Challenge to RRS (Saudi Arabian whipping)

stan1515
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Challenge to RRS (Saudi Arabian whipping)

Hi guys I am new here and am an atheist and was wondering if someone would be able to help me in an argument I was having with a theist a couple of days ago.

 

I ran into this article a couple of days ago. Here's a snippet of it.

 

For the grievous crime of dressing up in women’s clothes at a party, 67 men have been arrested and face a sentence of whipping and jail.

The men in question were all Filipinos working in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a state well known for its medievalism.

According to reports from the embassy of the Philippines, the men all attended a private party at a resort near Riyadh, consuming alcohol and dressing up in clothes contrary to their natural gender.

Under the Sharia codes the kingdom vigorously enforces, both their consumption of alcohol and their cross-dressing antics are serious crimes, each carrying a maximum sentence of a lashing and a 6 month prison term. Fortunately, none of the men were convicted of the far greater crime of homosexuality.

The men were handed back to their employers for safe keeping.

Close to a million Filipino workers reside in the kingdom, and at least a quarter of the kingdom itself is comprised of resident foreigners; these groups enjoy very few of the scant rights granted Saudi citizens.

Slavery was itself only abolished in the kingdom in 1962, so it is not hard to imagine what role these migrants are expected to fulfill…

 

He raised several points that I have a little difficulty rationally refuting so I was wondering perhaps you guys could help me formulate a rebuttal towards these. I will not plagiarize, I just need a general response to be made against these points that were raised:

 

1) If a country has laws, you are obliged to abide by them, no matter how trivial or medieval they seem, the laws are still there. They definitely deserved this punishment, after all, what would the world be like if there was no astringent punishment?

 

2) "If you want people to have the "right" to crossdress so much, than I assume you're ok with nudists as well?"

 

^ For this one, I have a pretty hard time explaining to him the difference between nudists and different clothing norms. I am actually undecided on whether nudism should be legal. One way or another, it would help if someone here would either explain why both should be allowed or why crossdressing should be and nudism shouldn't.

 

3) That country has flourished without changing its laws much, and therefore it isnt your place to impose your beliefs on them or tell them that their laws are "wrong". If you say people should be more "open minded", you're disrespecting the cultural identity of that region of the world, and therefore aren't rational. Crossdressing, homosexuality and alcohol consumption in an Islamic nation is a lot like walking into a church and pissing on a cross. These people value and honor their beliefs, regardless of how seemingly dated they are, but respect should always be handed out first before imposing your beliefs on them.

 

^ Now I responded to this by asking that "we should tolerate a nation's actions even when they are violating basic human rights and infringing upon liberties with no rational reasoning behind it?"

 

He responded by telling me that:

 

4) "yes, it is part of their law and that should be respected. the main problem is that your criticism imposes your own personal beliefs on a culture that is very traditional. to say that their actions are a violation of human rights is pure ignorance of the fact that things like crossdressing is completely taboo. What those people did is a huge crime and massive disrespect towards that entire country's culture. They definitely deserved their punishment and the Saudi's did absolutely nothing wrong."

 

So anyways, it'd be very helpful if you could lend a helping in hand in constructing a rebuttal of those 4 main points I outlined, I'd be very grateful.

 


The Doomed Soul
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Stan, while your buddy here

Stan, while your buddy here went all "Prime Directive" on you. He does, sorta, have the right idea

Its against the law, therefore you either obey it, or ignore it. Obey it, and everythings fine. Ignore it, you either accept the punishment or run faster.

Wanna change the laws? fine go find some way to do that...

On the other hand, just because it exists does in no way, mean we must respect it. Compliance is 1 thing, Respect is another...

 

In the long run, both your view, and that of your opponents are flawed, but since they're views/opinions, its irrelevant to seriously argue over.

What Would Kharn Do?


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Your friend's argument goes

Your friend's argument goes wrong in about every way that is possible. The most glaringly obvious problem is that he's presenting two propositions that are clearly inconsistent. On one hand he says that right and wrong are determined by the norms of society. On the other hand he insists that we should be tolerant of other cultures. But what if the norms of a society favour intolerance?

When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 it was certainly an intolerant act. But what if it was in line with Nazi ideals? A cultural relativist can't criticize the Nazis for being intolerant if all they're doing is following their own moral code.

The cultural differences argument is unsound. It goes from facts about the differences between cultural outlooks to a conclusion about the status of morality. The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise because the premise concerns what people believe,(in other societies people believe something else) but the conclusion concerns what really is the case. Even if the premise is true the conclusion may still be false. It doesn't follow logically from the mere fact that there is a disagreement that there is no objective truth in the matter.

