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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

In a culture where honor killing is normal and accepted on what grounds can you say they are wrong?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26811points) October 8th, 2016

In a land where the family name is very important, as well as status, commerce, etc. if to preserve that means to kill a daughter that disgraces or brings dishonor to the family in their culture or etc. how can any case be made of them being wrong, not rightful, etc. are they not allowed to do what is legal and accepted within their culture or nation?

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47 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yes, by that logic ritual suicide, slavery, female mutilation, cannibalism, ... there isn’t a collective atrocity you can name that can’t be justified as culturally legitimate.

jazzjeppe's avatar

Cultures clash when they come together. The understanding of other cultures is important but that is not the same as approving them.

The honor killing is so much more complicated than this and it is deeply rooted in pride and a way of life. But it is also changing even where it exists.

Time will change and time will change it. To an idea that probably is more in par with your and mine culture. (sic!)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stanleybmanly Yes, by that logic ritual suicide, slavery, female mutilation, cannibalism, ... there isn’t a collective atrocity you can name that can’t be justified as culturally legitimate.
You do not think there isn’t anything that happens in the US, UK, and Canada that someone in the world cannot call an atrocity, and if they do, they are correct to condemn the West for it or brand it as wrong?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Oh don’t get me wrong. There are more atrocities ingrained in our society than you can shake a stick at. You should know by now that you don’t want to get me started.

kritiper's avatar

They are wrong if they lack deliberation.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The difference is that these acts you all speak of are not sanctioned in our culture. They are rightfully considered abominations. If none of you can see that, you yourselves are abominations.

“Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”
—General Sir Charles James Napier, British Commander in Chief, India, 1842–1851.

Sounds about right to me.

jazzjeppe's avatar

It’s easy to condemn other cultures.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yeah, it is. What the fuck you gonna do about it?

jazzjeppe's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus
I can’t do anything about it but to try to understand that we are not the same.

Should I do anything about it? What rights do I have to do so?
What is the right culture and who decides it?

Do you even know what culture I come from?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It doesn’t matter to me what culture you come from. You whine about condemning other cultures with your impotent tolerance of these things in the guise of understanding something absolutely intolerable to human beings in general. I know little shits like you. They are without ethical compasses, stand on fences, waffle in the face of bullshit like this, stand by and watch as these things occur with a facade of trying to understand what is obviously cruel and unjust. You are ball-less little freaks. You are disingenuous in the worst of ways. I thank god I live in a place where little fucks like you are publicly humiliated without police interference.

jazzjeppe's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus
Why are you so aggressive and angry? So judgmental?

If I have done you wrong, please pm me.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’ve lived among cultures that practice some of these things. It’s ugly, unnecessary and brutal to the victims. There is nothing to understand. And it pisses me off when I see people who live soft lives in the First World, egoists, who attempt to intellectualize these things away—people who never will live the fear of being victims of these things. You bet I get angry. Kick ass angry.

jazzjeppe's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus
Thank you, that clarify things.

I’m sorry for your experiences.

You jumped on me without knowing me blaming me for quite a lot of things.

I can’t debate this with someone who do things like that. And I don’t really want to debate, just give my thoughts and hopefully they will be respected. You don’t know me, you jump to a conclusion based on words – it is fine, it’s the way the world works today.

I am also angry. Kick ass angry.
I’m also a victim.

Of what I am kick ass angry about and what I am a victim of, I will not tell you here.

Finally I bid you a good night, I’m out dead tired.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

This isn’t debatable in my book. And I judge you prima facie, what I have to go on, which is your words. Your comments are blithe concerning a subject that is extremely serious. I don’t give a fuck about your victimization at his point. You have shown here a tolerance that is intolerable and a complete disregard for victims of these acts. You obviously have learned nothing from your experience.

Seek's avatar

What is the right culture and who decides it?

The one that doesn’t burn witches.

Who decides it? I do. Because I have a moral conscience that isn’t dictated by fairy stories.

jazzjeppe's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus
Good night. I have two comments in this thread with two valid points – all about tolerance.

You keep being hostile and judgmental based on how you interpret my posts.

I’m not like you think I am. You choose to see me like “that”.

Take care now and if you want to, please pm me.

English is not my first language and I’m sorry if I can’t express myself clearly enough.

