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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Doncaster’s mayor praises Taliban


    by Rumbold on 5th September, 2009 at 9:06 PM    

    The mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, has done some good things. He has cut his salary from £73,000 to £30,000, as well as eliminating a number of other mayoral perks. But this was absurd:

    “Peter Davies, who has made it his personal mission to rid Doncaster of political correctness, said that under the Taliban, Afghanistan had an “ordered system of family life”. By contrast he said social policies which disregarded the importance of the traditional family had “created mayhem” in Britain.”

    Mr. Davies should investigate the levels of ‘honour’-based violence in Afghanistan before he makes such statements. There was a case of horrific violence in Doncaster, and it looks like it was down in part to the boys’ awful home life. But praising the Taliban’s attitudes towards the family is just wrong.



    Filed in: Cultural Relativism, Current affairs




    • falcao
      afghanistan is not perfect society but it does have strong family values and has had them for many decades if not centuries despite their being total civil war and total destruction in the country. If Mayor of doncaster is making comments on afghan family values what is wrong with that? rapes, muder, domestic violence are sadly also common british social problems unless you forgot that small detail of information.
    • Laban Tall
      I think he has a point. I thought the pre-2001 Taleban were about as good a government as Afghans were likely to get - (relatively) incorrupt and (relatively) free of the capricious violence of the post-Soviet warlords, as far as I could work out from this distance.

      That they couldn't hand over OBL (whether for reasons of hospitality or whatever) was a tragedy for their country.

      Mark Steyn is another admirer :

      "The Afghans haven't built a nation in Afghanistan. It's essentially a tribal society in which the village and the tribe are what count and there's a remote national government in Kabul that has absolutely no impact on your life. I wish we could have that system here when I think about it like that.

      I'd like to -- I think New Hampshire should be a tribal society with a remote national government thousands of miles away that has no impact on your life. I'd quite like that system. So, on balance, I'd rather Afghans were nation-building in America than Americans nation-building in Afghanistan, if we have to go either way on it."
    • Jamie
      Yes falcao, Afghanistan does have strong family values.

      Values founded on the rock solid basis of tyranny, human rights abuses, and violence. For that reason, what Mayor Davies said was deeply stupid. That's what's wrong with it.
    • persephone
      Post Taliban more info is released about such crimes - that is the reason why we hear about it more & not because the Taliban helped to uphold family values, rather that they upheld the secrecy of such crimes
    • Andy Gilmour
      Dear Laban,

      Pardon, but who cares what Mark Steyn thinks? You introduce the quote from him as if we should perhaps be impressed. Why, exactly?

      Especially since the quote is a pathetically facile and ridiculous comparison between the US & Afghani tribal traditionalism.

      I wonder what proportion of women in New Hampshire would just love the benefits of Taliban-style government...?
    • Silent Hunter
      "Strong family values" yeah!
      Based on treating women as chattels and removing their freedom.

      Fantastic set of values there!

      Pillock.
    • anobody
      I don't see why people jump on comments like this. For all their ills the Taleban and Afghan culture promotes the family unit; the breakdown of which is the root cause of many of the social ills here.

      The other day we had a post here about Daniel Hannan MEP, praising Enoch Powell. Shock. Horror.

      According to wikipedia, Powell was a co-sponsor of homosexual law reform and voted against the death penalty on many occasions. I wonder how the progressive generation feel about this?

      You may not agree with Enoch Powell on all issues, but why should people be afraid to say they are agreeable with other less contentious areas of Powell's political career.
    • Don
      Taliban family values? Well, I'll give 'em stability. They do seem to be very firm on that point. Everything else seems to be fairly fucked up.

      If you seriously think the Taliban have anything of worth to offer in terms of values, ethics, morality or social interaction then I'm going to have to assume you are either stupid or deranged.

      promotes the family unit is a case in point.
    • Jamie
      It's really frustrating to see comments like 'I don't see why people jump on comments like this'.

      Seriously? You can't see why? It's. The. Taliban. FFS.

      There are some individuals and groups so abjectly evil that expressing admiration for whatever tiny element of their doctrine isn't 100% horrendous is simply absurd. Hitler is one of those entirely irredemable individuals, and yet, still, morons will talk about how he 'got things done' or was tough on crime or some other rubbish.

      No. He was just evil, like the Taliban. There is nothing good to be said of them. To even attempt to condone any aspect of the Taliban is ridiculous; you can't pick and choose policies you like when a group is so completely and utterly devoid of any merit. 'For all their ills...' is a ridiculous way to start an argument in favour of their 'promotion of the family unit', excusing them (partly) for the catalogue of horrific crimes they perpetrate which are of course inextricably bound up in *all* of their 'policies' and ideology.

      Why should people be afraid to say they agree with less contentious areas? Because it's the Taliban, not some minor party with whom you might disagree on the odd thing. To even have to point this out seems ludicrous, yet commenters and even some Tory MPs are trying to defend Davies on this. Incredible.
    • Shatterface
      If Davies has cut his wages to £30,000 a year that's still £30,000 a year too much.

      If he thinks acid attacks are a good way of enforcing family values maybe he should take a bath in it himself.

      Prick.

