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American Imperialism... it's time ha...

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Archive through October 03, 2002Mogan_David25 10-3-02  6:25 am
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_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, October 13, 2002 - 2:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, a little forsight and reason go a long way. It may seem "convenient" in the short run to be selfish or violent or what-have-you, but in the long term such behavior becomes highly "inconvenient", since it leads to a break-down in the cooperative nature of society. A certain degree of altruism is in ones own best interest, so even if one is totally self-interested, if one is also rational enough to recognize the value of cooperation, one will chose to conform to a certain basic set of civil behaviors.

Of course, the hard part is getting people to think beyond the immediate and see the bigger picture...
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, October 11, 2002 - 10:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ,

Of course I do not know innate moral truths. Anyone that claims to know such things is an idiot. Of course I can't say that my own moral judgement would conform to such truths (I find it hard enough to get my own moral judgement to conform to my own beliefs).

We are all of course 'playing it by ear' but in order to do so we do need some basic underlying fundamental principles to provide a stable framework. Without fundamental priciples there can be no such thing as a 'moral' or an 'immoral' act, 'convenience' is then substituted for 'morality' and 'inconvenience' is then substituted for 'immorality'. We then end up doing exactly as we please so long as it suits us to do so.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 5:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Indeed, by claiming that an outcome is "negative", I am placing a moral value on it, aren't I?

Like I said, I have no absolute answers. For me, morality is an art, not a science. It is a blending of biological drives and aversions, of emotional predisopsitions and conditioning, and of ones rational ability to predict the consequences of ones actions. I cannot create some kind of code to define what the "right" and "wrong" choice would be under every circumstance simply because I cannot begin to IMAGINE every possible circumstance, and, barring omniscience, no code of morality can hope to be exact.

We can, however, deduce some basic, fundemental ground rules which seem to be consistant with the desires and needs of most of the species. Since most people seem to wish to remain alive, it is a good starting point to try to create an atomosphere in which behaviors which tend to lead to unwanted death are not encouraged. This can be extended to the idea of physical suffering, huger, etc., with the caveat that these concepts are less concrete than life and death.

To me, morality is the aesthetics of will.

Let me ask you, LH, do you believe that you KNOW what all of these innate moral truths are? Can you say for sure that your moral judgement would conform to them under every possible circumstance? We are all playing it essentially by ear.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2002 - 1:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ,

I know you're last post that my position to show that you thought my position to be more rational than that of moral truths originating from a God.

I just thought I'd probe your view on right and wrong as not being fundamental.

If something is wrong simply because it will result in a negative effect then why does this negative effect occur?

Will such an act sometimes result in a negative effect and sometimes in a positive effect depending on the circumstances? If so then any act no matter how 'unsavoury', 'cruel' or 'barbaric' can also be viewed as being morally right.

Will a negative effect always occur as a result of a 'cruel' act? If so then what is causing this negative effect to occur if not a fundamental law of nature?

Without the belief that fundamental laws governing 'morality' then there can be no 'morality'. Without a fundamental approach then the 'morality' or 'immorality' of any act simply boils down to the convenience of circumstance. Under these conditions there can be no such thing as any Morality or any Human Rights but rather the view that we should do whatever suits us according to our circumstances.
_Blackjack
Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - 1:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Incidentally, it isn't a matter of consensus of opinion. Most of the grounding for my morality comes from the practical consequences of behaviors. For example, slavery had far more negative consequences than positive, even when the majority considered it an acceptable behavior.
_Blackjack
Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - 1:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

LH,

I sincerely don't know. I'm willing to assume that torturing toddlers to death is not an acceptable behavior in the absence of a truly compelling argument to the contrary, simply based on the consequnces that sanctioning such behavior would have on society. Like scientific knowlege, I cannot be sure that it is abosolutely true, but I will treat them like they are true until they cease to be useful.

The question of infanticide in general is less clear cut, but I am talking about killing in such a manner as to cause more suffering than necessary.

I don't think absolute moral knowlege is necessary, even if it is possible. You can do a good enough job by simply weighing the potential consequences of various actions, and avoiding those actions which cannot be un-done in the event of unforseen consequences.

