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Author Topic:   Human rights, cultural diversity, and moral relativity
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 43 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 211 of 270 (436352)
11-25-2007 9:11 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by macaroniandcheese
11-24-2007 8:40 PM


Re: Complication rate of MGM
brennakimi responds to me:

quote:
just because religion is involved doesn't mean they have no choice.

When your eternal soul is on the line, coercion is the nicest way of putting it.

quote:
fine. i hate men and they should all be bled to death by cutting their dicks off. happy?

What a black-and-white view of the world you have. Some of us are capable of more varied reactions.

quote:
quote:
Note: They couldn't find a single instance of FGM happening in the US and yet it got outlawed.

do you think they searched women's pants?


Yes. Do not confuse the existence of women in the US who have undergone FGM with FGM having been performed in the US. This has been dealt with previously. Despite the fact that it is a federal crime to perform FGM in the US, not a single prosecution has ever taken place.

That's because it doesn't happen here. If there is a family here in the US who wants their daughter to be mutilated, they take her back to Africa to have it done. You were paying attention, yes? Remember all that whining about "literacy" you've been engaging in? Well, have you considered following your own advice?

quote:
quote:
Yes. You don't realize that you've gone too far until it's too late.

that sounds like the "oops i slipped and fell and my pants got ripped off and my dick was suddenly inside her" accidental sex argument.


Since you don't know how men masturbate, it would behoove you not to pretend as if you did.

You've never engaged in physical activity that seemed fine at the time but when you were done you realized that you'd overdone it? What a sheltered life you must have lived.

quote:
quote:
And how would you know?

i'm manually stimulated several penises, and some quite forcefully. i've never torn a dick.


Right. And the grand total of minutes you have spent engaged in this pasttime?

Now, compare that to the total amount of time the man in question has engaged in it. Do you really think you have any idea what it's like? I'm doing my best to be discreet for I do not wish to hear you ridicule men's sex lives any more than you already have. But safe to say that it's probably true that at some point in his life, a man has spent more time in a single day masturbating himself than you have ever spent masturbating him.

It isn't about severity. It's about duration.

quote:
in fact, i've know a few people who have torn their foreskins by masturbating too forcefully, but never one who tore his circumcised penis in the same fashion.

And being the proud owner of a penis, you would know this directly? Oh, yeah...that's right...you don't have one. Therefore, the only way you could possibly know anything about it is by other people telling you.

Do people make a habit of telling you their masturbatory activities unbidden? Or do you make a habit of asking people about theirs? Must be some fun at parties either way.

quote:
quote:
Only if the tumor is in the foreskin. Circumcision doesn't do anything for cancer localized in the corpora. So the treatment isn't "circumcision," per se, but rather excision of the tumor which happens to be on the foreskin.

so a mastectomy of a cancerous breast isn't the removal of the breast, per se, just the excision of the tumor which happens to be in the breast.


A mastectomy of a cancerous breast isn't an attempt to remove the breast simply for the sake of removing the breast. If there were a way to get rid of the cancer without removing the breast, we'd do it (thus, various techniques like lumpectomy). You do understand the difference between medicine and mutilation, yes?

quote:
there's lots of things that aren't "normal" that have been labeled "disorders". i've taken to disbelieving that term.

Ah. One of the cruxes of the argument: Psychologists are all screwed up. OK.

quote:
quote:
And yet, we do. And you defend it by claiming it's just a "tiny little bit of flesh," of no real concern...it isn't like anybody dies from it.

no, i don't.


You mean you didn't say that it's just a "tiny little bit of flesh"? Are you really going to make me go back into the history to find the link to your own words?

quote:
i say that it's not equivalent to fgm. there's a big difference.

Dead male. Dead female.

If they're not equivalent, then it can only be because his life isn't as valuable as hers.

quote:
i'm talking about the ways laws should be written in order to do the most good without infringing on the rights of individuals to define their own sexuality.

Right.

