|Jonah was sent to a people who couldn't tell their right hand from their left.|
Is there bias in the news regarding the topics of politics, religion, economics and the like when it comes to violence and the idea of what is 'civilized'?
Although news-writing is supposed to be objective, unbiased and spoken from a neutral point of view, the news is written by humans.
Individual humans know only their specific perspective, and their personal understanding is (hopefully) a work in progress.
The human has their opinion and set of beliefs regarding any given subject.
This personal point of view is built from their culture, their familial upbringing, their religious ideas and all the political and economic notions that have molded their hearts and minds.
We all have a similar, yet unique, programming.
Ideas and information is weaved and intertwined into the subconscious in such a way, to break someone free from such a foundation of programming is quite impossible.
It is upon the individual the task of growing out, maturing and evolving out of the prior programs and molds that have built their character and opinions.
Considering media (history, news, school books, etc.), very few people are able to write, or express themselves, wholly objectively and without the hint of bias for any period of time...eventually their value set is revealed.
Some scholars write through their point of view although honestly attempting to highlight what they perceive as objective facts in explaining something, with few capable of conveying ideas free from their personal bias.
It takes a keen eye to catch the lapses of objectivity in even the most 'trusted' scholars, historians and journalists of the past and present.
Even our favorite expositors of information have their bias.
We all have a limited horizon.
How does one learn the manner our horizon is limited?
This is not easy.
I have my personal bias, and I think it can be clearly seen in my writings.
I do my best in describing things outside of my heart and mind's eye, but that effort is not attempted in every single thing I write.
I do stand at a certain place while others may stand elsewhere, though some of us may stand near one another and face the same direction.
Regarding cultural perspectives, when someone accuses western culture's journalism of writing about eastern cultural issues in a negative manner, how can the western mind understand the nuances in eastern cultures?
How can an eastern critic understand the point of view and approach of a western mind to find out whether the negative tone is accurate or simply polemic?
The same occurs from the east towards the west.
We think where we currently stand is the best place, or we have better ideas, or our perspective and ideas about humanity and the world are more valuable and accurate than someone on the other side of the world.
This is true...and is false, for both the eastern and western mindset has their strengths and weaknesses.
A person with a strong national, religious or ethnic identity may have a difficult time accepting or appreciating the identifications of those outside their group.
The idea and definition of what is 'civil' can be very different according respective points of view.
If one household goes about their daily lives in a different manner than their neighbors (although being the same culturally, religiously and economically), how much more can neighboring countries and their cultures and societies differ (having distinct cultural, religious and economic realities)?
Yet we do have more in common than in deference, but some minds would not want you to believe such a notion...because they simply cannot, or refuse to.
Let's consider domestic violence as an example (domestic violence between common people, excluding military, police or other government action on commoners) when seeing differences.
All countries of the world have developed laws according to religious ideas, whether initially while continually expanding upon religious ideals, or originally being religious then receding towards secular ideas.
However, I don't think the imprint of religious ideals may fully be removed from a culture's conscious...or in terms of a cultural attitude being physically realized although being evoked in different terms.
What I mean is: although a country's people may not outwardly or openly discuss religious matters, but shy away from them, the product of religious culture may not have receded.
The cultural programming may be quite evident in the body of laws already developed.
It is the change in current attitudes that alter, edit, remove and replace prior rules with new ones.
In contradistinction, some religious nations speak a great deal about religious platitudes (common people), yet their physical efforts can be judged to be quite violent and ruthless compared to others.
This same reality is found in individuals...you may personally know some...or you may be one, yourself.
These examples are not fixed, and are general...but we do see such examples.
According to the law in most western-cultured countries, violence is never justified between commoners / citizens unless out of self-defense or home invasion, with variances between states (United States) and among other western countries.
This isn't to say that in western societies mobs don't form and exact some form of street justice.
There is evidence of a slant of bias within western societies when it comes to addressing mob violence, or even the state's own effort (police injustice)...and this too is a work in progress.
This bias can be arguably quite profound in some eastern societies where the notion of neutrality in the law (all being equal under the law) is still blurry when religious ideas are an overarching notion (cultural programming still present despite new laws and new ideas being present).
The outcome in the courts, although attempting to imitate western manners, is also a work in progress.
Secular states have seen religious ideas internalized, while religious societies expect such ideas to be outwardly evident.
Religious ideas have justified the state's prerogative in prescribing death as punishment, as have secular ideas also justified the death penalty, while both elaborating and establishing human rights ideals.
The idea and definition of justice compliments the idea of civility, with the law and man's interpretations and values producing what historically has been a pendulum swing of sorts.
In other countries that have developed a different set of laws, based also on religious ideas and less influenced by secular ideas, violence is justified in a few more instances beyond self defense and home invasion.
What is the ideal and perfect state of life, justice and law?
On the surface, the answer will most likely be according to what you currently consider to be correct.
There are some people on earth who are called to look past their ethnic, political, religious and economic identity...to realize something much greater and beyond themselves.
Two examples of this identity and ideal way of life is found here, and here.
Read more about bias, and bias perception, regarding the media.
Read some of the comments from certain individuals when asked about journalistic objectivity.