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DeepThought
Mar 29, 2010, 05:28 AM
Maybe I have too much time on my hands but one question that has often bothered me is that of values.

For long, I have struggled with and still struggle with how to reconcile values; my own individual values as well as non individual values, that is cultural and civilisational values.

I have had to wonder, are my values inferior or superior to those of other individuals?. At a particular time in my life, I had no doubts about the answer to this question. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my values were far, far superior to that of the majority of people around me.:) Luckily, life experiences has since cured me of such delusions.

Nevertheless there are still unsettled questions I struggle with.

Within the context of a common culture, it is obviously easy to acertain that certain values are superior to other values. Clearly most normal people don't want to be called a murderer, a rapist e.t.c. The the laws of a society usually makes clear what is considered to be appropriate and acceptable behaviour in that society.

The problems of comparative inferiority or superiority of values become not so simple when we have to compare the rules of behaviour of different societies. It is usually quite natural to consider ones own societal, cultural or racial values to be superior to that of other societies. (Well, with the minor exception of the black race, but then we don't really count anyway, he! he!!)

A few examples of where cultures differ significantly nowadays in terms of values include

1. Child labour
2. Child marriage
3. Sexuality (Female/male circumcision, e.t.c)

The question is this:
Shrill cultural chuvaism and ethnocentricity aside, If truely the majority of people in a society such as Saudi Arabia, over the centuries decide by their own free will that they are O.K with what we think are unfair values, that is, they are O.K with the marrying off of 9 year old girls, that they are O.K with women dressing like masquerades - is it our perogative to fly over to their country, kick their doors down, kill their leadership and FORCE down their throats values from our own societies?

The usual argument is that people in societies different from our and with values at odds with ours, are somehow less enlighten , less knowledgable, less free, e.t.c.
The question is , what if they are not?
What if in truth, those people actually enjoy values which we consider to be vices?

If the preceeding example is too tame , let me be even more provocative. Lets take something we can virtually unanimously agree to be odious, say something like cannibalism. Please let me be crystal clear. There is nothing I would like better than to kill anyone whom is accused of cannibalism. But lets assume that in the Island society of say Fiji, the people by their own free will have after centuries of cultural evolution, arrived at the curious and utterly incomprehensible conclusion that they are o.k with the killing and eating themselves. The question is, is it O.K for you and I , who are not part of that culture, to crash uninvited into Fiji, knock down their houses, burn their temples and force the people not to be cannibals?

There are seemingly simple answers to these question and majority of us will answer with a resounding YES and wonder why a madman like me will even bother to waste people's time by asking such insane question.
But before you throw me into the assylum and toss the key away, let me back up a little.

Let us assume that we are a society of virtue. Let us assume that we are kind and loving people, magnanimus and graceful to each other, happy and contented in our own ways.Further more, let us assueme that an alien race of people come accross what we consider to be our virtueos society and find us practicing what we regard as desirable; that is being kind to each other, taking care of the sick, elderly and powerless, e.t.c.
Assuming that this alien race have vast military superiority over us and can effortlessly impose their own values upon us, but say they have values diametrically opposed to ours. Say for them, virtue is considered to be vice and vise-versa.

The question is: would it be O.K, would it be permissible for this alien race to kick down our door, force us to kill our weak, eat our young, marry our kids e.t.c, just because they can and just because they believe that is the right way?

Where I'm going with this is this:
With the question of values, if it were so clear cut and apparent that one value is so superior to the other, why is it even necessary to use force?
Do we need to force a hungry man to eat? Do we force a thirsty fellow to drink?
If our ways and values are so much more superior , so far better than that of some others, would it be necessary for us to kick their doors?

Furthermore, in some instances, decades or even centuries after kicking down doors and imposing our values, the societies are still resisting and we are still struggling to bring them what we consider to be virtues and struggling to lay blame for failure of the forced societies to accept our values on things such as ignorance, lack of freedom, e.t.c. Does it make sense to persist in such folly?

Oh well, maybe I have truely have too much time on my hands.

O.k, o.k, I will go quietly, no need for the straitjacket......

denker
Mar 29, 2010, 09:01 AM
DT, do away with all dat....significant relevant value system is commonsense..inter-dependable on zeitgeist devoid of coercion..:p:D

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 29, 2010, 10:07 AM
DeepThought, what has been found is that people who have the need to impose their own values on others are so inclined because they are not certain of the worth of those values.

They are not sure that if left to fend for themselves alone (on the field of intellect against other ideas), that their own values can remain standing. So, all sorts of edicts that are backed with threats of physical force (or/and spiritual torments) are devised to accompany the proselytisation of these ultimately hollow values.

It is often the ones with an inferiority complex (WRT values) who initiate physical conflicts in the service of ideology.

And then you will find that when they are responded to, they will let out howls of indignation because in their minds, they are being unfairly persecuted, attacked in a dastardly fashion, etc. - "why do these people hate us?"...:rolleyes:.

To paraphrase what a man once said, if only people had stayed where the creator put them and lived their lives without encroaching (physically and intellectually) upon other people that the creator had put somewhere else, then the world would have been a much more peaceable place - sounds simplistic but I think there is some truth there...

Neop
Apr 1, 2010, 05:01 PM
Theres an evolutionary aspect to this: Those people in Saudi Arabia didnt start out being crazy Muslims - they became such by force - and if that was acceptable then, why not now? If Mohammed could force people to change, why not the POTUS? I think moral assertions are majorly tautological. That is, not mostly a question of okay or not okay. The mind is a fictive construct, as is the conscience and any moral instinct. Questions about morality are mostly logical nonsense, that is, they violate basic principles governing the use of language - okay, not okay, right, wrong, make about as much sense as a jabberwock - or colorless green ideas sleep furiously flying berger bridge {my twist on a certain famous linguist}.

Ajibs
Apr 2, 2010, 01:57 AM
DT,
Good topic and not you nefa craze and no you do not have too much time on your hands...or do you? :D Here is how I see it. You call it values, but I say its the survival of the fittest. You were probably in NVS years ago when I had an argument with somebody here saying there is nothing like Human Rights. Its just a huge joke that the Haves lord over the Have nots. Why does one person not have the human right to kill another man? Who gave us the authority to decide that one crime deserves the death sentence and the other life in prison? But the reality is we must co-exist and to co-exist we must live under a set of laws and a value system.

I noted you mentioned the issue of child marriage in many cultures. My problem with this have nothing to do with values really, but biology and maturity. Recall we had a serious argument with Superego about this. One does not need to be Albert Einstien to see that a 10-13 year old girl is too young to have kids and even display the maturity that getting into marriage calls for. Therefore she has not business getting married at such an age, Cheikena. IMHO, it is not wrong because the West says its wrong, it is wrong because Biology has said it is wrong! Even in the animal world, animals mature before then having babies.

But I have to agree, I do have absolutely no right to decide for them what they shall do to themselves and how they have decided to live their life. So I cannot say they have wrong values, I can say that their values are at odds with mine. And as long as they leave me alone, I in turn leave them alone.

Going further, I believe the issue of values really is all about the war of human survival. We live in a world of the survival of the fittest. Nations have decided to embrace loosely the same set of values as they believe such an embrace promotes their existence. Consider the world today, America, United Kingdom, France for example are very tight global partners, they share many of the same values.

I believe you may have been the person in NVS that made me buy and watch Goodbye Uncle Tom. We saw in that movies that it was common for the white men to have sex with underage black slave girls probably no older than 15 or 16. So once upon a time, such relationships were acceptable in the United States! But today, we have "changed our values". We were once bought and sold like a pair of pants! So why have we suddenly decided today that cannibalism is wrong?

Another angle to why people enthrown values on others is again related to the survival of the fittest. It is purely economic or for the benefit of the enthroning power. It is easier for the United States to do business with the United Kingdom as the laws and societies are similar. So basically if you have something I need, the easiest way and best way for me to get it is to make you think like me and be under my thumb, so that when I ask for what i need, you immediately say yes sar!

Consider Sharia law in Nigeria. In a proper functioning society, I would say go ahead do what the hell you like and live under whatever law, BUT as I do not agree with your religion, you dare not subject me to your laws! But can they honestly implement Sharia law in Northern Nigeria and leave the Non-Muslims out of course not, so with that in mind, I oppose Sharia law in Nigeria, not because I have a problem with their value system, but because they will not leave me alone to mine that does not agree with theirs!

And that leads me to where I wanted to end. You cannot speak of values without speaking of religion as for most people, I suspect their values are based on their religion.

Tola Odejayi
Apr 2, 2010, 04:50 PM
DT,

Is it really possible to have a society where everyone has the same set of 'values'?

What happens to those (who may be in the minority) who happen not to accept the 'values' of the majority? For example, in your cannibalistic society, is it fair that the one person who does not want to be eaten should be left to suffer his fate at the hands of majority cannibals while the rest of us look on and say 'Those are their values'?

Obugi
Apr 2, 2010, 05:49 PM
DT,



I have had to wonder, are my values inferior or superior to those of other individuals?. At a particular time in my life, I had no doubts about the answer to this question. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my values were far, far superior to that of the majority of people around me.:) Luckily, life experiences has since cured me of such delusions.


I agree with the above in toto. The only people whose values I disagree with are those who subscribe to doctrines that do not recognize my own right to live my own values. Religion is the most glaring offender in this regard. I would have no problems with Islam and Xtianity except for their condemnation of my own choices.

Anyway, there really is no such thing as values; I don't know what name to call it, but values are what people adhere to in order to get the maximum advantage out of life in the society they live. There's no values, morality, good or bad, there's only what people (can) do to get what they want.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Obugi
Apr 2, 2010, 05:52 PM
NAR,


Recall we had a serious argument with Superego about this. One does not need to be Albert Einstien to see that a 10-13 year old girl is too young to have kids and even display the maturity that getting into marriage calls for. Therefore she has not business getting married at such an age, Cheikena. IMHO, it is not wrong because the West says its wrong, it is wrong because Biology has said it is wrong! Even in the animal world, animals mature before then having babies.

But the West, as in the USA, allows marriage for 14yr olds in some states.

!Get Yours!
Obugi

NextLevel
Apr 2, 2010, 05:57 PM
Come on, let's all grow up and admit that when values conflict, might is what makes right. If you are reduced to arguing for your values, it just means that you really can't enforce them.

All this talk about values being superior or inferior to those of others is quite beside the point. There is a simple answer to any argument about values: "I disagree." The only question is whether the *facts* related to those value judgments can affect the values being discussed.

Ajibs
Apr 2, 2010, 06:32 PM
NAR,



But the West, as in the USA, allows marriage for 14yr olds in some states.

!Get Yours!
Obugi

Obugi,
Recall I further noted the following:

I believe you may have been the person in NVS that made me buy and watch Goodbye Uncle Tom. We saw in that movies that it was common for the white men to have sex with underage black slave girls probably no older than 15 or 16. So once upon a time, such relationships were acceptable in the United States! But today, we have "changed our values". We were once bought and sold like a pair of pants! So why have we suddenly decided today that cannibalism is wrong?

Though it legally remains on the books in several states in the USA, I believe you would be hard pressed to find a 14 year old getting married, today especially when there are also laws I think in ALL states (or is it a Federal law) that everyone under the age of 18 is a minor. SO if you are caught having sex with that 14 year old, you are off to jail.

