MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: Militant Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir sees erotic shows on TV as “more dangerous than the Bali bombs.”
Ba’asyir, who was released from jail on June 14 after serving 26 months for his involvement in the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people, said pornography was more damaging because it destroyed people’s morality.
“So if you ask me which one is more dangerous, nude women or the Bali bombs, then my answer would be the women showing off their skin,” he said as quoted by Antara.
Ba’asyir, who chairs the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI), was in Makassar to attend the 6th anniversary of the Committee for the Preparation of Sharia Enforcement. Both organizations seek to make Indonesia an Islamic state.thejakartapost.com — National News — September 21, 2006
While most of the comments stopped short of actually endorsing suicide bombing, many claimed that female nudity could indeed be immoral under certain circumstances. This is a position with which I totally disagree. It’s a patriarchal position, and demeans women. I also posted the following comment regarding what I see as very simplistic concepts of general morality which ignore the realities of how humans operate. As an example, one of the commenters complained that a person might be tempted to “steal someone’s girlfriend” if they didn’t have proper morals.
No one can ‘steal’ anyone’s girlfriend. If your girlfriend leaves you for another guy, he was obviously paying better attention to her than you were. The concept of “alienation of affection” is universally recognized in the law (at least in most western cultures) to be antiquated and without merit. A few states still have these laws on the books, but they are disappearing fast. To qualify as a tort, “alienation of affection” relies on the “ownership” of another human being, and is thus a form of slavery.
Again–if your girlfriend leaves you, it’s between you and her, not between you and the third party. You may be pissed, but that’s just a symbol of your own sense of inadequacy and humiliation. It’s not the guy’s fault. He’s doing what you’d probably do under other circumstances.
Competition is healthy and moral. When we do a better job in business and put a competitor out of business, society becomes more efficient and everybody wins. If your girlfriend leaves you for someone who’s treating her better, she gets a better deal, you learn your lesson, and your next girlfriend gets a better deal. Everybody wins.
It’s time for people to grow up and put aside quaint platitudes that deny the competitive nature of life.
Loyalty, honesty, compassion–these may be great words and concepts. But usually when they are used, they are trying to divert attention from the speaker’s own lack of integrity, or whatever hidden strategic goals they may be harboring. People compete, and success involves nuance and detailed understanding of strategy. You must know: Where you stand, where your opponent stands, who is in your circle, who you can help in return for a mutually beneficial relationship, etc.
I recommend reading every book you can get your hands on, about power, strategy and game theory. Such as those by Robert Greene. There’s a lot more involved than these simplistic discussions of right/wrong, or even “coercion” would indicate. For those so inclined, coercion is best accomplished when the target is not even aware it is happening.
Much of traditional ‘morality’ is a smokescreen for these types of activities. If you think the solution is more ‘morality,’ then you are living in the realm of surface appearances. You have already lost the game to others who are more sophisticated.
Human relations are best understood as a maze of subtlety, competition, deception, and cooperation for advantage. These ever shifting interests and loyalties can almost never be fully unravelled. They can only be sussed out by keen observation, and wisely acted upon when they become known.
Hobbes most famous quote about the “war of all against all” is often used to deride self-interested morality.
But that’s not what I’m advocating. In terms of genetic competition, the rules are what they are, and not decided by you, me, or Hobbes.
What I am advocating as the basis for self-interested morality is rational agency for each individual. This means each person is primarily responsible for their own prosperity. Therefore it is up to them to determine what is the correct approach to a given situation. It may be direct cooperation, it may be friendly competition, it may be all-out war. There is no right or wrong answer, and what was right today, may change tomorrow. For example, a previous enemy or rival may be brought to heel to become an ally in a different situation.
Black and white mentalities about morality might prevent this type of unlikely shift from competition to cooperation.
I am not advocating relativism–because in my scenario, we remain true to one thing: the innate genetic imperative for prosperity and dominance. And there are many ways to achieve that goal. I would argue that if everyone were acting as a rational agent, there would be far less strife and agony in the world.
The real relativist position is when the culturally contrived point of view of a lunatic bomber is given equal weight to that of objective naturalistic morality.