Sunday, February 05, 2006

Moral Relativity: It isn't just for Einstein anymore...

A hazard of having moved out of the inner city and dwelling in whitebread suburban America is that it becomes too easy to view the Other Side and their reductio ad absurdum moral relativism as some chimerical beastie that doesn't exist outside of Rush "Hydrocodone Boy" Limbaugh's Triple-Bypass Burger-fuelled nightmares. If one never visited Democratic Underground, one might never be aware of their existance, except for the fact that they have keyboards too.

I'm reminded of the time that a well-meaning friend pointed out that yeah, Germany did some bad things in WWII, but that the USA had internment camps, too. I had to blink a half-dozen times before I could point out that, while the interning of the Nisei was a monstrous evil, at least they could exit their camps via the gate, rather than the chimney, and that that was a fairly important difference.

The very fact that we are hand-wringing over this stuff says something about that ol' stock-footage bogeyman, Post-Enlightenment Western Culture.


Anyhow, without further ado, on to the fisking. "jesperskibbey" writes:

As no one else would touch this one, I thought I would add my $0.02.


I think nobody else was touching this one because everybody else saw the absurdity of protesting being labelled a bomb-throwing maniac by... actually throwing bombs.

The problem with the cartoons is that they are designed to offend and stereotype Muslims.


Why, yes. Yes, they are. And, taken in a vacuum, that's wrong. Of course, there's also the countervailing viewpoint that these cartoons are meant to lampoon a very specific kind of Moslems.

Lets[sic] lump them all into the same category. They all hate women, they all plot mass murder. The cartoons remind me of Nazi propaganda with caricatures of Jews with oversized lips and huge noses shaped like a number 6.


Five sentences in and I could already invoke Godwin's Law and declare victory, but let's keep going for argument's sake.

Sure, you can post a cartoon that others find highly offensive, but what good does it do? I could take a crap on Chesty Puller's casket flag in front of the local VFW, then whip out a Zippo and set the colors ablaze, but what good would it do?


Not a bit of good. But anyone trying to give you a hug while wearing a Semtex sweater would be prosecuted. Speech is speech, even if hateful speech, and thus protected in an enlightened and modern society.

Such an act will not change their minds, I will only increase their resolve, and perpetuate the stereotype.


Perpetuate what stereotype? That a certain spectrum of whack jobs hiding behind the skirts of a religion are willing to call for the murder of innocents at the drop of a hat? Is that the sterotype we're talking about?

Dialog, and respect will change the world for the better, not a "Look what we can do, and you can't stop us" attitude.


A "look what we can do" attitude? What can "we" do? Threaten to bathe Copenhagen in blood because one of the cartoonists working for a local paper has questionable taste?

The Danes, French, Belgians, Dutch and many Americans are blind to their own racism, and it was easy for them to post racially insensitive cartoons.


How about religiously insensitive cartoons, since that's what's really being discussed, here. BTW, who issued the Fatwa over Dancing Jesus? Oh, that's right, there wasn't one...

It is easy for us to perform renditions on Imams who don't like our policies. It is easy for our servicemen to pile up naked prisoners and take pictures.


For which they were court-martialled. Who held the court martial for the people who took pictures of prisoners naked of, not only their dignity, but also their noggins?

It is easy for us to fly hooded and drugged "suspected terrorist" to Egypt and Bulgaria to be tortured by foreign intelligence agencies. Why? For the same reason it was easy for law abiding Germans to follow orders and send Jews to the gas chambers.


Godwin's Law redux.

Like the Jews were to the Germans they have become less than human to us. Welcome to Club Gitmo.


Is the mention of "Gitmo" a knee-jerk reaction, or, like those who justify equating Auschwitz with Poston, is your moral compass needle completely demagnetized?

11 comments:

Dr. StrangeGun said...

This is why I allow no politica on my "public" journal. It's too infuriating.

Someone needs to inform jesperkibbey that the infidels that the enraged musselman throng wish to decapitate include *him*.

Just because you "feel their pain" doesn't mean you aren't going to feel their pain.

B&N said...

This comment by your troll made me laugh,

"Dialog, and respect will change the world for the better"

Will it?!!!

I wish I were so naive as to believe it. Was this written by a 4th grader?

Anonymous said...

I usually enjoy reading your blog, however as a long-time resident of Turkey (99% Moslem and an ally of the US) I find the cartoons extremely offensive.

Bey Efendi

A.C. said...

Tried to compose myself reading that brilliantly funny analysis. But I couldn't.

Billll said...

