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Hacked By AdGhosT

Hacked By AdGhosT & Tayeb TN & bo hmid

 

 

 

 

 

close your eyes and listen Elfen Lied <3

Greets~:AdGhosT-- adel pro tn- Anonback Tnx - A_Ghacker - xvirus -Malousi Foryn - MaxKiller - Nexamos

Sinica Podcast: “Morally Adrift” » The Peking Duck

Sinica Podcast: “Morally Adrift”

All of the Sinica podcasts are outstanding, but the latest is one where you want to stop what you’re doing and listen to it with your complete attention.

To talk about a lack of morality in China that results in people’s driving away from the victim they’ve driven over, or even going back to run them over again so they don’t have to pay the medical bills, is playing with dynamite. Trolls will automatically produce a list of dreadful things Americans have done, leaving scenes of accidents, failing to help a woman, like Kitty Genovese, after she had been stabbed in front of them, etc. But stories like Kitty Genovese are iconic, seared in the public memory and covered in all the media because they are so shocking and outside the norm of the typical response. They are also far less common than those stories of heroism,in which someone risked their life to save another.

The podcast notes wonderful examples of Chinese acting with incredible bravery to save the lives of others, such as a bus driver mortally wounded who “pilots his bus to safety and manages to get everyone off the bus before expiring himself.” And there’s no doubt stories like that abound. But they seem to be outnumbered by stories of extreme selfishness and an unwillingness to come to the aid of others. When I first moved to China, one of the first things my new boss told me was that if I walked down a busy Chinese street and saw someone unconscious on the sidewalk most people would walk right by and offer no assistance.

There could be many reasons for this, as the podcast explains. Maybe China simply has so many people that being a Good Samaritan is impractical. Maybe it harkins back to the brutal nature of the Cultural Revolution, or to the new spirit of selfishness that came with reform and opening up. But it is nothing new. Luxun famously criticized the Chinese for their lack of values and morality 80-some years ago, writing about “the man-eating society where the strong devour the weak.” The Chinese people themselves believe today’s China is in many ways a moral vacuum, and the government in the past has launched campaigns to heighten awareness of adhering to moral values. But the government may also be a source of the problem, with its corruption, where in order to get ahead you often have to be cutthroat. The podcast also looks at the traditional Chinese mindset of caring for one’s family, not for society as a whole.

The point being that many, many Chinese themselves have been critical about their society’s lack of morality. That’s why the recent recent photo of a Westerner sitting down with an old woman beggar and sharing his French fries with her created such a sensation even in the Chinese media, including social media, where he was hailed as a hero, with questions raised about the lack of Chinese who would do the same. Xinhua reported:

In fact, the story of the “French Fry Brother” and the poor granny has not been the first “wake-up call” prompting Chinese to reflect upon a general tendency to be apathetic toward those in need.

A two-year-old girl who was hit by two vehicles on a market street and subsequently ignored by 18 passersby died in hospital in October 2011.

The nineteenth pedestrian, a migrant woman collecting trash, pulled Wang Yue to the side of the street and alerted the girl’s mother.

The death of “Little Yue Yue” triggered a nationwide wave of mourning as well as public outcry for mutual love and concern.

“We should offer our helping hand to those in danger or trouble, and, of course, with less hesitation,” microblogger “Nuannuan” wrote. “Others may give the granny some money, but a foreigner offers respect and warmth.”

Of course, this triggered a wave of counter-arguments about how the media is fawning over examples of foreign kindness and ignoring the virtues of the Chinese. This was, however, Xinhua.

The Sinica roundtable discusses whether religion, like Buddhism or Christianity, might provide a set of guidelines, like the Ten Commandments, that might steer the Chinese in a moral direction. This is a surefire way to infuriate nationalistic Chinese who see Christianity as a tool of imperialism. And of course, at least some branches of Christianity come with their own built-in lack of morality, such as hatred toward gays and denying a woman the right to choose to end a pregnancy, and more.

