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Old 12-28-2009, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Iran bars single women from working in gas field - Yahoo! Canada News
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Old 12-28-2009, 02:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They'll never make any lasting progress unless they liberate their women. The proof is in the historical pudding. It's too bad a certain theocratic viewpoint is holding them back.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't agree with it but I also don't understand their culture so what do I know?
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Old 12-28-2009, 04:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't agree with it but I also don't understand their culture so what do I know?
They think we're crazy for allowing our women to hold management positions. It goes both ways.
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They think we're crazy for allowing our women to hold management positions. It goes both ways.
And we thought Hitler was crazy for killing Jews. I'm afraid I don't believe in such cultural relativism.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Why should we care.

There is logic behind the decision. If the women dont like it leave.

We have no business over here in Canada saying anything about it.

I dont give a rats flying shit fuck about if they can or cant work on the fields. So what.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Why should we care.

There is logic behind the decision. If the women dont like it leave.

We have no business over here in Canada saying anything about it.

I dont give a rats flying shit fuck about if they can or cant work on the fields. So what.
If you mean that there is bad logic behind the decision, then you are correct.

The reason I, as a Canadian, am commenting on it is because it reflects how a theocracy can seek to undermine people's rights and liberties, which I find impermissible no matter what country they were born in.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you mean that there is bad logic behind the decision, then you are correct.

The reason I, as a Canadian, am commenting on it is because it reflects how a theocracy can seek to undermine people's rights and liberties, which I find impermissible no matter what country they were born in.

But your definition of rights and liberties is a longshot from an Iranian's definition of rights and liberties. My friend was born in Qatar and spent 12 years there - the women do not feel oppressed because not having what we deem rights and liberties is all they know. In many cases they're unaware of the freedom women have outside their country's borders. Persian women are taught the "secrets" of sex when they're married, no earlier. That's weird to us as Canadians where it's normal for girls to lose their virginity as early as 14, 15, 16. Unethical to not educate your women about sex? Maybe in Canada. It's just accepted as a way of life in Iran.

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And we thought Hitler was crazy for killing Jews. I'm afraid I don't believe in such cultural relativism.

Hitler brainwashed the Germans into believing that a Jewish Holocaust was just, and that it was the answer to their country's problems. He brought prosperity to an otherwise impoverished Germany and essentially helped it regain all the power it had sullied after World War I. With that on his resume it was difficult for the average German not to believe that what Hitler was doing was not in the best interest of the country. Anyone who believed the opposite was taken care of. Different situation.

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The similarity between Germany and our present situation is not how their beliefs were carried out (undoubtedly different in the two circumstances and you won't hear me argue that), but rather that what is right can be defined by the culture. To say that it is right for them to be stripped of rights in Iran because it is right in that society is no different than to say that Jews should have been stripped of rights because it was right in Germany at the time.

I believe that there are universal rights and liberties that need to be extended to all people. The fact that they are, as of yet, unaware of their right to such things is irrelevant. Should they have such rights afforded to them and choose to decline in partaking in them, then that is perfectly fine as well. Right now, they are not being afforded the same rights.

Also, I think you are making a hasty generalization in deciding whether or not the women there feel oppressed. I'll grant you that not all are looking for an expansion of their liberties, but undoubtedly some deserving citizens are.

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Old 12-28-2009, 10:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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[quote=zachus;298290]But your definition of rights and liberties is a longshot from an Iranian's definition of rights and liberties. My friend was born in Qatar and spent 12 years there - the women do not feel oppressed because not having what we deem rights and liberties is all they know. In many cases they're unaware of the freedom women have outside their country's borders. Persian women are taught the "secrets" of sex when they're married, no earlier. That's weird to us as Canadians where it's normal for girls to lose their virginity as early as 14, 15, 16. Unethical to not educate your women about sex? Maybe in Canada. It's just accepted as a way of life in Iran.

Sorry, but denying somebody employment because they are single has nothing to do with the secrets of sex and trying to draw any parallel is simply ludicrous. Also if you read the whole article the single men are also being told to get married or get fired. Also this is new not something already in place otherwise they wouldn't have been employed in the first place.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If you mean that there is bad logic behind the decision, then you are correct.

The reason I, as a Canadian, am commenting on it is because it reflects how a theocracy can seek to undermine people's rights and liberties, which I find impermissible no matter what country they were born in.
That is the way it is and always has been over there.

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.