      The Hitler reference is valid: the Nazis were strong on 'family values' too.
    • Bishop Hill
      Mussolini made the trains run on time.

      I guess we should therefore oppose punctuality on our rail system.
    • douglas clark
      falcao @ 1,

      Is 'honour based killing' a family value? Any half decent human being protests about rape, murder and domestic violence.

      We even - shock horror - have laws against it.

      Rather than seeing it as an acceptable form of social control.

      When you put psychopaths in charge, like, oh, I don't know, Afghanistan, then that's not what you get. You get apologists for rape, murder and domestic violence in charge. And try to pass laws that allow it.

      There is a fundamental split happening right now between idiots who see any comment that says anything at all against anything that is ever said about Islamists, even the Taliban, as Islamophobia - like this article - and the rest of the planet.
    • Boyo
      Well, the Nazis were pretty strong on family values too... I suppose they were "misunderstood" as well?

      Most Afghans hated the Taliban, btw, whose "family values" included banning female education (and any rights).

      They've got pretty strong values here in Italy too. I know where I'd rather live (although tbh choosing between Doncaster and Kabul might be a somewhat tougher choice).
    • Boyo
      No, on reflection, it would have to be Kabul.
    • Rumbold
      Bishop Hill:

      Sorry, I don't follow you. If the Taliban did actually help create stable families, I would praise them for it. But the Taliban's idea of stable families is to keep girls indoors most of their childhood, kill any that try and go to school, then marry them off to much older men.
    • Don
      Actually, Mussolini did not make the trains run on time. That's a myth.
    • MaidMarian
      There is a point at which local politicians with a, 'personal mission,' just start to like the sound of their own voice and seeding thier name in print.

      At this point they start to become parodies of themself.

      Because, of course, 'social policies which disregarded the importance of the traditional family had “created mayhem” in Britain.' is code for, 'I want to ram my morality down the throat of people I don't like.'

      One could call it the PC of control-freak policicians gone mad.

      Christ, the Nazis had strong family values - as long as it was values that local politicans of a certain type approved of.

      Parody of himself who likes the sound of his own voice. Afghanistan is a bloody nuthouse and we would be better off out ASAP.
    • falcao
      Like britian is the role model when it comes to family values just this week we see 2 kids from hell sexually torturing other kids burning their eyelids, make them perform sex acts, dropping sinks on their heads. Before you stereotype an entire nation like afghanistan look at your own backyard!
    • Boyo
      Heh, well falcao, let's not stereotype. Where would you like to begin your comparison? Literacy, female empowerment (i look forward to your argument that starvation is in the best interest of a disobedient wife), or that old reliable, self-immolation? At the end of the day I suppose it's what you think "family values" means.
    • Kulvinder
      pre-2001 Taleban were about as good a government as Afghans were likely to get


      I've never understood this argument and its something that has also been raised by people who essentially self identify with 'the left/liberals' in other afghan threads.

      Out of curiosity would you say that black people are inherently unable to run their own societies and that africa will never become developed to a comparable level to the rest of the world?

      Suggesting that afghan society is incapable of adaption or progression, or imbuing afghans as being universally mysoginistic/backward is idiotic racism.

      Yes there are problems, yes they are capable of change, no they won't stay the same.
    • anobody
      love it how we in the west are the pinnacle of civilisation, and we write off a whole nation based on subsidiary issues prevalent in our own. We ignore the infestation of heinous crimes (post 18), vice, molestation, adultery and promiscuity on our doorsteps; obviously great grounds around which 'family values' can be fostered.

      "every hole is a goal my son" great set of values based on treating women as the object of lust, and a plaything.

      Fantastic set of values there!
    • Don
      . We ignore the infestation of heinous crimes ...

      Well, first we don't ignore it. It's mainstay of the media. And second these are not values, they are abberations from the established values. Hence the headlines, widespread disgust and legal action. If acts such as described in #18 met with general approval and were sanctioned by law and encouraged by the authorities then you could call them values. As long as they are illegal and/or inspire disgust among the vast majority of the population, then you can't.

      The actions of the Taliban, where they are able to exert authority, are specifically presented as 'values' and defended as being legally, morally and religiously correct.

      Do you see the difference?
    • anobody
      Don,

      We do ignore it, because it continues to happen. We do not give enough air-time or debate on tackling the issues at the root cause that drive pre-pubescent boys to carry out crimes of such monstrosity, or have umpteen number of sexual partners or worst still physically forcing themselves on female partners (as we have had reported and posted here).

      The root causes always seem to take a back burner. Are we going to get days and months of dissection of the background of these children and their parents; and some sort of in depth critique of their upbringing and the moral fabric within which they grew up in followed by a summary trial and denouncement of all people who breath the same air?

      I agree that society shows a general disgust and the authorities make it clear that these are actions which fall outside of the law. However, if you're not dealing with or having an open and loud debate about the root causes but continue in allowing them to simmer in the background without specifically presenting them as immoral, irreligious and illegal, are we saying then these behaviours are in fact attitude of the land which the authorities are allowing to fester, and therefore intrinsic values of the people?

