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Passions in Poetry

The Relativity of Morality

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 07-20-2009 07:46 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"IRANIAN MILITIAS MARRY, RAPE VIRGIN PRISONERS BEFORE EXECUTIONS"


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,534116,00.html


If I remember my “ I Claudius” correctly
the Romans did the same thing
so who are we, the West, to judge?


.
Essorant
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1 posted 07-21-2009 11:40 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I am not sure whither you are going with this, John.  We aren't exactly Romans.  But even if we were, and some Romans did that, it wouldn't make it right to generalize all Romans as doing or believing in such things.  It especially wouldn't make such things worthy of moral acceptance.
Huan Yi
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2 posted 07-21-2009 12:05 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


This is taking off on something noted
in Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind.

Below, (though I think it a bit of a rant),
is a lecture that summarizes some of
Bloom’s complaints:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaE98w1KZ-c


.

moonbeam
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3 posted 07-21-2009 02:08 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Interesting vid.  

I shouldn't be surprised by now, but it still never ceases to amaze me how everything in the US is bigger, better, larger and louder, than elsewhere - including the extremes.

Here we have the extreme right wing elite ranting about the extreme left wing elite.  Not a shred of rationality or commonsense in either viewpoint.  Fortunately most times they tend to cancel each other and leave relatively sane people in charge. God help us if any of these nutters, from either wing, ever get their hands on real power.
Essorant
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4 posted 07-21-2009 02:27 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Can you please say directly what this discussion is trying to address?  


moonbeam
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5 posted 07-21-2009 03:32 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Ess

Given Huan's usually right wing slanted views I was thinking that the initial post was a somewhat tongue in cheek proposition.   The idea is, I assume, that Huan has seized upon one of the apparently more outrageous "crimes" of the Muslim world (although we only have a second hand news source from a dubious single witness) and is holding it up, also kindly proffering a clue as to how it might be defended, in the hope that one or more "liberals" on this site will take the bait and try to argue that morality is flexible and relative.

It follows on from the contention in the video that "modern liberals" are evil, immoral, people determined to work their wickedness against the bastion of rightness that is Republican America, on the basis that belief in nothing will eventually, at some unspecified date, bring utopia.

Huan is giving modern liberals the chance here to demonstrate their unprincipled immorality by accepting the idea that they are absolved from the duty of interference in such a heinous crime because of the crimes of their predecessors a few hundreds of years ago in Italy.

Personally I think we are in the realms of Wonderland, but never mind .
Huan Yi
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6 posted 07-21-2009 03:57 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


That there is no right or wrong.
That any attempt at distinction
is itself corrupt.  Allan Bloom
used the example of the British
ending the practice of suttee
in India to his students and got
equivocation or a simple
"The British shouldn’t have been there
in the first place" as reponse.


(As I said I thought the vid was
in part a rant.  He openly admits
his liberal origins.  I think he
found conversion once he found
Israel in the crosshairs).
.
moonbeam
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7 posted 07-22-2009 08:44 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

You're talking partly about the chain of responsibility.  How far is a harmful act excused by a preceding and opposite harmful act.  A whole complex discussion.

Yes it was a bit of a rant, an interesting one though.  And yes his partisanship in relation to Isreal came over loud and clear.

Bob K
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8 posted 07-22-2009 02:24 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

          I am against torture and the death penalty both, no matter who uses them.  If Iranians are doing this, they should be placed on trial for war crimes.

     Please don't be sarcastic with me about this.  As I recall, you are in favor, and have used the word torture as though it was something else when applied by our own forces to people essentially picked up off the street in Iraq.  I don't think anybody should torture other people, you seem to believe that we should have the right to do so and that the Iranian's shouldn't.  If we are torturing people, by the way, or shipping them off to have other people torture them, and if we are imposing extra-judicial death sentences on people, then the people accused should also be charged with war crimes.

     I wait patiently to hear your morally consistent response to this suggestion.  Surely there is a tribunal with the wisdom to try both sorts of violations with honesty that is independent of the governments of either nation, so that a just result may be rendered?

     Talk to me again about who's the guy whose got the issue with moral relativity here.  Also tell me some more about the sourcing for your article and what additional reports you have to back it up.  While it may be true, I confess this is the only report I've seen about it — Fox News via the Jerusalem Post from two unnamed and apparently unsupported sources.  It certainly could be true, but I'd feel better if I knew more about it.

     Is there more to be heard on this matter that you'd care to share?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Huan Yi
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9 posted 07-22-2009 07:52 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Bob,

"As I recall, you are in favor, and have used the word torture as though it was something else when applied by our own forces to people essentially picked up off the street in Iraq. "

Please post the address of my comment on PIP that led you to this.