They also note that social media like Weibo have thrust examples of immorality and selfishness into the public limelight. Perhaps there is no moral vacuum, just a new fixation on high-profile examples that win public attention? (I don’t think so.)

I would step into this minefield and make my own argument, but the podcast does it for me. I have to congratulate the bravery and forthrightness of the panelists, who delve into this incredibly divisive and explosive topic. In no way do they ignore the many acts of courage, selflessness and the willingness of heroes to put themselves in harm’s way to help others. (Many of these Chinese are Christians, for what that’s worth. For the record, I am an atheist and no great champion of Christianity.)

Do not miss this podcast. It touches on a super-charged topic that many of us are unwilling to discuss, and looks at the many possible reasons for why morality in China is where it is today.

My blog has discussed the concept of mamu many times. The phenomenon of Chinese people being so splendid as individuals with their family members and friends, and then becoming quite different people out in public, where it’s purely dog eat dog and where cheating and stepping on others can be the norm. This podcast is the best discussion of the topic I’ve ever heard.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 93 Comments

Richard
“When I first moved to China, one of the first things my new boss told me was that if I walked down a busy Chinese street and saw someone unconscious on the sidewalk most people would walk right by and offer no assistance.”
Don’t forget the Peng Yu effect either (http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/661115/Heartless-bystanders-not-solely-Chinese-problem.aspx and http://www.learnchineseabc.com/others-blog-the-case-of-pengyu-in-nanjing-would-you-help-if-an-old-people-falls-down.htm). Or this woman, from Nantong (hence the example used by my nantong in laws to decry morality in China today…)
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-08/31/content_13224516.htm

June 12, 2012 @ 11:12 am | Comment

Tick-Tock, Chinese law makes it hard for Chinese citizens to intervene. See my comment above.

June 12, 2012 @ 11:18 am | Comment

To Clock:
“did you know about this news before I posted this link?”
—I saw that video clip for the first time months ago. And I don’t even live in the US. Just as I saw the video of the girl in China being run over. Actually didn’t know the girl’s name, or the New Yorker’s.

“So, I guess the conclusion is, ignoring a suffering and helpless person on the street is BAD, and it’s equally bad whether it happens in China or in America.”
—that’s true. But this is a blog about China, on a thread about morality in China. So once again, the example in the US is irrelevant. You’re starting down that tu quoque path again. It is “equally bad”, but what is relevant to the discussion is how bad the Chinese incident was; and you should find yourself a blog about “America” to vent about the New York incident. But this is not the appropriate venue for you.

June 12, 2012 @ 11:22 am | Comment

Mike
Find a story abut a kid run over twice and ignored in the west. Then we can play Top Trumps

As usual, Mike with his “the West is great and China is evil” dreck

Over a two-hour period on Saturday evening in late October 2009 a 15-year-old California girl was allegedly gang raped and beaten right outside of her high-school homecoming dance.

While hundreds of students we’re gathered in the gymnasium, many were convened in front of the alley where the rape was occurring stopping to have a quick laugh and snap a few photos.

http://hartfordinformer.com/2010/04/opinions/bystander-effect-still-america%E2%80%99s-downfall/

The 22-year-old law student begged a bus driver to let her on board but he refused because she was just 20p short of the £5 fare for her journey home.

None of his dozens of passengers offered to help – leaving her at the mercy of a rapist in a sickening example of callous disregard for others.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156000/Women-raped-Joseph-Moran-thrown-bus-20p-short-fare.html

I would have given the woman the money even if she just wanted to buy a cookie or something.

Ilan Halimi, a wealthy French Jew, was kidnapped by a group of Moroccans called “The Barbarians” and tortured for 24 days. The kidnappers did this for the sake of receiving a 450,000 euro ransom. Throughout the 24 days of torture, multiple neighbors heard the commotion, but none called the police. Some instead watched and even joined in the torturing.

http://blog.lib.umn.edu/graz0029/wednesdaywanderings/2012/04/the-bystander-effect.html

Oh yes, but it only happens in China. Please tell me when a girl in China gets gang raped for hours in public and no one does anything.