BTW, my last post was intended to demonstrate that your position, that there are innate and absolute moral truths, is MORE rational than the position that moral truths only come from a god. At least, it lacks needless complication.
Pataphysician
Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - 11:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well then it's wrong that they don't eat them.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - 10:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

BJ,

Do you believe that the wrongness of torturing toddlers to death is fundamental and unalterable regardless of prevailing circumstances or concensus of opinion? Or does the wrongness of such an act depend on the prevailing circumstances? Will torturing toddlers to death invariably result in negative effects on society and individuals?

Babies are regularly slaughtered in China due to legal pressure (a blind eye is turned by the law to such infanticide, whereas having several children could result in a prison sentence). It could be argued that such infanticide is better for a society that is over-populated and desperately needs to keep its population under control. Why then is such infanticide wrong? Could it not be that killing babies is fundamentally wrong regardless of circumstances?
_Blackjack
Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 - 1:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Which of the following statments is less self-evident?

a) "It is wrong to torture toddlers to death."

b) "There is an invisible man in the sky who created the universe and he says it is wrong to torture toddlers to death."

Ignoring the empirical knowlege on may be able to gather regarding the real consequences to individuals and society that result from the torture of toddlers to death, a) requires fewer assumptions which cannot be proved. If a god can exist without a first-cause, moral truths most certainly can as well.
_Blackjack
Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 - 1:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

God is the very fabric of the universe.



That is dangerously close to the Heresy of Pantheism! Call the Inquistion!
_Blackjack
Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 - 1:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

I think you make my point for me BJ. I do see human rights as absolutes because I believe that those rights come from God not a consensus of opinion.



That's all well and good, but no god I've read about (and trust me, I've read extensively) has made any direct mention of the concept of human rights in any widely adhered-to scripture. Now, you may have had some personal revelatory experience in which Wotan or whatever directly endorsed the International Declaration of Human Rights, I don't know.

And I am not talking about a "consensus of opinion", when it comes to the concept of rights. I am talking about ideas sythesized from observible phenomenon. Consensus has no more to do with it than it did with the idea that the world was round.


Quote:

You are so willing to believe in an act of creation that starts with an infinitely dense infinitely small singularity. But you won't believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.



I'd be perfectly willing to believe that Yahweh created the heavens and the earth, if you could show me one shred of observible evidence to support the idea. I can show you volumes that support (if not prove outright) scientific cosmogonic models.

You haven't answered my question: where did your god come from? If it is possible for your god to have "always existed" then you cannot argue that the universe--which is presumably less complex than the god you claim created it--could not have "always existed".


Quote:

When you say that electricity always takes the path of least resistance as evidence of scientific mastery of the physical universe, then explain why lightning doesn't strike in a straight line from the clouds to the earth?



I did not claim any "scientific mastery of the physical universe". I was making an example of a phenomenon which is so incredibly consistant that predictive data based on the assumption that it is always true tends to be highly reliable. If you DOUBT that electricity follows the path of least resistance, I would advise not sitting so close to your computer.

As for the path of lightening, the path of least resistance is not always the shortest one.

Science does not MASTER the universe, it DESCRIBES the universe.


Quote:

The thing about physical laws of the universe is that they exist and work until they don't. There is always the unexplainable event that screws up all scientific theory. Science is always running to catch up with the next new evidence that it was wrong about something or another.



Which is why science is always willing to update its rules when presented with new evidence, unlike religion. Science isn't about being "right". Science is about being close enough that one can predict the results.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 - 11:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

MD,

If you view 'God' as being the very fabric of the Universe which is without beginning and without end then we can agree. Why argue over terminology?

But I do not believe in God/The Universe as an omnipotent superior being. Every man, animal, plant, rock and grain of sand is as much a part of the fabric of the Universe. Collectively all things make up the Universe. Does that make me God? Did that make Adolf Hitler God? Does that make the chair I am sitting on God? If the Universe is God then why not worship myself? The Universe is neither inherently 'Good' or 'Evil'. The Universe just is.

As to a Universal Soul. Well I fail to see the need for any form of soul, either personal or universal. I view the belief in a Soul as part of Man's failure to accept that one day the individual he cherishes most and has grown so attached to will no longer be. If he has an indestructable Soul linked to himself as an individual then he can take comfort in the belief that he can go on forever as an individual. If Truths come from nature then why the need for a soul? We simply are part of the fabric of the universe and as such we (not as individuals of course) are collectively without beginning or end. We simply go on according to the laws of the universe.

