Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 6th, 2014

Does it matters that men and women are different? Isn’t it more fun and exciting?

Scientists recently made another discovery: the difference between men and women extends beyond a few basic biological facts about their reproductive functions. They think differently, and as a result, behave differently.

This is a re-post by  of one of the top posts selected this Dec. 28, 2013

Why it matters that men and women are different

****This is a guest post by Chrissie Dhanagom.****

If you’re like me, you had little more interest in clicking on that link than on something titled “Scientists discover that water is moist.” But then I decided to write a blog post about it, so I did actually read it.

Researchers mapped the neural circuitry of the brains of 428 males and 521 females. They found that connections in the male brain were stronger within hemispheres, whereas they are stronger between hemispheres for females.

Researcher Ragini Verma was “surprised” that the implications of these findings were consistent with  “old stereotypes.” But as Scientific American notes, the findings are consistent with multiple previous studies on the topic. In fact, I’m pretty sure the number of studies contradicting these “stereotypes” numbers exactly zero.

I think it is time to acknowledge that studies on this topic are a serious waste of the finite resources of the scientific community. This is old news, guys. And I don’t just mean old news as in, “we’ve known these things from the dawn of time” kind of old news. I mean old news as in, we as a society have conclusively re-discovered these things even post sexual revolution.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the 1960’s, you’re probably aware that the question now dividing factions in the gender wars is not, “are men and women different?” but rather, “do the obvious and scientifically verifiable differences between men and women actually matter?” Do these differences have ethical implications for the roles that men and women should fulfill in the family and in society?

How you answer that question depends on how you answer a more basic one: do differences between things make a moral difference at all? In other words, do we make ethical distinctions based on nature? I propose that you cannot really have a coherent moral code unless you answer “yes” to that question. And since most of us abide by what we consider some kind of moral code, I suggest that most of us do, in fact, make moral distinctions based on natures.

Let’s start with this: a deer and a human being are intrinsically different kinds of things, and this fact has moral implications for how we interact with them.

Think you don’t agree? Let me ask you this: if your children were starving and there was a deer in your backyard, would you shoot it and feed it to them? If you think you wouldn’t, you are probably not a parent. If you are a parent and you think you wouldn’t, then these thoughts are not addressed to you. God help you, because I cannot. Of the remaining 99% of the human race, I ask: what if your children were starving and there was a random stranger in your backyard? Would you shoot a human being and feed him to your children?

Maybe, when it comes down to it, some of us would. But at a minimum, I think most of us can agree, the very thought makes our skin crawl. If we shot a deer in that situation, we would jubilantly gather our starving children around the carcass and thank whatever God we believe in. If we shot a human being, we would know we had done something unspeakable. We would be traumatized for life and would probably lie to our children about it. Some might call it excusable. Does anyone call it good?

It perhaps says something about the deep divide in our culture on moral issues that in search of an almost universal consensus on something, I must raise a case so dark and terrible. If I could think of something less disgusting to talk about, I would. But in a country where the governing majority thinks it permissible to murder children in their mother’s wombs, you have to reach pretty far for consensus. And I do try to avoid talking about Nazis. It’s so cliché.

In any case, the important thing to notice here is that we all make a fundamental moral distinction based on natures. We look at other human beings and notice that they are completely different kinds of things from brute animals. And, in the situation I have proposed, this observation is the basis for a moral judgment. I would call this difference between human beings and animals rationality. You can call it something else if you like. The important thing for the argument I am making right now is that it is there, and its being there is the basis for moral judgment.

The implications here are vast, and extend well beyond the gender question, which, you may remember, was what this post was supposedly about. Granted, of course, that there is a much greater difference between human beings and deer than there is between men and women, and this is why there is not nearly the same ethical divide in how we treat them. A deer is not the kind of thing that can possess a capacity for rational thought. Regardless of differences in brain structure or even actual ability to function rationally, all human beings are the kind of thing that can possess a capacity for rational thought.

But if human experience and a vast body of scientific literature consistently tell us that there is a fundamental difference in the way men and women think and act, does it seem reasonable to hold that this makes ABSOLUTELY NO ETHICAL DIFFERENCE AT ALL? Should we completely disregard these facts when considering whether to send women to the front lines of a war, or asking whether children need both a mother and a father for a healthy, happy childhood?

I would suggest that denying any ethical import to these facts leaves us without any credible basis for formulating moral statements of any kind. And it is, moreover, a formula for unhappiness. It seems a rather obvious thing. When we treat things in accord with the way they are, the universe runs more smoothly. Which, if we gave it a try, might turn out to be a greater good than “equal opportunity.”

-Chrissie Dhanagom

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Terrorists hit again in Lebanon:Tripoli’s “Al Sa’eh”’s 78,000 books Library Burned

2014 is off to a horrible start in Lebanon. The explosion that took place in Haret Hereik Beirut yesterday, in the year’s first few days, has been paralleled by another act of terrorism in Lebanon’s northern capital.

