IRC Debate

Once again, this is something that every moral actor should be doing. Talking to as many people as they can to try to get them to support the Iraq war, and to support the liberation of Iran next. We should all be swapping techniques to see how we're all going, and refining our techniques. Well, I have been having considerable success with the below approach. At least as far as trapping people by their own stated philosophy. I actually had one person decent enough to admit being trapped instead of trying to bullshit their way out of their predicament like most people do. Anyway, here it is. Why don't you log on to IRC, e.g. dalnet, go to #usa or #worldchat or #chat-world and try it out for yourself?

would you like to discuss philosophy with me?

Ok. Do women have a right to not be raped?

Ok. If A is raping B, does C have a right or obligation to protect B?
(it is amazing how many people think that C has no obligation, and I get them to confirm that if they are B, and C is far stronger than A, and walks by and calls out "sorry love, I have no obligation to help you so I can't be bothered", what they would think of C).

Does C have a RIGHT or OBLIGATION? Which one?
(I am normally talking to non-natives so I need to guard against them saying "yes").

So do you expect C to use force, or simply ask A politely to stop?
(it's amazing how many people think we should talk politely to rapists, so I have to ask them how long C should talk politely for, and then, even if it is 5 seconds, I confirm that if they are B, and being raped, they would like to be raped for a further 5 seconds while C has a chat to A).

Ok. Does it make any difference if A and C are individuals or groups?
(they will sometimes say this does change the situation, and I then ask them what if the C group is far stronger than the A group).

Is it OK if C says "I'll pray to God to stop the rape, rather than take action myself"?
(this is to pre-empt the lame excuse of praying to God to protect the Iranian girls, which is a copout I have been hit with).

Ok. What if instead of rape, it is some other human rights abuse, such as chopping out someone's tongue? Is your answer the same as it is for rape?
(I always like to use rape, because it appears to be universally acknowledged as wrong, while murder etc gets brushed off as "cultural nuance". Once I have them hooked with rape, I can point out that murder/mutilation are worse than rape, and indeed, their answer is normally the same).

Ok. What if A is raping B, and C is weaker than A, but there is a D who is stronger than A. Should C ask D to use force against A?

Does it make any difference what religion, race, or nationality these people are? E.g. if A is Muslim, B is Christian, C is Hindu, and D is Buddhist?

What if there is another E who is also being raped, by F (who is much stronger than C, but weaker than D), but for some reason D doesn't want to help E, at least at the moment. Does that mean C should ignore B, because C doesn't have the ability to help B and E at the same time?
(this pre-empts the lame excuse that because nothing is supposedly being done about the Palestinians, then the Iraqis et al should suffer as well).

What about if A has imprisoned B, and has closed the door, so you can't actually see B being raped, you only hear stories about horrible things happening inside the house, and A won't let you in to take a look. Should C assume the worst and assume that the rape is indeed occurring?
(you would be amazed how many people will baulk at treating imprisonment as a crime itself).

What if D doesn't really care about B. Should C say something like "A might attack you next, you should act now!" to try to force D to take action?
(people have a lot of trouble conceptualizing this. They insist that they can just call the authorities. I have to explain that there mightn't be any authorities, such as in Australia 300 years ago. The NWFP in Pakistan is also effectively lawless. And of course, there's no international police stopping dictators from abusing human rights, which is where the real lawlessness is, but I can't tell them that in advance).

In the above circumstance, should C actually blatantly lie and tell D that A is definitely dangerous and planning on attacking D soon?
(this is actually outside of my own philosophy, but I want to see how far they will go themselves).

Ok, are there any exceptions to any of these rules?

What do you think of people who do not agree with the above philosophy? Are they bad people?

What do you think of people who say they agree with the above philosophy, but don't actually follow it themselves - ie they are hypocrites. Are they bad people?

Ok. Did you know that Saddam used to order the rape of Iraqi women? And chop out the tongues of Iraqi men?

Well, he did. I've even got the latter on video.
(here are the links in case they ask - they normally don't)

So A = Saddam, B = Iraqi women and C = you. So according to your philosophy, you had an obligation to protect the Iraqi women and attack Saddam?
(and this is where they suddenly realise they need to bluff their way out of their predicament, and there is no pre-canned response to that. Some of them go so far as to say that America is the rapist, worse than Saddam, and all sorts of things. This problem is HUGE. I sometimes explain that there are dirty cops in Australia too, does that mean we should disband our police force and never call them when there is a crime in progress, etc etc.).

Let me know how you get on!

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