# Egyptian Vigilantes Kill Two Suspected Thieves

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Balerion, Mar 17, 2013.

1. ### Saturnine PariahHell is other peopleValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,072
The usurpation or overthrow of any small-coalition regime will inspire the two more common approaches to stabilize the land and reform the country. A: the revolutionaries or reformers whom overthrew the previous incumbents of the old government use their new found power to create a new autocracy that could rule more leniently or harsher than the previous. B: The people with support from the revolutionaries form a large coalition regime (democracy)and slowly make progress towards stability. From what the article describes Egypt is still in the process of stabilization and its future form of government is unclear for now. In autocracies ruling is not about good governance, ruling is simply about staying in power.

3. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,153
Lawlessness

Yes and no. That is, vendetta thrives in lawless regions. Hypervigilance in such conditions can be construed as an abstract sublimation of vendetta; in the face of such massive disappointment and frustration, people take revenge against an abstraction. Accused thieves, molesters, adulterers, miscegenators, and whatever else are simply things—convenient tools for providing gratification.

Unlike Pakistan, though, the Egyptian people have a longer experience with law and order. Even the Mubarak tyranny itself can be described in appreciable contexts if one is selective enough, especially compared to the controversies that have wracked modern Pakistan from the outset.

A metaphorical way of looking at it is to consider some of the European and Middle Eastern cities of historical significance that have been erased and rebuilt because of wars. If wars blow up and wreck enough stuff, what replaces the old can look very different. So an exaggeration to make the point: Imagine this goes on so long that they eventually shoot the pyramids down to rubble.

I know, I know. But think of the damage done to Sarajevo over the years. There is more than just a few districts in Cairo at stake; I choose the melodramatic erasure of the pyramids to make the point. I don't think the Egyptians will destroy everything before achieving a post-revolutionary recovery. The whole point of this, rhetorically at least, is about the relationship between authority and prosperity; without an employment crisis, Mubarak would still be in power.

What many in Pakistan are accustomed to is etched against a different historical backdrop. Few remain who remember anything approaching what Egypt has put on the line; it only took ten years after the chaotic founding of modern Pakistan to see the first coup. Even the most forgiving and sympathetic interpretations of the modern Pakistani era speak of tumult.

Right now, there are plenty in Egypt who remember life under Mubarak, and the idea of wanting something better. It is my belief that this can only go on for so long. I'm pretty sure the recent Egyptian public violence isn't really about the right to soccer hooliganism.

But this is a very difficult period for any revolution; history offers many reasons to be pessimistic, to be certain, but it's not like there is no reason to be optimistic.

5. ### BalerionBannedBanned

Messages:
8,596
Why should we? He's clearly demonstrating disturbing tendencies, claiming to be ambivalent to the suffering of others because he doesn't view them as "valuable." That, and claiming his own subjective views are "true statements," yet requiring a subjective statement against his to have objective value to be valid. This double-standard might be a defense mechanism, or it might be a sign of extreme solipsism.

And how exactly do you draw that conclusion?

I didn't offer a view, so how am I looking for validation? Are you a mind-reader?

I'm sure you've got some stunning non-sequitur lined up to "support" this statement...

7. ### BalerionBannedBanned

Messages:
8,596
So you think there's less of a chance of this becoming ingrained in society as it has in Pakistan because Egypt has a better history of law and order. That makes sense, especially since one of the reasons the Pakistan mobs often take it upon themselves is that they feel--rightly or wrongly, the perception is there--that the legal system doesn't do enough to punish blasphemy. This could come from a fundamental lack of trust in the structure that Egyptians perhaps don't share, or at least haven't shared for very long, and likely wouldn't harbor once things settle down.

I guess then it's just a matter of hoping they get it figured out quickly.

8. ### TiassaLet us not launch the boat ...Staff Member

Messages:
37,153
Tearing Down the House

Essentially, yes. These are human beings; this thing could go in any direction. But if any analysis anywhere has any worth, then yes I think recent history in terms of the shape of society and the stability of such a structure is important to consider. Egyptians also have a stronger nationalist streak in terms of the broader Egyptian culture. To wit, while it is possible to imagine that Egyptians might sit by while an Islamist regime destroyed venerable pagan and infidel sites—perhaps of Christian antiquity—I doubt they would be so deferential while the hardliners razed ancient Egypt itself. In Pakistan, the Taliban doesn't just strike infidels and pagans, but also targets fellow Muslims for sectarian reasons. It is hard to imagine that kind of fanaticism making that kind of progress in Egypt.