That's why when it comes to dead males, you can't be bothered.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-24-2007 8:40 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-25-2007 1:53 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 43 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 212 of 270 (436356)
11-25-2007 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 194 by macaroniandcheese
11-24-2007 8:29 PM


brennakimi responds to me:

quote:
quote:
Since when? I am not a cog for the machine.

since forever.


You mean if I don't get a job the State will imprison me? Fine me? Give me a stern talking to? Since when was it declared the case that a person has to get a job? I dare say that quite a lot of the wealthiest people in the world don't actually have jobs. Where are the consequences the State is imposing upon them for taking themselves out of the workforce?

quote:
and i hate to be the one to tell you, you are a cog in the machine.

Prove it.

quote:
it is in the interest of the state to encourage procreation, not reduce it.

Why? Does anybody seriously think that we don't have enough people?

quote:
it certainly should qualify as "mutilation".

(*chuckle*)

You were the one going on and on about "cosmetic" applications and now you're insisting that it's "mutilation"? Do you really not understand the difference between those words?

quote:
quote:
But you just said that the state has the right to stop someone from cutting his arm off. Why the special pleading?

because removing an arm generally prevents one from doing work and contributing to the economy.


But the State has no claim on your body. Thirteenth Amendment:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Since when does the State have a say in whether or not I become a "productive member of society"?

quote:
however, unless cosmetically changing the external structure of your genitalia prevents you from having children, the state has no interest in preventing it.

By this logic, sterilization should be outlawed. And yet, it is the most common form of birth control.

quote:
because you haven't done your job and written your congressmen. it's all your fault.

Right. Because you know everything I've done in my life. Is it difficult reading other people's minds? Is it something you can turn on and off like a switch or do you have a constant stream of voices flooding your head? How was it you were able to pick out mine from all the other voices in your head?

quote:
but malpractice means doing something incorrectly or doing something unwanted.

And coercion has no part to play in malpractice? While the laws against FGM make it clear that the consent of the parents is no defense, the case in general is that it is malpractice to coerce somebody into treatment.

quote:
i pointed out that it is possible for the procedure to be done properly.

And in fantasy land, it might actually happen. But for those of us who live in the real world, your trivial corner cases are irrelevant.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-24-2007 8:29 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 217 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-25-2007 2:03 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 43 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 213 of 270 (436359)
11-25-2007 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 198 by macaroniandcheese
11-24-2007 8:45 PM


brennakimi responds to me:

quote:
responsible people cite their sources when they make reference to them.

Responsible people do their own homework and actually take the time and effort to learn about something before they spout off. And when they are given information about where to find the references, they actually get off their duffs and find them.

This is not the place to educate you on the germ theory of disease. That you didn't know tuberculosis could infect the body somewhere other than the lungs indicates an extreme misunderstanding of bacterial action. This board is not the place for you to learn about it. You need to go away, do some reading, and come back.

Did you go to college in this country? Weren't you required to take a TB test before matriculating? What did you think they were doing with that skin test?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-24-2007 8:45 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-25-2007 2:23 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 43 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 214 of 270 (436360)
11-25-2007 9:47 AM
Reply to: Message 199 by Hyroglyphx
11-24-2007 10:20 PM


Re: This is all getting very silly
Nemesis Juggernaut responds to me:

quote:
In what way do you think morals exist? I'm curious to know.

The same way other social constructs exist. What are you getting at?

quote:
quote:
Monopoly is a completely arbitrary and created game.

What makes it arbitrary? It seems totally dependent upon strategy not fortuitousness.


You've never heard of "house rules"? A common one is that all money collected from Chance and Community Chest cards is placed under Free Parking. Anybody who lands there gets to take whatever money happens to be there at the time. This house rule has become so popular that the official version of the game lists it as a variant.

In other words, it's arbitrary. The people playing the game get to decide what rules they're going to play by and even making up some rules.

quote:
quote:
are you saying atheists don't have morals?

Of course they do. They just have no good reason to be moral.


And yet, the mere existence of atheists proves that statement wrong.

quote:
It totally runs counter to Darwinistic mechanisms.

