Moral high grounds

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  • #1
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
I'm sick of you pretending that Israel holds some moral high ground.
Originally posted by russ_watters
Israel's moral high ground is clear enough.
Originally posted by Zero
That's because it is low enough that most other countries can look down on it.

I'm curious, which countries people feel are morally superior to Israel. Which countries do you feel have the moral high ground and Why?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
FZ+
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All nations that do not take on a retributionalist stance to security, seek to de-integrate religon and government, encourages free speech, abide by past treaties etc etc.
 
  • #3
Alex, what is Canada?



More generally, any country that doesn't answer terror with terror.
 
  • #4
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
Alex, what is Canada?



More generally, any country that doesn't answer terror with terror.

Canada doesn't exactly have a pretty history either..acadians? wartime internment of Japanese Canadians? Quebec seperatism? treatment of their natives?
 
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  • #5
kat
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Originally posted by FZ+
All nations that do not take on a retributionalist stance to security, seek to de-integrate religon and government, encourages free speech, abide by past treaties etc etc.

Such as?
 
  • #6
FZ+
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The US prior to our dear old George Bush.
Canada (right now). Britain (at least we try to restore order after we bombed everything to bits, and let aid organisations do their work.) France. (:wink:) South Africa (Which pioneered truth and reconcilliation, and that eventually worked.) and so on.


Hmm... with Canada you seem to be reaching into history. Of course there are bleak periods in the history of any nation. But in Israel, it's happening right now.

However, strange argument you are developing. Atrocities are ok, so long as other people have done them before? Sounds... interesting.
 
  • #7
No, the theory apparently is that it is ok, so long as you aren't as bad as someone, anyone else. Oh, and it helps to be Jewish, because after the Holocaust they apparently get a 'move to Israel and get out of human rights violations free" card.
 
  • #8
kat
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Originally posted by FZ+
The US prior to our dear old George Bush.
Canada (right now). Britain (at least we try to restore order after we bombed everything to bits, and let aid organisations do their work.) France. (:wink:) South Africa (Which pioneered truth and reconcilliation, and that eventually worked.) and so on.


Hmm... with Canada you seem to be reaching into history. Of course there are bleak periods in the history of any nation. But in Israel, it's happening right now.

However, strange argument you are developing. Atrocities are ok, so long as other people have done them before? Sounds... interesting.

Don't put words into my post or my thread. The subject is moral high grounds, and which countries have it. If 30 years ago I murdered someone, 30 years pass and having not murdered another person..am I morally superior to someone murdering a person under similar circumstances today? I hardly think so.
So..again, which countries hold the moral high ground?
 
  • #9
Hmmm...so doies that mean we can hate israel forever because of the terrorism of 50 years ago? In that case, no country has teh moral high ground...except probably Guam.
 
  • #10
Originally posted by kat
Don't put words into my post or my thread. The subject is moral high grounds, and which countries have it. If 30 years ago I murdered someone, 30 years pass and having not murdered another person..am I morally superior to someone murdering a person under similar circumstances today? I hardly think so.
So..again, which countries hold the moral high ground?
BTW, thisa doesn't make any sense. If the guy holding my job 30 years ago beat his wife, it doesn't mean I'm going to.
 
  • #11
FZ+
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Actually kat, you are really missing the point. Thw whole point of saying Israel has no moral high ground is in fact that on average, there is no such thing as a moral high ground. There is no such thing as "goodness credits", which say you can murder someone so long as you lead a nice happy life beforehand. russ's statement is undoubtedly wrong. Though Zero was goaded into being also inaccurate in his response.

But if we follow your curious argument, since Israel claims to be the oldest of all nations, all other nations can be judged as having the moral high ground because they simply have not existed long enough to kill so many people. For Israel, since the present government claim to be the inheritors of the biblical Israel, we can pull back all those genocides they and their god claim to have committed, and add up a figure larger than almost all other nations. The palestinians, arriving after the Israelites are now giving the moral high ground.
 
  • #12
Originally posted by FZ+
Actually kat, you are really missing the point. Thw whole point of saying Israel has no moral high ground is in fact that on average, there is no such thing as a moral high ground. There is no such thing as "goodness credits", which say you can murder someone so long as you lead a nice happy life beforehand. russ's statement is undoubtedly wrong. Though Zero was goaded into being also inaccurate in his response.

But if we follow your curious argument, since Israel claims to be the oldest of all nations, all other nations can be judged as having the moral high ground because they simply have not existed long enough to kill so many people. For Israel, since the present government claim to be the inheritors of the biblical Israel, we can pull back all those genocides they and their god claim to have committed, and add up a figure larger than almost all other nations. The palestinians, arriving after the Israelites are now giving the moral high ground.
Israel has existed since 1947, right? So do they get a fresh slate?
 
