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Stealing moral if starving?

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1 hour ago, wolfdevoon said:

First of all, you're talking your own book, as they say, selling crap that puts cash in your pocket, lets you claim the high moral ground. Second, Israel was created by Harry Truman to win the 1948 election, which he privately resented, because it "legitimized" Zionist terrorism. Palestinians were driven out, their lands seized by making deals with expat Turks who had no more right to Palestinian property than the Jews did. Your claim that Jews need a homeland is outrageous -- a divine right to rule? -- no different than Boers who battled and subjugated blacks. If you want to characterize someone as evil, start with murderous Mandela and the ANC, another gang of tribal thugs put in power by useful and foolish American demagogues who awarded themselves the high moral ground of "one African one vote" without having to live with the consequences.

I thought it was his wife who was the baddie.

--Brant

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False antecendent (I think).

 

"f the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another’s property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery." — Thomas Aquinas

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7 hours ago, wolfdevoon said:

First of all, you're talking your own book, as they say, selling crap that puts cash in your pocket, lets you claim the high moral ground. Second, Israel was created by Harry Truman to win the 1948 election, which he privately resented, because it "legitimized" Zionist terrorism. Palestinians were driven out, their lands seized by making deals with expat Turks who had no more right to Palestinian property than the Jews did. Your claim that Jews need a homeland is outrageous -- a divine right to rule? -- no different than Boers who battled and subjugated blacks. If you want to characterize someone as evil, start with murderous Mandela and the ANC, another gang of tribal thugs put in power by useful and foolish American demagogues who awarded themselves the high moral ground of "one African one vote" without having to live with the consequences.

I've sometimes thought it most strange that some Americans, of all people, cannot appreciate the value that lies in self-determination, self-rule, independence. Your attitude encourages my case: Jews need a homeland.

Not "a divine right to rule" - no. The divine right to be left alone.

Land was paid for by early immigrant Jews, bought from absentee Turkish landlords at prohibitive prices.

Cash in my "pocket"? How? Where? Is it you belief that others only do things for money?

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Everything?  Everything.

On 12/13/2016 at 2:26 PM, anthony said:

To this day there are loads of applications from West bank Palestinians for Israeli citizenship.

How many West-Bankers in  a load?  How many West-Bankers in a load have their applications accepted? (I think you might be mistaking East Jerusalem Arabs for West Bank Arabs. The only possible way for a West Bank Arab to become an Israeli citizen is by marriage or family reunification, and that is exceedingly difficult. But I bow to your reference, should it appear)

12 hours ago, anthony said:
21 hours ago, william.scherk said:

To the victor belong the spoils? No.  That is not an applicable existing law of war.

A victor has every right to disarm a belligerent, defeated enemy. He can occupy his country. He can place an interim Administration in control. He may hold land of tactical importance adjacent to his for as long as he considers necessary. In short, morally he can do everything to ensure that the enemy cannot rise again and return.

Right.  The victor has no right to spoils.  

I hope you retire the phrase or use it with caveats. It doesn't always mean what you think it means,  if only since it has roots in justifying political patronage. Certainly in some jurisdictions winners in politics enrich and empower themselves or their cronies directly in proportion to support. In other words, corruption.  To the winner of the Russian elections ... go the spoils.   Vae victis ...

 spoils
a. Goods or property seized from a victim after a conflict, especially after a military victory.
b. Incidental benefits reaped by a winner, especially political patronage enjoyed by a successful party or candidate.
2. An object of plunder; prey.
3. Refuse material removed from an excavation.
4. Archaic The act of plundering; spoliation.

I notice we are not moving on to discussion of expanding Jewish settlements in the West Back, nor how settlements might/not be an impediment to a solution that satisfies both sides in the conflict.. The headlines are still screaming that America 'abandoned' its ally and through Israel to the dogs by not vetoing the resolution noted above.

I expect an argument that the settlements are always and ever legal and moral and wonderful and not to be criticized. since Israel is justified in doing everything.  Or maybe no argument at all.

I wish all good luck to the incoming administration in Washington DC and its policy-makers.  Despite Mr Trump's "To the victor, belong the spoils" argument with regard to war booty.  

