Originally posted by Amethyst
It's none of our business what another nation does within its own borders!
I was re-reading this thread and, for some reason, this statement literally jumped out at me.
On the surface, this statement rings true. It is none of our business what another country does within its own borders, right? Of course
not! We should just mind our own business.
We've got plenty of problems right here in Canada, The United States or Great Britain. Right?
you knew of a country that culturally, historically, or for religious reasons suppressed their women? Forget about giving women the
right to vote or a voice. What if you knew of a country that performed female castration?
you knew of a country that harbored, participated or otherwise turned a blind eye to trafficking in human beings -- slaves. It's hard
to believe but human slavery still exists.
you knew of a country that practiced genocide? You know, the deliberate and concerted effort to kill every man woman and child
belonging to a particular race, religion, culture or heritage? It happened, most notably in World War II. It happened before It has happened
since. It is still happening today. You would think that someone
would do something
you knew of a country that was suffering from a severe drought or famine. Tens of thousands were dying from dehydration or from
starvation. Remember Biafra or Ethiopia? It's happened before and, again, it's still happening.
you knew of a country that had been devastated by earthquakes, tsunami or volcanic activity. Let's throw in severe weather like
Hurricanes, tornadoes or damaging winds (that promote, for example, forest or brush fires) that endanger tens of thousands of lives. This certainly
is nothing new and we know that it happens periodically.
you knew of a country that was, seemingly, planning to attack another nation? This certainly is not an unusual occurrence, is it? It
seems to happen with greater regularity than "bad weather". But what if you knew of country that, for all intents and purposes, was preparing to
attack and annihilate another country? What if the leader of that country publicly announced his desire and intention to do so. What if all outward
indications were indicative of the preparation to do just that? But, again, it really isn't any of our business what happens in another country, is
On the surface, one would probably accept, as truth, that it really isn't any of our business what goes on in another country.
After all, we
all have plenty of problems in our own respective countries.
What strikes me about the statement is that it is one that we have all probably expressed at one time or another but it is a statement that we have
all, most likely refuted as well. It's because we are entering the "grey area".
Collectively we set degrees or establish standards. That is to say, it might not be any of our business what goes on in another country except
when it scores "eight out of ten" on a checklist of criteria before "we", collectively feel that we must act regardless that "it is none of our
Like I said, it's a "grey area". There are no patent answers, plenty of moral ones. But again, collective morality "kicks in" according to a
checklist of priorities. Thousands of women get "castrated" and thousands of human beings are sold into a lifetime of bondage but our the score
card of our moral outrage and our collective desire to "do something" enters into play when we cannot believe that tsunamis have destroyed tourist
resorts for next years planned winter holiday.
We already know that, collectively, we find genocide intolerable when it happens in the proximity of Western Europe. I guess stopping religious and
cultural genocide is more worthwhile of response when it happens in your own neighborhood -- especially when it happens among people of your own race.
That's only natural, right? It must be. Maybe Africa, for example, is entitled to their sovereignty and maybe we are so moral that we respect
"their" right to genocide? Is it because that they are black? But maybe this has nothing to do with color....after all, it's a grey
There are so many "grey areas" that I can understand how people can get become confused. Our moral compass, collectively and individually, can go
"off kilter". We have thousands of posters expressing that we should "nuke" Iran. That Tehran should be turned into a parking lot is the sort of
off-handed remark that I might readily find as an answer to what some
might perceive as an insurmountable problem. If the answer wasn't
presented in such a "flippant" manner, it might be more palatable and even be considered more "reasonable". After all, a serious argument
be made for a military intervention if only there wasn't such a "wide-toothed grin" and a sense of "glassy- eyed" thirst for
televised action embedded
in these justifications for missiles to fly.
But just to explore that "grey area", I can also understand why people can feel that there must "always be" a moral solution
-- a non
violent solution -- to this problem. Because to think otherwise is, frankly, "unthinkable". Surely "reason will prevail". From one
perspective, it is
easier to ignore the man who says he wants to kill someone for whom he has espoused an undying hatred. And one certainly
wants to ignore
the situation when that man goes about arming himself -- getting a gun, for example. After all, it's really none of my
business what that man does, right?
Damn, this "grey zone". Why can't things be more 'clear-cut'?
[edit on 4/12/2006 by benevolent tyrant]