Ed Hudgins

Israel vs. Palestinian Moral Smuggling

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It's nice that you have accused me of having a tribal mentality, without providing any actual evidence whatever to support your accusation. To exactly which tribe am I biased?

Martin,

You answered that.

I did? That's funny. I don't see an answer anywhere. Since you have accused me of having a tribal mentality, and since you still haven't answered the question, I'll ask it again. To exactly which tribe am I biased?

I am a libertarian.

:)

I don't mind (even as I reject the tribal mentality--and no, not all libertarians are tribal)..

Nice of you to acknowledge that not all libertarians are tribal. Well, not all objectivists are tribal either, although most of them believe in a particular species of tribalism -- American exceptionalism.

You want "evidence"? All right. Your overemphasis on scapegoating and distortions through dualities show your hand. The scapegoating is obvious in most any post, so I see no reason to go back through the nastiness just to select one over the other. There are too many and I just don't like sifting through nastiness. For an example of the duality distortions, you often accuse people of saying things like "When Side A does X, yada yada yada good, but when Side B does it, yada yada yada evil." Then you bash the person for doing that. The trouble is that your attribution is rarely what the person meant or said. These are clear signs of a collectivist mentality. Another example. You give lip service to a principle, but save your vitriol for only one side of the divide, when (1) such a divide is not based on the principle you cite, and (2) both sides breach it. These are some of the things I have read in your posts. There are others.

Michael

[sECTION DELETED BY MSK.] In an earlier post, you accused me of having a tribal mentality. I asked for you to provide some actual evidence for your charge. Your "evidence" in this post consists of launching a whole bunch of new charges against me, without referencing a single post I've made. Now, you've accused me of scapegoating, duality distortions, bashing people unjustifiably without evidence, having a collectivist mentality, and favoring one side over another in situations in which I should favor neither. As an excuse for not having to back up any of your idiotic charges against me with reference to any actual posts that I've ever made, you say that you don't like sifting through nastiness.

Unlike you, no matter how much I have disagreed with anyone on this site, I have always responded specifically to posts that they have made. I have never attacked people with a generalized set of accusations, not based on things that they have actually said in their own posts.

Martin

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Well, I believe in "American exceptionalism" where it exists. Not all of it's positive. I could say the same about many other countries.

--Brant

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Well, I believe in "American exceptionalism" where it exists. Not all of it's positive. I could say the same about many other countries.

--Brant

What do you mean by the term? And isn't the idea that it wouldn't apply to other nations -- that American exceptionalism means non-American unexceptionalism? (Or did you just mean that other nations have their bad points too -- even if they're also unexceptional?)

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Well, I believe in "American exceptionalism" where it exists. Not all of it's positive. I could say the same about many other countries.

--Brant

What do you mean by the term? And isn't the idea that it wouldn't apply to other nations -- that American exceptionalism means non-American unexceptionalism? (Or did you just mean that other nations have their bad points too -- even if they're also unexceptional?)

I think the sense that "exceptionalism" was used by MR earlier is that a certain group or nation applies one set of standards and expectancy to themselves, and another to everyone else.

Moreso, that one's own group gets a 'free ride' that they will not allow anyone else.

If I'm right, this indicates double standards, or even, 'relativism', doesn't it?

Even Objectivists have been known to do it, but far more rarely than other 'groups', imo.

Tony

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Well, I believe in "American exceptionalism" where it exists. Not all of it's positive. I could say the same about many other countries.

--Brant

What do you mean by the term? And isn't the idea that it wouldn't apply to other nations -- that American exceptionalism means non-American unexceptionalism? (Or did you just mean that other nations have their bad points too -- even if they're also unexceptional?)

I think the sense that "exceptionalism" was used by MR earlier is that a certain group or nation applies one set of standards and expectancy to themselves, and another to everyone else.

Moreso, that one's own group gets a 'free ride' that they will not allow anyone else.

If I'm right, this indicates double standards, or even, 'relativism', doesn't it?

Even Objectivists have been known to do it, but far more rarely than other 'groups', imo.

Tony

That's how it's usually used. E.g., it was used to argue for preventative war -- as those who wanted such wars perhaps sincerely believed that they or US leaders would know when it was right to carry out one and would have the moral right to do so, whereas foreigners, obviously, would either not have such wisdom or would be suffer from having bad motives.

This makes me think of the many crime movies where the "good cop" doesn't follow due process and the like and gets results. He's obviously good and knows how to fight crime, so such rules only get in the way and help the bad guys.