Seek's avatar

Defending the maiming and murder of innocents in the name of superstition and control is not “tolerance”.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Who decides it? I do. Because I have a moral conscience that isn’t dictated by fairy stories.
No one is speaking of fairy stories, however, you must be one of such a moral fiber that you are omnipotent. If one looked at how you did things I guess they would only see you as blameless, never lying, never have cheated anyone, never though a malice thought at anyone, etc.

Defending the maiming and murder of innocents in the name of superstition and control is not “tolerance”.
The question is not about defending or advocating, and what is an affront to innocents is arbitrary. The question is whose alleged atrocities are better or more righteous than the next person?

Seek's avatar

Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. Period. End of story.

Seek's avatar

It is neither my fault nor my problem that you completely lack an ethical structure that wasn’t dictated to you by bronze-age dirt farmers.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@jazzjeppe I’ve read your profile. I obviously did misunderstand you. You deserve a public apology.

I apologize for my crude remarks and harsh judgement of you. I offer no excuses.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Seek Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.
Someone who decides that the family name is more sacred than the person who defiles it has what to do with your nose or striking any part of your body? Chances are they could care less what you do in your own nation. How does anyone pummeling you have anything to do with the subject?

It is neither my fault nor my problem that you completely lack an ethical structure that wasn’t dictated to you by bronze-age dirt farmers.
Again, it is not about what ethics or morals I adhere too (one never knows I may have better than many), it is about if one has the right to damn the morals of another because they do not agree with them, or impose their morals on someone who is doing something they do not like.

Seek's avatar

The offended party’s right to swing his fist ends where the “dishonourable” person’s nose begins.

I don’t care how he feels or why he feels that way. He does not have the right to cause physical harm to another human being without that person’s consent.

Their victim has the right to not be harmed. “Family name” be damned.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ I don’t care how he feels or why he feels that way. He does not have the right to cause physical harm to another human being without that person’s consent.
Well, at least we can see it is based just off your own personal taste. I wonder if you believe the same equality when it comes to applying the death penalty of crimes that did not lead unto death of the victim.

Seek's avatar

I do not agree with the death penalty, either.

cazzie's avatar

‘Hey, let’s not kill each other.’ sounds like the kind of ‘personal taste’ most of us can live by.

Also, folks, when we reply to posts, that’s what we are doing. We are replying to a post. Some people are getting really offended by being disagreed with or a ‘tone’ in a reply. We are here to discuss. Don’t take take offence at strong language that is aimed at a TOPIC. It isn’t aimed at anyone, personally. Most of us don’t know each other well enough to do that. (and shouldn’t do that anyway)
I’m currently receiving PMs from a person who thinks I’m a hysterical howler and has told me to not let the door hit me on the backside because I disagreed with something he wrote. Let’s not play that way.

Sneki95's avatar

Sure every culture can do whatever the hell they want. That doesn’t mean we should agree with it. It’s easy to sit in your house and say “Well, it’s their culture”. You ain’t there. You are never going to be affected by that. Your daughter, mother, sister, or even you, if you are female, will never be honour killed. Of course you can say “It’s their culture”.

It’s bullshit. If a culture allows that shit and kills their women for nothing, I won’t set my foot there and I will never shake hands with people who allow that. They may think it’s coll all they want. I don’t. To me, that is barbaric to the core and I can only call myself lucky that I don’t live in such environment.

I don’t have to agree with every idiotic custom just so someone won’t tell me “Respect other cultures”. Don’t think I see my people as any better either. My own culture is full of shit and I don’t agree with quite a lot of it. Call me intolerant asshole all you want, but I will not agree with barbarism and unreasonable violence just because it’s another culture and another place.

On what grounds can you say they are not wrong?

Buttonstc's avatar

I can say it is wrong on the grounds that we no longer live in the Stone Age.

To kill a member of your family because your pride took a little ding is just plain out and out barbaric. There is simply no other way to put it because that’s what it, in essence, boils down to. Your “cultural custom” dictates that someone’s life must be forfeit because you’re embarrassed? That’s a ridiculous set of priorities.

You should be embarrassed by your willingness to kill over something like that. You should rightfully br embarrassed by your love of violence as a solution for something as trivial as your wounded pride.

(I’m speaking of course to the COLLECTIVE “you and your” of those who hold to these barbaric customs, not to the OP.)