      If we then are too pre-occupied in rooting out the ills of societies in fields further then our own back yard, aren't we guilty of gross self-righteousness? I don't agree with all that the Taleban do, but neither do I agree that I or anyone else knows everything that is moral and ethical as it is impossible to prove, so I or anyone else cannot use opinion to prove anything against the Taleban, and uncategorically claim we are right. How can we claim moral superiority and righteousness and wage wars when there are ills in our own society we do not deal with?
    • Boyo
      "“every hole is a goal my son” great set of values based on treating women as the object of lust, and a plaything."

      Which is precisely what Islam does, of course, and why islamists demand women are covered up and locked away.

      "I don’t agree with all that the Taleban do, but neither do I agree that I or anyone else knows everything that is moral and ethical as it is impossible to prove, so I or anyone else cannot use opinion to prove anything against the Taleban, and uncategorically claim we are right."

      Which reminds me why topics may change, but people stay the same. Replace Taliban with Nazi and we are right back in 1939 with you wringing your hands and arguing appeasement even as the oven doors are closing. I would say "your kind" make me sick (which they do) but nothing anyone will ever say will dent the self-righteous naivety you will cling on to until the last drop of other people's blood.
    • Don
      anobody,

      Thanks for the considered reply. I have stuff to do now, but I will get back to you and explain why I disagree with your position.
    • anobody
      Boyo,

      Hi, I don't know the word Islamist. Please can you refrain from using non-English words. This is an English language site (I think). In my country, England, it's rude to speak in a foreign language in the presence of those who do not understand.

      I would say “your kind” make me sick (which they do) but nothing anyone will ever say will dent the self-righteous naivety you will cling on to until the last drop of other people’s blood.


      My kind hey?

      I'm British.

      Born and bred.

      Here to stay.

      Will have 9 kids (god willing).
    • Boyo
      Anybody, spare me, heard it before. "i don't know what islamist is because its all islam"... blah (in more ways than one) and the nazis were only nationalists.
    • The Common Humanist
      It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how sick or twisted the Islamists get there are always idiots willing to mutter and defend sociopathic morons like the Taliban.

      What fucking planet are you on? How many millions of women have to suffer in appalling barbarism before you people can admit that just possibly Islamism is a vile barbarous creed and is bringing nothing but ruin to muslims the world over?

      Anobody,
      You are cherry picking aberrations to normal behaviour - in the caseof the two Doncaster boys and relating that to the barbarism that is the norm where Taliban style Islamists hold sway..... Are you jihadist wannabee Munir by another name???
    • Rumbold
      Don says it all in #22.
    • Tom
      Anyone who campaigns against a vague notion of 'political correctness' is suspect, because that just ends up being defined as anything they happen not to agree with.
    • Abdul Abulbul Emir
      Will have 9 kids (god willing).

      anobody

      You are good man.
      But peace not be upon you with 9 kids.
      Also they might support Arsenal.

      Peace be upon me instead.
    • douglas clark
      Don is right @ 22. Any contrary arguement is heinous.

      Anobody is a bit better than he or she pretends. He / she is willing to accept arguement, rather than braindead Falcao, who is my new nemesis....

      I'd wonder how many of anobodys' kids would be anything much more than cultural muslims. It is a question that anobody should ask him/her self...

      I'm going for nine out of nine.
    • anobody
      TCH,

      Are you jihadist wannabee Munir by another name???


      Yeh, I am strapped up and ready.

      I'ma throw a jihaad on yo' ass.

      durka durka durka

      shamali tak tak
    • Don
      Thanks guys,

      Anobody,

      I'd like to address some of your points. You say We do ignore it, because it continues to happen. It (by which I assume we mean children exhibiting extreme and sometimes lethal behaviour) continues to happen not because we ignore it but because the root causes you refer to are incredibly complex and varied. We find examples throughout history of crimes similar in their brutality and yet different in almost every other aspect. Mary Bell (1968) and Constance Kent (1860) both committed premeditated murder of younger children, concealed the body and sought to avoid detection yet one was the product of a seriously disfunctional household in the (then) slums of Newcastle and one was the product of a prosperous, 'respectable' and even privileged Victorian household.

      Root causes are certainly not on the back-burner for those engaged in the field and there is a serious body of research in this area. I don't see how it would be helpful for this research to be part of a media or public debate since for the most part the media cannot be trusted to tackle the levels of complexity involved. The tabloids are not interested in anything which can't be summarised in twenty words or less and would probably end up with an article entitled 'Ten Signs That Your Child Is A Psychopath' and do more harm than good. Ihe broadsheets would probably be little better, with columnists shoe-horning the research to fit their own ideological agenda.

      Part of my work involves children with violent disorders and while some are products of the archetypal broken or violent home background I can think of at least two in the last few years who did not fit this category, who had repeatedly attempted to kill younger siblings and who were diagnosed as having neurological disorders which effectively meant they lacked empathy. Believe me, looking for root causes is far from neglected.

      Yes, we will get a dissection of the background of these children and their parents just as we did with the Bulger case, but don't expect it to be in depth, the media doesn't generally 'do' in-depth. The last thing we need is a 'loud' debate because ignorance + volume is the least useful debate of all. You seem to be asking for a simple answer where none exists.

