Author Topic: Saudis react to Saudi atheist being sentenced to death for criticizing Islam  (Read 700 times)

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Online daniel1948

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Yeah OK, fiction can be a good medium to explore certain moral and ethical questions, but the author's outlook on life is kind of important there, which seems to be a big part of the point daniel1948 was making.

"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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I very much doubt that this ruling is at all affected by Saudi Arabia's foreign relationships.

I don't think that was the point that was being made though... I think the point was that the U.S. (and other western countries) should stop supporting regimes that are rife with human rights abuses. I wholeheartedly agree with that principle, although I recognize that it may sometimes have undesirable political consequences.
For instance, cutting ties with Saudi Arabia means giving up an important strategic ally in the middle east and may push them towards Russia or China, which may have all kinds of unpredictable and undesirable downstream effects. And it means giving up any hope of influencing them through friendly political, economic and diplomatic relations, so it may end up making the human rights situation even worse.

I wouldn't go so far as to cutting ties completely. I think democracies should be able to have political and economic relations with non-democratic countries. Though sanctions may be appropriate to punish severe aggressors, such as Russia and Syria. But I don't think democratic countries should be allies with non-democracies.
"Large skepticism leads to large understanding. Small skepticism leads to small understanding. No skepticism leads to no understanding." - Xi Zhi

Offline Billzbub

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It should. Strict idealism that doesn't consider the downstream outcomes feels clean, and shouldn't. Roads to hell and all that. Think of that minor revulsion like a reminder that we still live in a dirty world full of dirty people.The other option is of course that you ignore downstream effects and live in a world where everything will be perfect if you do the right thing, and being surprised when someone turns out to have been far worse.

The book Justine by the Marquis de Sade is about that.  The main character clings to her virtue at the expense of all else, and it ruins her life.

I'm not sure that a work of fiction by the Marquis de Sade is the best source for ethical guidance.

Yeah, I know.  I was just excited to have a reason to bring it up after having done a bit of reading about him a few months ago.
Quote from: Steven Novella
gleefully altering one’s beliefs to accommodate new information should be a badge of honor