John


.
Bob K
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10 posted 07-23-2009 01:06 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear John,

(1)
quote:
Huan Yi  (6/30/09)

“According to the statement issued by the ministry Friday, shop owner Ahmed al-Anzi molested the boy and then strangled him with a length of rope. He then stabbed the boy's father to death when the man came looking for his son.”

London-based rights group Amnesty International criticized al-Anzi's execution and crucifixion.

"It is horrific that beheading and crucifixions still happen," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International in a statement Friday.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,523364,00.html?test=latestnews


So who is sick?




(2)
quote:


(Bob Kaven comments here:  The picture that comes with the news story given Huan Yi's comments a special edge.)

0 posted 03-15-2007 09:45 PM                     
Inappropriate content?

. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258817,00.html

.
http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?threadID=5791&&&edition=2&ttl=200703160141   56


.

Of course he was forced.
Look at that T-Shirt.
Obviously his Bambi pull on
was denied him.

.
.[/quote/]


(3)
[quote]

13 posted 01-18-2005 10:07 PM                     
Inappropriate content?

Aenimal,


“so the lack of clear insignia and uniform, justifies the undermining of the geneva convention or more importantly, human decency?”

Don’t forget in the context of this discussion that you are talking about
people making efforts and using every means, including the deliberate
lack of clear insignia and uniform, to kill.   That they would be treated
harshly is not new because of the present war.




     The explanation for the why of torture being used — "harsh treatment" is the phrase substituted in this case — amounts to an appologia for the practice, at least to my eye.  It is certainly, insofar as I understand it, in conflict with US military doctrine, both as articulated by Colin Powell and by others in the past as well as by the then written documents.  If I am wrong about the documents, then it is only by a short amount of time.  I welcome correction in this matter, however, if I misunderstand things here.

(4)
I find the following reference fairly clear because this is the point of the discussion of the thread; and you return to the issue time and again.  Your habit is never to quite say anything directly, but the other people on the thread are clear about your position, say back to you what they believe you to be saying to them, and you never take the chance to correct them if they are in fact wrong.

quote:

http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001612.html#13




     Having put upwards of an hour into researching this, I think this is probably enough.  If you want me to dig further, I will, but I’d rather not.  We may differ about the rightness of what President Truman did or any number of other things, but I know you are a man of honor and sincerity and that your differences are honest.  I simply believe there is no reason to torture people, though I have certainly felt the urge to do so from time to time, and all the reasons for doing so make all too much sense to me.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Huan Yi
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11 posted 07-23-2009 10:21 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

Yes Bob

Keep digging

I want that address to my PIP comment that supports your very explicit:

"As I recall, you are in favor, and have used the word torture as though it was something else when applied by our own forces to people essentially picked up off the street in Iraq. "

John


PS:  Who is Aenimal?  Are you confusing me
with him or her?


.
Bob K
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12 posted 07-23-2009 04:05 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001836.html#000031

     I excerpt from your Quote from The National Review which compromises the entire posting.  As I read it, it is, in fact, the point of the entire quote and the entire posting as well.  The post is # 31.


quote:


"That is, while Democrats politicize “torture,” “domestic spying,” the Patriot Act, and now the CIA’s efforts to defeat al-Qaeda, Republicans are generally supporting Obama’s Pakistan policy for the greater good of protecting our national security.

Eventually, people do figure out who the grown-ups are.”



[This message has been edited by Bob K (07-23-2009 07:17 PM).]

Essorant
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13 posted 07-23-2009 06:28 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

This message is brought to you courtesy of the English Workshop:


quote:
I don't know whom Aenimal might be.



Be careful about the grammar of "who".  Whenever "be" is involved (or implied) it should be who not whom

Essorant
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14 posted 07-23-2009 06:32 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Aenimal is a member that used to post here fairly often.  But he left for some reason.
Bob K
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15 posted 07-23-2009 06:59 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

     Thank you, Essorant.

     The correction is noted.  A revision of the text in the interest of brevity has made it unnecessary.  Your efforts are very much appreciated, however.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Huan Yi
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16 posted 07-23-2009 07:59 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


OK Bob

So how does anything you've posted
support:

As I recall, you are in favor, and have used the word torture as though it was something else when applied by our own forces to people essentially picked up off the street in Iraq. "


?


John


.
Bob K
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17 posted 07-23-2009 11:43 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear John,

          Asked and answered.

     Once one actually believes that  "torture" can ever be "adult" foreign policy and is willing to say so.  