However, there's a much deeper problem with this view. Some social customs are merely arbitrary and it's pointless to say that one way is superior to another. But that doesn't mean that all social practices are arbitrary in the same way. In the case of some practices (like punishing people for what they do consensually in private) there are good reasons to say that one way of doing things is more socially desirable than another. Because we can support our moral judgments on these matters with rational arguments we don't have to regard those judgments as merely expressions of our particular society's moral code.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Welcome to the

Welcome to the forum.

stan1515 wrote:

1) If a country has laws, you are obliged to abide by them, no matter how trivial or medieval they seem, the laws are still there. They definitely deserved this punishment, after all, what would the world be like if there was no astringent punishment?

I actually agree with this. Laws are a symbol of understanding between a government and its citizens. By living in a country, state, territory, etc., you are implicitly agreeing to its laws. If those Filipinos disagreed with the country's laws, they should have tried to change the laws or move out, not rashly break them. I don't like it either, but I think the best course of action might really be for them to receive their punishment.

Quote:
2) "If you want people to have the "right" to crossdress so much, than I assume you're ok with nudists as well?"

This is a completely different argument.

Ask him if he thinks crossdressing, nudity, homosexuality, etc. are inherently immoral.

Quote:
^ For this one, I have a pretty hard time explaining to him the difference between nudists and different clothing norms. I am actually undecided on whether nudism should be legal. One way or another, it would help if someone here would either explain why both should be allowed or why crossdressing should be and nudism shouldn't.

It's not a black and white issue. You want to grant the maximum amount of personal freedoms possible without those freedoms impinging on other people's rights. If public nudity makes other people too uncomfortable, and it's a freedom of no practical value, then you can consider scrubbing it.

Quote:
3) That country has flourished without changing its laws much, and therefore it isnt your place to impose your beliefs on them or tell them that their laws are "wrong". If you say people should be more "open minded", you're disrespecting the cultural identity of that region of the world, and therefore aren't rational. Crossdressing, homosexuality and alcohol consumption in an Islamic nation is a lot like walking into a church and pissing on a cross. These people value and honor their beliefs, regardless of how seemingly dated they are, but respect should always be handed out first before imposing your beliefs on them.

4) "yes, it is part of their law and that should be respected. the main problem is that your criticism imposes your own personal beliefs on a culture that is very traditional. to say that their actions are a violation of human rights is pure ignorance of the fact that things like crossdressing is completely taboo. What those people did is a huge crime and massive disrespect towards that entire country's culture. They definitely deserved their punishment and the Saudi's did absolutely nothing wrong."

"you're disrespecting the cultural identity of that region of the world, and therefore aren't rational." This is a non sequitur. Disrespecting cultural identity does not make you irrational. Don't hesitate to call him out when he commits logical fallacies like this.

"to say that their actions are a violation of human rights is pure ignorance of the fact that things like crossdressing is completely taboo." This logic doesn't follow either. You can acknowledge that something is considered taboo in a society while still charging that it is a violation of human rights. One does not exclude the other; human rights transcends culture.

Everything else he said here was a naked assertion as well as completely irrelevant. Nobody is obligated to respect culture, and no one deserves to punished for disrespecting culture. Culture is just glorified habits. By his logic, if it was part of the culture of Saudi Arabians to engage in cannibalism every Wednesday, then we should respect it. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Welcome

butterbattle wrote:

Welcome to the forum.

stan1515 wrote:

1) If a country has laws, you are obliged to abide by them, no matter how trivial or medieval they seem, the laws are still there. They definitely deserved this punishment, after all, what would the world be like if there was no astringent punishment?

I actually agree with this. Laws are a symbol of understanding between a government and its citizens. By living in a country, state, territory, etc., you are implicitly agreeing to its laws. If those Filipinos disagreed with the country's laws, they should have tried to change the laws or move out, not rashly break them. I don't like it either, but I think the best course of action might really be for them to receive their punishment.

I don't agree with that at all. To say that the crime is X and the punishment is Y is merely a statement of fact. To go beyond that and say that therefore you deserve to receive that punishment is to make the outrageous claim that there is no such thing as excessive punishment.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


Gauche
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I just wanted to add that I

I just wanted to add that I probably wouldn't argue with this person if I were you. They obviously have no intention of addressing the issue of whether or not cross-dressing is wrong. I can't actually blame them because it's pretty innocuous. They'll just continue to present you with distractions until you get frustrated and give up.

Take this nudity issue for example. They've asserted (in a roundabout deceptive way)that either cross-dressing and nudity are both acceptable or they are both unacceptable, but they haven't provided any evidence that assertion is actually true. There is no reason to assume that it is true. And in the absence of any evidence in it's favour you're not obliged to provide evidence to the contrary.

So the person is shifting the burden of proof onto you which is one of the most basic errors that one can make. At the same time they're injecting seemingly connected information into the discussion that has no bearing on the argument.

But if you wanted to show that their assertion was false it would be easy because it's retarded. If someone can provide reasons why one of those things is unacceptable that don't apply to the other then that proves that the two are not linked inextricably. I'll do it right now:

Cross-dressing is wrong because it causes confusion about gender.

