Moral Equivalence

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The definition of "moral equivalence," according to It is a term used in political debate, usually to characterize (in a negative way) the claim that there can be no moral or ethical hierarchy decided between two sides in a conflict, nor in the actions or tactics of the two sides.

I just watched The Kingdom. It's not a true story, but it's about a terrorist attack that occurs in a non-Muslim compound in Saudi Arabia, killing lots of people. I liked the movie until the very end, and I'll tell you why in a minute, but I have to set it up for you a little.

Jamie Foxx plays an FBI agent. Foxx and his team go to Saudi Arabia to solve the crime. At the end they successfully hunt down the mastermind terrorist and shoot him. As he is dying, he whispers something into a child's ear.

Earlier in the movie, when Foxx breaks the news to his team that their good friend was killed in the original terrorist attack, a woman on his team starts crying. Foxx whispers something in her ear and she stops crying.

At the end of the movie, you find out what the mastermind terrorist whispered to the kid and what Foxx whispers to the woman. They said the same thing: Don't worry, we're going to kill them all.

This was supposed to be some kind of moral point. Something like: Hate is the real problem. Otherwise, we're all the same. Or maybe, "People, don't you see? This is like the Hatfields and McCoys. It just goes on and on, one side taking revenge on the other, and them taking revenge for the revenge."

What the moviegoers probably don't recognize is something that you probably recognized immediately: They don't mean the same by the word "all."

Foxx meant, "We're going to kill the men who perpetrated this heinous crime. We're going to kill all the men who were involved in killing our friend."

The mastermind terrorist meant, "We're going to kill every last one of the filthy infidels of the world." Or at the very least, "We will kill every infidel who lives in Saudi Arabia."

Of course, this isn't the moral equivalence they were trying to portray. It wouldn't surprise me to find out this movie was funded with Saudi money.

Without that last scene, it would have been a great movie. With that last scene, it just makes it more of the confusing taqiyya and politically correct multicultural spew we've come to expect from Hollywood.


Anonymous September 13, 2012 at 4:40 PM  

I have seen rampant false "but look what we do" comments on line by people who think they're being
progressive and free thinking. This
is morally and intellectually lazy.
I find it offensive as a citizen of a Western democracy that this potentially self defeating rhetoric
is mindlessly spewn forth by immature idiots with no real intellect who have gotten no facts
or given any serious thought to the
issues. I am female and very aware
of and angered by our sexism which
is sometimes covert and subtle as we pay lip service to equality for women and HAVE LAWS DEMANDING IT! I would never equate it with the treatment of women in the Islamic world (which is a direct result of
Islamic doctrine and law.)To do so is to disregard what I would imagine is one of the most extreme and large scale occurances of human right abuses in the
history of Mankind. The shortcomings of Christianity are
irrelevant to the tyranny, violence
and evil that is Islam. And don't
cite things that happened hundreds
of years ago. We have developed into a modern society with values
including rights,justice,equality
and human decency. When we fall short of our ambitious and noble
goals for this society that does not make us as bad,cruel,violent,
unjust and barbaric as Islamic theocracies are. One cannot help but notice that the US detractors
with their ignorant yeah buts have nothing negative to say about the Islamic world. They know next to
nothing about Islam. I've heard many people say the West has made
these societies what they are. Its
not our foreign policy it's Islam.We didn't force it on them(it was there long before the USA
was even created )but they would force it on us if they could.These
stupid and dangerous comments make me angry. Military and foreign policy decisions made by elected politicians(that many Americans may object to,not know about until after the fact and over which they
exert no direct control)are not the same thing as violent mobs of citizens taking to the street or huge crowds cheering for the deaths of Westerners or Israelies.
Shoving someone is not worse or the same as shooting someone. To insist it is is thoughtless and dishonest. I can't give this behavior a free pass especially
when those who espouse ths garbage
are so arrogent and sure they're
seeing through the status quo and
challenging the powers that be. Abbie hoffman is turning over in his grave.This is a great blog and
the only informed and intelligent
discourse I"ve seen or heard about this very important issue.Thank you!

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