Sunday, May 31, 2009

Face book; an experiment in pluralistic democracy

Face book; an experiment in pluralistic democracy
By Mike Ghouse, the Pluralist
Dallas, Texas

Face book is a market place which is open and free to individuals who want to be a part of it. Open just about anyone's profile, you will find pictures of people from different races, faiths, ethnicities, cultures and nationalities as their friends. Almost every one has a friend from several different groups.

Face book has broken all the barriers and continues to bring people together regardless of their affiliations. It is a true experiment in Pluralism - i.e., developing an attitude of accepting the otherness of other and respecting the God given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, in this case 20 million of us on the Face book.

The spiritual Masters have worked very hard to create a world where one accepts the otherness of other; mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill. Their notion of One Causer (or the big bang), One beginning, One Source of Creation, One creator, One God, One nation, One world, One community - was essentially to create a diverse but conflictless world.

Zarthustra, Confucius, Abraham, Krishna, Rama, Moses, Dao, Buddha, Mahavir, Jesus, Mohammad, Nanak, Bahaullah, Gandhi, MLK and many more in native African, American, Asian and other traditions brought that message to have a world of justice for every one of God’s creation. Together they served the whole humanity; the creator did not miss out any. Krishna in Bhagvad Gita says something to this effect “whenever the civilness in a society is lost, I will emerge and restore that balance..” and Allah in Qur’aan says “ to every nation, every community and every tribe, I have sent a messenger to teach harmony and co-existence; to learn about each other and to live in peace and harmony… and further adds; those who do good (taking care of others that surround them; life and environment) will earn the peace of mind and balance they deserve. You will find the same message in every tradition (due to space, I am just quoting the two traditions at this time - you are welcome to share your tradition in the comments below)

Face book is doing just what the spiritual master did; it has given the freedom to every member to express her/his thoughts, and share his or her uniqueness. You are free to be a friend and free to un-friend; and you are free to accept the otherness of other and be friends with. Some members on the Face book have over 5000 friends and some just 5, it is all about the time you have avaialble and are willing to be in a global movment of democractic pluralism.

However, the world we live in is composed of the good, bad and the ugly. 99% of the posting (Face book has to verify this) are about people and goodness, and less than 1% of the postings are about maligning others - and that is how many extremists in the world are; less than 1/10th of 1% of any grouping. It is ironic that those who label themselves with a religion, do the maligning. That is not being religious. Religion is about creating peace and balance for one and all.

Face book has a whole lot of freedom for the individual to express;
a majority of them get it right, some don’t,
It is not the face book
It is the individuals who abuse that freedom;

Cities regulate traffic laws for the safety of every citizen;
a majority of them get it, some don’t.
It is not the city,
it is the individual that violates the rules;

Religions teach one to gain one’s balance with the self and its surroundings;
a majority of them get it, some don’t;
It is not the religion,
it is the individual who goes to the extremes;

Criminal Laws of every community are built for the security of every citizen;
a majority of them get it, some don’t.
It is not the laws books,
it is the individual that commits the crimes;

Thank Goodness, 99-9/10th % of the humanity is made of good and caring people. That is not good enough, if you cannot speak out or stop some one from doing wrong. Let’s learn to speak up and let's be a contributor towards the goodness.


Getting away from the routines of life for a moment,
everyone ought to live in illusory Maya for a moment,

Face book has become a source of solace,
with no obligation and no pressure,
and we open the book, and then close it with ease.

Every one of us has a moment with each other's face;
it is one of the best things we have seen in years.

The Foundation for Pluralism ( is committed to providing the media and world leaders with insights, and policy solutions to effectively managing the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural societies. Dr. Abusaleh Shariff and Mike Ghouse are committed to developing solutions for pluralistic governance of diverse people.

In democratic politics, pluralism is a guiding principle which permits the peaceful coexistence of different interests, convictions and lifestyles. Unlike totalitarianism or particularism, pluralism acknowledges the diversity of interests and considers it legitimate for members of society to work for their realization, to represent them and to articulate them in a process of conflict and dialogue. In political philosophy, those who embrace pluralism are often described as liberals, while those who take up a more critical attitude towards the diversity of modern societies are often called communitarians. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Memnosyne Foundation is committed to providing the mankind with the means to encourage positive, peaceful global collaboration in all areas of knowledge. MaryAnn Thompson-Frenk leads this organization with seven centers of learning. Mike Ghouse co-chairs the center for Interfaith inquiry, one of the seven centers of learning of Memnosyne Foundation.

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker and a Writer. He is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing Pluralism, interfaith, Islam, India, Peace, political and civic issues. His comments, news analysis and columns can be found on the Websites and Blogs listed on his personal website

No comments:

Post a Comment