Does public nudity cause confusion about gender? Of course not, if anything it clears up confusion about gender. So people can present different reasons why the two things are unacceptable. Therefore it's possible for one set of reasons to be valid and the other to be invalid and it is not true that either cross-dressing and nudity are both acceptable or they are both unacceptable.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


treat2 (not verified)
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butterbattle wrote:Welcome

butterbattle wrote:

Welcome to the forum.

stan1515 wrote:

1) If a country has laws, you are obliged to abide by them, no matter how trivial or medieval they seem, the laws are still there. They definitely deserved this punishment, after all, what would the world be like if there was no astringent punishment?

I actually agree with this. Laws are a symbol of understanding between a government and its citizens. By living in a country, state, territory, etc., you are implicitly agreeing to its laws. If those Filipinos disagreed with the country's laws, they should have tried to change the laws or move out, not rashly break them. I don't like it either, but I think the best course of action might really be for them to receive their punishment.

Quote:
2) "If you want people to have the "right" to crossdress so much, than I assume you're ok with nudists as well?"

This is a completely different argument.

Ask him if he thinks crossdressing, nudity, homosexuality, etc. are inherently immoral.

Quote:
^ For this one, I have a pretty hard time explaining to him the difference between nudists and different clothing norms. I am actually undecided on whether nudism should be legal. One way or another, it would help if someone here would either explain why both should be allowed or why crossdressing should be and nudism shouldn't.

It's not a black and white issue. You want to grant the maximum amount of personal freedoms possible without those freedoms impinging on other people's rights. If public nudity makes other people too uncomfortable, and it's a freedom of no practical value, then you can consider scrubbing it.

Quote:
3) That country has flourished without changing its laws much, and therefore it isnt your place to impose your beliefs on them or tell them that their laws are "wrong". If you say people should be more "open minded", you're disrespecting the cultural identity of that region of the world, and therefore aren't rational. Crossdressing, homosexuality and alcohol consumption in an Islamic nation is a lot like walking into a church and pissing on a cross. These people value and honor their beliefs, regardless of how seemingly dated they are, but respect should always be handed out first before imposing your beliefs on them.

4) "yes, it is part of their law and that should be respected. the main problem is that your criticism imposes your own personal beliefs on a culture that is very traditional. to say that their actions are a violation of human rights is pure ignorance of the fact that things like crossdressing is completely taboo. What those people did is a huge crime and massive disrespect towards that entire country's culture. They definitely deserved their punishment and the Saudi's did absolutely nothing wrong."

"you're disrespecting the cultural identity of that region of the world, and therefore aren't rational." This is a non sequitur. Disrespecting cultural identity does not make you irrational. Don't hesitate to call him out when he commits logical fallacies like this.

"to say that their actions are a violation of human rights is pure ignorance of the fact that things like crossdressing is completely taboo." This logic doesn't follow either. You can acknowledge that something is considered taboo in a society while still charging that it is a violation of human rights. One does not exclude the other; human rights transcends culture.

Everything else he said here was a naked assertion as well as completely irrelevant. Nobody is obligated to respect culture, and no one deserves to punished for disrespecting culture. Culture is just glorified habits. By his logic, if it was part of the culture of Saudi Arabians to engage in cannibalism every Wednesday, then we should respect it. 

Absolutely wrong.

I take it you're a "patriotic" whatever. agreeing to abide by the laws of wherever you live.

Forget Gandhi, MLK, forget Apartheid, forget Henry Thoreau, forget Vietnam, forget Civil Rights, forget Human Rights.

It IS a black and white issue, sometimes it literary is!

In sum, forget you!


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stan1515 wrote:Hi guys I am

stan1515 wrote:

Hi guys I am new here and am an atheist and was wondering if someone would be able to help me in an argument I was having with a theist a couple of days ago.

 

I ran into this article a couple of days ago. Here's a snippet of it.

 

For the grievous crime of dressing up in women’s clothes at a party, 67 men have been arrested and face a sentence of whipping and jail.

The men in question were all Filipinos working in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a state well known for its medievalism.

According to reports from the embassy of the Philippines, the men all attended a private party at a resort near Riyadh, consuming alcohol and dressing up in clothes contrary to their natural gender.

Under the Sharia codes the kingdom vigorously enforces, both their consumption of alcohol and their cross-dressing antics are serious crimes, each carrying a maximum sentence of a lashing and a 6 month prison term. Fortunately, none of the men were convicted of the far greater crime of homosexuality.

The men were handed back to their employers for safe keeping.

Close to a million Filipino workers reside in the kingdom, and at least a quarter of the kingdom itself is comprised of resident foreigners; these groups enjoy very few of the scant rights granted Saudi citizens.

Slavery was itself only abolished in the kingdom in 1962, so it is not hard to imagine what role these migrants are expected to fulfill…

 

He raised several points that I have a little difficulty rationally refuting so I was wondering perhaps you guys could help me formulate a rebuttal towards these. I will not plagiarize, I just need a general response to be made against these points that were raised:

 

1) If a country has laws, you are obliged to abide by them, no matter how trivial or medieval they seem, the laws are still there. They definitely deserved this punishment, after all, what would the world be like if there was no astringent punishment?

