ISIS and moral relativism

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by 92gator, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    That’s my boy!” A beaming father tweeted a photo of his seven year-old son. But this tweet was not about his son’s game-saving catch or fierce landing of a king salmon or even his strong finish in the local spelling bee. No, Khaled Sharrouf attached this praise to a picture of his smiling son holding a severed human head by the bloody hair.

    ...

    But ISIS and the brute nakedness of their evil unnerves even the most “enlightened” observer. Try as one might, it is impossible to defend ISIS as simply another religious-cultural iteration deserving the right to practice their own version of the truth. I challenge anyone to tell me how a father standing over a son gleefully holding a severed head is acceptable. I ask anyone to explain the nuance necessary to understand forcing 1400 men with bound hands onto their bellies and machine gunning them. I request the enlightening didactic about the cultural peculiarities of pre-teen daughters stripped from their parents to serve as child brides and sex slaves to grown men. Is all this relative?
    Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/acatho...the-crisis-of-moral-relativism/#ixzz3AxHTQgIE

    Interestingly, today is the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (France--btw, not the same person after whom the breed of great repute is named). Doctor of the Church, and Saint. Offered 3 bishoprics; declined all three, out of humility. Deeply committed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, of whom he wrote: "...we received God through the Blessed Virgin Mary, and so God receives us through the Blessed Virgin Mary" (i.e.--to Christ, through Mary). Credited with writing the firslt line of the Memorare, and adding the line "...Oh Clement, oh loving, oh Sweet Virgin Mary", to the "Hail Holy Queen."

    Said to have 'carried the 12 century on his shoulders', largely in relation to his involvement with /advocacy of the Second Crusade, in leading resistance against the aggressor Muslim Turks, who threatened Christian lands with actual, formidable military force.

    Not saying it's time for another Crusade.....but in remembering St. Bernard and his involvement with the Crusades, ISIS seems to serve as a fair reminder of why they were waged and even championed by such reputable men as St. Bernard.

    IOW: the juxtaposition of St. Bernard & the Crusades vis a vis ISIS & jihad, serves as a worthy reminder of the need to identify first, a thing called evil, and second, to recognize evil itself, as such--and to address it accordingly/appropriately.
  2. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Unless you are prepared to combat all evil(s), then picking and choosing which evil to combat is itself a form of relativism.
  3. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    And of course determining "evil" is also moral relativism.
  4. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    ^^^Excellent points gentlemen.

    So perhaps y'all would like to take up the gauntlet thrown down by the author of the article, and articulate how the alleged evils referenced therein, may not objectively be 'evil' per se.
  5. dangolegators
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    dangolegators Well-Known Member

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    Who is saying it isn't evil?
  6. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    You would have to define evil first, since there is no universal definition. So, we're already in relativist territory. Under my own definition, I wouldnt qualify ISIS as evil per se, they seem to have a "reason" to commit their horrific acts. My definition of evil tends to be doing evil for the sake of doing evil - i..e. killing someone just to do it or terrorizing people just to terrorize them, not for religious or geo-political reasons. There are probably some people under ISIS who meet that criteria, some that don't. But as an organization, they at least have some "explanation" for their actions.
  7. Lawdog88
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    Lawdog88 Well-Known Member

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    The underpinning question seems to be, what do we do about it ?

    And yes, IMO, ISIS is "evil enough" to do something about, because it comes with proven acts of objective evil, menace, and mayhem, and with unambiguous, announced intentions to repeat that kind of evil - and worse, if possible - upon innocents at every available opportunity.
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  8. dangolegators
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    dangolegators Well-Known Member

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    This is silly. By your definition, Hitler wasn't evil either.
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  9. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    "...determining "evil" is also moral relativism"--implies that the case could be made.

    Unless one can articulate how those 'alleged' evils, aren't evil, then one must admit that they are objectively evil--and that therefore, the determination of what is evil, at least sometimes, isn't relative.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  10. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    No, I dont think he was. I think calling an ideology "evil" is an excuse not to engage with its ramifications. Its dismisive, IMO.
  11. oragator1
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    oragator1 Premium Member

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    I think in this case evil is clearly defined by any rational definition. To deprive someone of the choice of how to live their life and force your beliefs on them is wrong.
    And then killing when your life is life (or those of the people you are protecting) is not threatened is wrong just about everywhere and not defensible.

    But to the point of moral relativism, everyone's morality is relative, there are no 2 people that would act exactly the same when presented with every single possible moral dilemma. Heck even within specific churches, major issues like the death penalty, illegal immigration, how best to help the poor etc are not agreed to. Then there are the far more personal moral issues we all deal with, like when is it acceptable to lie, when does helping your family harm someone else etc, there are thousands of them.

    That's why the question isn't what someone believes, it's whether those beliefs infringe on others. That's the only true common morality
    IMO. If everyone followed that one simple rule, half of the world's problems would go away overnight - all religious fighting would end, murder, rape, most all theft, in fact any crime with a victim would go.
  12. dangolegators
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    dangolegators Well-Known Member

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    Cons such as yourself might not agree, but there are plenty of grey areas out there. ISIS isn't really one of them.
  13. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    Picking and choosing which evil to combat, when and how, is a matter of resources and priorities.

    The determination of what is or isn't evil, isn't relative.
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  14. philobeddoe
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    philobeddoe Well-Known Member

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    Can't the UN define "evil" in the context of a government or other "entity" exercising government-like authority over a people?
  15. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    ^^^
    Also moral relativism :)
  16. dangolegators
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    dangolegators Well-Known Member

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    Of course it is. To the ISIS extremists we are evil.
  17. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Unless you are randomly deciding how those resources are used, then it very much is a subjective judgement about what evil needs to be dealt with and what evil can be lived with. But also determing what is evil and what isnt is also a relativist position. As another poster pointed out, ISIS consider us evil. They are the good guys in their minds.
  18. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    Sorry folks, but I'm gonna' have to excuse myself from my own thread.

    This new adware GC has running, gives my computer fits.

    It's just not feasible for me to post; even viewing is a bitch.

    Later.
  19. 108
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    until "evil" is proven to be an actual force, it is just a concept, or a descriptive word of deeds one finds abhorrent

    personally, i wouldn't use this word, but "evil" or not, what we are dealing with here are multiple belief systems (religious, geopolitical, socio-economic), that allow these people to do what they do, with the full belief that it is moral and just...and they surely believe that the US is the "evil" one, and actions like beheading folks is well within their boundaries...

    i mean, these people think they are ultimately going to heaven to have eternal sex with virgins o_O
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  20. dangolegators
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    dangolegators Well-Known Member

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    Well sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade. These guys are evil as far as I'm concerned. Hitler was too.

    But if people are going to get hung up on the word, maybe we should just use a different term rather than 'evil', like 'really really horribly bad' or something. Can we all agree that what these ISIS guys are doing is really really horribly bad?
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