Unlike many atheists I do not view Theism as a negative thing. Although most of what Theistic religion say is very positive, they just generally seems to cling to the notion of the immortality of the individual and seem to pass the buck to some omnipotent superior being.

Anyway you chimed in so I chimed back and I do agree with a lot of what you say, particularly on the unalterable fundamental nature of Human Rights.
Mogan_David
Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 - 10:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, I just can't let this go.


Quote:

You see God as the source of all Truths but where does the Truths that come from God originate from? I presume you see God as the starting point and that all originates from Him. But where did He originate from? I presume you believe He is without beginning and without end.



You've answered your own questions.


Quote:

or me, Truths originate from the very fabric of the Universe.

The ever-changing Universe is without beginning and without end, natural laws govern all there is. There is no need for God. Natural law springs from nature itself. It is nature that is, was and always will be. Mankind is part of the fabric of nature, Human Rights inherent to Man spring from the inner depths of mankind and in turn spring from Nature.




Very well said HG. Our beliefs differ only slightly. When you talk about truth originating from the very fabric of the universe, I agree. God is the very fabric of the universe. Natural laws govern all that is, again God's laws do govern all that is so again we agree except on the semantics.

At one point in my life (I was a buddhist until the age of about 25) we would have agreed completely. It came to me one day that If my body were subject to all of the laws of the universe, and if my molecules moved in accordance with the laws of physics, how did that explain my soul? If I could have a soul, this simple bag of protoplasm, what about the universe? Is there a universal soul?
Why not?
If there is a universal soul, couldn't that be God? If so, which came first?
Does it matter?
These are the thoughts that led to my eventual conversion to Christianity. I've always felt that if God wants us to believe in him, it's up to him to show himself to us. For me he's done that to my satisfaction.
So while buddhism is great spiritual exercise and can greatly enhance the way you live your life, it does nothing to address the origin of the spirit.

Anyway, this is far off the original topic. I just felt the need to chime in once again because your comments about the universe sounded like exactly what I would have said about ten or so years ago.

MD
Mogan_David
Posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2002 - 7:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

BlackJack wrote:
I'm not quite as extreme in my views as LH. I don't look upon rights as absolutes.



I think you make my point for me BJ. I do see human rights as absolutes because I believe that those rights come from God not a consensus of opinion.

My intention was not to convert you from your atheist beliefs, simply to say that without a religious foundation, human rights are subject to the whims of those who hold power.

I'd love to debate the existence of God with you, but I'm leaving today for a couple of weeks to go hunting.

Let me just say that believing in science takes just as much faith as believing in God. Science offers us a glimpse into the universe as it is, and from there we make assumptions as to how things might have been in the past or will be in the future. The facts that science offers us are always incomplete and often they are wrong.

When you say that electricity always takes the path of least resistance as evidence of scientific mastery of the physical universe, then explain why lightning doesn't strike in a straight line from the clouds to the earth?

The thing about physical laws of the universe is that they exist and work until they don't. There is always the unexplainable event that screws up all scientific theory. Science is always running to catch up with the next new evidence that it was wrong about something or another.

You are so willing to believe in an act of creation that starts with an infinitely dense infinitely small singularity. But you won't believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Arrggg.. I really wasn't going to get into this. I just couldn't help myself.

MD
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Monday, October 7, 2002 - 10:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mogan David,

"It is indeed relevant. As an atheist your belief in an inherent truth doesn't hold water. Where does this inherent truth, or natural law come from?"

No, you are wrong here.

You see God as the source of all Truths but where does the Truths that come from God originate from? I presume you see God as the starting point and that all originates from Him. But where did He originate from? I presume you believe He is without beginning and without end.

I am an atheist (who just happens to be a Socialist and I do not hold any of the writings of Marx etc to be inherent truths, rather theories backed up by a reasonable degree of evidence). For me, Truths originate from the very fabric of the Universe.