 

2) "If you want people to have the "right" to crossdress so much, than I assume you're ok with nudists as well?"

 

^ For this one, I have a pretty hard time explaining to him the difference between nudists and different clothing norms. I am actually undecided on whether nudism should be legal. One way or another, it would help if someone here would either explain why both should be allowed or why crossdressing should be and nudism shouldn't.

 

3) That country has flourished without changing its laws much, and therefore it isnt your place to impose your beliefs on them or tell them that their laws are "wrong". If you say people should be more "open minded", you're disrespecting the cultural identity of that region of the world, and therefore aren't rational. Crossdressing, homosexuality and alcohol consumption in an Islamic nation is a lot like walking into a church and pissing on a cross. These people value and honor their beliefs, regardless of how seemingly dated they are, but respect should always be handed out first before imposing your beliefs on them.

 

^ Now I responded to this by asking that "we should tolerate a nation's actions even when they are violating basic human rights and infringing upon liberties with no rational reasoning behind it?"

 

He responded by telling me that:

 

4) "yes, it is part of their law and that should be respected. the main problem is that your criticism imposes your own personal beliefs on a culture that is very traditional. to say that their actions are a violation of human rights is pure ignorance of the fact that things like crossdressing is completely taboo. What those people did is a huge crime and massive disrespect towards that entire country's culture. They definitely deserved their punishment and the Saudi's did absolutely nothing wrong."

 

So anyways, it'd be very helpful if you could lend a helping in hand in constructing a rebuttal of those 4 main points I outlined, I'd be very grateful.

 

Gaucho summed it up best.

The question is not what is the law, but if the law is humane, without regard to dogma. Are peoe treated with dignity and equality.

On the othe hand...

If you are debating religious dogma. You got into the wrong argument with one of the most backwards minded people. Don't expect rational responses.


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Gauche wrote:I don't agree

Gauche wrote:

I don't agree with that at all. To say that the crime is X and the punishment is Y is merely a statement of fact. To go beyond that and say that therefore you deserve to receive that punishment is to make the outrageous claim that there is no such thing as excessive punishment.

There is definitely excessive punishment, but I can't wrap my brain around how to reconcile this with law. If everyone can break a law without fear of punishment, then the law no longer holds any authority. Perhaps, I should be running the logic in reverse, i.e. if the majority agrees that a law is unjust, then the law should not hold any authority in the first place?

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Gauche

butterbattle wrote:

Gauche wrote:

I don't agree with that at all. To say that the crime is X and the punishment is Y is merely a statement of fact. To go beyond that and say that therefore you deserve to receive that punishment is to make the outrageous claim that there is no such thing as excessive punishment.

There is definitely excessive punishment, but I can't wrap my brain around how to reconcile this with law. If everyone can break a law without fear of punishment, then the law no longer holds any authority. Perhaps, I should be running the logic in reverse, i.e. if the majority agrees that a law is unjust, then the law should not hold any authority in the first place?

 

Well, I guess maybe it depends on what your philosophy was from the beginning. I never thought that the function of punishment was to vindicate the law. But even if that is its function, the law should be just and reasonable regardless, and the weight of reason doesn't tip in one direction or another based on popular opinion.

You might want to read Foucault "Discipline and Punish". In the book he challenges the idea that imprisonment emerged as the sole means of punishing criminals out of humanitarian concerns. Instead, according to Foucault, it was a shift to a new economy of power based on a system of social knowledge gained through surveillance that has bled into almost all other institutions in western society including schools, workplaces, hospitals, etc.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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butterbattle wrote:Gauche

butterbattle wrote:

Gauche wrote:

I don't agree with that at all. To say that the crime is X and the punishment is Y is merely a statement of fact. To go beyond that and say that therefore you deserve to receive that punishment is to make the outrageous claim that there is no such thing as excessive punishment.

There is definitely excessive punishment, but I can't wrap my brain around how to reconcile this with law. If everyone can break a law without fear of punishment, then the law no longer holds any authority. Perhaps, I should be running the logic in reverse, i.e. if the majority agrees that a law is unjust, then the law should not hold any authority in the first place?

 

I would certainly agree with your post and don't have anything to add that you didn't express.


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 I'm baffled as to why your

 I'm baffled as to why your friend can't understand the difference between crossdressing and nudity.  With nudity, you're wearing no clothes.  With crossdressing, you're wearing clothes that are socially accepted as belonging exclusively to the other sex.

It's very simple.  Nudity = clothes off.  Crossdressing = clothes on.

Seriously.  How hard is that to understand?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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butterbattle wrote:Welcome

butterbattle wrote:

Welcome to the forum.

stan1515 wrote:

1) If a country has laws, you are obliged to abide by them, no matter how trivial or medieval they seem, the laws are still there. They definitely deserved this punishment, after all, what would the world be like if there was no astringent punishment?

