Well, if one really considers another's behavior "unacceptable", then to me it seems a bit toothless and hypocritical to be wiling to say it but not to do anything about it. I understand that on a larger scale politics tend to get in the way of actually doing things, but then, I don't approve of that either. Put your money where your mouth is, as it were.
It's not about politics, it's about recognizing that you're ultimately powerless to truly have things your way other than through surrendering the very sense of ethics you adhere to. If you want things to conform to your ethics, I'd propose it must be achieved through reason, example and cooperation, a willingness not to impose just as strongly as you refuse to cave in.
If not, everything is reduced to, essentially, bullying. He or she who aggresses the strongest, wins. In theory, anyway - in practice overt assertion might cause others to change or back down, but it might also cause them to bristle and push back, while simultaenously destroying the bonds that connected you. If you succeed, it's hollow because you only succeeded by imposing (and what's to stop someone who finds you
unethical coming and doing the same?). And if it doesn't work, you're even more powerless, because you've lost their cooperation and sympathy. Meaning no offense, but while people like to assume that their ethical framework has some objective justification (a mindset I find a bit hypocritical, to be honest - ethics comes from the self, and if you truly have an ethical position it doesn't require validation from outside sources), in reality someone else might find your ways and opinions as unethical as you find theirs. What's to stop them from "doing something about" you? People hate it when someone comes in and tries to strongarm them away from their worldview; Jake could take a "zero-tolerance" approach to Nog's view of females' worth, and I might theoretically support it, but then what's to stop Nog taking a similar approach to Jake's values? How can any cross-cultural relationship work?
Relationships with those who live by other value systems is risky and dangerous, because these are exactly the sort of ethical dilemmas that result. Not taking that risk is far worse, though, as I assume most people would agree. Personally, I don't think there's any "right" answer, and we all must do our best to find our own way.
Also, and this is an entirely neutral comment
, the phrase "put your money where your mouth is" is an interesting one, because it suggests an ethical system that functions on the basis of action and agency, competition and force (I don't
mean force as in violence, by the way, I mean it in a more harmless sense, in terms of activity). My ethical sense is different, it's based around being true to oneself and seeking to be a passive nexus for change rather than an active force for change. I'm not saying my way or
yours is "the right one"; but they're different.
If I'd been Jake, I'd like to think I'd understand it was a cultural disconnect and not Nog's fault per se...but I'd also say that I wasn't comfortable going on another double-date because we had different and conflicting expectations.
I agree with this entirely.