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The Euston Manifesto

Have finally sat down and read the Euston Manifesto, something I've been meaning to do for some time now.

Although I would broadly agree with many of the statements made within the manifesto, it does seem idealistic.

Equality, democracy, fundamental human rights are all things worth striving for, of course, however I fear that many of the statements within the manifesto advocate the promotion of these ideas in ways that don't fit with the ideas themselves.

The manifesto promotes the idea of freedom of idea, etc, it then goes against this whole principle by giving a details of ideas which it refuses to listen too such as this. Surely to accept someone elses ideas you must be open to listen to them no matter how horrific and wrong they seem at first, deep down there may be some perfectly sensible founding ideas that have been twisted and obscured, but still need listening to.

Although tyranny is totally unacceptable, there has to be some degree of trying to understand how it came about and the political thoughts behind it. Yes, it shouldn't be excused, but surely such an all out statement as that refuses to even consider the political ideas behind the tyranny and as such is greatly unaccepting of other peoples views and opinions. There are some horrific political ideas out in the world, just labelling them as such isn't an answer. They need to be listened to, understood and argued against.

On the subject of anti-americanism, although much of this is very shallow and unfounded and should be broadly frowned upon, it must be accepted that the United States has a large amount of political power and is a huge voice in world issues. This doesn't mean it should be discarded and treated in a demeaning manner. However, it does mean that there is a certain amount of responsibility required of people to speak out and speak reason against some of their political ideas in order to prevent the country's governing body becoming too introspective and self-promoting as any group of people in their position may do.

Terrorism may be horrific and definitely unacceptable, but extremist ideas don't come without some more reasoned grounding. Surely we are responsible to find the fundamental issues behind these events and strive to address them. That doesn't mean submitting to terrorists demands, but instead to understand the grounding behind them.

There are a few other similar thoughts I had whilst reading the manifesto, but it's now getting late and I don't want to be too anti the manifesto (as I originally said I broadly agree with the sentiments behind it).

Although I agree with most of the principles behind the manifesto and the ideas it speaks out against are generally ideas I strongly disagree with, I don't think I can sign the manifesto mainly for the reason that it seems so unopen to listening to these ideas and to try and understand the reasoning that has lead to them.

The world is formed of a huge range of diverse religions, views and ideas and although the manifesto goes someway to saying these should all be accepted, I don't believe it goes far enough. We need to strive to find a way to integrate these ideals so they can work side by side without prejudice.

Comments

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(Deleted comment)
hmmm_tea
27th Jun, 2006 11:25 (UTC)
I think it's odd that you've got the idea that we're not interested in discussing things with people, as thats exactly why we got the manifesto together- to stimulate some debate.

That's not quite what I meant, it just reads in places that there a limitations on what you are willing to consider as reasonable ideas within these contexts. Murdering hundreds of innocent people for example is entirely unreasonable, but surely there's an arguement to say we should try and understand why someone would consider this ok and why they would want to do it?

However I take issue with your line "but extremist ideas don't come without some more reasoned grounding" ... about the fact that we, by rejecting their religious faith, are infidels, and therefore deserve to die.

Yes and no. Yes, in the eyes of bombers, etc that is what is apparently driving them. However, ideas don't come about without grounding and influence and such an extreme idea must have been grounded within something less extreme.

Surely the fact that Christianity is in such a dominant position being the national religion of a lot of the world's major powers has some bearing on the issue? It seems to me that an obvious repercussion of this would be for Islam and other religions to feel repressed by this and this could easily develop into the situation we have now?

This certainly doesn't excuse the killing of innocent people, but it goes someway to try and explain and understand why it occured. It may not be correct (as I'm no expert in these things), but surely understanding why these things happen is important.

Understanding must be the most basic requirement in order for everyone to live together in a peaceful why. How can we expect them to show understanding towards us if we don't do the same for them?

Thanks for the link to the broadcast, will certainly listen to it (and hopefully get find time to do it sooner than it took me to read the manifesto itself...).
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