I actually agree with this. Laws are a symbol of understanding between a government and its citizens. By living in a country, state, territory, etc., you are implicitly agreeing to its laws. If those Filipinos disagreed with the country's laws, they should have tried to change the laws or move out, not rashly break them. I don't like it either, but I think the best course of action might really be for them to receive their punishment.

 

I disagree.  Too many people are born in a country after the laws are created and without the means to leave, and thus the laws are not always an understanding between a government and its citizens.  This is why free speech is so important.  Only via free speech can laws be criticized and thus changed.  You have to remember that not all countries have free speech, and without it your chances of changing the laws are very, very slim.  Even in America civil rights activists had to break the law by sitting in the wrong part of the bus or restaurant in order to get things fixed.

 

To OP:  About the cross-dressing/nudity, point out to your friend that "no public nudity" is to protect people from seeing it (right or wrong, that's the justification).  Since this was a consensual act at a private party, the justification applied against public nudity cannot be applied in this case.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Zaq wrote:I disagree.  Too

Zaq wrote:

I disagree.  Too many people are born in a country after the laws are created and without the means to leave, and thus the laws are not always an understanding between a government and its citizens.  This is why free speech is so important.  Only via free speech can laws be criticized and thus changed.  You have to remember that not all countries have free speech, and without it your chances of changing the laws are very, very slim.  Even in America civil rights activists had to break the law by sitting in the wrong part of the bus or restaurant in order to get things fixed.

Ah, good points. I figured more people would disagree after Gauche responded. I'll have to think about this more.

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Your friend is making the 

Your friend is making the  mistake known as the "is-ought" fallacy.

Notice how freely he interchanges:

 

"Crossdressing is taboo in Saudi Arabia"

 

and

 

"The Saudis did nothing wrong"

 

Hence he is saying:

 

"Because it is socially unacceptable to crosdress in Saudi Arabia, crossdressing ought to be socially unacceptable in Saudi Arabia."

 

Yes, crossdressing is socially unacceptable in Saudi Arabia, but it is possible (and I say it is clear), that the Saudi's are simply wrong about making it a taboo. What is right and what is culturally accepted are sometimes completely different things. I don't care what Sadui's actually do to crossdressers, or what they have done in the past, what they are doing to them is wrong.


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I didn't read the whole post

I didn't read the whole post but I will just say this, Stay the hell out of that stupid country.

 

"Take all the heads of the people
and hang them up before the Lord
against the sun.” -- Numbers 25:4


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marshalltenbears wrote:I

marshalltenbears wrote:
I didn't read the whole post but I will just say this, Stay the hell out of that stupid country.

Anyone who I've ever talked to who's been there agrees. Even just the odd acquaintance. I had a friend who was working as an architect there, and you never want to ask him about Saudi Arabia. It sends him into an endless tirade.

Why has nobody mentioned that these medeival nomads wouldn't have a pot to piss in if we hadn't found oil under their tents? There IS actually international law, and when we do business with them, they ARE taking part in an international community.

We treat them with kid gloves because they're the drug dealer on the block with the best hook-up. Russia would be the mean drug dealer, and Canada's a total push-over. (The drug would be oil, for those not following.)

We say stuff like, "oh, it's their country, so they can make their own laws" because we don't want to wreck our oil supply. If they were bad trading partners, we'd invade, just like in Iraq. We're complicit in their success as a theocratic feudal state. If they had a democratic state, then the oil prices could very well be out of Western control, and we'd try to mess with their country like we do in Venezuela.

To the OP: that guy you're arguing with is so full of it it's coming out of his ears. Cutting off someone's hands because they stole is ridiculous. Yes, I'm being ethnocentric, and no, I don't care. That's where Osama bin Laden got all his money from, and that whole royal family should have received a huge slap in the face when he organized an attack on US soil.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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The Doomed Soul wrote:Stan,

The Doomed Soul wrote:

Stan, while your buddy here went all "Prime Directive" on you. He does, sorta, have the right idea

Its against the law, therefore you either obey it, or ignore it. Obey it, and everythings fine. Ignore it, you either accept the punishment or run faster.

Wanna change the laws? fine go find some way to do that...

On the other hand, just because it exists does in no way, mean we must respect it. Compliance is 1 thing, Respect is another...

 

In the long run, both your view, and that of your opponents are flawed, but since they're views/opinions, its irrelevant to seriously argue over.

I agree. By being in a country, you are subjecting yourself to their rules. Whether you like them or not, and no matter where you're from. I'll support not following stupid laws, but this was begging for trouble.

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Vastet wrote:I agree. By

Vastet wrote:
I agree. By being in a country, you are subjecting yourself to their rules. Whether you like them or not, and no matter where you're from. I'll support not following stupid laws, but this was begging for trouble.

I disagree.  Again, too many people are born into countries without the means to leave.  They did not subject themselves to the country's rules because it was not their decision to be born there.  Sometimes "begging for trouble" is necessary to fix the laws.  Again see the civil rights movement for examples.

