My all time favorite Post is Imposing Human Rights and Moral Values on Others. It is also my most read post since its publication in December 2013. It gets to the essence of my values as outlined on the Home page.
I firmly believe that there is an attitude in our government of moral superiority. In spite of all the lesson our Christian-Judaic religions have taught us, that we are all sinners and weak in mind and things of the flesh, we feel that others are far worst and need to be taught our form of morality and social justice in spite of all our flaws. When we fail to convince other people of our virtues we use what come natural to us, our military might, to overwhelm them and force our will upon them. We did this to great effect among native American Indians and are simply carrying on this tradition adopted from the British before our Independence.
So both history and the lessons we learned as children from our churches and synagogues failed to have effect into our adult lives. We still feel that military solutions are most effective in convincing other civilizations of or moral righteousness. ISIS cutting off the heads of individuals is inhumane but shooting or blowing people into pieces is more humane? I fail to see any morality in either. It seems more like eating with your hands vs. eating formally with knive and fork. There is nothing humane or civilized about killing someone against their will whatever the means.
But killing is simply the extreme. Our conservative Christian population believes that many in America don’t worship enough or honor God as much as they. But when Muslims pray several times a day and kneel on the ground and prostrate themselves to God they believe these people pagan zealots. So is there such a thing as being too religious? After all Muslims don’t drink, condone extramarital sex or swear, just as many Christians believe. They also believe in one God. So why are they so hated by many fundamentalist Christians, more so than for example Buddhists. Shouldn’t they be admired. Isn’t hate bad?
There are so many old world reasons we continue to go abroad to try civilizing the world with our moral virtues. Yet we are failures of this in our own right. Do we feel we can make the world better than ourselves? What drive us to try fixing the social conditions of other civilizations when we can’t even fix our own? Are we that hypocritical? How do we conclude that using military force is going to convince anyone that our way is right?
Since the beginning of the Cold War we have been responsible for killing millions of people around the world. What have we gained from killing so many men, women and children? Does the value of human life factor into our political decisions to take so many lives to save them from themselves? Or is human life expendable like everything else? Where is the virtue and morality of such thinking? Was our nation threatened with invasion when we killed these people? When we lost the war in Vietnam did Vietnam try to invade us or even China or the Soviet Union? What lessons have we learned from this expensive undertaking both in money and lives?
Why do we continue to carry on similar undertakings in the Middle East today? What moral right do we have being in the Middle East or is it our tradition of imposing our moral and military superiority over others that drives us to keep on repeating history? It seems that moral and military superiority is like a drug to our nation which drive it to do it over and over again almost mindlessly. We rationalize many reason for this behavior such as Iraq having nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons without proof. But just to make a point after finding no evidence we hunted Saddam Hussein down, tried and hang him as if to justify our military actions.
When will we wake up and realize that it is not our moral responsibility to make other civilizations live up to our standards. Who is to judge that theirs are not higher and it is we who need to fix our own moral values. Each nation and civilization need to evolve in its own way.
I am aware that there are human rights issues which the U.N. is addressing. I am not sure to what extent we or the U.N. has the right or authority to correct these issues of other nations. I am an advocate for human rights and social justice. But I am not sure in my mind to what extend we have a right to impose these standards upon other nations such as in the areas of women’s treatment and inequality. Perhaps we have a right to educate others. In fact I believe that we have similar inequities going on in my own country. There are constitutional basis upon which to address these questions here. But the line is far fuzzier abroad. I honestly don’t have all the answers. But I am sure that killing others will solve nothing.