"You know, in the old days, to the victor belongs the spoils."

 

Edited by william.scherk
Give me my booty

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41 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

I expect an argument that the settlements are always and ever legal and moral and wonderful and not to be criticized. since Israel is justified in doing everything.  Or maybe no argument at all.

 

 

You will of course be wrong. You often read me badly. I don't think the settlements are a good idea, or moral and not very smart. The legality is dubious while not done and dusted. And do you, like some, happen to believe the Palestinians are being thrown out of their homes to make way for settlers?  In the context of the Middle East the issue is a minor ripple. But there is a type of person who wants it to be a storm, and that speaks volumes about what they are. They should look to themselves and wonder why they hold Israel to the highest moral standards practised no where else, least by themselves.

"Israel is justified in doing *everything*".

Nope, again.

And then there are many who think Israel is never justified in doing *anything*.

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10 hours ago, Samson Corwell said:

False antecendent (I think).

 

"f the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another’s property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery." — Thomas Aquinas

Note that "lawful" predates "by right" as individual rights philosophy was hundreds of years in the future. This is a comparatively primitive formulation of a right bring granted by the government.

--Brant

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21 hours ago, anthony said:

A victor has every right to disarm a belligerent, defeated enemy. He can occupy his country. He can place an interim Administration in control. He may hold land of tactical importance adjacent to his for as long as he considers necessary. In short, morally he can do everything to ensure that the enemy cannot rise again and return.

Depends on whom the "victor" and vanquished are. Etc.

In the context of Objectivism and your sophistication, this is rationalism.

--Brant

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23 hours ago, anthony said:

And so, as a precondition to talks, the Palestinian losers/innocent victims/killers have been demanding a return to pre-1967 borders. Do they have the right to demand anything? Especially from Israelis who know that any deal may well be broken once again? If conceded to, it's a good bet the PA will demand Israel returns to the smaller 1948 borders, and if conceded to ... on and on. I repeat, at this stage it's not peace and a separate state that many Palestinians want. It requires pressure put on them, not on Israel, by the diplomats.

Is this a joke? "By the diplomats"? As much as it might want to, the United Nations doesn't rule the world.

--Brant

but they're got them thar "diplomats"

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It's beginning to look a  lot like ... hmm hmm,  hmm hmm hmm hmm hmmmmm.

9 hours ago, anthony said:
10 hours ago, william.scherk said:

I notice we are not moving on to discussion of expanding Jewish settlements in the West Back, nor how settlements might/not be an impediment to a solution that satisfies both sides in the conflict.. The headlines are still screaming that America 'abandoned' its ally and [threw] Israel to the dogs by not vetoing the resolution noted above.

I don't think the settlements are a good idea, or moral and not very smart. The legality is dubious while not done and dusted.

This is part of the hoopla and drama since the UN resolution. We may hold a similar, practical line.  

Quote

And do you, like some, happen to believe the Palestinians are being thrown out of their homes to make way for settlers? 

I can't agree with the language, but in terms of continuous settlement activity, I believe the Israeli moves are an impediment to reaching agreement between the parties. 

Quote

In the context of the Middle East the issue is a minor ripple.

It is persistent, not a problem about to go away.  If it is of minor importance to you, that's fine.  There is always Kant, after all.

Israel's leadership is, however, experiencing a moment of rebuke for its settlement policies.  The UN resolution was a big deal in symbolic terms. The drama and hoopla is right now.  If you mean, in the context of the greater travails in the neighbourhood, sure, the Syrian war is more important, more deadly, more dangerous to its neighbours, of greater existential evil. But my bringing up the settlement issue above was because the issue is getting a lot of air right now -- following on the  'back-stabbing' at the UN.  

I believe as you may do that Israel has erred in pressing on with settlements and in recent moves to 'legalize' them. Others do not believe that.  It's a big present-day news story in Israel.  

I bet we could discuss solutions -- and those solutions would include What To Do About The Settlement Blocs.