It's not so far-fetched an outlook compared to some of the more vicious Christian movements we see in the U.S. What separates our nut job puritans from theirs is less doctrinal than socioeconimic, political, and in some context about a perception of justice. I'm not certain what degree of trauma would be required to push Americans into a Wild West of the New Century. Our domestic terrorists are few; our self-righteous, deadly vigilantes of greater numbers. But our historical perspective, economic outlook, and political situation are considerably different. In this country, we don't have that kind of vigilante lynch mob anymore. Instead, we have people who shoot their spouses through the bathroom door, or beat someone to death in homophobic panic. When you look at how our society treats mob action, it becomes apparent that we inherently feel like we have more to lose. It's kind of the reason so many are disgusted with the Tea Party. If everything else is a bad reason for societal upheaval, why are we even entertaining these clowns? But I digress; we have strange riots sometimes, 'tis true. And the one lesson we seem to fail to learn is that we don't seem to win anything by them.

Elsewhere, tearing down the house has different effects. It didn't win the Iranians so much last time, and it got Egyptians a heap of headaches; same in Libya and Tunisia. But they're in, and they're going to have to find a way out; the rest of the world cannot do it for them. Indeed, we should hope they figure it out quickly.

One of the overlooked stories, in my opinion, in the American outlook on the Arab Spring is the economic aspect. Food prices were rose at crisis rates after the global meltdown; the Tunisian revolution opened over the harassment of food cart vendors. In Egypt, unemployment ranged between a quarter and third of under-thirties. What this is about seems to be economic security, political stability, and the right to argue about things. Unfortunately, as laudable as such an outlook is in principle, it is also very vague. Figuring out the rest of what that means is an endeavor fraught with many perils.

9. ### BalerionBannedBanned

Messages:
8,596
Egypt currently is dealing with a large amount of sectarian violence, particularly in the form of Islamic fundamentalists attacking Coptic Christian churches and citizens, and the Muslim Brotherhood regularly attacked, vandalized, or defaced tombs belonging to the Sufi branch of Islam even before the Arab Spring, so I would say that kind of fanaticism is already alive and well in Egypt. I don't necessarily see them targeting the pyramids or other ancient Egyptian sites simply because they aren't perceived as a threat to Islam by the Brotherhood or other groups.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "more to lose." I don't think it would be correct to say that most of our country's population of fundamentalist Christian loons are so much more prosperous than, say, the people that attacked that Christian neighborhood in Pakistan. Many are at or below the poverty line. I do think they have more to lose in the sense that if they pull something like that, they are going to lose their freedom, whereas this is not necessarily true in Pakistan (did you hear any reports of arrests being made other than the guy who allegedly blasphemed?) or at the moment in Egypt. So in that sense, yeah, they actually stand to lose more. But I don't necessarily credit this to America being a more prosperous nation, but rather because the US is a secular nation. I really believe secularism is what keeps the loons in check here, and why they run rampant in non-secular countries. Egypt is officially a Muslim country, and I think that affects the Muslim population in the same way being a "free" country affects Americans. We see ourselves as morally superior to those who aren't free, almost with no regard to what that means or if it actually is a "right" thing, and I think Muslims in countries where Islam is the official religion feel themselves as superior to non-Muslims for that same reason. Little things like that can have a huge impact.

Well, it certainly was at the forefront of the coverage in the beginning, but it has taken a backseat to hyperbole about "the struggle for freedom." Such is to be expected in a country that was born from a revolution of its own.

10. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

Messages:
15,058

I replied.

You did get upset. People tend to get upset when they don't get what they want.

Riiight.

By now, you have often argued how religion is the source of so many bad things. And just recently, you've opened a thread arguing how it was the fault of religion for the incident that happened - opening with the exact same words.

If you really want to argue that something you point out has nothing to do with religion, you'll have to be more clear. And not just offer a statement of flat-out denial that, given the context of the recent discussions at the forums, seems more like sarcasm that is intended to be understood in the opposite manner.

If this would be a mere discussion forum, then why is there so much emotion, so much taking things personally?

11. ### BalerionBannedBanned

Messages:
8,596
You seem to be confused. I didn't ask you why you replied, but rather how you came to this conclusion:

So I ask again: How exactly do you draw this conclusion?

What does this have to do with validation?

It doesn't. Read my OP. What part of "This has nothing to do with religion" don't you understand?

I'll repost my previous response to this charge, since you apparently missed it in your zeal to assert superiority:

I shouldn't have to do this homework for you, wynn. This post was on the first page of this thread.