Extremist gunmen torched the city’s biggest library, Lebanon’s second, burning it to the ground. Why?

Father Ibrahim Surouj was threatened several times and no security protection was contemplated.

This Library is in a historic property from the Ottoman period and rumors want it that the owner has been trying hard to recuperate the property since the Father is renting it cheap (the old rent as the Lebanese pound was devalued 1,500 times from its initial strength). Any excuse is good to burn the Library and “encourage” the Father to exit the premises…

A Separate State of Mind posted this Jan. 4, 2013

Lebanon Loses 78000 Books To Terrorism: Tripoli’s “Al Sa’eh” Library Burned

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They accused the priest running the library, a man who has been fighting to keep that place alive against contractors who worked to dismantle the building in which it resided, of publishing an article that offends Islam.

I guess offenses are in the eye of the beholder. In this case, the eyes are for illiterate people who can’t read and who don’t know the value of a book.

This is the supposed article in question?

It is about how Aicha, the most educated and beloved wife of Prophet Mohammad, described he relationship with her husband who was about 48 years her elder. She tells of the hypocritical practices of Mohammad that didn’t match was he proselytized… I might translate this article in a separate post:

Srour article

The country is burning, let’s not worry about a library.

A lot of people might say that. But the library in question was a true national treasure, containing 78000 books, many of which exist in very few copies and many of which are, ironically, books about Islam. I’m also sure the library contained Qurans.

Father Ibrahim Sarrouj, the library’s curator, has lived in Tripoli all his life and is known to being an encompassing person of the city’s diversity.

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Tripoli cannot sit out the ongoing tragedies blowing through Lebanon lately.

We just lost 78,000 books. We have lost many innocent lives as well over the past few days. And for the sake of what?

Wars that we have nothing to do with, being fought over our territory, by people who have gone through a few cycles of brain washing in order to get them to believe that killing innocent people whose lives are well ahead of them or burning down a library will bring them favors with their own version of god and prophet.

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Then you have those who believe that the actions of those gunmen reflect what the people of Tripoli believe in and who proclaim things as such to the ears that would listen.

The fact of the matter is, however, is that the people of Tripoli are more afraid of those gunmen than we are.

They are more afraid of the havoc they are bringing to their city than we are.

They are more worried about the repercussions of their actions on the fabrics of their society than we give them credit for. They are wary of how their city has changed in such few days.

They are terrified of the cultural demise that their home city is witnessing. They care about these books, the library and the priest who ran it.

They are people who are worthy of having such a library to their name. They are the people whose city just lost its biggest library and who are gathering around its remnants crying their eyes out at how things turned out for the place they call home: a pile of rubble of a place that was once great.

Tonight, I have been robbed of being able to visit such a place again and again by men who know no religion, no god and no alphabet.

Tonight, the entire country was robbed of a wealth of knowledge that we had probably taken for granted. Who ever thought a library would be targeted in a terrorist attack?

Tonight, I’m livid and you should be. It’s not just about books. It’s about living in a place where two explosions taking place within a week, followed by such an act, are now considered normal.

It’s about living in a place where you’re expected to move on from everything like it was nothing because that’s the only way forward. It’s about living in a place where you’re forced to forget about the lives lost, the books burned and the cities ruined just because it’s what we do.

Tonight, my thoughts go to Tripoli, the city that I miss and to its people that I hold dear. May they rebuild the library, restock its shelves with what they can and get rid of their streets of the infestation springing out and about.

I try to be optimistic because that’s the only thing I can try to do. Tonight has been a sad night indeed.

Note 1: The Father and a team of volunteers are back renovating the Library and sorting out the books can be saved. The Father denied having anything to do with the brochure that the perpetrators, who were identified, claimed to be the excuse for burning the library.

Note 2: Elie WEHBE published in the Lebanese French daily L’Orient le Jour OLJ this Jan. 5, 2014:

La société civile se mobilise pour la bibliothèque incendiée de Tripoli

Quelques heures après l’incendie criminel qui a ravagé vendredi soir la librairie Saeh à Tripoli (Liban-nord), l’une des plus vieilles bibliothèques du pays, la société civile s’est mobilisée et a organisé samedi un rassemblement pacifique et une campagne pour aider à la reconstruction de cet endroit historique.

Vue du rassemblement pacifique organisé samedi 4 janvier en solidarité avec le père Surouj à Tripoli. Photo Taha Baba
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Le père Ibrahim Surouj “a été menacé à plusieurs reprises… Est-ce logique de laisser la bibliothèque sans protection ?”

