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    What's civilized?

    How do you define "civilization" and a culture that is "civilized"? What criteria have to be filled in order to satisfy passing the threshold of becoming "civilized"?

    Is there one standard, or a set of standards, that may apply to all cultures across the board? When we talk about human "civilization", do you see it as a linear line that's progressively moving upwards - so the ancient Harappan culture on the Indus was not civilized; but contemporary cultures are ? What constitutes being a "civilized" society? The abolishment of slavery ? The death penalty ? Visible, drastic advancements in technology in every sector ?

    If we applied the last factor, then many African countries wouldn't be considered "civilized". If we applied the second-last factor, then that means England only became "civilized" barely 150 years ago [the year that they officially abolished slavery]. So what's civilized and what's not?

    yeah i'm bored.

    #2
    i would define civilized as people tolerating each other in a confined, enclosed area period. everything is built on after that. Its not fair to say that the harrapan culture or the Yanomamu werent/arent civilzed... civilization means working with what u have together n jus putting up and acknowleging others around u
    Slightly Crazy and Plenty Lazy

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      #3
      Anthropology was one of the most interesting and eye-opening subjects that I have ever studied...In anthropology, there is no such word as civilized, just different...Civilization yes, civilized no...

      And anyways, being civilized is a matter of comprehension for different folks...Like, cannibalism is looked down upon in our 'civilized' culture, however there is a tribe in Africa in which the wife eats part of the husband should he die first and the husband eats part of the wife should she die first...For them not eating a part of their loved one is tantamount to sacriliege against the dead while in our way of life nothing is more abhorrent...
      Focus not on who you are but what you do...
      ])>:::}-:Salams:-{:::<([

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        #4
        Originally posted by Deviliciousss:
        i would define civilized as people tolerating each other in a confined, enclosed area period. everything is built on after that. Its not fair to say that the harrapan culture or the Yanomamu werent/arent civilzed... civilization means working with what u have together n jus putting up and acknowleging others around u


        Deviliciousss How are you doing?

        Sorry, no, my bad, i would never ever imply that i believe one culture is more civilized than another. i stated that as a question to throw out to anyone reading the thread, making it deliberately controversial hoping it would generate some responses i hope i am never that arrogant to call any culture less civilized than another. What i did in my original post is to throw out ideas of where we construct our standards - for some, is it the death penalty, is it a technological society [which would rule out all agrarian-based ones], is it end of slavery, is it a society where gender roles are specified by culture, etc. i am not saying i agree, or disagree, with any of these; those are my own personal opinions that i'd like to keep to myself. But what i wanted to do is to throw out different standards that i THINK others might follow, simply in order to stir up the discussion and see how individuals would respond based upon the standards i had mentioned. i don't necessarily agree or disagree with any of the ones i mentioned.

        You mentioned the Yanomamu culture... did you study that somewhere ? Do you mind if i ask, which class was it? Just curious. Cuz i took a Latin American class once, and that was one of the cultures we studied. Have you read that book, um i forget its title now, it's something "Talking with Waiwai" or something like that. Kindof a "silly" title, but it actually relates to the contents.

        >>i would define civilized as people tolerating each other in a confined, enclosed area period. everything is built on after that.<<
        Just to clarify, so that is your one and only fundamental requirement, right? As long as people "tolerate" each other. There doesn't have to be any sort of scientific/technological/literate threshold passed - as in, they don't have to have formal political institutions, etc.? i am just asking this to clarify what exactly you mean so i can understand where you are coming from better.

        Lajawab,
        >>Anthropology was one of the most interesting and eye-opening subjects that I have ever studied....<<
        i couldn't agree more. Which anthro courses did you take? When?

        In the cannibal example you gave - that tribe is still "civilized" though in your opinion, right ? As you stated, there is no 'civilized', just different.

        That reminds me - people could find the lack of community/familial ties in North American culture as evidence of a lack of "civilization". They could look at our suicide, depression, juvenile delinquency, crime, rape, murder, divorce and abduction statistics and argue that despite the industrial revolution, we haven't really become "civilized" have we... if the moral fabrics of our societies are coming undone. So from their perspective, we might be even more uncivilized than the spouse-eating tribe you mentioned.

        Thanks guys Interesting discussion.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Nadia_H:
          [/b]

          Deviliciousss How are you doing?

          Sorry, no, my bad, i would never ever imply that i believe one culture is more civilized than another. i stated that as a question to throw out to anyone reading the thread, making it deliberately controversial hoping it would generate some responses i hope i am never that arrogant to call any culture less civilized than another. What i did in my original post is to throw out ideas of where we construct our standards - for some, is it the death penalty, is it a technological society [which would rule out all agrarian-based ones], is it end of slavery, is it a society where gender roles are specified by culture, etc. i am not saying i agree, or disagree, with any of these; those are my own personal opinions that i'd like to keep to myself. But what i wanted to do is to throw out different standards that i THINK others might follow, simply in order to stir up the discussion and see how individuals would respond based upon the standards i had mentioned. i don't necessarily agree or disagree with any of the ones i mentioned.

          You mentioned the Yanomamu culture... did you study that somewhere ? Do you mind if i ask, which class was it? Just curious. Cuz i took a Latin American class once, and that was one of the cultures we studied. Have you read that book, um i forget its title now, it's something "Talking with Waiwai" or something like that. Kindof a "silly" title, but it actually relates to the contents.

          >>i would define civilized as people tolerating each other in a confined, enclosed area period. everything is built on after that.<<
          Just to clarify, so that is your one and only fundamental requirement, right? As long as people "tolerate" each other. There doesn't have to be any sort of scientific/technological/literate threshold passed - as in, they don't have to have formal political institutions, etc.? i am just asking this to clarify what exactly you mean so i can understand where you are coming from better.

          Lajawab,
          >>Anthropology was one of the most interesting and eye-opening subjects that I have ever studied....<<
          i couldn't agree more. Which anthro courses did you take? When?

          In the cannibal example you gave - that tribe is still "civilized" though in your opinion, right ? As you stated, there is no 'civilized', just different.

          That reminds me - people could find the lack of community/familial ties in North American culture as evidence of a lack of "civilization". They could look at our suicide, depression, juvenile delinquency, crime, rape, murder, divorce and abduction statistics and argue that despite the industrial revolution, we haven't really become "civilized" have we... if the moral fabrics of our societies are coming undone. So from their perspective, we might be even more uncivilized than the spouse-eating tribe you mentioned.

          Thanks guys Interesting discussion.
          heyy hun....
          no no i dint try to come off assuming that u were sayin one culture is better than the other.. sorrry bout that.. i was myself makin a generalized comment...

          i studied the yanumamu in my anthropology class.. a requiremnt.. and their culture is amazinggg.. n in some ways beautifull...they have this myth .. where they believe that humans were created when the moon bled.. i thought it was soo mysticall.. the book i read was the Yanomamus.. and its a good book... well written ..
          i think tolerating each other is the primary foundation of a civilization.. everything liek a plitical system and barter sytem, all socioecomic and jursidiction system are built upon the foundation of ppl tolerating each other.. th need to create other systems in society stms from the need to adopt to our enviornment and people around us.. i could be wrong..and in that case.. i wouldnt mind learning sumthin new
          im kooky about my thoughts.. so i might not make sense..
          Slightly Crazy and Plenty Lazy

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            #6
            You make perfect sense to me

            By the way, is that book you are referring to by Napoleon Chagnon (sp)?

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              #7
              yes it is nadia.. a good read.. very interesting..
              Slightly Crazy and Plenty Lazy

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