"The problem with the cartoons is that they are designed to offend and stereotype Muslims."
And the unforseen consequence was to "smoke out" certain steryotypes.

Billll

Gewehr98 said...

The muslims who make death threats and rail about how offensive the cartoon images of Mohammed are make me laugh. These are the same people who have no problems denigrating other religions without a moment's hesitation or apology. A bit intolerant, are we?

http://mauser98.com/islamcontradiction.gif

Kaylee said...

Nicely written Tams.

When's your book coming out? :)

jesperskibbey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jesperskibbey said...

...Dang html tags...

Moral Relativity: It isn't just for Einstein anymore...

You start with an insult. You must be upset. Also, it’s not Moral Relativity, that’s a stretch even with the Einstein reference.


If one never visited Democratic Underground, one might never be aware of their existence[sic], except for the fact that they have keyboards too.

Moral Pluralism, look it up. It is different that Moral Relativism. You got them mixed up.



I think nobody else was touching this one because everybody else saw the absurdity of protesting being labelled [sic] a bomb-throwing maniac by... actually throwing bombs.

Another insult, followed by an obvious statement with a nested insult.

... Yes, they are. And, taken in a vacuum, that's wrong. Of course, there's also the countervailing viewpoint that these cartoons are meant to lampoon a very specific kind of Moslems.

Like the kind that follow Mohammed?

Five sentences in and I could already invoke Godwin's Law and declare victory, but let's keep going for argument's sake.

Instead of commenting on the actual point, you sidestep again, with another implied insult. You ignore the point entirely. You then rush headlong to unfurl the big banner declaring: “Mission Accomplished”, alas you jumped the gun. Where have seen that before? Can I buy a T-Shirt with “Mission Accomplished” and a big W on it at the Republican home page? Oh, rats they don’t sell those anymore.

...Puller's casket flag in front of the local VFW, then whip out a Zippo and set the colors ablaze, but what good would it do?


Not a bit of good.


So, you agree. I am right.

But anyone trying to give you a hug while wearing a Semtex sweater would be prosecuted. Speech is speech, even if hateful speech, and thus protected in an enlightened and modern society.

You sidestep again. What benefit for humanity has there been in the publication of the cartoons? The topic of my post was the offensive nature of the Danish cartoon, it was not an argument that suicide bombing is a moral, legal, intelligent or even sane manner of protest.


Perpetuate what stereotype? That a certain spectrum of whack jobs hiding behind the skirts of a religion are willing to call for the murder of innocents at the drop of a hat? Is that the sterotype[sic] we're talking about?

You let your emotions control your verbiage. I am talking about the stereotype that is perpetuated by drawing a bomb in Mohammed’s turban, a man considered a prophet by all Muslims, not just the rabid fundamentalists. I am talking about the same Muslim stereotype that leads gun mag writers to use terms like: “Good for killing minute-of-raghead” when describing their latest optics.

A "look what we can do" attitude? What can "we" do? Threaten to bathe Copenhagen in blood because one of the cartoonists working for a local paper has questionable taste?

Ah, Tam, you finally admit that the Danish cartoonist and his editor had questionable taste in printing the cartoons. Does that mean that you had questionable taste in reprinting them? What about the cartoons makes you say that they are of questionable taste?


How about religiously insensitive cartoons, since that's what's really being discussed, here. BTW, who issued the Fatwa over Dancing Jesus? Oh, that's right, there wasn't one..

Perhaps you don’t have an answer, so you sidestep again. I am talking about Religiously insensitive cartoons depicting a Semitic race.

For which they were court-martialled[sic]. Who held the court martial for the people who took pictures of prisoners naked of, not only their dignity, but also their noggins?

No one, they are terrorists. What was our excuse for mistreatment? Oh, I’m sorry, it was just interrogation that became a bit too “Free-Wheeling”, as the Bush Administration called it.

...orders and send Jews to the gas chambers.


Godwin's Law redux.

Once again, you sidestep my question. I asked why it is easy for us to mistreat prisoners. You have even started to recycle your sidesteps.


Is the mention of "Gitmo" a knee-jerk reaction, or, like those who justify equating Auschwitz with Poston, is your moral compass needle completely demagnetized?

Ha! Godwin's Law! Ok, just kidding.

We have locked away prisoners and denied them legal counsel. We have tortured them, several have died in our custody as the result of injuries sustained at the hands of their American guards. And you think this is good? Next you accuse me of having a faulty moral compass? Hmmm. Who is the moral relativist? Take a good look at yourself Tam, think about it a while. Here is a hint, take into account basic human rights, avoid the presumption of guilt and leave out religion. You will come to the conclusion I have.