“Cette bibliothèque fait partie du patrimoine de la ville de Tripoli. C’est une librairie historique”, explique à L’orientlejour.com Me Khaled Merheb, avocat à la cour de la grande ville du nord et l’un des organisateurs de la campagne.

La bibliothèque Saeh, qui appartient au père Ibrahim Surouj, un prêtre orthodoxe de Tripoli, a été incendiée dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi par des inconnus. Le feu a détruit les deux tiers des quelque 80.000 livres et manuscrits qui y étaient entreposés.

“Nous étions mobilisés même avant l’incident car le père Ibrahim Surouj avait reçu des menaces (…). Mais les autorités nous avaient rassurés”, ajoute Khaled Merheb qui réside à Tripoli.

L’incendie est survenu alors qu’avait été découverte une “brochure offensante à l’égard de l’islam et du prophète Mahomet”, a affirmé samedi à l’AFP une source proche des services de sécurité. Selon des membres de la société civile, cette brochure a été attribuée au père Surouj, ce qui a provoqué des tensions dans la ville. Mais selon la source citée par l’AFP, le prêtre a rencontré des dirigeants musulmans de la ville et “il est apparu évident qu’il n’avait rien à voir avec la brochure“.

Lors d’une conférence de presse, le responsable des Forces de sécurité intérieure (FSI) à Tripoli, Bassam al-Ayoubi, a confirmé que le père Surouj n’avait “absolument aucun lien avec la brochure”.

Me Merheb affirme avoir été choqué lorsqu’il a appris que la librairie avait été incendiée et dénonce le manque de sérieux des autorités. Le père Ibrahim Surouj “a été menacé à plusieurs reprises… Est-ce logique de laisser la bibliothèque sans protection ?”, s’insurge l’avocat.

“Le père Surouj est respecté et aimé par les musulmans plus que les chrétiens. C’est un vrai Tripolitain qui n’a jamais abandonné la ville même durant la guerre”, poursuit-il.

“Le Père Surouj nous représente tous. Le silence des habitants de Tripoli est inacceptable. Notre rassemblement aujourd’hui est symbolique et constitue le premier d’une série de mouvements que nous allons organiser en guise de solidarité avec le prêtre. Nous ne voulons pas que les politiciens se mêlent de cette affaire, insiste l’avocat. Les responsables de ce crime doivent être arrêté et punis”.

S’exprimant à la télévision libanaise, le prêtre a assuré qu’il “pardonnait” à ceux qui avaient incendié sa bibliothèque.

Une page Facebook a été créée samedi en soutien au père Surouj et des appels à manifester pacifiquement et à aider à la reconstruction de la librairie ont été lancés. Dès samedi, des activistes se sont rendus sur place pour aider à sauver et préserver ce qui reste de la bibliothèque, selon Me Merheb.

Parmi ces activistes, Taha Baba, un résident du quartier de Abi Samra à Tripoli, qui ne connaissait pourtant même pas l’existence de la bibliothèque avant l’incendie de vendredi soir.

“Lorsqu’on m’a dit qu’une librairie avait été incendiée, j’ai cru qu’il s’agissait d’une librairie comme les autres (…). Et puis j’ai compris que cette librairie contenait des livres d’une valeur inestimable… Nous avons même trouvé des livres écrits à la main et qui datent de plus de 400 ans”, raconte Taha, 25 ans. “Je ne suis pas un amateur de lecture, mais lorsque j’ai découvert que cette bibliothèque est vraiment la plus importante et la plus ancienne de Tripoli, j’ai décidé de participer à cette campagne.”

Selon la LBC, deux personnes à l’origine de l’incendie ont été identifiées.

Le sinistre a été condamné par de nombreux responsables du Liban-Nord.
L’un des leaders salafistes de Tripoli, Cheikh Salem al-Rafeï, a souligné que l'”islam condamne les actes injustes contre qui que ce soit”.

“Certains groupes veulent instiller la sédition entre musulmans et chrétiens à Tripoli. Ceci ce peut pas arriver, ces actes visant à semer la division doivent être stoppés”, a déclaré, pour sa part, le mufti de Tripoli et du Liban-Nord, Cheikh Malek al-Chaar, soulignant qu’incendier une bibliothèque est “contraire à l’islam”.

Le Premier ministre sortant Nagib Mikati a, lui aussi, condamné l’incendie, déclarant : “Nous, Libanais, sommes contre tout extrémisme, chrétien, sunnite ou chiite”.
“Ceux qui sont responsables de cet acte travaillent au profit des ennemis du Liban, a affirmé pour sa part l’ancien Premier ministre Fouad SIniora. Ils cherchent à détruire l’image de Tripoli”.

Le député Robert Fadel a, de son côté, souligné que Tripoli restera toujours une ville de coexistence religieuse.

Haret Hreik : l’hypothèse d’un attentat salafiste sérieusement retenue, malgré des zones d’ombre


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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