"Who should be allowed to decide what a group needs to do or be in order to have a state of their own? In other words, whose standards should matter most?"Aka. Freedom loving people have no right to say that a genocidal terrorist group leading a dangerous indoctrinated population should not have a country to run. Our ideals are no more moral than theirs.
"It's rather patronizing for an outsider to assume that they can possibly know what a groups 'real interests' are or should be. If I were to say that Jews should only be given a state if they are willing to conform with what the non-Jews think they should do, it would be equally ridiculous as non-Palestinians claiming that their conditions should be met before Palestinian statehood is recognized."Bint attempts to make us understand that there is no moral truth. Who are we to say that a genocidal terrorist group linked to the Nazis is morally wrong. They think we are morally wrong! In Bint's world we just have our own perceptions of morality and the only thing that is wrong is for us to impose our ethnocentric ideas of morality on another culture. It is wrong for me to say that a culture which indoctrinates its youth with hate is immoral. It is wrong for us to say that the PLO's goal of genocide is immoral - all these ideas are, according to Bint's moral relativism, equal. Who are we to judge? This is bordering on insanity.
"Let's say we did decide to only give states to those societies where there is no hatred and only love and where the population has apologized for whatever wrongs any of their members might have engaged in."Clearly, being human, this is impossible.
"Do you realize what that would mean for Israel? Even more importantly, do you know what that would mean for every single nation on this earth?"What is Bint asking here exactly? Well, she is saying that what would it mean for the world if every nation was perfect. If there was "no hatred and only love and where the population has apologized for whatever wrongs any of their members might have engaged in." I would call that a Utopia myself. This is a straw man, as Wikipedia describes it:
A straw man argument is a logical fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact misleading, because the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted. Its name is derived from the practice of using straw men in combat training. In such training, a scarecrow is made in the image of the enemy with the single intent of attacking it.So right now Bint wants us to the image of a Utopian world in our minds:
"There isn't a single nation that has fulfilled the pre-requisites [sic] that you are proposing."And here we have the rest of the straw-man argument. There was no proposal of creating a nation where everything is perfect. The only concept of creating a nation with "no hatred and only love and where the population has apologized for whatever wrongs any of their members might have engaged in" was created entirely by Bint. We were proposing a nation that does not support genocidal ambitions or indoctrinate its youth from point blank. The Utopia world that nobody was talking about was created simply to be destroyed in an effort to create an argument - but it doesn't work. It is not logical.
"If you're going to talk about who has committed sins, then which religion's definition of sin should we use?"(You don't even need to stop at "which religion". Some of the most moral people I know are agnostic. You do not need to be taught religion to know the difference between right and wrong.) This is more moral relativism, but Bint has a very good point which can never be answered. Trying to answer this question puts the reader in an impossible position by forcing them to personally decide what is the correct moral code. Naturally whatever decision you make it will alienate millions of people who have a different perception to morality than you have. Is it fair for you to dictate what is moral and what is immoral? Do you have the guts to say your perception of morality is right and they have it wrong? Does that make you a Bigot? Nobody can properly answer this question - and it is not supposed to be answered. It is supposed to make you think. "Perhaps there are no moral truths and it is all a matter of opinion. If it is all a matter of opinion what right do I have to say that people who have aspirations for genocide should not have a state. That might be moral after all."
Bint To Red: "Even if you do choose to believe in a particular deity--which is perfectly acceptable to me, even though it would mean that you were no longer an atheist--your ideas about what sins someone should apologize for are just irrational because they may not share your same preferred deity and the sin-list that goes with it."Bint's moral relativism can be extended to the insane. Maybe our opinion that genocide is wrong is irrational because Adolph Hitler may not agree with it. With this philosophy we will be going around in circles until we die - and that is exactly why the Islamic Fascists love the so-called left so much. The "left" has lost it's morality and can justify the unjustifiable. This philosophy will also be the death of our civilisation because it will excuse murderers and weakens our resolve to defend ourselves against a people who would not tolerate this kind of thinking. Moral relativism is an affront to law - it impedes our ability to protect basic freedoms because we put ourselves into a position where we have no right to tell someone else that what they are doing is wrong, regardless of what it is they are doing. Bint thinks this is intelligent, the consequences prove this philosophy is most unwise.
"Unless you can convince the rest of the world to believe in your deity-of-choice, then there is no reason why others must make these apologies for behaviors that you think of as sins."Let me re-write that for you: "Unless you can convince the rest of the world to believe that genocide is wrong, then there is no reason why others must make these apologies for behaviours that you think of as sins." Here is the philosophy of moral relativism in its purest form.
"You see, arguments break down whenever you try to mix logic with religious views."Bint views this loophole of morality to be logical. But is it logical? Let's read it again: I wrote: "Unless you can convince the rest of the world to believe that genocide is wrong, then there is no reason why others must make these apologies for behaviours that you think of as sins." You can come to your own conclusions. What I will add is that regardless of how logical it is, this philosophy is blind and dangerous.
