In Iran the woman to be stoned because of adultery is scared not to see her children anymore
http://sify.com/news/global-support-pou … fajbj.html
Interesting story. You know things happen for a reason. Perhaps in the bigger picture of it all she is a sacrifice for inhuman treatment. In a higher awareness of it all, if we would look at it as she chose this to happen to her subconsciously or before she was born... Lets say that it was in her 'life chart' to occur so she could draw awareness to this insane treatment/punishment of the people. Being accused of it regardless of it being true or not. Maybe on a higher spiritual level her divine spirit/ soul chose her fate to teach mankind of the modern day backwardness of her society.
If we look at it not from a religious perspective: It's about moral obligation more than anything else. And therefore, ban her from the village, from the country, but why kill her for adultery?
At first she was to get whipped for it, and then issues about her husbands death threw suspicion on her even more, and her fate changed.
There is no proof that she is 100% guilty. It is assumed (according to the story). I don't have all the information... but even if it did happen and she had an affair, physical violence towards her for adultery is absurd!!
It is outrageous and preposterous to carry out such punishment by law for adultery. That is like living in a barbaric age. It is a society rules by spiritual ignorance, hate, and a lack of understanding, and common sense.
Agree, the laws and culture in some parts of the world is much different form us and we are still lucky here that morals are not as strict as in that part of the world.
Especially in such an absurd way as physical violence by their legal system for private relationship issues. I think the court system there would be much better off to have the people in such cases as relationship issues to seek counseling, court ordered. That makes more sense to me.
I think the majority of people in America would be in huge trouble there lol. We have the teeter tatter effect going on compared to their country.
It is true that ethical principles should take top priority but there is no sense in physical harm for misunderstandings or human errors.
The guys in that country get to have many wives too huh? How crazy is that!! Her case was about spousal issues. They must have a ton of those cases over the decades that they handle by stoning and whippings the poor ladies for falling out of love with their husbands and perhaps in love with someone else. Sad.
Human's are on earth learning and spiritually growing in the best way they know how. Trial and error. The most important thing we can be is heart centered.
Their country is backwards with their legal system. They are ruled by out molded religious beliefs that cause more harm than good!
You're right there, it will take some time for changes to come, this is deeply rooted in their religious system and belief which is the basis of their morals, but it is absurd, it is about rights, equal rights. I am happy there are cause oriented groups helping her and hope she can be granted to escape ion her country. I think Brazil's pres is offering her to move to their country.
Her children needs her.
Regardless of my own opinions on this - how other cultures deal with things is nothing to do with you, us. To criticise Iran for one aspect of their system is cynical in the extreme, and the only real purpose is to try and say that they should be 'like us'. The US, culture and all are killing people every day, but you think this is 'right' and they are 'wrong' ?
it is not like imposing what is right in our culture but definitely there are some things which are not right, and in this regard, this is about the equality regarded to the woman, if men can have many wives there, and to stone her to death, tsk tsk. they should respect women same as with men as they also came from women
Yep, different cultures have different values - unfortunately the very few people are capable of appreciating this, most can't...
Moral relativism. Believe it or not there are some universal rules that apply to all societies. At least you can't have a peaceful and harmonious society without certain rules. Try to set up a society, for example, which tolerates lying, stealing and murder. I suspect such a society would not last for long.
The second part of this discussion is the appropriateness of the punishment. Murdering someone for a bad decision like adultery is insane. Adultery doesn't really harm another person. Sure, it disrupts families and creates hard feelings between the people involved, but in this case life goes on. Murder is not an option, at least not if you're a civilized human being.
This is the point - your culture has your rules and theirs has theirs - more to the point is that their rules and their culture is nothing to do with you unless you are face to face with it and have to accomodate or be accomodated.
From the recent thread on Capitalism and Socialism the same issues apply, Lying stealing and murder would seem to sum up the Iraq war to a T, yet US and UK society seems to roll on ok up until now ?
You are probably aware that China ran their own 'Human Rights' check on the US, and the rest of the world, to the same rules and criteria that the US applied to China and the rest of the world. The US came out way down that list; I read some of it as it came up in class and most of the major 'bad' points seemed clear and to the US own criteria. I defended the US in that instance on the same grounds that I would defend Iran now - what you guys steal and lie about and who you murder is your own business as long as it is in your own country, in your own culture, I only object when you bring it out into the world and impose it on others
Cultures have rules but there are rules that supersede the rules of culture, the rules of nature and of humanity, and there is no reason why people around the world from different cultures can't look at what is happening to this woman in Iran and know that her treatment is morally wrong. To justify that wrong with others doesn't make it right. Stoning someone to death is barbaric, it's prehistoric, it's cruel, and that punishment doesn't rise to the level of the crime.
Your morals are not their morals, their idea of what is right and humane differ from yours. I could argue that allowing (by refusing to prevent) child pornography on the internet is far worse a moral 'bad'.
