own errors. In our culturally determined scale of values the achieving of impersonal objectivity with regard to facts and truth is thus more important than preserving a man's personal dignity before the world at large. At all times and in all circumstances the American is culturally obliged to reconcile his position and his person with truthfully interpreted reality: witness the fact that the verb "to rationalize" usually has for us an ethically negative flavor.

The Arab in his society is likewise expected to show personal integrity in order to be socially acceptable. He, however, manifests his honor and integrity by making a public, outward impression of dignity derived from an ostensible lack of guilt. Even if facts and conditions speak to the contrary, the social veneer of non-guilt must be maintained evident and dominant if he is to achieve the socially demanded face. Dignity and stature are granted only to those who show themselves as flawless; the society of the Arab world has no place or respect for one whose faults or errors come to public knowledge. Blame, fault, or error accruing to an Arab personally brings his immediate fall from social grace and a loss of dignity or face. He therefore feels revulsion and bitterness for anything that tends to compromise him in this way.

Americans and most other Western-bred persons regard it as merely socially inconsiderate or impolite to mention another's errors in public. Management courses teach psychologically graceful ways to correct erring employees without hurting their feelings, suggesting for example "Maybe it would be better if we did this another way" instead of a blunt and ego-damaging "You are doing this all wrong." The Arab would be quick to grasp the wide divergence between the two approaches. But what in American life is a matter of tact and consideration is to him a highly charged social confrontation with many complexities and subtle ramifications of which the American would never have dreamed.

If, as becomes evident after some exposure to Arab behavior, a lack of guilt is what confers on an Arab the dignity or face by which his personal integrity and social acceptability are measures, there must be further consequences flowing from such a displacement of criteria in the social value system as this seems from the viewpoint of Western culture. If lack of guilt gives social dignity, the Arab must maintain his guiltless appearance at all costs. Facts and circumstances can combine in many different ways to reflect unfavorably upon any man, but the Arab cannot afford to allow accrued facts or logic to impute any flaw or guilt to him personally. In self-defense he must interpret the assembled facts subjectively, deny them outright, or reject as illogical any construction that leads to intimations of personal shortcomings. To the American this defense is non-objective, a distortion of truth, and therefore paradoxically destructive of integrity, unless he can take the Arab point of view and recognize personal face as having a higher value than fact or logic in the society.

There are, it is true, many situations in American and Western society in which this kind of defensive thinking tends to arise; but Westerners are expected to be able to recognize and admit the logical flaws when they are pointed out to them. Severe cases of inability to achieve objectivity are interpreted in American society as manifesting pathological symptoms of neurosis or psychopathic personality. Not so in the Near East. In the dynamics of the Arab social system dignity or face is not compromised for the sake of the lesser values found in fact and logic.

In an oil company installation near the Persian Gulf, an American linguist in the training department, after drafting some exercises to be used in instructing American employees in spoken Arabic, gave them to three bilingual Saudi Arabs working for him to check for syntactic and orthographic correctness before publication. The drafts were all tacitly okayed, returned without change; but after they had been published several glaring errors in the work were discovered. Distressed, the linguist questioned the three Arabs, who reluctantly explained that the inaccuracies had of course been obvious to them but they did not feel it would be right to point them out and thereby cause embarrassment to their boss and good friend!

Here the incompatible American and Arab attitudes reflected well the different dominant criteria of each. The American was interested solely in the objective accuracy of the work, a matter which was of secondary importance to the Arabs. They believed in good faith that they had acted with honor as gentlemen in protecting the linguist's dignity above all other considerations.

If an American family in the Near East uses domestic help from the local populace, it may often happen that a vase, say, is accidentally knocked over and broken during the cleaning of a room. When the housewife comes upon the pieces, perhaps picked up and disposed of, her only minimally tactful "How did you break the vase?" will be met with a startled look of surprise, a sheepish grin, and then, after a few hesitating moments of agonized embarrassment, likely the reply, "Oh I didn't; I would never break anything of yours!"

The housewife's account of the incident to her husband will probably center on the outrage to her Western ethic-- ". . . and after I saw the pieces he had the nerve to stand right there and deny it to my face." But the servant, though he truly regrets the accident and would not have done anything of the sort on purpose, has by his own lights reacted naturally and properly in repelling the immediate challenge to his dignity. A subtler approach by the housewife, merely taking notice of the debris in the presence of the servant, would probably have elicited from him a discreet explanation of how ". . . the vase fell while I was dusting the furniture" and thus graciously permitted him to save face.

In matters that may involve him in guilt or blame the Arab's untruths, half-truths, avoidance of reply, or other ploys that jar Westerners do not spring from any perverse desire to deceive; they are facets of the need to maintain that personal dignity and face which in his system of values take precedence.

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Public Image vs. Personal Conscience
As the American is taught to respect objectivity and facts, he is also encouraged to reconcile his personal position with the relevant facts in any given situation. From his earliest years he is impressed, by story and example, with the nobility his culture attaches to the act of admitting his guilt or personal failings which have contributed to some acknowledged larger wrong. He is imbued with the conception that it is manly to own up to his guilt straightforwardly, even at the price of self-injury or extreme embarrassment.

So firmly is this idea imposed that every American, except the psychopathic personality, can have intense feelings of personal guilt and may even lie awake nights worrying about wrongs, real or fancied, that he has done to cause hurt to others. He can relieve these guilt feelings by making an apology to the injured party or otherwise rectifying the wrong. The embarrassment entailed in admitting error is of less consequence than the need to alleviate the pangs of guilt.

Christianity emphasizes the personal God within each man, who enforces an ideal of perfection in behaviour and in thought. The sacrifice of the "only begotten Son" dramatizes this personal God interested in each individual soul. The Christian is supposed, by prayer or confession, to ask pardon for every instance of failure to reach perfection, and it is not difficult to see how this concept could instill a sense of personal guilt and obligation beyond self. The development of conscience or capacity for feeling guilt in religious life naturally spills over into non-religious contexts in cultures where Christianity is dominant and so is evident in other acts of life.

Offering sharply contrasting principles to these, Islam--religion, social force, and almost complete way of life of the ab Near East-naturally shapes much of the Arabs' cultural attitude. Even the Christian Arabs are immersed in a background of Muslim culture. By definition and profession, Islam is the "surrendering of the self to the will of Allah," and it portrays a God remote, all-pervading, and wholly out of contact with the individual man. In prayers, to be sure, Muslims implore God to do well by them and lead them on the right path. But all of Muslim theology conveys the feeling that God is so all-pervading and at the same time so far above and removed from the individual that all human actions and their consequences are but the sequels of God's doings: the individual is merely an animate pawn. This supremely impersonal God, above and beyond rather than within a person, impresses on the individual no requirement to accept guilt or personal responsibility for anything or to develop a conscience differentiating between intrinsic right and wrong.

Thus when a Westerner tries to show an Arab that he is to blame for something, he never really succeeds in getting the point across. Western personnel at oil installations in Iraq, Syria, and the Persian Gulf area are frustrated in trying to correct mistakes of Arab trainees on industrial equipment. When confronted with having made a wrong move that could have had the most serious of safety or technological consequences, the Arab is unwilling and unable to accept the idea that he should feel either sorry or responsible for his mistake. He dismisses both blame and censure with a casual "min allah" -- "It is from God." To the remonstrance that it had better not happen again he answers "inshallah," "If God wills it," with exasperating nonchalance. In agent work, where supervision cannot be so close, this indifference to personal responsibility and tendency to atomistic thinking will necessarily be even more troublesome.

To the Arab, all is from Allah, and if Allah does all, the individual cannot be held responsible. Man is required to follow the teachings of the Koran and the Hadith and to perform his religious obligations, but he is not answerable to an inner God, a conscience. Instead of a sense of personal responsibility for his acts, the Arab has a deeply inculcated fear of outside forces; he realizes he must answer for his actions to society. This social sensitivity, together with his all-is-from-Allah fatalism, may in some measure explain why the Arab world knows scarcely any suicides, that common aberration of Christian living in the West. At any rate it explains why he is more interested in the face he presents to society than in exposing the facts of a situation.

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The Surrogate
The Arab's need to project his self in a form completely acceptable to the harsh judgments of society renders his face, his dignity mask, a type of surrogate as thought of in the philosophy of Jung, one in which he wraps the very essence of his being. This is another form of that transference of self in complete allegiance which is an easily accomplished maneuver in the Arab world and the entire Near East. In politics the surrogate takes the form of a popular personality who has become the leader. The political surrogate with which the people identify themselves and their very souls must almost undergo deification to be worthy of their complete faith, allegiance, and devotion, and he must necessarily remain free of any conceivable flaw, unblemished in their eyes. At the first sign of failure, faltering, or political error, he immediately loses all allegiance-transferred to some new strong political personality moving in-and suffers his demise without anyone wondering why he was once in such high acclaim. There is a pointed moral here for anyone trying to influence political developments in Muslim countries: once a charismatic leader had been overthrown, it would be most difficult to arouse support or popular following to place him in power again. Promoters of a countercoup would be hawking tainted goods.

A similar surrogate within the individual is the outside mask or face to which the self or ego is transferred by the Arab, along with all his pride and self-esteem. This face presented to society at large then assumes more importance than his real self. The finding of defects or faults in it constitutes an attack on his very being, for there is no alternative surrogate to which the ego can be transferred. Hence the Arab whose integrity or face is challenged and in danger of being found imperfect is in quite a delicate position. He has to go to extremes to keep his social mask intact, thus taking actions completely contrary to the Western ethic and bewildering to the Westerner.

The constant effort to keep up face seems almost paranoiac by Western standards. Entertaining delusions of grandeur, claiming to be persecuted, magnifying faults in others that one wants to hide in oneself, calling constantly for redemption and resurgence of past greatness-all this is behavior typical of paranoia, but it is manifested in every Arabic political newspaper and among individuals in day-to-day social intercourse. It cannot be considered abnormal in the Arab cultural setting. Given the importance of face to the Arab, such behavior must be recognized as a socially practical and accepted method of warding off or refuting any outside attack on his integrity. The Westerner who, recognizing in the Arab the personality traits which in Western culture signify paranoia or inferiority complex, is pleased with himself for being able to "see through the Arab's attempts at deceit and trickery and his lies" shows his lack of appreciation of the face concept in the Arab culture. It is the Westerner who has learned always to allow the Arab a graceful way to save himself from implications of guilt when difficulties arise who will make him a friend and avoid many frustrations and impasses in the relationship.

There is a proverb in Chinese which can be roughly translated, "Point at the chicken to scold the dog." On its face incomprehensible to the Westerner, it means that if the dog has done something wrong you should berate the chicken in his presence in order to get at the wrong-doer without causing undue embarrassment. The chicken is not embarrassed because everyone knows it was not he who did it, and the dog does not lose face through public shame or direct censure.

This principle was illustrated by an episode which occurred in Teheran but could as easily have come from the Arab world. A small radio had been stolen from-the house of an American employing two Iranian servants, A and B. A was clearly the culprit, but direct accusation would have brought a quick denial and reduced the chances for recovery of the radio. Servant B was consulted; he advised the American housewife to chastize him severely in front of A. She did, and the radio was recovered with a minimum of interpersonal difficulty.

An incident cited by an American sociologist 1 illustrates another kind of situation. An Arab who caught another man in bed with his wife leveled a gun at them, but instead of shooting he offered to let the man off if he would keep the affair secret. The man promised and was let go. Later the Arab divorced his wife quietly, and the incident was considered closed. The double murder that might have been the outcome in Western cultures would have made newspaper headlines, a result diametrically opposed to the Arab's priority considerations. His pledging the wife and cuckolder to secrecy on pain of death guaranteed that no outsiders would learn of the matter and thus saved him an embarrassing loss of face. The quiet divorce rid him of his problem. The emotional distress which other husbands might have felt was for the Arab a problem of secondary importance; he could tell himself that Allah determines all and therefore not to trouble himself with the sequels of any acts. This story illustrates well the principle that the Arab is the reverse of the Westerner in that he feels very strongly the force of public shame in loss of face but is able to slough off the feelings of personal inadequacy which would be acute in a Westerner.

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Subjective Fact
In Western cultures a fact is an objective absolute not subject to mutation through human interpretation. But the Arab mentality treats fact and truth as relative, to some extent a projection of the mind for the benefit of the self or ego. With this subjective processing the facts become what the Arab emotionally wants to believe is true. They can thus be made to mesh harmoniously with criteria which stand higher on the value scale because connected with the maintenance of face. Neither facts nor their connotations can stand up against the Arab's facade of personal dignity or be arrayed to form an attack on his surrogate of face.

Many concepts of the philosophy of the ancient Greeks have been discussed, adapted, and adopted by major Arab thinkers, but there is little sign in present-day Arab culture that Greek analytical self-critical philosophy ever entered the Near East. The motto "Know thyself" is not quoted by the Arabs; if it were, it would have to have an entirely new meaning. Knowing oneself, to include defining and acknowledging one's weaknesses, would destroy the principle that the surrogate of face or personal dignity must be defended at all costs and ostensible perfection maintained. The concept of self-examination, whether for purposes of self-management or self-improvement, could not be accepted because of its conflict with more honored cultural requirement of blameless dignity. The Arab is likewise quite unacquainted with the idea of examining his conduct to find the sources of his mistakes or misfortunes. If he did engage in such introspection he would be forced to intensify the subjectivity of his factual interpretations in order to avoid findings which might be detrimental to his face. In short, the Arab will not find anything wrong with himself.

Many say that the Arab has no capacity for self-analysis; but this is a rather shallow observation. If he lacked analytical ability, no Bedouin would ever have survived the desert drought problems. It is when analysis impinges upon the prime value of personal dignity that the use of subjective interpretations in order to preclude embarrassing conclusions begins to give outside observers doubts about the Arab's ability to reconcile himself with reality.

During the Israeli invasion of Sinai in October 1956, the Saudi Arabs in the oil fields along the Persian Gulf felt personal concern about the plight of their Egyptian brothers. In one instance some of those at a particular plant were much worried about a news item to the effect that in three days of fighting Israeli troops had captured five thousand Egyptians. They held a powwow, buzzing and chattering about it among themselves. After some time, however, the group broke up and all went away looking relieved and happy. Asked how they had resolved their anxiety, one of the more articulate explained that they had decided Israeli troops could never have captured 5,000 of anything, even sheep, in the Sinai region. Therefore the story was not true, and that ended the matter. All was right with the world again.

A former German army doctor who specialized in psychiatry and the diagnosis of mental disturbances was resident in Damascus during 1953 and 1954. During this time he was denied permission to practice in Syria, with the explanation that although medical doctors were always welcome, there was nothing wrong with Arabs mentally and hence no need for his services.

Knowledgeable Arabs realize that their people and countries fall in some measure short of the progress and development that some other nations have achieved. Unable to find themselves at fault for this, they are naturally led to seek the cause of their troubles in outside sources-the will of Allah, the imperialists, Israel, family and personal obligations, and many real wrongs which have been done them. This saves the collective face from appearing defective and allows those who can accept subjectively interpreted facts to maintain their sense of personal dignity and self-confidence.

The lack of objective self-analysis in the Near East generally permits a type of boasting which is honest in that there is no real discrepancy between an Arab's outward show of, say, fantastic courage and his true feelings. In the absence of analysis he does not realize that he has weaknesses and could not perform accordingly. Unending talk of courageous endeavor and boasting his own virtues in order to give himself faith in his surrogate of face may make the Arab seem insincere to the Westerner; but if the latter challenges his boasts the two are brought to an impasse. The Arab could not be made to recognize his own weakness, and even if he could he would not admit the threat to his dignity.

Some of the secondary schools of the Middle Eastern countries schedule athletic contests with one another, and after each game members of the losing team will get together and discuss the event. Not infrequently they conclude that "the referee was against us" instead of acknowledging their own faulty plays or the other team's superiority.

In any situation in which shame or guilt threatens the Arab he will be able to explain away whatever impinges on his personal dignity with an array of facts that are meant to be accepted by the listener and not challenged. Whether the story is believed or not and whether the facts are objective or logical are secondary considerations; it is considered quite unmannerly to embarrass him by challenging his explanations. Many of the stories of Juha and his donkey which abound in Arabic folklore have their point for the Arab not in the happenings, logical or illogical, they portray but rather in the quick wit and inventive genius with which the hero survives each incident.

In many phases of the Arabic cultural setting the Westerner with his fetish for objectivity is decidedly out of place, for a subjective interpretation of facts and truth is most suitable in a milieu where face and personal dignity are the things of prime importance.

In summation, the face concept can be said to have three interrelated aspects. The Arab's extreme effort to show himself blameless, an effort which seems too transparent and unrealistic to Westerners, is the product of the high value his culture puts upon personal dignity, of his feeling answerable for his conduct to society rather than to any divine conscience within himself, and of his sense of the subjectivity of fact.

1 Hamady, 8ania; Temperament and Character of the Arabs, Twayne Publishers, New York. 1960. p. 37.
01-02-2016 02:39 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
"The Arab is likewise quite unacquainted with the idea of examining his conduct to find the sources of his mistakes or misfortunes. If he did engage in such introspection he would be forced to intensify the subjectivity of his factual interpretations in order to avoid findings which might be detrimental to his face. In short, the Arab will not find anything wrong with himself."

I can tell you that the CIA troll, sorry analyst, who wrote that, was having some fun at his desk (writing, on purpose, over-complicated obscure sentences, then summing them up in one short, plain and ironic sentence). Interesting read anyway...
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2016 03:14 PM by Going strong.)
01-02-2016 03:02 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
Same CIA that has assassinated global leaders and plotted regime change for decades?

yeah, they're biased and self serving.

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01-02-2016 03:16 PM
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This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-02-2016 03:16 PM)WestIndianArchie Wrote:  Same CIA that has assassinated global leaders and plotted regime change for decades?

yeah, they're biased and self serving.

WIA

If you feel that the CIA is an unreliable source, may I recommend you this excellent travel book by the superb Indian writer (by way of Trinidad) V. S. Naipaul:

Among the Believers

In this book, written much earlier than the paper cited in the OP, Naipaul reaches essentially the same conclusions based on his personal observations. He observes that the contemporary Muslim societies are simply unable to accept the fact that they have fallen far behind other civilizations; and to protect their pride and vanity, they will blame anything and everything else, rather than admit their failings and seek to rectify them.

Thus, even though all their political ideas (including the contemporary ideologies of nationalism and of Islamic fundamentalism), as well as all the material goods they use, are invariably the product of the West, they refuse to acknowledge their indebtedness to the West because to do so would be an admission of inferiority. And so they continue using Western produced goods, weapons, and ideologies while railing against the very culture that produced them. As Naipaul notes, this is an attitude that defines the ingrate and what Americans also call the LOSER. That, in so many words, is the same description given in this CIA paper.

It's worth contrasting this with the attitude taken by various Asian countries, both in the east (Japan, Korea, Singapore etc) and increasingly in the subcontinent (India). Instead of sitting around and blaming the West for their failings, and concocting conspiracy theories involving the "CIA" or the "Zionists" to explain why they fall ever farther behind, they simply worked hard to make their countries into better places, and adopted what they could from the West, while keeping their distinct national identities and traditions. That is what healthy cultures do when faced with a challenge. The contemporary Muslim culture, however, is far from healthy and that is no one's fault but their own.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2016 03:56 PM by The Lizard of Oz.)
01-02-2016 03:39 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
I didn't read the whole thing, but yea, honor beats honesty and anything resembling human emotions any day of the week in the Arab world.

Examples:

American: You have ass herpes because of all the men you're sleeping with.
Arab: Are you calling me a faggot? I will kill you!!!!

American: Sorry about accidentally shooting your daughter. You want a goat?
Arab: It's ok. These things happen.
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2016 03:46 PM by JacksonRev.)
01-02-2016 03:41 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-02-2016 03:39 PM)The Lizard of Oz Wrote:  Thus, even though all their political ideas (including the contemporary ideologies of nationalism and of Islamic fundamentalism), as well as all the material goods they use, are invariably the product of the West, they refuse to acknowledge their indebtedness to the West because to do so would be an admission of inferiority. And so they continue using Western produced goods, weapons, and ideologies while railing against the very culture that produced them. As Naipaul notes, this is an attitude that defines the ingrate and what Americans also call the LOSER. That, in so many words, is the same description given in this CIA paper.

Well, I am not extremely informed on how the Middle East operates, but it would be hard to say that they all operate by the "externalize blame" mentality.

Both the UAE and Qatar are industrialized countries in the Arab world. In addition to this Iran has retained a significant amount of their intellectual elite, they just never were given a solid opportunity to industrialize due to the sanctions that the US applied to them in 1979. I do not know the how the whole economic sanction thing worked, but I do know that it has inhibited the economic growth of Iran up to this point.

Now that Iran has the opportunity to be reintroduced to the global economic world it will be interesting to see how they develop. I have met a few immigrants or second generation children from Iran through college, all of them were intelligent science oriented people.

Syria and Iraq will be tougher nuts to crack because they were arbitrarily created by the French and British after the Ottoman empire collapsed. I have no idea how they were managed as states by the Ottoman empire, but I highly suspect that the arbitrary boundaries they have today were nothing like the states they were within the Ottoman empire. This is especially due to the fact that you have multiple groups of sects of Muslims living within those territories that hate each other, each vying for control over territory and resources within those countries.

When I put aside my emotional tendency to side with whatever thinking would benefit the Western Europeans best (my heritage), I can definitely understand why the Muslims put a lot of blame on the European people for their current hardships. The Europeans have been keeping that region in a perpetual state of destabilization in order to assert authority and power over those countries while simultaneously extracting as much oil from that region to power their (our) own industrialized countries.

I do not have the whole history of what has gone down in that region, but when you start to account for all the parties involved (which is a lot), you start to see that the political and cultural things happening in that region is very very complex.

Edit: And I do want to reiterate that I do not fully understand the ongoings of that region. These are just my thoughts from having a basic overview of it.
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2016 04:47 PM by All or Nothing.)
01-02-2016 04:43 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
Sam Harris said it best when he said something to the effect of "Muslims have no idea what constitutes a civil society".

If you're still whipping, lashing, beheading, and stoning people or living under the threat of such things AND you think it's the proper way to run a society, then it's seriously time to step back and do some introspection.

Arabs are hopeless.
01-02-2016 06:03 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-02-2016 03:16 PM)WestIndianArchie Wrote:  Same CIA that has assassinated global leaders and plotted regime change for decades?

yeah, they're biased and self serving.

WIA

In addition to what Wizard of Oz linked, there are also many other commentaries on Arab's honor culture such as this:

http://www.amazon.com/Honor-History-Jame...ords=Honor

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01-02-2016 06:26 PM
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El Chinito loco Offline
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-02-2016 04:43 PM)All or Nothing Wrote:  
(01-02-2016 03:39 PM)The Lizard of Oz Wrote:  Thus, even though all their political ideas (including the contemporary ideologies of nationalism and of Islamic fundamentalism), as well as all the material goods they use, are invariably the product of the West, they refuse to acknowledge their indebtedness to the West because to do so would be an admission of inferiority. And so they continue using Western produced goods, weapons, and ideologies while railing against the very culture that produced them. As Naipaul notes, this is an attitude that defines the ingrate and what Americans also call the LOSER. That, in so many words, is the same description given in this CIA paper.

Well, I am not extremely informed on how the Middle East operates, but it would be hard to say that they all operate by the "externalize blame" mentality.

Both the UAE and Qatar are industrialized countries in the Arab world.

They really aren't truly industrialized. They have all the trappings of modernity designed, built, and operated by nearly 100% foreign labor.

If you took out all the expat and subcontinent slave labor in gulf arab countries they would seriously collapse overnight.

Gulf arabs as a whole live on the dole and get by on social connections based on government jobs accorded to them based on having the good fortune of being born into a society with black gold. They are lazy, arrogant, and incompetent.

If it weren't for the complex web of geopolitics and military which the U.S. shields them with they would have been gobbled up a long time ago by various more aggressive powers.
01-02-2016 09:39 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
Quote:Judeo-Christian traditions of objective truth

What?

Take attention away from attention whores and all that is left is whores.

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01-02-2016 10:21 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
This is HBD-erific.

It's not Islam per se though. It's the result of being clannish and shame based. However condoning cousin marriage is a problem.

Christian Arabs are less cosanguinous (ie marrying cousins) so they'll be less like this. But not entirely honest either.

Certain Islamic sects like Alawites and Shia generally are also better in this regard.

And it isn't a judeo-christian tradition. It's just a Christian tradition. The Catholic Church discouraged cousin marriage and Protestants continued.
01-03-2016 02:04 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
This does suggest a good explanation for why Asian societies are so shitty even with their higher IQs: having a culture based on the argument from authority fallacy.
01-03-2016 03:14 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-02-2016 09:39 PM)El Chinito loco Wrote:  They really aren't truly industrialized. They have all the trappings of modernity designed, built, and operated by nearly 100% foreign labor.

If you took out all the expat and subcontinent slave labor in gulf arab countries they would seriously collapse overnight.

Gulf arabs as a whole live on the dole and get by on social connections based on government jobs accorded to them based on having the good fortune of being born into a society with black gold. They are lazy, arrogant, and incompetent.

If it weren't for the complex web of geopolitics and military which the U.S. shields them with they would have been gobbled up a long time ago by various more aggressive powers.

The foreign labor part is brilliant in a way, even if it is cruel and goes against our modern perception of human rights. India has a large amount of excess population who are not being properly integrated into the economy. The UAE, for example, took a piece of that excess population and used it develop their economy while simultaneously refusing full citizenship status. That is really smart if you think about it.

Qatar on the other hand has been able to develop their economy using their natural resources as their base, but they have been using the money made off of that to diversify their income by broadening the scope of their industrialization beyond oil and gas. On top of this, Qatar has even gone as far as creating a well known news outlet, Al Jazeera, to extend their political influence into the far reaches of the world.

I just looked it up and Qatar's military relationship with the US only goes back to 1992 and even then the US is not providing them overt protection. The same could be said of the UAE with the relationship developing in 1994.

Also, as far as I know, most of the defense has been going to Saudi Arabia from the US. Saudi Arabia is relying heavily on US provided defense to provide them protection while simultaneously pursuing their own geo-political interests in the world, which appear to be diametrically opposite to the US in terms of migrant relationships and culture. Saudi Arabia is the country that will most likely collapse when US defense dissipates over time.

These things can be readily researched and are well documented on the internets if you are interested in having a deeper understanding of the situation. Mind you, I only have a surface overview of this stuff and I have not really gone into the interpersonal relationships or culture. I just like looking at demographic and economic tables because the numbers don't lie.

If you can provide clear evidence to the contrary of what I have said beyond an emotional appeal, I am open to listening and changing my views.
01-03-2016 04:44 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
Quote:A similar surrogate within the individual is the outside mask or face to which the self or ego is transferred by the Arab, along with all his pride and self-esteem. This face presented to society at large then assumes more importance than his real self. The finding of defects or faults in it constitutes an attack on his very being, for there is no alternative surrogate to which the ego can be transferred. Hence the Arab whose integrity or face is challenged and in danger of being found imperfect is in quite a delicate position. He has to go to extremes to keep his social mask intact, thus taking actions completely contrary to the Western ethic and bewildering to the Westerner.

The constant effort to keep up face seems almost paranoiac by Western standards.

It's that last sentence to most focus on, because it probably isn't so paranoic to Western psychologists anymore.

Here's another quote, albeit it's from another website many of you will be familiar with. Yes, I am withholding the name of the website for effect.

Quote:Lori Gottlieb is a writer for the various outlets that pose as intelligent-- Slate, NPR, Salon, whose demo is people who use the word "inappropriate" and know there are no wrong answers. She also wrote a book called, Marry Him: The Case For Settling For Mr. Good Enough which roughly coincided with her never marrying anybody.

Other than submit articles to The Atlantic, she did something else that a lot of confused, directionless people do: she became a therapist. Easy, everybody, hold that thought for a minute, we'll come back to it.

But soon I met a patient I'll call Lizzie. Imagine a bright, attractive 20-something woman with strong friendships, a close family, and a deep sense of emptiness. She had come in, she told me, because she was "just not happy." And what was so upsetting, she continued, was that she felt she had nothing to be unhappy about. She reported that she had "awesome" parents, two fabulous siblings, supportive friends, an excellent education, a cool job, good health, and a nice apartment... So why did she have trouble sleeping at night? Why was she so indecisive, afraid of making a mistake, unable to trust her instincts and stick to her choices? Why did she feel "less amazing" than her parents had always told her she was? Why did she feel "like there's this hole inside" her? Why did she describe herself as feeling "adrift"?

I was stumped.


I'm not surprised. None of those variables have anything to do with happiness. Any way Lizzie has of identifying herself based on something she's done rather than something she has or is? Any of those characteristics a verb? No?

The website is The Last Psychiatrist, and the article is this one.

The Ay-rab of 1995 and the modern Western woman -- not to mention a worryingly large slice of modern Western men -- have a disturbing thing in common: they both define themselves solely by factors external to themselves. They are, in short, narcissists. And they share the same mad running on the hamster wheel to keep up face, albeit in entirely different ways. The Ay-rab this unfortunate CIA typist was dealing with is desperate to save face because his identity in the eyes of others is what he has been brought up all his life to regard as primary. The modern woman has been conditioned -- by her shitty, Baby Boomer, narcissist parenting -- to do the same thing. Why else does a modern man or woman spend every 10 fucking minutes updating his or her social media? Because they are conditioned to only feel real when they are receiving external validation.

Here's the troubling thought, though, again from the Last Psychiatrist and probably a reason why he confesses to drinking a lot:

Quote:"Why are you so obsessed with narcissism?"

Describe the march of history over the past 100 years. Answer: Fascism, then Marxism, then Narcissism.

What distinguishes the three? Technology.

What followed fascism? War. What followed Marxism? War.
01-03-2016 07:11 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-02-2016 03:16 PM)WestIndianArchie Wrote:  Same CIA that has assassinated global leaders and plotted regime change for decades?

yeah, they're biased and self serving.

WIA

I think you confused two different things there.

CIA is amazingly effective at what it does.
At the same time,
CIA serves the corporate elite, not the American people.

Just because CIA is a vile and self-serving organization doesn't mean it is stupid or incompetent.

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01-03-2016 08:26 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-03-2016 04:44 AM)All or Nothing Wrote:  The foreign labor part is brilliant in a way, even if it is cruel and goes against our modern perception of human rights. India has a large amount of excess population who are not being properly integrated into the economy. The UAE, for example, took a piece of that excess population and used it develop their economy while simultaneously refusing full citizenship status. That is really smart if you think about it.

It's actually really dumb.

It's not so much the human rights concerns which i'm pointing out but a matter of development.

There were powerful empires and city states in the past that used their resource or monetary wealth to import most or all skilled labor. It did not end well if they didn't maintain competency and development of the local (native) population.

The problem with this type of economic policy is that the citizens or native population become complacent over time. More importantly there is not a critical transfer of skills or expertise to the native population. The people importing all labor lose their self sufficiency and capability over time. Keep in mind it's not just blue collar brick laying type manual labor that is all imported but also the expertise to build, operate, and run nearly every technical aspect of their country. Architecture, finance, civil engineering, military equipment etc.. all foreign purchased or operated. The only thing NOT foreign are their cops and some other civil servant class types who they keep national to maintain authority.

Quote:Qatar on the other hand has been able to develop their economy using their natural resources as their base, but they have been using the money made off of that to diversify their income by broadening the scope of their industrialization beyond oil and gas. On top of this, Qatar has even gone as far as creating a well known news outlet, Al Jazeera, to extend their political influence into the far reaches of the world.

If you look at Dubai they have ports, tourism, etc.. but they are still heavily dependent on the wealthy city-state Abu Dhabi for support. Many of their large tourism ventures have been money wasting vanity projects and ultimately flops. This is what happens when your local population is not competent enough to make long term economic decisions.

The U.A.E. is a collection of city state kingdoms and the oil resources tend to be also be internally concentrated within by a few dominant powerful royal families. It's like this in most gulf arab countries a few royals control everything and they are the ones who ultimately dispense money based on their own policies.

Similarly Qatar is also not self sufficient without their oil. If you took their oil away they don't have any real industry to maintain growth and development of their country.

What you are pointing out are all supplemental industries and side investments with oil money..ie. many are passive income investments. They are not enough to build and run an entire economy.

Qatar is no Singapore. It's no Hong Kong.

It's more like a Brunei. The reason why is obvious, these gulf arab countries all have similar economies to other natural resource dependent nations.
(This post was last modified: 01-03-2016 04:27 PM by El Chinito loco.)
01-03-2016 04:20 PM
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RE:
I'm pretty familiar with this, albeit from the other end of Asia.

It's called shame morality, as opposed to guilt morality.

Basically, their axis of values range from glory to shame, while Christian nations have an axis ranging from merit to guilt.

An innocent man convicted in Asia or Africa is ashamed about his situation. Everyone is looking at him like he's dirt; his reputation is ruined.
An innocent man convicted in Europe or European settled land is indignant, because his values are internal, and as he sees it, internal guilt is absent and external shame is irrelevant.

This is also why Asian countries are so enthusiastic about uniformed officers, white-gloved door-openers, military parades, filling your glass to the very brim.
Everything is external for them; generosity is the fact of filling your cup to the brim, not a personality trait; government strength is the fact of military pomp, not a matter of law.

Internal morality can get you through hard times, and external morality is the most pragmatic. I wear whichever hat suits me at the time.
Too much internal morality and you can persuade yourself everyone is an idiot for not appreciating you, and get nowhere.
Too much external morality and you can never learn to bluff, or fake it till you make it, because in your mind you have a fixed rank based on your current reality. People like this are pathetic.

If I had to sum it up, I would say that shame morality is the morality of women.
01-04-2016 02:53 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
Here's about as nerdy a description as I can give:

Guilt Morality: Lawful Good
Shame Morality: Lawful Evil

I guess Dungeons and Dragons is culturally insensitive but hey, Orcs gonna Orc.
01-04-2016 04:23 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
I was reading this for a second time and this gem caught my attention:

Quote:In Western cultures a fact is an objective absolute not subject to mutation through human interpretation. But the Arab mentality treats fact and truth as relative, to some extent a projection of the mind for the benefit of the self or ego.

Come to think of it, this is not how our Western culture currently is. With all the shrieking about race, LGBTQ, rape culture & C.O., we are exactly living through an era of all truth and facts being relative.

In short, we're turned into an Arab society.

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01-04-2016 04:24 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-04-2016 02:53 AM)dispenser Wrote:  I'm pretty familiar with this, albeit from the other end of Asia.

It's called shame morality, as opposed to guilt morality.

Basically, their axis of values range from glory to shame, while Christian nations have an axis ranging from merit to guilt.

An innocent man convicted in Asia or Africa is ashamed about his situation. Everyone is looking at him like he's dirt; his reputation is ruined.
An innocent man convicted in Europe or European settled land is indignant, because his values are internal, and as he sees it, internal guilt is absent and external shame is irrelevant.

This is also why Asian countries are so enthusiastic about uniformed officers, white-gloved door-openers, military parades, filling your glass to the very brim.
Everything is external for them; generosity is the fact of filling your cup to the brim, not a personality trait; government strength is the fact of military pomp, not a matter of law.

Internal morality can get you through hard times, and external morality is the most pragmatic. I wear whichever hat suits me at the time.
Too much internal morality and you can persuade yourself everyone is an idiot for not appreciating you, and get nowhere.
Too much external morality and you can never learn to bluff, or fake it till you make it, because in your mind you have a fixed rank based on your current reality. People like this are pathetic.

If I had to sum it up, I would say that shame morality is the morality of women.

Again nailed. Nobody in the West actually feels guilt for their actions anymore; the only motivation to behave is shame -- which is an attack on external validation, since you derive external validation from external sources, i.e. everyone around you.
01-04-2016 04:51 AM
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CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
I recommend this article as well. It argues that Arab armies are generally terrible because of cultural factors including pride, class structure, clannishness, paranoia and a lack of rewards for initiatives.

"Why Arabs Lose Wars" by Norvell B. De Atkine

Quote:The American trainers took the newly-minted manuals straight to the tank park and distributed them to the tank crews. Right behind them, the company commander, a graduate of the armor school at Fort Knox and specialized courses at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds ordnance school, collected the manuals from the crews. Questioned why he did this, the commander said that there was no point in giving them to the drivers because enlisted men could not read. In point of fact, he did not want enlisted men to have an independent source of knowledge. Being the only person who can explain the fire control instrumentation or boresight artillery weapons brings prestige and attention.

Quote:Head-to-head competition among individuals is generally avoided, at least openly, for it means that someone wins and someone else loses, with the loser humiliated. This taboo has particular import when a class contains mixed ranks. Education is in good part sought as a matter of personal prestige, so Arabs in U.S. military schools take pains to ensure that the ranking member, according to military position or social class, scores the highest marks in the class. Often this leads to "sharing answers" in class—often in a rather overt manner or junior officers concealing scores higher than their superior's.

American military instructors dealing with Middle Eastern students learn to ensure that, before directing any question to a student in a classroom situation, particularly if he is an officer, the student does possess the correct answer. If this is not assured, the officer will feel he has been set up for public humiliation. Furthermore, in the often-paranoid environment of Arab political culture, he will believe this setup to have been purposeful. This student will then become an enemy of the instructor and his classmates will become apprehensive about their also being singled out for humiliation—and learning becomes impossible.

Sounds familiar, right? It's the same ego-driven retardation that often holds them back in western societies. They don't strive for competence but for respect. It's always about being respected, without it being deserved, because deserving it entails the risk of failure and there's nothing worse than embarrassment.

Quote:Most Arab officers treat enlisted soldiers like sub-humans. When the winds in Egypt one day carried biting sand particles from the desert during a demonstration for visiting U.S. dignitaries, I watched as a contingent of soldiers marched in and formed a single rank to shield the Americans; Egyptian soldiers, in other words, are used on occasion as nothing more than a windbreak. The idea of taking care of one's men is found only among the most elite units in the Egyptian military.

Great insights into their culture that also applies outside of the military.
01-04-2016 04:55 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
Amazing thread, amazing information.

I knew we were different but I didn't think there is this large a difference between us and them. This explains Asian conformity with totalitarian governments really well.

This is also another reason to appreciate Christianity, while built on some fairy tales itself, it still has done a great job in installing virtues of objectivity and self-analysis into society, enabling christian societies to reach great success.

With our modern abandonment of religion, our society also loses it's objectivity and reasoning skills, giving ground to endless drama and theater in playing "holier then thou" games which destroy any real progress.

Paradoxically we need religion and mythology of the right kind, to be able to thing objectively, truthfully, honestly and morally.

This information should be thought in schools, so that young children would take pride in our classical Western culture instead of falling for exotic mumbo jumbo or liberal bullshit.
(This post was last modified: 01-04-2016 06:15 AM by Mage.)
01-04-2016 06:02 AM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-04-2016 04:24 AM)Handsome Creepy Eel Wrote:  I was reading this for a second time and this gem caught my attention:

Quote:In Western cultures a fact is an objective absolute not subject to mutation through human interpretation. But the Arab mentality treats fact and truth as relative, to some extent a projection of the mind for the benefit of the self or ego.

Come to think of it, this is not how our Western culture currently is. With all the shrieking about race, LGBTQ, rape culture & C.O., we are exactly living through an era of all truth and facts being relative.

In short, we're turned into an Arab society.

Since we abdomen God in the past as the absolute objective truth there had been many flaws out there. What keep it all in track is since then science. You can not just walk around and tell things you want to believe. A theory in any field has do be scientific. A theory don't explain everything but mostly it explains a situation or the reality as best. Till a better explanation is out there.

A theory need a proof. For example that you can create the same result everywhere when you know the settings. It has is lack, physical theories are better then economical ones. All theories are just a fake of the reality. Because the whole reality we are not able to catch.

The issue is that we lack this understanding more and more and in some other cultures they never had it because of the different values of culture. This is also a problem with human rights and democratic systems. We believe our system is so logical and right, that many underestimate the flaws of society that is based on different fundamental truths. To think that let people everywhere in the world just vote will make it better is a ridiculous idea made up by people with no understanding of cultures nor of science. Moste politicians are driven by ideas they like, not by stuff that has a deeper understanding of logic.

I can vomit when I think about some politicians that now rule me but are never able to make their own income, not even talk about a successful career or lifestyle.

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For us, these conflicts can be resolved by appeal to the deeply ingrained higher principle embodied in the law, that individuals have the right (within defined limits) to choose how to live. But this Western notion of individualism and tolerance is by no means a conception in all cultures. - Theodore Dalrymple
01-04-2016 02:11 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-03-2016 04:20 PM)El Chinito loco Wrote:  quote

Thank you for breaking it down El Chinito. I'll take what you said into account when reading up more on the region.
01-04-2016 04:15 PM
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RE: This just in -- from 20 years ago -- CIA paper explains why Muslims' Pants On Fire
(01-04-2016 04:51 AM)Paracelsus Wrote:  
(01-04-2016 02:53 AM)dispenser Wrote:  I'm pretty familiar with this, albeit from the other end of Asia.

It's called shame morality, as opposed to guilt morality.

Basically, their axis of values range from glory to shame, while Christian nations have an axis ranging from merit to guilt.

An innocent man convicted in Asia or Africa is ashamed about his situation. Everyone is looking at him like he's dirt; his reputation is ruined.
An innocent man convicted in Europe or European settled land is indignant, because his values are internal, and as he sees it, internal guilt is absent and external shame is irrelevant.

This is also why Asian countries are so enthusiastic about uniformed officers, white-gloved door-openers, military parades, filling your glass to the very brim.
Everything is external for them; generosity is the fact of filling your cup to the brim, not a personality trait; government strength is the fact of military pomp, not a matter of law.

Internal morality can get you through hard times, and external morality is the most pragmatic. I wear whichever hat suits me at the time.
Too much internal morality and you can persuade yourself everyone is an idiot for not appreciating you, and get nowhere.
Too much external morality and you can never learn to bluff, or fake it till you make it, because in your mind you have a fixed rank based on your current reality. People like this are pathetic.

If I had to sum it up, I would say that shame morality is the morality of women.

Again nailed. Nobody in the West actually feels guilt for their actions anymore; the only motivation to behave is shame -- which is an attack on external validation, since you derive external validation from external sources, i.e. everyone around you.

While excessive guilt can be unhealthy a certain amount is needed for moral self-correction. There's been a tendency to pathologize guilt as some sort of mental disease that only a broken self-hating mind would feel and it's reflected in all the female hamstering you see where fault can never be found within but always has to be directed towards an outside force such as society or "patriarchy".
(This post was last modified: 01-04-2016 04:43 PM by Wutang.)
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