Tuesday, February 07, 2017

We Cannot Argue about Saydnaya Military Prison

Over the past several years I have tried to remove "moral outrage" from my rhetorical toolbox.

I don't want to argue that someone else's views are awful, even if I believe they are.

I prefer to build arguments that demonstrate how my position is strong.

I didn't always feel this way. I've used moral outrage in my arguments more than once.

But then I recognized something:
When people argue that my position is morally bankrupt, I roll my eyes.

They might have a point. But I will never know, because the moment they go down the path of moral outrage, I tune them out.

And I'm pretty sure anyone I argue with is going to do the same thing.

No one ever asks, "Are we the baddies?" We all believe that our actions are justified.

So, when I try to convince a person that our disagreement stems from their moral failing, I have already begun to lose the debate.

All that said, today I learned of the report issued by Amnesty International detailing the systematic killing of civilians in Saydnaya Military Prison in Syria. And now I have to dust off my moral outrage.
At Saydnaya Military Prison, the Syrian authorities have quietly and methodically organized the killing of thousands of people in their custody. Amnesty International’s research shows that the murder, torture, enforced disappearance and extermination carried out at Saydnaya since 2011 have been perpetrated as part of an attack against the civilian population that has been widespread, as well as systematic, and carried out in furtherance of state policy. We therefore conclude that the Syrian authorities’ violations at Saydnaya amount to crimes against humanity. Amnesty International urgently calls for an independent and impartial investigation into crimes committed at Saydnaya.
I cannot assemble an argument related to this without moral outrage.

In the 20th century, we defined "human-perpetrated evil" as the systematic murder of civilians by a government. That is not something I will debate.

What was done at Saydnaya is evil.
Supporting the Syrian government is facilitating evil.

If we fail to help people trying to escape from a government that built facilities for the systematic killing its own citizens, that is a moral failure.

If you are rolling your eyes right now, your moral compass is not functioning.


Anonymous said...

I would argue your wrong in regards what we America should do.
All Islamic Nations, Syria included are ENEMIES OF OUR NATION AMERICA, we Americans know this and we do not want the people of Syria for that reason we hate Islam. We want our government to ban Islam in all America, like Japan did ban it from Japan and has no issues of terrorist islam in Japan but we have had many of the attacks that Islamics are well noted for action.
Islam is a murder cult of Arabian peoples invention. Muhammad was not just a notorious criminal but he was a insane perverted worth less then nothing being and his God, the Arab Moon God is far less then no account to US AMERICANS of the 80% Christian Americans. Because Muhammad called for the slaying of people who would not respect him we will not allow Muslims and we will continue to condemn wicked evil practices that muhammad called for and condemn worldwide this vile lie of the ARABS. We will end the practice even in Mecca and make that city a pig factory for Arabians to eat pork from.
Only Christian refugees would be considered somewhat acceptable in America. Yet I for one am wanting my nation America to show out Colors to the world and reduce our population from the 350 million to 100 million. In the process we will remove all foreign ownership and influence on our lands including our lumber that Japan takes and cuts and sales. We will reduce by local vote on what illness in people may not be allowed to be reproduced. If you do not like a town not allowing you reproduction, seek one if any that will, do not break our laws or we will sterilize you and end your reproduction anywhere. No immigration in the task, no because we are reducing our people to give our people more and vast land to work and be well with.
I am for making TWO CLASSES OF PEOPLE in America. Native and Wild Americans whom would dwell much as Natives did several hundred years ago and herd the USA wilderness areas with cooperation from the American town and homeland people who dwell in the now and here, American cities and towns and rural lands America.
I am for seeing every American cared for by US ALL AMERICANS. I will rise all men 16 to 26 in the towns and tribes of America and by centurians report. 100 men in a unit,and many units in towns and cities to rebel the law enforcement and take our America back.
Yes, I am for War, I have no sympathy for nations like Syria, they are a cursed people.

Hogan Hayes said...

The comment above is why I support free speach.
It was sitting in my "awaiting Moderation" box for month. I hadn't seen it until today. My appologies to the author.
If there was ever an example of a person undermining all of their credibility, this is it.
I'm not big into correctness in online settings, but this is nearly incoherent.
And the argument is wonderfully absurd.
The urge to offend is seeping out of every word, and it makes everything else seem meaningless.
I don't even think the author believes what he is writing. He thinks he believes it, sure, but if pressed he would fold like a napkin.
To the author: I hope all that hate and bile help you get out of bed in the morning, because I think even a tiny amount of interaction with the real world will tear these silly ideas apart.