The ever-changing Universe is without beginning and without end, natural laws govern all there is. There is no need for God. Natural law springs from nature itself. It is nature that is, was and always will be. Mankind is part of the fabric of nature, Human Rights inherent to Man spring from the inner depths of mankind and in turn spring from Nature. We do not need to view these rights as being bestowed by an omnipotent God in order to view these rights as fundamental and unalterable. There are Truths that if ignored will lead eventually to negative consequences and as such it is self-defeating for Mankind to ignore them, Human Rights fall into this category. We do not need to look to a superior Being for authority or to explain why things are. The answers to all things can be found in what is around us, we just need to keep exploring, looking and learning. God and Scriptures are too often used as an easy way out of explaining something without expending much effort.
_Blackjack
Posted on Monday, October 7, 2002 - 9:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

It is indeed relevant. As an atheist your belief in an inherent truth doesn't hold water.




On the contrary, as a theist, you notion of knowlege is the one that is meaningless. My notion of knowlege is based on the assumption that if the same phenomenon occurs with a certain degree of consistancy under the same conditions, that it is very likely to do so in the future. If you add an all-powerful being into the equation, if you allow that Yahweh can arbitrarily decide that heat, fuel and oxygen won't lead to combustion, or that electricity no longer seeks the path of least resistance, then the concept of empirical knowlege becomes meaningless. You can understand nothing about the universe, because it operates at the whims of a deity rather than in rational patterns.

The same paradox applies to morality. In a theistic model, if the god is the ultimate source of morals, then the morals are not absolute, since the god can change them if it choses. If the god is NOT the ultimate source, if it cannot decide that, for instance, murder is only wrong during months with an "r", that means that there is some source of morality BEYOND the god, and the morals dictated by the god are thus not objective.

I'm not quite as extreme in my views as LH. I don't look upon rights as absolutes. The concept is still the product of man's flawed reasoning and intuition, but the concept is based in observable fact, to whit, man's reason and free-will. I am not prepared to say that our concept of human rights is perfect or complete, or that it won't undergo some change in the future, but it is founded on reasoning strong enough that it would require very compelling reasons to ammend it.

Nevertheless, consider this: a theist believes in a god, whose existence cannot be proved and which does not itself require a source or foundation the explain its existence. Some people believe in moral truths whose existence cannot be proved and which do not themselves require a source or foundation the explain their existence. How is the second any different than the first? It seems to eliminate the middle-man, if anything. If one can claim to "know" that a god exists without proof, one can certainly claim to "know" that murdering 4-year olds is wrong without proof, can't they?


Quote:

Where does this inherent truth, or natural law come from?



Where does your god come from? The set of patterns of phenomena known as "natural law" are DIRECTLY OBSERVIBLE. It doesn't matter where they "came from", or if they "came from" anything at all. They are there to be seen.


Quote:

A belief in God caries with it a belief in an eternal soul



No it doesn't. I'd say the majority of theistic religions do not believe in an "immortal soul" in the Christian sense.

The idea of an "immortal soul", for my money, CHEAPENS human life. If I kill someone who has a "soul", their existence presumably continues in some fashion. If you kill someone who exists simply as a function of biology, that's it. It's over. That life has ceased and there is no remedy. The fact that life is a tenuous, transient state is enough to make it precious.
Mogan_David
Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2002 - 12:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Whether you consider human rights to be God-given or to be inherent Truths deriving from within Man is in the end not all that relevant to how permanant you view these right.



It is indeed relevant. As an atheist your belief in an inherent truth doesn't hold water. Where does this inherent truth, or natural law come from? This is the reason the Russian communists crushed organized religion. Without God, the collective becomes supreme. All is subordinate to the collective good.

A belief in God caries with it a belief in an eternal soul. Truth that goes beyond the physical, and laws that are beyond the capacity of man to change.

I think most of us can see the truth that human life has inherent value beyond the physical existence. However I think it's impossible to make a case for this without acknowledging a supreme being, a creator who's laws are unchangeable, and that each person has an eternal soul which is beyond value, and belongs only to the creator.

I'm an open minded person, so if you can, please prove me wrong.

