Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Judging Others

I watched this video (above) by Sam Harris on TED the other day.

He was speaking about how science can be used to answer moral questions.

He believes that we have the right to judge other cultures. 

He assures us that is not only okay to say that a nation that doesn't allow women to vote or a culture that keeps its women "in cloth bags" and cuts out their clitorises is immoral, it is right for us to speak out against such practices.

And he teaches us how to justify our stand scientifically.

My first reaction was one of hope.  "Maybe with a person like Sam Harris in the lead we are actually moving forward," I thought.

But something has been bothering me about the video and it grows with each passing day.

And it is the fact that he assumes we all have to be convinced of this and that we need to stand behind science.

Only men need to be convinced that it is right to speak against a culture that practices something like female genital mutilation.

That one complaint aside, I really enjoyed his talk. 
He is a wonderful speaker and the video is not long.



Enhanced by Zemanta


momto8 said...

I love learning about different cultures and different religions...makes me think about what they think...
how could some things ever be acceptable in any culture or religion? I just don't get it..

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

That was a fantastic speech. It really gets you thinking. Morality is such a complex issue, and it's difficult to get everyone on the same side of the fence. It's actually impossible when you really think about it, and I'm not sure we can ever all agree. But one thing is for sure, and I agree with you on this, men are really the ones that need to be convinced that the practice of genital mutilation is immoral and barbaric. I do believe that we are responsible and accountable for our actions, and that blaming it on 'temptation' is ridiculous. I enjoy learning about other cultures, and particularly like hearing different points of view, but do not accept when human beings are hurt or maimed for cultural or religious beliefs.