Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Some Thoughts On Stoning

Anybody here consider stoning to be a fair and just punishment? I'm guessing not. What are we to make then, of cultures that deploy this charming exercise in human brutality? I do believe we simply refer to them as backward.
Was that clumsy? Have I just shown disregard for another nations deeply rooted traditions? Should I have been more nuanced? Frankly no, and let's be plain about it. Digging a hole in the ground and inserting a terrified human being, usually female, whom is then buried up to her shoulders before a crowd of deranged primates hurl rocks in her direction seems about as perfect an example as I can conceive of of when society needs to join the modern age.
There are times when we appraise other cultures when we must shed ourselves of political correctness and say simply that they are more backward. It really is a brute fact that practitioners and supporters of stoning have not regailed themselves of what modern society has discovered about how to build a fair and just world. If you doubt this then envisage such a scene in your home town. A young female, possibly the victim of rape or perhaps just guilty of falling in love with the wrong man or women, is tried by a court and sentenced to death by public stoning. Imaging this taking place in your local shopping centre, directly in front of Clinton Cards. Is that image too surreal to comprehend? Ok then, change the background to a throbbing Somalian market place. The view has changed, but has how you feel about it?
Fact, we are evolved primates, and as such possess certain brute inclinations that hark back to our pre-history. That's baggage we're always going to have to carry. But we have, or at least a good part of the world has honed the large brains within our skulls to reason, deliberate, and reach decisions that override many of our animal impulses. Men, and it is mostly men, who persist in thinking that stoning is a reasonable way to dispense societal justice are simply further down this dusty road. The developed West and the emergent East need to be sending a clear and persistent message that there are some practices that simply have to end.

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