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lying - cultural difference

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  • lying - cultural difference

    about what, why and how do we lie? Are there differences in different cultures?

    I was surprised to find the following explanation, which made me understand some things:
    https://www.cia.gov/library/center-f...3a05p_0001.htm

    It would be interesting if there are more concepts out in the world or only these two contrary ones.

    It also explains how people of different cultures are insulted most efficiently...in case this encourages some people to read the text

  • #2
    The CIA report I suspect gets a few "cultural" things right about "saving face", "honour" and keeping things calm on the surface. On the other hand, they miss perhaps the single most important element - lying and deception in Islam.

    The report's from the mid 90's. If they were relying on this report to understand better the psychology of Saddam and Iraq, no wonder Saddam was able to bluff and bullshit UN weapons inspectors into believing that he had chemical and other weapons!!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by aussieinbg View Post
      The CIA report I suspect gets a few "cultural" things right about "saving face", "honour" and keeping things calm on the surface. On the other hand, they miss perhaps the single most important element - lying and deception in Islam.
      I think the opposite. It explains why people lie - depending on their religion and culture - pretty well in the chapter "Public Image vs. Personal Conscience"
      And especially the responsibility of own mistakes, the conscious about right and wrong is completely different.....shockingly.

      It explains a lot of problems.

      Unfortunately it does not give any help how to cut through the shit and find a way talking with eachother and solving the problems.
      Last edited by Suna123; 02-17-2019, 06:31 AM.

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      • #4
        I read the link and my conclusion is that the CIA bloke has put arab where he should put islam,every thing he says applies equally in for example Turkey and Malasia but in my experience Malasian Christians don't seem to have the traits the author ascribes to arabs...
        Last edited by Elishar; 02-17-2019, 06:26 AM. Reason: to correct a typo

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Suna123 View Post
          I think the opposite. It explains why people lie - depending on their religion and culture - pretty well in the chapter "Public Image vs. Personal Conscience"
          It's again somewhat superficial and doesn't really get to the heart of why these things are conducted. It's ultimately down to whether the lying and deception are beneficial to Islam or not.

          Take the story in the text about the American with 2 Iranian servants (I laughed a lot when I was reading this part for the reason later on), one of whom steals a radio. In general, theft is very much a taboo thing to do in Islam - except if it is under another guise. If that servant had been working for another Muslim and in particular a Muslim of the "right type" aka Sunni verses Shia, then the theft would not have happened in the first place. On the other hand, stealing the radio is doing economic damage to the Kafir this person is working for and the servant is now doing jihad - highly desirable in Islam particularly given at that time, most likely the 60s or 70s, that radios were not so cheap and this would be causing damage to the Kafir. In the mind of the person stealing the radio, it's not theft but economic warfare and hence the inbuilt morality that most people have about stealing is overridden.

          Problem is - the theft was discovered and both of these servants are possibly going to lose their jobs, which is bad from an Islamic perspective because they won't be able to contribute to feeding what is likely to be lots of little Muslims growing up. This overrides the economic damage to the Kafir of stealing the radio. Now, there has to be a strategic retreat from this situation.

          The question is - how was servant "B" so certain that servant "A" would return the radio? Of course it was sorted out before "B" went to the boss. "A" is a "brother/sister" in Islam (and almost certainly the same sect as "B").

          One thing - I'm pretty sure that many Muslims are well aware of the perceptions of "face" among westerners and they often play with that. It can sometimes be pure Western arrogance that they "don't know very much about the west".

          Now, it's also rather funny how the report throws in a story about Iranians - who would be most insulted about being "Arabs" - into the mix about a report about "Arabs". For me, the report ultimately degenerates into a blah blah about "face in the Islamic world" without getting deeper into the reasons why.

          As Elishar had stated, it is a very different game with Christians in Islamic countries. My experience is that Christians from these regions are generally far more truthful and forthcoming - but they are far better at manipulating language in a "tawriya" manner than "western" Christians.

          I've interacted with a few Atheists from the Islamic world and my experience is that they are generally very straightforward - but again with far better concealing language skills than most in the Western world and better "diplomatic" skills probably gained from swimming with the sharks from the Islamic world.

          Originally posted by Suna123 View Post
          And especially the responsibility of own mistakes, the conscious about right and wrong is completely different.....shockingly.
          Islam does have very much acting on your conscience - and there is "right" and "wrong". That "right" or "wrong" breaks down ultimately what is "good for Islam" and "what is bad for Islam". This is the central core of what makes a believing Muslim a cult member and that is even more than the 5 times a day prayer - breaking the Golden Rule which is ultimately where someone's unbrainwashed conscience leads to.

          Now, lying to yourself is something very much missed here yet again and how the mechanism ultimately works.

          Originally posted by Suna123 View Post
          It explains a lot of problems.
          It completely misses the Islamic drive for constant warfare, conquest and how that shapes things. The real thing that is missed is how Islam sees such warfare in terms of not just huge battles but very small cumulative steps - something that is not so much a part of so-called "Western" thinking as opposed to "Eastern" mentality.

          Often, the process is playing out those small battles - you might have to really dig deeper to discover if it is a game of Muruna damaging something while playing "dumb Arab" or if it really is stupidity needing "smoothing out".

          Originally posted by Suna123 View Post
          Unfortunately it does not give any help how to cut through the shit and find a way talking with eachother and solving the problems.
          Ultimately, the way to cut through the shit is - to cut through the shit.

          The way to do this is to present a calculus in the manner of "your actions are damaging to Islam if you continue them like this". You of course don't say this directly - however, you present the dots for the person on the other side to join.

          For example, killing or damaging the situation of relatives of a terrorist/terrorist leader in retaliation for a terrorist attack. From their perspective, although their relatives might die as Shahidis in retaliation for committing a terrorist act and get immediate entry into Jannah, such terrorists are abrogating their "responsibility" in Islam to produce more Muslims by causing their relatives to get killed. So therefore, threats to kill massive numbers of family members of terrorists usually work to stop terrorists committing terrorist acts.

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