“In any case, I grant that abortion is murder, but maintain on the more conventional meaning of the term -- killing without just cause, Japan has some of the lowest murder rates in the world.”
You are accusing me of inconsistency. When you accuse your opponent of inconsistency, then his usage is determinative.
You are free to define the terms however you please. All other things being equal, you’re not bound by my usage.
But the charge of inconsistency entails an internal critique. If you’re going to take that angle, then you are bound by my usage for the sake of argument.
As I explained in my inaugural post on this thread, unbelievers, if left to their own devices, commit rape, robbery, and murder, but redefine these vices as something other than rape, robbery, and murder.
The fact that Japan doesn’t define abortion as murder is consistent, rather than inconsistent, with my original claim. Try to follow the bouncing ball.
“Even if you include abortions into the numbers for all the societies, I believe you will find Japan among the most ‘life-preserving’ overall.”
Even if true, that is irrelevant to my original claim. My original claim was not a quantitative claim. Comparative crime stats do not invalidate the terms of my original claim.
“Child sex industry. This is something you didn't mention in your claim, Steve.”
i) That I didn’t mention this in which claim? The original post? In the original post I specifically mentioned child rape.
ii) As I also said in my original post, I was giving examples. I never said my original post was exhaustively illustrative. Obviously not.
iii) You brought up Japan as a counterexample. I therefore *responded* to your counterexample.
Now, a *response* is not necessarily original. Otherwise, it would not be responsive to what was said *before* the response.
My response will be as specific as your objection. If you raise a specific objection, I’ll present a specific response. You bring up Japan. I respond accordingly.
If you introduce a new objection, then my response will be equally novel. Amazing how that works!
iv) But all my responses are consistent with my inaugural post.
“If you want to say that rape occurs, that's fine. But I think if you check out the laws that govern this, *any* kind of sexual contact as the result of coercion is illegal. I'm convinced that pornography *is* a large morally problem in Japanese society. If your claim was that non-Christian societies inevitably descend into pornography, I would not have offered Japan as a counter-example, because it's not. But that wasn't your claim. Pornogrpahy was not your claim, and *is* a distraction here. If you want to equate pornography with rape, I will suggest you are demeaning the experience of anyone who has truly been raped. Pornography is abusive in its own way, but it is not rape.”
i) What I said in response to the Japanese counterexample was: “What about kiddy porn in modern Japan? What about prostitution in Japan? What about sodomy in Japanese culture—both ancient and modern?”
Then, in reply to a follow-up objection by Touchstone, I also mentioned “the child sex industry.”
ii) Apparently, it doesn’t occur to Touchstone that kiddy porn involves child rape. Legal definitions vary from country to country, but here’s a representative definition:
Maybe we also need to define “rape” for Touchstone. But definitions customarily revolve around the absence of consensual sexual activity. This is where the age of consent becomes an issue.
Of course, NAMBLA has its own definitions, and I realize, from Touchstone’s perspective, that it’s outrageously arrogant of me to prefer my own moral framework over NAMBLA’s, but I guess we have to agree to disagree on that.
Bottom line: if you combine a standard definition of rape with a standard definition of kiddy porn (i.e. what’s involve in the production of kiddy porn), guess what you get? Hmm.
iii) Then there’s the issue of prostitution. Although a prostitute may be of majority age, if she entered into the sex trade as a child (which is commonplace in Asia), then that would also qualify as rape—as I define it—since she didn’t volunteer for this occupation, but was forced into it (indeed, b0ught and sold) at an early age.
Again, though, I realize that, according to Touchstone’s lexicon, this is just a distraction from the *real* issues.
“Japanese mafia. Pure distraction, Steve. What are the numbers here, if not. How many thousands or millions are murdered in Japan that escape the notice of law enforcement and government reporting agencies? Do your Japanese friends suggest that Japan actually *does* have high murder rates. Mine don't. Their anecdotal testimony agrees with the official numbers.”
I didn’t cite the Japanese mafia under the category of murder.
More commonly, organized crime involves property crimes of one form or another.
However, in a nation like Japan where organized crime is deeply embedded in the socioeconomic and political fabric of the culture, it isn’t necessarily a crime, in the legal sense.
That’s the nice thing about organized crime. Once everyone is on the take, it ceases to be a crime and becomes a socially sanctioned form of extortion.
“Shogunate. Another distraction. The Shoguns aren't around anymore. The last Shogun ruled in the 19th century if I recall (Tokugawa?).”
i) Notice that Touchstone is now attempting to redefine the terms of my original post. My claim was never predicated on a contrast between antiquity and modernity. To the contrary, I made a general claim. So anciently civilizations are by no means “another distraction.” Rather, these examples (Imperial Japan, the Shogunate) and others (e.g. Aztecs, Romans, Assyrians, and other warrior cultures) are directly implicated in my original claim.
ii) As I also pointed out, modern Japan is less representative because it is so heavily influenced by American culture.
“Even as a distraction I don't know that it helps your case. Were murder, rape, and robbery countenanced as public policy before the meiji era?”
Which misses the point. Such activities wouldn’t be classified as rape, robbery, and murder.
For example, the Japanese custom of pederasty, at court, among the monks, and among the Shogun, wasn’t a crime.
They wouldn’t call it child rape. I would.
That’s my point. Non-Christian cultures do commit certain forms of rape, robbery, and murder as a matter of public policy. Those in power have no incentive to pass self-incriminating legislation. Therefore, they don’t break the law when they do these things. Such conduct is lawful, albeit immoral.
Yes, I know, it’s terribly intolerant of me to say that rape, robbery, and murder are immortal. How dare I elevate my moral framework above Genghis Kahn or Attila the Hun?
“Whatever the disposition on that, it doesn't matter -- I've been pointing at modern Japan, and believe I used that term: ‘modern Japan’.”
Which is irrelevant to an internal critique of my original claim. If you’re going to accuse me of inconsistency, then my usage controls the analysis, comprende?
But, hey, when has Touchstone ever been able to answer an opponent on his own grounds? That would be unheard of.