Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Create Account now to join.
  • Login:

Welcome to the Online Debate Network.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The land of the morning calm.
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like

    infanticide and morality

    There is no such thing as a self-consistent moral system. Moral values and obligations often contradict each other and almost always conflict with universal moral values and obligations.

    They are overruled by moral values and obligations related to one's affiliations. The imperative "thou shalt not kill (another human being)" is easily over-ruled by the moral obligation to kill for one's country. The imperative "thou shalt not steal" is superseded by one's moral obligation to spy for one's nation.
    Does this statement hold true against the following statement?

    I don't see any problem with actions not being intrinsically moral or immoral. In fact, the idea that actions have intrinsic moral values offends logic. As I've stated earlier, morality is a concept, not a concrete object. It's existence is contingent upon the existence of conceivers.

    However, that does not mean that morality is whatever the individual thinks it is. Society, as a whole, decides what goals it wants to establish and what rights it wants to have. Actions that militate against these goals and rights are then "immoral".
    Based off the 1st and 2nd statements is it immoral to attempt to stop the Yanomamo/Yanomami Indians from....

    The Yanomami practice infanticide, sorcery, violence against family members, homicide, subjugate women, sometimes bury live persons who are too sick to travel or near death. Individuals and families appear to seek its own interest with little tolerance for others, except where personal gain is involved. They have an apparent disregard for the sanctity of life, certainly a different regard for it than the western perspective.
    Since the Yanomami don't seem to be addressing these issues most feel it is up to government policy to do so.
    Like many primitive peoples, the Yãnomamõ practice female infanticide —on the grounds that males are more valuable to a people always at war. Yet infanticide sets up fierce competition for marriageable females, both within and among villages, and this in turn produces chronic warfare.

    If you do not accept the above statements you believe in universal moral principals and consider the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal peoples as brain damaged. after the following...

    The new findings, published in the journal Nature, highlights the role of a region in the front part of the brain above the eyes called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.
    Earlier research has pegged this area, one of the more recently evolved parts of the human brain, as playing a role in generating social emotions.
    In fact, the people with damage in this region due to stroke or other causes experienced severely diminished empathy, compassion and sense of guilt.
    The new findings seem to confirm its central role in guiding certain moral judgements like life-or-death scenarios.

    The researchers set out to gauge to what degree emotions govern moral judgements by comparing decisions made by people whose emotions were already crippled by this brain damage to decisions made by people with no such damage.
    The judgements made by these brain-damaged people on what is right and wrong were similar to the others in some scenarios put before them.
    But when asked to make decisions in emotionally wrenching scenarios like the permissibility to kill one's own child to save other people's lives, those with the brain damage were far more likely to accept this utilitarian but harsh solution

    "They are perfectly capable of endorsing the kind of extreme high-conflict dilemma in which indeed you would produce harm to someone because there would be greater good coming to a larger group," says study co-author Professor Antonio Damasio, director of the University of Southern California's Brain and Creativity Institute.

    "And this is something that human beings in general reject."


    THUS SPOKE tAROpINOS

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    tARoPINOS
    Does this statement hold true against the following statement?
    yes

    Based off the 1st and 2nd statements is it immoral to attempt to stop the Yanomamo/Yanomami Indians from....
    yes

    If you do not accept the above statements you believe in universal moral principals and consider the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal peoples as brain damaged. after the following
    ..
    .
    Damage to the frontal lobe would be forensically provable. Can you site any evidence to show that the frontal lobes of the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal people are damaged.
    If not then any correlation between findings about damaged frontal lobes and the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal is circumstantional.

    If you believe in a universal moral principals and consider the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal peoples as brain damaged without any proof that it is so, then your reason for, and any actions derived from your reasons, is based on a lie.

    If you believe it is immoral to lie then your reasons and actions are immoral,

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The land of the morning calm.
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    Damage to the frontal lobe would be forensically provable. Can you site any evidence to show that the frontal lobes of the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal people are damaged.
    If not then any correlation between findings about damaged frontal lobes and the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal is circumstantional.

    I'm not saying they are brain damaged, I'm saying if you do not believe 1 and 2 your only logical position would be 3. Or if you don't follow the logic how do you explain their actions.


    If you believe in a universal moral principals and consider the Yanomamo/Yanomami tribal peoples as brain damaged without any proof that it is so, then your reason for, and any actions derived from your reasons, is based on a lie.
    What lie??

