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Worst Places in the World to be a Woman

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Enlighten Me, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Enlighten Me

    Enlighten Me
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    Patriarchal and misogynistic attitudes allow women to fall victim to domestic violence, rape, acid attacks, abuse and exploitation all over the world.


    The worst places to be a woman:

    1 - Afghanistan Afghan women resort to self-immolation
    2 - The Democratic Republic of the Congo Congo, 'rape capital of the world'
    3 - Pakistan A Pakistani acid attack victim fights for justice
    4 - India Domestic violence endemic in India
    5 - Somalia 'No woman in Somalia happy to be a woman'

    Targeted violence against female public officials, dismal healthcare and desperate poverty make Afghanistan the world's most dangerous country in which to be born a woman, according to a global survey released on Wednesday.

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Pakistan, India and Somalia feature in descending order after Afghanistan in the list of the five worst states, the poll among gender experts shows.

    The appearance of India, a country rapidly developing into an economic super-power, was unexpected. It is ranked as extremely hazardous because of the subcontinent's high level of female infanticide and sex trafficking.

    Others were less surprised to be on the list. Informed about her country's inclusion, Somalia's women's minister, Maryan Qasim, responded: "I thought Somalia would be first on the list, not fifth."

    The survey has been compiled by the Thomson Reuters Foundation to mark the launch of a website, TrustLaw Woman, aimed at providing free legal advice for women's groups around the world.

    High maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a "near total lack of economic rights" render Afghanistan such a threat to its female inhabitants. "Continuing conflict, Nato airstrikes and cultural practices combine to make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women," said Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, a group that supports women social entrepreneurs around the world.

    "Women who do attempt to speak out or take on public roles that challenge ingrained gender stereotypes of what is acceptable for women to do or not, such as working as policewomen or news broadcasters, are often intimidated or killed."

    The "staggering levels of sexual violence" in the lawless east of the DRC account for its second place in the list. One recent US study claimed that more than 400,000 women are raped there each year. The UN has called Congo the rape capital of the world.

    "Rights activists say militia groups and soldiers target all ages, including girls as young as three and elderly women," the survey reports, "They are gang raped, raped with bayonets and some have guns shot into their vaginas."

    Pakistan is ranked third on the basis of cultural, tribal and religious practices harmful to women. "These include acid attacks, child and forced marriage and punishment or retribution by stoning or other physical abuse," the poll finds.

    Divya Bajpai, reproductive health adviser at the International HIV/Aids Alliance, added: "Pakistan has some of the highest rates of dowry murder, so-called honour killings and early marriage." According to Pakistan's human rights commission, as many as 1,000 women and girls die in honour killings annually.

    India is the fourth most dangerous country. "India's central bureau of investigation estimated that in 2009 about 90% of trafficking took place within the country and that there were some 3 million prostitutes, of which about 40% were children," the survey found.

    Forced marriage and forced labour trafficking add to the dangers for women. "Up to 50 million girls are thought to be 'missing' over the past century due to female infanticide and foeticide,", the UN population fund says, because parents prefer to have young boys rather than girls.

    Somalia, a state in political disintegration, suffers high levels of maternal mortality, rape, female genital mutilation and limited access to education and healthcare. Qasim added: "The most dangerous thing a woman in Somalia can do is to become pregnant. When a woman becomes pregnant her life is 50-50 because there is no antenatal care at all. There are no hospitals, no healthcare, no nothing.

    "Add to that the rape cases that happen on a daily basis, and female genital mutilation being done to every single girl in Somalia. Add to that famine and drought. Add to that the fighting [which means] you can die any minute, any day."

    Monique Villa, the chief executive of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said: "Hidden dangers – like a lack of education or terrible access to healthcare – are as deadly, if not more so, than physical dangers like rape and murder which usually grab the headlines.

    "In Afghanistan, for instance, women have a one in 11 chance of dying in childbirth. In the top five countries, basic human rights are systematically denied to women.

    "Empowering women tackles the very roots of poverty. In the developing world when a woman works, her children are better fed and better educated because they spend their money for their family."

    The survey was based on responses from more than 200 aid professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, journalists and development specialists chosen for their expertise in gender issues.

    Each country was also ranked in terms of six risk factors including: health, discrimination and lack of access to resources, cultural and religious practices, sexual violence, human trafficking and conflict-related violence.

