Open Forum!

I have an 8 AM ethics program to teach, AND my PC isn’t working right. When I return to the office in about 5 hours, I am hopeful that the latter problem will have been fixed, and that the Ethics Alarms commentariat will have raised and begun debating all sorts of fascinating issues.

Stay civil and articulate, now…


32 thoughts on “Open Forum!

  1. Marriages of minors:–politics.html

    This isn’t always a passport issue. There are cultish religious communities in the United States that marry off teenage girls here to men to prevent them from becoming independent.

    Clearly, there’s a problem. What is the response? Create a minimum Federal marriage age? Better oversight of visa grants for marriage purposes? How do we handle those that will claim we are discriminating on the basis of religion or culture, interfering with parental rights or forcing our morality on others?

    • “There are cultish religious communities in the United States that marry off teenage girls here to men to prevent them from becoming independent.” Yes, but even these must comply with state laws if they are to be legally recognized; usually they “marry” in secret like the polygamist cults. Most states have a legal standard of 17 or 18 years old; anyone younger must usually get court permission. The main protagonist in the news story was not married in the U.S., she travelled back to Pakistan to get married. As you state, there are obviously issues with religious discrimination, but child protection trumps religious / cultural concerns in my opinion.

    • It actually sounds like they’re after government-sponsored hackers. However, if that’s the case, their appeal is A) very poorly worded and B) a hopeless cause. China, for instance, will not respond to a petition, and, as long as China supports State hacking, every one else will, too.

      • A) Yeah, exactly what they want, what they would like to be done, and by whom is vague and/or poorly expressed. It seems like maybe they are only wanting to address state-run hacking. As you note, that sound moderately futile, and one might also wonder if any such rules might be employed to hammer western countries for things like Stuxnet, rather than be of any use against China, N. Korea, etc., and to set “global” rules stressing feel-good concepts over what we in the U.S. consider consider free speech, as is already the case in some parts of Europe.

        Various phrases distributed throughout the presentation and links make me uneasy:
        “…collective action…Global Citizen Festival…”
        “…protect our interconnected space.”
        “…Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.”
        “We cannot have digital peace without government action.”

  2. Are there any thoracic surgeons among the Ethics Alarms Denizens? I’m wondering about Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s condition and prognosis.

    She’s 85 and doubtless losing bone density. Is she unable to hold her head up because of deterioration in her upper spine? She fell and cracked a few ribs. Incredibly painful and makes it difficult to breath, even for a professional football player. She has had half her left lung removed, although the press simply says she’s had two small nodules removed. Hello, the way nodules are removed is by taking out entire lobes, of which the left lung only has two. The lobectomy is done by prying the ribs apart. So now she’s had both sides of her rib cage compromised.

    Is she able to breath without mechanical assistance? They talk about getting all the cancer out, but what condition is her poor, frail, 85 year old body in? As a junior in college I had a rib laminectomy. It took me a month, at 20 to get back to going to college classes.

    Are we really supposed to believe Ruth Bader Ginsberg will be back to work any day now? This seems like a Pravda or Granma scale cover-up. This is serious cult of personality stuff. If Scalia had been a lefty, he’d probably still be sending in opinions from Texas. By the way, I hear he hired clerks for terms through 2030.

    • I’ve had ribs broken, cracked, and bruised; IMHO cracked is the worst.

      Everything’s tied into your core; breathing, coughing, laughing, sneezing, getting up/down, rolling over, etc. are excruciatingly painful, and of long duration.

      That said, a couple of career Lefties at some other sites I frequent think RBG’s the Second Coming. One in particular posted that he’s glad she’s back and able to defend the U.S.

      Sheesh, they walk amongst us.

      Anywho, she’s no longer fit to fulfill the requirements of her position, am I right? Seriously, would she even be allowed to drive a school bus?

      • Ugh. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I cracked a rib falling when trying to water ski on one ski. Bad idea. Boat was going really fast and my elbow hit my ribs when I hit the water. It was painful for months.

        Some people just seem intent on dying in the saddle, certainly the vast majority of lawyers. Why is itt more people can’t just go fishing?

      • Paul W. Schlecht wrote, “That said, a couple of career Lefties at some other sites I frequent think RBG’s the Second Coming. One in particular posted that he’s glad she’s back and able to defend the U.S.”

        It also appears that that same blog site is doing some serious sensoring not allowing some arguments that perforate his ideological bubble.

    • It’s always interesting when people juxtapose historical events to show us just how long time is.

      Think, Cleopatra’s life occurred closer in time to US now than to the construction of the Great Pyramids she would have spent her childhood playing in the shadow of.

      The life of any particular Tyrannosaurus Rex occured closer in time to US than to the life of any particular Stegosaurus.

      These comparisons are neat to realize just how little time has passed while man’s advancement seems to accelerate…that is to say as time goes on “more history” occurs in less time.

      Of course, the comparisons are useful in the reverse as well:

      Home Alone came out in theaters closer in time to JFK’s assassination than to the modern day.

      Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s birth, comes closer in time to the Dred Scott decision and also to the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican-American War. Of course, to be fair, quite a few politicians share the honor of being ancient.

  3. A friend of mine posted a question on facebook if ministers should use the pulpit to talk about or endorse political activity. Legally, this is easy. No. It a violation of their 501.C3 status. Morally, it is no. It will isolate and divide people in the congregation.

