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Tags honor killing , islam , pakistan , traditional societies

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Old 9th November 2012, 12:50 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Which amounts to forcing other cultures to conform to our values and standards.
When it comes to honor killing, I have not the slightest qualm about this.
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:54 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
When it comes to honor killing, I have not the slightest qualm about this.
And BELIEVE me, I really do agree, but for me it HAS to be 'an assist' on our part to change already taking place from within. It should never simply be a case of 'That doesn't measure up to our values and standards - which are MUCH better than yours, incidentally - and we don't like it, so stop it OR ELSE!"

ETA: I'm loathe to commit a 'Slippery Slope' fallacy, but where would that end, particularly in terms of 'West' Vs 'Middle East'?
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:59 PM   #243
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SMVC, what point are you trying to make?
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:09 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
SMVC, what point are you trying to make?
Given that you have trouble understanding me, or just don't WANT to understand my position, I'll quote the eloquent joesixpack:

Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
No one is advocating that the horrible practice be allowed to continue unchecked. What is being argued is that culture can be changed from within, and trying to change if from without is generally counterproductive.
He is pretty much speaking on my behalf there. I would maybe change 'can' to 'should'.

Additionally, I believe forcing change externally is not only counterproductive, but wrong. That's my opinion.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:12 PM   #245
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Right so we are in agreement then. Do you think it is right to back campaigns supporting Pakistani and Afghan women who want to stop honour killings?
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:12 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
And BELIEVE me, I really do agree, but for me it HAS to be 'an assist' on our part to change already taking place from within. It should never simply be a case of 'That doesn't measure up to our values and standards - which are MUCH better than yours, incidentally - and we don't like it, so stop it OR ELSE!"

ETA: I'm loathe to commit a 'Slippery Slope' fallacy, but where would that end, particularly in terms of 'West' Vs 'Middle East'?
Yes, I agree. If we were to impose it from without, then indulging in honor killing would become a patriotic act done in defiance of an overbearing foreign power.

On the other hand, were I an American soldier in Afghanistan, I wouldn't hesitate to intervene in an honor killing; though, in such a case, I would probably have to spirit the woman away, eventually to the U.S.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:12 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
You might find a Google search for "the evolution of morality" will return some useful reading.

While an absolute measurement of things like beauty, love, and morality may not be as easy to pin down as pi, there is a neurobiological basis for these judgements. There is an objective component. Think of it more like a range than an absolute value, but still very much part of the material world.
I tend to think that people in Afghanistan have similar neuro-biology to those in Europe and the USA.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:15 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Right so we are in agreement then. Do you think it is right to back campaigns supporting Pakistani and Afghan women who want to stop honour killings?
As I've said a few times before, it is right to back these campaigns - providing requested assistance- but not to drive them.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:16 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
I tend to think that people in Afghanistan have similar neuro-biology to those in Europe and the USA.
No, apparently their brains are not as evolved...
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:18 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
Yes, I agree. If we were to impose it from without, then indulging in honor killing would become a patriotic act done in defiance of an overbearing foreign power.
I could easily see that happening.

Originally Posted by TimCallahan View Post
On the other hand, were I an American soldier in Afghanistan, I wouldn't hesitate to intervene in an honor killing; though, in such a case, I would probably have to spirit the woman away, eventually to the U.S.
That would cause a whole new and exciting world of problems for everyone involved, but again I can sympathise with your sentiments.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:26 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
As I've said a few times before, it is right to back these campaigns - providing requested assistance- but not to drive them.
I am not so sure about that as if left to their own devices there would never have been a campaign in the first place. I am quite sure the only reason why there are such campaigns now is because the West started them and women saw that there was another way and that by educating them and others they have been empowered to run such campaigns. Then, without the security we can provide, such as helping to protect Pakistani girls education and providing direct action where needed. Such as

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...s-8299975.html

I don't know whether that is driving or backing, but so long as we use all reasonable influences, I have no issue with that.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:34 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I am not so sure about that as if left to their own devices there would never have been a campaign in the first place. I am quite sure the only reason why there are such campaigns now is because the West started them and women saw that there was another way <SNIP>
I genuinely have no idea about that, and couldn't comment on whether change has come from within or was driven externally without further investigation. In this day and age with the internet and access to media, I'd not be surprised to learn that the 'West' has had a passive indirect influence on Middle Eastern countries as change - or the realisation that change can happen - filters out from the big cities. It is liable to take a LONG time out in the hardcore rural and remote areas though, and pushing change through there would be exactly the WRONG way of bringing it about, I think.

Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...s-8299975.html

I don't know whether that is driving or backing, but so long as we use all reasonable influences, I have no issue with that.
Ah... the Taliban. There's a perfect example of what happens when an external force pushes change through.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:41 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I am not so sure about that as if left to their own devices there would never have been a campaign in the first place. I am quite sure the only reason why there are such campaigns now is because the West started them and women saw that there was another way and that by educating them and others they have been empowered to run such campaigns. Then, without the security we can provide, such as helping to protect Pakistani girls education and providing direct action where needed. Such as

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...s-8299975.html

I don't know whether that is driving or backing, but so long as we use all reasonable influences, I have no issue with that.
Agreed. And as I posted upthread, we have at least two historical examples of where an externally driven campaign to change what was considered morally acceptable behavior worked. Banning:

* Slavery

* and in the more recent past, with lighter tools such as boycotting vs. a heavy handed use of military powers, apartheid in South Africa
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:43 PM   #254
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:44 PM   #255
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
No, you're not answering my question. Listing a series of historical events doesn't answer the question; who or what gives us the mandate to police elements of foreign cultures that don't meet our standards?
We have exactly the same mandate that the people of those regions do to carry out their illegal actions. It's part of our culture to want to prevent these things from happening.

There's a utilitarian view by which any interference is likely to be counter-productive. That sorta makes sense. However, saying that we have no right to do it doesn't. We have just as much right to stop them doing it as they have to do it.

There's an argument that since we actually are in Afghanistan, we might as well enforce more enlightened mores. I'm not sure whether that's a good idea, but I don't seen any reason to hold back from doing it except for it being counter-productive.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:53 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
Agreed. And as I posted upthread, we have at least two historical examples of where an externally driven campaign to change what was considered morally acceptable behavior worked. Banning:

* Slavery
Indeed, but there was also appetite for abolishing slavery within, and as has also been pointed out, the plight of freed slaves was barely improved at all once they had their freedom. Not one I would chalk up as a victory, personally.

Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
* and in the more recent past, with lighter tools such as boycotting vs. a heavy handed use of military powers, apartheid in South Africa
Again, that was a fire that was already burning within. Nelson Mandela was already doing serious jail time for protesting apartheid before we in the West really caught on.

However, that is one area that I would have had no problems with the application of some serious (non-military) force, given that white South Africans are all descendants of western cultures, and generally hold to the same values and standards as the rest of us. I would not have considered the 'West' an external player in this, and would have considered it 'reining in our unruly children'. It's not like the White SAs could even claim apartheid as 'cultural heritage' any more - certainly not by the late 70's, early 80s.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:59 PM   #257
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
I genuinely have no idea about that, and couldn't comment on whether change has come from within or was driven externally without further investigation. In this day and age with the internet and access to media, I'd not be surprised to learn that the 'West' has had a passive indirect influence on Middle Eastern countries as change - or the realisation that change can happen - filters out from the big cities. It is liable to take a LONG time out in the hardcore rural and remote areas though, and pushing change through there would be exactly the WRONG way of bringing it about, I think.



Ah... the Taliban. There's a perfect example of what happens when an external force pushes change through.
Afghanistan has had a long, long history of foreign influence. The Russians used the most brutal methods to impose liberal values. The Arab mujahideen that supported the Taliban were imposing their own values. All the different tribes have different cultures in their own way, and there's a huge urban/rural divide. In fact, there's far more cultural imperialism at the moment from the people supporting honour killing, or bombing girls' schools, than those opposing it.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:02 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
We have exactly the same mandate that the people of those regions do to carry out their illegal actions. It's part of our culture to want to prevent these things from happening.
Don't get that. Because part of our culture is wanting to interfere with other cultures, we should be allowed to interfere in other cultures? Is that right?

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
There's a utilitarian view by which any interference is likely to be counter-productive. That sorta makes sense. However, saying that we have no right to do it doesn't. We have just as much right to stop them doing it as they have to do it.
And where does our 'right' come from?

Where do you stand on their cultural right to wage jihad on infidels, and killing as many infidels as you can will guarantee you a good spot in heaven?

