Thursday, October 28, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Only a slave acts on permission."
There is a legal right in this country to demonstrate, it's nothing less than a hallmark of a modern liberal democracy. I personally disagree with the reason for the G20 demonstrations I believe that most of the people doing so are on par with loony conspiracy theorists. The right to peaceful protest aside, I absolutely believe that anyone destroying property or actually and physically assaulting a police officer (or anyone else) in the course of any demonstration ought to be thrown in jail. Full stop.
But... assault by soap bubble?
And now there is this... The Officer in question has launched lawsuits aimed at people who commented on the YouTube video for defamation of his character, something he ought to realize he did all on his own with his ridiculous overreaction.
Friday, October 15, 2010
With the news that the Afghanistan Government is in secret talks with the Taliban to end almost 10 years of war it seems like it is time to find out what went wrong.
Could it be (as I’m sure some are going to claim) that our failure in Afghanistan is the karmic result of the “fact” that our presence there was not predicated on any reason, moral right or principle at all?
Let’s examine that idea.
Let us disregard for a moment the reason we went there in the first place, forget that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 ever occurred, that almost three thousand innocents died, certainly that is no reason to go to war.
Forget that once we found ourselves in that medieval throwback of a nation, that we tried to give them the benefit of every advancement in social theory from the time of the Protestant Reformation to The Women’s Rights movement. On what principle do we call for a separation of church and state? What ideal underscores the equality of men and women? Surely there is none at all, and this sort of trifling issue could never be worth the blood that has been shed.
Let’s overlook that once committed to the task, that we wanted Afghanistan to evolve from the politics of the feudal state to a modern liberal democratic republic. Surely there is nothing they need to learn from us. Look at the ideas forwarded by the Magna Carta, The Declaration of Independence, Charters and Bills of Rights, certainly none of this is worth fighting for!
Yes, let’s ignore all this and examine for a moment the possibility that our failure is some sort of mystical retribution for the arrogance of assuming that our culture, or the rights we enjoy, or our form of government or our secular laws were ever worthy of protection or of being spread.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
A Judge in Ontario recently struck down the laws concerning keeping a Bawdy house, and communication for the purpose of prostitution. Predictably the religious and other moral busy-bodies have come out in opposition to the ruling and are promising an appeal.
With the voices raised in "moral" opposition to the ruling calling for the reinstatement of the old laws, this article is calling for us to leave morality out of the prostitution debate... and that is wrong.
Prostitution is a degrading, dangerous and often demeaning profession. I can’t for the life of me think of one single reason why any person who has the least bit of intelligence, self respect or personal integrity would want to be a prostitute. In my opinion, the person who seeks sex for hire is a lonely, miserable creature seeking to ameliorate some personal psychological defect, and the person supplying it is most likely equally as damaged.
But that moral judgment on the physical and psychological act of prostitution is an issue separate from the meta-ethical assessment of prostitution as a profession. By meta-ethical in this instance I mean how we support or defend our ethical judgments.
Ayn Rand said “Morality ends where a gun begins”. Not only does this mean that one can not be commanded to act “morally” (as one would in normal circumstances) when confronted with the choice of life or death through force but also, and more importantly, that the initiation of force is itself immoral.
For me the question of meta-ethics rests on one thing the initiation of force (or fraud). It is the initiation of force against a human being that is immoral. So meta-ethically speaking something which does not initiate force is not immoral. Since prostitution, (the exchange of money for sex) as defined does not involve the initiation of force it is not immoral meta-ethically, and for this reason morality must remain a part of our current debate about prostitution.
While anyone and everyone has the right to pronounce moral judgments on the nature of the world’s oldest profession these are personal judgments only, and can not be ripped out of our minds to be used as an ideal which we then impose upon all people. This is true no matter how many (or few) of us may believe in that ideal.
The only meta-ethical reason for the prohibition of prostitution or any other act is the initiation of force against another human being. As defined, prostitution is a contractual agreement and is fundamentally no different than the purchase of any other tradesman’s labour and skill.
What we need with regard to this issue (and morality in general) is not to forget about it, but to discover it, and to differentiate between its personal and meta-ethical applications in our lives and in our governance.