June 12, 2012 @ 12:59 pm | Comment

@ CM

No, it wasn’t. It also implied that Chinese culture is responsible for the so-called “lack of morality” in China. So it not only covers all morality, but all cultures. Indeed China needs to improve internally. What it does not need to do is seek out an outside model to emulate, because frankly most don’t compare favorably.

I half-agree with you here. It’s true that China doesn’t need an outside model to emulate, because what inevitably ends up happening with emulation is that you pick up all the vices and none of the virtues of whoever you are emulating from.

But this doesn’t mean that China can’t look outward and think about how other countries might also apply to its own internal condition. What China is going through is remarkably similar to what the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, hell, even Hapsburg Spain or Rome or its own Sui dynasty went through. There are lots and lots of valuable lessons out there that China can draw upon–it would be tragic to ignore all of them out of some misplaced nationalism.

First point, it does. There’s no reason why Christianity needs to exist in China any more than the Cult of the Spaghetti Monster, Scientology, or a strong belief in fairies and witches. Chinese people would be no worse off if they never knew Christianity even existed. The fact that millions in China believe it is proof of outside backing and not the inherent merits of Christianity itself.
As to the second, I agree, China should just ban Catholicism as a heterodox religion or NRM and secularize all students via public schools.

What would be especially troubling, in my mind, would be if a religion forged an “unholy alliance” with the CCP and used that to propagate itself through China. FLG tried to do that but they were too clumsy to ever properly metastasize through the CCP apparatus. I think the Catholic Church has this long-term goal in mind, and would be the most well-placed to do so, given the similarities between Catholic hiearchy and a Leninist party structure. However, their anticommunism, a legacy of the anti-Eastern Orthodox/Russian role the Catholic Church has traditionally played in Europe, left a lot of history that needs to cleared away first.

Evangelical religions are probably too revolutionary for a status quo ruling party like the CCP to partner with, and they (along with Wahhabist Islam) are quite frankly too puritanical for post-80s Chinese to accept. Buddhism may be useful, but the only universalist Buddhist hiearchy out there is the Dalai Lama and hell will freeze over before the Gelugpa sect gets to use the CCP to proselytize.

Maybe the mission, then, is for some enterprising Chinese kid to start a religion? One that emphasizes social morality, mutual trust, while being status-quo oriented, defers to the Party, and maintains enough of an emphasis on scientific rationalism to not give the United Front Work Department stomach ulcers.

Cookie, by the way, I’d like to get in touch. Richard has my email address, so shoot him an email with your contact info.

June 12, 2012 @ 4:26 pm | Comment

To CM 30,
” For some reason I keep dodging the assholes in China”
—good for you. But your anecdotal experience alone hardly dismisses the apparent need for nation-wide soul-searching that you yourself have acknowledged. And if your point was that culture had changed before vs after 1980, then why not tell us how? And I’m not referring to pop-culture, cuz yes of course they dress differently and have better music now. But how has it changed wrt morality as discussed in this thread?

“There’s no reason why Christianity needs to exist in China”
—except for the fact that there are Chinese people who subscribe to it and wish it to exist in China. Heck, you can say there is no reason for religion to exist anywhere, but for the people who believe in it. And Chinese people have learned of Christianity, so wishing to turn back the clock isn’t very helpful. I’m not sure what “inherit merit” has to do with it. As far as I’m concerned, Christianity has none. But clearly, many Chinese feel it does.

“China should just ban Catholicism ”
—and intellectually that would actually be a less retarded position. What they’re doing now is completely contradictory. They don’t recognize the Pope, but would instead like to do his job for him. In essence, they’re running “Chinese catholicism”. I can’t think of how a political regime could be sticking its nose into religion more clumsily than that.

