Joined: Sep. 2009
[quote=OgreMkV,Mar. 14 2011,08:18][/quote]
|Robin, I have a question for you.|
Other areas in my life have basically come together aaround this central point for me lately. Coincidence, but a somewhat disturbing one.
Please correct if I'm wrong, but you think that the imposition of one's standards or right and wrong on others is wrong. Is that a fair summation? I do not want to misinterpret you.
It's fair, but overly simplistic.
The reason I see intervention on another person's standards as 'wrong' is that it requires two assumptions I see as being logically unsupportable. 1) the assumption that the person's standards and/or actions are wrong in some absolute sense, and 2) that your standards are somehow superior and will necessarily lead a 'correct' or 'right' outcome. How can anyone possibly know this?
I look at it this way - I can't come up with a way to honestly assess that my strong feelings against someone causing suffering come from anywhere different than Khadafi's strong feelings regarding how to treat his people. As such, I can't say that my feelings are more valid than his.
So to really answer your question, I believe that the imposition of one's standards of right and wrong on others is short-sighted and is usually the product of reaction to emotions rather than fully considering the possible outcomes of intervention and whether such removes the root problem or creates more problems.
|So my question is (and this is difficult to put into words as I'm still wrapping my head around it) what is the point?|
Am I morally, ethically, or otherwise wrong for demanding that slaves be set free? Am I morally, ethically or otherwise wrong for requiring that my elected officials follow the law? Am I morally, ethically or otherwise wrong for defending the rights of people who don't even know they should have rights?
No, or at least my opinion is no. But I'm not an authority on morality, ethics or otherwise concepts of 'wrongness'.
Keep in mind, what I put forth is an explanation of my own standard and my thoughts on the intervention and judgment of others. It isn't a declaration on 'right' and 'wrong', or at least I didn't intend it that way. I put it forth to give folks something to consider. I really feel that all actions and judgments should be seriously pondered before being made, not that taking certain actions are always 'right' or always 'wrong'.
Here's another example of my thinking on this: A man witnesses another man beating his child across her back with a belt. The first man - we'll call him "John" - feels very strongly that what the other man - we'll call him "Bill" - is doing is wrong. John runs up and grabs Bill's arm and says, "how dare you strike this girl so brutally!". As he says this, the girl runs away. Bill turns to John and says in return, "This is how my family and people were taught to deal with someone who disobeys and traditional rule! Who are you to say that the traditions of hundreds of generations of my people are wrong!"
To me, the actions of both John and Bill are 'wrong' in the sense that neither is using logic to address a problem and both are just reacting to feelings and traditions. I then use this example to try to remind myself to think about a situation before I react to my feelings concerning the situation.
So, the bottom line for me is that reacting to a given situation isn't necessarily right or wrong, but rather that not thinking and just reacting to a visceral response leads to more problems than the original issue.
So now let's look at your questions. Are you morally, ethically, or otherwise wrong for demanding that slaves get set free? It depends - do you really thinking you are morally, ethically, or otherwise responsible for the slaves? Have they asked for help? What are parameters surrounding the particular slavery? What are the likely outcome scenarios of the slaves being set free? Etc...
If none of the above questions matter to you and you think that all slavery is wrong no matter what and that stopping slavery at all costs is the only solution, then I think you will find significantly more problems in the long run.
From that I bet you can figure out what my answers to your other questions are.
|Honestly, it would be easier, I could go hide in a cave and ignore the world around me. It's a sucky place right now.|
But, how can I live with myself knowing that I allow this stuff to continue when I can at least speak out against it?
What do you mean you allow this stuff to continue? How influential are you really? I think you're being too hard on yourself and taking on more responsibility for the way things are than your domain of control actually covers. That's just my opinion of course, but I don't see anyone having the responsibility, authority, or for that matter individual power to craft the world in his or her image.
Be that as it may, I'll offer that you can only live with yourself if you can determine to extent of your domain of control and determine what power and resources you have to effect those things within it. Truly I believe that's all anyone can do to enjoy this life.
we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. Bilbo
The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis