[lit-ideas] Re: SoS-Chapter 2, Moral Frameworks

  • From: Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 22:50:23 -0700 (PDT)

--- Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Omar Kusturica wrote:
> "These former identities [i.e. Croat, Serb, Muslim]
> are also subjective,
> especially in the context of the former Yugoslavia
> where everybody was
> educated and ideologically formed on more or less
> the same socialist
> /secular/ cosmopolitan grounds."
> How can they be subjective?  When fighting broke
> out, did people have to
> do surveys to figure out who was, at any particular
> moment, Croat, Serb
> or Muslim?  

*Well, yes, there were surveys actually.

What I have been told is that people
> knew who was what and
> there was nothing subjective about it.  After all,
> it isn't like one can
> wake up one morning and decide to be Croat till
> lunch and then Serb for
> supper.

*What you have been told is not completely accurate.
There were quite a few people born from mixed
marriages who were not too sure what they were. There
were people married to someone of another nation.
There was also a considerable percentage of people who
regarded themselves as national Yugoslavs rather than
Serbs or Croatians. 
> My objection is to the claim that 'frameworks' like
> being Muslim, Croat,
> or Chinese are not subjective.  That they are not
> subjective seems
> evident even from your own accounts, that is, they
> are independent
> accounts of the good from which we can derive
> meaningful behaviour.
> Hence the description of what the Chinese or
> Israelis do.  If these were
> subjective, that is idiosyncratic, such descriptions
> would meaningless.

*Being Chinese, a member of a huge nation with a
thousands of years long tradition, might provide a
robust moral framework. Being a Serb or Croatian did
not provide much of framework for anything when the
former Yugoslavia started breaking apart, and I don't
think that it does even now. That groups of people do
similar things may be due to many reasons other than
following a moral framework.


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