“Why not just adopt some BS religion as the state religion, and claim that’s its paramount belief is that Abrahamic religions should be banned by law?”
—yes, why not? Oh, but then China wouldn’t be a secular state. So what you really need to do is figure out exactly what your position is. If China is secular, then she endorses no particular religion but has no excuse to prevent people from practicing the religion of their choice; if China invents her own crap (like ‘Chinese catholicism’) and endorses it to the exclusion of all others, she is no longer secular (just like the Vatican is not secular). Ultimately, you’re just being a control freak and religion per se has nothing to do with it. If China can’t control it, then no single or other religion is acceptable; but if China is running it, then religion is just fine and dandy. Like I said earlier, if you just went with “China should ban religion”, that would at least be intellectually consistent and respectable.

As for financial foothold, I’m not sure what you mean. If the people who believe in a religion (and you agree they should be allowed) want to financially support that religion, what’s the problem? If you’re saying they should not get preferential treatment from the state like tax exemptions and such, I would agree with that.

June 12, 2012 @ 10:50 pm | Comment

Cookie you really are a one-trick pony, pointing to other countries and saying “Look, they did the same thing as China.” That doesn’t change the story about China and the fact that many Chinese people are concerned about a lack of morality, not just for the bystander effect but for acts of selfishness and lack of empathy. Whether true or false, that’s what the article is about. If you can only counter, again. that the US or Morocco is just as bad I’m going to consider it spam.

June 13, 2012 @ 1:25 am | Comment

t_co
But this doesn’t mean that China can’t look outward and think about how other countries might also apply to its own internal condition. What China is going through is remarkably similar to what the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, hell, even Hapsburg Spain or Rome or its own Sui dynasty went through.

I would say that Britain and America today are still fucked up. IMO what the Chinese people could truly benefit from is using these nations as anti-examples. I agree that they can learn from the experience of others – but the notion being thrown around in the West is that China should Westernize, and that’s that.

What would be especially troubling, in my mind, would be if a religion forged an “unholy alliance” with the CCP and used that to propagate itself through China.

Ugh. I’ve thought about that actually and it almost made me puke. If that ever comes to pass I would absolutely support bloody revolution.

SKC
But your anecdotal experience alone hardly dismisses the apparent need for nation-wide soul-searching that you yourself have acknowledged.

The nation has already soul searched for centuries. In fact even though they are steadily improving they are still “soul-searching”.

But how has it changed wrt morality as discussed in this thread?

The way society functions is completely different. A nation’s economic structure completely alters personal motivations, especially for the poor. That the podcast is “guessing” between one or other tells me that they’re either ill-informed or just trying to hard to “cover every angle” – except any of the politically incorrect (translation: not anti-Chinese), factual ones.

except for the fact that there are Chinese people who subscribe to it and wish it to exist in China.

Their grandchildren hopefully won’t once they’re systematically un-brainwashed by a good education. This is why it’s such a tragedy that China’s public education is woefully underfunded.

Oh, but then China wouldn’t be a secular state.

Nominally, but I’m more of a pragmatist anyway and so are most Chinese people. We can be like those guys who just use the Bible when it’s convenient to them, except we just won’t bother making up the rest of the bullshit in there. Just stick with the One Holy Law – no crazies.

that would at least be intellectually consistent and respectable.

No, my point was to demonstrate the hypocrisy and insufferable entitlement of holy loons. It was to mock their attitudes. Banning all religions outright would make China a pariah state, doing it my way would preempt that and have considerable comedic value.

As for financial foothold, I’m not sure what you mean. If the people who believe in a religion (and you agree they should be allowed) want to financially support that religion

Christ Corp and the Religion of Peace often spread through what is essentially bribery. If you look at the history of Islam and Christianity, their paths are paved in blood and gold. You need money to found places of worship, to systematically deceive and terrorize a populace, even to print “holy” books.

