Russia, Gays, Nigeria, Blacks, Moral Infantilism, and the Search for a Cure.

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posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 10:18 PM
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Dear ATSers,

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:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
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 implemented.

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.

www.vanguardngr.com...

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 not 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 homosexual?

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.

With respect,
Charles1952
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)




posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 10:52 PM
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You know I see this, "tothetenthpower" , and I wonder to myself why some members are above the T&C.

I was under the impression we were not allowed to mention other members in our threads or posts. Maybe the rules don't apply to all members, I don't know.

It seems wrong.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:02 PM
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reply to post by playernumber13
 

Dear playernumber13,

You may very well be right. I had a different understanding and thought that, since I have nothing negative to say about tothetenthpower, it would be acceptable.

But please, I don't want to be in violation of the rules so, if you haven't already, please alert the Mods that you think I've crossed the line. I would be happy to delete all references to him, or accept whatever punishment is due.

I certainly don't feel above the T&C and I understand their usefulness.

You know, come to think of it, I have editing time, I'll try to fix it right now. Thanks again.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:03 PM
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I believe in Star Trek's "Prime Directive" which is essentially a non-interference directive that keeps me from telling other people how to live or run their lives.

As an American I feel it is my right to change things in the United States, but not for me to inflict my ideas and opinions on other cultures. They have the right to self-determination in my opinion.

I also support your right to disagree with me.
edit on 2013/7/30 by Metallicus because: Sp



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by playernumber13
 

Dear playernumber13,

I think my OP has been edited to your satisfaction. If you have the time, I'd appreciate your opinion on the issues.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 




I don't care.

We'll let it slide this time, I'm gonna keep an eye on ewe.


(not my business, i was being a dic.)
edit on 30-7-2013 by playernumber13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:09 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


Please change it back, sorry.

Post edit - sorry, I was joking. (no offense.)
edit on 30-7-2013 by playernumber13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 

Dear Metallicus,

Thanks, that's certainly a defensible position. I appreciate it.

How do we get there? At least on ATS, people are constantly saying we should pressure the Israelis over Palestine, we attacked Libya over our "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine enunciated by our current President, members want GMO foods out of every country, whether they're wanted or not, we object to North Korea, and to China for their labor camp philosophy and "one child policy," and on and on.

I'm not saying that you're wrong, but can we seal ourselves off in this era of global travel, violence, and interlocking corporations?

Should we even care about what other countries are doing, or let them go to it, no matter how horrendous?

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


I certainly see what you are saying.

We can certainly decide not to do business with countries that we disagree with and this may ultimately foment social change of some kind. I absolutely don't agree with aiding ANYONE in an armed conflict and certainly not going to war over cultural differences.

Would I defend my family and friends from attack? Yes.

Would I attack someone I don't agree with? No.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:39 PM
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Western culture (Christianity) was brought to the African countries. We sold and packaged our religion and ideologies to them. They used to be steeped in superstition and they still are to a high degree. The practice of Voodoo is still rampant.

The anti homosexual agenda was delivered via the American Evangelical movement. All the western countries are finally humanizing the GLBT community and the African cultures are going in a diametrically opposite direction. We should take responsibility for our actions.

We need to own up to our perilous actions in these countries. We do have a responsibility in letting these countries know they are wrong and we should sanction these African countries for their human atrocities. It's wrong and we all know it. Killing people over such trivial reasons is pathetic. Being killed by a machete for being gay..........what can I say.

As for Russia, Putin is such a macho, macho man. A real village person. He wants to generate more babies to support the country. He simply forgets that heterosexuals produce homosexuals.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by charles1952
Dear ATSers,

I hope this thread will challenge you. In this particular case, the homosexual youth of Russia are being mistreated.


yawn

Gays are socially tortured, psychologically abused and all 2 often, physically harassed.. Since time memorial.

Get over it. I'm gay and youre an attention seeking leech on good gays like meself, mate.

Darryl Forests
The gay in me not the debil forced me to respond. True that.



posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 11:43 PM
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reply to post by charles1952
 
Good evening Charles,

While I disagree with many horrible things that occur around the world and wish that many other cultures would change when push comes to shove they are not my countries and not my culture- and I have no more business interfering with them than they have interfering with my country and my culture. Change will only come when the culture evolves on it's own and nothing any outsider does will change things for them.