Oga Next,
This is why I say we live in a world of the survival of the fittest, If I am stronger than you, I make you take my values, weather you laik or you no laik...if you laik e good gege, if you no laik you vex...if you vex u go die...u go die for nothin...

Tola Odejayi
Apr 2, 2010, 07:02 PM
Come on, let's all grow up and admit that when values conflict, might is what makes right. If you are reduced to arguing for your values, it just means that you really can't enforce them.
You don't always have to force someone to accept your values; you can persuade them, or over time, they can see the benefits of adopting your values.

In fact, I would say that time is the final arbiter of the inferiority or superiority of values; even if I am forced to accept certain values now, such values may die out over time if my descendants are allowed to be exposed to other values and choose values that are in their self-interest.

NextLevel
Apr 2, 2010, 07:25 PM
You don't always have to force someone to accept your values; you can persuade them, or over time, they can see the benefits of adopting your values.

In fact, I would say that time is the final arbiter of the inferiority or superiority of values; even if I am forced to accept certain values now, such values may die out over time if my descendants are allowed to be exposed to other values and choose values that are in their self-interest.

You can persuade them only if you share some values in common already (Same for them seeing benefits in adopting your values). Moreover, even if we agree on the value of self-reliance, it doesn't mean that I value your ability to rely on yourself in quite the same way that I value my ability to rely on myself, since I am me and your are you.

But none of this obviates the point that you are left arguing for your values usually when you have no other way to enforce them. If others saw the benefits of taking your values, you wouldn't be arguing for them.

And the bigger point here is that values are ultimately subjective. It doesn't mean that you can't agree on values with other people - what I mean is that any moral premise (I ought to do this or that) is open to debate in a way 1+1=2 is not.

Obugi
Apr 2, 2010, 07:59 PM
NAR,


Obugi,

Recall I further noted the following:

Though it legally remains on the books in several states in the USA, I believe you would be hard pressed to find a 14 year old getting married, today especially when there are also laws I think in ALL states (or is it a Federal law) that everyone under the age of 18 is a minor. SO if you are caught having sex with that 14 year old, you are off to jail.

[/I]

You're mistaking sex before marriage with marriage and its consummation.

That such laws are on the books means it is theoretically possible for a 15yr old to have sex after marriage with official sanction, not so? If the parents don't mind, even more possible. If you're rich like R Kelly, you can get away with a lot more, even without the benefit of a marriage certificate.

I migrated to the USA at age 16 and worked without parental consent for at least 18 months. Some would consider that teen exploitation.


If Saudi Arabia can invade and occupy the USA, it's likely the USA would be ruled under a Wahabist system, just like the USA has imposed "democratic values" on Iraq.

If a vegan army overthrows the USA, eating meat could become repulsive in a generation or two.

What if the Confederacy had beaten the Union?

If you can organize 200,000 Yoruba soldiers and overthrow the govt of Nigeria, you can impose whatever values you wish. I will gladly dogbale to salute you even if you no senior me. :lol::lol::lol:

Value judgements are subjective. When they have the force of law, they are ultimately the expressions of coercive force.

For that reason alone I would say "to each his own."

If you want to do it and you can do it, and you go through with it and get away with it, you're doing the right thing. Extra points if you hear voices justifying your actions.....that's God talking and with Him all things are possible.

!Get Yours.....Never Mind Mine!
Obugi.

Araba
Apr 2, 2010, 09:56 PM
Deepthought. Thought provoking. Mores,Norms,Customs,Laws,Dumb,dumbs:D Taking me back to school. The West (Caucasian, Anglo-Saxon) tends to have a set of enduring values. (Now I am going to be tagged Colo-Mental:D). I recollect Wole Soyinka in his 1986 Stockholm acceptance speech calling Voltaire (among others) a racist. I was taken aback. Obviously, I knew nothing. This world is a discovery Deepthought. My only pain is I am not reading and studying enough. Anyways my two cents:

1). I know you restricted yourself to three areas: Child Labor, Child Marriage and Sexuality. But even if you expand that to include values such as Political Choices, Education, Health you see a pattern of better value judgement in the West. Hence societies in Africa want to copy mostly from here. Ofcourse Colonialism helped too in introducing us to the West. For Eastern Societies, you have to remember they had an edge too (In Early Mathematics and civilisation). All that was lost to Technology (Industrial Age) and Wars (The Struggle for a defined new set of values).

2). Karl Marx (Das Kapital) chronicled the pattern of Child Abuse in 18th and 19th century Britain. Overtime, Laws were enacted to protect against such and make practices conform to such values as Safety - for example. On Child Marriage, I don't know much. For one, there are jokes about incest in certain places and I am not aware of children getting married (It is not mainstream and there isn't another Church Sect scandal yet:D). Sexuality is a major headache. Promiscuity with everyone having unlimited access to bandwidth is almost totally cliche'. But while we are at it, America has some of the toughest Sex Offender laws. You can look (for so long); but dare not touch:D. Homosexuality is one value proposition the West is right on again. Just like everything else, it cannot be driven undergound. Hence, it is forced out in the open and discussed. My people back home (in Nigeria) meanwhile are acting like it is something not to be discussed or touched (a taboo). Wrong Answer.

3). Again on the Values thing. Who did a study for example in Nigeria that Smoking is bad for your health and not to smoke in public buildings? Why are most Nigerian Roads death traps? Why is it that most of our city roads have no functioning traffic lights? Why can someone drive in Nigeria without proper vehicle insurance? Values.
Human life is not a priority for those who set the values in Nigeria. So Roads can be as bad as they want to be and many can die on those roads as they want. Drunk driving is yet to be elevated to the pedestal of a concern, because the officer to arrest you is properly drunk himself.

4). A system whereby society can give feedback to its leaders is in place in most Western Societies. So if I ask the Average Joe with 18 guns in his house, how do we stop the next Mall Shooting, he reads me his 2nd Amendment Rights. That is what Americans (Majority) value. The right to bear arms. Do Nigerians value the right of a nomad to graze cattle anywhere he so pleases?

5). Finally, I wake up in the morning; turn on my computer (HP), running on Windows Software (In readable English); connect my IPOD to download my latest ITUNES; Mr. Coffee is brewing; I get out in my car to the local Walmart or Kroger - do my groceries; come back not having to worry about fuel in a Generator; worry about whether I should start studying Mandarin (My kids might have to though; hopefully they won't have to study confucius or become buddhists:D). My values for the day, already evolving. Shoko (SLB) already said it. Time. We are going to need time (at least in Africa). This is not our century. I don't know about the millenium though.

Ajibs
Apr 3, 2010, 12:43 AM
You don't always have to force someone to accept your values; you can persuade them, or over time, they can see the benefits of adopting your values.

In fact, I would say that time is the final arbiter of the inferiority or superiority of values; even if I am forced to accept certain values now, such values may die out over time if my descendants are allowed to be exposed to other values and choose values that are in their self-interest.

SLB,
I like what you said, but that brings another question to my mind. We have noted and used Saudi Arabia as an example of a country with different values from the West. I would ask this question if the people there were given the choice, would they choose the current value system they have? have they accepted their current value system because they have little choice? Its has been a the news recently that they are about (or many have in fact) behead a popular Lebanese TV personality accused of being a witch! Guess what, how about Selma witch trials in the United States in the 1600's, Ring a bell?

Similarly I will say to Obugi in agreement, if the United States allowed teen sex for example legally would we not accept that as the norm and part of our normal value system? To buttress this point consider the Gay and Lesbian society. We are now being told the struggle for acceptance is akin to the civil right movement. HOGWASH!!! (I say! :D) As if black people choose to be black! (and possibly stupid :D) Btw. I will say ANYWHERE that I consider Gay and Lesbians NOT QUITE NORMAL sorry not to offend anyone. WHY? For me its is very very simple has absolutely nothing to do with religion but again with Biology! A man has something that is long and sticks out and gets hard when it sees a woman, and just by nature a woman has something that is long too but goes in, gets wet when it sees the man, automatic connection, no abnormality, no force, no gragra, no need for lube or Vaseline or Soft Sheen. Nature has already told us whom we are suppose to associate with! Not Bible, not Koran, not anything. Cheikena! Abi I lie?

Anyhow now we have Gay marriage in several states, give it a few years and possibly one generation, having two dads or two mom families will become the norm. A few years ago it was a bad thing to be called a fag. You had to be in the closet due to the societal values and attitude towards Gay and Lesbians, now you don't. Now we have members in congress, I watch them on Amazing Race every weekend and funny enough, I do have a few friends that are Gay or Lesbian. See, the societies values have apparently changed.

As we say in Naija, no be condition make crayfish bend?

Obugi
Apr 3, 2010, 05:08 AM
NAR,


I will say ANYWHERE that I consider Gay and Lesbians NOT QUITE NORMAL sorry not to offend anyone. WHY? For me its is very very simple has absolutely nothing to do with religion but again with Biology! A man has something that is long and sticks out and gets hard when it sees a woman, and just by nature a woman has something that is long too but goes in, gets wet when it sees the man, automatic connection, no abnormality, no force, no gragra, no need for lube or Vaseline or Soft Sheen. Nature has already told us whom we are suppose to associate with! Not Bible, not Koran, not anything. Cheikena! Abi I lie?

Yes you lied.

I know its hard, but believe it.....homosexuality is a natural state. You do know that homosexual animals exist in nature, right? Yes, it is abnormal in the sense that it deviates from the usual, but it isn't a practice adopted by choice.

Just think of this - a small percentage of humans are born as hemaphrodites. Don't take my word, just check. Something happens with their genetics or gestation and they're born with both male and female sex organs. That is not by choice. In just the same way people can be born with hormonal imbalances that lead to homosexual behavior. Of course the extent of expression of homosexuality depends on the permissiveness of the society - that is, how forcibly society dictates its values.

Fear or loathing of homosexuals is more due to ignorance than anything. Biology is more complicated than we like to think. Why not read up on embryology and genetics? Unless you're trying to make the biology fit your values, please do yourself the favor of getting more info. The more you know.....

Oh, let me add this too: I don't care much for homosexuals. If I could gain some money or power by killing them all off, I would do it....and I'd be doing it all the while knowing they're God's children too.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Tola Odejayi
Apr 3, 2010, 05:38 AM
SLB,
I like what you said, but that brings another question to my mind. We have noted and used Saudi Arabia as an example of a country with different values from the West. I would ask this question if the people there were given the choice, would they choose the current value system they have? have they accepted their current value system because they have little choice?
If they were not too materially disadvantaged by the current system, I believe most people would choose to stick with it. Tradition and history are a powerful reason why people will stick with one set of values, even though it is clear that adopting another set of values may be to their material advantage.




Its has been a the news recently that they are about (or many have in fact) behead a popular Lebanese TV personality accused of being a witch! Guess what, how about Selma witch trials in the United States in the 1600's, Ring a bell?
So the values held by a majority of people in a society change. This is not a big surprise. What I am curious about is in what direction they change. Do you see the US ever going back to witch trials (assuming that it is able to maintain its level of prosperity)?

Kenn
Apr 3, 2010, 07:58 PM
.


DeepThought,


Maybe I have too much time on my hands but one question that has often bothered me is that of values.

For long, I have struggled with and still struggle with how to reconcile values; my own individual values as well as non individual values, that is cultural and civilisational values.