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That's an entirely different

That's an entirely different issue than the one I was referring to. You aren't going to accomplish shit by breaking the law of a nation you are visiting.

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Vastet wrote:That's an

Vastet wrote:
That's an entirely different issue than the one I was referring to. You aren't going to accomplish shit by breaking the law of a nation you are visiting.

What is right is right, regardless of the person or the nation they are visiting. I will do the right thing no matter what country I am in or what laws I am breaking.


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theotherguy wrote:Vastet

theotherguy wrote:

Vastet wrote:
That's an entirely different issue than the one I was referring to. You aren't going to accomplish shit by breaking the law of a nation you are visiting.

What is right is right, regardless of the person or the nation they are visiting. I will do the right thing no matter what country I am in or what laws I am breaking.


And I'll applaud your inevitable imprisonment. Your opinion is irrelevant.

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Vastet wrote:theotherguy

Vastet wrote:
theotherguy wrote:

Vastet wrote:
That's an entirely different issue than the one I was referring to. You aren't going to accomplish shit by breaking the law of a nation you are visiting.

What is right is right, regardless of the person or the nation they are visiting. I will do the right thing no matter what country I am in or what laws I am breaking.

And I'll applaud your inevitable imprisonment. Your opinion is irrelevant.

 

The point I'm trying to make is that it doesn't matter if people plan on "accomplishing" anything, they should do what is right regardless of what country they are in or what laws they are supposed to be following. If the laws aren't ethical,  they shouldn't be followed. By anybody.


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theotherguy wrote:Vastet

theotherguy wrote:

Vastet wrote:
theotherguy wrote:

Vastet wrote:
That's an entirely different issue than the one I was referring to. You aren't going to accomplish shit by breaking the law of a nation you are visiting.

What is right is right, regardless of the person or the nation they are visiting. I will do the right thing no matter what country I am in or what laws I am breaking.

And I'll applaud your inevitable imprisonment. Your opinion is irrelevant.

 

The point I'm trying to make is that it doesn't matter if people plan on "accomplishing" anything, they should do what is right regardless of what country they are in or what laws they are supposed to be following. If the laws aren't ethical,  they shouldn't be followed. By anybody.

The problem with that idea is that there is no universal morality or ethics. So you have anarchy if everyone were to practice it.

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Vastet wrote:The problem

Vastet wrote:

The problem with that idea is that there is no universal morality or ethics. So you have anarchy if everyone were to practice it.

Except that I think there is a universal morality, which can be ascertained through philosophy, science, and math (especially game theory).  Laws should be based on this morality, not the other way around.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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I couldn't disagree more. No

I couldn't disagree more. No matter what moral or ethical standing you look at, it never applies universally. And we have only life on Earth to look at to boot.

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Murder

Murder of other members of your society is bad, and it is bad regardless of what culture you're in.  While some cultures may believe that it is not bad, simple game theory analysis can prove that a group that treats the murder of its own members as good will be far less likely to flourish than a group that treats it as evil.

Historically, mass murders and genocides and such almost always come about after an us-them mentality, when the murderers view the murdered as outsiders, not part of their group.  This is because most people instintively realize what game theory will objectively tell us, that mass killing of your own group is a terrible thing because it will lead to the destruction of your group.  These people can only justify mass killings by drawing new group boundaries.

 

There's plenty of evidence and reasoning out there that can lead to objective morals.  Just look at history.  Figure out what made the flourishing societies flourish and that's a good start at defining "right."  Figure out what made the failing societies fail and that's a good start at defining "wrong."  Mix in some game theory and some science and you've got youself an objective system.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Whether you view them as

Whether you view them as your own group or not, the fact remains that we are all human. Murder is defined as a human killing a human; Thus if murder is ever good it cannot be inherently wrong.
Ironically, I wasn't even going to use humanity as an example, but you made its case for me, so I might as well go with it.

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But I never said murder was

But I never said murder was inherently wrong.  I said that murder of other members of your group is wrong.

 

Oddly enough I just wrote a facebook note about this stuff.  Here's the basic idea

 

Whether or not action X is moral depends on some of the circumstances in which action X is performed

However, action X performed in circumstances C is objectively moral or immoral

 

The idea is that the morality of a given action in a vacuum can't be determined, but the morality of a given action in a specific set of circumstances can.  The morality of actions are relative to circumstances but the morality of action + circumstances is objective.

 

So I don't claim that murder in and of itself is wrong.  I claim that murder in the circumstances that the victim is part of your own group and that you were not doing it in defense of yourself or another is wrong, and that it is wrong regardless of whether or not you think it's wrong.  The evidence for this comes historically and from game theory.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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"But I never said murder was

"But I never said murder was inherently wrong.  I said that murder of other members of your group is wrong."

