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24 August 2006

It's all relative...


I have had too much overpriced red wine. Although, the Melka vineyard produces Mettise in the Napa valley, a rather fine Cabernet blend, be sure to get the 2001 vintage.

Can we, as a race (human that is) determine a moral pinnacle on the planet? There is much discussion over moral relativism of late and it is significant to the events which plague us now.

Can someone truly claim the high ground in this conflict of ideals? I would be interested to hear from the seven (okay, maybe six - if I discount Marock) readers of this blog if such a thing can exist.

I am interested because I think that may form the foundation for a discussion of topics of interest to all of us. Of note, Sonic has conceded that Iraq was an error, a position which I disagree with vehemently.

Citizen Une posits that there can be no absolutes. I am troubled by this stance. So to you I pose the question, does it exist? Or is there a point of debarkation from debate and agreement on what is and is not right.

By the way, I must ask that you set aside faith. For it is subjective and not impervious to logic.



UPDATE - Never drink and blog.

8 comments:

Scootmaroo said...

God, you are drunk.

Noone should be able to claim the moral high ground, but everyone does anyway, and as long as the do that, rather like a cosmic pissing contest, there will be conflict.

I know you said stay away from religion, but this morning, at the mall I saw a six year old, tow headed child wearing a t-shirt that said "My God is Stronger than Your God". I assume that the strong God was meant to be Jehovah, and the weaker God, Allah...who I have always been taught were the one and the same God of Abraham. I felt a strong to desire to take the mother of said child give her that information in a strong but forceful way, and I held back.

As long as we have people belieiving in a strength of one religion over another, i.e. being holier than thou, there will be conflict. Ultimatly, in our war of ideals, it does, I am sorry to say, boil down to religion. In our world, you cannot seperat morals from it.

And yes, I too think the war on Iraq was a mistake, in that it was waged for the wrong reasons....not, as was presented to us, as a need to protect our security and interests, but out of an Oedipal need for a son to one up his father, and the hubris that everyone wants to have american style democracy. From the minute he was elected, W. was LOOKING for a reason to invade Iraq, just as now he is looking for a reason to invade Iran. As much as he keeps saying "no one wants war", his actions and words prove otherwise.

There may have been a moral calling to take out Saddam, but are the Iraqi people better off now than they were four years ago? When they had basic things like power, clean water, etc. However, Deomcracy cannot and should not be thrust on a society which is unprepared for it... Democracy comes to a society from within-when the people are ready for it,(See India, 1940's)not imposed by force from without....we can lead by example, we can nudge, we can support...but we cannot, or should not, hold a gun to their necks and say "democratic government or else".

I may be drunk as well....sigh.

Scootmaroo said...

Um. Wow. Browsing the Advoate website today I found this great article by Charles Karel Bouley that seems to be almost a written response to your questions here....

http://www.advocate.com/
exclusive_detail_ektid35456.asp

One paragraph really stood out:
"We are not in a culture clash in our country or any other. Cultures don’t clash, they compete—that’s the nature of cultures. Ask any sociologist. But today, around the world, including in our country, we are in a war of the educated versus the ignorant, the antiquated ways of thinking versus a new enlightened thinking for the 21st century. We are doing battle every day in most regions of the world, and what we’re fighting are beliefs grounded in religions that haven’t changed since the Dark Ages. Most conflicts in the world right now have the very same roots as the persecution gays and lesbians have to fight in countless countries across the globe: believers of outdated ideologies trying desperately to hold on to their power through division, hatred, and persecution, all done in the name of some god or under the order of some ambitious dictator (and yes, that includes ours).

And what’s sad is that in those conflicts the West is seen as socially progressive, as accepting, as loose, even perverse--and yet those of us who live here know that we are moving backwards; our people are becoming more like those fringe groups offering rewards for dead gay people. Trust me: If Falwell could, he would."

Citizen Deux said...

Yes, red wine and computers do not mix. However, I found your comment from the Advocate strangely supportive of my thesis.

The thesis being - is moral relativism a valid construct for discussion, or is there a moral absolute? By absolute I mean "at the present time" not in any sort of final manner.

I imagine the church in Rome would quickly have claimed the moral high ground in the 13th century, but were there actually any significant differences?

Your observations in both comments seem to belie a belief in a moral absolute, one in which religion is not placed as the arbiter of society.

Although many of our beliefs may have roots in ancient times (I would submit that they are even older - referencing deeper primal instincts), they are in no way represented in the same shape today.

Scootmaroo said...

I wish for a world where "in which religion is not placed as the arbiter of society", with the belief that as humans, we inherently know right from wrong, and construct our morals apporpriatly. However, I feel that those of us who believe that are in the minority, the majority having been brainwashed by either the judeo-christian or islamic, male centric, relgions.Note that in eastern religions, and the native american culture,and indeed most goddess worship religions, the concept of a strict moral absolute is shadowy at best. That is why, at one time, I was so drawn to Wicca and element bound religions, where the moral absolute was "as long as you do no harm"....however, thems are those that are than branded as evil and witches. Sadly, most citizens do not feel comfortable in making their moral decisions on their own, and look for a stricter higher authority to arbitrate for them. I think I just made sense, but I am doing laundry......

sonicfrog said...

HEY! Stop drinking wine without me!!!

CD, I wasn't trying to say the invation was an error. More over, I think the coalition has done a poor job planning for possible outcomes of a post Saddam Iraq. I think they hoped for the best and planned for the best. I believe they should have hoped for the best but planned for the worst. I just hope the Iraqi Army is good enough to cope with our pending withdrawal in the next two years, as the next president, whether Democrat or Republican, will not become trapped by the war as LBJ and Nixon were.

There are probably multiple thousands of instances where our soldiers have saved and helped the lives of Iraqi citizens, who will forever be greatful to our soldiers. But the positive effect of these good acts are neutralized as long as the violence rages on.

PS. It is my understanding that only a select group of cities, read Sunni enclaves, were the only cities that ever got a reliable supply of "power, clean water, etc.".

No fair! Why am I not drunk?

Citizen Deux said...

Frog, the DoD did plan for the worst. The worst was a ground campaign lasting months, possibly a year, not weeks. The diversion of the 4th ID around Turkey was seen as a possible disaster, but the fighting was over before they even put down.

In fact, a few of my aviator friends bear patches from the Enterprise battle group sporting the words "Is it over, did we miss it?".

The post combat operations went downhill as the forces on the ground uncovered systemic failures of infrastructure and corruption beyond even our wildest imaginings.

Incorrectly we purged all Baathists, not realizing we needed many to run the operation of the country. In Basra, for example, the port stillhad remains of sunken freighters from the Iranian conflict.

PS - I'll send you a drink.

PPS - We need to host a "drunken blogathon" a few hours of heated rhetoric and invective enhanced by consumption of quality spirits. The only difference will be our ability to read and reread our misguided postings in perpetuity.

PPPS - On second thought...

Scootmaroo said...

Um. I'm kind of up for that.....

Citizen Deux said...

You know, hosting it could be kind of interesting, a WiFi network in a quality bar, drinks and a rotating topic generator.

We could start with a rousing round of arguments and then bolt to the computers for a few minutes of posting.

Hmmm...

I think it could be called "flash-blogging" or maybe "speed-blogging"