So many Westerners complain because they believe that Muslims wish to impose their ways upon the rest of the world (just using as a convenient example) and they scream bloody murder about it, but those same people would like nothing more than impose their own laws, customs and culture upon the Islamic world by force if necessary. Real change does not occur by force but rather by learning and growing, through cultural evolution. Such cannot be forced but must happen at it's own natural pace if it is to be successful.

Different countries are on different cultural evolution time tables. Even the US is in it's own cultural evolution infancy. Equality for women and minorities is a relatively new thing in the history of the US- we have progressed much faster than most countries but much more slowly than others. Other nations and cultures must be allowed to progress and grow at their own pace.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 12:01 AM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 

Dear Metallicus,

First, I must say I'm impressed by anyone who is able to use "foment" properly. Thanks for the smile.



We can certainly decide not to do business with countries that we disagree with and this may ultimately foment social change of some kind. I absolutely don't agree with aiding ANYONE in an armed conflict and certainly not going to war over cultural differences.

That's a more nuanced position and takes care of some of my questions. I hope you will believe me when I say that I'm not disagreeing, I'd just like to explore some more. Maybe we can add some details to your plan.

We have disagreements with just about every country there is, certainly all of the larger or more significant countries. I assume that there would be a sliding scale of how much business we would refuse based on the severity of our disagreement. We might just cut a tiny bit off the UK, and completely refuse Iran, North Korea, and maybe a few others.

Is there some way to determine how large our disagreement is? For example is there a principle that can compare harrassing homosexuals with harrassing women? Or killing apostates with killing political dissidents? I suspect that different groups in the US would push for different punishments based on their group's feelings and goals. How worked up could an atheist be, for example, over killing people who change from Islam to Christianity?

And what do we do when a "bad" country gets everything they need by trading with a country other than the US?

I suppose I have to be fair and offer my own thoughts, even though they're not developed yet.

First, I think the defense of innocent life from government policies supporting death is something that we should try to eliminate around the world using every tool available, including violence, if necessary. Determining "innocent life" is going to be tricky because every government is going to claim that it is only killing undesirables and criminals. That excuse can't be accepted in every case. The death penalty for apostasy, adultery, or protesting, is wrong.

The next lower category of violations should be the freedoms. This also is tricky. How upset do we get that the citizens of a country can't vote for the leadership? In times past, Kings were the hot item in government, and for some countries it may still be the way to go. I feel more strongly about the freedom of speech, and of religion. I think I'd put freedom of the press somewhere in the middle. Would I go to war for any of those? No. But if they all were being violated, I'd be getting a lot closer.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 12:08 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 

Are you Nigerian, Charles? Can you describe to us exactly what form this 'pressure by Western countries to impose the perverted culture of legalising homosexual lifestyles in Nigeria' consists of? The article you linked seems to be complaining about some unnamed Western country appointing a gay person to its diplomatic mission in Nigeria. Is that it, or is there more?


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.

This list says rather a lot about your own cultural prejudices, but let's not go into that. Instead, let's ask how promoting better behaviour, even through the use of diplomatic pressure or legally allowable sanctions, can be called 'changing somebody's culture'. Would the hallowed traditions of Nigerian or Russian society totter and collapse if homosexuals in those countries were afforded a bit more tolerance and freedom? Do you feel that has happened in the West?

Every hidebound, patriarchal, atavistic power-elite in the world tries to protect its privileges and its cherished prejudices by invoking the totem of culture. This is as true in the United States as it is in Russia or Nigeria. And it is usually those same elites who are eager to spread their own 'culture' around, at the point of a gun if need be. That is true moral infantilism, the kind that animated Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, the kind that animates tooled-up right-wingers the world over. It is very different from trying to bring about change through democratic means, peaceful protest, diplomatic gestures, the withdrawal of aid and the threat of legally applicable sanctions.


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.

Can you explain why this is so obvious? I'm very interested.



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 12:19 AM
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reply to post by SinMaker
 

Dear SinMaker,

Thanks for the response. I hope you don't mind if I say I found it a trifle confusing. Let me tell you what I thought you were saying, and you can straighten me out.