June 13, 2012 @ 1:39 am | Comment

Has there been anything historically from CM (merp, ferin, your friend) that wouldn’t rightly be considered spam?

June 13, 2012 @ 1:43 am | Comment

Aaah, Cookie
“Yeah, but no, but yeah…anyway, the west does it so Chinese should be allowed!”
And the discussion is advanced not by even a millimeter. And you even add to my links showing what happens in China happens in the west. So what? Are Chinese reading these and thinking “Gosh, that happens in the west…so it must be OK”?
All you are showing me is the shock that these crimes generated, like the sexual grooming of kids in the north of England (this with added race issues) and the deaths of toddlers in New Zealand. All large stories that result in soul searching, much like the story of the Chinese kid. But hey, you don’t care about that – it’s all a game of Top Trumps to you. You try to sound like you are the solution but your whitewashing of anything in China makes you part of the problem.
But hey, they don’t pay you 50 cents to engage in adult discussion, eh? 😉

June 13, 2012 @ 5:46 am | Comment

“Has there been anything historically from CM (merp, ferin, your friend) that wouldn’t rightly be considered spam?”
Well, he does have good points regarding religion 🙂 (yes, I am an atheist, strongly so. The sort that thinks Dawkins is a bit soft at times…)

June 13, 2012 @ 6:00 am | Comment

“In fact even though they are steadily improving they are still “soul-searching”.”
—indeed. Which is why suggesting culture pre vs post 1980 to be fundamentally different seems bizarre. And the improvements haven’t led to much less soul searching, which brings into question how effective these improvements have been.

“A nation’s economic structure completely alters personal motivations, especially for the poor.”
—which is why I suggested that the motivation was Mao-style dogma during the CR, and more of a free-for-all after reform. But as I said, while the motivation has changed, how has the actualization of behaviour changed? How has “morality” changed? The ongoing wringing of hands suggests that the same social/moral problems remain, and the difference is simply that they might be brought on by different social mechanisms.
Naturally, the podcast is “guessing”…I mean, it’s not like there’s a scientific “morality in China” formula that they can test as a hypothesis. If your complaint is simply that they’re dispensing opinion you don’t like, well…that could probably be said of most things.

“once they’re systematically un-brainwashed”
—that’s lame. It’s intellectually lazy to suggest that only zombie-people can hold religious beliefs. Many well-educated people are religious. I have no idea why they would choose to be, but that’s their call. In fact, this “good education” you speak of that systematically inoculates people against religion is more akin to brainwashing than your run of the mill religious teaching.

“Just stick with the One Holy Law”
—so there it is then. Forget China being secular. As long as the religion is CCP, that’s ok. And forget religious freedom too, cuz the only religion you can hold to is the CCP. One more way that the CCP can be authoritarian…that is actually quite consistent when it comes to you. Disgusting, but consistent.

“Banning all religions outright would make China a pariah state,”
—especially among Chinese who are religious. Yet one more aspect of their lives that CHinese people can’t control. That’s the CCP way.

We are no longer in the Crusades. There are already many people in China who practice religion in the closet. Giving them religious freedom doesn’t need to invoke laying-waste-to-the-landscape imagery and histrionics. That said, this is not a discussion about religion in China. It’s about the possible perceived moral deficit in CHina (not a deficit compared to any other nation; simply a deficit compared to what it should be). It should be noted that this deficit accumulated in a nation that doesn’t openly recognize organized religion, so regardless of the pros and cons of religions in other states, religion can’t be blamed for where China is morally today. By the same token, I’m certainly not suggesting that adopting religion would be any moral panacea. You don’t like religion and that’s fine. But it has little to do with CHina’s moral adrifted-ness.

June 13, 2012 @ 10:50 am | Comment

SK Cheung
You don’t like religion and that’s fine. But it has little to do with CHina’s moral adrifted-ness.

Tell that to the legions of sanctified morons suggesting otherwise.