Incorrect. Social cooperation helps individuals reach reproductive maturity.

quote:
You might just as well choke someone who is drowning, rather than pull them out. In a world without objective moral values, there is no difference.

And yet, you never hear of the atheist murder spree. Ergo, your conceptualization of atheism is necessarily wrong.

Hint: The Golden Rule is not a divine edict. It can easily be developed through mundane means. Can you truly not think of a single reason why you might help a drowning person other than god told you to do so?

quote:
All I'm saying is that the atheistic position has no actual reason to be moral, nor is there any explanation for why or how morals could be passed on.

And yet, the mere existence of atheists proves you wrong.

quote:
At most, you have to look at the practical purposes.

You're getting close. The practical path involves social construction of behaviour. It allows a social species such as ourselves to get along with each other without having to continually be on the defensive.

quote:
But even then, why is it practical?

Because it works? Nah...that can't be it. It's gotta be god.

quote:
That doesn't explain why its immoral.

Yes, it does. The morality is that my body is mine and you don't have any rights to it.

quote:
It doesn't explain how you've come to that notion

It doesn't have to. If you want a metadiscussion of morality, that's another topic. You asked why it's immoral, not why it was decided that it was immoral.

quote:
or especially why it is intrinsic.

Um, since I said the exact opposite (morality is arbitrary and socially constructed), I fail to see why it would be relevant to try and explain why it is intrinsic. That would seemingly contradict the "arbitrary and socially constructed" premise.

quote:
You might feel compelled to say, it just is.

Except I don't. Ergo, your analysis fails completely.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 199 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-24-2007 10:20 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-25-2007 2:30 PM Rrhain has responded
 Message 226 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-25-2007 8:25 PM Rrhain has responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5688
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 215 of 270 (436374)
11-25-2007 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by Silent H
11-24-2007 11:37 PM


Re: This is all getting very silly
Why wouldn't certain moral characteristics arise from evolutionary processes? They wouldn't have even had to have developed during our last stage of evolution.

How? What indication exists that would say that such a thing can be transmitted via DNA? Are we talking about a "moral gene?" If so, is it linear? Will humans one day be more moral? If morals don't exist anywhere else in the animal kingdom, why and how did it develop in humans?

For example we may have "programs" that keep us wanting to stay together. That could have a survival benefit, and lead naturally to more social skills, including altruism as a learned mechanism for keeping things running smoothly.

Then what becomes of survival of the fittest? Obsolete?

Regardless of why its practical, it would still be practical. I agree this is all atheists have, beyond describing their own aesthetic tastes. I don't see this as a fault, just a definition.

I don't see it as being a matter of taste, as if fancying bludgeoning someone to death as opposed to slashing their neck is the same as trying to decide whether you want Rocky Road or Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream tonight.

Nonetheless, I understand what you mean.

It may be true that I could just as easily kill someone as help them, but as a human I have habits and a nature. I generally just don't want to kill someone, and would want to help. Those with the reverse tend to get weeded out relatively quickly... though not always.

We all agree on that part. The question is why it is that way.


“This life’s dim windows of the soul, distorts the heavens from pole to pole, and goads you to believe a lie, when you see with and not through the eye.” -William Blake
This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by Silent H, posted 11-24-2007 11:37 PM Silent H has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2098 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 216 of 270 (436382)
11-25-2007 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by Rrhain
11-25-2007 9:11 AM


Re: Complication rate of MGM
You mean you didn't say that it's just a "tiny little bit of flesh"? Are you really going to make me go back into the history to find the link to your own words?

i don't defend it. saying it isn't an equivalent procedure doesn't mean i'm defending either.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by Rrhain, posted 11-25-2007 9:11 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2098 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 217 of 270 (436385)
11-25-2007 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by Rrhain
11-25-2007 9:24 AM


You mean if I don't get a job the State will imprison me? Fine me? Give me a stern talking to? Since when was it declared the case that a person has to get a job? I dare say that quite a lot of the wealthiest people in the world don't actually have jobs. Where are the consequences the State is imposing upon them for taking themselves out of the workforce?

no, dope. it is in the state's interests to ensure that people are capable of contributing to the economy. the economy is good for the state, they must encourage it.