    No one said they are brain damaged, it just follows that if you hold 1 and 2 to be invalid statements how do you explain such radically different morality and how do you escape the statement by the scientist that

    killings such as they practice....

    "this is something that human beings generally reject"


    THUS SPOKE tAROpINOS

  4. #4
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,795
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    I disagree with the first statement (it is simple to come up with a self-consistent moral system, even a non-trivial one; e.g. libertarianism is based on the simple principle "thou shalt respect property rights"). I agree with the first half of the second statement, and the second half so long as references to morality are understood in a legal, rather than a moral, context.

    To deal with your example: My personal morality dictates that the behaviors of the Yanomami are immoral to the extent of justifying outside intervention, but I make no pretensions of some universal moral code supporting this position.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The land of the morning calm.
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    I disagree with the first statement (it is simple to come up with a self-consistent moral system, even a non-trivial one; e.g. libertarianism is based on the simple principle "thou shalt respect property rights").
    This cannot be consistent if the murderer of you mother is siting in his house next door, a libertarian must either follow the simple moral precept respect the killers property rights or bust his door down and drag his ass out into the street...

    I agree with the first half of the second statement, and the second half so long as references to morality are understood in a legal, rather than a moral, context.
    Well if it is Yanomami law, then shall we say legal.

    To deal with your example: My personal morality dictates that the behaviors of the Yanomami are immoral to the extent of justifying outside intervention, but I make no pretensions of some universal moral code supporting this position.
    But you must accept that your actions while being subjectively motivated are now immoral as you would militate against the goals and rights of their society.

    THUS SPOKE tAROpINOS

  6. #6
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,795
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    Quote Originally Posted by tARoPINOS View Post
    This cannot be consistent if the murderer of you mother is siting in his house next door, a libertarian must either follow the simple moral precept respect the killers property rights or bust his door down and drag his ass out into the street...
    It is permissible to respond to the violation of property rights by others (and murder is the most flagrant of all possible violations of property rights).

    But you must accept that your actions while being subjectively motivated are now immoral as you would militate against the goals and rights of their society.
    I couldn't really care less about the "goals and rights of their society". They're killing innocent kids. Not cool.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The land of the morning calm.
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    It is permissible to respond to the violation of property rights by others (and murder is the most flagrant of all possible violations of property rights).
    So you must accept the first statement


    I couldn't really care less about the "goals and rights of their society". They're killing innocent kids. Not cool.
    That is a subjective statement...your acceptance of the 2nd statement should mean you accept that your actions to stop them would be immoral....do you follow the logic. You simply have to either admit your action is immoral or you must deny the first two statements and go with the third. Is this right.
    I'm not after your subjective opinion about the Yanomamo. Just how your opinions define your concept of morality.


    THUS SPOKE tAROpINOS

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    tARoPINOS
    I'm not saying they are brain damaged, I'm saying if you do not believe 1 and 2 your only logical position would be 3. Or if you don't follow the logic how do you explain their actions.
    Well firstly I have said that I do believe in 1 and 2, and without checking for myself I will assume that 3 is also true.

    However even if for the sake of argument I did not believe in 1 and 2 I would still only hold 3 as a possibility not yet proven.
    On the information given no possible decision can be made.
    There may be mitigating factors that show the information to be incorrect or misleading.
    The conclusion of interference in there lives could be biased.
    Other factors that may be possible
    evidence of continuous warfare for the enslavement of neighboring tribes such as the Macu is before the arrival of European settlers and government.
    The food critic Jeffrey Steingarten characterized the Yanomami people as "a bunch of bloodthirsty maniacs," whimsically speculating that their purportedly brutal behavior might be attributed to a deficiency of table salt
    This reputation for violence also extended to the fictionalised depiction of the tribe in Ruggero Deodato's controversial film Cannibal Holocaust.
    Gold was recently found in Yanomami territory and the inevitable influx of miners brought disease, alcoholism, and violence.
    These are just some factors.
    Without a thorough study into the life and mores of these people any action taken against them based on incomplete and possibly wrong information is also immoral and unacceptable.

    castleI disagree with the first statement (it is simple to come up with a self-consistent moral system, even a non-trivial one; e.g. libertarianism is based on the simple principle "thou shalt respect property rights")
    I am not a libertarian and I have no respect for property or its rights.
    If you can not protect what you own then you have no right to own it.