In the West Bank, I think the only possible solution would be a sort of population and land exchange, step by step  consolidation and perhaps swaps. The big-ass bloc below Jerusalem isn't going anywhere. The archipelago that is Area C and the other weird entailments of Israeli presence that isolate 'pockets' and spots of Arab versus Jew as overall arbiter and controller -- I just don't see those spots as a viable state. Maybe the kinds of enclaves that will ultimately result can be tolerated by both sides --  as normal relations begin to commence some day in the future. 

Happy Hannukah, and Merry Christmas!   Best wishes for you and yours during the holidays, and may your New Year be happy.  

Quote

But there is a type of person who wants [the issue of settlements] to be a storm, and that speaks volumes about what they are.

Yeah.  Storm-lovers?  Fusspots?  Terrorist-enablers?  

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"...[settlements] are an impediment to..."

Sorry, but this is an artificial "narrative". Settlements have been hyped/embellished to appear to be the greater impediment, gleefully seized on by the Palestinian Authority as one more self-justification for its false victimhood.

The PLO is THE impediment.

This is not anything you can superficially Google to become an overnight expert on. To have any sense of cause and effect and gain a conceptual overview, you'd have needed to follow events as each happened over at least 30+ years.

Number One: Arafat didn't want peace, nor does Abbas.

Only cynics can assert that Israelis have not overwhelmingly wanted it from the start. Evidently and clearly, those who comprehend value and who want only to create values wish to keep them continuously. Which requires stability. Those who don't know it and want to take others' values have no use for peaceful association. By now, and undoubtedly, Palestine and Gaza would have been prosperous states along with Israel, if not for its leaders-in-terror who hate the Jew. If - the Palestinians would have insisted on peace and a better life.

Number two: The Wall (any metaphorical separation, e.g. the "Apartheid" meme) is the effect, of which Jew-hate was the cause.

Can you dispute these points, William?  I believe they are central and deeper than a hundred nit-picking factoids.

The effect of broken treaties and gradually lost hope and the spates of attacks upon Israel has been one of frustrated resignation by Israelis - recognizing that a peaceful solution isn't going to happen any time soon. Unwisely, in another false causality, settlements have been defiantly erected by some religious types. (And some closed down by the Knesset - as one just now, Amona - not mentioned).

The Left and its media's screwed-up causation always falls back on "incitement", I notice - as if a collective of people are too weak for individual self-volition, but can only react emotionally . And really, what "incitement"? From having Jews living next door?! Tough. I sympathise. Ha. But the West bank isn't a state - yet. If and when it becomes so, Palestinians will inherit the buildings the settlers leave behind, which is not so bad.

The only true "incitement", one deluging Arabic social media, calls for the duty of all to attack and kill Jews and lauds those who do. Search for examples. And where's any mention from the West's media on that? A gentle rebuke in passing is all it warrants from the diplomats.

Shameful double standards again.

We all know that the Victim is the social just-us worrier's Cause and sole purpose, disdaining any who put value in themselves and who will never, despite 'disadvantages', accept victimhood 'status'. (If one can't find fresh victims, one can always invent some...). As long as Jews were perceived as weak victims after the death camps, they could be temporarily 'loved', it seems, but since they have gained a strong, sovereign State it has shattered those smug feelings and made them, somehow, hateful. i.e. : Jews should "know their place". (Bigotry - it isn't only from the right).

Yes. You'll see it all there in the M.E. Gratuitous interference by the world's busybodies after headlines. Self-sacrifice and disvalue. Rational selfishness and value. Since you asked for him, Kant too:- Regardless of outcomes and effects - which matter little - the moral priority is the "good will" (as with liberal politicians feeling and looking self-righteously 'good', without accomplishing one good result, I'll add). You asked.

Not good will or love, but the proper ~selfish~ desire for peace, from all parties, will fast remove any perceived obstacles, then increasing trust will slowly bring about benevolence (as a result). Right now it's one-sided.

Happy Hannukah! Merry Xmas!

 

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11 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Depends on whom the "victor" and vanquished are. Etc.

In the context of Objectivism and your sophistication, this is rationalism.

