I hope this thread will challenge you. It is not meant as an attack on anyone, but it is
an attack on what appears to be a failure of moral
philosophy. This thread was inspired by a thread which you can find here:
and an article in the Nigerian paper Vanguard.
The thread, is a pretty routine ATS thread. It notes that a minority group is being harshly treated by someone somewhere and we should wake up to
that fact and become concerned. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, it's the sort of thread you see here every day.
In this particular case, the homosexual youth of Russia are being mistreated. And, again, there is nothing in the least surprising that members would
want to expose this situation. Many here are zealous defenders of this particular minority group. The OP's comments include these:
Is this what people really want? Is this how a modern society is suppose to treat TEENAGERS?!
What is wrong with the world today and these nations? It's funny, because the article states that 85% are against same sex marriage . . .
In any case, this is just purely disgusting, and these people,..well I have no words that the T&C will allow.
The discussion in the thread
includes the recognition that there is really nothing we can do about it, although a boycott of Russian Vodka is mentioned. The goal, expressed by
the OP is to get a few people reading the thread to change their opinions. Far too weak a goal for the outrage expressed.
But what prompted me to post was the article from Nigeria.
THE federal government has responded with near adequate conviction, the pressure by Western countries to impose the perverted culture of
legalising homosexual lifestyles in Nigeria.The two arms of the National Assembly have taken uncompromising stands, making a law prescribing a
fourteen-year jail term for people caught, tried and sentenced for practising homosexual acts in Nigeria. Our President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, has
also made it clear that he would align with the feelings of the Nigerian people and its supreme legislature in ensuring that the law is
Our rejection of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) nonsense is total and unequivocal. It is rooted in our cultural, religious and
social values as a people. It is taboo, abominable and repulsive. Therefore, we cannot afford to allow the moral fabric of our society to be so
degraded by foreign cultures and pressures as to allow these evil acts to become acceptable here some time in the future.
Does the OP, and the many who agreed with him in his thread, believe that the culture of Russia and Nigeria (and many other countries) should be
changed? If so, how? Diplomatic and financial pressure? If we accept that the US should do anything to change their culture, we are suddenly faced
with many difficulties.
Should we make an effort to change Black culture (violence)? Native American culture (alcoholism)? Gay culture (unsafe sex)? Islamic culture (Gay
intolerance and a basket of other issues)? Chinese culture (corruption and lack of democracy)? And so on.
If we say we shouldn't try to change those cultures, under what theory should we try to change the cultures of Russia and Nigeria? And if we should
try to change those cultures, why bother talking about them? What praise do we earn by saying this is disgusting and wrong, then do
nothing to eliminate it?
If we say we should
try to change those gay intolerant cultures, why should we not try to change the other harmful cultures mentioned?
And this is where I believe Moral Infantilism enters. It is far too easy for ATSers, Americans, and Westerners to adopt the position of "If I don't
like it, then it is morally wrong, it must be protested, and eliminated if possible. If I'm afraid I might get seriously hurt in my protests, then
I'll just accept the behavior. If I do like it, then it is morally correct and should be made law for everybody else to like it too."
This kind of thinking eliminates the need to ask questions like "Is it right to try to change the cultures of other people?" "Is the
self-determination of people morally correct in itself, and it should be free from meddling?" And, perhaps the most important question; "What moral
principles should we apply to determine when it is appropriate to interfere with other groups, and when it is not?"
Obviously, indiscriminate killing of its citizens is sufficient reason to go knocking on another country's door with a stern letter and an M16 in
hand. But what of failure to convert its energy supply to wind, solar, and other renewables? Having a very strict immigration policy? Having
stoning as a punishment? Requiring each citizen to own a gun? Killing every homosexual? Jailing every homosexual? Publicly embarassing every
There are many things cultures do that we don't agree with. We don't take action in every case, nor should we. I would be hard pressed to explain
why we were attempting to change Nigeria's culture in the light of the article above.
What I'm afraid we're doing is looking at what each of us as individuals like or dislike, then concluding that the world should follow our
preferences. Supporters of homosexuality think the world should be Gay-friendly, or at least, Gay-tolerant. Supporters of Unionism and income
redistribution fell we should intervene in countries providing sub-standard wages. Feminists object to discrimination against women, or "sex
workers" worldwide, and so on.
So I have two questions. How do we move forward from individual opinions of right and wrong determining how we believe the world should be made to
behave? And, how do we construct a "schedule of values" that gives us some indication of when it's proper to try to interfere?
I have been gone for several days due to personal problems. Nothing would please me more than to see the intelligent and thoughtful discussions that
ATSers have conducted in the past. Many thanks.
edit on 30-7-2013 by charles1952 because: Remove references to the identity of the threads OP
edit on 30-7-2013 by charles1952
because: (no reason given)