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Old 12-29-2009, 04:28 PM   #17 (permalink)

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Originally Posted by Snooch View Post
That is the way it is and always has been over there.
Does that make it right?

Originally Posted by Snooch View Post
Kudos for not bending over because the rest of the world thinks it is wrong, they dont and guess what, it is acceptable in the country in which they live. They dont like it get out, become a refugee, whatever. They aint hurting nobody.
I give them no kudos for "not bending over." It seems by your light that it is virtuous to continue doing what a well-reasoned argument would suggest is wrong.

Originally Posted by Snooch View Post
It is like our police/firemen deciding to only accept people who are physically fit, etc. Where does the line draw. They only want married people so what.
There is absolutely no similarity between those two circumstances. Someone who is not physically fit very clearly is not as well suited for a job that requires physical conditioning; what does being married have to do with this situtation? Nothing.

Originally Posted by Snooch View Post
All I know is that there are so many people bitching and complaining about this when here in our own country Gays arent allowed to marry or have thesame rights as others, some people are frowned upon for their culture or race or whatever.
Gays are allowed to marry in Canada (I assume that's what you mean by our country), and they are afforded the same rights as straight people. They may not always be treated the same, but the law recognizes them as the same. Undoubtedly we need to address every issue related to human rights within our own country, but can we not also comment on rights issues outside of our country?

If you're up in arms over gays not being allowed to marry in Canada (even though they are), tell me what you think about people being sentenced to death for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT) in Iran

Originally Posted by zachus View Post
My intent wasn't to draw parallels between the two, it was to point out that cultural practices are all relative. Something we as Canadians deem ethically unjust or strange, such as educating about the secrets of sex upon marriage or denying women unemployment, are seen as products of everyday life in Iran.

In many cases these practices are built around religious foundations, and Iran is an Islamic country, how can we as Christians dispute an Islamic value system when all we've ever had to relate to is a value system with Christian principles? The Iranian political establishment might seem extreme to a left wing Christian Canadian, it's wholly possible that the American political establishment is perceived as extreme by right wing Islamic Iranians.

Iranians are taught from a young age to be devout Muslims and live by the Islamic code so it's entirely possible that what we argue in this thread is not even a point of dispute in Iran.
I hate to keep returning to the same point over and over, but whether or not this is a point of dispute in Iran is irrelevant. Though it is undoubtedly a point of dispute amongst some (particularly the younger population which were such an integral part of the near-revolution this year), the question is not about what the Iranians think about it, but whether it is right; whether or not it can be justified on its own merit.

Suppose, for example, that the Iranians kept slaves, and a significantly small percentage of the population spoke out against it. Should we still sit on our hands with our mouths shut, even as we watch a person's right to self-possession violated over and over?

I want to also suggest that this idea of cultural relativism combined with non-interventionism (or, as has been suggested by some in this thread, not even talking about the issue) is the manner in which terrible totalitarian governments form. It begins by keeping a group of the population, or even the whole populace, so grossly undereducated that they aren't even aware of other rights they're entitled to. Then you deny them those rights and run their lives the way you see fit. Outsiders who are afraid to intervene say "Look, if they really wanted to, they could just leave" although of course this ignores the extraordinary challenge of picking up and leaving a country when you're dirt poor, have no education, and are culturally about 100 years behind the developed nations. This is, in fact, the situation many Iranians are faced with.

I have no problem with multiple cultural viewpoints (and in fact encourage them: I believe in a free market of ideas where the best arguments will ultimately win out, no matter how painful the process), but the fact that it is a distinct viewpoint does not, on its own, give that viewpoint merit. I do not subscribe to such notions of cultural or subjective relativism where actions are justified by what that person or culture thinks about the action. Thus, I can justifiably deride the German Nazis, the American slave holders, and the Iranian theocrats.

Last edited by Ligeia; 12-29-2009 at 05:04 PM.
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