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[sECTION DELETED BY MSK.] In an earlier post, you accused me of having a tribal mentality. I asked for you to provide some actual evidence for your charge...

Martin,

I saw this just now. You crossed the line.

Please refer to the posting guidelines and conduct yourself accordingly, or go somewhere else. It makes no difference to me. I just lost interest in your discourse. I'm going to give discussion with you some time off. (Unfortunately, I had already made some posts to you elsewhere and saw this only afterwards. I would not have made them had I seen this first.)

As for your nasty conduct, the next time I will not alter the post. I will delete it. And if it keeps up, I will make it so it stops.

Michael

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I am a libertarian. As such, I believe in the individual rights of every human being to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". I believe that these rights belong to every human being, no matter what race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or nationality, no matter which country they happen to live. I believe in the individual rights of Americans, Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Africans, Israelis, Iraqis, Iranians, Mexicans, Canadians, Australians, and all other people living on earth. If there were humans living on Mars, I would believe in their individual rights as well. As such, I am opposed to the killing of any people anywhere, except in self-defense, and I morally condemn all such killing. I don't believe that governments have any special rights in this regard. I do not support collective punishment in any way. I do not believe that killing one person in self-defense gives anyone, including governments, the right to kill other innocent bystanders. I regard these moral principles as universal, applying across the board to everyone. As such, I consider myself to be the precise opposite of a tribalist, for I support no special rights for any tribe over any other tribe. It is morally wrong for Americans to kill innocent Iraqis, just as it is morally wrong for Iraqis to kill innocent Americans. It is morally wrong for Israelis to kill innocent Palestinians, just as it is morally wrong for Palestinians to kill innocent Israelis. It is morally wrong for anyone to kill anyone else, except in self-defense. Period. I grant no special moral dispensation to those who are of my tribe. Nor do I grant any special moral dispensation to those who are of other tribes. These are the beliefs for which you have labeled me as having a tribal bias.

The reality is that almost all self-identified objectivists exhibit a real tribal bias. Their tribe is the United States. The name commonly given to this tribal bias is "American exceptionalism". Because of this tribal bias, they justify acts of murder committed by the US government that they would unreservedly condemn as murder if committed by another government or by private citizens. Thus, of the two major objectivist organizations, ARI and TAS, neither has morally condemned in any way the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, which has killed at least 100,000 Iraqis (almost certainly, many more than this) and created millions of Iraqi refugees. I think it safe to say that, if the government of Iraq launched such an attack against the US, killing an equal number of Americans, the moral outrage would be profound. Yet, because this act was committed by the US government, who is presumed to act on behalf of their tribe, it is given a complete moral pass. They may condemn the act on practical grounds, because of its horrendous cost and its failure to achieve its alleged objectives. But no word is said about the moral evil of the war started by our government. Because it is, after all, our tribe. This is but one example of an endless list of ways in which they apply a double standard of morality to their own tribe with respect to all other tribes.

Martin

Can I get an amen!? ^_^

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An older but always topical thread. Truthfully and morally argued, I think, Ed and Brant. Accelerating events have proved you right and other opinions passe. It is amazing to me that some respondents well versed in O'ism should have a problem recognizing the deep premise always behind the actions of the rulers of Gaza Strip and Gazans (and lately Palestine as whole), which is self-sacrificial altruism. Compassion is called for, to a point. So is faulting Israel's errors (explicable in part by the daily existential stresses). But well above and beyond those is the fundamental fact, that if and when an individual, or a people as a whole, refuses to seek and take values into their own lives, you can't do it for them - for more than a short while - ever. There is no other way in reality, but to selfishly want and seek values for oneself, with each own life as highest value. (Unarguably, chances, Palestinians have had aplenty).The immoral presumption is that Israelis as 'moral superiors' (transl: upholding far better virtues and values) should surrender themselves to the greater good. And, maybe - simply leave. The elimination or banishment of Jews and Israel and seizure of its wealth and property, is precisely the object, and the irresolute, altruistic and increasingly non-valuing West insidiously encourages that end.

Isn't this basic altruism 101, taking on oneself the weight of other people's lives, minds and values; but equally, others assuming that you must do exactly that? I'm concerned for the future of Israel when ~even~ Rand fans/libertarians - or whatever a few intellectuals consider themselves - can't see or don't want to the nasty double standards and also call for its self-sacrifice.

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