I have had to wonder, are my values inferior or superior to those of other individuals?. At a particular time in my life, I had no doubts about the answer to this question. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that my values were far, far superior to that of the majority of people around me.:) Luckily, life experiences has since cured me of such delusions.



Your problem then was that you assumed there is a competition for superiority where values are concerned. People who have true or positive values do not look at it from the superior/inferior prism; but simply regard such values as the right things they as individuals can live with while leaving others to freely choose what they want to call values, as far as these are lawful. Looking at it from the superiority/inferiority angle is making it into a fad – just like having the best designed shirt today only for you to fall out of love with it tomorrow because a better design is in the market, etc. However, because most times our values are shaped by our ethics and morality, conviction and constancy are the true values in values. That is why it begins with the individual and aligns or diverges at some levels with the rest of society. Individual values affirm our individuality just as social values define our communal or national identity. The interactional point is that the positive values of the individual do not usually conflict with social or what you called “non individual” or “civilizational” values, because the latter is the sum total of the individual values making up the whole.

Yet, there is room for conflict, because conflict defines social progress or decay. On the progressive side of conflict is the conflict between the individual’s positive values versus societal values. This happens where an individual’s positive values are such that the rest of society may find it too idealistic and impossible to achieve at the time, especially where these are highly moral or ethical values. So, even where the individual expresses this as a minority, majority opinion would not join him, but they would still respect him, even if a little cynical, as far as they know that he is sincere. For instance, many people will want to fight for justice for others like Gani Fawehinmi, but they know within themselves that they do not have the discipline to resist being bought over by people with political control of the system who do not share Fawehinmi’s values of justice. They know they fear for their lives and lack the courage to see it through. Yet, they admire it in others and generally justify their own lack of courage by claiming the holders of such values are ahead of their time, etc. On the other hand is the conflict between individual negative values and societal values. The former can only be criminal or morally reprehensible. For these there are societal laws, rules and conventions to deal with them because unlike minority positive individual values which are good and can still inspire a future generation to set higher standards of social values, these ones represent social decay.

Thus, there really should be no dilemma where values are concerned as you begin with an understanding of who you are as an individual, what you believe and what you can comfortably live with and defend outside, be it within your immediate community or in the larger world. Such values as freedom, good governance, public-spiritedness, charity and economic self-sustenance are generally shared between individuals and societies across cultures. This is why we must note that a political system of repression isn’t one based on the value of repression. The real values would be those expressed by the people fighting for their freedom from such repression. Thus in dealing with this topic on the social or societal level, no matter in what unit, we must distinguish between the values of those who have political and economic control of the system in that society and those they exercise such control over. A free, stable and progressive society is usually a sign that those who exercise political and economic control and those they exercise it over share the same values and do trust their system to fairly keep it that way. On the other hand, a repressed society would invariably indicate that the people do not share the same values with those with political and economic control of their society.



Nevertheless there are still unsettled questions I struggle with.

Within the context of a common culture, it is obviously easy to acertain that certain values are superior to other values. Clearly most normal people don't want to be called a murderer, a rapist e.t.c. The the laws of a society usually makes clear what is considered to be appropriate and acceptable behaviour in that society.

Of course, it is relatively easy to distinguish between positive or progressive values and negative or repugnant values. This is largely because the human mind has been conditioned by instincts and experience to know good and bad. Thus, people who exhibit anti-social or criminal behaviours do not represent the values of any decent society; they can only represent their own individual negative values.



The problems of comparative inferiority or superiority of values become not so simple when we have to compare the rules of behaviour of different societies. It is usually quite natural to consider ones own societal, cultural or racial values to be superior to that of other societies....

No, it is not natural to consider one’s own societal, cultural or racial values as superior to that of other societies; but it’s natural to get used to your own and assume that this is the way it should be. However man is a social animal. When he comes in contact with other values, the natural thing would be to gravitate towards such values that offer him better protection or chances of survival or make him a better human being in his own estimation. Sometimes this may mean giving up some of those original values he grew up with to embrace these others. This is the basis of social dynamism and progress or civilization throughout history.



A few examples of where cultures differ significantly nowadays in terms of values include

1. Child labour
2. Child marriage
3. Sexuality (Female/male circumcision, e.t.c)

The question is this:
Shrill cultural chuvaism and ethnocentricity aside, If truely the majority of people in a society such as Saudi Arabia, over the centuries decide by their own free will that they are O.K with what we think are unfair values, that is, they are O.K with the marrying off of 9 year old girls, that they are O.K with women dressing like masquerades - is it our perogative to fly over to their country, kick their doors down, kill their leadership and FORCE down their throats values from our own societies?

If social and cultural values combine with political control to establish or sustain what the individual feels are not his values, the individual still has the right not to share those values with the rest of his society, as far as this isn’t unlawful. So, a Saudi man who does not share that value will not give out his own daughters in marriage at 9 or encourage his friends and other relations to do so, even though he knows that like him they are free to do what they want. However, where external political interference is concerned, the question of values takes a different dimension as the dynamics are different. For instance, a Saudi who despises the idea of giving out children in marriage may not welcome outsiders coming to overthrow the leadership of his country to impose values they think he likes, because to him, the political sovereignty of his nation (even under rulers with values he may not share) may be a more fundamental value to him than that of the age of marriage. So, he could actually be the one leading the resistance against you trying to impose what you think are his values.

The key point here really is that in such a matter as child marriage, the operating values are not social but individual. Yes, there is a social acceptance and possibly legislation(s) backing such marriages, but it still boils down to the fact that individual parents are the ones who decide whether or not to give out their 9 year old children in marriage. There is therefore no basis for another country or people to invade a country where individuals freely give out their children in marriage at whatever age. The same applies to female circumcision. The best external influence to exercise in these circumstances can only be through education. You can only continue showing through empirical facts that it is not in the interest of the individual or society for children whose biological make up may not be matured enough for marriage and child-bearing to be put through such in the name of culture. The same can be done by showing that the so-called benefits to be derived from female genital mutilations are simply superstitious nonsense. Educating leadership, parents and most especially the children themselves would help a great deal to spread the awareness. It may take time and a lot of efforts; but it’s the only way. That is why it is crucial that people who do not share these values continue to support charities and civil society groups within these societies and outside trying to spread this awareness. That is where to invest in, not in armies to go do some imposition. These are values to be learnt, not to be imposed.

However, with child labour the rules are a little different. This is because since the Industrial Revolution at least, humanity has taken a social, national and international interest in the matter. Obviously, humanity as a whole has vested interest in the wellbeing of the child as another human. Article 32 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to which every member of the United Nations is signatory states:

“1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
2. States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the implementation of the present article. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of other international instruments, States Parties shall in particular:
(a) Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
(b) Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
(c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the present article”.

The International Labour Organization and several non-governmental organizations are rightly on the case and real progress is being recorded daily in terms of exposure of the rule-breakers and forcing practices to change, etc. So, yeah, it is proper for the community of human beings to join together to pressure changes in certain practices; but none of the examples you have given here calls for anything as drastic as overthrowing governments or engaging in military invasion, because the first thing we need to consider before thinking whether barging in is proper is the status of these values that we possibly detest. Sticking to your examples, we can see how the questions of child marriages and female circumcision can be viewed as matters of individual values. Obviously, as far as family poverty remains, child labour will be an issue; but progress is being made on that level through concerted international action.



The usual argument is that people in societies different from our and with values at odds with ours, are somehow less enlighten , less knowledgable, less free, e.t.c.
The question is , what if they are not?
What if in truth, those people actually enjoy values which we consider to be vices?

In spite of the invasion of Iraq (which most discernible people understand has more to do with the politics of oil than the politics of values), I think people are generally much more open to the idea that others are just different, not necessarily less enlightened or less knowledgeable. Today, there is a general understanding by people in western societies that the majority of the rest of the world are poorer; but that is basically an economic than values question.



If the preceeding example is too tame , let me be even more provocative. Lets take something we can virtually unanimously agree to be odious, say something like cannibalism. Please let me be crystal clear. There is nothing I would like better than to kill anyone whom is accused of cannibalism. But lets assume that in the Island society of say Fiji, the people by their own free will have after centuries of cultural evolution, arrived at the curious and utterly incomprehensible conclusion that they are o.k with the killing and eating themselves. The question is, is it O.K for you and I , who are not part of that culture, to crash uninvited into Fiji, knock down their houses, burn their temples and force the people not to be cannibals?

Yes, if it is cannibalism, then it is a threat to the whole of humanity and that culture must be exterminated one way or the other. After all, not all those eaten or lined up to be eaten by the cannibals are giving or would be freely giving up themselves for lunch. For any society to be that degenerate, there must be a lot more on the ground there that would be inimical to the rest of decent humanity to put them in that state of mind to think cannibalism is cool. Of course, you don’t have to knock down their houses to stop cannibalism. It would be enough to show signals, if necessary force, to the leadership of that society that the rest of humanity aren’t ready to accept such a repugnant culture.



There are seemingly simple answers to these question and majority of us will answer with a resounding YES and wonder why a madman like me will even bother to waste people's time by asking such insane question.
But before you throw me into the assylum and toss the key away, let me back up a little.

Let us assume that we are a society of virtue. Let us assume that we are kind and loving people, magnanimus and graceful to each other, happy and contented in our own ways.Further more, let us assueme that an alien race of people come accross what we consider to be our virtueos society and find us practicing what we regard as desirable; that is being kind to each other, taking care of the sick, elderly and powerless, e.t.c.
Assuming that this alien race have vast military superiority over us and can effortlessly impose their own values upon us, but say they have values diametrically opposed to ours. Say for them, virtue is considered to be vice and vise-versa.

The question is: would it be O.K, would it be permissible for this alien race to kick down our door, force us to kill our weak, eat our young, marry our kids e.t.c, just because they can and just because they believe that is the right way?

What they believe does not matter; what you believe does. If it’s an alien race, then we are not talking humanity or human values anymore, so any question of reasoning is out the window. It’s like asking if it is fair or alright to be attacked by wild animals! The point is it is the nature of the non-human not to think like humans, just like the lion attacking a man isn’t asking himself about morals and values. The man is just food and the lion is just responding to his natural instincts. The same would be the case for the aliens in your story. To them we are just meat. No discussion of human values need come in here, because you have already stated clearly they’re aliens.



Where I'm going with this is this:
With the question of values, if it were so clear cut and apparent that one value is so superior to the other, why is it even necessary to use force?
Do we need to force a hungry man to eat? Do we force a thirsty fellow to drink?
If our ways and values are so much more superior , so far better than that of some others, would it be necessary for us to kick their doors?

No one should be breaking down doors to inculcate better values in people; but yes, it may be necessary to use force to protect humanity when they are threatened by very bad or repugnant values practiced by a considerable number of people, for instance, your cannibalism example. We need not force a hungry man to eat if by not eating he is protesting an injustice and is prepared to put his life on the line to prove his point. If we can live with his death, then let him be; but if we can’t, then we should listen to his case and act on it.



Furthermore, in some instances, decades or even centuries after kicking down doors and imposing our values, the societies are still resisting and we are still struggling to bring them what we consider to be virtues and struggling to lay blame for failure of the forced societies to accept our values on things such as ignorance, lack of freedom, e.t.c. Does it make sense to persist in such folly?

