Dignity of Difference

The book by Jonathan Sacks, “The Dignity of Difference, How to avoid the Clash of Civilizations”, explains to us about religious differences, morality and economics within the topic of Globalization. Rabbi Jonathan Sachs discusses the differences that separate us, such as tribalism, wealth, power and knowledge when these should be concerns that bring nations together they are pulling nations apart. Humans can communicate with others to create a healthy and strong society. The Dignity of Difference Religion “which is a system of beliefs and practices”, can become a force of peace and harmony by all different ideologies uniting. “There is just enough religion to make us hate one enough but not enough to make us love one another”.

Different religions can express the way people see their differences and similarities, what we wear, how we act and what we believe. Globalization should bring religions with different ethics and interests to interact with each other but it does not. Religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam teach values such as equality, human dignity, freedom and peace. There is a way that people misuse religion just as Islam did on the violence used in the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001. According to armywarcollege.edu, the terrorist were sent instructions that used religion as a reason for the devastation and destruction that 9/11. “The time of fun and waste has gone. The time of judgement has arrived……You I’ll be entering paradise. You will be entering the happiest life, everlasting life”.

Religions using technology are dangerous to nations. As Rabbi Sacks said, ”One is the hubris that says: we have godlike powers. Therefore let us take the place of God. The other is the fear that says: in the name of God , let us not use these Godlike powers at all”. Today bombs are used as a threat or action to get a point across from nations. Religion is used to separate nations but after this terrorist attack religion was the key used by many faiths to bring together their nations after this tragedy. Religion is most important aspect in many lives and different religions use their values of forgiveness, mediation and peace to come together.

Morality, is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or . A particular set of values and principles of conduct especially one held by a specific person or society. Since we live in a multicultural world it is hard to distinguish between what is morally acceptable and what is not. Morals can be different from religion to religion from person to person and from culture to culture. As stated in Psychology today, “The most significant behavior predictor of a person’s moral behavior may be religious commitment”. Unless we live in a communist country oppression dictatorship we can follow our own moral ways. Morality impacts all our decisions in our lives it is what we think is right or wrong and fair.

Global capitalism is a system of great power, because of this it has become difficult for nations to detach themselves from others. “More effectively than armies it has won a battle rival systems and ideologies among them fascism, communism and socialism and has emerged as the dominant option in the twenty first century for countries seeking economic growth”. With economic growth there are higher living standards and greater freedoms. With industrialization there is a growth in agriculture which you have more choices for the consumer and the proprietor makes more profit. There are also advances in medicine and a lower infant death rate. This is not the case for all countries. There is inequalities between countries which 1.3 billion people that is 22 percent of the world living below the poverty line. Those countries that succeed in economics do not share the wealth with nations less fortunate than themselves.

Economic systems of nations does not strengthen the bonds of human solidarity and the greedy do not understand that there is more to life than being wealthy. Some economies grow and some stay the same. There is a segregation of the rich from the poor. As Rabbi Sacks mentioned, “The perennial temptations of the market to pursue gain at someone else’s expense, to take advantage of ignorance, to treat employers with indifference needed to be fought against”. This explains why the rich get richer and the poor remain poor. Something I found amazing was “a mere 4 percent of the wealth of the 225 richest individuals would be sufficient to provide elementary educational and medical facilities and adequate nutrition for all the worlds poor”.

We are living in an age where we should learn to live side by side in peace and harmony. We should learn from each others history and ideas about morality and culture, this is the way to divert tensions that result in war. There is a real clash of civilizations when some nations are rich in accomplishments, in religion, art, literature, philosophy, science, technology, morality and compassion, while others are not. This is a threat to world peace. When religious differences, morality and economics should be bringing us closer it is pulling nations apart.

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