     The CIA and the military have been carrying out that "adult" foreign policy since the invasion.  "Torture" included.  I use "torture" in quotes because  right wing sources so often do, as though "torture" were different from torture.

     As the article you quote from The National Review Does.  As if it were irresponsible to call the thing by its name; as if "adults' don't do that.

     That was part of the "adult" behavior you signed on for, John.  It's the grown up thing to do.  Or at least to speak out clearly and consistently against it.

     Where would that be, John?

  
     Bob  
Huan Yi
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18 posted 07-24-2009 08:31 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Bob,

You have done nothing of the kind.

You made a very specific comment
about me:

"As I recall, you are in favor, and have used the word torture as though it was something else when applied by our own forces to people essentially picked up off the street in Iraq. "

I asked you to show me the address
where I wrote as would lead one
to state expressly:

" and have used the word torture as though it was something else when applied by our own forces to people essentially picked up off the street in Iraq. "

And you have not done that repeatedly.

John
Bob K
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19 posted 07-24-2009 01:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Sorry, John,

            Once you use The National Review to express your opinion, and the quote approves of torture as an expression of national policy, I feel my job is done.  You've used them to do your work for you.

     If you'd wished to show disapproval of any part of that statement, you could have.  If you'd wanted to qualify any part you could have.  If you'd wanted to make it any clearer, it would have been difficult.  

From the article in The National Review quoted earlier, from which you extracted the Clinton Quote:

quote:


U.S. and allied soldiers and spies could arrest top terrorists aware of conspiracies as bad as or worse than the Special Day of Infidel Doom imagined above. If America is serious about preventing these evil, vicious [This word, beginning with "B" and ending with "rds" was detected as inappropriate for the forum.  It is from a perfectly respectable conservative national magazine, and I didn't imagine it would upset the censor.  Sorry.] from murdering hundreds or thousands of us and our friends — as they already have and promise to do — waterboarding must remain a weapon this nation proudly wields to defend itself and its allies. If not, those who weep about waterboarding information-rich mass murderers like Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheik Mohammed should volunteer to collect the body parts of American citizens blasted to bits because we flinched from this modest technique to squeeze vital operational intelligence from captured Islamic butchers.




     Your source approves of torture by us.

     I believe that this is your point of view:  That we have a right to act as we did act in falsely imprisoning and then torturing folks who were gathered by highly dubious means in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I think that you don’t believe that this is in fact false imprisonment, that we have some sort of right to do so.

     I have shown above some of my reasons for believing this.

     If in fact these are not your beliefs, say so, and I will admit to being wrong on the spot. And I will say I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.  I have no desire to mischaracterize you.  The position is a legitimate one; books have been written advancing it.  I simply don’t agree with it.

     I asked you a question that has remained unanswered as a result the current contratemps.  I asked how one might reconcile the belief that we have a right to torture others while other people did not.  I initially asked this because I thought you believed we have a right to torture others for information.  If you do not believe this yourself, you certainly quote people who believe we have this right.

     I believe it undermines our entire humanitarian case for going into Iraq. The WMD case evaporated a long time ago.  I know that you have expressed discomfort  with some other cases of torture, though when people that you regard as Liberal spoke out against the torture of a particularly noisome piece of murdering and child molesting human trash, you appeared to think that this was “sick.”

     I disagree.  And I'd like to know your thinking.

Bob  


Huan Yi
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20 posted 07-25-2009 09:16 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


And how does anything
on National Review apply


"to people essentially picked up off the street in Iraq. "


?

.

Bob K
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21 posted 07-26-2009 10:31 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     You quote a source and don't expect people to read it? 1) to see if you have it right; and 2) to see if the context is appropriate; and, 3) to check out what you base your thinking upon?  That's why sources are listed.
Bob K
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22 posted 07-26-2009 10:38 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




quote:


     If in fact these are not your beliefs, say so, and I will admit to being wrong on the spot. And I will say I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.  I have no desire to mischaracterize you.  The position is a legitimate one; books have been written advancing it.  I simply don’t agree with it.




     If you feel I should say I'm sorry, I will.  Should I?
Huan Yi
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23 posted 07-27-2009 03:31 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"If in fact these are not your beliefs, say so, and I will admit to being wrong on the spot."


Of course they're not my beliefs
anymore than they were my practice
in my war.  


.
Bob K
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24 posted 07-27-2009 06:34 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Then I am sorry.  I did misunderstand you.  Thank you for clearing it up.

     At no time did I think it was your practice.

     Your pardon is, of course, your affair, though I am chastened to need to request it.  Which I do,

Sincerely yours, Bob Kaven    

    
 
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