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
There's an argument that since we actually are in Afghanistan, we might as well enforce more enlightened mores. I'm not sure whether that's a good idea, but I don't seen any reason to hold back from doing it except for it being counter-productive.
That is precisely the reason for not doing it. Who is making the argument that we enforce more enlightened mores, by the way? I ask, because soldiers deploying to Afghanistan are absolutely forbidden from imposing their ways and values on the locals, and are encouraged to observe local customs and traditions wherever possible and practicable.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:03 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Indeed, but there was also appetite for abolishing slavery within, and as has also been pointed out, the plight of freed slaves was barely improved at all once they had their freedom. Not one I would chalk up as a victory, personally.
I don't think that's remotely true. Jim Crow and lynching and brutal suppression don't negate the huge difference between slavery and freedom, no matter how circumscribed. There was very little impetus from freed slaves to return to their previous circumstances.

Quote:
Again, that was a fire that was already burning within. Nelson Mandela was already doing serious jail time for protesting apartheid before we in the West really caught on.

However, that is one area that I would have had no problems with the application of some serious (non-military) force, given that white South Africans are all descendants of western cultures, and generally hold to the same values and standards as the rest of us. I would not have considered the 'West' an external player in this, and would have considered it 'reining in our unruly children'. It's not like the White SAs could even claim apartheid as 'cultural heritage' any more - certainly not by the late 70's, early 80s.
How old does something have to be to qualify as culture? The white SA's were in South Africa for as long as many of the black SA's whom they were oppressing. They had had their view of non-white people's for almost as long as they had contact with them.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:04 PM   #260
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
I tend to think that people in Afghanistan have similar neuro-biology to those in Europe and the USA.
Of course they do. And societies become culturally cruel from time to time. But it doesn't last and they drift back to normal.

The point is, when societies are off on the cruel side of the continuum, there is truth when other humans take note and speak up. To claim, "It's their culture and you can't judge them by your culture", is not true. There is a human norm one can judge other cultures by.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:05 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
No, apparently their brains are not as evolved...
This post demonstrates you don't understand the science of which I speak. Citations will follow but see also my post above.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:08 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
Afghanistan has had a long, long history of foreign influence.
Indeed it has.

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
The Russians used the most brutal methods to impose liberal values.
They certainly did. Until they were fought to a stalemate.

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
The Arab mujahideen that supported the Taliban were imposing their own values. All the different tribes have different cultures in their own way, and there's a huge urban/rural divide. In fact, there's far more cultural imperialism at the moment from the people supporting honour killing, or bombing girls' schools, than those opposing it.
Afghanistan had always been divided as you say; until the Taliban were effectively invited to take control. Once again, Afghanistan is divided. Yeah, there's a central government, but it means absolutely nothing out in the sticks where the Mullah or village Tribal Elders run the show. The people know that the Taliban are out there waiting for us to leave, and some of them will even welcome them back. Even many that won't welcome them gladly will at least know there will be a stability of sorts.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:09 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Don't get that. Because part of our culture is wanting to interfere with other cultures, we should be allowed to interfere in other cultures? Is that right?
If cultural imperatives hold, obviously. If cultural imperatives don't hold, then equally we are permitted to interfere in other cultures.

Quote:
And where does our 'right' come from?
That depends on whether you hold to absolute or relative morality.

Quote:
Where do you stand on their cultural right to wage jihad on infidels, and killing as many infidels as you can will guarantee you a good spot in heaven?
I disapprove. But then, I'm not a moral relativist.

Quote:

That is precisely the reason for not doing it. Who is making the argument that we enforce more enlightened mores, by the way? I ask, because soldiers deploying to Afghanistan are absolutely forbidden from imposing their ways and values on the locals, and are encouraged to observe local customs and traditions wherever possible and practicable.
Yes, and for practical reasons, that's probably a good idea. The British ran India for hundreds of years by observing most local customs, but didn't hesitate to ban abhorrent customs when they felt they had the power to do so. I don't see any merit in trying to enforce rules without having the power to do so, but I equally don't see any reason not to enforce them if the power is available.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:16 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
This post demonstrates you don't understand the science of which I speak. Citations will follow but see also my post above.
Please demonstrate that of which you speak. I'm dying to know how this:

Quote:
The majority of evolved human brains. In case you hadn't noticed, morality is a function of the human brain and it evolved so that most of us are born with certain preset values.
doesn't mean what I think it does. I'm also very intrigued by the idea that we are definitely born with preset moral values.

Oh, and regarding your post above; how are you judging 'normal'?