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.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sorry, but denying somebody employment because they are single has nothing to do with the secrets of sex and trying to draw any parallel is simply ludicrous. Also if you read the whole article the single men are also being told to get married or get fired. Also this is new not something already in place otherwise they wouldn't have been employed in the first place.
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.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i'm hesitant to wade into this debate, but i really don't think cultures and value systems are relative at all. i used to, and certain elements are relative, but there are fundamental values that are worth fighting for and others that are generally abhored by most people. cannibalism, incest, rape, torture - these are particularly nasty ones that you would have a tough time convincing me are relative.

on a less offensive tier, the subjugation of a gender, the exclusion of minority voices, the repression on the popular will - these are also values i think are terrible and i think we should be working to rid the world of. sure, some degree of cultural understanding and relativism is necessary, but we can't just ok everything because some people are different. we have the right to judge - in fact, i actually think we have the moral duty to do so. not necessarily to enforce, but certainly to object and to give people the possibility of other realities, expecially in situations they cannot escape.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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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.

Its all pot and kettle.

People need to worry about keeping their own noses clean.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i'm quite convinced we can work to tidy our own house and still have opinions about what goes on elsewhere.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Islamic culture is obviously barbaric in many ways, most likely due to the fact that it was founded by a prophet who was more of corrupt politician than a truly spiritual person.

Anyone read some of the disgusting stories about Mohammed and his actual quotes out of the Qur'an? The guy was an idiot, and unleashed an idiotic religious culture.

Prophet of Doom - Islam's Terrorist Dogma in Muhammad's Own Words

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Old 12-29-2009, 05:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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That is the way it is and always has been over there.
Does that make it right?

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Old 12-29-2009, 09:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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For one thing Islamic culture is the farthest thing from being obviously barbaric. It has brought civilizing influences throughout the world. It has often spread in the face of "barbarism" toward colonial people by western powers. Please stop confusing power and the abuses of power with any culture.

Right at this moment people, both men and women, are protesting vigorously and dying if not facing imprisonment and torture. They are muslims. And if they prevail over time, they will continue to be muslim and live in a culture that does not truly reinforce ideas about subjugating women to a level of tyranny that is so clearly unacceptable. They are fighting against old men that learned all their tricks on how to hold on to power illegitimately, by those who inserted the Shah and kept him there for so long.

Women come out as the losers on both ends of the spectrum, in Iran, and all over the world. The decline of a once flourishing culture in the Middle East, can certainly be traced in some part to the slowing of the natural progress towards gender equality, and veering away from modernity. Religion is used as a vehicle for doing so, but it cannot be seen as the root cause. All religions have suffered from fundamentalism. There have been many instances in history where people thrived under a mixture of religious influences, in moves towards a certain universalism. Now we have tribalism everywhere, and it doesn't just happen in Iran. It's happening more and more under our own noses, and we don't even seem to notice.

Pay attention to the uses and abuses of power, and less to where they suggest their power comes from, because ultimately the power comes from us, whether it's through ignorance, indifference or the need to assert ourselves in a tribe of our own.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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LX, I said it was barbaric in many ways, not in all ways. I realize there were some good Islamic scientists, but their achievements are utterly overshadowed by the greatness of the west. Relative to the west, Islam is barbaric. Public be-headings of homosexuals are a mainstream practice over there. The circumcision of women so they can't feel pleasure (and end up with a lot of pain) is common, and their oppression of women is mainstream, not belonging to fringe fundamentalist groups.

While we teach evolution by natural selection in all universities of the west, evolution is not allowed to be taught in most of Islamic culture.

And their prophet Mohammed was a pedophile, polygamist, slave trader, racist, and violent goon. Theocracies in general are bad news, but when you have Mohammed as the founder of your religion, then you are in an exceptionally sad state of affairs.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think the reason I find a theocracy quite offensive is that it has a very special component that no other form of government has. There is no doubt in my mind that blind adherence to dogma of any kind (whether religious or not) that seeks to undermine rights and liberties is dangerous, as we have seen in non-religious dogmas like Nazism and Communism.

The reason a theocracy is different, though, is that special component called god. When you make that a central part of your governing principles, you have done two things:

1) Established that policies are based on revelation and not evidence
2) Established a very strong mechanism for cutting out dissent. When you say that all of your policies are based on what god has revealed to you, there is a special motivation for the citizens to agree to those policies. If they don't, they're risking being tortured eternally and being separated from god, who is, in their view, the most important thing in their lives. You combine this with a social structure that keeps the population under-educated and you've got a recipe for disaster.

An Imam holds a special power over the people for which there is no comparison in other forms of government.

Certainly I don't attribute all of the Iranian indecency to religion, but I would argue that it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, factor in their approach to rights and liberties.
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