"Western culture and religion was brought to Africa and instilled a hatred for Gays. The rest of the world is changing their position on homosexuality, but Africa hasn't made the switch yet. The West should recognise that it was wrong to bring Christianity to Africa, and we should reduce or cut off trade to African countries that kill Gays only for being Gay."

As for Russia, Putin is such a macho, macho man. A real village person. He wants to generate more babies to support the country. He simply forgets that heterosexuals produce homosexuals.
I'm sorry, I don't follow this at all.

The Nigerian article didn't support death for Gays, but prison for Gay behavior. The US did, too. Are you suggesting that Nigeria should be sanctioned for that position? Because they haven't changed as quickly as we did?

May I ask you to consider my response to Metallicus on his suggestion of sanctioning? I'm not really concerned about just the Gay issue, but used that because the thread I mentioned in the OP dealt exclusively with that.

If we're dealing with government announced policies of death for simply being Gay, I believe that's serious enough to go to the top of the violations schedule. But I'm curious to learn how you construct the rest of the schedule. Is imprisoning Gays as bad a violation as killing them? Is imprisoning Gays as bad as killing apostates? How about imprisoning Gays versus political dissidents? Please check my comments a little earlier.

Do you think that an economic sanction of Africa by the US would provide good results? China is investing heavily there now. Africa might just ignore our sanctions. Then what? I'd really like to hear your thoughts.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by Forests
 

Dear Forests,

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I don't want attention, I want the thoughts of ATSers on the subject of determing violations by nations and what we should do about them. it's fine with me if gays are not mentioned again in this thread. That's just one example of rights violations, there are many more which can serve as examples.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 12:35 AM
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reply to post by littled16
 

Dear littled16,

Thanks, and a very warm "Hello, again."

It seems that you and Metallicus have a similar position, one for which a very strong argument can be made. In fact, you did make it.

Given that it's wrong to impose our culture on other nations, I suppose it's wrong for others to impose their culture on other nations. Since you brought up Islam which is, I believe, currently attempting to impose Islam on some African countries, is there anything which the US should do about that? I think I'd be pretty uncomfortable with the idea that as long as the conquering and controlling is not within the US we can ignore it. But I don't think that's what you mean.


Different countries are on different cultural evolution time tables. Even the US is in it's own cultural evolution infancy. Equality for women and minorities is a relatively new thing in the history of the US- we have progressed much faster than most countries but much more slowly than others.
Absolute agreement here.

I'm honestly not trying to be a wise guy here, but does this mean that the UN Commission on Human Rights should be abolished, since each nation is progressing at it's own rate and should be left alone? Further, suppose Country X declares that it will kill all of it's citizens of a certain race because they are impure. Should we do anything about that?

I trust you know that I'm not trying to argue, I'm just trying to clarify some of the points in your position.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 12:36 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 


In my defense, I said African countries. Not particularly Zimbabwe. It's common knowledge that Robert Mugabe wants to begin beheading homosexuals and he is running once again for election (what a farce) in Zimbabwe. Uganda also has a running anti homosexual purge going on. Both of these countries are primarily Christian. Christianity is known to be part of the imported Western culture.

Yeah, I went out on a limb with Putin. But the fact is, Russia is experiencing a dramatic loss in the number of births. This loss contributes to the weakening of their military and their economy according to Putin. I'm not floating anything that isn't well known or is in newspapers around the world.

I appreciate you being respectful. Thank you.

P.S. Yes we should sanction Zimbabwe for their horrible account of crimes against humanity. Let China take control. They will shake religion out of them better than we could. Look how China is run.
edit on 31-7-2013 by SinMaker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 01:12 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 

Dear Astyanax,

Thanks for taking the time to offer such a thorough response. I'll try to do it justice.


Can you describe to us exactly what form this 'pressure by Western countries to impose the perverted culture of legalising homosexual lifestyles in Nigeria' consists of? The article you linked seems to be complaining about some unnamed Western country appointing a gay person to its diplomatic mission in Nigeria.
I used this article as an example of a country that has a firm social and cultural basis for rejecting what we would consider a human right, or at least, a legal activity. I thought it important as I was looking at the question of cultural morality and our response to differences.


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)?
These were mentioned as cultures we have expressed little desire to change, as opposed to the Gay-intolerance in the culture which was the sole subject of the thread I referenced.