--Brant

I don't see it as rationalism at all. One has to consider the fullest (and very concrete) context of a free and moral nation, whose government's responsibility it is to secure the future of its civilians present and those still unborn. Think of a constantly belligerent nation x bordering on peaceful nation y. If x attempts an invasion on y and its army is subsequently defeated, y has every right to not only drive them back - but to take whatever forceable steps to ensure x - (a.) cannot, or preferably (b.} doesn't wish to - attack again for the forseeable future. Protection of the lives of one's own citizens and military personnel is the highest priority, such loss of life once, to be precluded from recurring ever again, as much as possible. Victory has to be paid for with lives. But of course, having the moral right to do so, doesn't mean a victor HAS to go to the extent of occupation, forcing a change of the enemy's government, etc. Still - instigating a war has to incur the highest penalties on the initiator and with diplomacy only the final touch, simply to place the cherry on top (of the Xmas cake).

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19 hours ago, anthony said:

I don't see it as rationalism at all. One has to consider the fullest (and very concrete) context of a free and moral nation, whose government's responsibility it is to secure the future of its civilians present and those still unborn. Think of a constantly belligerent nation x bordering on peaceful nation y. If x attempts an invasion on y and its army is subsequently defeated, y has every right to not only drive them back - but to take whatever forceable steps to ensure x - (a.) cannot, or preferably (b.} doesn't wish to - attack again for the forseeable future. Protection of the lives of one's own citizens and military personnel is the highest priority, such loss of life once, to be precluded from recurring ever again, as much as possible. Victory has to be paid for with lives. But of course, having the moral right to do so, doesn't mean a victor HAS to go to the extent of occupation, forcing a change of the enemy's government, etc. Still - instigating a war has to incur the highest penalties on the initiator and with diplomacy only the final touch, simply to place the cherry on top (of the Xmas cake).

"Free and moral nation." Now you've got it.

--Brant

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On 2016/12/25 at 5:36 AM, Brant Gaede said:

Is this a joke? "By the diplomats"? As much as it might want to, the United Nations doesn't rule the world.

--Brant

but they're got them thar "diplomats"

One needs to see the harm the UN and UNSC can accomplish, indirectly and down the line. Its Resolution will give impetus to the ecomomic boycotting-sanctioning (such as the corrupt "BDS" campaign) movements against Israel by Europe and others. But it will more importantly, give to the PLO moral support, and aid and abet their victimhood self-pretentions; first, why would they have any desire to come to the peace negotiations any time soon when international opinion is increasingly isolating and ostracizing Israel and doing all the work for them? to the victor, of public sentiment, belongs the spoils (nowadays); second, the UN's one-sided, hugely biased condemnation will tacitly give the PLO the green light to continue to turn a blind eye to and/or actively encourage attacks on Israel without universal condemnation or loss of financial aid.

Hell, it's time those Israelis were brought down a peg or two and squeezed into a corner. They've been placing too much value in themselves (snark!).

All for the sake of Israel's "apartheid regime", repressing, murdering and pillaging innocent Palestinians - uh, well, no. That hasn't happened, and not so "innocent", either.  No: this is all for the sake of the upsetting image of ... "settlements", potentially provocative to delicate feelings. Those good and self-righteous intentions again, and they will get more people killed, on each side. Not that Left-progressivists understand or want to know that words and actions have consequences - how therefore can they purport to put value in human lives?

"Friends don't take friends to the Security Council". Israel PM.

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4 hours ago, anthony said:

One needs to see the harm the UN and UNSC can accomplish, indirectly and down the line. Its resolution will give impetus to the boycotting-sanctioning (such as the corrupt "BDS" campaign) movements against Israel by Europe and others.

Ah  yes.  BDS.  Then prepare to give up the following:

http://www.israel21c.org/the-top-12-most-amazing-israeli-medical-advances/

to say nothing about  anti-polio vaccines  and  the USB drive and related data storage devices.  Also GPS  which was hatched in the brain of Albert Einstein  who was once offered the job of being president of Israel (he turned down the offer,  but he was a staunch supporter of Israel). 