I'm not referring to my morals or their morals as defined by "society" but the morals of natural law. Subtract government from the equation and I doubt this woman would be stoned to death.
You can't define the morals of natural law - if theirs are different from yours, you can only claim that yours are superior, yours as in your culture's. And I would dispute that.
We all know them, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Everything else are rules imposed upon us by government, society, or culture.
How do you know it is not something specific to your particular culture?
I suppose you wouldn't if you grow up in a culture or society that imposes certain beliefs upon you. I do think over time though people will question the reasons behind these beliefs. Some will never disobey them out of fear and due to acceptance of these beliefs, others will quietly oppose them, and still others definitely so but for all, sooner or later, they will ask themselves, why, and they will have to be satisfied with the answer.
I know what your point is, what I'm saying is that your point is incorrect. You brought up the Iraq War, which is unjustified from just about any position you take. Look at the unintended consequences of that action. Both the US and UK economies are falling apart, along with the West in general, there is massive public unrest and we've betrayed several centuries of raising up humanity not trampling them down.
When I talk about values that apply universally to human beings, I'm talking about a relative few. The right to your life, the right to do as you please and the right to own property that you've worked for. Simple. It's what the US and UK have both had their societies built upon for some time now. It's the sort of ideal we need to get back to.
I'll tell you what. You can have all the moral authority you want when you and your people end the illegal occupation of Tibet. And don't talk to me about murder and killing. You are the ones who crossed the Yalu River to attack NATO forces in North Korea in the 1950's. Hell if the Vietnamese weren't so smart and went with USSR help instead of yours, we'd have fought the Chinese in Vietnam too. Pot meet kettle.
Well, not really - I am English and a guest here in China.
And I am not claiming any moral authority - I was answering the post from Kimberly Bunch with an alternative view of morality.
I disagree with you here LDT. I think you give up a major principle - live and let others live, and side with control freaks.
How so? I said you have the right to live as you see fit. How is that being a control freak?
You know natural law from the use of reason. Reason is essentially the scientific method of observation, hypothesis, data and conclusion. Of course sometimes the scientific method is way to go wrong with confidence; but there are times where you can lean as much, if not more from your failures as you can from your successes.
Nah, if I read you properly you said Iranians don't have a right to stone their women.
They don't, it's barbaric. Still governments violate the rights of their citizens every day, so that's nothing new. One day violations of that sort will come around to bite them on the rear end. What they are doing is really no different than the violations of human rights that the Shah perpetrated. If people choose to believe that just because they call themselves an Islamic Republic that makes it different, well, they have to live under such a system, not I.
You'll note I've never advocated going over there and "freeing" them from their self-imposed oppression, right? Until and unless they decide to change the way the mullahs do business, they'll have to suffer for it. That doesn't mean I don't have the right to call out barbaric behavior when I see it, since it doesn't affect me, I have no right to intervene in that situation.
I too think it's barbaric - but I think they have a right to do what they themselves deem appropriate, pretty much the same I think about Americans and their barbaric customs. And before somebody goes there, Russians have their own bunch of barbaric customs, too.
As I see it, this thread was started for a sole purpose of hatemongering towards Muslim culture, and whether you realize it or not, your posts work in this direction, too.
Shouldn't we hate those things which are barbaric? I will agree that when hate crosses the line into hateful action, it's a bad thing, but just thinking "I hate that barbaric custom"? Isn't that being a bit of a control freak?
I would say I don't hate anything and anybody. At first it took a serious effort, now it mostly comes naturally. And the vision is so less blurred in the absence of hate.
Again, USA have its own share of barbaric customs, and targeting other cultures for their own ones before fixing domestic issues does not make much sense IMO and certainly does not add to peaceful coexistence.
Well that would be because we've been betrayed from within by busybodies who have nothing better to do than to tell others how to live. For the most part, in the 19th century, the US practiced separatism. Our military was basically used for internal problems, the exception being the Mexican-American War, which vies for Vietnam and the Iraq War for the title of most unpopular war ever. Our only contact with the outside world was supposed to be through commerce and trade. Not a bad foreign policy if you ask me.
There is a difference, I think, between hating actions and hating people. I don't advocate hating people, but rather the actions they take. It's a bit of a metaphysical argument, I know, but to simply accept evil and pay it no mind is a good way to ensure evil will grow.
Definitely the best foreign policy I could think about. It changed dramatically, unfortunately.
I am too busy with my own and my immediate circle well-being to fight the world evil.
That's because you make the mistake of thinking you have to fight evil around the world. Fighting evil starts and ends with the individual. By purging the inner you of evil, you help eradicate evil outside of you. Steven Covey knew this when he wrote his "7 Habits" book. If for no other reason, living a good life will inspire others to follow your example and in that way you can fight evil around the world. Will there ever be a day in which evil is vanquished? Probably not, but that should not be our concern. Our concern should be how we can better ourselves and those around us.