    In terms of individual risk categories, Afghanistan was deemed to be the most dangerous for health, economic/discrimination and non-sexual violence; the Congo is most plagued by rape and sexual violence; and India has most problems with trafficking.

    "You have to look at all the dangers to women, all the risks women and girls face," said Elisabeth Roesch, who works on gender-based violence for the International Rescue Committee in Washington. "If a woman can't access healthcare because her healthcare isn't prioritised, that can be a very dangerous situation as well."

    The TrustLaw website has been in existence for some time, linking up local NGOs and social entrepreneurs with established law firms who are prepared to offer legal advice on a pro-bono basis. The groups are vetted by Transparency International.

    More than 450 law firms are already involved including some from China. Among those that have recently benefited have been the charity Riders for Health, which delivers medicine to remote villages, and reviewed its contracts in Nigeria.


    Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/15/worst-place-women-afghanistan-india


    It seems as though we still have a long way to go until women stop fighting for 'equality' and basic human rights which should be innate.
     

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  3. Ishna

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    So what is the Sikh interpretation of such terrible occurences happening in the world? Is the woman shot in the vagina with a gun or raped with a bayonet just paying for her past life karma? I find that really hard to believe.

    I really struggle to see how Sikhism can put this sort of horror into context. Please, enlighten me. :}--}:

    It is very difficult for me to sit here in the comfort of my home, happily reading my nitnem, basking in the feelings of closeness to the divine (however imagined they might be), while this sort of things goes on, and realise that the very Thing I'm trying to connect to (the Primal Source) is also the primal source of such vile creatures and vile actions.

    I find myself asking, why the heck bother to worship something which has created and allows this sort of thing to continue.

    And please, no "you're confusing Waheguru with the Abrahamic God" comments, please.
     
    #2 Ishna, Jun 15, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  4. findingmyway

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    Sikhs should stand up and fight against these injustices. Sikhs should help these women. That is where Sikhi comes in.
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    Atrocities have been visited on the weak by the powerful, and on the weak by the weak, for centuries with no sign of ending. Advocacy and speaking out, actively lobbying, becoming a force for good....all important, and all necessary. But if these were the sole cures, these problems of abuse of women would have ended long ago (as would abuse against children, animals, the disabled and the poor). They haven't. They are still with us. The place to start is with ourselves. Each individual, who is trying to perfect his/her own soul's journey toward the divine, is one more person turning the wheel of dharma in the direction of what is right, and one less person turning that wheel of dharma away from what is wrong. It starts and ends with you. "happily reading nitnem, basking in feelings of closeness to the divine," is how to combat atrocities. That is how Guru Nanak started.
     
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  6. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    ISHNA JI..there is no such thing as karma and all that..
    SIKHS only kill female children in the WOMB.....and maybe BURN a few Brides whose parents committed the sin of not borrowing enough to give dowry of enough "muulah".. scooters instead of cars.???.Tractors and a few acres of land..bungalow in the city ??.etc..
    The First sin of Womb Murder is so that they DONT have to GIVE what they DEMAND of others !!!
     
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  7. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    AND one more rather intriguing fact...
    Guru nanak ji and SGGS accords WOMAN the HIGHEST status, respect and Love...YET WOMEN are the BIGGEST REASON for the proliferation of the ANTI_SGGS, DERAS all over PUNJAB. Women are the vast MAJORITY attendees of these FAKE Babas and their deras..taksaals....
    Woemn seem to be their own "worst enemies"....Its the WOMEN who force other women to MURDER their unborn children..the dadee..granny..mother in law..elder ones..FORCE the daughter in law to ABORT..or torture the new bride..etc..
    IN ISLAM its the WOMEN who are strongest advocates of burqa, veils, obeying their husbands t the extent of being slaves and sex slaves too...they accept everything the man does as Allah Ordained...
     
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  8. Ishna

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    How childish will it sound if I say "men started it"? It's not usually the women becoming the sants, etc.

    But what I'm really interested in is how a Sikh can see the atrocities thar happen in the world and rationalize it in the Sikh belief system.

    We can't blame an evil force like Satan. In fact, even the followers of religions which do believe in Satan acknowledge that Satan only exists because God allows it to exist.

    Of course Sikhs don't believe in Satan. For a Sikh, all there is is Ik Oankar, Karta Purakh. The same Truth is everywhere, the Naam is the support of all things, and the existence of evil rapist torturer ba$tards is Written. It's hard to fathom and hard to accept.