And while you're citing, please don't forget to show me exactly how soldiers overcome the moral inhibition towards killing by defining the enemy as 'other than human'. Thanks.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:26 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Of course they do. And societies become culturally cruel from time to time. But it doesn't last and they drift back to normal.
I can see absolutely no historical evidence for this statement.

Quote:
The point is, when societies are off on the cruel side of the continuum, there is truth when other humans take note and speak up. To claim, "It's their culture and you can't judge them by your culture", is not true. There is a human norm one can judge other cultures by.
If one were to look at all of recorded human history, the evidence would come out strongly in favour of cruelty as the norm. It's omnipresent.

The reason that Western values are better (insofar as they are) is not because they conform to some imaginary biological health standard. It's on a far more abstract basis.

Of course, an alien observing this discussion from a global viewpoint would find the spectacle of enormously rich westerners commenting on the lives of people kept in poverty and ignorance by their own policies rather odd. It's been estimated (though I don't know how accurately) that to maintain an average Westerner in his standard of living costs the lives of three third world individuals. It may not be literally true, but as a parable at least it's accurate.

Of course, as we see among immigrant families in the West, prosperity doesn't automatically outweigh culture, though there's probably a strong influence.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:26 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
I don't think that's remotely true. Jim Crow and lynching and brutal suppression don't negate the huge difference between slavery and freedom, no matter how circumscribed. There was very little impetus from freed slaves to return to their previous circumstances.
Well obviously I cannot speak from experience, but I doubt that (especially initially) a whole lot changed for the slaves except they technically 'owned' themselves, for what THAT was worth at the time.

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
How old does something have to be to qualify as culture? The white SA's were in South Africa for as long as many of the black SA's whom they were oppressing. They had had their view of non-white people's for almost as long as they had contact with them.
I'd be hard-pushed to say given the amount of different Western backgrounds that make up the White SA population - it'd be hard to pin them down as a unified 'culture', or when they started existing as one. What I would say though is that they maintained their Western morals and values (which if were honest are Christianity-based), but did not clean up their act as quickly as the rest of us did. As I said, I personally see them as 'wayward children' who needed a nudge to behave, as opposed to us meddling in a long established culture going back thousands of years.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:32 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
If cultural imperatives hold, obviously. If cultural imperatives don't hold, then equally we are permitted to interfere in other cultures.
Still not sure - dumb it down for me please.


Originally Posted by westprog View Post
That depends on whether you hold to absolute or relative morality.



I disapprove. But then, I'm not a moral relativist.
Same again - I'm not usually this lazy about research, but it's been a long day, and I know I won't find any definitions that won't require me to do some serious reading and thinking. I don't mind appearing dumb at the moment!

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
Yes, and for practical reasons, that's probably a good idea. The British ran India for hundreds of years by observing most local customs, but didn't hesitate to ban abhorrent customs when they felt they had the power to do so. I don't see any merit in trying to enforce rules without having the power to do so, but I equally don't see any reason not to enforce them if the power is available.
I think what it boils down to for me is 'can' does not automatically equal 'has the absolute right to'.

The British thought they'd banned many customs - all they did was drive them underground and make their practice more enthusiastic. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom taught me that.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:35 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
I'm also very intrigued by the idea that we are definitely born with preset moral values.
That's probably true - however, those values probably allow for say, the extermination of the Neanderthals while loving our children. It's quite obvious that human beings have empathy for their own group. It's also clear that they are capable of hatred or indifference to others. The boundary seems to be enormously variable - such that children who are normally loved and treasured can be viewed as a hostile enemy under certain circumstances.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:39 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Well obviously I cannot speak from experience, but I doubt that (especially initially) a whole lot changed for the slaves except they technically 'owned' themselves, for what THAT was worth at the time.
I would go by what the slaves thought about it.

Quote:

I'd be hard-pushed to say given the amount of different Western backgrounds that make up the White SA population - it'd be hard to pin them down as a unified 'culture', or when they started existing as one. What I would say though is that they maintained their Western morals and values (which if were honest are Christianity-based), but did not clean up their act as quickly as the rest of us did. As I said, I personally see them as 'wayward children' who needed a nudge to behave, as opposed to us meddling in a long established culture going back thousands of years.
If Western culture can change, then so can other cultures. In fact, it's quite plausible that honour killings, suicide bombings etc, are the teething troubles of a cultural transformation.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:39 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Of course they do. And societies become culturally cruel from time to time. But it doesn't last and they drift back to normal.
So our morally evolved brains spontaneously devolve/regress simultaneously across an entire society, then after an unspecified period, they all evolve BACK to where they were before?

Or am I failing to understand the science?

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The point is, when societies are off on the cruel side of the continuum, there is truth when other humans take note and speak up. To claim, "It's their culture and you can't judge them by your culture", is not true. There is a human norm one can judge other cultures by.
So who or what is this norm? Who set the 'norm' by which all others can be judged? I bet it was a Westerner. It was a Westerner wasn't it?
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:44 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
That's probably true - however, those values probably allow for say, the extermination of the Neanderthals while loving our children. It's quite obvious that human beings have empathy for their own group. It's also clear that they are capable of hatred or indifference to others. The boundary seems to be enormously variable - such that children who are normally loved and treasured can be viewed as a hostile enemy under certain circumstances.
Probably isn't going to cut it for me. I fully accept we are born with certain survival instincts, or behaviours 'built in' (or at least quickly developed) to ensure our chances of survival. When it comes to morals though, I am of the firm belief that these things are learned. I am also happy enough to believe that damage to certain parts of the brain can prevent someone learning certain morals, or 'wipe them out'. As it stands though, I do not believe we are born with morals 'baked in'.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:50 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Still not sure - dumb it down for me please.




Same again - I'm not usually this lazy about research, but it's been a long day, and I know I won't find any definitions that won't require me to do some serious reading and thinking. I don't mind appearing dumb at the moment!



I think what it boils down to for me is 'can' does not automatically equal 'has the absolute right to'.
Mr A thinks he has the right to control his family, using any means that he wishes. Mr B thinks he has the right to stop Mr A from doing certain things to his family.

I don't see these two rights as being of different standing. If Mr A has the right to kill his daughter, Mr B has the right to stop him doing it. If Mr B has no right to interfere in the affairs of Mr A, then Mr A has no right to restrict what his daughter does.

Adding culture to this doesn't really effect matters.

Quote:
The British thought they'd banned many customs - all they did was drive them underground and make their practice more enthusiastic. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom taught me that.
Certain customs might have persisted, but were undoubtedly diminished. Suttee, for example, was undoubtedly repressed. The Thugs, whoever they were, were eradicated. Other customs were allowed to persist unmolested. Rudyard Kipling taught me that.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:51 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
I would go by what the slaves thought about it.
I'll be honest and admit I don't know what the SLAVES thought of it, but I do know a little of what the Whites thought of it, and it didn't seem to change a great deal.

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
If Western culture can change, then so can other cultures.
I'd say that's a given; I personally believe that we in the West (speaking from a UK perspective) can be quite open to change and adapt quite quickly. Any culture can, and probably will change - it's all just a matter of time.

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
In fact, it's quite plausible that honour killings, suicide bombings etc, are the teething troubles of a cultural transformation.
Plausible, but in the case of Honour Killings, 3000+ years is a loooooong teething period. That said though, I think Honour Killings are becoming more unacceptable within that culture.
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:06 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
Mr A thinks he has the right to control his family, using any means that he wishes. Mr B thinks he has the right to stop Mr A from doing certain things to his family.

I don't see these two rights as being of different standing. If Mr A has the right to kill his daughter, Mr B has the right to stop him doing it. If Mr B has no right to interfere in the affairs of Mr A, then Mr A has no right to restrict what his daughter does.

Adding culture to this doesn't really effect matters.
Many thanks. I completely understand what you're saying, but don't necessarily agree. It is all about culture. If killing your daughter is the cultural norm, then Mr B, although he technically has the legal right to stop Mr A, would probably not do it because he would think it the correct thing to do. In his country, although his Government may outwardly kind of condemn these killings, and they may (or even may not) have some half-assed laws in place, they only half-assedly enforce them, so they're not even a real deterrent to Mr A. He basically knows that his neighbours fully approve of his actions because it is morally the right thing to do in their culture.

What you're suggesting in a roundabout way is that Mr B, from London, hops on a flight to Mr A's country and bursts into his home and stops Mr A killing his daughter, saying "No, I have every right to stop you doing this, because it's not done in MY culture!"

You see what I'm getting at?



Originally Posted by westprog View Post
Certain customs might have persisted, but were undoubtedly diminished.
Definitely.