  9. #9
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Sheffield, S.Yorks., UK
    Posts
    8,862
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    Tar - It appears that the Yãnomamõ do not really function as a cohesive society as we would understand it. In societal terms it is a dysfunctional tribe. Since humanity has normally been based upon tribal and national rule based functioning and interaction this particular 'tribe' appears to buck normal mores. Since the tribe is subject to majority rules and consensus, I feel that the rights and protections of the individuals should better come into line with the nation's legal adjudication. As for the question of the rights and protections of the foetus and in particular the infant, I feel that Shannon M. Jordan has the argument about right:

    Shannon M. Jordan, in an article entitled "The Moral Community and Persons", suggests that rather than trying to define what person is and thereby establishing which human beings are members of the moral community, we should "invert the order of reasoning to first determine the meaning of moral community, for then we will already understand who is a person" (Jordan 1986: 109). The following passage outlines Jordan’s essential characteristics of human life:

    Human life is not and cannot be solitary; it is always lived in community; it is a life in which persons are bound together by rational intentions and actions which constitute their relationships with each other and thus form their moral commitments. The bond formed thereby is a fundamental moral bond which sets persons in moral relationships with each other, constituting them as moral persons. This bond is forged in those circumstances which are fundamentally constitutive of the moral life; birth, nurture, and the community in which one, normally by choice, lives shared lives. In two of these, i.e. birth and nurture, the self is constituted as a moral person through no choice of one’s own; only in the third circumstance are some capable of choosing in an autonomous or self-constituting way (Jordan 1986: 109).

    Jordan criticises moral theories which focus on the rational autonomous individual and which hold that, as far as the foetus, the neonate, the infant, the retarded, the insane, the comatose, and the senile are concerned, we should act in such a way as to "respect the person one has been or might become, but that failure to do so cannot be as serious an offense as failure to respect the autonomy of a fully competent or rational person" (Jordan 1986: 110). Jordan argues that such theories fail to recognise that it is the moral community which creates persons rather than vice versa. In other words, human beings do not exist in a relational vacuum; they exist through relationships with others. In short, it can be said that the morality of nurturance governs our relationships with foetuses, infants, children and adults. Furthermore, a study of phenomenology coupled with cultural anthropology leads Jordan to conclude that "human survival, both individually and as a species, necessarily requires prescribed patterns of belief, behaviour and relationships - which is to say that human being is always being in a moral community" (Jordan 1986: 113).

    Jordan goes on to make the point that infant survival depends on human action which itself reflects rational intentions. In particular, Jordan tells us that the infant is a person not because of his future ability to exhibit rational intentionality but because "in his infant incompetency the very contingency of his existence is based on membership in a community of rationally intending persons" (Jordan 1986: 114). In other words, Jordan is saying that because the infant only possesses a non-rational self which cannot act with rational intention, it depends upon the ‘other’ self, viz. the moral community, to act with rational intention on his or her behalf. What this means is that the term ‘person’ does not refer to some grouping within the human species but that any human being "is necessarily being person-in-relation, member-of-moral-community, self-in-the-life-world-of-other-selves" (Jordan 1986: 116)
    PHILOSOPHERS ON ABORTION AND INFANTICIDE

    We did not become human and evolve into the complex societies we have today by everyone 'doing their own thing'. It is my belief that too much 'doing your own thing' is dysfunctional to society and humanity in general - as we can rather painfully see about us these days. 'My rights' should always be moderated by 'my duties and responsibilities'.
    Last edited by FruitandNut; October 10th, 2007 at 03:59 AM.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    The land of the morning calm.
    Posts
    152
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    Quote Originally Posted by noman View Post
    However even if for the sake of argument I did not believe in 1 and 2 I would still only hold 3 as a possibility not yet proven.
    On the information given no possible decision can be made.
    There may be mitigating factors that show the information to be incorrect or misleading. The conclusion of interference in there lives could be biased. Other factors that may be possible
    I get your point. A fair bit of ethnographic work has been done on the Yanomami and though they have been decimated (losing 10%) of the population since the 1980's with introduced diseases taking their toll that would you'd think make mitigating circumstances like food shortages actually less of a problem....here is a lengthy note from an Anthropologist...



    As Eve Pinsker and Pat Mann have pointed out, the first thing an anthropologist has to do is get the data right. My misuse of the Yanamamo infanticide as an instance of collective interests over personal interests is a case in point.
    Here is a note that I got from Ray Hames at the University of Nebraska.