It depends on what values we are talking about and it depends on how repugnant the values we are trying to eradicate. In everything you’ve said, the only one I agree to the use of force for is cannibalism in the form you stated it, but we know that is quite impossible in our world today. I’m not saying there are no cannibals in certain corners of the world; but they would usually be a group of people involved in this secretly. As far as they do not have the support of their national laws and leadership, it is basically a law and order issue that can be handled within the context of enforcement of national laws as we know them today. So, the question of invasion will never arise.



CHEERS!
...

Kenn
Apr 3, 2010, 08:53 PM
Theres an evolutionary aspect to this: Those people in Saudi Arabia didnt start out being crazy Muslims - they became such by force - and if that was acceptable then, why not now? If Mohammed could force people to change, why not the POTUS? I think moral assertions are majorly tautological. That is, not mostly a question of okay or not okay. The mind is a fictive construct, as is the conscience and any moral instinct. Questions about morality are mostly logical nonsense, that is, they violate basic principles governing the use of language - okay, not okay, right, wrong, make about as much sense as a jabberwock - or colorless green ideas sleep furiously flying berger bridge {my twist on a certain famous linguist}.

Ha! Ogbuefi Neop! Na you we see here so without ticket? This year is going to be good! Welcome back, my brother! I can see from your response here that you still have form on your side!:lol: More grease....:D

...

iamgod
Apr 3, 2010, 11:11 PM
NAR,



Yes you lied.

I know its hard, but believe it.....homosexuality is a natural state. You do know that homosexual animals exist in nature, right? Yes, it is abnormal in the sense that it deviates from the usual, but it isn't a practice adopted by choice.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Ok Bros....

What about Bestiality and necrophilia?

Infanticide is practiced in nature by many animals. Is this acceptable in Human societies of today?

Dapxin
Apr 4, 2010, 12:09 AM
^Obugi,


Oh, let me add this too: I don't care much for homosexuals. If I could gain some money or power by killing them all off, I would do it....and I'd be doing it all the while knowing they're God's children too.

All you had to do is get back to Abuja. There is a powerful woman there....

Kenn
Apr 4, 2010, 01:35 AM
Oh, let me add this too: I don't care much for homosexuals. If I could gain some money or power by killing them all off, I would do it....and I'd be doing it all the while knowing they're God's children too.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.


Obugi,

So, you will kill fellow human beings who've done you no wrong for money and power? Or is it only homosexuals or gays you will kill for these purposes? Please, clarify, so I know if I have to remove my "Thank You" to you O!:lol:

..

Obugi
Apr 4, 2010, 03:47 AM
Kenn,


Obugi,

So, you will kill fellow human beings who've done you no wrong for money and power? Or is it only homosexuals or gays you will kill for these purposes? Please, clarify, so I know if I have to remove my "Thank You" to you O!:lol:

..

Sometimes I regret not joining the US military when I had the chance. Maybe even the Nigerian Army. *sigh* I understand that it's legal for any citizen of a Commonwealth member country to join the British Army too. I suppose you'd thank me for that.

iamgod

I like this your name, I no go lie. It cracks me up everytime. :D


What about Bestiality and necrophilia?

If it floats their boat, it's all good. Which one consain me? Don't forget cannibalism. I hear it tastes like chicken. :lol:


Infanticide is practiced in nature by many animals. Is this acceptable in Human societies of today?

Of course it's not acceptable. :cry2:

The Igbo of old considered it acceptable to kill twins. We now know much more about how twins are formed in the gestational process. I'll never forget something one of my biology or genetics professors said about
identical twins - he said, given how they are formed, that they could be considered inferior.

I wonder what would have happened if the ancient Igbo had access to sonograms. Here's some very interesting news to ponder in relation to this.

LINK: Today's Technology & Child Selection (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5545677/Asian-American-birth-rates-suggest-bias-for-boys.html)


Families of Chinese, Indian or Korean descent with a first female child are more likely than average to have a second child who is male, according to data from the US census.

When the first two children are girls, again, it is more likely in such families for the third to be a boy. Professors Lena Edlund and Douglas Almond of Columbia University in New York discovered that among families of Chinese, Indian or Korean descent, if the first two children were female, the ratio of boys to girls for the third child was 1.51 to 1.

When is infanticide really infanticide?

I'm very reluctant to make or accept value judgments.

I like to think more in terms of interests. Human beings act and react according to their interests, then the dishonest ones make up things to justify their actions. The constraints governing our choices change over time and those constraints are created or eliminated by fallible human beings through technology, economics, politics and religion. I've tried to look at life objectively and the only thing I see is that anything goes.

And of course all this flows from the fantastic ego of the human being....that we're a special form of life, a chosen species. I wonder what ants, fish, viruses, plants and algae have in terms of value systems. :lol::lol::lol:

I suppose I have very little to contribute to this discussion :sad:

Someone should please take Otunba DeepThought back to his padded room in the psych ward before he hurts himself :rolleyes:

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 4, 2010, 08:08 AM
.
Your problem then was that you assumed there is a competition for superiority where values are concerned. People who have true or positive values do not look at it from the superior/inferior prism; but simply regard such values as the right things they as individuals can live with while leaving others to freely choose what they want to call values, as far as these are lawful.


The mere act of describing your own values as "true and positive" means that there are false and negative values somewhere out there. This inate feeling of superiority is further emphasised by describing them as "the right things" - implication being that there are wrong things.

Then there is this idea of leaving people to "freely choose what they want to call values, as far as these are lawful". Who decides what is lawful? Is there some neutral third party somewhere?

Keep in mind that in societies dominated by neo-cannibals who also indulge in high-tech necrophilia and disguised paedophilia (e.g the USA), the laws of the land will be on the side of all such practices.

Values are the end-result of a judgemental process and, regardless of how open-minded a person is, the minute you step away from the company of like-minded people (or those who bear the stamp of the same template that shaped you), it is very likely that you will eventually be confronted by a set of values that you will recognise as being inferior to those that you hold.

What you then do depends on how much power you have to make an environment conform with your preferences. If you have the muscle, you make the 'heathen' do what is right. But, if you do not have the muscle, you comfort yourself with the saying that "when in Rome, do as the Romans" (or at least, allow the Romans to do as they damn well please).


Yes, if it is cannibalism, then it is a threat to the whole of humanity and that culture must be exterminated one way or the other. After all, not all those eaten or lined up to be eaten by the cannibals are giving or would be freely giving up themselves for lunch. For any society to be that degenerate, there must be a lot more on the ground there that would be inimical to the rest of decent humanity to put them in that state of mind to think cannibalism is cool. Of course, you don’t have to knock down their houses to stop cannibalism. It would be enough to show signals, if necessary force, to the leadership of that society that the rest of humanity aren’t ready to accept such a repugnant culture.

Some would say that a culture that glorifies war (and the means of making war) above everything else is a degenerate one. A culture in which the process of making war permeates every strata is just as great a threat to the whole of humanity as a culture that validates cannibalism. A culture that is spending more and more resources seeking out ways to kill those who have never done its members any harm is in fact a greater (and more immediate) danger to the whole of humanity than some hypothetical cannibal village...

So, would it be right to say that this culture should be "exterminated one way or another"?

NextLevel
Apr 4, 2010, 11:07 AM
Values are the end-result of a judgemental process and, regardless of how open-minded a person is, the minute you step away from the company of like-minded people (or those who bear the stamp of the same template that shaped you), it is very likely that you will eventually be confronted by a set of values that you will recognise as being inferior to those that you hold.

What you then do depends on how much power you have to make an environment conform with your preferences. If you have the muscle, you make the 'heathen' do what is right. But, if you do not have the muscle, you comfort yourself with the saying that "when in Rome, do as the Romans" (or at least, allow the Romans to do as they damn well please).

I agree with this apart from the claim that values are the end result of a judgmental process. They might just be the beginning as well. After all, do you think people with foot fetishes learn to get aroused by feet?

I like the part about might makes right, but what many intellectuals also do, rather than admit their impotence and be done with it, is write lengthy posts/books criticizing people who they do not agree with and proposing all kinds of corrections to behavior that they know they are only writing primarily because they cannot get their way by other means, and know that they can write whatever they like since they are not held responsible for what they wrote in any serious way.

Kenn
Apr 4, 2010, 12:16 PM
.

Eja,


The mere act of describing your own values as "true and positive" means that there are false and negative values somewhere out there. This inate feeling of superiority is further emphasised by describing them as "the right things" - implication being that there are wrong things.


Apart from being a social animal, man is an individual. So, as a socialised individual with the distinct capacity and capability to reason, his highest concerns will always be to survive and to socialise. It mean establishing precepts for himself and his family or those he has control over and accepting others' precepts (even if he isn't going to practice them), as far as they do not threaten his own survival. The fact that he prefers to take his family to the farm to plant cassava and okro as part of his self-sufficiency values does not mean his neighbour who prefers to take his family hunting has inferior values. He can relate to him because he knows that he is only trying to fend for his family, just like him, the farmer. This attitude would necessarily be part of his own cultural values living in the same society with the hunter. However, if the hunter begins to hunt little children (even if they are not the farmer's children) his survival instincts will kick in because he would recognise the danger of allowing such negative values from the hunter within the community. That is where laws and social deterrence come in.

Thus, regarding personal values as the right things for oneself is just akin to having a personal roadmap to navigate life. You will be making a mistake to assume that that is the only road or the better road for every other person, but you will be comfortable sticking to the road yourself because it's what you know and what you are sure of. And yes, there are true and positive values, just like there are negative values. Man has been conditioned to know what is good and bad and as conductors of values, any value that enhances his humanity is positive, just as any that diminishes it is negative. In that sense therefore, there are right and wrong values. Amongst right values, there are differences as there are humans and cultures, but none need be superior to the other; they are just different. But negative values are anti-social and anti-human and in their case, it isn't a matter of inferiority or being different; it's simply a matter of not being acceptable.



Then there is this idea of leaving people to "freely choose what they want to call values, as far as these are lawful". Who decides what is lawful? Is there some neutral third party somewhere?

The community, through its governments, political, legal and social institutions determine that. Once you are a man living in a community, you are bound by the communal laws. If you infringe them, the community has established ways of dealing with you. If you think their values are not things you agree with, you are free to go elsewhere. A man who does not want to be under any rules or be judged on his values can simply go live in the jungle alone.



Keep in mind that in societies dominated by neo-cannibals who also indulge in high-tech necrophilia and disguised paedophilia (e.g the USA), the laws of the land will be on the side of all such practices.

You need to expatiate on this. I don't know what you are talking about here....



Values are the end-result of a judgemental process and, regardless of how open-minded a person is, the minute you step away from the company of like-minded people (or those who bear the stamp of the same template that shaped you), it is very likely that you will eventually be confronted by a set of values that you will recognise as being inferior to those that you hold.

You don't have to step away from anywhere to confront values different from yours. I mean, following your picture above, how did the individual become part of "the company of like-minded people" in the first place? Were they all born together, indoctrinated together or did they all suddenly have a revelation from somewhere that they need to share common values? Of course not! They are humans. They communicated with each other upon contact, negotiated their beliefs and viewpoints, established a unit of cooperation and support and then developed a community and a network from there on a day to day basis based on experience and changes in attitude. If a member of the group steps out and sees a set of values that enhances his survival better, he would go for it without thinking that the ones he is discarding are inferior or superior. He will be accepting the new values as the right ones to survive in the new place he's found himself and he would accept them only because they enhance his humanity.



