TED Conversations

Casey Kitchel


This conversation is closed.

When fighting for rights, which is tougher: a battle against an oppressive government, or a battle against an oppressive society?

Manal al-Sharif opens her TED talk by asking the audience a question.

“You know that people all over the world fight for their freedom, fight for their rights. Some battle oppressive governments. Others battle oppressive societies.” And then she asks, “which battle do you think is harder?”

Fellow TEDers, which do you think is a tougher battle? And why?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jun 26 2013: I just used Americans as an example... I cant speak for other people in other countries, because Im not in other countries. I, myself, being an American in America, find a hard time telling what I know to be true to other Americans without indifferent attitudes. Yes, it would apply to me, as once upon a time it was difficult for anyone to get me to adopt a new idea that did not agree with one I already have or come up with a compromise between the two.
    Am I pointing fingers at all Americans? Of course not, we are all different, but just seeing people's attitudes and behaviors on AMERICAN tv towards a person exercising their religious faiths in the public or speaking what they know to be true, people can be oppressive, and it is more difficult to deal with than the government.
    I am not religious, so Im not defending christianity or anything, it was an example. I see non-believers get married in a church, why get married in a church if you dont believe? Why get married using the bible or any other religious book if you dont believe? What good are your vows if you dont believe in the faith behind it? That's all Im saying... For those who separate their marriage completely from God, and separate their wedding completely from any and all religious tradition, it doesnt apply. My statement does not apply to everyone, and I did not mean to judge society or Americans as a whole, nor did I mean to come off as if I were judging, I was using examples that i know within a country I know.
    As times change so should we and our life styles and the rules of our land, as I said before Im not religious, I dont believe the Bible holds all truths, but just the truths of those who wrote and interpret it. Again, thats just MY opinion.
    Christians feel compelled to spread and practice their truths and they are oppressed. IN fact, a couple of weeks ago my boss gets a call from her kids school bout her 6 yr old saying grace with his friends. This is always happening
    • Jun 26 2013: Given your example,you must also approve of the suicide bombers who feel they are doing doing Allah's will. When Christians impose their "truths" on me, then they are very un-american and are similar to Senator Joe McCarthy -
      • Jun 27 2013: What? LOL! You guys are taking my examples too far... smh.
        You're over analyzing what I said, so Im not going to keep repeating myself.
        You cant compare a suicide bomber to someone praying, that's ridiculous.
        No I dont must approve of suicide bombers...
        • Jun 28 2013: praying or demanding that everyone in their class pray with them? that has been my experience and that is forcing people to worship that individual's God. If done, quietly, I have no problem imposing their morals on me or my children, I have a major problem and this is what suicide bombers are trying to do.
    • Jun 27 2013: First, marriage isn't religious in nature, the religious have just taken it as their own. Second, and I cannot stress this enough, it is the religious that oppress non religious in this country. The battles you see against religions in general are long overdue, and are usually done too late. We never should have allowed our country to put "In God We Trust" on our money, or under God in the pledge, these are just a few religious revisions that are out there.
      • Jun 27 2013: I never read about a teacher getting sued for saying there was no God, I have however read the opposite a few times...
        This country was not founded on the grounds of people wanting to be secular. As other countries were founded and practice their own religions.
        I bet, if America were to be the secular country they're trying so hard to become, while all the other countries are still practicing their religions, we'd be the next country to fall.
        Godlessness, or just the belief that there's no one to answer to, or there isn't a need for lifestyle and moral guidelines will be the cause of our downfall...
        • Jun 27 2013: You are so wrong, the word secular was used to describe the U.S. when it first came into being. The fact that congress shall make no laws respecting religion shows that we started as a secular country contrary to other countries that had a religioun in charge. This country was founded secular so that all religions could practice and enjoy the freedom to practice without the interference from other religions. Other countries have taken to emulating our seculrism, while at the same time we are going backwards, and towards a majority religion. The only saving grace that I can see is the fact that all the Christians out there cannot work together, so that my fear of them taking over will be a long and difficult battle for them.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.