      Some children kill because of gang culture, some because they have been abused. Some kill strangers, some their classmates, some their family members. Some kill alone, some in pairs and some in groups. we are not very surprised when a child who has been abducted and forced to be a child-soldier goes on, after rescue and relocation, to be violent towards others, we are not very surprised that an abused child goes on to abuse others, but to imagine that we have (or can) discovered a root cause is unrealistic.

      Incidentally, the implied suggestion in your posts that such behaviour is unique to 'The West' needs justification.

      I'm afraid your third paragraph doesn't make much sense. You say I agree that society shows a general disgust and the authorities make it clear that these are actions which fall outside of the law. but then go on to say unless we are specifically presenting them as immoral, irreligious and illegal, are we saying then these behaviours are in fact attitude of the land... But of course we do present them as precisely that. It seems that you want to see these crimes as intrinsic values of the people. Which is,frankly, nonsense.

      If we then are too pre-occupied in rooting out the ills of societies in fields further then our own back yard, aren’t we guilty of gross self-righteousness?

      No. Too pre-occupied is a value judgement. Is recognising gross injustice, tyranny, oppression and wide ranging abuse of basic human rights self-righteouness until we have built Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land? I think not.

      but neither do I agree that I or anyone else knows everything that is moral and ethical as it is impossible to prove... Yes, in a sense that is quite correct. It is impossible to prove, for example, that rape is 'wrong' as some societies (and religions) have considered it a legitimate and even pious behaviour. But that kind of moral relativism is a dead end. You certainly seemed confident that the kids in the Doncaster incident were morally wrong, but you don't seem prepared to make the same level of judgement where the Taliban are concerned. Many of those responsible for the persecution of 'child-witches' in Africa are convinced they are acting morally. Are you willing to say that they are wrong or do you absolutely refuse to make an ethical stand because you cannot objectively 'prove' moral right?

      How can we claim moral superiority and righteousness and wage wars when there are ills in our own society we do not deal with?

      To recognise where a gross injustice exists, and call it that, is not necessarily to claim moral superiority and righteousness. But sometimes it is. I claim moral superiority over those who throw acid in childrens' faces or publically torture a child to death for being raped. I claim that without hesitation or reserve while recognising that there are ills in my own society. I see no conflict in that.
    • douglas clark
      Don,

      Bravo!
    • Raymond Terrific
      mmm, so there are still fuckwits who'll jump to the defence of the Taliban?

      what a retarded nation we truly are.
    • asquith
      Laban Tall is a social conservative who has nothing at all to do with liberalism, so you can't say "look, you lot defending the Taliban again" when we have nothing to do with fuckers like him or this abortion in Doncaster.
    • anobody
      Don,

      I commend you for your work with children and thank you kindly for your reply. You've made some excellent and reasoned points, which I am agreeable with, but do not have the time right now to try and explain - just got back from the mosque!

      Please bear with me and I will get back to you soon.

      douglas clark,

      you sir, are here purely to score cheap points, and self serve your ego, and to engage in mental masturbation.
    • Shamit
      Don - Anobody

      Polite and articulate debate. We should have more of that on this site - Well done gents.

      No society is perfect including ours. And those were horrific incidents that those boys perpetrated. May be Mr. Mayor was frustrated but commending Taliban as a force for good is something I find hard to accept. It has been nothing but a destructive force and one that has done nothing to help the people its supposed to govern.

      I think the Mayor simply misspoke. And we all do it often and I bet it was the frustration that was talking.
    • douglas clark
      anobody,

      you sir, are here purely to score cheap points, and self serve your ego, and to engage in mental masturbation.


      Eh!

      Do you feel better now you've got that off your chest?
    • douglas clark
      Shamit,

      Your new friend anobody - it's OK I thought he was a reasonable sort of chap too - tells me I am engaged in mental masturbation.

      This is not an idea I actually comprehend. What exactly is mental masturbation? Is it, like imagining you've got a prick and imagining, in your own mind you are playing with it, or summat? I am a complete utter fail on imagining things. You, for instance, could probably imagine a carrot in your minds eye.

      I cannot even do that. Far less anobodys fantasies.

      But he is your newest bestest friend?
    • douglas clark
      Err..

      You sir, as we now all address each other as sir before we hammer right away...

      You sir, have to decide which side of the fence you are on. Is it Islamicist shit or is it the rest of the planet?

      Dons post at 34 is my line in the sand. Either you are with that or you are agin it.

      If you are agin it then you side with the brain dead. The Falcaoes of this world perhaps. An idiot of the first dimension. But, dear anobody, you see Falcao as some sort of hero in the defence of the Muslims everywhere, don't you?

      For you are so fucked up in your head that you actually see me as an enemy. I'd point you to this, anobody, and I will not surrender the middle ground to anyone:

      Rumbold @ 45,

      Exactly. It would be absurd for you and I to pretend that we agree on the political front.

      The fact that I think you are a jolly fine chap, and that we do agree about a lot of stuff suggests that whomsoever the alien happens to be would have a hard job assimilating.

      Would they side with me, or would they be obliged to side with you?

      Neither, perhaps.

      For I suspect they would be so shocked and horrified at the idiocy of Lee John Barnes Esq, that they would take an extremist position too.