What you then do depends on how much power you have to make an environment conform with your preferences. If you have the muscle, you make the 'heathen' do what is right. But, if you do not have the muscle, you comfort yourself with the saying that "when in Rome, do as the Romans" (or at least, allow the Romans to do as they damn well please).

How many ‘heathens' would one powerful individual want to confront in a ‘heathen' environment? Colonialism is one historical process that has been intellectually and morally condemned; but it was a reality. Today, people are quite weary of the notion of ‘might is right' and the hoopla generated by the Iraq war is basically because people feel strongly about stamping out such negative political values. Yeah, we may have powerful governments run by people with vested interests, pursuing their own negative agendas; but so have international civil society and individuals been equally strengthened by exponential growth in awareness and education, advancement in media and communications technology, internal pressure from within powerful governments, international solidarity of non-governmental organizations and social and environmental fallouts from wrong political decisions, etc. We are all still growing as a human community; thus, while judging our failings today, make sure to put them in the context of where humanity is coming from. From man in a State of Nature to where we are today is a huge leap.




Yes, if it is cannibalism, then it is a threat to the whole of humanity and that culture must be exterminated one way or the other. After all, not all those eaten or lined up to be eaten by the cannibals are giving or would be freely giving up themselves for lunch. For any society to be that degenerate, there must be a lot more on the ground there that would be inimical to the rest of decent humanity to put them in that state of mind to think cannibalism is cool. Of course, you don't have to knock down their houses to stop cannibalism. It would be enough to show signals, if necessary force, to the leadership of that society that the rest of humanity aren't ready to accept such a repugnant culture. - Kenn

Some would say that a culture that glorifies war (and the means of making war) above everything else is a degenerate one. A culture in which the process of making war permeates every strata is just as great a threat to the whole of humanity as a culture that validates cannibalism. A culture that is spending more and more resources seeking out ways to kill those who have never done its members any harm is in fact a greater (and more immediate) danger to the whole of humanity than some hypothetical cannibal village...

So, would it be right to say that this culture should be "exterminated one way or another"? - Eja

I did not propose a culture that glorifies war. I have actually proposed the opposite. The fact that I am proposing that steps be taken by the rest of humanity to halt a group invested in exterminating the human race through cannibalism isn't a glorification of war. Whether the cannibals are only eating Fijians like themselves is not the point. They are eating humans and if a Yoruba, Igbo or Mongolian lands there in their midst, they would eat him as well. The world is a community and any such thing in any aspect of it in the way DeepThought described it needs to be stopped, if necessary, by force. That is not a culture that glorifies war; it is one that glorifies and protects human life.

However, if your comment above is an attack on the west today in terms of their investment in armaments of all sorts, invasion of Iraq and so on, I would say it isn't only a western culture. The world has fought two devastating World Wars in the last hundred years and these are just tips of the iceberg in a bloody human history. Thus, if you are indicting the whole human race, that's fine, because no culture is a saint here. My only consolation is that the world is doing something about it. The fact that there has been no other World War since the second is a credit to the United Nations, no matter how much criticism you want to shower on it. The United States leadership itself is going through an ideological and cultural transformation in terms of values now with Obama is at the helms and it is obvious that even if the Republicans take over at any time in the future, they will realise that the grounds have shifted majorly. All these have positive effects around the world as well – whether in Russia, China, UK, India, Iran or North Korea. Forget our Nigeria that is still hiding its head in the sands, the world is changing for the better because more positive values are being put into public policies and the public space at national and international levels.



CHEERS!
...

Kenn
Apr 4, 2010, 12:22 PM
Kenn,

Sometimes I regret not joining the US military when I had the chance. Maybe even the Nigerian Army. *sigh* I understand that it's legal for any citizen of a Commonwealth member country to join the British Army too. I suppose you'd thank me for that.


C'mon, it's not too late....You are still very eligible for Dads Army!:lol:




Someone should please take Otunba DeepThought back to his padded room in the psych ward before he hurts himself :rolleyes:


Sadly, it's too late now....The deed is done....:sad:


....

Tola Odejayi
Apr 4, 2010, 03:13 PM
Values are the end-result of a judgemental process and, regardless of how open-minded a person is, the minute you step away from the company of like-minded people (or those who bear the stamp of the same template that shaped you), it is very likely that you will eventually be confronted by a set of values that you will recognise as being inferior to those that you hold.
Out of curiosity, Have you personally experienced this? i.e. have you encountered a culture with a set of values that you feel is inferior to yours? If so, what made you feel that the values were inferior?

Also, using the same metric, have you encountered a culture with a set of values which you feel is superior to yours? (Of course, if the metric of inferiority is how different those values are from yours, then you are recused from answering this question. :) )




What you then do depends on how much power you have to make an environment conform with your preferences. If you have the muscle, you make the 'heathen' do what is right. But, if you do not have the muscle, you comfort yourself with the saying that "when in Rome, do as the Romans" (or at least, allow the Romans to do as they damn well please).
I don't understand this. Must you make the environment conform to your preferences, even if you have the power to do so? Or are you just saying that this is what most people would do?




Some would say that a culture that glorifies war (and the means of making war) above everything else is a degenerate one. A culture in which the process of making war permeates every strata is just as great a threat to the whole of humanity as a culture that validates cannibalism. A culture that is spending more and more resources seeking out ways to kill those who have never done its members any harm is in fact a greater (and more immediate) danger to the whole of humanity than some hypothetical cannibal village...
Thankfully, such warlike cultures as you describe are a thing of the past...

Obugi
Apr 4, 2010, 03:32 PM
Kenn,

I wonder how much the Queen pays her soldiers? :lol: You asked Eja a question and I join you in demanding an answer.




Keep in mind that in societies dominated by neo-cannibals who also indulge in high-tech necrophilia and disguised paedophilia (e.g the USA), the laws of the land will be on the side of all such practices -----Eja.


You need to expatiate on this. I don’t know what you are talking about here -----Kenn

Back to Kenn again,


Apart from being a social animal, man is an individual. So, as a socialised individual with the distinct capacity and capability to reason, his highest concerns will always be to survive and to socialise.

I don't think socialization is a vital human need. If it is, it's a lesser need than survival. I think survival and reproduction is the sole objective of every living thing. Everything else just flows from the need to accomplish that. So when I say I worship toto, I'm merely stating the obvious.


It mean establishing precepts for himself and his family or those he has control over and accepting others’ precepts (even if he isn’t going to practice them), as far as they do not threaten his own survival. The fact that he prefers to take his family to the farm to plant cassava and okro as part of his self-sufficiency values does not mean his neighbour who prefers to take his family hunting has inferior values.

I would agree, or I would like to agree. Let's move on a bit.....


He can relate to him because he knows that he is only trying to fend for his family, just like him, the farmer. This attitude would necessarily be part of his own cultural values living in the same society with the hunter. However, if the hunter begins to hunt little children (even if they are not the farmer’s children) his survival instincts will kick in because he would recognise the danger of allowing such negative values from the hunter within the community. That is where laws and social deterrence come in.

What if the farmer is vegetarian and sees his neighbors hunting trips as a danger to animals?

What if the hunter has a gun for hunting and the farmer only has a backhoe for weeding and planting? Who has the better values then? Hmmmm.


However, if your comment above is an attack on the west today in terms of their investment in armaments of all sorts, invasion of Iraq and so on, I would say it isn’t only a western culture. The world has fought two devastating World Wars in the last hundred years and these are just tips of the iceberg in a bloody human history. Thus, if you are indicting the whole human race, that’s fine, because no culture is a saint here.

Very true. Top points for this very basic truth that can get lost in our biases.


My only consolation is that the world is doing something about it. The fact that there has been no other World War since the second is a credit to the United Nations, no matter how much criticism you want to shower on it. The United States leadership itself is going through an ideological and cultural transformation in terms of values now with Obama is at the helms and it is obvious that even if the Republicans take over at any time in the future, they will realise that the grounds have shifted majorly. All these have positive effects around the world as well – whether in Russia, China, UK, India, Iran or North Korea. Forget our Nigeria that is still hiding its head in the sands, the world is changing for the better because more positive values are being put into public policies and the public space at national and international levels.

This is very plainly untrue. The UN is itself an instrument of war, domination and exploitation. The UN is a far more sophisticated form of colonialism! Its sophistication lies in just such an outlook as yours.....that you can't even recognize it for what it is!

Obama has a job to do and he's doing it. He may talk a good game to deceive the unwary, but he's no better or worse than the Presidents before him.

The populations of Western democracies have shown by their voting patterns and acquiescence to govt policies that they recognize what is needed to bring home the goodies or maintain a world system needed for a good life standard of living.

Never mind what people say......watch what they do. Some Westerners may protest the actions of their govts just to feel good, secure in the knowledge that their soldiers are abroad doing what needs to be done to ensure a bouyant economy, just like religious people attend Church & Mosque and then go on to do what they need to do, just like the offspring of criminals always embrace their parents.

More than socialization, pretending to do the "right thing" may actually be a vital human need.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Kenn
Apr 4, 2010, 07:19 PM
.

Obugi,



I don't think socialization is a vital human need. If it is, it's a lesser need than survival. I think survival and reproduction is the sole objective of every living thing. Everything else just flows from the need to accomplish that. So when I say I worship toto, I'm merely stating the obvious.


Of course, survival is the most important human need for obvious reasons. But note that socialisation here would include meeting people that you are going to reproduce with. I mean, you have to socialise to reproduce. So, yeah, worship toto; but know that the worship of toto cannot take place without socialisation (abi you be hermaphrodite?:wink:).



He can relate to him because he knows that he is only trying to fend for his family, just like him, the farmer. This attitude would necessarily be part of his own cultural values living in the same society with the hunter. However, if the hunter begins to hunt little children (even if they are not the farmer’s children) his survival instincts will kick in because he would recognise the danger of allowing such negative values from the hunter within the community. That is where laws and social deterrence come in. - Kenn

What if the farmer is vegetarian and sees his neighbors hunting trips as a danger to animals? - Obugi

Well, while it is his view that the neighbour’s hunting trips are dangerous to animals, the cultural values of the society he lives in do not share this view. While the laws of the land respect his right to be a vegetarian, it requires him to respect the right of others to eat meat, even if he doesn’t like it. He can sit over cups of coffees or palm-wine to debate this with his neighbour till the cows come home, but the moment he begins to equate animal life with human life or begins to take laws into his hands to ‘protect’ the animals against the interest of his neighbour, he’d be toying with a long jail term.



What if the hunter has a gun for hunting and the farmer only has a backhoe for weeding and planting? Who has the better values then? Hmmmm.

Guns and hoes are not values; they are simply implements of labour. However, if any of the owners decides to wield it as a weapon, the judgment of value will not be on whether this is a gun or a hoe; but on the conduct of the aggressor and the circumstances of such aggression. In every known human society, the legal or social system has rules for dealing with this kind of situation.