  • #13
FZ+
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The Palestinian state doesn't exist. Does their slate remain permanently clean?:wink:
 
  • #14
Originally posted by FZ+
The Palestinian state doesn't exist. Does their slate remain permanently clean?:wink:
I'm thinking YES! LOL
 
  • #15
kat
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Originally posted by FZ+
Actually kat, you are really missing the point. Thw whole point of saying Israel has no moral high ground is in fact that on average, there is no such thing as a moral high ground.
The point? I think you need to re-read what I've posted.
There is no such thing as "goodness credits", which say you can murder someone so long as you lead a nice happy life beforehand. russ's statement is undoubtedly wrong. Though Zero was goaded into being also inaccurate in his response.
You seem to be re-iterating what I've already said...

But if we follow your curious argument
I'm sorry, I must be missing something..what curious argument is that that I've made?
 
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  • #16
I think we are all missing something...before things get too far afield, can we start again, at the first point of confusion?
 
  • #17
FZ+
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The point? I think you need to re-read what I've posted.
The point is that you are nit-picking at something that does not have significance - the whole point is that Israel does not have a moral high ground. But meanwhile, you make statements that lead to downright absurd conclusions. eg.

Canada doesn't exactly have a pretty history either..acadians? wartime internment of Japanese Canadians? Quebec seperatism? treatment of their natives?
If 30 years ago I murdered someone, 30 years pass and having not murdered another person..am I morally superior to someone murdering a person under similar circumstances today? I hardly think so.
Where you somehow draw significance to historical incidents.
 
  • #18
kat
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Originally posted by FZ+
The point is that you are nit-picking at something that does not have significance - the whole point is that Israel does not have a moral high ground. But meanwhile, you make statements that lead to downright absurd conclusions. eg.
Ah,hmmm..I think you're reading more into my comments then are really there. I'm not "nit-picking" the point should be that no-one has the moral high ground unless they have a "clean slate" and although the point I would like to make isn't even hinted at..IMO instead of considering an immeasurable and in reality non-existant "moral high-ground' it would be better to consider motivation and resolutions, giving consideration to all of the politics that affect...both sides of the green line.



Where you somehow draw significance to historical incidents.
There is significance in historical incidents, perhaps something in the manner of "tests of fire"? I don't know..if all "mature", democratic nations have gone through similar experiences then it would seem to make sense to recognize that, at the very least. I don't think any of the nations you've listed can take a "holier then thou" stance..they all have dirty hands, and rather nasty histories. Perhaps they can give insight through experience..but IMO none can take the stance of having a "moral high-ground", quite certianly not Britian or France as much of the issues that exist in the ME are a direct result of their own politics.
 
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  • #19
You all know how I feel...answering brutality with brutality is hardly a prrof of moral superiority. The Israeli response to terrorism has always been violence, very often leaving innocent children dead.
 
  • #20
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
You all know how I feel...answering brutality with brutality is hardly a prrof of moral superiority. The Israeli response to terrorism has always been violence, very often leaving innocent children dead.

Yes, I'm quite sure we all know how you feel:wink: but the question was
Which countries do you feel have the moral high ground and Why?
 
  • #21
Originally posted by kat
Yes, I'm quite sure we all know how you feel:wink: but the question was
I think I listed Canada and Guam?
 
  • #22
FZ+
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I'm not "nit-picking" the point should be that no-one has the moral high ground
Exactly. That was Zero's original point, and russ was wrong to disagree with it and say Israel had a plain moral high ground.

it would be better to consider motivation and resolutions, giving consideration to all of the politics that affect...both sides of the green line.
You want to repeat this to Bush, Sharon et al each time they say that the only solution to terrorism is military force, and that the Israel conflict, or indeed any conflict, is another case of them vs us, good vs evil, and that there is no point in trying to understand the terrorists?

I don't think any of the nations you've listed can take a "holier then thou" stance..they all have dirty hands, and rather nasty histories.
But this is in direct contradiction to your first statement. By this sort of thinking, most nations can claim a moral high ground over Israel, because their hands, though dirty, are less dirty that Israels.
 
  • #23
Lyuokdea
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I'm guessing that Guam was just a random example, but you do know that Guam is part of the United States don't you?

And why Canada? Didn't they also have troops involved in the invasion of Afghanistan?

You also listed the United States prior to the innauguration of GWB, what about Rawanda? Desert Fox? Iran Contra? the list goes on for quite awhile spanning both Republican and Democratic presidents.
 
  • #24
Nereid
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How about Norway?