You have only your own personal idea of what constitutes evil, and if 'keeping what you purchase' is one of the highest priorities of your Rights and Freedoms - then I would say you have an exceptionally narrow view of freedom and rights.
That's exactly what I would expect from someone who lives in a nominally Communist country. If you aren't allowed to keep what you earn through your labors, how are you any different from a slave? And that, friend, is the definition of freedom.
It's no surprise you find yourself agreeing with Misha, Sufi, he really does make some very good points. As for cultural overlap, I'd suggest that many of the customs you've noticed are different, don't really keep people from enjoying their freedoms. A cultural custom is not a bad thing when it does not violate your right to live, be free and own property. We only seem to get into trouble when laws, customs, beliefs, etc. violate those three ideas.
And I thought this was you fighting evil in Iran Silly me!
If seriously - yes, inside is the only way to go I think.
Nope, that's something the Iranians are going to have to deal with themselves. All I have to say about that is thank God I live in the US.
I am pretty much sure most Iranians (including women) would repeat your later phrase with pride - of course with a slight change: US to Iran and God to Allah.
Except for the fact that until they were put down with force, the Iranian people seemed to rise up against what was seen as a blatant power grab by the ruling class. I don't really think this is the end of Iran's problems. A-jad may be shucking and jiving on the international stage, but all politics is local as they say and he'll have to deal with that someday.
If being American means not murdering this woman by throwing rocks at her then by all means they should act American.
Or is that the wrong way to approach this?
Never mind, you answered that in the post I replied to.
It's even more cynical to suggest that those who speak out against cruel and barbaric practices are only doing it because they want everyone to *be like them*. If aspects of the US system or anywhere else are wrong then that should be criticized too, not used as a justification to ignore human rights abuses elsewhere.
Iran should be criticized for this. Of course it should. If we can criticize our own society and culture then we can use the same standards in criticizing other customs. Is stoning women to death morally wrong in itself or does it depend on cultural context? I can't see how it can be the latter
If ethical relativism is sound then that means slavery, torture, political repression...are all *morally ok* in their cultural context...we might as well chuck the concept of human rights out the window. Moral reform can only occur if there's critical examination of the reasons underlying practices and beliefs. I see nothing wrong with some of that criticism coming from outside of any particular culture.
Yes, it's easy to justify such things with silly notions of the 'bigger picture, higher awareness and spirituality' unless of course, you're the one sitting in the drivers seat, so to speak. At that point, all you'll be asking yourself is, "Why me?"
According to Islamic law, the punishment for adultery is stoning to death for both the man and woman involved. In addition, the punishment cannot be enforced unless the couple confess OR - and don't miss this - four male eyewitnesses who each saw the act being committed confirm it!
The cruelty of the law aside, its up to those four males watching the whole thing all this time to actually determine whether the couple had consensual sex or if it was just a case of rape!! Now what on earth were they doing there in the first place??!
What's happening to the man with whom she supposedly had the affair??
Probably nothing. In these countries women are second class citizens and men can do no wrong.
I really don't know what happened to the man here, but usually women are more ostracized and are usually punished if this is the case
He got promoted to head the department of morality for his region.
Things like this make me appreciate that I live in the USA. I wonder though why this country seems to be on a course to be more like Iran. Here you will be symbolically stoned for being successful, penalized by the government into paying higher tax rates than everyone else.
You can say it, I promise I won't complain.
It's hard for the US to claim moral superiority as long as we continue to execute innocent people.
When did we claim to be morally superior? As long as we are going to prosecute war, innocent people will die. I don't think we should be prosecuting war except in defense of our borders.
Nothing to do with war. I was talking about capital punishment.
I don't agree with capital punishment...you can't take it back if your wrong. Of course I have no idea how to eliminate problems such as massive prison over crowding or funding for correctional facilities...
Legalize marijuana. This would reserve prison cells for criminals who actually do some harm to society.
Heck legalize it all. If someone is selfish enough to get themselves hooked on drugs, then it's their problem not that of society at large.
One step at a time. It's politically feasible to do it with marijuana. Heroin would be a tougher sell.
Well perhaps legalization is a bit strong. At the very least decriminalize it so we stop putting people in jail and making more criminals. In that, I think, you and I both agree.
Yup. Tremendous waste of resources not to mention the morality of incarcerating people who have not harmed anyone else.
Oh they'll arrest you for stuff like that all the time...running naked down the boulevard. Who's that hurt?
I'm not so sure about not harming anyone. Drug addicts hurt themselves and their family and friends, but it is at that level that this issue is best addressed, not with society at large.
Drug addicts hurt more than their family and friends.
Only when their drug is criminalized and they have to steal in order to get their fix. Or are you talking about car accidents and such? In that case there are people who kill other people by drinking and driving or texting and driving, so would you ban alcohol and cell phones too?
"Only when their drug is criminalized"
Is it legal somewhere in the US?
If it were "only when" then things would be different.
Hard to get around the fact that it always is.
Not when you consider that we decriminalized alcohol.
I first would have to agree that alcohol is a drug, and I don't.