Why? Does anybody seriously think that we don't have enough people?

in general, more citizens is beneficial. and, what is enough? but, i imagine the increased population in the last century has contributed to the social acceptability of birth control.

(*chuckle*)

You were the one going on and on about "cosmetic" applications and now you're insisting that it's "mutilation"? Do you really not understand the difference between those words?

i used "quotation marks" for a reason, dope.

Thirteenth Amendment:

is one of the few times the constitution protects you from other people and not the state.

Since when does the State have a say in whether or not I become a "productive member of society"?

why do you think we have public schools with mandatory attendance? the state does have a say in whether you become a productive member of society.

By this logic, sterilization should be outlawed. And yet, it is the most common form of birth control.

it does qualify as "mutilation," doesn't it? don't you see that that isn't their concern? peoples reproductive habits and organs are generally in their own purview, not the government's.

Right. Because you know everything I've done in my life.

well, if it's still legal, you haven't been working hard enough.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by Rrhain, posted 11-25-2007 9:24 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2098 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 218 of 270 (436387)
11-25-2007 2:23 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by Rrhain
11-25-2007 9:34 AM


indicates an extreme misunderstanding of bacterial action.

no, it indicates that i never fucking thought about it. i'm sorry. i don't tend to dick around with bacteria, i try to keep them away from me. in the mean time, i didn't spout off. you mentioned one small claim and i answered it. badly, i apologize. but since germ theory really has very little to do with our discussion of whether or not we should criminalize circumcision, i'm not concerned. especially since you seem to have your own extreme misunderstanding of law and political reality.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by Rrhain, posted 11-25-2007 9:34 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2098 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 219 of 270 (436389)
11-25-2007 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by Rrhain
11-25-2007 9:47 AM


Re: This is all getting very silly
The morality is that my body is mine and you don't have any rights to it.

and yet you can't see why i'm trying to discuss building laws that follow this simple principle of allowing people to do to their bodies what they want. you know why we don't let people chop their arms off? because that requires that we accommodate them in their new disability. cosmetic changes to genitals doesn't require accommodation. it's no one's damn business. so. we outlaw cosmetic surgery on minors except for life-endangering situations and we outlaw transporting minors outside of the country for that purpose. if we can arrest paedophiles for diddling kids in thailand, then we can arrest parents for mutilating their children in africa. so we do it. we pass the laws. and then we enforce them. and we institute educational programs in our schools and over public and private media that demonstrate the harm and damage these procedures cause. that's the only way we can hope to end the practices. both need to be ended.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by Rrhain, posted 11-25-2007 9:47 AM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by molbiogirl, posted 11-25-2007 3:25 PM macaroniandcheese has responded
 Message 228 by Rrhain, posted 11-26-2007 1:27 AM macaroniandcheese has responded

  
molbiogirl
Member (Idle past 812 days)
Posts: 1909
From: MO
Joined: 06-06-2007


Message 220 of 270 (436397)
11-25-2007 3:17 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by Hyroglyphx
11-25-2007 12:56 PM


What indication exists that would say that such a thing can be transmitted via DNA?

What evidence is there of any behavior transmitted via DNA?

You've never heard of "instinct"?

What indications are there that behavior has a biological basis?
[text provided by Joseph McInerney]

* Behavior often is species specific. A chickadee, for example, carries one sunflower seed at a time from a feeder to a nearby branch, secures the seed to the branch between its feet, pecks it open, eats the contents, and repeats the process. Finches, in contrast, stay at the feeder for long periods, opening large numbers of seeds with their thick beaks. Some mating behaviors also are species specific. Prairie chickens, native to the upper Midwest, conduct an elaborate mating ritual, a sort of line dance for birds, with spread wings and synchronized group movements. Some behaviors are so characteristic that biologists use them to help differentiate between closely related species.

* Behaviors often breed true. We can reproduce behaviors in successive generations of organisms. Consider the instinctive retrieval behavior of a yellow Labrador or the herding posture of a border collie.