MD
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2002 - 10:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Whether you consider human rights to be God-given or to be inherent Truths deriving from within Man is in the end not all that relevant to how permanant you view these right. A belief in God is not necessary in order to view certain rights as permanent and indisputable. What matters is what values you view as fundamental and unalterable regardless of whatever the prevailing circumstances may be.
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2002 - 7:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Secularization does not somehow nullify the idea of human rights. Most of the founding fathers would have seemed REMARKABLY secular, by modern American standards. You will note that Jefferson did NOT say that we are "endowed by God..." with our rights. He said "our creator", because he had, at the time, no other reasonable explaination for the existance of man than to assume that we had been created.

The foundation of the 18th century concept of human rights is NOT dependant on theology. It is dependant on the idea that we are RATIONAL, meaning that we can understand the consequences of our actions, and that we are FREE, meaning that we have the ability to chose these actions.

Do not mourn our rights in the secularization of society. In America, the secularists, the atheists, the humanists and agnostics have done FAR more to preserve human rights and freedoms in this century than the organized religions have, because the secularists have more to lose.

Indeed, a right derived from a deity is less meaningful than a right derived from our inherent qualities, because a gound could, arbitrarily, decide that up is down, black is white, or that slaughtering all the Amorites and Jebusites doesn't count as "killing".
_Blackjack
Posted on Sunday, October 6, 2002 - 7:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

What would the ideal situation have been for Somalia?



There wasn't one. It wasn't a situation that could be "fixed". It is something that is going to take generations to heal, and that can't be accelerated by force of arms. The best we could have hoped to do was harm reduction.

Tristan, here is the problem with your proposal: once you empower a party, no matter how well intentioned, to have a monoply on the use of force in order to achieve a goal, you have removed the ability to control the party. If the US was to waltz into nations with impunity, there would be no way to STOP us if one of our generals got out of control, or if our policies did NOT solve the problems in these nations, because we would have rendered the peoples impotent to resist us.

A benign dictatorship might seem like a good idea, but there is no way to bee sure a dictatorship remains benign.

More to the point, I don't think that the benefits of our society CAN be achieved by force. The reason our nation is a prosperous as peaceful as it is, is that our people have been free to make their own mistakes, develop, and grow. In fact, when you look at the segments of our society which are NOT prosperous and peaceful, you will find that these are the same segments of our society which have been denied their full freedom and responsibility for much of our history. You cannot build a democracy by ignoring the rights of the people.

Our Imperialism won't be any better than the Old Imperialism for the simple reason that, once we have chosen to ignore the rights of the people we conquor, there will be nothing stopping it from becoming so.
Mogan_David
Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 10:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Liabach song "God is God"



Nas,

Up until a few minutes ago I had never heard of Laibach. I just pulled down a couple of MP3s. I couldn't find God is God, but found Life is Life. Their sound is hard to describe, the best I can manage is the sound of a kid burping the alphabet.

I hate to think I put that crap into your head, it must be awful.

MD
Nascentvirion
Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 9:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Morgan, all the mentions of God in your last post gets that damn Liabach song "God is God" stuck in my head. Just thought I'd bring that up..
Mogan_David
Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 2:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

Human Rights. The only Human Right that cannot be taken away is the right to die. All else is privledge.




We hold these truths to be self evident that each person is endowed by his creator to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (I'm not going to look it up but that should be pretty close)

Now this isn't from the Bible, but it ought to be.

Think about those words for a second. Endowed by his creator. God. Not a government. No human being gave these rights to people, God did, and only God should be allowed to take them away.
What is promised by God? Life. We have the right to live and not to be murdered by others or our government.
Liberty. God gave man free will. God gave us the right to be free from slavery. To make up our own minds and live life on our terms, for better or for worse.
The pursuit of happiness. This is the one right that people often confuse. There is no guarantee of happiness only the right to attempt to be happy.

That's about it for human rights. There really aren't any more rights, but those that we have should be defended by all of us with our lives.

The sad thing about this country becoming more secularized is that when people stop believing in God they start to believe that human rights were granted by man. This opens up the possibility that those rights could taken away in the name of security, peace whatever.
It's becomes difficult to understand that witholding a person's human rights is not only a crime against humanity, but also against God.

When you say that the only human right is death, where does that lead? What laws can you derive from thinking like that? Where are your absolutes? Where are the limits to your behavior and what makes you think that your doctrine won't be turned against you at some point in the future? This sort of thinking is extremely dangerous because it seems reasonable on its face, but is so deeply flawed and evil that it could be used to justify the murder of millions.