No need to throw out links to prove it is.
I am well aware of what the conventional wisdom is.
Conventional wisdom has held that electric current is a flow of positive particles in one direction.
And that is wrong also.
Try telling that to an alcoholic. In reality addiction is a condition. It's no coincidence that people who are addicted to one thing are often addicted to another. Drugs, tobacco, alcohol; hell even gambling. Some people just get off on that kind of thing and no amount of punishment or incarceration is going to change that. It's best if we approach the problem for a different perspective rather than one that has been proven to fail. Or do you think a 60-80% recidivism rate is a success?
What I think is what I said to begin with.
Drug addicts hurt more than just their family and friends.
So in that regard they don't go to prison for drugs they go for the crime they committed.
Or do you think burglars and armed robbers should be left to continue to do that?
Works both ways you see.
Not really. Right now you can be chucked into jail for just something as simple as possession of paraphernalia. Not quite the same thing as being arrested for burglary or mugging. Of course those people, no matter the reason, should be incarcerated. A burglar or mugger is guilty of violating the property rights of the person they stole from. But until and unless an addict commits a property crime, then they should not be thrown in jail just because they're an addict.
Of course I think a drunk driver that kills someone should be tried as a capital offense, so I admit I have some unusual beliefs when it comes to this topic.
You can be put in jail for possession of paraphernalia, for a matter of hours. But more than likely you will get a ticket.
I don't know of a single state in this country that has jail time affixed to that particular charge.
Even if the cop is asshole enough to put you in jail just as soon as you see a judge for the arraignment you will get to go home.
This isn't 1969 when a joint got you six months at hard labor, even an ounce of weed is a misdemeanor.
The hysterics of poor drug addicts getting thrown in jail for years is just that, hysterics.
It still clogs up the system and diverts resources away from real crimes. Besides that doesn't hold for so-called hard drugs. Get caught with those and you will be doing hard time.
Yes you will, if you have enough. If you have enough you are attempting to distribute, or thats what they charge you with. either way you are committing a felony.
If you are a habitual offender you may do some time but not for being just in possession but for being in possession a lot of times.
You can continue to disagree but the fact is drug addicts commit other crimes to support the habit. If they are so well off that they can pay without resorting to crime you almost never hear of them.
Legalize hard drugs and you will have a larger dependent group, there are a lot of people who never get involved in drugs simply because it is illegal.
They commit other crimes because the cost of their addiction goes up every time there's a big bust and by the very fact than when you make something illegal, that automatically increases the price. It's insane to pursue policies which raise the cost of something, then incarcerate people because they commit crimes to support their habit of that particular good. You cannot legislate morality or common sense. Those are learned qualities.
So if they are committing crimes because of their addiction we should let them go?
I think we have come full circle.
I believe I said that once an addict commits a property crime, mugging, rape, assault, murder, etc. they should be tried and incarcerated. No excuse is a valid one for those crimes.
I agree with Misha that it is barbaric and we have to respect their culture, but children are the ones who will suffer in this case.
This thread was started not just to start or stir controversy or point fingers at who is the better culture etc. -- a topic about whether we can impose on what we think is right for others but solely for the purpose that we may go to the site stated here and support the woman by clicking the support link on the site -- so that slowly and next time their laws will be more considerate towards women -- I am just thinking about her children.
This is not about which is the barbaric culture - it is about how you do not know what is good and bad in any moral sense - and the underlying purpose of this kind of thread is to add fuel to the anti-Muslim propoganda.
The children? I fear more for American children from openly available sick pornography on the internet, and this is not even going to the so-called kiddie porn. I fear for the future of children in the US who are taught the synical lies of Intelligent Design - morals should be dealt with at home before venturing out to criticise other cultures.
I am sorry but a child whose mother died of stoning is not in any advantage isn't it. Sorry if you think that I started this thread just to criticize their culture. I always believe that every culture has its own values and morals and we should respect them, but surely we have come a long way and in our little ways we can support women and at least we agree that the children will be at a disadvantaged. Children needs their mom, a child in the US have more options and it is to their parents if they will allow their children to view pornography.
There is no right and wrong culture, but just look at a child whose mom was stoned to death -- i have to repeat that.
Adultry = Death by Stoning
I think it's an excellent idea and should be applicable to both sexes. It's a little bit unfair to stone only female adulters don't you think.
This method of dealing with cheating spouses could be adpoted here in the U.S. Cheaters would be lead into gigantic sports arenas and rocks could be hurled at them by means of gigantic catapults operated by those cheated upon.
Tickets and snacks could be sold to spectators and fans could have outrageous tailgate parties. In fact, why not make a reality TV show out of it?
I am afraid this will leave the country without population
Then all will be well, as there won't be anyone to stone!!! How I love pacifists!
Is it obvious that I have no compassion for cheaters? If you want an open relationship say so up front and be honest. I have no problem with that at all. But don't lead someone to believe you will be faithful and then break that trust and drop the cheater bomb on them. Stoning might actually be too good for those people. Maybe we should bring back torture and burning at the stake.
