Pacifica institute and West Coast Sister Organizations year- end Online Retreat

Pacifica Institute online year end retreat was held on December 19s, 2020 Saturday. The first session was about Environmental Ethics in Islam presented by Fatih Ates, Bay Area Representative of Pacifica Institute.

Ates started off with human beings being responsible towards living and non-living beings and in reciprocity the living and non-living beings as the witnesses towards individuals as to how well they are being treated by us. Humanity’s impact on the environment is felt around the world and how as we Muslims put the environmental ethics of Islam into our action and our daily lives. The prominent scholar of Islam Imam Ghazali states that people with good ethics and character would lead everyone to do good things in their lives. Said Nursi also viewed the universe as a book to read the creation of the Most Magnificent Creator. And Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him talking to the Mind Mountain.

Moral politics book of George Lakoff was presented by Burhan Cikili. Cikili introduced the author to the audience and then went to explain of Lakoff’s opinion of how conservative and liberal moral system can be conceptualized. George states how conservatives and liberals view each other as evil on the opposite side. Cikili also reflected one of the conservative values how individuals no matter how poor they are, can succeed in America with self-discipline and hard work. Cikili pointed out the divide of both camps on immigration issues, environment, tax, nature, and education. Lakoff, concludes conservative mindset has more solid moral system with clear goals than the liberals as they need to work more on defining their moral system.

Gokhan Dorum presented his topic of Conflict Resolution to the volunteers. Gokhan said when there is differences in interests there comes the conflict. Conflict comes with humanity as an innate nature. Wherever there are individuals there is conflict. It comes with economy, class, race, social issues, etc. Dorum stated that the conflict also arises from beliefs, values, aims and structural differences. Functional conflict is avoiding stress in society, overcoming difficulties, group harmony, pointing out the weaknesses, a stimulus in change and making up new things. On the other side non-functional conflict, is increasing stress, discontent, distrust, weakening the structure, differences in aim, weakness in the structural organization. Durum discussed how to change conflict to peace and negotiation by using conflict transformation.

The three session presentations were each followed by Q&A and comments from the 35 online participants.