Not only does it seek to devote a high percentage of its GDP to third world aid, it aslo actively seeks to resolve conflicts through neutral mediation; though they didn't succeed, the Oslo accords were a serious attempt by a small nation with no stake whatsoever in the Middle East. More recently, their efforts to bring peace to Sri Lanka.

For #2, how about the Netherlands?

Question: in what way does it make sense to talk of morality when referring to nations? Surely it's the government (or perhaps the clique, political party, monarchy, ...).
 
  • #25
drag
Science Advisor
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Originally posted by kat
I'm curious, which countries people feel are morally superior to Israel. Which countries do you feel have the moral high ground and Why?
That's like asking which animals have better legs. :wink:
Every country has its share of wrong doings and right
doings (not to mention that morality is also a relative
concept but in this forum I presume that we're using the
default morality - that which is accepted in modern democracies,
despite the fact that, apparently, some people's morality
standards here appear to differ from that default considrably :wink:).

Anyway, I think that you should adress the specific aspect
that you're referring to in this case and then we can proceed.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #26
omg drag is a moral relativist; i would have never guessed! :wink:
 
  • #27
drag
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Originally posted by kyleb
omg drag is a moral relativist; i would have never guessed! :wink:

Like I said, I do stick to the default though,
and I think I know it pretty well. :wink:
 
  • #28
kat
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Originally posted by Nereid
How about Norway?

Not only does it seek to devote a high percentage of its GDP to third world aid, it aslo actively seeks to resolve conflicts through neutral mediation; though they didn't succeed, the Oslo accords were a serious attempt by a small nation with no stake whatsoever in the Middle East. More recently, their efforts to bring peace to Sri Lanka.


I guess it would seem odd to me to present a country as morally superior to Israel when it sent 1/3 of its jews to Auschwitz and then looted all of their assets. *shrug* but maybe that's just me.
 
  • #29
Originally posted by kat
I guess it would seem odd to me to present a country as morally superior to Israel when it sent 1/3 of its jews to Auschwitz and then looted all of their assets. *shrug* but maybe that's just me.
What was that, 60 years ago? What was the time frame of the 40% civilian murders of the Israeli army that you posted? Certainly more recently than 6 decades, I'm sure.
 
  • #30
Claude Bile
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Nations are groups of people. While nations may remain, the people that make up that nation come and go. Should I be persecuted because my father (hypothetically) murdered somebody 30 years ago? Of course not. Should germans be forever hounded because of the nazis? What about what Spaniards did to the Incan empire, or the Cristians that invaded the Middle East during the crusades?

People that argue on moral grounds inevitably fall flat on their face because no single person is perfect, much less a whole nation of them. Every nation has done good things and bad things and the quicker we stop looking to the past and begin looking toward the future the better.
 
  • #31
Nereid
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kat said:
I'm curious, which countries people feel [they] are morally superior to Israel.
(my emphasis) What has been discussed so far is, more or less, the other part of kat's question, which she (?) repeated several times, e.g. The subject is moral high grounds, and which countries have it

The consensus seems to be that the 'have' question is impossible to answer, if not actually meaningless.
(kat did qualify it, in an absolute sense, by saying no-one has the moral high ground unless they have a "clean slate", to which the corollary would seem to be that unless a country is very small or very new, no country can have the moral high ground).

What about the original question? It's both semi-objective, and potentially testable. E.g.
- make a working definition of 'moral high ground' and 'country'
- develop a protocol for assessing the 'feeling' of the people of a country
- go measure
 
  • #32
And I think you would have to limit things to the last 5-15 years in most countries. In America, for instance, a large chunk of the government changes in that time frame, so they carry little blame for the crimes of their predecesors.
Well, unless you are Bush.
 
  • #33
drag
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Originally posted by Zero
Well, unless you are Bush.
If you hate your president and government and large
corporations and legal authorities and political
system and your soldiers and the people who work
to allow you your luxurious lifestyle and keep you
safe and free - maybe you should immigrate. :wink:

Peace and long life.
 
  • #34
Originally posted by drag
If you hate your president and government and large
corporations and legal authorities and political
system and your soldiers and the people who work
to allow you your luxurious lifestyle and keep you
safe and free - maybe you should immigrate. :wink:

Peace and long life.
None of things are America. Your post is silly. Republican liars tried to bring down Clinton for purely political reasons...and claimed to be patriots while supporting a moronic anti-American puppet like Bush who has done nothing but harm. Large corporations claim to be American, but go overseas to dodge taxes. The political system is owned by those same large corporations. Soldiers haven't done anything to protect America since WWII...they certainly haven't done lots to keep me free.

BTW, when and where did you serve, Mr. Patriot?
 
  • #35
drag
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I've done my time.
 

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