Some questions


It’s a long weekend this side of the ocean. Yesterday we had state funeral for the ex president, monday will be May Day celebrations and Tuesday Idd. If you ask me, work weeks should be this short. I get to run, ride, walk, read and just be lazy. But these are not the questions.

First question: should we judge the moral flaws of the past with the standards of today? Many a person have been cancelled for the thoughts or opinion held when that was current in their time? Or should we expect our icons to have held the correct views through the ages?

Question 2: how will the war in Ukraine end? NATO is arming Ukraine but not doing any actual fighting. What, to Russians was reported as police action (if the media is to be believed) has now been going on for 2 months with loss of lives on both sides and destruction of property in Ukraine. The effects of this absurdity are being felt all over & acutely in my neck of woods. Is there a way for Putin to save face, end this war?

Question 3: are you aware the war in Syria has been raging for more than 6 years? That there is a war in Ethiopia? Or Yemenis are dying in conflict not of their own making?

Bonus question: to cremate or to bury the dead.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

29 thoughts on “Some questions

  1. johnfaupel says:

    My overall view of humanity is that it has changed over the last 10,000 years, from living in small, self-regulated egalitarian groups that roamed freely and believe in ‘cooperation’, to living in increasingly large, hierarchically controlled communities that believe in ‘competition’, so need to prove their superiority by fighting each other over land-ownership – the obvious consequence of which will inevitably be complete annihilation of the human race!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Whether to judge people by the standards of today or their own time is itself a moral question. Would we want to be judged by the unknown and possibly strange standards of some future time?

    No idea on Ukraine.

    I knew about the wars in those other countries, although the media here (US) rarely mentions them anymore. Are the scale of those wars the same today as they were years ago? Honestly, before the invasion, I wasn’t really aware of the long running conflict in eastern Ukraine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, on cremate or bury, whichever is cheaper.

      Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu says:

        Cremate but last week I had an interesting conversation with a friend, a Muslim, who said god sent his messenger to teach us how to Bury our dead.so why burn? And that we say from dust to dust not ashes to ashes as part of the funeral service.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That must be a Muslim thing. I grew up hearing the phrase, “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”.

          Having your body donated to medical research might be the cheapest option, if you live in the right areas. But it’s probably the option most likely to be overridden by relatives.

          Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            Oh yeah, you are right. I think it was those two phrases.
            It is indeed a Muslim thing and their same day burial requirement was informed by the weather. And in this particular instance, I wasn’t it in the mood for a protracted argument over something trivial, I let it pass.
            I agree with you. Having the body donated to science seems the cheapest option.

            Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      No, it wouldn’t make sense to cancel someone in the future over some strange standard that any reasonable person of the time couldn’t have known.

      Addis Ababa hosts the AU headquarters but not so much is coming from that quarter on the Ethiopian conflict.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Barry says:

    1. It’s not one or the other. If they were viewed as decent folk in their day, then they were decent people. However, we don’t need to consider their values/deeds are correct for today. Who knows, in a few hundred years from now the tide may have turned and what we now consider good may be considered evil. Ultimately all deeds need to be measured in relation to the accepted values of the day.

    2. I certainly can’t predict how the war will end, but I earnestly hope it’s not Russia that comes out on top. Ukraine may be far from being an ideal democracy, but it has slowly climbing the ladder while Russia has been sliding down in freefall and the USA has been inching itself down slowly one rung at a time.

    3. There are more including some in South East Asia. The “problem” with these wars it that the wars themselves and their possible outcomes will have little effect on the rest of the world. Or perhaps I should say little effect on the wealthier nations. That is not the situation with Ukraine. It produces a significant amount of produce that feeds the world. We’ve already seen a significant increase in the price of cooking oils and shortages of the same. I know a lot of grain goes from Ukraine to African nations and that shortage caused by the war will have a more devastating effect than our shortage of cooking oils could possibly have.

    Bonus question. I don’t understand the question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      1. I agree with your pov
      2. This is becoming more unlikely by the day. Unless we are talking about moral victory- that is who would be judged right in this conflict.
      3. I think you strike the big nail. Scrap metal comes from Russia and we have now seen steel price go up 200%. Oil is above the roof already.
      4. Thank you for pointing this out. I had not seen the typo.

      Like

  4. renudepride says:

    However the Ukrainian war ends, whether Russia or the Ukraine, humanity must deal with the effects, good or bad. Yes, the conflicts in Ethiopia, Yemen and Syria and others throughout our planet have been processed and noticed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. renudepride says:

    My bad! 😦 Enjoy your nice, loooonngg weekend!

    Like

  6. jim- says:

    To judge the flaws of the past we have by current standards we would have to accept that morality is currently more correct, which in some future time then will be incorrect. It’s isn’t any thing but change. Neither today or yesterday is any more correct than the other. We can legally only judge the past a few years anyway, with the statute of limitations.
    Or the Hebrew god is just fucking with us and we already have it imprinted on our hearts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      We have always done this, applying what we know now to the past. Whether it is right to cancel someone from the past for living and acting as a person of their age is the question.

