Saturday, March 24, 2007

Don't it always go to show You'll never know what you got till it's gone?

"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." - Matthew 15 - 11

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" - Matthew 16 - 26
David Seaton's News Links
The biblical verses quoted above are of those which define our entire tradition and tell us who we are in history and what our culture has come to mean.

They tell us that in the end, what we do can do us more harm than anything that can be done to us. That finally we decide who we are... our dignity is in that decision, only we ourselves can destroy who we are.

Will Bush and those who pull his strings never tire of defiling us? Will we never tire of being defiled? DS

Slavoj Zizek: Knight of the Living Dead - New York Times
Abstract: (...)In a way, those who refuse to advocate torture outright but still accept it as a legitimate topic of debate are more dangerous than those who explicitly endorse it. Morality is never just a matter of individual conscience. It thrives only if it is sustained by what Hegel called “objective spirit,” the set of unwritten rules that form the background of every individual’s activity, telling us what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. For example, a clear sign of progress in Western society is that one does not need to argue against rape: it is “dogmatically” clear to everyone that rape is wrong. If someone were to advocate the legitimacy of rape, he would appear so ridiculous as to disqualify himself from any further consideration. And the same should hold for torture. Are we aware what lies at the end of the road opened up by the normalization of torture? A significant detail of Mr. Mohammed’s confession gives a hint. It was reported that the interrogators submitted to waterboarding and were able to endure it for less than 15 seconds on average before being ready to confess anything and everything. Mr. Mohammed, however, gained their grudging admiration by enduring it for two and a half minutes. Are we aware that the last time such things were part of public discourse was back in the late Middle Ages, when torture was still a public spectacle, an honorable way to test a captured enemy who might gain the admiration of the crowd if he bore the pain with dignity? Do we really want to return to this kind of primitive warrior ethics? This is why, in the end, the greatest victims of torture-as-usual are the rest of us, the informed public. A precious part of our collective identity has been irretrievably lost. We are in the middle of a process of moral corruption: those in power are literally trying to break a part of our ethical backbone, to dampen and undo what is arguably our civilization’s greatest achievement, the growth of our spontaneous moral sensitivity. READ IT ALL

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