      Oh! Joy!

      We are surrounded by nutcases.

      Please do not ban Lee John Barnes. Here is his photo:

      http://lancasteruaf.blogspot.com/2009/07/strang...

      What does that tell us?


      Your complete utter silence on that thread tells me more that I want to know about trollish little idiots.

      So, there you go. That is what I think of you and your chums.

      What does your religion have to say about FGM? You are unsurprisingly unable to answer for you are waiting on God.

      Try arguing, try anything, other than agreeing with Falcao who is a tit.
    • douglas clark
      Hmm..

      I am quite hurt anobody. I said good things about you earlier in this thread. Like you actually had a brain. I said you were open to reason and stuff like that. Has brain dead moron falcao got some sort of power over you? And just so's you know, I do not feel particularily threatened by the brain dead Lee John Barnes either.

      Just asking.
    • Laban Tall
      Kulvinder - I only know about Afgh. from a distance - but what I read in the Guardian and Indie after the Soviets left was that the place was run by warlords who did more or less what they wanted - real 'no wife or daughter safe' stuff. The Taleban were seen as less corrupt, less violent - young religious student idealists with Kalashnikovs - and were welcomed because they brought relative order and safety. That's what I was reading in the Guardian !

      You have to compare them against what they replaced. That's what I mean when I said they were as good a govt as they were likely to get - given the last 30 years of their history.

      Maybe it wouldn't have happened that way if the West hadn't supported the mujahideen against the Soviet-backed Najibullah regime. In those days teachers and doctors were killed and girls were 'discouraged' from attending school. I thought it was wrong that we should be funding and arming such people.

      "Suggesting that afghan society is incapable of adaption or progression, or imbuing afghans as being universally mysoginistic/backward is idiotic racism."

      I didn't suggest that they were incapable of anything, or backward. They're some of the best fighters in the world, for starters.

      But much as you or I might like to see the place as Islington on the Oxus, it's the Afghans who have to create this. Not us.
    • anobody
      Don,

      I am glad you have opened with trying to understand the factors that drive criminality. I am in no doubt that the drivers of homicidal and suicidal tendencies amongst pre-pubescent children are wide and varying. However, I think these fall into an umbrella of underlying values - not aberrations - which we are allowed to flourish here in the west.

      You've said in your own experience some children who manifest homicidal behaviour, come from the 'archetypal' dysfunctional home or a broken home. What I am asking is what allows families to become dysfunctional, or marriage to breakdown or the family unit to fall apart? What allows for fatherless homes? What allows for teenage pregnancies? What allows for abusive parents?

      It is a lack of prohibition propagated by the authorities and institutions, and the lack of absolute values, which allow behaviour such as infidelity and rampant promiscuity to fester. This is what I meant in my third paragraph, when I said that we do not specify these as immoral, irreligious, or illegal, as to do so would be acting against our values.

      Why do we have little boys at school, forcing themselves on others? Why? because at psychology class he is taught that to abstain is to repress oneself sexually (Freud), thus providing him legitimacy to have multiple sexual partners. This coupled with our great institute the media popularises through music and film sexual 'liberation', which denigrates traditional moral values. This weakens the little boys conscience and allows the little boy to grow up to think it is okay be licentious, with very little or no respect for women.

      Little wonder then, when the boy goes along and fathers a child with his teenage partner by force; the child growing up knowing he was only a fashion accessory for his mommy at the time (if she wasn't raped), abandoned without a father and emotionally unstable, angst-ridden, and ill disciplined gets into a life of criminality. It is as simple as that, and the cycle is vicious.

      We allow for this to happen. So that is why I say, why we (as a nation) take the moral high-ground and feel smug about ourselves, when we live in a society, materialistically fulfilled yet morally corrupt? How dare we accuse others when there are similar subsidiary issues prevalent in our own society.

      I for one have not praised the Taleban, nor have I condoned their actions, nor have I taken a moral stand point against the kids; I have empathy for them. What I have said, in my original post is that Afghan and Taleban cultures - I'll add to this conservative cultures - promote the family unit.

      The Mayor of Doncaster has alluded to this also. I've asked the question why it is wrong for him to do so, and have been accused of being an Islamist, which doesn't bother me, because I don't know what one is.

      I don't think Enoch Powell is all that bad either. I don't suppose people will be calling me a white supremacist.

      Don, I thank you for your polite response. Perhaps you are right, moral relativism is dead. If it is the case then why don't we have moral absolutism and a whole heap of absolutism in our values, not fluffy relative values, which have resulted in the breakdown of families, and stable communities.
    • anobody
      unstable communities rather :S
    • Don
      Anobody,

      I'm about to retire for the evening, so I'll get back to you later. For the moment I'll just say that if you think that little boys are taught at psychology class ... that to abstain is to repress oneself sexually (Freud) then you have access to a syllabus unknown to the rest of us.
    • Shamit
      "But he is your newest bestest friend?"

      Douglas

      All I did was congratulate them on a civil and thoughtful debate. I do not agree with Anobody's views as I made it very clear in my post above.

      And as you are well aware I do value your thoughts as well like so many others even from those whose conclusions I often do not agree with.