My only consolation is that the world is doing something about it. The fact that there has been no other World War since the second is a credit to the United Nations, no matter how much criticism you want to shower on it. The United States leadership itself is going through an ideological and cultural transformation in terms of values now with Obama is at the helms and it is obvious that even if the Republicans take over at any time in the future, they will realise that the grounds have shifted majorly. All these have positive effects around the world as well – whether in Russia, China, UK, India, Iran or North Korea. Forget our Nigeria that is still hiding its head in the sands, the world is changing for the better because more positive values are being put into public policies and the public space at national and international levels. - Kenn

This is very plainly untrue. The UN is itself an instrument of war, domination and exploitation. The UN is a far more sophisticated form of colonialism! Its sophistication lies in just such an outlook as yours.....that you can't even recognize it for what it is! - Obugi

Thank you. Just give me an idea of what you think the world would have looked like today without the UN. Of course, I do recognise the inequities within the UN system; but, as I said, humanity is still growing and I look forward to the day that such inequities will be a thing of the past. However, as at today, this beginning of the 21st century, I personally celebrate the UN. Anyway, as I said, if you have any idea what the world would have looked like today without the UN, please give us an idea.



Obama has a job to do and he's doing it. He may talk a good game to deceive the unwary, but he's no better or worse than the Presidents before him.

While I do not begrudge you your cynicism, I make bold to say Obama is objectively better than a lot of the presidents before him. His historic achievements in one year already attest to that.



The populations of Western democracies have shown by their voting patterns and acquiescence to govt policies that they recognize what is needed to bring home the goodies or maintain a world system needed for a good life standard of living.

Isn’t that what we mean by survival? Should we excoriate them for thinking of number one first? If we were in their shoes, would we have been any different?



Never mind what people say......watch what they do. Some Westerners may protest the actions of their govts just to feel good, secure in the knowledge that their soldiers are abroad doing what needs to be done to ensure a bouyant economy, just like religious people attend Church & Mosque and then go on to do what they need to do, just like the offspring of criminals always embrace their parents.

I take the emphasis here to be on the “Some”, right? Some Westerners may be hypocrites, of course; but that does not change the fact that there are many Westerners who are not and who are joining others around the world to secure a fairer world.



More than socialization, pretending to do the "right thing" may actually be a vital human need.

Perhaps, but it doesn’t mean that actually doing the right thing is alien to man. Again, it’s all about values.


CHEERS!
...

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 5, 2010, 11:28 AM
Out of curiosity, Have you personally experienced this? i.e. have you encountered a culture with a set of values that you feel is inferior to yours? If so, what made you feel that the values were inferior?


If by culture you mean a way of living in the world, then yes, I have met cultures with sets of values that I considered/consider inferior to mine. I should also mention that some of the people exhibiting these values were Yoruba, some were English, some were Pakistani and some were ....... [fill in the space].


Also, using the same metric, have you encountered a culture with a set of values which you feel is superior to yours? (Of course, if the metric of inferiority is how different those values are from yours, then you are recused from answering this question. :) )

Again yes. Had I not, at various times in the past, come across values that I recognised as superior to whatever I held on to at those times, then I would never have grown. Recognising what is superior and seeking to attain it (sometimes successfully and sometimes otherwise) is part of what it means to be human. Abi I lie?


I don't understand this. Must you make the environment conform to your preferences, even if you have the power to do so? Or are you just saying that this is what most people would do?


If I were one type of human who, on getting into an environment, discovered that I had the strength needed to make it conform with my preferences, then this is probably what I will do. Afterwards, I may rationalise my actions by describing them as beneficial to all (including those who were once my hosts) or, I may simply ascribe my good fortune to God/Allah being on my side.

But then again, I could be another type of human who just wants to live at any cost and so will abide by whatever demands my environment makes on me.

With regards to what "most people" will do, I do not know. All I am certain of is what some people have done.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 5, 2010, 11:34 AM
I agree with this apart from the claim that values are the end result of a judgmental process. They might just be the beginning as well. After all, do you think people with foot fetishes learn to get aroused by feet?

I like the part about might makes right, but what many intellectuals also do, rather than admit their impotence and be done with it, is write lengthy posts/books criticizing people who they do not agree with and proposing all kinds of corrections to behavior that they know they are only writing primarily because they cannot get their way by other means, and know that they can write whatever they like since they are not held responsible for what they wrote in any serious way.

NextLevel, I hope you are not one of these people who use the label "intellectual" as a word of abuse...:smile:

Note also that there are intellectuals who only think and, intellectuals who think and act. Speaking objectively, both serve a useful purpose. The harm we encounter in this world comes mostly from those who do not think at all (a set of which those who do not think but believe that they do form a crucial subset).

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 5, 2010, 11:35 AM
Kenn baba I dey come O.

NextLevel
Apr 5, 2010, 11:45 AM
NextLevel, I hope you are not one of these people who use the label "intellectual" as a word of abuse...:smile:

Note also that there are intellectuals who only think and, intellectuals who think and act. Speaking objectively, both serve a useful purpose. The harm we encounter in this world comes mostly from those who do not think at all (a set of which those who do not think but believe that they do form a crucial subset).

Yes, I am. I don't consider practitioners to be intellectuals per se. If you are practicing in a field, I could consider you a theorist or a thinker par excellence, but I would not call you an intellectual as I use the term. Those who think but do not practice are free to engage in flights of fancy unconstrained by the realities that face them on the ground and usually come up with the most ridiculous things that anyone with practical experience could point out the problem with in a heartbeat. People who practice are, whatever you might think of their actual results, constrained by the feedback they face in trying to enact their visions.

For example, one may consider a campaigning politician who has never held office before an intellectual (unless of course he is already aware he is making ridiculous campaign promises to get elected) as he is free to attack people who were in situations he had never been in before and claim he could do better, but consider the same politician in office a practitioner, since he is now facing realities that constrain his ability to embark upon his campaign rhetoric, and is now more sympathetic with the problems faced by those he attacked before he got there. Anyone familiar with Arnold Schwarzenegger in CA will understand what I'm talking about.

Of course, there is room for grey area and you can use the word in a different sense from that in which I use it. But wisdom has its limits, and sometimes, intellectuals of the type I deride can't see that.

Tola Odejayi
Apr 5, 2010, 07:03 PM
If by culture you mean a way of living in the world, then yes, I have met cultures with sets of values that I considered/consider inferior to mine. I should also mention that some of the people exhibiting these values were Yoruba, some were English, some were Pakistani and some were ....... [fill in the space].

You didn't answer this question:

If so, what made you feel that the values were inferior?




Again yes. Had I not, at various times in the past, come across values that I recognised as superior to whatever I held on to at those times, then I would never have grown. Recognising what is superior and seeking to attain it (sometimes successfully and sometimes otherwise) is part of what it means to be human. Abi I lie?
This is true. But why did you feel they were superior? (If you like, you can regard this as a converse of my earlier question.)




If I were one type of human who, on getting into an environment, discovered that I had the strength needed to make it conform with my preferences, then this is probably what I will do. Afterwards, I may rationalise my actions by describing them as beneficial to all (including those who were once my hosts) or, I may simply ascribe my good fortune to God/Allah being on my side.
Just to be clear, would the change of the environment mean forcibly changing the culture of those who you lived amongst, even though their way of life did not signficantly impair yours?

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 6, 2010, 03:28 AM
Yes, I am. I don't consider practitioners to be intellectuals per se. If you are practicing in a field, I could consider you a theorist or a thinker par excellence, but I would not call you an intellectual as I use the term. Those who think but do not practice are free to engage in flights of fancy unconstrained by the realities that face them on the ground and usually come up with the most ridiculous things that anyone with practical experience could point out the problem with in a heartbeat. People who practice are, whatever you might think of their actual results, constrained by the feedback they face in trying to enact their visions.

For example, one may consider a campaigning politician who has never held office before an intellectual (unless of course he is already aware he is making ridiculous campaign promises to get elected) as he is free to attack people who were in situations he had never been in before and claim he could do better, but consider the same politician in office a practitioner, since he is now facing realities that constrain his ability to embark upon his campaign rhetoric, and is now more sympathetic with the problems faced by those he attacked before he got there. Anyone familiar with Arnold Schwarzenegger in CA will understand what I'm talking about.

Of course, there is room for grey area and you can use the word in a different sense from that in which I use it. But wisdom has its limits, and sometimes, intellectuals of the type I deride can't see that.

NextLevel, since you did not invent/coin the term "intellectual" any interpretation that you give beyond the dictionary meaning will remain your own personal idiosyncracy. Hopefully, you did not adopt this in imitation of some right-wing ideologues from the west who were the first to decide (at some point during the cultural revolutions occuring in the 1960s), that "intellectual" was a bad word.

I am sure that you have your own reasons and that to you, these (i.e. your reasons) are good....

Meanwhile, what you call "flights of fancy" are actually the starting point of every single endeavour that has moved the worlds of humanity.

Christianity and Islam were both "flights of fancy" with adherents that could be counted on the fingers of one hand at their beginnings. Likewise, the early practitioners of 'modern science' lived daily with the risk that they would be burned at the stake due to the types of "flights of fancy" that they were indulging in.

And, speaking again about Christianity and Islam, consider what would have happened to both ideologies had the first adherents been ones whose belief in a set of ideas could have been eradicated by the initial negative feedbacks recieved from the inhabitants of the regions where those ideas were first propagated....

Even a comprehensive defeat by force of arms is no guarantee that a product of the intellect will lose its power and/or ability to influence future events. For proof of this, you only need to look at what has happened to the ideas that motivated the fascist parties of Europe during the 1920's, 1930s, etc. You may find that crucial aspects of fascist ideology (http://www.ratical.com/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html), rather than being discredited, actually entrenched their positions in the mainstream of the very societies that defeated their original proponents on the battlefields.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 6, 2010, 03:52 AM
You didn't answer this question:

If so, what made you feel that the values were inferior?


Ignoring false modesty, I exercised my ability to reason.


This is true. But why did you feel they were superior? (If you like, you can regard this as a converse of my earlier question.)

Ignoring false self-regard, I exercised my ability to reason.

Depending on how honest you can be with yourself, this ability will enable you to distinguish between good and bad (regardless of personal loss or gain).


Just to be clear, would the change of the environment mean forcibly changing the culture of those who you lived amongst, even though their way of life did not signficantly impair yours?


If you want an answer that is based on personal experiences to the question you are asking, you will have to ask a member of those groups who have done (and are doing) this thing.

Speaking for myself (and myself only), a desire to "forcibly" change the culture of people that I decided of my own free will to live amongst (after leaving my region of origin) has never existed.

NextLevel
Apr 6, 2010, 04:19 AM
NextLevel, since you did not invent/coin the term "intellectual" any interpretation that you give beyond the dictionary meaning will remain your own personal idiosyncracy. Hopefully, you did not adopt this in imitation of some right-wing ideologues from the west who were the first to decide (at some point during the cultural revolutions occuring in the 1960s), that "intellectual" was a bad word.

Actually, the distinction between men of action and men of talk has a timeless legacy and is not new. That I have adopted the term "intellectual" to refer to men of talk did not start with me and has been done by men both on the left and the right. In fact, the phrase "the best and the brightest" was used to refer derogatorily to those who went to the best schools, but had little experience in the practical fields of the world. If you have a quibble with my use of the word, fine. I don't debate dictionaries. If you have a quibble with the substance of what I have said, that men who preach but don't practice are free to say whatever they want without claiming responsibility for what they write, then argue it. But I deal with people on a daily basis who talk about what they would have done, but when placed in the same situation, are made to realize that their words and promises were empty. It is easy to criticize when you have little understanding of what you are criticizing - ignorance can be highly intoxicating. Recently, I heard a man telling me that there is no variety in Juju music and that all juju music sounds the same. So I whipped out a Sunny Ade CD, called over an American, and played two songs on the CD and asked him to tell me if the songs sounded the same. Simple empirical refutation of ignorance!