Which is equally inaccurate, due to your lack of comprehension that groups are not solid structures. I sleep with a friends girlfriend, and the group that was is no more. And an act doesn't even have to be that extreme to attain the same results. Worse, destruction of members of your own group can be the only way to save the group! I'll use a plague as an example. Even worse, said destruction can be the only way to acquire food.

You have nothing. Morality is inherrently subjective.

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Zaq wrote:So I don't claim

Zaq wrote:

So I don't claim that murder in and of itself is wrong.  I claim that murder in the circumstances that the victim is part of your own group and that you were not doing it in defense of yourself or another is wrong, and that it is wrong regardless of whether or not you think it's wrong.  The evidence for this comes historically and from game theory.

In the natural world, there can be nothing that "ought" to be. There is no "should;" there simply "is." Thus, to me, morality is an entirely human concept, so you can never say something is absolutely right or wrong.

Let's say, for instance, murdering children for fun is wrong. I'm sure we can all agree on this. But, why is it wrong, because harming others without justifiable reason is wrong? Well, why is that wrong? I mean, don't you still begin with some assumptions about what is right or wrong? It seems like, with objective morality, at some point, you'll always need some rather arbitrary axiomatic(?) criterion. Ultimately, a thing will be wrong for no other reason than that we feel it is wrong or, with most theists, God says it's wrong.

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Read this part again"I claim

Read this part again

"I claim that murder in the circumstances that the victim is part of your own group and that you were not doing it in defense of yourself or another is wrong"

So this accounts for destruction of members of your own group possibly being beneficial.

 

The fact that groups aren't permanent just means that morality changes with time.  This doesn't make it subjective though.

At time t I see person X as part of my group and person X is not a threat to me or others in said group.  Thus killing person X at time t is wrong.

The fact that I might not see person X as part of my group at time t + dt doesn't matter, because this statement doesn't address how I see X at time t + dt.

 

re butterbattle:  The key is in game theory.  I don't ever have to deal with "ought to be."  I deal with expected payoff.  The idea is that the moral choice is the choice with the highest overall expected payoff because consistently choosing such choices will lead to increased success over time.  Morality doesn't need to concern itself with "ought to be."  Moreover, overall expected payoff is entirely objective.

 

Also, any subjective statement can be turned into an objective statement simply by adding enough information.  For instance, people may say "rainbows are beautiful" is subjective because some people find rainbows to be beautiful and some people don't.  However, the statement "Bob finds rainbows beautiful" is objective, because your view of rainbows doesn't change what Bob thinks of them.  So even if "the morality of action X" is subjective, "the morality of action X with respect to person P" is still objective.  All we need then is an objective means of weighting these objective personal moralities in order to derive an objective non-personal morality.  The means I use is overall expected payoff.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Zaq wrote:re butterbattle: 

Zaq wrote:

re butterbattle:  The key is in game theory.  I don't ever have to deal with "ought to be."  I deal with expected payoff.  The idea is that the moral choice is the choice with the highest overall expected payoff because consistently choosing such choices will lead to increased success over time.  Morality doesn't need to concern itself with "ought to be."  Moreover, overall expected payoff is entirely objective.

Also, any subjective statement can be turned into an objective statement simply by adding enough information.  For instance, people may say "rainbows are beautiful" is subjective because some people find rainbows to be beautiful and some people don't.  However, the statement "Bob finds rainbows beautiful" is objective, because your view of rainbows doesn't change what Bob thinks of them.  So even if "the morality of action X" is subjective, "the morality of action X with respect to person P" is still objective.  All we need then is an objective means of weighting these objective personal moralities in order to derive an objective non-personal morality.  The means I use is overall expected payoff.

A version of utilitarianism? 

Don't you still assume that the highest overall payoff "ought to be?"

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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"Read this part again"I

"Read this part again"I claim that murder in the circumstances that the victim is part of your own group and that you were not doing it in defense of yourself or another is wrong"So this accounts for destruction of members of your own group possibly being beneficial."

On the contrary, that makes it worse. Now you're saying defense is an act of good, when defense is no more good than killing is bad. Subjective. As is value, opposed to your claim to Butterbattle to the contrary.

"So even if"the morality of action X" is subjective, "the morality of action X with respect to person P" is still objective."

Except there is person Y and animal C and plant G. None of these entities care about person P and action X, so it remains Subjective to P and X. Absolute, by definition, means applying to ALL! At once. Unless action X is applied to all life, it literally CAN'T be objective. And even if it does, the question of whether life is a good thing or not must be answered.

Edit; correction, clarity.

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Vastet you missed the point

Vastet you missed the point of my second statement.

Person P finds action X morally objectionable.

This is an objective statement even if the statement "action X is morally objectionable" is subjective.  The fact that Person Y, animal C, and plant G don't think about action X in the same way as person P doesn't change the fact that Person P finds action X morally objectionable.  The statement's truth doesn't depend on who's reading or analyzing the statement.