    It's hard to reconcile the fact that Naam is as much circling around those inhuman ***wipes as it is around you and I and the pedo wife beater next door. What's the point of tuning in to that then?
     
  9. spnadmin

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    ishna ji

    I am not sure I understand what you mean

    I am tempted to say that a Sikh who rationalizes atrocities is sorely mislead and misleading others too. But maybe I need an example or two, or more specifics. It seems to me that many if not most religions have used religion to rationalize atrocities, often with the explanation of karma and/or God's will. In actuality, the root causes are greed, lust for power, or ego's need for social status and social respectability. When I see that or read about religiously sponsored atrocities, I cannot help thinking that the primitive layer is much deeper in humankind that we as humans are able to admit. Religion, which can be a force for moral growth of individuals and societies, sinks to something base and ugly because the same primitive instincts have overpowered large segments of members of most religions and their leaders.
     
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  10. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Remember all the atrocities by evil kings on our Guru Sahib. He accepted them as Will of God. How God chooses is hard to understand. There are so many things about God beyond our understanding.

    Read this pauree:


    ਅਸੰਖ ਮੂਰਖ ਅੰਧ ਘੋਰ ॥
    Countless fools, blinded by ignorance.

    ਅਸੰਖ ਚੋਰ ਹਰਾਮਖੋਰ ॥
    Countless thieves and embezzlers.

    ਅਸੰਖ ਅਮਰ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ਜੋਰ ॥
    Countless impose their will by force.

    ਅਸੰਖ ਗਲਵਢ ਹਤਿਆ ਕਮਾਹਿ ॥
    Countless cut-throats and ruthless killers.

    ਅਸੰਖ ਪਾਪੀ ਪਾਪੁ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥
    Countless sinners who keep on sinning.

    ਅਸੰਖ ਕੂੜਿਆਰ ਕੂੜੇ ਫਿਰਾਹਿ ॥
    Countless liars, wandering lost in their lies.

    ਅਸੰਖ ਮਲੇਛ ਮਲੁ ਭਖਿ ਖਾਹਿ ॥
    Countless wretches, eating filth as their ration.

    ਅਸੰਖ ਨਿੰਦਕ ਸਿਰਿ ਕਰਹਿ ਭਾਰੁ ॥
    Countless slanderers, carrying the weight of their stupid mistakes on their heads.

    ਨਾਨਕੁ ਨੀਚੁ ਕਹੈ ਵੀਚਾਰੁ ॥
    Nanak describes the state of the lowly.

    ਵਾਰਿਆ ਨ ਜਾਵਾ ਏਕ ਵਾਰ ॥
    I cannot even once be a sacrifice to You.

    ਜੋ ਤੁਧੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਸਾਈ ਭਲੀ ਕਾਰ ॥
    Whatever pleases You is the only good done,

    ਤੂ ਸਦਾ ਸਲਾਮਤਿ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ॥੧੮॥
    You, Eternal and Formless One. ||18||

    In war, the commander gives out battle plans to soldiers. But sometimes some soldiers start doing their own thinking, giving up on orders. Sometimes this can cost a lot of lives for foolishness of soldier. Here people are doing as they please without listening to God. Can you blame God?

    You can't accept one aspect of life (or God) and reject others.

    Any Sikh who sees such an atrocity happening should revolt, and defend the helpless. There is no rationalization for such things.

    Think of it this way, our DNA is like cooking recipe. If we heat for right time, we get delicious food. Or if we overheat more than specified time, we get burnt good-for-nothing food. The same thing applies to humans. Guru guides us how to be the best in ourselves.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh
     
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  11. Ishna

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    Thank you Kanwaljit for providing that response.

    You mention that Guruji (take Guru Arjan Dev Ji as the perfect and timely example) accepted his torture as the Will of God. Is it true to say that some horrible actions are done by the Will of God and others are done because humans aren't listening to Guruji and succumbing to the vices (lust, greed, etc)? That I can accept, understand and gain strength to combat with a sense of doing the right thing. But if all horrible actions are done by the Will of God, then I start getting confused.

    I understand on the basic level that the reality is that everything exists because the creative force causes it to exist. I accept that. I'm getting stuck on the concept of supposed free-will which allows people to be extra-ordinary A-holes at odds with the concept that everything that happens is per Hukam. How is it up to me to question Hukam? I'm pressed for time (late for work) but Guru Arjun Dev Ji's buddy (whose name escapes me just now) who wanted to bring the world down to save him probably felt what I feel (probably moreso - it was GURUJI being put on the hot plate!!) and Guruji said NO, let it happen. How do we as Sikhs know how to tell the difference - or do we stand against EVERY injustice, every horrible act? What internal position do we take? Where do we stand with relation to these crimes and Hukam?

    It is so much easier to accept my own suffering that it is for me to see/hear about the suffering of others. If I suffer, I can accept that. If I see a child being held in it's mothers arms and she's smoking a cigarette 6 inches away from the child's face, I could smash her for her disregard for her child. What I imagine doing to those ba$tards in the article is not describable here. But I don't know what I'm supposed to feel - how I'm supposed to interpret horrible acts in the Sikh belief system.

    SPNadmin ji: Sorry for my ambiguity. What I mean to ask is not so much to rationalise and "justify" the act which is occuring, but how to process it internally -- ie. how does Sikhi explain what my position should be on these acts with relation to the Sikh concept of Hukam and the omnipresence of God.

    God is in the rapist and God is in the victim. God is in me witnessing these events. God is in that victim's tears, fear, horror and pain. I just can't process it.

    Sorry for being thick-headed (thick-hearted??). :(
     
  12. Ishna

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    But from my interpretation of Gurbani, and I could be wrong and I hope I'm wrong, there isn't a distinction between God and the self. It's all God. It's all hukam. No one is beyond hukam.

    I'm stuck in the classic human existential question -- how does "God" allow evil in the world. Or, for a less Abrahamical interpretation of the question: how does the observer accept that God is in the rapist and God is in the victim?

    I'm either going to pop out as an Atheist or a better Sikh. hehe...
     
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  13. Caspian

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    Im vouching for atheist btw ;).

    But yeah, as far as I know (from asking similar questions in the past on this site). The consensus, at least on this forum, is that "bad" deeds are the will of god just as "good" deeds are the will of god. Everything is the will of god. Your being an atheist or a better sikh from this point on—is the will of God ;).

    I'm not comfortable with that line of reasoning—but that is essentially the sikh line of reasoning. Sikhism, as I've been lead to believe from this forum, is pretty deterministic—there really is no room for free will in matters of importance or non-importance.

    If I was religious I guess I would assure you that although you cant see it, there is god in the villain just as there is god in the victim. And that god shares the combined pain of the villain and victim. Although the victim suffered greatly in a physical sense, would it not be true that the villain is suffering ever more greatly in a spiritual sense?

    If you feel as if the above answer is a bit iffy, i wouldnt blame you. You, like me, might have doubts about the "spiritual" sense, and perhaps you think that a soul in pain cannot amount to the physical pain caused by that soul (I for one wouldn't feel satisfied by my above explanation). But I guess that would be the best religious answer I could come up with :p
     
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  14. Kanwaljit Singh

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    But we are all given a free will in this world. God probably knows what is going to happen. He knows about so many earthquakes and hurricanes that are going to take many human lives. He doesn't stop them means that it has His Will in some way.

    The question that comes on us in this free will world, have we seen the person with highest gursikh quotient? No. Similarly we are not aware of the worst things that go on. But the good thing is that due to Guru Nanak, there are 25 million Sikhs trying to figure out what to do in life, how to meet God etc after so many years. Whereas no one is left to walk on path of Hitler. Though people who devote themselves to destroy humanity keep on coming up with novel ways.

    The more you question, the more you are made aware of your role in your life and those around you! How even a small action like plucking leaves from a plant impacts you or the plant!

    Guru Sahib wanted to go ahead and sacrifice his life to set new standards when it came to fight for justice. He also wanted to inspire his Sikhs that after that point, we had to learn self-defence and have a political standing wherever we lived! I cannot say for sure, but I think He felt no pain, for he was totally absorbed in Sewa of Akaal Purakh.

    Your position is decided and nice one to take. You will not allow even an iota of such horrible crime. Question is, what steps will you take to stop that? Teach Gatka to ladies from poor section of society? Gift them arms?

    Why not something simple like water, best fire extinguisher? There is difference in actions motivated by justice and those motivated by disgust!

    Such people walk amongst us and we don't do much. Every city is full of such cases and nothing happening in court, not even basic support for the victim. I have been to an NGO where they had ladies raped as under-age and some had even lost their mental senses. And I never went there again, though I kept planning so for a year!