June 13, 2012 @ 12:05 pm | Comment

China suppresses religion. China is arguably moral adrift. Doesn’t prove causation, but there is certainly a correlation. And it doesn’t prove an absence of causation either. So why wouldn’t it be part of the discussion? That it doesn’t auger well with your opinion of religion does not disqualify it as being a relevant aspect of the overall conversation about morality in China.

June 13, 2012 @ 1:44 pm | Comment

one of the first things my new boss told me was that if I walked down a busy Chinese street and saw someone unconscious on the sidewalk most people would walk right by and offer no assistance.

I have personally observed this on a street in Henan. I also witnessed an incident in Beijing where a person was stabbed. People tried to stop taxis to get the guy to hospital. One taxi driver after another refused to get involved, although one eventually did.

I also witnessed a guy collapse on the street in a different country, and in a few seconds all the passersby in the vicinity were either trying to help him or phone an ambulance, and I understood this was normal behaviour for them.

Highly moral individuals can arise in any culture, but not all cultures reinforce and foster moral behaviour equally. Which means, averaged out, some cultures are more moral than others. Also, the same culture can be more or less moral over time. I think by and large Westerners tend to assume that their culture is more moral now than it has ever been, although the fact that in most countries the murder rate is an order of magnitude higher than it was 50 years ago suggests otherwise.

At least some branches of Christianity come with their own built-in lack of morality, such as hatred toward gays and denying a woman the right to choose to end a pregnancy, and more.

Since I don’t want to offend more than 1 group at a time, I’ll just say that Christian opposition to abortion is an alternative morality, not the absence of one. Bluntly put, they privilege the life of the unborn child over the convenience of the unwilling mother. This is consistent with their understanding of the nature and value of human life, and it’s also consistent with Christian thought from the days of the Roman empire when they also opposed infanticide with the same reasoning.

Christians might have to do the same thing again if the viewpoint of certain secular ethicists, who have argued in favour of “post-birth abortion” up to 2 years, becomes mainstream.

June 13, 2012 @ 2:22 pm | Comment

At least it is encouraging that this kind of debate can be had, even if certain fairly logical conclusions are foreclosed. Most countries go through bouts of moral outrage when a particularly shocking incident causes people to call for change. The ongoing Leveson inquiry in the UK is an example of what the outrage over the discovery that at least one national newspaper was hacking into the mobile phones of murder victims brought about. The Xiao Yueyue event could not so easily act as a trigger for action because the culprits were the public in general – but if I were to suggest a concrete solution to ‘bystander syndrome’ it would be firstly laying greater emphasis on when to call the emergency services in public information, and secondly the teaching of first aid in schools and universities.

June 13, 2012 @ 2:59 pm | Comment

Peter
Christians might have to do the same thing again if the viewpoint of certain secular ethicists, who have argued in favour of “post-birth abortion” up to 2 years, becomes mainstream.

I think there’s a better chance of certain Christians legalizing rape.

SK Cheung
China suppresses religion. China is arguably moral adrift. Doesn’t prove causation, but there is certainly a correlation.

Chinese people usually wear shirts. China is arguably morally adrift. Ban shirts?

No, there is no proof that religiosity reduces crime rates – in fact its quite the opposite. States with the most intense belief in god tend to be the most violent (individually and nationally), and prison populations are usually more devout than society at large.

June 14, 2012 @ 4:55 am | Comment

http://tealeafnation.com/2012/06/netizens-chatter-as-prominent-hivaids-activist-leaves-china/

Not related to societal moral decay. But some suggest the continued moral decay of the CCP. That’s not really breaking news, i guess.

June 14, 2012 @ 5:28 am | Comment

While we’re at it, is there any truth to this story?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-18435126

The fact that all the examples quoted, Chinese and western, have caused citizens to rally around in condemnation and shock seems to indicate that society itself is still good, morally speaking.

