Well, seeing as how Van will be executed tomorrow, I thought I'd canvass some opinions.
If a society makes a choice to impose a punishment that we may view as harsh, or unwarranted, and that punishment is considered "wrong" by our own standards, should we seek to intervene? If we do so, are we imposing our values unfairly on others, or are there some things that no matter how "cultural" they may be, are just wrong (female circumsicion comes to mind as another example, or cannabalism, or even the Holocaust)?
Having recently spoken to friends about this, the thought occured to me: do actually models do more harm than good, as is often argued? Modelling is often blamed for the rise of eating disorders particularly and more generally an increase in superficiality and consumerism.
Usually, fashion models are under 30 and unreasonably skinny. Exceptions to this are just that: exceptions. By promoting images of women that do not conform to a social norm, especially when obesity is on the rise, are we actually doing harm to society? Does holding up a few examples as "perfect" result in eating disorders amongst teenage girls particularly? Or, is this more a product of the decline of "family values", thus meaning that young people adopt images of a norm that is unreasonable instead of comparing themselves to their parents and close friends? Or are there even more factors at work here?
This morning, Brendan Nelson tabled legislation that would force the Northern Territory to become a nuclear waste dump. With the Government's numbers, this looks likely to pass. Now, there are a number of issues at stake here.
1: Do we need a nuclear waste dump, not having any reactors of our own? 2: Should we accept the waste of others?
3: Should the majority of Australians impose our wishes upon a Territory, which does not have the protection of a State parliament and is beholden to the Commonwealth?
Is terrorism, defined as violence against so-called "soft targets", in most cases civilians, warranted? For example, during the American revolution, British "targets of opportunity", often citizen traders, were killed to further the cause of the revolution. And yet none disagree that self-rule was a worthy objective.
Were is the boundary between a guerilla war and terrorism? When is violence justified, and when is it not?
Greetings, all and welcome to The Light on the Hill. Please, read the community info page for rules and suchlike. The aim of this is not to initiate some kind of though-police, but to aid constructive discussion. The moderators will attempt to post relevant web articles as topics for debate, but posting personal rants is encouraged.