Monday, April 13, 2009

Beware of dahus

Greetings.

Jewish date: 19 Nisan 5769.

Today’s holidays: Ḥol hamMo‘edh Pesaḥ, Smigus Dyngus/Dyngus Day/Wet Monday/Easter Monday.

Today’s quasi-holidays: Blame Somebody Else Day.

Worthy cause of the day: “Reinstate Moratorium on Outer Continental Shelf Oil Drilling”.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. More problems with freedom of religion: “ABKHAZIA: 'We'll kick out anyone'”, “Sikhs protest against knife rules”, “Protestant clergyman arrested again in Beijing”, and “Jumoad: Protect Christian community in Lantawan”.
  2. A problem with freedom of speech: “Rights lawyers decry magazine's closure for "blasphemy"”.
  3. I have no idea what to make of this: “Swedish parishioners unveil Lego statue of Jesus”.
  4. “Jordanian man accused of stabbing pregnant sister in 'honor killing'”: This is a very unpleasant story of a man in Jordan who murdered his sister because he “believed that she had… started seeing other men”. Now, it is conceivable that his belief was correct, but nothing substantial in the way of evidence is presented. As such, this man may have killed an innocent woman. This is why in well-designed systems of laws extrajudicial killings are limited to emergencies: so that guilt or innocence may be calmly, objectively determined, thus reducing the probability of mistakes which can never be undone. Today I find myself especially puzzled why killings like this ones are called “honor killings”. Suppose that the accused woman really was guilty. Should this be accounted a blot on the family honor? Arguably yes: she did something wrong, and there is the implicit question of whether how she was raised contributed to this. But suppose the accused woman really was innocent. If adultery should be accounted a stain on the family honor, why should murder be no less disgraceful? Unlike the adultery, which was only suspected, the murder definitely happened—and who would ever consider a real crime any less serious than one that may not have happened? I have no clue why the murderer is considered honorable while his victim is considered dishonorable. I suspect “honor” in this case is a mistranslation.
Today’s news and commentary:
Today’s weird thing is the “dahu”. Enjoy, share the weirdness, and happy Pesaḥ.

Aaron
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