Wow, I was right. You really did give me a stunning non-sequitur.

What the quoted statement above has to do with Sciforums being a "therapy" forum is beyond me, so I'll just pretend it's an honest question and address it accordingly: When people exchange ideas, they tend to become competitive and emotionally invested. This happens everywhere, in every medium that people exchange ideas. It happens on political shows, on the news, on sports shows, entertainment shows--everywhere. When someone tells you you're wrong, it strikes a chord. You should know this better than anyone, since so many of your ideas are challenged here. And you are easily the most defensive person on these forums, so I don't know where this high-and-mighty tone comes from. You take it more personally than most.

12. ### BellsStaff Member

Messages:
24,133
I thought this wasn't about religion? This vigilante attack is not because of their religion but stemmed from a complete lack of order within the Government due to the Arab Springs uprising.

You say that it is secularism is what keeps the loons in check in the US, I don't think that is really the case. One only has to look at just how close the loons came to winning the last election to see that. Or just at how the loons are Governing on a local level throughout the US.

You also have to realise that the US version of below the poverty line cannot be compared to the poor people or those below the poverty line in Pakistan.

60% lives on less than $2 per say.. The US is nowhere near that bad. Christian fundamentalists are not living on less than$2 a day, or one could obviously say that the majority were not.

Now imagine if the US descended into anarchy, as is the case in Egypt at present and imagine if the police were on strike. Do you honestly believe that the outcome would be that much better than what we just witnessed in Egypt?

13. ### andy1033Truth SeekerValued Senior Member

Messages:
1,060
Just glad we have mind control techs in europe, as so much of this vile human behaviour would still exist. With all the morons out there, both male and female, its a wonder they even built an eu at all.

This shows you why the making of the eu deserved a nobel peace prize, as people are vile and mob rule is something should be in the past. One day they may take over the world totally and run it for these people as they have no idea how to live in society. There are loads in west who have no idea how to live in society too, but at least they have techs to control most of your madness.

14. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

Messages:
15,058
It's the universal, fundamental reason for discontent.

Oh mummy.

The part where we have reason to suspect that you didn't mean it.

Projector time again ...

15. ### BalerionBannedBanned

Messages:
8,596
So you don't have anything to actually support this claim except more baseless claims?

So nothing, then.

Which part would that be?

Read: "I don't have a good answer to that, so I'm just going to duck out again."

16. ### BalerionBannedBanned

Messages:
8,596
Can you not read? I'm trying to figure out how you get so easily confused. I never said this vigilante attack had anything to do with religion. Tiassa brought up Islamist extremist elements within Egypt, and I addressed it. If you can't be bothered to read the posts, don't bother replying.

I meant from a physical violence standpoint, obviously, since that's what we're talking about. Again, I highly recommend reading posts in total, and any corresponding posts for context, before responding. I know you're super-eager to run off at the mouth, but seriously, it's annoying how disconnected you are from the conversation.

Nope, I think we'd see much of the same thing. And here's the thing: I never suggested anything to the contrary. I of course did mention that sectarian violence had occurred within the country before the Arab Spring, which is why my comments about secularism are relevant. And it isn't just Egypt, either. I know, I know, it's shocking that you're again misrepresenting me, right?

Here's my request: Do as you promised to do, and stop talking to me. I want you to ignore me. Stay out of my threads, stay away from me. You're a moderator, I want you to stop harassing me. Whether you think you're harassing me or not is irrelevant--stay away from me like you promised to. Okay? This will be a much more pleasant experience for both of us if we stay away from each other, especially given your penchant for abusing your powers as a moderator.

For the record, this will be my last response to your posts.

17. ### James RJust this guy, you know?Staff Member

Messages:
37,376
Compare:

"I'm ok with racist white boys killing themselves (or each other). They really aren't that valuable (to me)."
"I'm ok with religious bigots killing themselves (or each other). They really aren't that valuable (to me)."
"I'm ok with white, young, Americans killing themselves (or each other). They really aren't that valuable to me."
"I'm ok with Americans in general killing themselves (or each other). They really aren't that valuable to me."
"I'm ok with people in general killing themselves or each other. To tell the truth, I'm a bit misanthropic and I don't really get along with anybody, so nobody is that valuable to me."

Oh, and that "to me" thing really doesn't add anything. Obviously, everybody's posts are their opinions.

18. ### wynn˙Valued Senior Member

Messages:
15,058
Nope. The posts by moderators/administrators are Diktat, The Absolute Truth.