[extropy-chat] Pilgrimage to Karbala

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 03:41:54 UTC 2007

I tend to be proud of the fact that I have visited many countries, have even
lived outside of the U.S. for extended periods, am more aware of
international situations than the average individual from a more developed
country, etc.  But I had my eyes opened tonight while watching a PBS special
"Pilgrimage to Karbala" [1] which was a documentary about Iranian Shiites
[2] undertaking the journey to the city of Karbala [3] in Iraq in 2006.

I am more convinced than ever, having watched this, that the best path with
respect to "faith based vectors" is to simply disengage from them.  To
correct these perceptions requires a fundamental rewiring of individual
neural networks and an imposed external perspective seems unlikely to
achieve this (when the neural networks are as deep as childhood
indoctrination).  Furthermore when one has a culture which already has in
place concepts of "freedom" which are 1300+ years old one is unlikely to be
able to replace them with concepts 300 or 400 years old.

Indeed, it appears to me that Bush's agenda for "freedom" is running
directly into an installed cultural dictate with respect to what "freedom"
really is (based on Imam Hussein's struggle).  I doubt that external
influences will ever be able to "mandate" a correction to that [4].


1. http://www.pbs.org/previews/wa-karbala/
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiites
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karbala
4. This is coming from a person who supported freeing Afghanistan from the
Taliban and at least initially supported freeing Iraq from the reign of
Saddam Hussein.
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