The worst of this case was that she was found innocent of adultery, she was then taken again to court accused of murdering her husband, again found innocent, but the judge decided that he "thought" that she was guilty of the adultery in the first case and passed the death sentence with zero evidence!
The stoning has I believe been commuted to hanging due to international pressure, I am sure that she is relieved by that!!!
The men here in the middle east are always chasing women, if they passed the death sentence for every man that cheated here there would be no men left!!! But the law is not for the men!!!!!
I will agree that the law is sexiest, it belongs to the archives where the World belonged to man. But now that there are women movements that have empowered the women both in the social and economic standing, I think its time that the laws changed to allow women get married or marry more than one man. The only problem remains their biological calendar.
We just hope that one day, laws in some parts of Middle East will take into consideration more rights for women -- same as with men. And people from all over the world through international efforts and support group will help curb the laws. Laws are slowly changed through cultural transformations by media, cultural influences from outside world and cultural transfer, even this is slowly taking place one day we will come there. We have come along way like for example women's suffrage etc.
Must admit that I largely agree with Misha on this one (this is happening far too often for my liking!). I have never bought into the idea of natural law, I am afraid - to me, the only right that nature gives you is that you have no rights. You either live, or you die. It is that simple.
I cannot stand the poison dwarf and his theocracy, but interfering in Iranian internal affairs is what led to the Islamic Revolution in the first place. I am confident that the Iranians will fix this themselves if we let them get on with it. Other countries in the Middle East are developing their own way of doing things - the likes of Kuwait and Bahrain are a world away from Iran and the KSA when it comes to women's rights. Not perfect, but that applies to most of the West, too
Unashamedly, I am a moral relativist - even moving from the UK to Greece, you notice that there are many things here that are very different. The Greeks have different morals, laws, ethical beliefs and cultural idioms than I was brought up with - there is always some overlap but, ultimately, they developed what works for them over the millennia.
The touching moment of unity, and tears on my eyes
Isn't it a coincidence that China man, you, and me are people who live in a culture different from their own? I think not.
Absolutely right, except that in my own case it was no coincidence, this is the main reason I came here.
When faced with differing ideas and thinking It soon becomes clear that most supposed 'morals' and 'rights' and 'freedoms' are in fact their precise opposites. Yet, when faced with those opposites that show this up - nobody wants to talk about them. Maybe the biggest 'sin', the biggest 'lie' the worst 'atrocity' is the deliberate mis-information fed to people, who then replace their own thinking with the lie.
@LDT: I have few problems with those three, in principle, but I still question where they derive from - for me, the issue is when we try to impose those values on another culture and assume that they are 'better.' It is up to them to adopt their own approach to morals, ethics and rights, whether I agree with them or not.
Those three rights are entirely a human construct and they are an ideology, which rarely survives when it meets reality. This is one of the reasons why I try to be a pragmatist and the only ideology that I have is that I have no ideology (something that I am trying to work towards, slowly).
IMO, by trying to impose those three ideals onto other cultures, you render them absolutely worthless. They idea of imposing democracy, for example - that is an oxymoron.
EDIT: That last comment is aimed generally - I respect your isolationist stance.
EDIT II: That may well be true, Misha - exposure to different cultures is one of the reasons why I am slowly rejecting ideology. You have to modify your world view to reflect changed circumstances, IMO
The only problem with having "no ideology" as you call it is that you don't really have a leg to stand on when someone with a tyrannical ideology meets you on the field of intellectual battle. There have to be rules governing human behavior after all. I do agree with you that you cannot get too specific when espousing a philosophy because in order to meet the dictates of a seemingly random universe, flexibility is your best option. That's why my list is pared down to three absolute essentials.
Now that doesn't mean that you can't have different ideas on how to implement rules to protect life, liberty and property. The ancient Anglo-Saxons, for instance, used tradition to preserve their rights. It was only until they were militarily defeated by the Normans, that you saw those rights diminish, although they did not disappear entirely.
The Iroquois by contrast used assimilation of defeated people's to grow their nation and ensure the survival of their peoples.
While I find that personally distasteful, at least the conquered didn't have to worry about becoming slaves. The Iroquois also had the interesting provision to war with other tribes to capture people to replace dead from raids against them. This notion of war is what pitted many of the Indian tribes against the Europeans who had an entirely different idea concerning war.
As for those three rights being a construct, yes and no. If you scour the historical record you find that the most successful societies in history respected those three rights. It wasn't until you saw societies turn away from ensuring those rights that you saw them decline. The Roman Empire suggests itself as an example of this.
I do, of course, exclude military conquest from that list, as conquerors generally set up a society to keep their descendants from losing the power over the conquered population. The Aryan establishment of the caste system comes to mind.
I think that the way you responded to China Man suggests that I am on the right track.
"That's exactly what I would expect from someone who lives in a nominally Communist country. If you aren't allowed to keep what you earn through your labors, how are you any different from a slave? And that, friend, is the definition of freedom."
That was an ideological attack, which failed to take into account his individual experience and the everyday experience that he has of Chinese culture. You imply that your ideology is better than his ideology, and refuse to recognise his individuality, which already infringes upon your three ideals. It is *your* definition of freedom, not *the* definition of freedom, and I suspect that China Man has his own view of freedom, equally as valid as yours.
The Anglo-Saxons had a feudal structure - they certainly did not live up to idea of 'Life, Liberty and Property. I fail to see how that example is relevant to your three ideals, because they did not exist in Anglo-Saxon culture - most people were the property of somebody else. As for the Iroquois example - that is an attempt at distraction.
I cannot answer that fully until I know what societies you believe are the most successful in history. The Greeks, the Persians, the British Empire, the Islamic Empire, and the Chinese are just some examples of societies that did not adhere to your three principles, but did pretty well.
I still have no idea how you arrived at those particular three principles, and why you believe that they are 'better' than any other moral world view. I agree with China Man on this - you are implying that *your* morals are superior, with no basis - other cultures have a different idea, and who are we to make that particular judgement? For example, the Greeks realized along time ago that, if you take the divine out of the picture, there can be no fixed morals, only vague references to 'that which is good.'
Actually Sufi, I responded in that way to illustrate how his viewpoint is little different than the rationalization Progressives used in the early part of the 20th century to justify their carving up the world among the "Great Powers". Which is unsurprising really. Give Chinese history over the last century or to, it's almost inevitable that they adopt the policies that imperialist powers used against them. Thus they are poised to make the same mistake Japan did with their "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity" sphere.
Sure the Anglo-Saxons had a feudal structure, but not in the same way the Normans did. Kings were elected, for one thing, from among a pool of candidates which was by birth, but this had the effect of lessening the chance of getting a poor choice of king. Runnymede was a reaction against the Norman habit of ruling as if they had a divine right to do so as much as it was against taxes. Again, it wasn't until the Norman Conquest that people became tied to the land. Anglo-Saxon society was primarily tribal based, not feudal based.
To reiterate, I don't care what China does, that's their own business. What I object to is their acting superior to people they denigrate, while at the same time doing the very thing they accuse others of doing. I don't deny that the US has made grievous mistakes in the past, I could write up a long litany of mistakes. The past is, however, the past while we still have, at least in the States, a battle to fight to restore us to what we used to be.
The point I was trying to make is that this view is based upon your particular ideology - the fact that the 'Great Powers' carved up the world further reinforces the reasons for my shift towards pragmatism. This idea of life, liberty and property is an ideological position that, IMO, fails every time it meets reality - I liken it to Plato's doomed idea of the 'Perfect Philosopher King.' Just because you can conceive that it could exist does not mean that it does exist - I prefer to go by the idea that if something exists it is true - Greeks have a moral code that has worked for them for over 2000 years. I argue that this practical experience is more valid than ideology (it is more 'scientific' )
I can go with that definition. However, you still had chattels, who were owned by somebody else and had no liberty or property rights. There was also a class system, which made it impossible to move up the social ladder. Therefore, they did not hold to your three ideals, making the comparison invalid. I still have no idea about which three societies you hold as the most successful - it is difficult to understand what point you are trying to make without knowing that. I also would like to know how you arrived at those three ideals - why are they more valid than any other idea of 'rights?'
That is part of the problem - with the US, it often appears to an outsider that it is a case of do as we do, not as we say - they were very happy to support the suppression of a Greek's right to liberty, freedom and property when it suited their agenda. Of course, I am grateful that the US did not remain isolationist during WWII - it shows the difficulty with a historical approach to rights; history is never neat and tidy!
Again, I appreciate that you are an isolationist and, before you all kick my arse and think that I am picking on the US, the English were amongst the worst oppressors. I am merely trying to make the point that ideology rarely matches reality - humanity is too flawed for ideology, IMO.
Of course, I am speaking cross-culturally here - I have no doubt that you are trying to change American society for the better and wish you well with that particular goal.
EDIT: Past midnight here and nearly time for bed. Have a great evening!
Sigh. You don't seem to get that by carving up the world, those so-called "Great Powers" turned away from those three basic rights. They dispossessed people of their property, limited their liberty, and in some cases killed them. The Congo comes to mind. It's not that those ideals didn't work, it's that people turned away from them. Which incidentally culminated in the Great War and WW II, which just goes to show that you can't violate those principles for very long without consequences.
Sure you had slavery in ancient times. It's only until the Enlightenment and the talk about human rights that you start to see a movement to emancipation. That's where I get those rights you seem so confused about, by the way. As to why those and not others, well those just seem to work the best.
I am curious as to how the US suppressed Greek "rights". The only thing I can think of is the period right after WW II where the US intervened to keep the Communists from taking over.