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7 hours ago, anthony said:

 

Bob, right, it is a tech and science giant in relation to its population size. Not that BDS and its adherents could care less. Except this misses the mark with respect to Israel's fight to continue to exist which is a rights and morality-based battle, not one of what Israelis have contributed to the world and will (pragmatic and utilitarian -based).

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5 hours ago, anthony said:

Bob, right, it is a tech and science giant in relation to its population size. Not that BDS and its adherents could care less. Except this misses the mark with respect to Israel's fight to continue to exist which is a rights and morality-based battle, not one of what Israelis have contributed to the world and will (pragmatic and utilitarian -based).

Survival is a moral issue.  There is very  sage advice in the Babylonian Talmud:  If he is coming to slay you,  rise up early and slay him first.  (Missecta San Hedrin,  72 B). I am sure the Israelis know that one. 

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6 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Survival is a moral issue

Huh! - pretty sure I saw you say that we're all atoms and chemicals and such, no soul to imperil with morality.

Survival of the most vicious and best armed?

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26 minutes ago, wolfdevoon said:

Huh! - pretty sure I saw you say that we're all atoms and chemicals and such, no soul to imperil with morality.

Survival of the most vicious and best armed?

It simply means that (in general)  survival is preferred to non-survival.

Morality is the proportional  amount of goodness or desirability one attaches to an action. It varies from person to person.

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Survival is a moral issue.  There is very  sage advice in the Babylonian Talmud:  If he is coming to slay you,  rise up early and slay him first.  (Missecta San Hedrin,  72 B). I am sure the Israelis know that one. 

That's called the Golden Rule. Do unto others before they do unto you.

 

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5 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

It simply means that (in general)  survival is preferred to non-survival.

Morality is the proportional  amount of goodness or desirability one attaches to an action. It varies from person to person.

Why is this true?

--Brant

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6 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Why is this true?

--Brant

Good question.  There is, perhaps,  a deep reason embedded in our biological makeup.   It turns out some primates like Chimps, Bonobos and Gorillas have a crude inclination to fairness and order.  These animals are very similar to modern humans at the genetic level.  In the case of Chimps we have a genome that matches theirs about 96 percent.  At an abstract and logical level our  verbalized notions of morality do not  flow from physical laws or at least the physical laws that humans have so far formulated. 

So perhaps it would be mistaken to say that the "rules" of morality  are arbitrary rules  like the rules  of chess or the rules of gin rummy. 

In any case,  we do not  yet know enough about our biology or biology in general  to be positive that morality is a manifestation of our most basic biological characteristics.  

Believers might say that God is broadcasting the rules of moral behavior to us in a supernatural manner.  If it is true,  we cannot establish this supposition by ordinary  nature base empirical means. 

It is a mystery,  or if you are a naturalist like me it is a problem. 

Incidentally,  I am not an outright atheist.   I cannot bring myself to say that I know for certain sure  there is no God.  I don't.  I do believe that if there is a Real God it is nothing like the crude cartoons drawn by the prophets, preachers,  priests and imams of the major religions (Judaism included).   Jews did not formulate the detailed rules of right behavior  until after they had interacted with the Babylonian adherents to Zoroaster  during the Babylonian dispersal.  Jewish morality is or seems (on the surface)  yet another human invention.  And every now and again I get the feeling there is Something out there. But who knows for sure?   I don't. 

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Dear Bob,

Saying that knowledge of true and false, right and wrong, is something that genomes do, involuntarily, by natural selection perhaps, is a rejection of reason. That you toy with the existence of God, shrug and say you don't know, is of a piece with denying that moral questions have any relevance to empirical science. It is an empirical fact that navigation of physical reality entails choices, most certainly who we love and who we shun. I'd be pleased if you omit claiming that love is involuntary, or that novelists face no moral choice about their work, pay no price for envisioning true and false, right and wrong. Thank you.

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On 12/22/2016 at 9:15 PM, anthony said:

"...brought lots of violence..." "...one hundred times as many...killed..."

