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Switch to Forum Live View Is there really a difference between good and evil?
6 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2008 - 10:33AM #11
LostOne
Posts: 41
"I  think the practices of such, especially first born, was something only societies which had enough of an established population base/ reproductive success that they could afford to risk killing their first child, since a second would be likely. If they didn't, clearly they would have drastically reduced their own number, even wiping themselves out... From a biological imperative position, its counter intuitive. It doesn't seem that many early cultres would have practiced this on a wide scale. Then again, history has shown that ideas and beliefs can trump the value of human life time and time again. Many cultures place higher value in ideas than life itself (and whether or not this is a valid belief, is entirely up to the individual)"

It's my understanding that the Spartans practice this with every child. If the child did not meet "The State's" needs or if there was any deformation, it would be left by the river...
Ever though I disagree with this, it's hard for me to say it was wrong. They were very strong civilization and had very different needs than we do today
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2008 - 3:06PM #12
lope
Posts: 11,752
[QUOTE=LostOne;957418]"I  think the practices of such, especially first born, was something only societies which had enough of an established population base/ reproductive success that they could afford to risk killing their first child, since a second would be likely. If they didn't, clearly they would have drastically reduced their own number, even wiping themselves out... From a biological imperative position, its counter intuitive. It doesn't seem that many early cultres would have practiced this on a wide scale. Then again, history has shown that ideas and beliefs can trump the value of human life time and time again. Many cultures place higher value in ideas than life itself (and whether or not this is a valid belief, is entirely up to the individual)"

It's my understanding that the Spartans practice this with every child. If the child did not meet "The State's" needs or if there was any deformation, it would be left by the river...
Ever though I disagree with this, it's hard for me to say it was wrong. They were very strong civilization and had very different needs than we do today[/QUOTE]
It is hard for me to understand how you do not see the murder of babies as wrong.  There having a stong civilization and different needs has nothing at all to do with it.  Do you not understand the difference between feeding a hungry person and hitting him with an ax?  Culture and what people say they believe is right and wrong has nothing at all to do with the right or wrong of our actions.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2008 - 3:55PM #13
gorm-sionnach
Posts: 1,663

lope wrote:

It is hard for me to understand how you do not see the murder of babies as wrong. There having a stong civilization and different needs has nothing at all to do with it. Do you not understand the difference between feeding a hungry person and hitting him with an ax? Culture and what people say they believe is right and wrong has nothing at all to do with the right or wrong of our actions.



I see the murder of anyone as wrong, but you can not judge a soceity that existed thousands fo years ago by our standards. Or you can, but its pointless, its called projecting, and is utterly useless in a discussion or debate of the ethics of a completely different society in a given period.

We find the practices of infantacide as horrendous, and would never do it ourselves, but this doesn't allow us to judge a society which existed in a completely different context. If someone began advocating such practices again, then you can tell them they are abhorrent and evil. Context is what is important.

Truth in our hearts, Strength in our arms, Fulfillment in our tongues.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2008 - 5:26PM #14
itty
Posts: 2,949
You missed the point Iope. These people weren't talking about those cultures today. They were talking about cultures in antiquity and not very long after. None of us can judge from that perspective. We weren't there. If we had been you might very well have done it yourself. I might have.

Today we don't. It is sickening and it is grotesque.

Yes, I do understand feeding a hungry person and hitting that person with an axe. I also can discern between a practice from an era many millenia ago and one that is happening right now. The question here is can you?
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2008 - 5:48PM #15
gillyflower
Posts: 5,325
Um, there are people on the earth today who have to pick between their children, who to feed, who to let starve because they don't have enough food for everyone. I was reading about it a few weeks ago. Do you give everyone too little food and no one survives? Do you give food to the one who has the best chance and withhold it from the one that is smallest an sickliest? I am very, very grateful that I don't have to make those kinds of choices.

PS I think it was connected to an article about a peanut butter based food that is cheap and helps children become healthy again.
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2009 - 9:23AM #16
itty
Posts: 2,949
Exactly Gilly. There are people who have to make a choice between their own health needs and feeding their children. I watched that one on a news program. A man had to choose between his insulin and feeding his family. He nearly died as a result. He also said he'd do it again. He had to.

This is a damned tough world. It always has been. I am like you Gilly. I am glad I don't have to make those choices.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2009 - 9:23AM #17
itty
Posts: 2,949
Exactly Gilly. There are people who have to make a choice between their own health needs and feeding their children. I watched that one on a news program. A man had to choose between his insulin and feeding his family. He nearly died as a result. He also said he'd do it again. He had to.

This is a damned tough world. It always has been. I am like you Gilly. I am glad I don't have to make those choices.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 01, 2009 - 7:42PM #18
REteach
Posts: 14,821
[QUOTE]It is hard for me to understand how you do not see the murder of babies as wrong[/QUOTE]

I agree with the others above.  Clearly, other cultures for whatever reasons, have found infanticide to be tolerable.  Our own culture not all that long ago found it OK to kill "witches".  More recently, we found it acceptable to own slaves.  In my lifetime, the marriage of the parents of the president-elect was not only illegal in several states, but was basically considered to be against the law of God. 

"Evil" seems to have a strong cultural component.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2009 - 2:11AM #19
LostOne
Posts: 41
Lope, first let me say I did disagree with it. Now, saying that, how can I say what is best for the survival of this culture? We do not know the hardships that they had to endure. Do you know that they had enough food to feed the population or shelter for everyone? What wars they had to fight? Do you think it would have been better for many to die instead of one? I suppose that would depend on if you were that one…or the many…
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2009 - 2:11AM #20
LostOne
Posts: 41
Lope, first let me say I did disagree with it. Now, saying that, how can I say what is best for the survival of this culture? We do not know the hardships that they had to endure. Do you know that they had enough food to feed the population or shelter for everyone? What wars they had to fight? Do you think it would have been better for many to die instead of one? I suppose that would depend on if you were that one…or the many…
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