      There have been moments when I have lost my cool or got so carried away with my own chain of thought that I was not very civil and I find no reason to be proud of those moments.

      So when I see people holding contrasting positions argue in a civil tone with reasoning however I flawed I think they may be -- that effort should be respected.

      I did not obviously care much for Anobody's comments towards you.
    • douglas clark
      Shamit,

      Fair enough. I just wanted to say something about anobodys' posting style and your comment was nearby at the time. My bad.
    • Don
      anobody,

      It is a lack of prohibition propagated by the authorities and institutions, and the lack of absolute values, which allow behaviour such as infidelity and rampant promiscuity to fester. This is what I meant in my third paragraph, when I said that we do not specify these as immoral, irreligious, or illegal, as to do so would be acting against our values.

      Thanks, that clarifies things. I had taken you to mean that the negative behaviours themselves constituted a social value, which would not make sense. ( Your #21 did rather lend itself to that interpretation.) However, it is now clear that you meant that the behaviours are a consequence (obviously an unintended one) of some widely held values. So it would be entirely possible for someone to abhor the behaviours which violate their personal values, while maintaining some values which you see as facilitating these behaviours.

      As I take it, the values in question are an unwillingness to allow the state to use its authority to prohibit certain social and personal choices and a reluctance to accept the imposition of absolute values (such values traditionally deriving from religion).

      That's a pretty widely held belief, I'm sure the outgoing Bishop of Rochester and A.N. Wilson would agree with you. The argument that a 'permissive society' leads to social collapse?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permissive_society

      I don't personally agree and I'll try to explain why after I have been to the shops and prepared dinner. In the meanwhile, if I have mistaken your meaning let me know so I don't find myself arguing against an illusion.
    • anobody
      Don,

      As I take it, the values in question are an unwillingness to allow the state to use its authority to prohibit certain social and personal choices and a reluctance to accept the imposition of absolute values (such values traditionally deriving from religion).


      I don't think it is an unwillingness of people to allow the state, but much the other way around. As I've said, I think it is the state through it's institutes that propagate these ideas, and allow them to simmer. The absence of absolute values in favour of relativistic ones leaves a massive void in which nothing absolute can be defined, so leaving a society devoid of morality, leading to instability, lack of cohesion, and little or no community spirit.
    • Don
      Briefly,

      I think it is the state through it’s institutes that propagate these ideas, and allow them to simmer. Do you mean intentionally? Purposefully? Propogate implies purpose, what do see as the state's motive in seeking a collapse in social cohesion?

      The absence of absolute values ...leav(es) a society devoid of morality... Disagree, will expand later. Still making dinner.

      (Peppers stuffed with cou-cous and a green salad, with apple and bramble crumble for afters, if anyone is interested. The crumble is a bit of a signature dish.)
    • Shatterface
      Enjoy your crumble, Don: you earned it with your answer at 34.
    • Rumbold
      Cou-cous? What's that?

      You should be eating square sausages, like normal people.
    • Don
      I'm no stranger to the sausage.
    • douglas clark
      Don,

      It's frankly cheapskate if you are not willing to come back on this thread. I thought a lot better of you than this.

      If you won't, I will.
    • Don
      Sorry, Douglas. I didn't realise I ran to your schedule.
    • douglas clark
      Don,

      Sorry, Douglas. I didn’t realise I ran to your schedule.


      Perhaps not Don, but whilst I am vaguely interested in bramble crumble, I am actually more interested in your politics.

      Your failure to reply to me says more about you than me...
    • douglas clark
      Don,

      You can't just start a debate and then dessert it! :-;
    • douglas clark
      I think we have excellent precedent for 'anobodys' point of view. It is embedded in the Cavaliers versus Roundheads Civil War.

      It is a debate between a religious perspective, the Roundheads idea, one of Calvanism writ large, and another.

      The former based rather ridiculously on the right of Kings, but also on sexual and religious control.

      Here is quote about that era:

      Two different political groups, the Cavaliers and Roundheads fought for power during the 17th century civil war in England. The Cavaliers put their support behind the king, Charles I. They believed that one man with direction would be better and less confusing then many men fighting over the fate of the country. The Roundheads supported the Parliament, and did not believe that an absolute monarch should run the country. They thought one person having the say over everything would be a good idea.


      I suspect 'anobody' and his currently silent chums - chavs and the like - sees themselves as Royalists in that debate.

      I think they are also wrong..

      But there you go. Try entrying your own argeuement...

      Rather than discussing recepies, why don't you?
    • douglas clark
      What are you all about Don? You either stand for what you said at 34 or you don't. I'd rather like to think you did. But there you go.

      A considerable silence hereabouts, suggests what?

      That 'anobody' has won the arguement?

      I think not.
    • Don
      It suggests that I am sometimes away from my computer.
    • Rumbold
      Douglas:

      Well, plenty of the Roundheads weren't necessarily parliamentarians, but fought against the king on religious grounds. If there had been a Calvinist king verses a Laudian parliament then likely as not they would have fought for the king.
    • douglas clark
      Don @ 62,

      Well now you've found your computer, can you reply to anobody rather than me? Go on...
    • douglas clark
      Rumbold @ 63,

      I wasn't suggesting they were. I am just requesting that the analogy is recognised...

