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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

The Question (ID Number 578)...

    One thing that could use some scientific studies backing it up is the claim that other cultures do not have the suicide, depression, etc that we have. In many arguments I have with people, that ends up being the core issue. I will say "we do the same thing each year, each year it fails and the next year we do more of it." They will reply that it isn't failing just because it doesn't eliminate the behavior because it actually makes it lower than it otherwise would be. Their argument is that for all the depression, suicide, crime, etc that we have, it is still as good as it can be and that it is worse in other places. This often ends up being the crux of the debate as I reply that that is not true and other cultures do NOT have depression, drug use and crime as we do (at least not until our culture overtakes them and impinges upon them).

    ...and the response:

    I doubt if any scientist would be much tempted to study things that Leaver cultures DON'T have or DON'T do. In the end, all you can do is read the literature that describes what Leaver cultures DO have and DO do--and draw your own conclusions. It's difficult (if not impossible) to draw SCIENTIFIC conclusions from NONobservations. What I have observed is that anthropologists DON'T report widespread discontent, suicide, depression, drug use, crime, and misery among Leaver peoples. In the end, all you can do is challenge your friends to find some anthropologists who DO report widespread discontent, suicide, depression, drug use, crime, and misery among Leaver peoples; and of course I mean Leaver peoples whose culture hasn't been destroyed by contact with ours; there's plenty of discontent, suicide, depression, drug use, crime, and misery among the remnants of native American peoples.

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