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
Suttee, for example, was undoubtedly repressed. The Thugs, whoever they were, were eradicated. Other customs were allowed to persist unmolested. Rudyard Kipling taught me that.
Mr Kipling. He does make exceedingly good cakes.
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:10 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
I don't think that's remotely true. Jim Crow and lynching and brutal suppression don't negate the huge difference between slavery and freedom, no matter how circumscribed. There was very little impetus from freed slaves to return to their previous circumstances.


Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Indeed, but there was also appetite for abolishing slavery within, and as has also been pointed out, the plight of freed slaves was barely improved at all once they had their freedom. Not one I would chalk up as a victory, personally.
I'm quoting westprog because I agree with what he said. But I'll add two quick comments --

I suspect that the wealthy southern slave owners would disagree with you about an appetite for abolishing slavery within. Non-American, Yankee, and slaves opinions probably didn't count as far as they were concerned.

Anytime slavery is banned is an amazing accomplishment. It's true that historically one doesn't go from the slave class to equal opportunities overnight. But in the USA we moved from slavery based on race to an African-American President in about 6 generations. That is remarkable, and probably compares extremely well with just about any other country's history.

Originally Posted by westprog View Post
<snip> How old does something have to be to qualify as culture? The white SA's were in South Africa for as long as many of the black SA's whom they were oppressing. They had had their view of non-white people's for almost as long as they had contact with them.

Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Again, that was a fire that was already burning within. Nelson Mandela was already doing serious jail time for protesting apartheid before we in the West really caught on.

However, that is one area that I would have had no problems with the application of some serious (non-military) force, given that white South Africans are all descendants of western cultures, and generally hold to the same values and standards as the rest of us. I would not have considered the 'West' an external player in this, and would have considered it 'reining in our unruly children'. It's not like the White SAs could even claim apartheid as 'cultural heritage' any more - certainly not by the late 70's, early 80s.
Again, I'm quoting westprog because I agree with what he has to say -- and I'll add a few more comments.

I think the anti-apartheid movement in other countries goes further back than that. Here's a wiki article saying that an anti-apartheid movement began in Great Britain back in 1959.

The world is very interconnected, and I suspect that most freedom movements are helped along by individuals and countries physically removed from the conflict, sometimes for altruistic reasons and sometimes for non-altruistic reasons. If you read the BBC link about Great Britain's efforts to ban the slave trade in the Atlantic it was also self-serving in that it got caught up in GB's expansionism goals. The USA revolution against GB was helped by countries, including France, that had their own reasons for wanting to see GB lose some colonies.

As far as Western values -- which ones? It's hardly been homogeneous. Europe's history is bloody and minorities of all sorts of ethnic groups and creeds were brutalized. At about the same time the USA was undergoing the Civil War (over slavery) -- many wealthy Eastern Europeans (OK, not Western Europe but not that far away either physically or in shared philosophies) were asserting that serfs should not be considered fully human. HG Wells book, The Time Machine, was not written in a historical vacuum. I hesitate to Godwin the thread, but the ideas behind anti-apartheid were probably not that separate from the ideas behind Hitler's dream of "living space" for the "master race" and that was probably rooted in the same ideas behind the wide spread popularity of eugenics in the Western World prior to WWII. So ... which Western Values? And if you don't distinguish moral values from other cultural values ... why do so with South Africa?

Lack of freedom, rights and dignity in one part of the world has the potential to encourage lack of freedom, rights and dignity in other parts of the world. None of us are an island. IMHO, I think that is why so many people feel comfortable with the idea of helping people, regardless of who they are or where they live secure freedom, rights and dignity. And that is also why so many people of a more tyrannical nature, also feel comfortable with trying to take freedom, rights and dignity away from others.
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:14 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
I'll be honest and admit I don't know what the SLAVES thought of it, but I do know a little of what the Whites thought of it, and it didn't seem to change a great deal.
What the (Southern) whites thought of it at the time, and what they decided that they'd thought about it once they'd had time to think about it were very different things. At the start of the war, preservation of slavery was the key, single issue. Twenty years after, it had nothing to do with it.
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Old 11th November 2012, 06:02 PM   #277
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Going back to the incident I cited in the OP, I found that the girl's mother is now expressing some remorse at her act of pouring acid on her 15 year-old daughter for looking at boys(from the article, emphasis added):

"I deeply regret my action. I am repenting as I should not have done this. She was very innocent. I feel like killing all my kids,” the mother of eight told AFP.

