Where do we draw the line at cultural customs?
Pakistani man kills his wife for making him a vegetarian dinner.
I know it sounds like a sick and twisted joke but it isn’t.
She cooked him lentils instead of goat meat and he used a washing stick to beat her to death, then called his son saying that he killed his mother and he had to come over right away.
So as long as we cite “cultural custom” or “religious custom”, we can pretty much do whatever the hell we want?
In that case, raping, pedophilia, murder.. we just have to say that’s how it’s done in my culture/religion and it makes it OK?
For me, there are basic human rights, regardless of these customs.
I know it’s acceptable in those countries but he was living Brooklyn with his wife, and in the U.S., it is NOT an acceptable custom to physically abuse your wife.
Do people still do it?
Of course, but it doesn’t make it right.
What a sick culture to be part of.
I feel incredibly sad on behalf of this poor deceased woman and of all women who are told this is acceptable behaviour and who have to comply with this bullsh*t.
It is a horrible thing to be told you are allowed to be abused just because you happen to be a woman, and even worse that little boys are taught this and grow up believing in it as well.
Where do we draw the line at cultural / religious customs as a defense?
The world has become so much smaller and advanced with the growth in technology, and yet by comparison, incidents like this make it seem like we are still standing still.
Honor killings, especially for women (although men can be victims as well) who choose to marry someone outside of their ethnicity, religion, or basically any reason that does not meet with family approval.
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life
Great and important point. Yet another reason religion is not for me.
Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way
Sad but it’s true, many women are abused by their partners, especially if they have different religions and beliefs. Some cultural beliefs are really unacceptable and injustice and they think that women are just their slaves.
I sincerely think you are brave to address this. In the U.S. we have been forced to be so politically correct that we seemingly are not allowed to disagree with ANYTHING without being labeled racist, xenophobe, homophobe etc. One of our senators spoke on the senate floor the other day claiming that any time someone disagreed with one of Obama’s policies it was because we hated having a black president. Excuse me but didn’t people disagree with presidents before him? Anyway, I agree with everything you say in this post. There has to be a line drawn when we are able to criticize abhorrent behavior even if it is part of the black culture, Muslim culture, Aboriginal culture or anything else.
This is SO hard. In a lot of ways, it brings me to the culture at my specific work – and thinking long long term. The legislation is SO heavy now, it’s crippling, and so safety focused. I wonder how long it is til we import undocumented workers, who we let die, and move on? Seriously though, that’s how UAE has thrived, and to an extent, the US, and parts of Europe…. Scary but true.
Anyhow, I think human life is scared, and I think whilst I sometimes rationalise one life against many (in those sorts of ‘what would you do’ moments you see on TV shows), I think that’s the line you draw. I think rape/murder etc, all that should come with a punishment of lifelong servitude. not a life of nothing in prison, I think it should come with a life of bathroom cleaning, and mopping public transit stations, and generally contributing to life. Thoughts?
Female genital mutiliation. Or any sort of violence/harm.
I have not thought about it enough to know where to draw the line, but I think that I’d agree with Esther. That said, I believe that the consensus among philosophers who debate ethics is that moral relativism (like the argument coming from that defense lawyer) is illogical (which is not okay), and therefore should never ever be used in court. (At least that’s what my philosophy professor said. I don’t know firsthand.) My guess that gives a benefit-of-the-doubt to the defense lawyer is that she knows that he is damned guilty, can’t come up with a good argument to defend him, and said that statement in order to provide the legal defense that the Constitution entitles him to.
Of course, what is moral depends on what axioms you start with. I don’t know what philosophers start with, but I’d bet that “all humans are equal” is one of them.