I'm not an isolationist. China during the Ming dynasty was isolationist as was Japan during the Tokugawa era. The United States wasn't isolationist as much as it was non-interventionist. I'd suggest that it might not be all a good thing for the US to return to that. Europe, especially, has shown an inability to deal with things on its fringes, the Balkans come to mind. Consider all the implications of a world without US intervention. Not that this changes my mind on separatism, personally I think it's good for the world to work out its own problems.
Please don't 'sigh' me, LDT - I hate that - it implies that I am incapable of understanding, whereas I merely disagree
My point is that, IMO, the Great Powers never actually practiced those basic rights - the ideology failed in the face of human condition. Whether you blame progressives, Commies, fascists or religions makes little difference - these rights are an ideal that is, at best, transient, and society always moves away from them. Therefore, I question their validity - it is a case of Ideology vs Pragmatism; Plato vs Aristotle .
Fair enough - if you think that those three work best for the US, then that is a sound viewpoint. My argument is that, just because they 'suit' the US does not necessarily mean that they are the best for everybody else. As I said, I believe that rights are relative, and develop to suit a particular culture at a particular point in history.
That happened, although Churchill and the British were the ringleaders in thaty particular intervention. It is more to do with the Fascist Regime of 1967 - 1974; the removal of a democratically elected government and the propping up of the particularly nasty regime by the US. That is why Greeks still do not trust the US (administration, policy and government, not the people!). To be fair, it tended to be the CIA - this quote sums that up:
"Phillips Talbot, the US ambassador in Athens, disapproved of the military coup, complaining that it represented "A rape of democracy", to which Jack Maury, the CIA chief of station in Athens, answered, "How can you rape a whore?"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_mili … _in_Greece
Good to know, thanks - I have a lot of respect for your intellectual honesty. You are right about the Balkans - there is still a simmering unrest here.
Re. Decriminalization - Something else that we agree on!
Perhaps, Sufi, you have a point about the Great Powers, but you don't have a similar point about the US. It was the US which attempted (poorly) to keep China intact through it's Open Door Policy. Of course subsequent (Progressive) leaders twisted those ideals to suit their own purposes. You can't really talk about the US without talking about the Progressives and how they betrayed the ideals of the Founders.
I simply don't understand the idea of relative rights. Probably in the same way you can't understand absolute rights. If rights really are relative to time and culture why was it right for Aztecs to cut people's hearts out, yet Southerners are condemned for holding slaves? Why is it OK for druids to practice human sacrifice, yet conversion by the sword is an evil thing?
Don't feel bad about not trusting the US government or it's policy, but I have to bring up the moral relativity thing again. According to moral relativism wouldn't the US and UK have been justified in supporting a fascist regime against a communist one in Greece? If not, why not?
I know that I confuse a lot of people who think in terms of current political views because most current views don't take individual rights into consideration. Just about all of my views are from an individualistic perspective, which is why a can support a supposedly lefty idea like decriminalization; yet be opposed to many forms of (government-mandated) welfare, a supposedly right wing view.
I must admit, my knowledge of US history is limited, especially when it comes to China - I will try to find the time to read up on that tomorrow. I did read some information you gave on the progressive movement, but that was a long time ago.
Note that the people criticizing the Druids for human sacrifice were the Romans, those noted experts on human rights. The same for the Aztecs and the Spanish conquistadores
That is a fair viewpoint (and I detest those things on a personal level), but I could bring up the Spartans. To a modern viewpoint, most people find the idea of leaving weak and disabled babies in the forest barbaric. Living here, I know what a hard country this is, and feeding mouths that cannot contribute jeopardizes the rest of the family. Is that morally good, bad, or in the 'grey area' - I tend to see shades of grey in most things and take each case on an individual basis. In my experience, a 'one size fits all' approach to morality and rights does not work - your experience may well be different
By those criteria, is it acceptable to have the idea of life and liberty, yet have prisons and executions? Morals and rights certainly are a tricky concept - I have read about the enlightenment but, ultimately, I find most of their work to be far too black and white, and it does not fit with my personal experience of human society and culture. I don't believe in natural law as a concept (difficult when you have a background in studying biology), so we are probably always going to disagree on this. Still, there is much overlap in our views, so that is always a positive.
Another tricky one - after WWII, and the Civil War, your argument has validity. Unfortunately, Greece was just another front in the Cold War.
This does not, IMO, apply to the fascist regime - the Greeks elected Papandreou, fairly, yet the CIA decided to remove him and support the coup because they perceived that he leaned left. That is not the same as saying that Greece would have become a communist regime - there is very little to suggest that, only that Greece was sympathetic to Russia (the two nations have a shared religion, and have always been allies). Bringing us back to the OP, it is exactly the same way that they removed a government elected by the Iranian people and replaced them with the Shah. Again, the British government does not have a glowing record in respect to rights - they liked taking other people's property.
Exactly - I long since removed myself from the tired old left-right thing. That is BS, IMO - I see shades of grey again. Looks like we are actually in a very similar place, although we may have arrived there via different routes.