"You see, arguments break down whenever you try to mix logic with religious views."Bint suggests that she is completely logical, and logic is better than religion. This is her victory. You can't win because whatever you do she will draw you back into the relative moral loophole until you take the bait and say that your moral values are right and anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, essentially humiliating yourself in the process. Personally I see this entire philosophy as humiliating for Bint. I see her attempts to justify genocide as being immoral because genocide is wrong. No ifs no buts no conditions. Moral relativism is what Bint believes in, with it she can twist and turn morality like a game to lead us into a world where one can never say anything is wrong. A world where someone can morally punch you in the face for no reason at all.
"Trying to fight religion with religion doesn't work because you'll never be able to convince everyone to adopt one single belief system. As long as others have their own preferred religion, they will base their actions on what's right in their belief system and not what's right in yours."Bint is Atheist. She can't prove there is no God but she "believes" there is no God - that is why Atheism is like a religion. In contrast Agnostics tend to be more mellow, they just don't care if there is a God or not because they feel that it will not make a difference to their lives. Being Atheist, Bint naturally believes and asserts that all moral law is man-made. Who is one person to claim that their manufactured morality is superior to that of someone else's design. We are all equal after all. As it is impossible to convince everyone of any set moral truths Bint concludes that there are no set moral truths. In essence, if you can not convince everybody that genocide is wrong, it is not wrong - so would you please stop imposing your bigoted ethnocentric views of morality onto another culture. Epilogue I don't know if "epilogue" is the right word to use here, but it will do! All this moral relativism reminds me a little of Stephen Colbert's "Wikiality" with a slight twist. The relativism may be there - so is the insanity. The difference in the form relativism that Bint advocates is that there is no popularity contest. Even if 99% of the world say that genocide is wrong, her philosophy dictates that they are just being ethnocentric. Updates I may update this article with examples of Moral Relativism in the news; and perhaps link to any other articles that I post on this subject at CultureForAll (or elsewhere).
- Charles at Little Green Footballs posted a Reuters article titled: "Egyptians who enslaved girl, 10, get U.S. prison":
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two Egyptian nationals who pleaded guilty to enslaving a 10-year-old Egyptian girl at their Southern California home, making her work long hours serving their family of seven, were sentenced on Monday to prison terms. [...] "The young victim in this case was subject to inhumane conditions that included both physical and verbal abuse," U.S. Attorney Debra Yang said in a written statement. "As a result of recent changes in federal law she has been granted a visa that will allow her to stay and hopefully prosper in the United States," Yang said. In pleading guilty in June the defendants admitted bringing the girl to the United States from Egypt in 2000 when she was 10 under an arrangement with her parents, confiscating her passport and forcing her to work 16 hours a day as a domestic servant. The girl was required to assist the couple's youngest children in getting ready for school, to prepare and serve food, clean the home, do laundry and work in the yard, according to court papers. She was not allowed to attend school and was told she would be arrested if she was spotted alone outside their home. The couple each admitted to slapping the girl at least once to get her to work, the court papers said. Authorities did not say how her plight came to light.Charles: Egyptian Slavery in Southern California. But really, who are we to judge their culture?
- I recently read an Aish.com article on Athiesm which states:
One who sees only random forces behind why we humans find ourselves here can have no reason to believe in objective categories of good and evil. I took pains to stress that I was not contending that atheists are bad people, and certainly not that religious people are necessarily good. I was not judging anyone, rather stating a self-evident philosophical truism: If our perception that some deeds are good and others are not is but a quirk of natural selection, none of us need feel any commitment to morality or ethics.
- Here is another Little Green Footballs post on the University of California:
The University of California Irvine has been the subject of many posts at LGF, because the school plays host to one of the most unabashedly radical Muslim Student Union groups in the US. And now the anti-Jewish incitement has reached such a fever pitch that on the weekend of October 8, a student housing building was defaced with swastikas. What? You didn’t hear about it on the news? Apparently, deranged expressions of antisemitism on California campuses are not really news any more. In response to this event, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Manuel Gomez held a meeting and demonstrated exactly why UC Irvine has degenerated into a pit of hatred:
Some of the Jewish students at the meeting revealed that they and others had been subject to verbal and physical intimidation at the hands of MSU members, and that they had previously reported these claims to campus security. In light of this, some students asked that Drake place restrictions on where MSU events are held, saying that if their events were held in classrooms as opposed to public spaces, their effect would not be as broad. However, Chancellor Drake told Jewish students at the meeting that he cannot restrict any club, that it would be “violation of law to prohibit certain speech.” Gomez emphasized that though hate speech may be present, he would not seek to curtail it, as “one person’s hate speech is another person’s education.”