I am sure that you have your own reasons and that to you, these (i.e. your reasons) are good....

My reasons are obvious and have been stated.




Meanwhile, what you call "flights of fancy" are actually the starting point of every single endeavour that has moved the worlds of humanity.



If you say so. While I think this statement is problematic, I never said that intelligence or vision is not required to solve problems. What I said was that intelligence or vision unchecked by feedback from reality is free to speculate arrogantly about what can or cannot be. I would trust a crooked politician over a saintly philosopher about the reality of politics, because they who have practiced often know more than those who sit back and theorize.

.


Christianity and Islam were both "flights of fancy" with adherents that could be counted on the fingers of one hand at their beginnings. Likewise, the early practitioners of 'modern science' lived daily with the risk that they would be burned at the stake due to the types of "flights of fancy" that they were indulging in.

If you say so. Your guess is as good as mine, though my guess is not the same as yours. But neither of these religions was started by intellectuals as I have characterized the term.



And, speaking again about Christianity and Islam, consider what would have happened to both ideologies had the first adherents been ones whose belief in a set of ideas could have been eradicated by the initial negative feedbacks recieved from the inhabitants of the regions where those ideas were first propagated....

You know better than I do. Neither Christianity nor Islam was practiced by an intellectual - they were practiced by people willing to practice what they preached for the most part.



Even a comprehensive defeat by force of arms is no guarantee that a product of the intellect will lose its power and/or ability to influence future events. For proof of this, you only need to look at what has happened to the ideas that motivated the fascist parties of Europe during the 1920's, 1930s, etc. You may find that crucial aspects of fascist ideology (http://www.ratical.com/ratville/CAH/fasci14chars.html), rather than being discredited, actually entrenched their positions in the mainstream of the very societies that defeated their original proponents on the battlefields.

Again, this is besides my point. If I had to understand the nature of government in Nigeria, who is it better to listen to, Achebe or Babangida? If you want the ideals, Achebe. But if you want to know what really happens, Babangida. This is without prejudice to whose ideals I subscribe to. Those who cannot do love to teach.

NextLevel
Apr 6, 2010, 04:22 AM
Depending on how honest you can be with yourself, this ability will enable you to distinguish between good and bad (regardless of personal loss or gain).



Are sociopaths honest with themselves? Can they be honest with themselves? How would you convince a sociopath to behave in a way that you considered good or bad?

Kenn
Apr 6, 2010, 04:46 AM
.


Eja,



Out of curiosity, Have you personally experienced this? i.e. have you encountered a culture with a set of values that you feel is inferior to yours? If so, what made you feel that the values were inferior? - Shoko


If by culture you mean a way of living in the world, then yes, I have met cultures with sets of values that I considered/consider inferior to mine. I should also mention that some of the people exhibiting these values were Yoruba, some were English, some were Pakistani and some were ....... [fill in the space].


Also, using the same metric, have you encountered a culture with a set of values which you feel is superior to yours? (Of course, if the metric of inferiority is how different those values are from yours, then you are recused from answering this question. - Shoko

Again yes. Had I not, at various times in the past, come across values that I recognised as superior to whatever I held on to at those times, then I would never have grown. Recognising what is superior and seeking to attain it (sometimes successfully and sometimes otherwise) is part of what it means to be human. Abi I lie? - Eja


You are right; but what we need to look at closely is the relationship between general cultural practices and values. For instance, you may have value of sanctity of life, which is generally shared by your community. You can then go elsewhere and discover that not only do they share this same value; but they actually put machinery in place to make it much more protected than your original place. The fact that there is relative disparity in resources or institutional capacity to defend or protect such a value in both places does not make one superior over the other. Both cultures are the same; both values are the same; one just happens to have put on the ground better ways to express it. There are no superiority/inferiority issues here if you choose the latter society as ideal. You are only continuing in believing in the same original values.




I don't understand this. Must you make the environment conform to your preferences, even if you have the power to do so? Or are you just saying that this is what most people would do? - Shoko

If I were one type of human who, on getting into an environment, discovered that I had the strength needed to make it conform with my preferences, then this is probably what I will do. Afterwards, I may rationalise my actions by describing them as beneficial to all (including those who were once my hosts) or, I may simply ascribe my good fortune to God/Allah being on my side. - Eja

That was the attitude in Man in a State of Nature. Even the smallest unit of human community today will be very difficult to control this way. Control cannot just be established just be having the armies or the resources or the sheer force to enforce it. As far as it is about human behaviour, something will give at some point or the other. At any rate, it depends on what values you are trying to impose and the people's level of awareness. Even if you're doing charity, you are bound to be challenged if people think you are only doing it to serve your sole purpose. The person thinking he is imposing his values may be pleasantly surprised that others there actually share those values inherently already, except he's someone on a power trip seeking to forcefully impose negative values on the people. Even then, he wouldn't get far in our today's world. There are so many political, social and technological factors that will certainly make it impossible for him.




But then again, I could be another type of human who just wants to live at any cost and so will abide by whatever demands my environment makes on me.

In the long run, you will have no choice, but to abide by what the environment dictates. Of course, you can contribute to that environment, depending on your personality and resources. But, by and large, you can only be one of a whole. No one can hoard values for himself.



With regards to what "most people" will do, I do not know. All I am certain of is what some people have done.

Any concrete examples?:lol:



CHEERS!
...

Khalil
Apr 7, 2010, 02:16 PM
Obugi,

How do you know those engaged in homosexual practices among the animals are not the outcasts of the animal kingdom? It is like we humans presume to much by resorting to use our own value loaded standards to judge the animals.

Some of us toe the extereme by concluding that humanbeings are better than animals. How they know that I don't know. But if time is the ultimate judge of what constitutes a set of superior values, yet, I will not rule the possiblity of animals or a specie of them among many other species will one day be favoured by time as the ones holding the very best of set of values. Besides these "people" don't even use the kind of WMD we use to destroy one another or the environment they live.

I really want to know if human race has enough facts to enable it conclude it is better than animals.

Khalilurrahman

Kenn
Apr 7, 2010, 02:41 PM
Obugi,

How do you know those engaged in homosexual practices among the animals are not the outcasts of the animal kingdom? It is like we humans presume to much by resorting to use our own value loaded standards to judge the animals.

Some of us toe the extereme by concluding that humanbeings are better than animals. How they know that I don't know. But if time is the ultimate judge of what constitutes a set of superior values, yet, I will not rule the possiblity of animals or a specie of them among many other species will one day be favoured by time as the ones holding the very best of set of values. Besides these "people" don't even use the kind of WMD we use to destroy one another or the environment they live.

I really want to know if human race has enough facts to enable it conclude it is better than animals.

Khalilurrahman



Now, where are the Einsteins of the Amimal World to finally put us in our place with empirical facts about their own superiority? Oops, sorry!:eek: I just realised I'm using Einstein as a standard when that could well be "our own value loaded standards" as humans….Hmmm...(Kenn thinking hard…) So, what standard should we use now? Animal standards, human standards, Martians' standards? Which one? Any ideas, Mr Khalil? :lol:

(Una no go kill me for here...;))


..

denker
Apr 7, 2010, 03:17 PM
kenn, the great soul, u never gonna know, maybe, Khalilurrahman, na representative of animal standard..au revoir!

Araba
Apr 7, 2010, 03:37 PM
Khalil, thank you very much. May you live long to see how right you are. See the destruction Humans have caused. No be dem start Global Warming. On top of it, they put animals in zoos (How, why? Ki l'on Se - What did the Animals do?). Afterall we haven't seen where Lions and Tigers walk around freely biting people. Yes O, Lions bite.
No be Hitler and his people kill Human Beings. Shay na dog start Second World War abi na Fish. You see whale comot from water kill pesin before (Except that mistake in Florida).

Wo (look) Khalil you are so right. From now on, I will make it a point of duty to read all your posts. I think Leona Helmsley agreed with you. She gave $12m to her dog.

denker
Apr 7, 2010, 03:46 PM
Araba, abeg, mind yaself..stop dis flattering...all na vanity...lol!

Kenn
Apr 7, 2010, 03:59 PM
Khalil, thank you very much. May you live long to see how right you are. See the destruction Humans have caused. No be dem start Global Warming. On top of it, they put animals in zoos (How, why? Ki l'on Se - What did the Animals do?). Afterall we haven't seen where Lions and Tigers walk around freely biting people. Yes O, Lions bite.
No be Hitler and his people kill Human Beings. Shay na dog start Second World War abi na Fish. You see whale comot from water kill pesin before (Except that mistake in Florida).

Wo (look) Khalil you are so right. From now on, I will make it a point of duty to read all your posts. I think Leona Helmsley agreed with you. She gave $12m to her dog.


Now that we know this, wouldn't it be a great idea to begin to go on all fours, do some respectable barking and yelping (I would have added a little tail-wagging, but, you know, we can't grow one yet), so one can inherit $12 million? Hmmm....money, money, money....Now, where can a dog spend such cool dollar? Bingo!:lol:

..

So Sue Me
Apr 8, 2010, 01:07 AM
Much about values has to do with evolution. We tend to compare our values to that of technologically advanced nations, but we forget that their values only changed as they developed and attained greater prosperity.

In America, for instance, there was a time when there were no such things as unions, or even child labor laws. Marriage that is largely based on love today in America was really based in convenience in the past. Prior to the twentiety century, and even well into it, in America, many women married men based on their ability to provide for them rather than the love they held for such men.

Now America is an incredibly prosperous nation and, along with the rest of the civilized world, routinely makes moral condemnations based on their own notions of propriety and virtue.

What is child labor to others may be common sense to some. If you are a subsistence farmer, why shouldn't your children help you on the farm? How will you be able to bring the crops in?

We are constantly told that freedom and due process and all that is good, but when did America become free, for instance? Not too long ago, in many developed countries, and even in some today, the police could stop you anytime and stop you about anything. When did this cease? When they became prosperous enough to afford elaborate undercover work and sting operations, of course. Americans give you freedom because they have the means and the resources to safeguard it. You can do anything and go anywhere you want in developed countries because they can find you anytime they want.

It's all about evolution. If we were to become a technological power today, our values would develop accordingly. We might start having more marching parades and other conventions that require signifiant expenditures. We should not fall into the trap of thinking everything in developed societies is normal. Do you really need gun ownership as a constitutional rightj, for instance?

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 8, 2010, 08:05 AM
Questions have been asked about how we can recognise inferior sets of values. Well, watch the video below.

Warning: It is kind of pornographic....

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/5rXPrfnU3G0&hl=en_GB&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/5rXPrfnU3G0&hl=en_GB&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Khalil
Apr 8, 2010, 08:19 AM
Now, where are the Einsteins of the Amimal World to finally put us in our place with empirical facts about their own superiority? Oops, sorry!:eek: I just realised I'm using Einstein as a standard when that could well be "our own value loaded standards" as humans….Hmmm...(Kenn thinking hard…) So, what standard should we use now? Animal standards, human standards, Martians' standards? Which one? Any ideas, Mr Khalil? :lol:

(Una no go kill me for here...;))


..

