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post Mar 6 2006, 10:41 PM
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"In the history of the world, the true test of a civilization is how well people treat the most vulnerable and most helpless in their society. The sponsors and supporters of this bill believe that abortion is wrong because unborn children are the most vulnerable and most helpless persons in our society. I agree with them," Rounds said in the statement.


This quote seems to be simply absurd from two perspectives. First, it goes against the basic tenet of Republican philosophy of small government interference. The Republican party does not seek to protect the weak-that is a philosophy espoused by the liberals, who support welfare, education, and at least minimal public health care support. However, Republican philosophy stresses social darwinism, not care and protection for the weak.

His statement could be expected by a religious conservative of the kind of William Jennings Bryan, but not the Republican party.

Secondly, the test of civilization is rarely if EVER the standard people use to judge civilization. Most civlizations practiced exposure or religious repression of one kind or another (heretic burnings in Europe, sacrifice in Mesoamerica, Kafir execution in the Islamic world, medium-killing in Bantu society, and so on). Bigots tend to hold these acts against other civilizations where they turn a blind eye to similair behaviors from their own bretheren, but for the most part this "test" does not seem to be recognized (how many times have we heard Eurocentrists cite human sacrifice in Mesoamerica as an example of why their civilization was inferior, or the killing of polytheists by Muslims?).

In fact, conservative icons for what civilization should be frequently fail this test. The Catholic church actively supported Croatian genocide during the 40s in Bosnia, for instance, and I dont think anyone would argue that the Catholic church fails 'tests of civilization.'

The brutality and lack of compassion from all these civlizations did not lessen the significance of what actually made them civilizations however. The moral, artistic, and social values of these civilizations were lasting and shaped the world they existed in, and they all endured. The difference between civilization and a lack of civilization is the carrying of values from one generation to another, not care for the weak (though that may be a value).

I'd argue that the standards of a moral system can be judged that way, but civilization has nothing to do with protecting the weak. The test of a civilization is not how kindly it treats the weak, as important that is ethically, but the endurance of culture.

This post has been edited by necrolyte: Mar 6 2006, 10:42 PM
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necrolyte   Quote which seems fallacious-on abortion   Mar 6 2006, 10:41 PM
JLord   The quote says the "most helpless." It ...   Mar 6 2006, 11:27 PM
Dakyron   Id say the true test is how those outside of their...   Mar 6 2006, 11:58 PM
Dragonspirit   The Republican party seeks to empower individual...   Mar 7 2006, 04:00 AM
necrolyte   Yes, it led the Croatian Catholics into genocide...   Mar 7 2006, 04:37 AM
JLord   Well it's pretty hard to dispute harm done v...   Mar 7 2006, 06:56 PM
Dragonspirit   Let's set aside that little, minor "dyi...   Mar 8 2006, 12:24 AM
necrolyte   I'll give you one thing, you're great at...   Mar 8 2006, 12:45 AM
JLord   I don't think this makes sense if the church...   Mar 8 2006, 10:45 PM
Benevolent   Necrolyte, stop... just stop. You're embarassi...   Mar 8 2006, 11:03 AM
necrolyte   I said non-Christian states weren't opressive?...   Mar 8 2006, 04:57 PM
libvertaruan   Necro, if the mesoamerican religions were still ar...   Mar 8 2006, 05:24 PM
Dragonspirit   It's funny how you set up this paradigm wher...   Mar 8 2006, 06:48 PM
Benevolent   Necro... I don't think that Julian would have ...   Mar 9 2006, 12:06 AM
bigboy   This quote seems to be simply absurd from two pe...   Mar 9 2006, 01:01 AM
Benevolent   Something it occurs to me to add about Julian - T...   Mar 10 2006, 01:54 AM
ro4444   ROFL. This is only true if you limit your field ...   Mar 10 2006, 10:02 PM
necrolyte   No, idiot, we judge things by a universal standa...   Mar 16 2006, 05:03 PM
libvertaruan   Okay, so you are gonna say that we were terrible...   Mar 18 2006, 12:08 AM
necrolyte   The violence in Nigeria is mutual. Both sides ar...   Mar 18 2006, 01:34 AM

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