Search This Blog

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Something else that probably 'is not acceptable'

Here is something else that probably "is not acceptable;" at least, "to me."

That title and preceding sentence are probably cryptic to Gentle Reader. The point is to express my adamant disdain for a specific act of refusal to reason properly about a recent event here in the US which had certain commonalities with the barbarism described in the linked news items.

The Telegraph: Taleban hang 7-year-old boy to punish family

The Sunday Times: Life under the Taliban: how a boy of seven was hanged to punish his family

Oh! I forgot to mention, this is "sick," too.

=========== edit ===========
Let us suppose that these news items had included some reactions by some typical citizens of some Western nation or other regarding this particular incident.

And, let us suppose that one of these so-typical Westerners had said, in reaction to learning of this news, "I understand they have their culture and religion but to me this is not acceptable."

And, let us suppose that some other Westerner -- who takes the things human beings say, because he takes the things they think, very seriously -- had criticized this reaction due to the mindset it evinces. Let us suppose we even know what he said, which (as we are supposing) was:
Notice what the [citizen] says, even as she’s “condemning” (I have to use those scare-quotes) this barbarity: "I understand they have their culture and religion but to me this is not acceptable."

Two things:
1) “it’s all about me”
2) her “condemnation” isn’t *really* a condemnation (which is why I used the scare-quotes).

And, let us suppose that some third Westerner had decided to take offense at what the second Westerner had said. I know, this is really stretching Gentle Reader's credulity, but please bear with me. Let us suppose that this third Westerner had responded:
I don’t agree with that. The [citizen] sounds actually concerned and there’s nothing wrong with making room in one’s worldview for the beliefs of others. This [citizen] was acknowledging that there is an objective morality and this barbarous practice does not fit into it. She doesn’t have to condemn Islam to be sincere.

And, as we are supposing so freely, let us further suppose that that second Westerner had replied, very mildly, along these lines:
This [citizen] was acknowledging that there is an objective morality ...

That is precisely what she is *not* doing. Which is why I said what I said.
Notice that Mr Red (thank goodness for colors) did not rip Miss Blue a new one for imputing:
1) that he is closed-minded;
2) that he has an animus against Moslems;
3) that he said, or even implied, that the first citizen is required to condemn Islam in order to establish her bona fides as a Concerned Citizen.

Rather, Mr Red appears to be attempting to keep things focused on the points of his intitial criticism of the habits-of-mind which would lead a person to make the sort of ill-considered remark that Miss Concerned Citizen made. It's sort of like calling the enormity of Sept 11, 2001 a "tragedy" -- such a remark evinces a mind not thinking clearly and properly (usually due to an infestation of "liberalism").

Let us further suppose that we do not run out of colors, for now we must suppose that yet another Western citizen expresses some thoughts on the unfolding interpersonal drama:
I think you’re reading too literally a different choice of words than you would use. For someone to say “To me, …” is the same as “It is my belief that…” or even “I think that…” - they’re just prefaces to their statements of what they see as the truth. It’s a somewhat timid preface, as it actually discounts the speaker somewhat, that may just be as much a habit of speech as anything else.

But I think these prefaces make it easier for others to hear us if we’re introducing something they may not want to accept. Like, if you give someone “permission” to disagree with you, he is less defensive, and you may be able to persuade him to your view more easily.

And to which (as we are supposing), Mr Red replied:
Why would you imagine that I, of all people, would object to “I think that …”?

… though, of course, these days, when most people say, “I think that …,” what they really mean is “I guess that …” or “I desire to believe (whether or not it is warrented) that …”

Look again at the statement I quoted: “... but to me this is not acceptable.

Miss Burgandy may (or may not) have said, in response:
Aside from my never having noticed you using prefaces at all… ;)

But what am I missing in your sample sentence? Do you think I’m misinterpreting the “but to me” part?
Miss Burgandy is leading with a joke, of course, for Mr Red's prose is typically dense with qualifiers and prefaces.

Mr Red's reply might be along these lines:
Yes, I know you are. That, and the “is not acceptable” part.

But, I’m sure we’re all up to speed on “this

This, Gentle Reader, is where even I begin to get confused (and I'm leading the supposing). I think, though I am not totally sure, that this is where we might reasonably suppose that Miss Blue said:
Nice play, [Mr Red].

Somewhere, in all that supposing, I'm sure we need to suppose that a certain Mr Navy said to Mr Red:
Next you’re going to demand that we take a position on “thighing” babies and girls under six years of age. You are never satisfied!

If the [citizen] would have called them a bunch of f’ing animals, CAIR’s coffers would fill and they would have their ad campaign for the next year. Ann Coulter was exactly right when she said that Jew’s needed ro be perfected-that’s one of the things Christ came to do afterall. But how many people did she win over? Essential truths are hard to swallow and should never be equivocated. But I myself get sick of seeing neighbors with pitchforks and lit torches. Saying “this is unacceptable” sits well with me.
But, I don't suppose that anyone said anything in response.

Look, what the original Miss Purple said ("I understand they have their culture and religion but to me this is not acceptable.") as a reaction to learning that a neighborhood teen girl had been tortured by her father and brother (as prelude to full murder) for some sort of unislamic behavior, perhaps so simple as refusing to wear a body-bag or being interested in an "infidel" boy, is the very opposite of making a moral judgment. It is not not just declining to express a moral judgment, it is bending over backwards to bow to the altar of "liberal" "non-judgmentalism" (those quotes are because the "non-judgmentalism" of "liberals" is anything but) and assert that no one can make an objective moral judgment.

To say "this is not acceptable." about torture and attempted murder of one's own kin is nowhere near condemning it.

"This is not acceptable" is the sort of thing one says to one's lump of a boy-friend after he uses his dessert fork during the salad course at a State Dinner at the While House and then guffaws and farts loudly when you give him That Look. And why did you bring him, anyway? You know what he's like!

To say "this is not acceptable." about torture and attempted murder is to assert that moral obligations are on the same plane as social manners. Perhaps steroetypical upper-crust Episcopalians can get away with thinking that way, but that is not reality.

And then, what tiny little bit of sting Miss Purple might have put into her "condemnation" of torture and attempted murder as a social faux pas, she completely retracts with the preface "but to me" -- she might as well have said, "... some may say that this is not acceptable, but your milage may vary."

Likewise, calling something like this, or the perpetrators, "sick" is also a refusal to make proper moral judgments. Calling the persons who commit wicked acts "sick" is to excuse them their wickedness -- while one may choose to put down a rabid dog, one does not accuse it of choosing and acting immorally; one puts it down for prudence, not for its non-existent wickedness.

The careful reader will notice that I have attempted no "phychoanalysis" of what is in Miss Purple's heart (or Miss Blue's); I have concerned myself with what has been said and the habits-of-mind and habits-of-social-convention indicated thereby.

As I asked recently: "What's the point of opposing the effects of the lie if you will not oppose the lie itself?
" Persons consciously holding to the false ideologies of the left have been intentionally "educating" the young of our nation into "liberalism" for longer than anyone now alive has been living -- we all, to one degree or another, have been seeped in "liberalism;" we all, at times, and quite unconsciously, follow the "liberal" script (*). But, it's time, and passed time, to wake up! If we don't consciously examine *everything* shaping our worldviews and our reactions to events, and throw out that which is false and destructive, then how can we be shocked that everything seems to be falling apart?

(*) There is a post to be made on this, concerning the most recent Mel Gibson self-immolation.