We are not “tolerant” if we tolerate evil. We are complicit in it!
This is too horrific for words. There is no “God” who could allow such barbarity. There are only the gods we create in our hearts and minds, which we enshrine and call “culture”. This poor innocent was a victim of one such culture - a vile and evil culture, one that empowers depraved old men and protects THEM against justice and vengeance through a system of control called religion.
The dominant religions of our day all teach their victims to venerate their priests and mullahs and rabbis, never to question or challenge. “Submission” is what they all claim their god wants - even demands.
But such a god is only a creation of depraved hearts and minds - such priests and mullahs and rabbis want believers to submit, so THEY can have power, can feast and feed on young flesh.
The civilized world humanity is striving for should be about creating the type of culture which fosters life, discovery, experimentation, freedom, happiness. This should be the kind of “god” we enshrine and venerate. We should not tolerate, let alone protect, these other toxic forms of culture - these “religions” (a word which means “to bind” after all)
What the civilized world needs to recover is an honest but fair culture of intolerance - intolerance of evil.
Evildoers thrive on our esteeming the virtue of “tolerance”. But those who would silence the virtuous by demanding “tolerance” are deliberately misusing the word, which would become nothing more than a false and weak “acceptance” of everything, including deliberate evil. But that is a travesty of tolerance. To tolerate everything is to value nothing, including ultimately even tolerance itself. There is no virtue, no discernment, no value in such a position. Tolerance is not automatic, it must be reasonable - it must be just. To tolerate evil is an abandonment of justice, a betrayal of victims, and condemns more innocents to suffering.
Civilized people can (indeed must) respond with horror, outrage and fury at the type of behaviour reported in this article. We cannot just “tolerate” such evildoing but must call it evil, and must call any culture that fails to punish such barbarity “evil”.
Indeed, anyone who fails to be moved to righteous outrage in the face of such evil, anyone who tries to silence criticism by insisting upon a vile pretence of “tolerance”, makes themselves complicit in these crimes. They stand forever shamed in the eyes of civilized humanity.
Why women still can’t enjoy sex
I think feminists need to have some biological and evolutionary studies included in their education, to balance their outrage, and help focus on strategies that will actually make changes instead of assuming it is all a matter of ignorant (or malicious) male “sexism” that has produced the reproductive imbalance that exists in every human society.
This article online is a classic example of rant and rage. No reasonable person (male or female) questions that there is injustice. But where does it come from?
The article is well written and passionate, but fundamentally fails to grasp or even ask, “what is the point of sex?” Contrary to the writer’s assertion it is not “love” - it is babies. In the scheme of evolution it is pure coincidence that sex is pleasurable for humans - it certainly has been a happy coincidence and it definitely gets the main job done, which is to propagate genes.
Male praying mantises still can’t enjoy sex either, and never will.
Nature isn’t fair. Women of our species bear the reproductive burden, and contribute a vastly unbalanced amount to the biological outcome (9 months of pregnancy, up to 2 years of lactation, and up to 18 years of care). A male only needs to donate a teaspoon of sperm to have “succeeded” genetically. The whole game of “love and marriage” is the way women get to even the score somewhat. They can get males to contribute to the upbringing of those offspring by binding them in long term commitments called marriage, in which, (in a reductive analysis) males receive sex and affection and contribute resources to “their” family.
But this system depends on a woman being able to keep that man bound to the family, and “easy” sex outside that dramatically undermines that bond. In my experience, “slut” is more often applied by women to other women, because it is actually a defensive term used to “punish” other women who are perceived as threats to their own reproductive project.
This is a much more complex issue to resolve, therefore, than simply labelling men as sexist, and “embracing” the term slut. We are dealing with deep pressures in evolutionary terms, and political slogans are not going to change anything. It will require a deeper understanding of the “why” in reproductive terms, and then seeing if we can work as a society to create concrete structures and alternative arrangements to even the biological bias against women, if we really want all to have “free sex” for fun, not just babies.
Charity as Injustice?
My kids were discussing the end of Masterchef 2011 today, and remembering the incidents that most upset them this series. They universally hated the apparent favoritism that was given to one contestant, Dani, who won two immunity pins, and who, to their minds, actually didn’t deserve to win even one. It got me thinking about justice and charity. And it struck me that, in some contexts, charity can turn out to be a cause of injustice to someone else.
The case in point was in an immunity challenge against Alessandro Pevoni, the head chef of restaurant Ormeggio in Sydney. The chef worked with ease and completed the challenge with time to spare, despite cooking without a recipe and with a time handicap. Ever-ready with tears Dani struggled and looked to be unlikely to even plate up her dish. However in the final minutes Pevoni helped her, allowing her to get everything arranged nicely on her dish. A nice act of chivalry, we all thought at the time. The blind tasting scores gave her a tie for points, and therefore qualified her for an immunity pin. Which is where this act of charity became an act of injustice, to my mind.
Having an immunity pin is a major advantage in a competition like Masterchef. It enabled Dani to dodge an elimination challenge two nights later, in which perhaps a more deserving cook would have to be eliminated. Each of the other contestants in the elimination challenge was subjected to an increased likelihood of being eliminated, because Dani was given that “free pass”.
In the scheme of things, not a big deal. It was a competition, and she played by the rules. However it does illustrate I think quite nicely that giving someone an unjustified advantage, can be equivalent to giving someone else an undeserved disadvantage. Which makes it a genuinely ethical issue. And in the real world it can have life or death repercussions. Think of the example of refugees.
I am fortunate and proud to live in a first world nation - a fact that has flowed from hard work by generations of immigrants, including my forebears, who immigrated to Australia from Europe and Asia in the 1800s and 1900s. Because of our economic security, this nation is able to provide refuge and opportunity to people fleeing persecution or hardship in other parts of the world.
Now I believe it is reasonable for countries such as mine to decide to accept only a certain maximum number of refugees each year. If the Australian marketplace were to be flooded with an unrestricted input of refugees it would likely have a seriously destabilizing effect on the economy causing imbalances of labour supply and demand, significant strain on infrastructure and access to social services. And to some extent, that in itself is an injustice toward the families and descendants of earlier citizens - potentially depriving them of the fruits of that earlier work by their ancestors, removing from them the same opportunities to maintain and advance their standard of living. But that is not the injustice that I was thinking about. Rather, I was thinking that, if we will accept a certain number of refugees, the system needs to be just and therefore impartial.
Partiality - “charity”, in other words - distorts the system in favour of some, to the disadvantage of others. That disadvantage might be the difference between life and death, hope and despair. People-smugglers make a large amount of money by offering to transport asylum-seekers from nearby countries such as Indonesia to Australia in ramshackle boats. Once in the country, they imagine, they will have the advantage of “in-your-face” poverty and desperation, which with media coverage tends to cause citizens and government officials to give their cases a priority ahead of invisible applicants, still languishing in refugee camps around the world. But in fact, it is those who remain in camps who actually are likely to be more needing of assistance - since they are usually women with dependent children, the sick and frail - people unable to risk dangerous sea crossing; whereas those who seek the services of people-smugglers clearly have substantial financial resources and better health.
I think charity is a most praiseworthy emotion, and I want to live in a society in which it is cultivated. But in cases such as this, clearly charity is an impediment to justice. And a society depends on justice to flourish, above all else.
But charity, as they say, begins at home. It is a personal virtue, not a public one. Citizens can and should make charitable decisions with their own resources. They can vote for governments to make laws and policies that reflect their charitable values, such as a generous refugee intake. But in the application of those policies, it is critical that impartiality be preserved and justice prevail. Otherwise our charity risks being perverted, and become a source of injustice to others. We just might not see it.