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Old February 4 2012, 07:21 PM   #844
DevilEyes
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

DonIago wrote: View Post
I rather like the notion that Winn really could have handled the negotiations herself, but wanted Bareil out of the picture for good.

I think it's very dangerous for one culture to say that its values are "better" than another's, regardless of how "universal" it may be.
I think it's even more dangerous to say that there are no universal moral values at all, and "oh, so what if they are killing/torturing/raping people and mistreating, oppressing and enslaving parts of the population? It's their culture!" Which is really a thinly veiled "meh, they're barbarians, who cares what they do to each other!", hypocritically dressed up as "respect for other cultures" when it's really the opposite.

Every individual has the right to choose their lifestyle, unless it's hurting and infringing on the rights of other people. That should be the universal rule. The hypocritical drivel about "it's OK since it's another culture" is a slap in the face of every person who happens to live in that society but didn't choose to be oppressed and to follow those rules. So "it's their culture to mistreat women", what about the Ferengi women, did they choose they want to be mistreated? Right of the individual > right of a collective. The moment you start ignoring individual rights in favor of some abstractly defined collective, be it "nation", "culture", whatever, you're on the most dangerous ground imaginable.

If people were sticking to the idea that "it's just the culture so it's OK", slavery and oppression of women would still be universally accepted. Two centuries ago people might have just said "well slavery is just a part of American culture!" And women should stay at home and not have jobs and not be able to vote because it was a part of most cultures at the time. However, when it comes to another culture, suddenly it's OK and they don't need to change? Why is that? Because it's important for my society to get better, but yours can stay shitty since I don't really care about yours and I find your people inferior, but I'll wax poetic about their culture because I see your people as exotic and funny and not real people like those from my culture?

Now, I don't think that outside interventions in the form of war are the solution, obviously not. But just telling it as it is instead of hiding behind a badly misunderstood multiculturalism? I very much prefer that.

As we don't know what may have led to Ferengi society forming the way it did, I don't think we're in any position to objectively judge them. Not saying we have to approve, but I have a pretty good idea how humans would feel if an alien race came along one day and told us all the ways in which we were doing things wrong.
I'd be happier if they were honest about what they think we're doing crappily, rather than showing fake respect for those exotic funny creatures that can't be expected to act any better.
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