      It is pretty well understood that the Puritain ethos that followed Cromwells' victory was part of his downfall, or do you have a revisionist text in front of you?
    • Don
      Douglas, I'm on a 15 minute tea break at work. I'll respond when I have time to compose my ideas as I want to. Stop nagging.
    • douglas clark
      Don,

      OK. :-)

      Meanwhile I'll compose my own thoughts. For this is a war, I think, that might extend to a huge posting.

      I think, right now, that what you had to say at 34 is absolutely on the button, and might, perhaps, explain the differences between fundamentalists of whatever persuasion and the rest of us.

      It is, my line in the sand.

      So, I'll stop nagging you....

      But reply sometime ;-)
    • douglas clark
      I'll say this, and I'd expect to get knocked down. I think what Don had to say at 34 defines what this place is supposed to be about:



      To recognise where a gross injustice exists, and call it that, is not necessarily to claim moral superiority and righteousness. But sometimes it is. I claim moral superiority over those who throw acid in childrens’ faces or publically torture a child to death for being raped. I claim that without hesitation or reserve while recognising that there are ills in my own society. I see no conflict in that.


      Whatever...

      Perhaps there are other folk out there that agree?

      These ought to be universal values, and not subject to a ridiculous Muslim essentialism.

      When most Muslims I know would abhor the very idea.

      Claims to the contrary are, I think, evil....

      And based in an unreality that excludes discussion.
    • douglas clark
      The folk that do that sort of stuff, acid attacks and the like, are criminal scum. Whatever their justice system says.

      Lines in the sand.....
    • Rumbold
      Douglas:

      "It is pretty well understood that the Puritain ethos that followed Cromwells’ victory was part of his downfall, or do you have a revisionist text in front of you?"


      Cromwell's downfall? Well, he died in office as Lord Protector (and so head of state). The king was executed because he brought the Scots down to attack, which started the second civil war. At the end of the first civil war parliamentarians were willing to negotiate with the king, in order to establish a more limited monarchy. Many interpreted their victory as providence. Thus the king's decision to call the Scots down not only re-ignited a brutal civil war, but made it seem as though the king was defying God. After that the only question was exile or execution.
    • douglas clark
      Rumbold,

      Hmm..

      from Wikipedia:

      Cromwell has been a very controversial figure in the history of the British Isles – a regicidal dictator to some historians (such as David Hume and Christopher Hill) and a hero of liberty to others (such as Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Rawson Gardiner). In Britain he was elected as one of the Top 10 Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll.[1] His measures against Irish Catholics have been characterized by some historians as genocidal or near-genocidal,[2] and in Ireland itself he is widely hated.


      I'm with the Irish...

      Are you attempting to argue that he didn't impose a Talibanesque regieme on your green and pleasant land? I'd have thought that that was wrong....
    • Rumbold
      Douglas:

      Well, Purtians were known for their dislike of festivals and suchlike, so there was that aspect of his rule. I don't think that he was a particularly good ruler, but he did strive for religious liberty.

      If Cromwell pursued genodical measures against the Irish, he clearly didn't do a very good job, as there were only really two occasions when the army under his command killed a significant number of Irish (and remember at the time he was only a general under the command of parliament). If we use that as the measure, then pretty much all armies, including Scottish ones, for most of history can be accused of genocide.
    • douglas clark
      Rumbold,

      I think I know enough about you to say, "but well?":

      Well, Purtians were known for their dislike of festivals and suchlike, so there was that aspect of his rule. I don’t think that he was a particularly good ruler, but he did strive for religious liberty.


      Heh!

      He was a Talibanish tit, wasn't he?

      Why did he invade Ireland?

      For your delectation:

      http://www.irelandseye.com/aarticles/history/events/dates/cromwell.shtm
    • Don
      Anobody,

      If you are interested in discussing this further I'd like to expand on my response to your #45 and #51.

      You seem to be arguing that as the state becomes unwilling/unable to impose perceived moral values on the personal lives of its citizens, as religion loses its influence and as traditional absolute values are questioned then social breakdown follows with all the lurid details which the media delights in portraying. However, if we look at such data as we have (which is reasonably reliable) that theory doesn't stack up.

      Victorian England, for example, had very clear and absolute values, a powerful and dominant church and imposed harsh penalties on 'abberant' behaviour. Yet I think we all know what a cess-pit of degredation Victorian London was, with huge numbers of child prostitutes, a vastly higher crime rate and the establishment constantly nervous of the violent mob. Large parts of the city were genuine no-go areas for the police unless in intimidating numbers.

      In our own time we find, comparing like with like, that more liberal and secular countries make a considerably better showing when considering indicators of social health such as drug addiction, teen pregnancy, youthful suicide, homicide, STD's etc.

      http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.htm...

      We are told often enough that Britain is the Sick Man of Europe in this regard, but this country is certainly no further down the path of liberal secularism than our neighbours who seem to be managing quite well. This would imply that if our problems are indeed so much worse than those across the North Sea, there must be another factor in play.