 

Also, I never said that defense is good.  Just because I don't claim it to be always bad doesn't mean I claim it to be good.  I haven't made any claim about defense.  Although perhaps I should add "for the group" to the end of that statement.  Also, if value is subjective then we just have to provide a reference frame to make our claims objective.  The basic idea is this:

Statement S is subjective

The statement "Person P believes statement S" is objective.

The idea is that even if some moral statements are subjective, this does not mean that all moral statements are subjective.  Same with values.  We just have to define a reference frame for the values.  Living beings want to live and often meet other living beings whom they want to live.  Thus they assign a positive value to life.

 

You're confusing absolute with objective.  I never claimed morality was absolute, I only claimed that it was objective.

Absolute: If person P performing action X is right, then person Y performing action X is also right

Objective:  If person P performing action X is right, then the truth of the statement "person P performing action X is right" does not depend on who reads the statement.

Notice that objective has nothing to do with actions being moral for everyone.  It just means that the morality of a person performing an action doesn't depend on who's answering the question "is it moral for this person to perform this action."

 

Butterbattle, X yields better results than Y.  This is all one really needs for a practical system of ethics.  I don't think we need to have any talk about how things ought to be.  Just knowing that if you want good results then action X is your best bet is enough.

Also, I see what you mean about there needing to be some beginning, some sort of intrinsically good thing.  My system generally rests on "Things that we desire to have are good.  Things that we desire to not have are bad."  From there we can derive a lot of other morals that maximize expected desire fulfillment while minimizing expected anti-desire fulfillment.  But even if we want to take different starting axioms the method proposed is still objective.  All moral statements will just amount to "if these axiomatic moralities are true, then these derived moralities are true," and getting people to agree on a small set of very basic axiomatic moralities will be a much easier task.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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Right, I was working with

Right, I was working with absolute, since objective morality is impossible by definition, and I assumed you meant absolute instead.

Objective: undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena; "an objective appraisal"; "objective evidence"

All morality and ethics stem from emotion and personal bias (self defense), and therefore cannot be objective. By the definition of objective. Claiming that P finds X reprehensable can be objective, but the actual act of P finding X reprehensable is subjective to P and X. It cannot be objective, because P must exist and have emotion and personal bias to find X objectionable in the first place.

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Zaq wrote:Also, I see what

Zaq wrote:
Also, I see what you mean about there needing to be some beginning, some sort of intrinsically good thing.  My system generally rests on "Things that we desire to have are good.  Things that we desire to not have are bad."  From there we can derive a lot of other morals that maximize expected desire fulfillment while minimizing expected anti-desire fulfillment.  But even if we want to take different starting axioms the method proposed is still objective.  All moral statements will just amount to "if these axiomatic moralities are true, then these derived moralities are true," and getting people to agree on a small set of very basic axiomatic moralities will be a much easier task.

Okay. 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Vastet wrote:Right, I was

Vastet wrote:
Right, I was working with absolute, since objective morality is impossible by definition, and I assumed you meant absolute instead. Objective: undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena; "an objective appraisal"; "objective evidence" All morality and ethics stem from emotion and personal bias (self defense), and therefore cannot be objective. By the definition of objective. Claiming that P finds X reprehensable can be objective, but the actual act of P finding X reprehensable is subjective to P and X. It cannot be objective, because P must exist and have emotion and personal bias to find X objectionable in the first place.

 

So wait, would the act of P having brown hair not be objective because P must exist and have vision and linguistic bias to claim to have brown hair rather than dirty blond?

 

But this becomes moot with the definition of objective morality that I introduced.

 

Zaq wrote:
"Objective:  If person P performing action X is right, then the truth of the statement "person P performing action X is right" does not depend on who reads the statement."

 

This has nothing to do with how person P views action X.  It's a claim about the nature of the truth value of the statement "person P performing action X is right," namely that the truth value is independent of who's reading the statement (who would include person P).

For instance, I could claim that 2+2 = 4.  This statement is objectively true because it is true even if people don't believe it, rather than being true for those who believe it while false for those who disbelieve it (which is a lot like saying it's neither true nor false).

Similarly, my claim is that "person P performing action X is right" is either true or false.  The fact that different people may hold different beliefs about its truth value just means that some of those people are incorrect, as if they believed that 2+2 did not equal 4.

 

I'm not really talking about emotions not being involved.  I'm using "objective" more in the sense that the truth is independent of who says it.  The idea is that if I were to ask you "is person P performing action X right?" then there is a correct answer which does not depend on the fact that I'm asking you rather than asking butterbattle.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

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"So wait, would the act of P

"So wait, would the act of P having brown hair not be objective because P must exist and have vision and linguistic bias to claim to have brown hair rather than dirty blond?"

Completely different scenario. Hair colour is due to refraction of light, which always refracts the same way. Morality requires perspective to exist, and can vary wildly. Brown is brown whether there's anyone to observe it or not.

The whole point is that there must be a living being involved for morality to exist in ANY scenario. Due to the selfish and emotional nature of morality in the first place, it is impossible for any morality to be objective. It MUST be subjective, by definition.

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