Ask yourself with which version of human rights would Hitler have agreed? Mine or yours?

Sorry if I sound preachy here, it's just that when it comes to issues of morality and rights it's impossible for me to separate religion from reason. As human beings we are all flawed and fallible. I personally feel the need to reach for something greater than myself when it comes to questions this important. It's clear that the founders of the United States felt the same way.

MD
Tristan_Ii
Posted on Saturday, October 5, 2002 - 12:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Again, I am misunderstood. If a nation-state is stable, or at least mostly stable, leave it the hell alone.

However, in a place like Somalia (I'm not sure what it benefited the US, other than PR, to go there BTW) there was NO STATE. It wouldn't have been a matter of overrunning another state to impose our will, it would have been creating order where there was none.

And the reason I refered to it as "American Imperialism" rather than just plain old Imperialism, would be because of the hoped for difference between what I am envisioning and the selfish, short-sighted resource draining of the Colonial era.

Wow.... for the first time I can understand why socialists get upset when folks keep referencing the past failures when they are talking about trying something NEW based on the learning of the failures of the old.

What would the ideal situation have been for Somalia? There was growing risk of a humanitarian disaster, and there was no central gov't, no law other than the gun. What would the proper course of action have been to prevent mass starvation?

Human Rights. The only Human Right that cannot be taken away is the right to die. All else is privledge.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 1:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tristan,

Mogan David summed it up well.

"Once the empire has extracted the resources from the colony and taken care of its internal issues only then would anything be given back to the colony."

Anyone who thinks that Imperialism is about going into other nations to improve the lot of the people of those nations is blind to the reality.

European powers did not go into Africa and Asia out of a desire to improve the lot of the natives. They went there solely because it benefited themselves to do so.

The US did not go into Somalia "to keep the people from starving". The US didn't go into Afghanistan out of a concern for the human rights abuses commited by the Taliban. The US are not going to attack Iraq because Saddam Hussain is committing appalling acts on people in Iraq. The US (and other nations) do such things purely because they view it as being of benefit to themselves. Anyone who believes otherwise is a Jackass.

All nations have the right to decide their own destiny. No one nation has the right to decide what is best for all the people of the planet.

How would the citizens of the USA view another nation imposing 'what it knew best' on the citizens of the USA without their consent? Would they view it as being for their benefit? I'll bet they fucking wouldn't. They'd probably fight to the death to defend their Human Right to determine their own destiny. Why do you believe that other peoples on this planet do not have this right? Do you believe that Human Rights only apply to US citizens? Or do you believe that US citizens should have no Human Rights either?

It seems that you believe that citizens have no rights and that a strong state is entitled to do as it wishes to other states simply because it can. You also think it is OK to start a war with Iraq because it benefits US corporate interests. You may not be a racist but you're views seem very close to facism.
Mogan_David
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 6:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

about the myth of "human rights"



Human Rights aren't a myth. The most basic of those rights is to be left the hell alone.
Tristan_Ii
Posted on Friday, October 4, 2002 - 5:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's not something I would recommend for just any old place. The reason Somalia is used, is that the region had totally collapsed. No central government, and the only law being administered was the law of the gun.

We went in to keep the people from starving, and got kicked in the nuts.

How would that be bad?

And while I agree that there are flaws within the US, I don't think they are on par with the problems inherent in places like Somalia, or Afghanistan pre-1997.

Sadly, the US won't do anything like this. We're too concerned about being PC, about the myth of "human rights". So we allow people to starve, and live in fear of warlords because we're afraid of stepping on peoples toes.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, October 3, 2002 - 9:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Tristan, you still seem tobe operating under the delusion that our culture is so much immeasurably "better" than those we would "improve" that we would be justified in denying them their basic human rights (and we WOULD be doing this, even if we did it nicely). Our culture has plenty to be said for it, but it is still DEEPLY flawed. We've got a whopping-ass beam in our eye to contend with before we start poking at other people's motes.

If these cultures WANT us to patronize them, if they want to duplicate American culture, they can ask. Until then, we have no business imposing it.

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