    I would like to comment on some of the Yanomamo characterizations communicated by Mike Leiber on 12/05/94. For your information I have spent about 28 months doing field work among the Yanomamo.

    1. The rainy season does not keep most land under water. In the rainy season some places near rivers are flooded but this does not significantly limit agricultural land availability. Although difficult one can even clear and burn land in the rainy season.

    2. Land and game do not run out after two years. In fact, many villages have existed in the same general area for decades. By the same general area I mean that they have succesively moved their villages about a central point no more than two kilometers in diameter.

    3. The issue of female infanticide requires considerable comment. Initial reserach by Chagnon and Neel suggested that the inbalance in males to females for children less than a year of age was a result of preferential female infanticide. The reasoning went like this: (a) the Yanomamo engage in infanticide; (b) they prefer boy infants to girl infants; and (c) the universal secondary sex ratio (ratio at birth) is about 102-104:100. They concluded that preferential female infanticide was the cause of the empirical inbalance in infant and juvenile sex ratios. If fact, I believe that Neel even suggested that 1 in 4 girls would have to be killed at birth to achieve these ratios. There are a number or reasons why preferential female infanticide may not be important in establishing the inbalance. First, thedecision to kill a child is made before the child is born but it is very difficult to collect information on the sex of the child that was killed. Mothers don't want to talk about it (it is a very painful topic) and so an anthropologist can't ask. However, kin and friends usually know the details. I watched Chagnon interview numerous individuals about the infanticide of others and it is clear that there appears to be no bias. I hope that Chagnon will publish these data in due time. Second, research by Elois Ann Berlin and A. V. Millard (1993 in Evolutionary Theory, I think) link high male secondary sex ratios with people with blood type O and Amerinds are about 99% O. Infants are killed largely because they can't be provided for. It is usually a matter of birth spacing. For instance, if you have a 1.5 year old and a newborn comes along you can't nurse both and the older will have to get off the breast which will dramatically lower his or her nutritional status. There are other reasons such as lack of a male to invest in the child. Considerably more research must be done to establish these patterns for infanticide. What I have described above are my ideas informed by living with the Yanomamo.
    I certainly do not believe that Yanomamo infanticide is "a clear example of subordinating the interest of the individual to the survival of the collective". They are an egalitarian people and no one has the right to force or require an individual to sacrifice his or her children for the good of the group. The Yanomamo engage in infanticide simply because they do not have safe or effective birth control. They only birth control techniques they possess (aside from a two to three year post-partum sex taboo) are blunt instrument trauma
    to the uterus and some ineffective herbs.
    Ray Hames
    Anthropology
    University of Nebraska


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut View Post
    Tar - It appears that the Yãnomamõ do not really function as a cohesive society as we would understand it. In societal terms it is a dysfunctional tribe. Since humanity has normally been based upon tribal and national rule based functioning and interaction this particular 'tribe' appears to buck normal mores. Since the tribe is subject to majority rules and consensus, I feel that the rights and protections of the individuals should better come into line with the nation's legal adjudication.
    I read everything and it is an interesting position about the infant being a 'being in relation to a moral community- a self in a world of other selves .

    Does this mean you choose door 3.
    Last edited by tARoPINOS; October 10th, 2007 at 04:58 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

    THUS SPOKE tAROpINOS

  11. #11
    ODN Community Regular

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Sheffield, S.Yorks., UK
    Posts
    8,862
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    Tar - Since there appears to be no 'moral community' in the model of the Yãnomamõ as presented, and the model for the wider nation and that of international 'Human Rights' is percieved as having priority authority I would say that action/intervention is required. I would however say that the tribe as a whole is not physically brain damaged, but more long term dysfunctionally 'conditioned'. Perhaps a mixture of education and general support would turn around the situation.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: infanticide and morality

    No I am still reluctant to go fully down door 3
    Perhaps some limited interference.
    proper birth control for one.
    but if the tribe still has function then the right to interfere is limited.
    Every society has the right to lead its own existence
    we may not agree or understand it but to interfere has its own faults,
    still to observe and suggest different ways is possible.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Between Legalism and Antinomianism
    By disinterested in forum Religion
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: April 9th, 2006, 06:02 PM
  2. Infanticide
    By AntiMaterialist in forum Social Issues
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: April 19th, 2005, 02:46 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •