Thursday, August 31, 2006

Challenging Pacifism

Was is the pacifist to make of cases like this,, a 16 year old girl hanged in public in Iran for promiscuity with a married man (alternately described by the State-run newspaper as 22 years old, and guilty of adultery). This type of atrocity cannot be committed alone. It takes at least a government, and almost always a measurable section of society, to commit such atrocity. How does the pacifist meet the challenge of preventing such tragedy?

One obvious solution would be to beg of 22 year old Iranian adultresses (and/or 16 year old Iranian promiscuelles) not to ever commit such offenses. That, of course, constitutes appeasement. Nonetheless, it is a potentially non-violent solution.

Another solution would be to turn back time to when important impressions were formed at a cultural/societal level that caused a shift in mores that would led to the accomodation of violence as a solution, and ensure that a different path be taken, one that ultimately leads to peaceful existence.

What effect do you suppose having executions be made public would have on American perception of capital punishment? I suppose it might either weaken support for the practice, or, as may have happened in Iran, it might coerce acceptance through fear.

Goodnight nobody.

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