Moral Courage

By Callimachus | Related entries in The World

hirsiali

Reader_i_am writes:

Not long ago, I made the mistake of bringing up the concept of moral courage in a comments section elsewhere. Almost immediately, that idea was dismissed, even pooh-poohed, and I assume it was because the word “moralâ€Â? is immediately associated with religion and petty “moralism.” But moral courage isn’t about that (although, at its best, religion can, and I think should, promote it). Moral courage is an ethical construct, a way of approaching the world and our core responsibilities in it that transcend any particular religion or time or place. It defines us as thinking human beings who can face not just our physical fears (which are predicated on failure) but our ethical ones (which are predicated on success).

Do you recognize the woman in the picture? Ayaan Hirsi Ali is moral courage personified. And she suffers for it, but not just from the bullies.


This entry was posted on Saturday, April 29th, 2006 and is filed under The World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Moral Courage”

  1. DosPeros Says:

    Moral Courage gets you kicked out of your house apparently!!!

    AMSTERDAM � Liberal Party MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been ordered to vacate the high-security home she is renting in The Hague within four months.

    An appeal court sided with her neighbours who complained her presence put their own safety at risk and caused disruption to their lives. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner broke the news of the court decision at an EU meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday.

    Somali-born Hirsi Ali is known as a critic of aspects of Islam and she went into hiding in November 2004 when filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered. They had finished work shortly before his murder on Submission, a short film about the ill-treatment of women under
    Islam.

  2. Daniel DiRito Says:

    When individuals cannot find consensus based upon thoughtful dialogue and debate, the larger construct of the party and the even larger construct of society as a whole cannot advance beyond the primitive animal analogy whereby aggression and brutality are the measure with which we determine authority and leadership. When one Democrat in a comment thread personally attacks another Democrat with the goal of nothing more than the obtaining or retaining power or authority, it is hard to imagine that the larger goals of any one party to effect change within the society can succeed. When this exists, the notion of cohesion amongst like minded individuals necessarily becomes a secondary objective. When this happens, each blog becomes nothing more than a microcosm of the political order which it dislikes and seeks to dislodge.

    I’ve never liked or respected bullies. By that I don’t simply mean someone who can use physical force to obtain what they want. Bullying can take many forms. However, at the core of all bullying is a disregard for a fair and just system that is honored and observed by each individual because it is understood to be the evolved social order and social structure necessary to advance civilization. Until we agree upon a system of merit that has its origins in rational and reasoned thought and analysis, we will remain more similar to the animal occupants of this world. Until each individual honors a legitimate social contract, we will be nothing more than feigned shells of the civil creatures we pretend to be. When we dishonor humanity by dehumanizing each other, we betray our own humanity and we are all lessened. In the end, destiny is ours to choose.

    read more here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  3. reader_iam Says:

    DosPeros–that was the topic of my post.

    Daniel DiRito: I did go over and read your whole post. But I’m still not clear on this: Are you calling me a bully?

  4. reader_iam Says:

    Having been the target of bullies most of my growing-up life but not turning to that myself (even I wasn’t the lowest in the pecking order), I ask this in amusement as well as sincere curiosity. It’s something I’d want to know.

  5. DosPeros Says:

    Sorry reader_iam for being obtuse. I had no idea who the person was and so I googled her and found the story. I’m not very linear in terms of following links. Nor do I know my European female Islam-reformers, but she sounds like she’d be a cool person to have over for dinner…IF A CAR BOMB DIDN’T EXPLODE DURING THE MEAL. Can you blame her neighbors to some extent?

    Thanks for post. Can you put a mechanic’s lien on an ethical construct? Just wondering.

  6. reader_iam Says:

    Can you put a mechanic’s lien on an ethical construct?

    LOL. Now, wouldn’t that be handy? It’d give a whole new meaning to the phrase “paybacks are a bitch.”

    I can understand her neighbors’ feelings while still criticizing their action–and more particularly, that of the EU court. If the government isn’t providing protection for the whole apartment complex, deal with that issue. The problem is that if we let the neighbors off the “moral courage” hook, we have to let everybody off the hook–and then where do the Hirsi Ali’s of the world go? (And, by the way, where do the future people like her come from?) More important, I’d argue, is that the net effect to empower the people who are threatening Hirsi Ali and others to begin with … which in turns decreases overall security, over time, in the big picture.

  7. Bob Aman Says:

    Didn’t recognize her face (never having seen it before) but the name I definitely recognize.

  8. Daniel DiRito Says:

    reader I am,

    By no means am I calling you a bully. I agree with your assessment of moral courage. I focused on your final remark, “and she suffers for it, but not just from the bullies”.

    My point is that I lament the lack of civility that often exists when someone has the strength to demonstrate moral courage…only to find that they are attacked for simply speaking out.

    Daniel

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