June 14, 2012 @ 9:20 am | Comment

“Christians might have to do the same thing again if the viewpoint of certain secular ethicists, who have argued in favour of “post-birth abortion” up to 2 years, becomes mainstream.”
I’m with CM on this one…and certain Christians have legalised rape for centuries (a husband could not legally rape his wife way back when – marriage was considered consent http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18260552 ).
Regarding the post natal abortion, the imagery suggested is that any child can be killed if unwanted. I dare say the original remark to this effect (I’d have to find it – first I have heard about it) would be more akin to allowing a child who would not live to die, as was natural before present.

June 14, 2012 @ 9:27 am | Comment

To Mike,
and GT actually reported on it. Maybe we can even look forward to some words of wisdom on the subject from its fearless editor/leader.

June 14, 2012 @ 9:38 am | Comment

@Mike

While I’m ardently pro-choice, aborting a late term foetus like that is pretty diabolical. If it’s true, it’s another blow to claims of decency by the state.

June 14, 2012 @ 10:21 am | Comment

Given I know two lively kids who had to come out of the womb at that stage, it is pretty scary…
One wonders at the morality of the people enforcing the 1 child policy – certainly a certain “Allen_Snyder” in the Telegraph has no feelings about it – “It’s the law!”
But then, what was it someone said of Eichmann? “The Banality of Evil”? The perpetrators are probably really surprised at the outcry their actions have caused…

June 14, 2012 @ 11:19 am | Comment

Except there have never been so-called “claims of decency” by the state. Only one state claims it’s holy, free, faultless, and so much so that it has the right to carpet bomb any nation it pleases on a whim.

June 14, 2012 @ 11:35 am | Comment

There goes cookie again. Please stop pushing your luck.

June 14, 2012 @ 11:36 am | Comment

@CM

That’s absolutely not true! China has NEVER carpet-bombed another nation!

June 14, 2012 @ 11:42 am | Comment

heh

June 14, 2012 @ 11:45 am | Comment

“Great, Glorious and Correct”

June 14, 2012 @ 11:59 am | Comment

I’m still trying to work out what Israel has to do with anything….

June 14, 2012 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

Mike, looks like you’ve decided to take a leaf out of Cookie Monster’s book. Shall I bring up injustices committed in the name of rational secular humanism, or will it be enough just to mention the Opium Wars?

If you want to know about the abortion reference, it’s from a recent article from the Journal of Medical Ethics entitled After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

The authors state “What we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”

http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.full

June 14, 2012 @ 2:42 pm | Comment

So, in sum, I think we can all agree that China does need some improvements to its moral system, but we disagree on

a) the urgency
b1) whether to adopt an external system
b2) which external system to adopt

is that pretty close to it?

June 14, 2012 @ 3:08 pm | Comment

To CM:
“Chinese people usually wear shirts. China is arguably morally adrift. Ban shirts?”
—only if you can sustain an argument that shirts are linked with morality in any plausible way. I think most people would recognize a plausible association between religion and morals, whereas most people would be hard-pressed to find a plausible association between shirts and morals. I guess I need to explain to you that, when considering correlation vs causation, you also need to factor in plausibility. Then again, you often make arguments that would be improbable for cognitively-functional humans to make, so plausibility is not much of a hurdle for you.

And like I said, there is no reason why religion would not be part of the discussion about morality in China. If you want to add “shirts” to that discussion, fly at’er.

“States with the most intense belief in god tend to be the most violent (individually and nationally”
—and that too is only a correlation. And crime rate is but one aspect of morality. China may not have a huge crime rate, yet the hand-wringing over morals continues, as even you admit. Besides, if you have states with no religion and bad morals (CHina), and other states with religion and (let’s assume for argument’s sake) bad morals, then religion is not the responsible factor. That’s not to say that bringing religion into China, or taking religion out of other countries, will improve morals necessarily. But it warrants a discussion…which is what the podcast did.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

To narsf #72:

I think pro-choice is quite far removed from the specter of forced abortions.