* Behaviors change in response to alterations in biological structures or processes. For example, a brain injury can turn a polite, mild-mannered person into a foul-mouthed, aggressive boor, and we routinely modify the behavioral manifestations of mental illnesses with drugs that alter brain chemistry. More recently, geneticists have created or extinguished specific mouse behaviors—ranging from nurturing of pups to continuous circling in a strain called "twirler"— by inserting or disabling specific genes.

* In humans, some behaviors run in families. For example, there is a clear familial aggregation of mental illness.

* Behavior has an evolutionary history that persists across related species. Chimpanzees are our closest relatives, separated from us by a mere 2 percent difference in DNA sequence. We and they share behaviors that are characteristic of highly social primates, including nurturing, cooperation, altruism, and even some facial expressions. Genes are evolutionary glue, binding all of life in a single history that dates back some 3.5 billion years. Conserved behaviors are part of that history, which is written in the language of nature's universal information molecule—DNA.

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/behavior.shtml#2


This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by Hyroglyphx, posted 11-25-2007 12:56 PM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

  
molbiogirl
Member (Idle past 812 days)
Posts: 1909
From: MO
Joined: 06-06-2007


Message 221 of 270 (436400)
11-25-2007 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 219 by macaroniandcheese
11-25-2007 2:30 PM


Re: This is all getting very silly
you know why we don't let people chop their arms off?

Bad example, Brenna.

Folks who suffer from BIID (body integrity identity disorder) need to chop a limb off. And some surgeons are willing to oblige.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 219 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-25-2007 2:30 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 222 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-25-2007 3:28 PM molbiogirl has responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2098 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 222 of 270 (436403)
11-25-2007 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by molbiogirl
11-25-2007 3:25 PM


Re: This is all getting very silly
it wasn't my example. and, i don't really see a reason not to allow them to decide what their own body integrity means. rhain's argument was that we don't allow people to chop their arms off. i argued why that might be. but, it really should fall under medical privacy.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by molbiogirl, posted 11-25-2007 3:25 PM molbiogirl has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 223 by molbiogirl, posted 11-25-2007 3:35 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

  
molbiogirl
Member (Idle past 812 days)
Posts: 1909
From: MO
Joined: 06-06-2007


Message 223 of 270 (436404)
11-25-2007 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by macaroniandcheese
11-25-2007 3:28 PM


Re: This is all getting very silly
Oops. Sorry, Brenna.

I haven't been following your discussion with Rrhain very closely.

My bad.

In that case, Rrhain used a bad example!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by macaroniandcheese, posted 11-25-2007 3:28 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

Replies to this message:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2098 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 224 of 270 (436405)
11-25-2007 3:39 PM
Reply to: Message 223 by molbiogirl
11-25-2007 3:35 PM


Re: This is all getting very silly
that's okay. if i could avoid following this discussion, i would.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by molbiogirl, posted 11-25-2007 3:35 PM molbiogirl has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3990 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 225 of 270 (436424)
11-25-2007 5:52 PM


ATTN: Thread Restart... Recap... Removal of FGM
Lets clean up and refocus debate on the thread's topic. I think NJ started the job, but I'd like to shift it it even further along.

To start with, no more discussions on the nature of genital mutilation (f or m). While interesting, that should be moved to a different thread. For sake of argument we can simply assume whatever current cultural practice comes under scrutiny, defies a commonly held concept of "human right" (defined from US legal standard).

Recapping...

Monoculture: The term monocultural refers to something which is related to a single culture, as opposed to multicultural which relates to many cultures.

It is a contextual term. For example, a person who grew up in one nation, with a specific ethnic background traditionally associated with that nation's history could be termed monocultural, as opposed to someone with a mixed national/ethnic heritage could be called bicultural, or multicultural. Used another way, an institution or community can be defined as monocultural if it happens to have a singular dominant (common, majority) set of beliefs/values/practices, as opposed to multicultural institutions and communities containing many sets of relatively equal value/practice. As a specific example, an Amish community or Jewish Kibbutz would generally by monocultural, and a university's international dormitory generally multicultural.

