Monday, July 17, 2006

Discourse and Concern for Human Lives

or rhetorical questions from Political Science 101?

It's been disappointing the past few days to read a few of the mainstream progressive blogs ask questions that have no germane answers due to over simplification of the questions' domains. Instead of putting out a question asking whether Israel would be justified in striking more of its neighbors - framed as a discussion starting point, why not put up some facts and references and get people thinking about where the current flare up and tragic loss of life fit into a very complicated situation?

Start a discussion with a reference point that's more nuanced than an abstracted question a college professor would throw out to a freshman philosophy class. Certainly the people dying in the conflict right now are worth that.

Heck, send people to wikipedia. Tell them to
Wiki on Israel. That's a great read. Tell them to Wiki on Lebanon. That's a great read too. Tell them to get informed, get some context, and get some history. That never hurts.

Philosophizing about generalized fundamental concepts (which may not be relevant and which may not be the someone else's fundamental concepts) is much different than trying to grasp what's really going on in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jonathan Schwarz at ThisModernWorld has a
great roundup of some thoughtful writing on the situation.