    Take some action, yes it will be a selfish act to pacify the disturbance caused in your heart by such news. But it will bring good to some lives which live without hope. And slowly it might make your more selfless.

    Let me correct you a bit here if you don't mind. Such line can be compared to:

    ਮਨਸਾ ਪੂਰਨ ਸਰਨਾ ਜੋਗ ॥
    He is the Fulfiller of wishes, who can give us Sanctuary;


    ਜੋ ਕਰਿ ਪਾਇਆ ਸੋਈ ਹੋਗੁ ॥
    That which He has written, comes to pass.


    ਹਰਨ ਭਰਨ ਜਾ ਕਾ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਫੋਰੁ ॥
    He destroys and creates in the twinkling of an eye.


    ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਨ ਜਾਨੈ ਹੋਰੁ ॥
    No one else knows the mystery of His ways.


    ਅਨਦ ਰੂਪ ਮੰਗਲ ਸਦ ਜਾ ਕੈ ॥
    He is the embodiment of ecstasy and everlasting joy.


    ਸਰਬ ਥੋਕ ਸੁਨੀਅਹਿ ਘਰਿ ਤਾ ਕੈ ॥
    I have heard that all things are in His home.


    ਰਾਜ ਮਹਿ ਰਾਜੁ ਜੋਗ ਮਹਿ ਜੋਗੀ ॥
    Among kings, He is the King; among yogis, He is the Yogi.


    ਤਪ ਮਹਿ ਤਪੀਸਰੁ ਗ੍ਰਿਹਸਤ ਮਹਿ ਭੋਗੀ ॥
    Among ascetics, He is the Ascetic; among householders, He is the Enjoyer.


    ਧਿਆਇ ਧਿਆਇ ਭਗਤਹ ਸੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
    By constant meditation, His devotee finds peace.


    ਨਾਨਕ ਤਿਸੁ ਪੁਰਖ ਕਾ ਕਿਨੈ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੨॥
    O Nanak, no one has found the limits of that Supreme Being. ||2||

    Thus while Guru Sahib calls God as the essence of Kings, Saints, Ascetics and Householders, he doesn't relate God to gross evil actions you talk about. And I believe there is no where in Guru Granth Sahib where God is compared with actions of crime. See a saint is full of Godly qualities, a rapist is more like empty (void).

    God is like an open sea where we are fishes, now there are some bad fishes out there too. Sea doesn't kill those bad fishes or inspire them to be bad. They are bad because other fishes don't do anything. And we just accuse God.

    Nice line from Batman Begins:
    Criminals Thrive On The Indulgence Of Society's Understanding

    It points to fact that we become 'understanding' and pardon 'small time' crooks. These people only later become 'big time' crooks or vicious crime lords, spawning more hell minions. So have Faith in God, and Kirpan in your kamar kasa (waistband) to stop evil and defend the helpless.

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh
     
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  15. Caspian

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    Kanwaljit: How does sikhism reconcile free will with gods will? Its easier said then done. The two seem inherently contradictory, if he knows what your going to do, before you do it, even if he doesnt stop you from doing it—It would mean you have no free will then. Your just an actor playing a part in his grand play. From previous threads on the topic of sikhism, free will and destiny, most sikhs I talked to resolved the situation by suggesting we have no free will and then quoting the sggs in support of that claim. I'll dig through those threads if you wanna read them (I believe one was called the "Free Will/Destiny Paradox."
     
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  16. spnadmin

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    Caspian ji

    In his book,"Essentials of Sikhism," the scholar, Daljeet Singh, considers many of the questions you have raised in this thread. Take a look at Chapter 13, beginning on page 250, "Freedom and Responsibility in Sikhism."

    My own opinions take us off the purpose of the thread. So I will be quiet on this point. But I suggest you take a look at this link http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/essentials.pdf


    I would not describe the majority view on any forum, including this one or another Sikh forum, as a representative consensus among academics and scholars about something like free will.
     
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  17. Kanwaljit Singh

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    Correct. If God knows all the factors that are going to influence us, then He knows what we will do before even we do. But we are not just actors. We will not sit at home waiting for God to bring food to us and feed us. We have to 'act' ourselves. 'Mind' asks us to go and get food, eat it.