DominicY's avatar

Yes, this is the beauty of cultural and moral relativism. Here are my thoughts:

1. All cultures are not equal.
2. By my standards, which may or may not be based on something that isn’t relative, these cultures that have honor killings are wrong for having them.
3. I don’t have to respect something just because it’s accepted in another culture.
4. It can be made illegal here in my country, which has a different culture and is free to set its own laws which immigrants from other cultures must respect.
5. Ultimately there’s not a lot I can do about what people do in other countries and cultures.

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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Sneki95 It’s bullshit. If a culture allows that shit and kills their women for nothing,
For them it would not be nothing, if family honor meant that much, then to them it is something. If they thought living together without being married was bullshit, do they have the right to try and influence any nation allowing that? Could they be anymore wrong for trying as anyone would be to try and change their dealings?

I don’t have to agree with every idiotic custom just so someone won’t tell me “Respect other cultures”.
It is not about agreeing with it but realizing that is how they do things and it is no more correct or incorrect than what another does, because what another does can be seen as just as heinous by somebody else.

@DominicY.All cultures are not equal.
In what manner?.

Seek's avatar

I think you’ve heard that Sunday school phrase “all sin is the same” one too many times.

So called “honor killing” is in no way comparable to cultural differences like clothing preferences, or driving laws.

Murder is malum in se. It’s bad because it’s bad. No argument needed. Killing people is wrong. Sometimes it’s justifiable – like when the person is trying to kill you – but it’s still bad. Killing someone over your hurt feelings is not justifiable.

Going out in public naked is malum prohibitum: bad because it’s illegal.

If you want to talk about the relative cultural badness of malum prohibitum laws, we can do that.

But no, the badness of murder and maiming is not up for discussion.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ If you want to talk about the relative cultural badness of malum prohibitum laws, we can do that.
But no, the badness of murder and maiming is not up for discussion.
Well, I guess there is no way to avoid it but it is the closest to mirroring any honor killing. If we are talking about life and death, some in the world would see abortion as an abomination and a murder of a developing human, but some would filter it through the needs of the mother and ignore biologically she was formed to serve that task. Some would say why does the developing human had to die for the convenience of the mother whom nature (if that is what you want to call it) dictated it should be? Not wanting to carry the developing human, saving a family name, it comes back down to ”self”, what someone chooses to do because of their benefit.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Hypocrisy Central. “Self” is more than justified when it comes to decisions on abortion. In fact to my mind the majority of the decisions to suffer an nabortion are about self preservation. And that business about a woman’s body being “designed” to bear children ignores the fact that her body was clearly designed to also wear out and die.

Seek's avatar

Sorry, until a foetus is able to survive outside the uterus, it is not granted right to life.

And until your god stops naturally aborting a full 1/5 of all pregnancies before the end of the first trimester, he has no say in what women do with the fruit of their wombs.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@stanleybmanly @Hypocrisy Central. “Self” is more than justified when it comes to decisions on abortion.
Because you and some others advocate it, but your avocation of it no more rectifies it than those who esteem family honor in the same regards, or any other thing looked upon in like manner.

And that business about a woman’s body being “designed” to bear children ignores the fact that her body was clearly designed to also wear out and die.
That has nothing to do with the price of tea in China nor the question that stands.

@Seek Sorry, until a foetus is able to survive outside the uterus, it is not granted right to life.
And if some women cannot hold their virginity until marriage are not granted the right to live in some areas, it all comes back to personal choice again.

And until your god stops naturally aborting a full 1/5 of all pregnancies before the end of the first trimester, he has no say in what women do with the fruit of their wombs.
IF I invented a god, he would do whatever I wanted him to do. If I wanted him to shrink the dick of everyone fornicating he would, if I wanted him to make bald every woman who had an abortion, he would. Thank God I have no ability to create a god or some people might be very, very sorry shape.

Sneki95's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central If “they” think “they” have a reason to do it and do it where it is allowed, surely it would be impolite of “us” to come to their place and tell them what to do. That does not mean “we” should agree that what “they” do is good. It’s not. It’s all a problem of culture clash and different views. To “them” there may be a valid reason to kill a woman. To me, there isn’t any. Surely I won’t come to one of “them” and teach them morals and whatnot, but I even more surely won’t accept it and tell them that what “they” do is a good thing, just because “they” seemingly have a reason for it. It isn’t, from my point of view, a good thing. I’ve explained that in the other part of the sentence, and after that, but you omitted it for some reason.
It is how “they” do things. I still see no reason why should I not see it as wrong.