Not much left to say after that. This is the common narrative of the Left's double standards and post-colonial guilt. Do you even know the difference between violence and self-defensive force? Do you recognize that Israel has, at one time, controlled and administered (won) the entire region - Gaza, Sinai, West Bank - as result of ~defensive~ wars, and has given it nearly all back? ("Land for Peace"--look it up).

"...haven't adequately condemned Apartheid..." - LOL! 

Show your credentials at the door...

 

 

The left has nothing to do with this, do not pigeon hole my arguments into other people's arguments.

 

Of course I know the difference between violence and self-defensive force, but in a primitive, collectivist and tribal area like the middle east the distinction isn't always easy to draw, perhaps you've heard the phrase it started with Isaac and Ishmael.  There's been violence in the middle east for longer than there's been recorded history in the middle east.  Joshua committed six genocides in Israel and he is celebrated for it.  Just because there is a record of jewish history doesn't mean the record is accurate, history is written by the victor and the first casualty of war is truth.  For Israel to be declared a 'Jewish State' is a tactless move. They were violent towards the British, there was no self defense then.  They were attacked by neighboring 'nations' (who did not initiate violence against the British and French who colonized them)... this is an endless conflict because the parties involved are collectivist.  Taking sides is pointless.

 

As for defensive wars, that's a narrative that people disagree with.  The British gave all of Israel away because of Jewish terrorism, it was a rational move.  There has always been conflict in Israel and the nations that exist there don't exist there for long.

 

As for my credentials, I'm not sure what your credentials are in condemning Apartheid, were you a member of the ARM?

 

BTW Wolf... Mandela is not a bad person but there's still a smear campaign against him.  He's an imperfect hero.

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54 minutes ago, RobinReborn said:

BTW Wolf... Mandela is not a bad person but there's still a smear campaign against him.  He's an imperfect hero.

Wikipedia: "he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government ... Mandela later related that he and his colleagues had 'guided the ANC to a more radical and revolutionary path' ... Mandela concluded that violent action would prove necessary to end apartheid and white minority rule. He advised Sisulu to request weaponry from the People's Republic of China ... Becoming chairman of the militant group, Mandela gained ideas from Marxist literature on guerilla warfare ... Although initially declared officially separate from the ANC so as not to taint the latter's reputation, [Umkhonto we Sizwe, aka 'MK'] was later widely recognised as the party's armed wing ... MK publicly announced its existence with 57 bombings..."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necklacing

murder-necklace-anc.jpg?w=640

 

"South Africa has never been the vaunted miracle portrayed by the sympathetic global press. To start with, consider some of the most basic measures of human wellbeing. Life expectancy in South Africa was 62 years in 1994. Last year, it was 57 years – a reduction of 7 percent. Meantime, global life expectancy increased from 66 years to 72 years – an increase of 8 percent ... Corruption, of course, has gotten worse over the last two decades and, as I have noted elsewhere, the same can be said of the rule of law, favoritism in decision making by government officials, wastefulness of government spending, diversion of public funds, transparency of government decision making and, inevitably, trust in public officials." [https://capx.co/south-africas-anc-government-corrupt-inept-and-immoral/]

 

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6 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Good question.  There is, perhaps,  a deep reason embedded in our biological makeup.   It turns out some primates like Chimps, Bonobos and Gorillas have a crude inclination to fairness and order.  These animals are very similar to modern humans at the genetic level.  In the case of Chimps we have a genome that matches theirs about 96 percent.  At an abstract and logical level our  verbalized notions of morality do not  flow from physical laws or at least the physical laws that humans have so far formulated. 

So perhaps it would be mistaken to say that the "rules" of morality  are arbitrary rules  like the rules  of chess or the rules of gin rummy. 

In any case,  we do not  yet know enough about our biology or biology in general  to be positive that morality is a manifestation of our most basic biological characteristics.  

 

Perhaps morality has been "scientifically studied" by evolution. This moral theory has survival value; that moral theory has no survival value. But the morality of nature or genes is based on the survival of the species, not the individual.  For example the young male lion will kill or chase away the old male lion and then take over the harem. The first thing he does is kill the cubs because they are not carrying his genes. This kind of morality is not based on the individual, as in Objectivism, but on the species.

 

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