    Though the hunger which is induced in us is by His Will. It is not just a pure chemical reaction. Different people feel hungry after different waiting periods. Though science can one day define it purely in a scientific way, there is no scientific explanation for anger, lust, ego, greed etc. It can only be explained using Psychology, the science of mind and behavior. The mind is as non-existing as God.
     
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  18. Kanwaljit Singh

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    @Ishna ji, just read this somewhere which might help:

    Faith will not show you fairness but Truth.
     
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  19. Ishna

    Ishna
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    Thank you all for your input, it is highly valued.

    Kanwaljit ji: Somehow it's easier to accept natural disasters than it is to accept cruelty willingly and consciously inflicted upon another individual (man, woman, child, animal).

    You're right, and that is an observation I had missed. However, God is seen as manifesting all creation and controlling it. God is the ocean of virtue. Could we recognise virtue if its opposite didn't exist?

    Also, Gurbani says "by their actions some are drawn closer and some driven further away" (japji last Saloka), sorry I can't cut/paste just now. How can there be near and far is God is already in, around and controlling everything? How can God cause someone to act in a certain way and then judge that person as guilty? There has to be some level of free will or self-determination in there somewhere!

    I think I sort of understand but its so hard to explain. I can understand that the Naam is the support of all things, creation can't be created without God and the existance of every human is per Gods will and our actions bring us closer or drive us further away.

    Maybe this is my wakeup call to become Amritdhari. I didn't remember that Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the Khalsa their kirpan to defend the helpless. Interestingly enough there wouldn't be Soldier-Saints if there weren't bad deeds and helpless people. There would only be Saints and we would all be merging back into the Creator before the Creator can watch the show. That's bordering on paradox.

    Caspian ji: thank you for providing your explanation if you were religious. I'm interested to hear your explanation as an atheist, if you don't mind sharing.
     
  20. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    Very True. The worst and most unacceptable thing is when we ourselves face such situation or someone in the family.

    Probably not, we know its dawn when it marks the end of night? Doesn't it?

    Think of mind of a new born child like 100% golden heart. As he grows older, he learns to lie, make fun of other kids, hurt them. When he is teenager, he steals. Every action is chipping away the gold from the heart. God doesn't judge you guilty. But when the person leaves the body, we see how much gold is left in our heart. How much is the value we have earned. Mind you, for every wrong action we plan, God gives us numerous hints discouraging us, but we don't listen (to our parents, heart, mind etc.)!

    Yes Guru Gobind Singh acknowledged the need to 'defend against evil'. That evil which corrupts our mind as well as other people. Even Guru Nanak worked on liberating people from their evil ways before they could see the Path of God (bhagti).
     
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  21. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Ishna Bhenji,

    I, although a sikh, am unable to give god a personality, or a human heart. I also do not subscribe to the 'God is watching and unable to do anything' theory, nor the ' God is in the rapist and the victim theory'. To me God is simply the truth. The truth is that today, people will get raped, killed and die all over the world. It is not a case of a higher power sitting by, it is the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts. To me though, better to know the truth than be dazzled by lies.

    It is for the same reason I find it hard to do simran, preferring sewa to show my respect for this great truth. I also avoid praising the truth, as I avoid admonishing it and asking it questions. To me this represents the first steps of sikhi, I do not believe I can move on to the next step which is complete submission to the truth, until I cease questioning the truth, however the truth is easier to accept in terms of the wicked things that happen in this world than a 'force', as this implies power and reasoning. The truth is bad things happen, some people pray for these things not to happen, some people travel to the area and do sewa, for some people these things make others look closer to home, and people take action, they do things, think how many people have felt like you and left homes and families to help. They are not instructed to do so by a white bearded god, they are sewadars of the truth.

    Anything can happen to anyone of us here. Everyone knows someone that was affected by 1984. You are not a god Ishnaji, nor a guru, so the responsibility for these things happening is not yours. I think in times like this, when the feeling is that one should do something, one should do what one can,. at the end of the day, for these things to stop happening, we need to educate our children, we need to do sewa, comfort that lonely neighbour, be there for a local widow, there is plenty misfortune on our own doorsteps we do not need to travel to war zones, there are no doubt good sewa types already there, look around you Ishnaji, armed with the truth and your faith, I am sure someone like you will make a massive difference to all that know you, your step children and your husband by being determined that what has happened has not happened for any reason other than it was a potential situation that turned complete.
     
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