      Like

      • jim- says:

        I think nothing should be canceled but maybe the plaques should be revised. Remember a time when “this” was happening, as a reminder of what terrible things we’re all capable of with beliefs.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Maybe going into the future, we should stop building monuments to individuals because with the passage of time their flaws become apparent or something

          Like

      • jim- says:

        Like sponsoring a stadium. The old Seattle coliseum is now Climate Pledge Arena. Been several name changes over the years.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Some we can say are and were an affront to decency for example the Rhodes scholarship when the endowment and the faculty knew of the brutality and theft that made it possible.
          I have no problem with someone rich enough sponsoring a stadium. Any future person can buy it and change its name.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. What is the rise of consciousness all about? To not to condone the sins of our forefathers and to take responsibility for the result in the present!

    The ‘west’ is now paying the price for their past ignorance and arrogance toward the disintegration of the Soviet Union. As Ronald Reagan so smugly announced in 1992: ‘We have won, we have beaten Communism.’ Some Russians have never forgotten that shameful moment.
    And who will win in Ukraine? No one, Putin will make sure, there will be only rubble left, not worth having for both sides.

    Of course, World War three has been raging already for a while. How else can it be rectified to develop and produce new and more weapons?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. correction, I meant not to condone

    Like

  9. rautakyy says:

    1. I think we need to. Simply not to continue and repeat the mistakes of the past. Our morals should not be based upon relativist, or arbitrary values, but upon the best possible information of the possible consequenses of our action, or inaction. The human welbeing should be our most objective target, because that is what we prefer for ourselves and if we are not willing to share it with others and indeed all of our environment of wich we ultimately are dependent upon, we no longer are moral, as that is the essential meaning of the concept.

    2. Putin can withdraw at any moment and save face where it matters to him – that is Russia and only Russia. It no longer matters how well, or badly the Russian forces fare in the field of battle because this war has granted Putin total authority on what news the Russian people get. If the Russian military retreated from Ukraine today, the Putin administration could concoct a story of victory and “mission accomplished” banners would fly all over the next Victory Day parade, with if not the most, at least the critical mass of Russians believing every word. One of the major reasons, that I see, for this utter failure so far by the Russian military is the typical populist conservative political behaviour by Putin to keep the objectives for the “special” operation obscure. It offers him the possibility to claim afterwards, regardless what happens, that it was the goal all along, but it makes it damn difficult for his generals to come up with a strategy, or a battle plan, not to mention motivate the troops, because just like their enemies, they are left in the dark guessing what is it, that they are supposed to achieve. I mean really! “De-nazify and demilitarize Ukraine”!??? What if the Russian military started removing the troops of the nazi led Wagner (the Putins own Blackwater) and can demilitarization of one of the biggest tank producing countries happen any other way, than by bombarding all of their cities with metal industry to the ground, since you have to kill all the engineers and skilled workers to stop them simply rebuilding what was destroyed?

    3. Yes, yes and yes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      #1. I think I agree. Even in those times, we can find men and women of courage who questioned the themes that were then current. Their position may not have been popular, but it was, in some cases the right choice. From Spinoza defending the right to freedom of thought to those Quakers who opposed slavery and so on.
      #2. You make a very good point. He can follow the example of Stalin who within a generation convinced Russians it was not Trotsky who led the Red Army in the revolution and many believed it.
      #3. How to end these wars?

      Like

      • rautakyy says:

        1. Indeed. Morality is not a question about fashion or trend. We should not idolize our heroes, but see them as humans able to make choises, sometimes even against the grain, but fallible like we are.

        2. A very good example. Sad thing about it is, that it is also from Russia.

        3. I sincerely hope people in those countries are going to find ways to stop the conflicts, because nobody else seems to be even interrested other than in some gains of their own and on the expence of the locals. Here in Finland “immigration criticals” (read racists) are surprisingly open to take in Ukrainian refugees and you would not believe the rethorical acrobatics they have put themselves through to excuse their double standards. All the while they harbour bias against all Slavs, they seem to at least be able to relate to people running from RUSSIAN agression, that is at least as long it happens in Europe and not in, say Syria.

        Bonus answer: I once preferred cremation, like my ancient pagan ancestors with their spears, shields and swords. Then I matured a bit and no longer really care, altough it would be nice to think that those who are left with my lifeless husk will choose the less polluting option.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          At one point we broached the conversation about what to be done when someone dies with my father and brothers, and our old man said once you are dead, it is no longer your problem.

          To be racist is a hard job. Or to be immigrant critical when you can allow one group and not the other.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Barry says:

    Ok, now that I understand the bonus question. Does it really matter? My father wished to be buried. My mother had him cremated and his ashes remained by her bedside for her remaining years. When She died, we had her cremated as was her wish and we tossed the ashes of both into the river adjacent to their former home. Ultimately it’s a choice for the living. The dead don’t care.

    Liked by 1 person

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