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Afghanistan: Kingdom of pedophiles?

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Julian
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 10:42:18 AM »

This is appalling, but I think Brian's question raises a much larger issue. Much as I dislike the idea that values are relative to culture, I'm not sure we are at the place where we can point to objective moral values in situations like these. I think this is a large and very important challenge for the naturalistic worldview.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2010, 13:58:37 PM »

@Julian

This challenges the Islamic world-view and the Afghani world-view, but not the naturalistic one. You will be hard pressed to find a naturalist today who thinks it is OK to freck little boys.
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Hermes
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2010, 15:51:02 PM »

I fail to see why we should not be in a position to objectively evaluate the morality of situations like this.   Having sex with a nine year old child is nothing other than exploiting the child for sexual satisfaction.   It is likely to cause physical pain, be traumatic to the victim and have lasting psychological effects on the child.   That we are dealing with exploitation here is a self-evident fact.
   Jumping from the twentieth floor will have the same devastating effect, irrespective of whether you do it in Johannesburg, Tel Aviv or Dubai.   There is nothing relative about it and there is nothing relative about sexual exploitation.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 16:11:20 PM by Hermes » Logged
Julian
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2010, 20:32:49 PM »

@Julian

This challenges the Islamic world-view and the Afghani world-view, but not the naturalistic one. You will be hard pressed to find a naturalist today who thinks it is OK to freck little boys.

I meant that the challenge for the naturalistic worldview is to find an theory of objective moral value.
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Julian
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« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2010, 21:21:19 PM »

I fail to see why we should not be in a position to objectively evaluate the morality of situations like this.   Having sex with a nine year old child is nothing other than exploiting the child for sexual satisfaction.   It is likely to cause physical pain, be traumatic to the victim and have lasting psychological effects on the child.   That we are dealing with exploitation here is a self-evident fact.
   Jumping from the twentieth floor will have the same devastating effect, irrespective of whether you do it in Johannesburg, Tel Aviv or Dubai.   There is nothing relative about it and there is nothing relative about sexual exploitation.

So what you are saying is that we can conclude, in an objective/scientific manner, that child abuse causes physical pain and emotional trauma. Since it is immoral to cause harm or suffering, the act of child abuse is immoral. Have I paraphrased you correctly?
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Hermes
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« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2010, 22:04:01 PM »

So what you are saying is that we can conclude, in an objective/scientific manner, that child abuse causes physical pain and emotional trauma. Since it is immoral to cause harm or suffering, the act of child abuse is immoral. Have I paraphrased you correctly?
Close enough, yes.
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Brian
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« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2010, 12:34:11 PM »

I realise that I've opened an old debate concerning ethical/moral relativism vs absolute relativism (sounds like an oxymoron to me!), ethical universalism and the ever-present threat of subjective relativism and as Ruth Benedict said that morals do not exist Huh? — only customs do; and that in comparing customs, the anthropologist "insofar as he remains an anthropologist . . . is bound to avoid any weighting of one in favor of the other". To some extent, the increasing body of knowledge of great differences in belief among societies caused both social scientists and philosophers to question whether any objective, absolute standards pertaining to values could exist. This led some to posit that differing systems have equal validity, with no standard for adjudicating among conflicting beliefs.
 A quote from http://www.essay-911.com/samples/Definition.htm "Universalism implies the existence of the universal objective truth. So those, who find this truth must spread it among other people, but in a such way people lose independence and free choice in life. WTF!! At the same time conception of the universal truth excludes tolerance to other cultures and moralities. Both ethical relativism and universalism are not perfect and will develop further."
I seems that the debate is far from over.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2010, 13:02:06 PM »

I meant that the challenge for the naturalistic worldview is to find an theory of objective moral value.


Sam and others are working on it:

http://forum.skeptic.za.org/religion-and-philosophy/sam-harris-science-can-answer-moral-questions/

He differentiates between anthropocentric facts like money and ontologically subjective facts like well-being or suffering.
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Brian
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« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2010, 15:02:27 PM »

Here's an interesting new book "Sex Rites: The Origins of Christianity" by Diana Agorio reviewed by Michael Schultheiss. Part of his review states: The sexual practices of the ancient world come alive too: Agorio explains how the institution of the `sacred marriage' became commoditized, particularly in the Persian period, when the power of the priesthoods of West Asia was at an all-time low. Particularly shocking to modern sensibilities is the ancient practice of pedophilia, which was correlated with the rise of the storm gods and chariot warfare in the mid-second millennium BCE. Much later, Plato's idea of `Platonic love' celebrated man-boy sexual relationships--and these practices, when combined with the idea of sacred sex, exerted a seminal influence on Christianity

see: http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/the-first-review-of-sex-rites
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Michael Meadon
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« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2010, 20:26:54 PM »

How good is this article? I know Afghanistan is remote but this is only coming to light now? I would like another independent view on this.


The research is real: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=77328.0;attach=33382. (Though the researcher sounds like a bit of a nutter: http://zeroanthropology.net/2010/05/24/gun-running-drugs-and-flamenco-u-s-army-human-terrain-system-has-it-all/).

And, yeah, the Greeks would most certainly approve. By the way, there are a lot of similar cultural practises. The Sambia, for example, believe boys have to ingest large quantities of semen before they can become men: http://books.google.co.za/books?hl=en&lr=&id=mlFp0nFhvbwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA167&dq=sambia&ots=zrqW5y4-yi&sig=JadvC2nHd2B8LCWz8uwZJGgLwnk#v=onepage&q=sambia&f=false
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2010, 08:46:12 AM »

Reminds me of the passage in Numbers 31 where the Israelite army comes back from wiping out the Midianites with the woman and children as captives. They then proceed to slaughter all the woman (non-virgins) and little boys but divide the little girls (virgins) up as the "spoils of war" - almost certainly as sex slaves. Seems as if sexual deviance (oh yes, and genocide and infanticide) was an accepted practice back then.
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Peter Grant
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« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2010, 12:48:02 PM »

Here's all his follow up articles:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/one-womans-nightmare-and-a-crime-against-humanity-2072200.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-crimewave-that-shames-the-world-2072201.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-relatives-with-blood-on-their-hands-2073142.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-lie-behind-mass-suicides-of-egypts-young-women-2074229.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-the-truth-about-honour-killings-2075317.html

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Peter Grant
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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2010, 17:46:29 PM »

Oops, wrong topic. Still the above links are about "honour" killings which also contribute significantly to the suffering in the Muslim world. I thought there was a topic about this already and somehow confused it with this one. Shall I start a new one?
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