Monday, May 08, 2006

From Shakespeare and Co.

I really need to stop losing my long posts through putting an unreasonable faith in the program's functionality to operate properly. As soon as I pressed the "Preview" button I knew things looked bad...oh well, I'll just have to summarize.

As a Roman Catholic, I am particularly interested in the parallel with the Spanish Conquistadors. It should be pointed out that they did what they did with the full support of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope. There was a long discussion about whether the natives were people and had souls--and finally it was decided that they were and they had. In these circumstances, naturally, they had to be converted. The punishment for failing to accept the True Faith was death (as indeed it was in Europe itself at the time). No end was thought to be too gruesome for those who had rejected the faith (in any case, it could be no more than a foretaste of what was in store for them in Hell).The attempt to extrapolate certain basic human rights and apply them generally is admirable, but fraught with difficulty. Governments have always ruled, more or less, by violence. Majorities have persecuted minorities and opponents of the system have always been cut down without mercy. Women's equality has not been fully realised in technologically advanced societies (which seem to give more political, liberal and cultural freedoms), so it would be strange if backward Talibani supported them. Why in fact, should we expect the Taliban to respects women's rights when they fare hardly much better in large swathes of Asia, Africa and Ameica? Furthermore, we are stepping on egg shells because another basic human right is freedom of religion...and for a Muslim it's perfectly acceptable for a man to have 4 wives, but he will never permit a woman to have 4 husbands!In theory, I too am against the death penalty. However, there is nothing new about beheading people. The French populace had a long love affair with "Madame Le Guillotine" (as the Roman populace had with the Gladiator Arena)and there has traditionally been a dual concern: to entertain the people, while warning them what the results of certain actions will be.

I'm afraid this is rather shorter and more hurried than the original post.


Blogger pluto85 said...

Very thought provoking!

12:40 PM  
Blogger pluto85 said...

So true!

8:35 AM  

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