Given her idea of a solution to her psychic pain, maybe here not feeling remorse was preferable. I also love this quote from the article about the father's justification for not taking their daughter to a hospital (emphasis added):

The parents waited two days to take Anusha to hospital, but Zafar insisted this was simply because they could not afford to take her until a local doctor gave him some money.

So, imagine this: These parents poured acid over their 15 year-old daughter for looking at boys. Over 70% of her body was burned. Then they let her linger in unimaginable pain for two whole days before having the decency to get her medical care.

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Old 11th November 2012, 11:36 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by SatansMaleVoiceChoir View Post
Which amounts to forcing other cultures to conform to our values and standards.
Which is fine. Some cultures are better than others. There's no problem with cultural imperialism when it is aimed at altering an inferior cultural construct.
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Old 12th November 2012, 02:14 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
I'm quoting westprog because I agree with what he said. But I'll add two quick comments --

I suspect that the wealthy southern slave owners would disagree with you about an appetite for abolishing slavery within. Non-American, Yankee, and slaves opinions probably didn't count as far as they were concerned.
Yes? I'm sure many White South Africans didn't agree with abolishing apartheid at the time either. It doesn't change the fact that there was a huge shift from within the US regarding the morality of slavery.

Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
Anytime slavery is banned is an amazing accomplishment. It's true that historically one doesn't go from the slave class to equal opportunities overnight. But in the USA we moved from slavery based on race to an African-American President in about 6 generations. That is remarkable, and probably compares extremely well with just about any other country's history.
Well done USA!

Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
Again, I'm quoting westprog because I agree with what he has to say -- and I'll add a few more comments.

I think the anti-apartheid movement in other countries goes further back than that. Here's a wiki article saying that an anti-apartheid movement began in Great Britain back in 1959.
And there were pre-apartheid Black Rights groups in SA in 1948.

Back to my original point; The desire for change was already present to a certain extent in both America and SA prior to pressure from external powers.

Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
The world is very interconnected, and I suspect that most freedom movements are helped along by individuals and countries physically removed from the conflict, sometimes for altruistic reasons and sometimes for non-altruistic reasons. If you read the BBC link about Great Britain's efforts to ban the slave trade in the Atlantic it was also self-serving in that it got caught up in GB's expansionism goals. The USA revolution against GB was helped by countries, including France, that had their own reasons for wanting to see GB lose some colonies.
Returning to my original point; Western Countries pressing other Western Countries to change elements of their culture is fine - it's not even something that happens often as the fundamentals of Western culture rarely differ - I don't personally seeing that as interfering.

Does anyone know if any Middle Eastern Countries applied any international pressure to America to end slavery, or to SA to end apartheid?

Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
As far as Western values -- which ones? It's hardly been homogeneous. Europe's history is bloody and minorities of all sorts of ethnic groups and creeds were brutalized. At about the same time the USA was undergoing the Civil War (over slavery) -- many wealthy Eastern Europeans (OK, not Western Europe but not that far away either physically or in shared philosophies) were asserting that serfs should not be considered fully human. HG Wells book, The Time Machine, was not written in a historical vacuum. I hesitate to Godwin the thread, but the ideas behind anti-apartheid were probably not that separate from the ideas behind Hitler's dream of "living space" for the "master race" and that was probably rooted in the same ideas behind the wide spread popularity of eugenics in the Western World prior to WWII. So ... which Western Values? And if you don't distinguish moral values from other cultural values ... why do so with South Africa?
Because Western cultural values are fundamentally Christian-based across the board, and White South Africans are descended from the West, and their culture is essentially a Western culture.

Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
Lack of freedom, rights and dignity in one part of the world has the potential to encourage lack of freedom, rights and dignity in other parts of the world. None of us are an island. IMHO, I think that is why so many people feel comfortable with the idea of helping people, regardless of who they are or where they live secure freedom, rights and dignity. And that is also why so many people of a more tyrannical nature, also feel comfortable with trying to take freedom, rights and dignity away from others.
Obviously that is your opinion, but I seriously doubt that another culture is going to emulate the worst aspects of a seperate culture (such as honour killing), simply because "Well, THEY'RE doing it!" - especially if those elements don't 'fit' into their culture. Honour Killing is something that has been going on for 3000+ years in the Middle East - it didn't pop up overnight.
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Old 12th November 2012, 02:23 AM   #280
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Which is fine. Some cultures are better than others. There's no problem with cultural imperialism when it is aimed at altering an inferior cultural construct.
So who judges which cultures are better, and what is the standard they are judged by?
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