Instead, let's ask how promoting better behaviour, even through the use of diplomatic pressure or legally allowable sanctions, can be called 'changing somebody's culture'.
Good. Excellent point. If we are promoting better behavior, then we must be saying that their present behavior is not as good as it should be, and should be changed. Several posters have said that is none of our business. I take it you disagree with them.

My questions remain. Is all bad behavior deserving of our "promoting better behavior," or is some not worth getting involved in? If we don't get involved in everything, what is our scale of values that tells us when it is important enough to get involved in? And do we push, or threaten, equally against all bad behavior we are concerned with?

The second question is, how far are we prepared to go to stop the worst examples of bad behavior?

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.

Can you explain why this is so obvious? I'm very interested.
Because if we are not prepared to threaten violence against those governments with a policy of killing innocents in large numbers, we have no reason to try to stop any behavior. Further, if the world knows we will not fight for any cause outside of our borders, then diplomacy is useless and the only tool we have is sanctions. Those have been proven to be only marginally effective against small countries, i.e. Cuba, and could never be seriously threatened against larger, more powerful countries such as China. If the issue was important, our sanctions would be seen as an irritant at worst.


Every hidebound, patriarchal, atavistic power-elite in the world tries to protect its privileges and its cherished prejudices by invoking the totem of culture. This is as true in the United States as it is in Russia or Nigeria.
Again, good. You seem to be saying that we should disregard claims of "culture" when a group tries to justify doing something we don't like. Something, in short, which is against our culture. But it is our culture that tells us our freedoms are important. Many other groups don't have that same belief. If their cultures can be ignored, why shouldn't ours be?


It is very different from trying to bring about change through democratic means, peaceful protest, diplomatic gestures,
And if dissidents are arrested, ballot boxes are stuffed, and our diplomats are snubbed (Russia again, among others), then we stop sending them free money and ask the UN to punish them? What do we do to the country after we've cut off their aid and we find that they're still managing to get by?

But again, which of our cultural values are we willing to ask the UN to impose on other countries by punishment? How much good does that do? Especially with China and Russia on the Security Council, and nearly a third of the votes in the General Assembly going to Islamic nations. And how big of an offense do we need to take this route? Do we go to the UN for every country that declares homosexuality to be a crime? Every country that has only state sponsored news sources? Every country that encourages GMO food production?

I started a schedule of offenses a little earlier in the thread. If you'd like to change or expand it, I'd be grateful.

With respect,
Charles1952
edit on 31-7-2013 by charles1952 because: bracket error



posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by charles1952
 
I see what you're getting at. Did countries more culturally evolved than ours interfere when blacks were being tortured and killed in America? I didn't see the UN in my area a few years back when a black man was dragged to death behind a truck about half an hour north of here. Would the rest of the world have interfered when such occurrences were commonplace? They did not.

Did the UN do much of anything during the genecide in Rwanda? All they did was escort foreigners to the airport. What have they done about the voodoo sacrifice of Albinos in Tanzania? Nothing. Children being labeled as witches and being tortured and killed in several African countries? Again nothing. If the UN Commission on Human Rights does nothing but report and make media statements what do they even exist for?

If we, a supposedly civilized nation, can do nothing to stop hatred and violence in our own country should we really be injecting ourselves into other countries? Do gay people still get beat, tortured and murdered in the US? Yes, they do. Do people still get beat tortured and killed just because of their race in the US? Yes, they do. Does it happen as often here as it does elsewhere? Thankfully NO but that is because we are evolving, not because some other country came in and forced change.

Look at what is happening in the Middle East- we inject ourselves and try to force our values on other countries. When we leave they go right back to business as usual. What do we accomplish? We lose money and lives for little to no cultural improvement. It is a waste of our time, resources and the lives of our soldiers. They will only change when they are ready, and nothing we do will hasten that change.

In a nutshell I'm not sure there is anything we can do that will make much of a difference. Our country's finances are stretched to the limit. Our military is stretched to the limit. Our citizens are becoming stretched to the limit. It is my belief that right now we need to focus on fixing the problems in our own nation and let other countries worry about their own problems. It may sound cold but we cannot help others if we fall apart.

I don't know if that answers your questions Charles, but it probably covers the gist of things from my current point of view. The old adage "Physician heal thyself" comes to mind, and we are a very ill physician right now.





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