[lit-ideas] Re: When a civilized society fights a barbarous one

  • From: Judith Evans <judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 18:11:10 +0100 (BST)

--- Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> You ignore the first part of Diana West's article in
> order to be smug and
> morally superior.  Now we have two examples to
> counter Judy's balderdash.

As I said, my "balderdash" refers to Diana West's
contention that the people making moral judgements
(that she dislikes) see no difference between
cultures, don't regard one culture as better than
another. This seems to me to be wrong and, I add,
West's own piece shows it's wrong.

You charge Mike with ignoring the first part of Diana
West's piece.  Let me address that part:

DW> think most people would still say, "of course
not," and argue that such destructive measures were
necessary to save civilization itself -- and certainly
thousands of mainly American and Allied soldier's
lives. But if this argument continues to carry the
day, it's because we still view that historic period
from its own perspective: namely, as one in which
Allied lives -- our fathers, husbands, brothers and
sons -- counted for more than Axis lives, even those
of women and children.

How quaint. That is, this is not at all how we think
any more.<DW

I am, frankly, appalled by the notion that it is all
right to regard "our" lives as counting for more than
the lives of "others".  We mourn the death of those we
love more than we mourn the death of others, we mourn
the death of those we know, probably, more than we
mourn the death of those we do not know. But to regard
their lives as worth more is appalling. It is

If the two parts of Diana West's piece are to be seen
as related, if, that is, she would see my view here as
   implying and indeed proving that I see no moral
differences between cultures, then she is, to put the
point politely, cognitively impaired.  But that does
not make her life worth less than the life of someone
who can think, and reason, clearly, nor does it make
it worth less than the life of someone whose thinking
is less repellent.


Judy Evans, Cardiff

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