The term is also a definition of current state, and does not inherently imply or assume an essential, static nature of any culture. For example Amish traditions and practices can change over time as they encounter other cultures, or by increased activity/popularity of internal subcultures. Indeed, if Amish communities began opening themselves to other ethnic groups/traditions, sharing schools and such, they could eventually become defined as multicultural.

However, some people DO view certain social entities as having an essential nature. Many of these demand specific cultural "traditions" be made/kept majority over other cultures (or subcultures) and remain static (immune to change) by enforcement mechanisms.

One example of such a group were German National Socialists, who believed in an Aryan culture that has specific characteristics, which their communities must protect and enhance (namely by removing all other cultures/subcultures). A more recent example is the Netherlands gov't, which decided that there is a "dutch culture" with specific characteristics that define it and should be practiced to keep it the same over time (through strict immigration policies, and forced indoctrination of subcultures). This latter case was a flip from an overtly multicultural policy, to one of monoculturalism.

My position is that cultures are not static, and do not have essential natures. It is a fiction to try to trap them in amber, so to speak, with monocultural policies. That said, I also do not believe that the fluid nature of cultures creates an argument that they can or should be actively changed by outside parties through coercive tactics, to suit their own interests.

I feel that the concept of individual rights has been inflated from a fluid legal/political concept within specific nations, to a binding moral concept that must be held over all people regardless of nation. In fact, I would argue such movements involve the fabrication of a fictional culture (a borderless global human culture) with an essential, static nature. To say that human rights mean X and are bound to people by their inherent humanity, and regardless of their local cultural standards, is to advocate for stasis in the concept of what human rights are.

Perhaps I am wrong?

Chiro set out an interesting position as I hope I understood it, and may even work with Mod's position. While I originally used the word "practical" to describe his interpretation of human rights, perhaps the better word was "internalized". That is that one feels strongly in such a way and will work accordingly. That is opposed to saying I must work this way because an external reality mandates that I do such, justifies my thoughts/actions, and applies to everyone else.

Brenna, and this might work for Chiro and Mod, set out that international activity is the building of a consensual model of human rights. That it derives a power from the fact that nations are working together to build it. Did I get that right, brenna?

These are interesting, and while I understand internalized concepts of individual rights, I feel there is an overstatement regarding international declarations and laws. These are all legal concepts, which themselves can change over time, and hold different meanings for different groups which agree to them. That makes it strange for me to hear talk of their results being universal (applicable to all), or inherent to anyone by virtue of being human.

Aren't they just legal agreements (rather than findings) regarding individual rights? That is to say a practical statement of how we are planning on treating them, not that they have a reality in and of themselves (like the diplomats are oracles slowly divining the ultimate shape of reality/morality)? Couldn't these beliefs just as easily change as society in the future changes? If not, why not?

And this gets to NJ. If there is an idea that the work of nations building consensus are creating or uncovering an inherent moral/legal reality that binds all humans, where does this come from? If such a universal exists, doesn't that explictly endorse an absolute morality? If that is true, doesn't that argue for some separate purpose for humans in nature? After all no other animals have such a thing. If it is not merely a temporal human construct, and indeed is inherent to human action, doesn't that suggest actions by Gods?

I concur with NJ, that if there are universal (absolute, pertaining to all) moral truths then they have to find legitimacy in Gods, not the works of men.

Whew... so you see why this idea of individual rights as an external reality, which can and must be applied to all other cultures becomes problematic for me. I feel such grandiose statements regarding individual rights cannot be logically maintained without reference to gods (that is it is inconsistent with atheism), and further that it creates a fictional community (a global human culture) with a singular moral code applicable to all (once the diplomats get it all worked out), and enforced by legal mechanisms.

As an example of coercion on the local level, in support of "human rights", I list my NYTime article again. If that is grassroots consensus building on norms, then what are they but the result of cultural imperialism?

Edited by Silent H, : findings


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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard
    
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