    Anyway, besides the fact people have no clue what separation between church and state means, this has been a pretty good discussion. I was wondering if there was an ethical perspective as well?

        • My wife decided several years ago to have the children go to church and she chose the local UU church. I never joined but did help out with youth activities. Sermons generally had a significant left of center approach. Historically the UU’s have been rather active in the abolition movement, Civil Right, Gay Rights, anti-war activities, and so on. They have a history of being Social Justice Warriors.

        • The Wiki page is instructive.

          “While the uncompromising theological monotheism at the heart of Christian Unitarianism distinguishes it from the major Christian denominations which subscribe to Trinitarian theology, Christian Unitarianism is analogous to the more austere monotheistic understandings of God in Judaism, and nearer to the concept of the oneness of God in Islam.

          “Unitarianism is also known for the rejection of several other Western Christian doctrines, including the doctrines of original sin, predestination, and the infallibility of the Bible. Unitarians in previous centuries accepted the doctrine of punishment in an eternal hell, but few do today.”

          They also allow pets, so there’s that . . .

    • >> Morally, it is no. It will isolate and divide people in the congregation.

      That is rediculous. Religious beliefs sometimes have real worry consequences. If the church teaches one thing, and politicians want to do another, a clerical has a ministerial duty to the faithful to point out the descrepancy.

      • Good point…real-world corollary is Nazi Germany. The Catholic Church signed a Concordant with the German government agreeing not to get involved in politics (something I’m sure every progressive in the U.S. has wanted for years and would heartily endorse) in return for the Germans agreeing not to interfere with the Catholic instruction of youth. This was an agreement that the Nazis grudgingly complied with for a limited time before finally interfering whenever they wanted.

        Yet…the Catholics objected to converted Jews being discriminated against because the Nazi racial theories still considered them biologically Jews regardless of their religious persuasion. Many German Protestants had the same concern. There were also many who risked their lives to save Jews due to their religious convictions – spurred by their minister or priest’s teaching.

        There were ministers and priests that preached against the T4 Aktion – the Nazi euthanasia program – that killed mentally and physically disabled children and adults.

        Yet…today the Catholic Church is vilified for “not doing enough” to help the Jews, even though evidence exists that the Pope arranged for Jews to be issued certificates stating they were Catholic so they could emigrate to Brazil, that the churches of Rome had been ordered to hide Jews and that there were Jews being hidden within the Vatican itself.

        So…ministers and priests should not endorse a particular candidate, but to demand that they avoid encouraging parishioners to vote or to stay away from issues that have political elements to them…and so many social issues today have political elements to them…is to essentially make churches nothing but feel-good places where no wisdom is imparted, no moral or ethical struggles can be resolved and to prevent them from practicing a real faith at all. They all become Kamala Harris’ preferred form of judge: not taking their faith seriously.

        Just my two cents.

        • Very nice. Making mistakes or having regrets about other generations’ actions is better than floating along on issues or espousing a lockstep with one block. A lot of recent issues seem to be coming from taking easier outs and answers. The world would be better if we did have infinite resources and energy so everyone had all they wanted. Butwe have to deal with the world that is and maximize what we can.

          Helping people flee war is a noble goal, but you have no right to force others to do it. Take in more yourself. You don’t know the situations of those who say no when you criticize. I will not accept delivery of the liberal guilt trips. If any wants to feel guilty about their ‘advantages,’ they can wear hairshirts and give up imported anything, high tech gadgets, and live in an old trailer so they can atone.

        • I feel completely unwelcome any time I’m in a church. UU and Church of Christ, most recently. I go because a friend uses churches to stage her concerts. I did notice the “Social Justice” banner was less prominently displayed at the Church of Christ than it was previously. As I’ve said before, whatever happened to “Faith, Hope and Charity?” Where is social justice in the New Testament? Was it just my mother who told me “The poor will always be with us, Billy?” Oh, wait, wasn’t she quoting JC his own self? Aren’t churches supposed to save souls and encourage members (not governments and taxpayers) to help the needy?

          Because the left has destroyed churches, they’ve made the government function in churches’ stead.

    • Churches will never be able to NOT dispense particular world views. Those worldviews will inherently be composed of value sets. Value sets are among the tools that individual citizens use to decide political priorities. It is impossible for clergy to avoid topics that touch on politics. It isn’t impossible for clergy to avoid specifically endorsing policy they personally believe matches best the values of their particular worldview.

      That being said, at some point, there will be some political topics arise, that truly convicted pastors cannot help but mention because the ethical implications are too severe.

  4. From the Keep Portland Sanctimonious files…

    Apparently two women started a #meneither vlog questioning if certain members of the #metoo movement, including Asia Argento, were really helping assault victims. As with all things Portland, a backlash has occurred. This includes one of the lady vloggers husbands, a coffee shop owner, being told to essentially (ironically) to get his wife to be quiet.

    • Mrs. Q, everything I see out of Portland makes me want to avoid it forever. Please tell me that VooDoo Donuts are worth one trip.

    • The letter “written by the employees” sure sounds as if it was written by the lawyer who will be representing them in the forthcoming shakedown, er, sexual harassment lawsuit.

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