If you spit on the floor in your house, do it. I don’t give a damn what you do in your own place. That doesn’t mean I see spitting on the floor as normal behaviour. It’s an act of a peasant, I would never approve of that, and don’t even think of doing that in my house. Surely I won’t come into your house and tell you “don’t spit on the floor”, but I won’t approve of it either just because you see it as normal.

It’s that simple.

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canidmajor's avatar

I have read this through but I seem to have missed where anyone pointed out (please point it out if it’s there) that humans no longer enjoy separate cultures because of global awareness. Sovereign nation after sovereign nation is changing laws and customs to conform with global acceptability (the laws being passed against genital mutilation of young women being one such example), as we all have to deal with each other now, in this modern world.

The rule of global empathy and compassion is starting to take hold.

It’s wrong, @Hypocrisy_Central, if your gut says it’s wrong. If your child behaves in a way that harms no one (and loss of virginity or adultery does not actually harm anyone) they should not be beaten/killed because of it. The damage to someone’s pride, no matter the cultural traditions, is not a good enough reason to hurt/kill another human.

This is not some slippery slope issue. Respect the culture, eliminate the grotesque abuses of personal power. Don’t shoot a girl in the head because she wants to think. Don’t kill your wife (and often her lover) because she didn’t want to be exclusive with you. Don’t hang a good man from a tree because because you don’t approve of his ancestry.

Customs of the culture? Bullshit. Excuses for brutality.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@canidmajor Sovereign nation after sovereign nation is changing laws and customs to conform with global acceptability (the laws being passed against genital mutilation of young women being one such example), as we all have to deal with each other now, in this modern world.
The world might be changing in incremental ways, but usually in the direction of the ”have nations”. People want to revile against the wealthy here in the US because it is believed that by their wealth they influence things to their benefit. Let’s say that is the underlying case, how different is that on a universal level? If nations that have large armies and more money don’t like female circumcision so they apply pressure, by money or other ways, are they not doing it because their aim is pleased? If a ”have nations” have all the toys if you want to play, then you have to play by their rules even if you do not agree those rules are right.

It’s wrong, @Hypocrisy_Central, if your gut says it’s wrong.
Am I to coheres anyone to abide with what I feel is right or avoid what I feel is wrong? If they feel in their gut having their women and girls squander their virtue out of a committed relationship of marriage and soiling the family reputation which could affect siblings as well as parents and the only way to cleanse that was to remove the stain ”the black sheep”, it is right for them just as much as it is right for you not to trip if women here do the opposite, and give it away to someone they might hardly remember 10 years down the road.

[..If your child behaves in a way that harms no one (and loss of virginity or adultery does not actually harm anyone)..]
Just because no blood is spilled (mostly) doesn’t mean no harm is coming from it, this nation is diseased because of it.

This is not some slippery slope issue.
It isn’t, but some people in the US will strap on the crampons when they want to justify something, and when they want to discount something they just grease the roof more.

canidmajor's avatar

You are missing the entire point of my post. You are coming at my individual points from your interpretation of a biblical argument. You seem to be defining “virtue” from a biblical standpoint.
If I may come at your argument with a bludgeon instead of finesse, what about the whole Thou shalt not kill! thing? ot the vengeance belonging to the Lord thing? or the Do unto others thing?

Never mind, you are wedded to the idea that it’s OK to continue these horrific practices. It’s not about the “have” nations, the last example I gave was from your own “have” nation. Or would you condone it if you yourself were hung from a tree because of your ancestry? Is that OK too?

These questions are rhetorical.

cazzie's avatar

All of this makes about as much sense as me saying, ‘I’m going to start a religious culture where it’s the men that get killed in honour killings.’

cazzie's avatar

The Southern US had a heck of a culture there for a long time from the time they were colonies until January 1, 1863. I guess, by your idea of respecting cultures and practised traditions and norms, that nobody had a right to go in and say that was wrong and mess with it. Other people felt it was wrong and morally repugnant, but what right did they have to press their own progressive ideas on their Southern Culture that relied and built upon and prayed and praised their god for it.

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