Kenny,

It is very possible the animals ( name we give them even without consulting them) have their own Einsteins, Kenns and Khalils. It is also possible they are somewhere in their own version of internet forums discussing similar topics considering whether they should change their value systems which suggests they should allow us subjugate them to that which will encourage them to conquer and subjugate us in turn.

As a way of example the humans have been able to discover that elephants have the capability to sense danger miles away and communicate that to another elephant miles away. What we are yet to know is how they came to acquire such capability but since we cannot find explanations we say they are born with it. But it maybe possible they had an Einstein in their book of records of history ( away from our sight) who developed a technology that made sure all later creations of elephants get a chip with amazing sensors as mentioned.

You see human scientific community is yet to explain everything about itself, the environment we live or the other creatures with which we share the environment. This difficulty we have expresses itself in different ways.
Recently Avatar, a Hollywood movie is highly celebrated for its artful achievements which graphically represents the confusion bedeviling humankind as a result of its lack of contact with the realities of the other creatures with whom we share this universe.

In the movie it is shown how a team of human beings embarked on a project of locating a treasure inside a deep forest where some hostile creatures (animals) live. But they realized they cannot achieve that without cloning some of their own into the bodily image of those "animals". But when Jack Sully (the starring) and Grace assumed the form of the creatures and went to live with them, speaking their language, learning their orders, empathetically accenting to their values, they realized how organized a system they run based social justice, sound moral leadership and respect for natural hierarchies as they understand as a phenomena.

In the end they couldn't help but to side with the animals and fight the human beings who accuse them of betraying their own race.

So Kenny, we may not go all on fours like dogs because that is not acceptable according the dictates of our values we human beings, but for dogs who do it, we must not judge them as to why based on our standard. Maybe their ultimate goal in life, a value loaded course, is to find a human master and do his bidding at the cost of everything they live for. But that shouldn't make them anymore inferior. The fact that you rule something or somebody shouldn't make you start feeling superior over that person. Unless if we agree that slavery had some justification. And the enslaved were inferior human type.

Khalilurrahman

Araba
Apr 8, 2010, 08:44 AM
Ehn, Ehn. Khalil again you are right. Shebi, it was a while ago that some said Homosexuality was a mental condition. Today it is not. I wonder what Incest will be. Dey done do Genetic Engineering/Stem Cell menene. So very soon na, Sister and Brother.........Hmmmmmmm!
I remember there was a time I thought I would never see men adorning earrings on the Streets of Lagos. In Ibadan, dem dey for plenty. "I don travel oh, see stamp for my ear".
Eja has a post over there. Hmmm.
Let me just say values tend to be reinforced by the might of power. How do we define power? Money? Control of the Instruments of Legitimate Violence? Religion? Media? If the Chinese had their acts together and colonised Africa in the 19th Century, may be I'll be a buddhist saying "Ni Hao Ma" instead of "How are you".
The World is a discovery.

valteena
Apr 8, 2010, 12:29 PM
Kenn,

This is very plainly untrue. The UN is itself an instrument of war, domination and exploitation. The UN is a far more sophisticated form of colonialism! Its sophistication lies in just such an outlook as yours.....that you can't even recognize it for what it is!

Obama has a job to do and he's doing it. He may talk a good game to deceive the unwary, but he's no better or worse than the Presidents before him.

The populations of Western democracies have shown by their voting patterns and acquiescence to govt policies that they recognize what is needed to bring home the goodies or maintain a world system needed for a good life standard of living.

Never mind what people say......watch what they do. Some Westerners may protest the actions of their govts just to feel good, secure in the knowledge that their soldiers are abroad doing what needs to be done to ensure a bouyant economy, just like religious people attend Church & Mosque and then go on to do what they need to do, just like the offspring of criminals always embrace their parents.

More than socialization, pretending to do the "right thing" may actually be a vital human need.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.


Obugi the UN is a direct product of war. Yes it represents the search for security by nations through mutual and reciprocal deterrence but the UN is still an institution whose members are official government representatives or delegation of nation states and as such is not exempted from the suspicious rivalry, endless competition and partisanship that exist among nations that gave rise to wars and other world insecurities in the first instance.

You cannot free the UN from its historical fluctuation between war and peace. But at least it does exist as evidence of human’s search for morality and a collective illusion called peace, peaceful coexistence, harmony and civilised behaviour.
I say it is an illusion because human primodial instinct for survival remains. This leads to domination/power and the need to maintain it in turn leads to conflicts and wars. That is why war has remained and would remain a Constance of history. It will not diminish with so called civilisation/superior value or democracy.

Araba
Apr 9, 2010, 04:13 AM
Thank You Valteena. To paraphrase Von Clausewitz, War " is the continuation of politics by other means". Ok so we've reached the Nadir or is it the Zenith (Law of relativity now, where am I standing in this debate.....My Knob Creek, hmmmmm........) of wars. So Europe has been saved from the squabbles of the French and Germans. Thanks to NATO and the Nuclear Shield. Isreal, India, Pakistan, North Korea can "have" Nuclear weapons but not Iran. Why? Will war always be a conflict of ammunition and explosives? What about Cyberspace? Abeg, make terrorists no kill NVS O, Ise!!!!:D
Deepthought, dis ya thread no go quench finish anytime O.

Obugi
Apr 9, 2010, 01:53 PM
Valteena,


Obugi the UN is a direct product of war. Yes it represents the search for security by nations through mutual and reciprocal deterrence but the UN is still an institution whose members are official government representatives or delegation of nation states and as such is not exempted from the suspicious rivalry, endless competition and partisanship that exist among nations that gave rise to wars and other world insecurities in the first instance.

You cannot free the UN from its historical fluctuation between war and peace. But at least it does exist as evidence of human’s search for morality and a collective illusion called peace, peaceful coexistence, harmony and civilised behaviour.
I say it is an illusion because human primodial instinct for survival remains. This leads to domination/power and the need to maintain it in turn leads to conflicts and wars. That is why war has remained and would remain a Constance of history. It will not diminish with so called civilisation/superior value or democracy.

My sister, I wish it the deleterious aspects of the UN were just rivalry and partisanship. My Igbo people have a saying, that death is not the worst than can happen to a man. There's a reason why Americans say "give me liberty or give me death!"

The results of the UN are worse than war. The thing is people tend to look at the General Assembly and its debates as the embodiment of the UN. The real manifestation of UN intent is in its Agencies, like the IAEA, World Bank/WTO/IMF and the Security Council. All the UN has done is make rules that say "The most powerful countries at the end of World War 2 rule and exploit the world forever."

Imagine....take just one instance....using the dollar and pound sterling as the world currency. All these two countries have to do is print pieces of paper and use it to buy all the oil they want.

Imagine if the rules of world trade were reorganized such that you must use local currency to buy what you want. That is, if you want Nigerian oil, you must bring naira.

What about the NPT administered by the IAEA? Why should Iran, a country surrounded on all sides by American armies and naval forces, not have access to a weapon that will guarantee its safety?

Me I no dey vex o, but again my problem is the hypocrisy. Sometimes I see the news and I just ROFLMAO at this world Animal Farm arrangement. All the UN has done is to formally subject Third World countries to everlasting colonial exploitation without firing a shot. That is all. No country serious about real freedom should abide by UN mandates.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Ewuro
Apr 9, 2010, 02:14 PM
Obugi,
Would you rather not have a UN then? Mind you before the UN, there was slave trade, colonialism, wars, poverty, ignorance, etc. In essence worse things did happen than what you are complaning about? I intend to say more. I would wait till you answer my question.

Obugi
Apr 9, 2010, 03:21 PM
Ewuro,

I would rather have an equitable UN that recognizes the rights of all peoples.

Like the American's say, give me liberty or give me death! The Igbo say death is not the worst that can happen to a man.


Mind you before the UN, there was slave trade, colonialism, wars, poverty, ignorance, etc. In essence worse things did happen than what you are complaning about?

I'm not complaining, just pointing out what is.

All those things you say happened before, are happening now, only now more blatantly and with greater force, technology and propaganda to support them, chief of which is the illusion of the UN.

The second invasion of Iraq in 2003 was sanctioned or allowed to go ahead by the UN, Iraq is now colonized by America, so what are you talking about?

This is the same UN that allows some countries to print paper and use it to "pay" for what they want.

This is the same UN that imposed or allowed sanctions on Zimbabwe for what?

The UN allows the UK to dictate that Nigeria must remain united inspite of its deficiencies.

Just how many people have died as a result of just the four instances above?

All I'm saying is that rather than abolish those evils of colonialism, war, poverty, ignorance and so on, the UN legitimized them and made them into standards for the maintenance of world order.

This isn't me just talking, the facts stare us in the face.

Again, I'm not complaining. What good will that do? :lol: Life is what it is, might is always right unless you're willing to pay the price of resistance. All I'm saying is don't piss on me and tell me it's raining. Don't tell me 2+2 = 7. That's all.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Ewuro
Apr 9, 2010, 07:40 PM
Ewuro,

I would rather have an equitable UN that recognizes the rights of all peoples.

!Get Yours!
Obugi.

Obugi,
Thank you. I can see you are not against UN. All you want is an 'equitable UN that recognises the rights of all peoples.'

If that is the case, I am all for your type of UN.

The question is, how do we achieve this?

I take it that certain states are striving to achieve this very good ideal, 'recogntion of rights of all peoples'

It had been a struggle for countries like the UK, US, Canada trying to create an egalitarian state. They have not succeeded yet. I can say that they strive towards it.

Do countries like China, Russia, France, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Brazil, Argetina, Cuba, haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria, Sudan, Congo, Zaire, Kenya, South Africa etc 'recogise the rights of all peoples?'

Are they trying to as we have seen in the US and the UK?

Why is china able to pusue unilateral objectives inspite of the UN?

Why is Iran giving the UN a tough time?

Why is a country like Nigeria unable to be a real force of influence in the US?

Obugi
Jan 7, 2011, 01:05 AM
My People,

Another very nice thread started by a koro koro nut case :lol:

My Ijebu-Igbo brother, have they driven you completely mad yet?

!!! Toto Is Lord !!!
Obugi.

Ajibs
Jan 16, 2011, 10:14 PM
My People,

Another very nice thread started by a koro koro nut case :lol:

My Ijebu-Igbo brother, have they driven you completely mad yet?

!!! Toto Is Lord !!!
Obugi.

Obugi,
Kraze dey worry you. I need to go back and read this debate from the beginning and see how it concluded, if it did. It is interesting to see those who started, dropped off came back others joined in and how the debate evolved.

a piper too
Mar 18, 2012, 06:34 AM
Dear All
I'm sorry to have missed the "debate", but have just now taken the trouble to read each post - 58 of them ! The question of Values is an ongoing saga, and everyone has a different opinion, it would seem. But when we get down to the basics, we all spring from the same source; there should be no argument.

I trust that you will take a peek at my blog, which considers the "humble bucket" and its value, irrespective of its content: See http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/forum/blogs/a-piper-too/humble-bucket-1837 , which was posted on 17.03.2012. Might I expect a further 58 responses as we "rethread the needle" ?