      You listed a number of factors which those who are inclined towards social conservatism would find intuitively persuasive as root causes of social ills. Some, such as the idea that media portrayals of violence and misogyny encourage, normalise or desensitise towards acting out these attitudes, may well contain some truth. Results so far are conflicting and inconclusive, but it is certainly a long standing belief. Orwell expressed the same idea in his essay 'Raffles and Miss Blandish' (Decline of English Murder, as I recall.) It was vehemently argued from pulpits during the moral panic over rock and roll in the late fifties. The Victorians deplored the reading of 'yellow' novels as sapping the nation's moral fibre. I might flippantly respond that although a long-standing fan of Johnny Cash I have never felt the slightest inclination to shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die. But I am also aware that the early Roman gladiatorial combats performed as funerary rites had exactly that aim - to desensitise the observer to violent death. But the approving portrayal of violence and brutality is as common in the Prose Eddas and the works of Homer as in hip-hop or whatever it is currently called.

      Even if the argument that the portrayal of sadistic violence in music, movies and video-games has a negative effect is correct (and I concede it may be) it is not unique to liberal, secular societies. Indeed, throughout history we find that authoritarian, religious societies had no need to portray sadism in words and images because they were doing it for real and in public in the vicious and prolonged killings of perceived deviants, whether by the Inquisition or the Taliban.

      You ask ...what allows families to become dysfunctional, or marriage to breakdown or the family unit to fall apart? One might equally ask, what allows abused partners to be trapped in an unacknowledgedly dysfunctional and abusive marriage? In the social order you appear to be advocating the misery and pain would simply be behind closed doors so that the illusion of social harmony can be maintained.

      It is true that over the last few decades women have been able to choose to have multiple sexual partners without the risk of death, branding, mutilation, being cast out to a life of prostitution or immured in the hell of the Magdalen laundries. (Men, of course, have pretty much always and everywhere been free to enjoy as many sexual partners as they can manage without any serious threat of social sanction.) This has been a fairly rapid change, less than two generations, and while I agree that there may have been some negative consequences I do see it as an overall improvement.

      You say, So that is why I say, why we (as a nation) take the moral high-ground and feel smug about ourselves... I dispute that. A constant theme in the media and in general conversation (I can speak only of my own experience) is that we are going to hell in a hand-cart, we are in a state of moral collapse etc. But the extremes of social ills to which you refer tend to be quite localised, while the liberal secular philosophy is generalised. Again, other factors must be in play.

      Your claim that the educational system encourages promiscuity is so wrong that I will limit myself to a simple 'No'.


      And now the crux.

      Afghan and Taleban cultures – I’ll add to this conservative cultures – promote the family unit.

      First, if promoting the family unit means claiming the right to kill members of said family, then that is a fucked up family unit which should not be promoted. The word 'family' is not magic. It doesn't, however much conservatives and religious fundamentalists might want it to, equate to 'healthy'. An intact family can be as much a source of misery and degredation as a broken one.

      If liberal, questioning, secular societies as they develop give rise to unintended consequences then what of authoritarian, traditional, religious societies? Are their consequences (intended or not) preferable? Let's examine that.

      If we take the UK as an exemplar of the LQS society then what shall we choose as an exemplar of the ATR society? The Taliban? Saudi Arabia? I'll leave that to you. Choose an example of a contemporary society chiefly characterised by authoritarian social control, strong adherence to traditional values and a dominant, all pervasive religion. What are the consequences?

      Do young western women get pissed and shag randomly? Sometimes, although I strongly suspect not nearly as commonly as is portrayed. I find that distasteful, but I would far rather that than see them crushed to death in front of a baying crowd of men with cell-phone cameras. Do marriages in the west break down more often than in the past or in the more pious parts of the world? Yes, but far better that than have women and children be the imprisoned chattels of a petty domestic tyrant with the full weight of society behind him. Does questioning of long held values sometimes lead to a moral confusion? Probably, but far better that than the death penalty as a rhetorical device to end debate.

      The absence of absolute values …leav(es) a society devoid of morality...

      No. To maintain that absolutism, infexible and unresponsive to the myriad circumstances that life presents, is a pre-requisite of being a moral person is a mistake. Morality is not a slavish adherence to an established code, obedience to a set of imposed rules or reverence for an old book. It is a personal journey we each make. The (hypothetical) slapper who can't remember how many men she slept with on holiday, who has four kids by four dads, who lives on benefits and spends too much of them on tac can still be a more moral and decent person than the bishop, imam or rabbi. I'm no christian, but I think that that was one point Jesus was trying to make before the pious whacked him. The church tends to sweep that aside somewhat, naturally.

      So, anobody, while I would agree that we have some serious problems in our society I do not agree that they are as pervasive or as extreme as you portray. Nor should they render us impotent to challenge vicious tyrranies beyond our borders.

      And, as Douglas asked about my politics, then as far as this thread is concerned it is this; all societies are imperfect and if anyone claims they have the secret of a perfect society, consider them the enemy of humanity. Flawed, messy humanity, bless 'em.
    • Rumbold
      Douglas:

      He didn't invade Ireland, he was sent by the Rump parliament to put down the rebellion there. Whether or not that was right was a different matter, but he was acting under orders.
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