June 14, 2012 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

A morality debate seems a bit of a red herring when it is institutions — laws, courts, state media, police, chengguan — that are letting PRC people down in many cases. Assume a lack of morality as a human condition and build a firm, transparent, just legal system to deal with it. Under rule of law, it is less contentious to agree on what is legal/illegal than to agree on what is moral/immoral.

All threads ultimately lead to political reform or lack thereof.

June 15, 2012 @ 12:43 am | Comment

To Slim,

that’s true. It’s often been said that you can’t legislate morality. But you can certainly legislate a deterrent such that people don’t repeatedly run someone over in hopes of killing them so as to avoid paying damages for injuring them in the first place.

Also agree about the red herring. Xinhua is talking about morality, and as far as i’m concerned, that means the CCP wants to talk about it. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the CCP wants to talk about morality (something where they can shift the blame onto the people) as opposed to any of a whole host of things where they can’t. Maybe if people are wringing their hands about morals, they’ll be less fixated on corruption.

June 15, 2012 @ 1:46 am | Comment

Peter
Shall I bring up injustices committed in the name of rational secular humanism

Go ahead and try. There are no crimes committed under “rational secular” anything.

June 15, 2012 @ 4:50 am | Comment

Peter
Opium War, obviously. Lightly seasoned with Summer Palace and garnished with 5000 year history 😉
Have to say, mind, the pictures one gets if you Google Feng Jianmei are rather shocking.
Read the paper – seems a more philosophical than a medical paper, don’t you think. This bit…

“If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.”

…does sound to me like it is more a questioning of abortion itself. As I read it; if it is permissible to kill a foetus because (insert reason here) and a new born is the same, morally speaking as a foetus, then it should be OK to do the same to the new born.
That sounds to me more a condemnation of preterm abortion than post partum “abortion”.

@CM
“Go ahead and try. There are no crimes committed under “rational secular” anything.””
Much as I want to agree with you here, unfortunately, due to human nature, there’s secular crimes and religious crimes. I don’t think the officials in the abortion case above cared any more than Eichmann or Arnaud at Beziers (you may recognise this quotation “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.”—”Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own.”) about eh consequences of their actions – gods or none, some people are just utterly lacking in morals.

June 15, 2012 @ 6:26 am | Comment

That’s not rational then.

June 15, 2012 @ 10:00 am | Comment

Not to you or me, no. But if they are following the law to the letter, then yes…sorta kinda.

June 15, 2012 @ 10:58 am | Comment

There’s secular humanism. But what is rational secular humanism. Who gets to determine what is and isn’t “rational”?

June 15, 2012 @ 12:09 pm | Comment

http://tealeafnation.com/2012/06/netizens-agree-chinas-rape-law-must-be-reformed/

Going back to Slim’s point again in #83, you can’t legislate morality, so scumbags will do what scumbags do. But jeez-louise, China can certainly do a better job of legislating better deterrence for the morally weak.

June 15, 2012 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

SKC, who gets to define rational indeed. In the abortionists case, they were following the law. Laws are meant to be obeyed, so one can say that’s rational behaviour on their part. I got a ticket once – driving late-ish, empty road, straight but it had a speed camera. Caught doing 82kph in a 70kph zone. Rationally I was safe to both myself and to the oether users of the road. Rationally I broke the law. The camera is dumb and unthinking so guess which rationality was applied….

June 15, 2012 @ 12:38 pm | Comment

To Mike,
as you suggest, merely following the “law” does not define “rational”. In fact, the law itself can’t be presumed to be rational in all circumstances. For starters, simply saying that following the law constitutes rational behaviour would singularly sweep any and all police state atrocities under the rug.

June 15, 2012 @ 1:05 pm | Comment

I should have said rationalist secular humanism. Often these movements are anything but rational.

@Mike: I did wonder if the post-natal abortion article had been written as a prank by pro-line people. As far as I can make out, that’s not the case and the authors meant exactly what they said.

June 15, 2012 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

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