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Paladin


Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,401


Hey group,
I've got a new sociological question for the board. My previous one was about whether to prevent a tribe from killing someone for religious beliefs. This one is in the same vein.

You are an explorer and you encounter a tribe on an isolated island. (Make them the same race as yourself to avoid any other implications).

In this society, they have a mourning practice. When one of the male members of a family dies, the female members must cut off one of their fingers as a sign of grief. They do this voluntarily as a sign of respect to the dead. Some of the females have few or no fingers left and cannot perform basic tasks, such as feeding themselves. The tribe sees nothing wrong with the practice.


So what do you do? Do you leave them be, try to discourage the practice, or forcefully discourage the practice, or something else?
What's your line of reasoning? (Any variations on the scenario are welcome.)



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Dragon Red


Member Since: Fri Jul 05, 2013
Posts: 1,237


Reminds me of an experiment conducted on some monkeys. They had 5 monkeys in a room, in the middle of the room was a ladder and at the top above the ladder was a bunch of bananas. When they monkeys tried to go and get the bananas they were sprayed with cold water.

Eventually, the 5 monkeys stopped going up the ladder as they didn't want to get sprayed. So, the researchers replaced one of the monkeys with a new monkey, immediately, this monkey tried to climb the ladder, so the other four monkeys beat the new monkey to prevent him climbing the ladder and causing them to be sprayed. Over time all the original 5 monkeys were replaced with replacement monkeys, who had never been sprayed. But when the researchers put a new monkey in with the replacements, the other monkeys would still attack it to prevent it climbing the ladder. DESPITE the replacement monkeys never having been sprayed.

The point was how easy it is to fall into the practice of, "That's just the way things are done round here."

The women do it voluntarily, now. But previously it probably wasn't voluntarily, chances are good they were forced to do it in the past. Therefore, try to educate as to why the practice should be abandoned, if that doesn't work.... Force. As I say, chances are good they were initially forced to do it before it became standard practice. And since I am dead against forced mutilation from this right down to circumcision. I see no crime in forcing the practice of mutilating a human body to stop.


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Thurisaz


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 6,153





    Quote:

    So what do you do? Do you leave them be, try to discourage the practice, or forcefully discourage the practice, or something else?
    What's your line of reasoning? (Any variations on the scenario are welcome.)


If they are isolated they are likely to have very primitive technology.
So, I pose as their god and tell them to discontinue the practice.




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MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 3,226



    Quote:
    Hey group,
    I've got a new sociological question for the board. My previous one was about whether to prevent a tribe from killing someone for religious beliefs. This one is in the same vein.



    Quote:
    You are an explorer and you encounter a tribe on an isolated island. (Make them the same race as yourself to avoid any other implications).



    Quote:
    In this society, they have a mourning practice. When one of the male members of a family dies, the female members must cut off one of their fingers as a sign of grief. They do this voluntarily as a sign of respect to the dead. Some of the females have few or no fingers left and cannot perform basic tasks, such as feeding themselves. The tribe sees nothing wrong with the practice.



    Quote:

    So what do you do? Do you leave them be, try to discourage the practice, or forcefully discourage the practice, or something else?
    What's your line of reasoning? (Any variations on the scenario are welcome.)


See this is a very slippery slope. I bet a large number of people consider circumcision normal...and yet how is this any different in a modern world where the reasons for it are religion or tradition now?

I would definitely discourage it...but for me to force such a change I should be willing to do the same in my own world as much as possible.


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Sumidor


Member Since: Sat Feb 25, 2017
Posts: 176


The hypothetical posed reminded me of this.....

It's not hard to find approximately a dozen African nations that practice in sexual cleansing. There are a few different types, but two of the most common are:

- A young girl must have sex when she gets her first period.
- A widow must have sex with one of her dead husband's relatives.

In some cases the women go through with this willingly. The belief in some areas is that if they don't, bad things will happen to their town, and they will be to blame. In some cases though the women do not want to take part in the practice, but are physically forced to. This has in part contributed to the spread of AIDS. One reason many women try (too many try unsuccessfully) to avoid the tradition is because they are terrified of contracting AIDS and dying, and possibly leaving their children as orphans.

Taken out of a hypothetical, and now an actual example in the real world.....what can the first world nations do when third world nations practice ritual rapes that lead to the spread of AIDS?




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The Black Guardian

Moderator

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 26,087


Don't interfere unless it affects me or mine. If asked, I'm going to speak against it, and I will defend anyone that doesn't want to take part in the practice, but whatever a person wants to do is fine with me.




City of Heroes is BACK!
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MysteryMan


Member Since: Fri Apr 28, 2017
Posts: 3,226



    Quote:
    The hypothetical posed reminded me of this.....



    Quote:
    It's not hard to find approximately a dozen African nations that practice in sexual cleansing. There are a few different types, but two of the most common are:



    Quote:
    - A young girl must have sex when she gets her first period.
    - A widow must have sex with one of her dead husband's relatives.



    Quote:
    In some cases the women go through with this willingly. The belief in some areas is that if they don't, bad things will happen to their town, and they will be to blame. In some cases though the women do not want to take part in the practice, but are physically forced to. This has in part contributed to the spread of AIDS. One reason many women try (too many try unsuccessfully) to avoid the tradition is because they are terrified of contracting AIDS and dying, and possibly leaving their children as orphans.



    Quote:
    Taken out of a hypothetical, and now an actual example in the real world.....what can the first world nations do when third world nations practice ritual rapes that lead to the spread of AIDS?



    Quote:


We can do nothing without direct intervention...and that will not happen.


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Paladin


Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,401


Really cool example with the monkeys.

I think education is the responsible choice.




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Paladin


Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,401


I basically agree.

I have similar opinions about any kind of bodily mutilation, which in our society include circumcision, plastic surgery, and even piercings and tattoos.

They have no benefits and can be harmful in the end (infections, etc) Just because they are socially acceptable, it doesn't make them a positive thing. But hey, if you are unhappy with the body you were given and want to mutilate it, I'm not one to say you can't. That's your business. In our society, its really only vanity in the end.


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Paladin


Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,401


hey, I posed this as a hypothetical but it is actually a real world problem in Indonesia.

http://theplaidzebra.com/this-indonesian-tribe-amputates-a-womans-finger/

stuff like this causes anthropologists moral questions that no one has yet been able to answer.


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Paladin


Location: Prague, Bohemia
Member Since: Tue Apr 06, 2010
Posts: 1,401


there were similar situations with the practice of footbinding in China. eventually it fell out of practice through discouragement (but small feet are still admired in woman in China)


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