Anyway, I must head off to bed. Thanks for the great debate, as always - enjoy the evening
If they had this law in the US,there would hardly be anyone left.
I always have said I am proud and fortunate to live in such a great country as Australia.
I wouldn't stress too much about the Open Door Policy, it was more of an idea than a real policy for a variety of reasons.
I still think you ducked my question. Sure the Romans and Spanish used the human sacrifice thing to justify what they did, but my question was asking about the morality of human sacrifice. Why is it OK for some people to practice it and not others. Or to put it another way, is human sacrifice OK when your culture's mores say it is OK?
The problem I would have had with the Spartan's way of thinking is that when you put the group ahead of the individual, you kill potentiality. Perhaps the Spartans killed a Plato, or Aristotle, or Solon, we'll never know. That's why I agree with the Enlightenment that life is an essential part of humanity. I mean what's the point otherwise?
Liberty. Athens was very liberal for its time. Sure they had slaves, but they weren't nearly as static a society as, say, Sparta. Plus I think their slaves had more rights than those of Sparta which was why Athens didn't have to maintain a total military posture like Sparta. Indeed throughout history you find that the freest nations have often been the most prosperous. Rome before the Empire, the US, even the UK during the reign of Victoria; all were relatively free and all prospered.
As an aside you might look at the difference in the antebellum North and South. The standard of living differences might surprise you.
As to your liberty and prison question. So long as you only incarcerate those for violating the life, liberty and property of others, yes you can have liberty and prisons. My liberty only extends as far as yours begins. Which is why I'm fond of saying live and let live. As long as you're not interfering with the way I live my life, you can do as you wish. Prisons are a practical matter when it comes to safeguarding human rights. Where we get into trouble is where we think prison is a good way to "reform" people.
That's why we send drug addicts to jail. Yet by all accounts drug addicts only become better criminals in prison. So it would seem that prisons would not be the optimum way to deal with drug addiction. That is why prisons are limited to those who violate the life (murder), liberty (kidnapping) and property (theft) of people.
The Enlightenment philosophers were black and white about very few things. Life, liberty and property being the extent of it. I think what you might really be against is people using power to force an outcome. Using power to ensure their dominance. In short that's what the US and UK were guilty of by forcing a regime change in Greece in the 1960's. None of that had anything to do with protecting the life, liberty or property of anyone, Greek, US or UK citizens. It was a power grab, nothing more. It was, in short, a violation of those three rights.
Have a good evening Sufi, it's always good talking with you.
Why doesn't she go to Brazil? Is she not allowed to leave the country? I mean what's stopping her from getting away?
It's probably a scary thing for her to leave her home. It might seem obvious to us, but she may have been sequestered for most of her life. It's not unheard of for Muslim women to be kept strictly in the home until it's time to marry. I don't know if that's the case here, but I would be less than surprised to find out that her live was controlled in such a way.
Or it could be that she doesn't want to leave her kids and/or family. Or it might be that their government doesn't want to "waste" a crisis and make an example of what happens when you don't follow Sharia law.
Well I would think that her children and family would rather have her alive vs. dead. However, I understand what your saying. I'd be outta there.
You'd be surprised. Islamics have a notion of familial honor. One of the reasons a daughter is stoned by her family is because by being raped, committing adultery, etc. she dishonors her family. The only way for her family to regain their honor is by stoning the offending woman to death. Kind of makes the complaints of feminists in the West pale into insignificance doesn't it?
In fact, there is a particularly inhuman practice of a man who wants to get revenge upon being jilted by a woman. He'll rape her, then she'll be found guilty and she will be stoned by her family for the insult to their honor. And to think there are Europeans who thing Islamics should be tried by Sharia law in their country.
My opinion is that it is absurd. However, nothing like keeping people accountable for bad behavior. I bet their crime rate is next to nothing.
How is stoning someone for being raped holding someone accountable?
The sad part is that the rape victim is often blamed for the rape. If she was really a "good" woman, and followed the rules, she would not have been in a position to be raped in the first place. So she got what she deserved or maybe even asked for. Stone the victim. That makes perfect sense.
Good ol' religion!! -- not only does it not mix with government...
... but it IS government!!!
Adultery is committed with the consent of both. Then why do you stone only the woman? Why dont you stone that man? Anyway, these matter should be settled by the community where the woman and man live. Stoning is an uncivilised act. It relates to stone age only. If you dont like that to happen again, you may punish them in other ways.
The people who do the stoning are a bunch moronic idiots who only punish the woman because they are an evil cult! They do this in name of religion and power. Mohammad is a pedophile who married a six year old and raped her at the age of nine. This is a verifiable fact. these people follow a pedophile and do evil things. So it doesn't suprise me that these morans are still back in the stone age killing and murdering their so called 'wives,' they call property. Now they wanr to come to the US, blow up our twin towers and then call us, "intolerant" when call a spade a spade.
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