For the record: If convicted of being an Unter-Mensch and given my druthers, I would take Poston, then Gitmo. Oświęcim would have to be the last on the list, for obvious reasons.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Perhaps we should take the tack of the extremist muslims and simply shoot our prisoners on their knees.

Taste has never been an excuse to go killing.

Benefit to humanity is simply not required of most things.

Why attempt moral pluralism with a group of people who would see you dead? Should the Jews have attempted to have a moral pluralism with the nazis? Ukranians and Georgians with Stalin? Cambodians with Pol Pot? Armenians with the Ottomans? If a group for people is out for *your blood* in an unstoppable religious fervor, what are you supposed to do?

The leadership of the muslim religions has basically and in not so few words declared their intention for a worldwide caliphate. What's so hard to understand about not allowing a *government*, which is what the current caliphate basically is in the mode of theocracy, any leeway in their quest to drive us into the ground? They've no interest in free speech whatsoever, as verily demonstrated by the riots... they've no value on human life that isn't of their own, and even of their own the threads are tenuous.

THEY WANT YOU DEAD. No amount of pandering is going to change that.

jesperskibbey said...

Perhaps we should take the tack of the extremist Muslims and simply shoot our prisoners on their knees.

You are angry. Why does my alternate viewpoint infuriate you? Is it because I might be right?

Taste has never been an excuse to go killing.

I agree.

Benefit to humanity is simply not required of most things.

I agree, and submit that detriment to humanity should be avoided in most things.

Why attempt moral pluralism with a group of people who would see you dead?

I subscribe to the view that only the extremists who say that wish to see me dead are the ones who wish to see me dead. My Muslim friends donít wish to see me dead, they consider the violent acts of the extremists with the contempt that some Christians feel for abortion clinic bombers. The cartoon of Mohammed offends my Muslim friends, just as the extremists are offended. You and the Danish cartoonist have lumped all Muslims together.

Should the Jews have attempted to have a moral pluralism with the Nazis?

No, your question is a double bind. The Nazis, almost without exception, from the top down tried to eliminate the "Jewish Problem". I am not lumping Marsh Arabs, Shiites, Sunnis, Turks, and all of the other Muslim groups together.

was Ukranians[sic] and Georgians with Stalin? Cambodians with Pol Pot? Armenians with the Ottomans? If a group for people is out for *your blood* in an unstoppable religious fervor, what are you supposed to do?

You are supposed to bring swift and righteous justice to the perpetrators, not insult the entire body of Religious believers.

The leadership of the muslim religions has basically and in not so few words declared their intention for a worldwide caliphate.

Let's clarify that. Several of the leaders of the Muslim faith. Not "The Leadership of the Muslim Religions". We are talking about a highly fragmented people group, not a unified front . Just because Benny Hinn wants me dead, does not mean that Billy Graham wants me dead.

What's so hard to understand about not allowing a *government*, which is what the current caliphate basically is in the mode of theocracy, any leeway in their quest to drive us into the ground? They've no interest in free speech whatsoever, as verily demonstrated by the riots... they've no value on human life that isn't of their own, and even of their own the threads are tenuous.

See my comments above, you are generalizing again. Are you speaking of the Sunni view of Islamic history, or the Shiite, or the Turkish? The Islamic sects don't agree on the revival of the Caliphate. You are falling victim to an incorrect assumption and subsequently lumping all Muslims together. You see pictures of riots on TV. You assume that every Muslim is against free speech. You have come to believe your own press releases.

THEY WANT YOU DEAD. No amount of pandering is going to change that.

"They", another generalization. All of "Them" want me dead? Are you suggesting that every single Muslim wants me dead? Are you certain, have you asked any of "Them"? The cartoon of Mohammed offended even the "Them" that don't want me dead. The bomb wearing Mohammed cartoon gave even the nonviolent "Them" the impression that the West is insensitive to "Them". The same "Them" who shake their heads in disgust at the daily bloodbath perpetrated in the name of Islam.

Pander : To cater to or exploit the weaknesses of others -Merriam-Webster

We could exchange the words "Religious Sensitivity" for pandering in your sentence above, and it would mean the same thing in your argument against me. Let's pull a number out of thin air and say that your statement is 0.001% right. I agree, no amount of religious sensitivity would change the fact that 0.001% of Muslims want me dead, and are plotting and performing acts of violence against humanity. As the minority spreads destruction, we need to distribute swift justice to the minority. Hurling insults, or printing blanket insults directed at all Muslims makes terrorist recruiting easier for them, and only sets the resolve of violent Islamic fundamentalists.