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I've been traveling around the world the last two years visiting many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I've been to over 60 to date in the Asia/Pacific.

I've been able to meet with a few people who sit on the national boards and have gone to the UNESCO meetings where they decide what is on the list.

It seems to be largely based on politics and who can put together a good presentation. Hence, it benefits developed countries as should be obvious if you just look at the distribution of sites around the Globe.

Also, as time passes and all the big obvious sites are on the list (Grand Canyon, Great Wall, Pyramids, etc) they are left with ever more marginal sites to add to the list. At over 20 sites per year, it is happening quickly.

John S wrote:

Comments like the one you link to hold up morality as some good in and of itself, rather than a set of rules designed to reach a certain outcome.

You're operating under a particular theory of morality, namely utilitarianism. There are plenty other views of morality that hold it is a good in and of itself.

And the assumption that there's one morality is a little silly, particularly coming from relatavists like Mother Jones...

I'm confused. If you're saying there's more than one morality, then you're a relativist. Yet you seem to think this is a strike against Mother Jones.

I'd have a lot more sympathy for those poor health care professionals who may be forced to work during pandemics, if they themselves (as a rule) weren't supportive of forcing the rest of us to live under their public health rules (e.g., cigarette smoking bans in "public" places).

So I'll agree to let them choose to work or not work during pandemics right after they agree to let the rest of use decide how to live our lives.

"f we can draft 18-year old high school dropouts and send them to Europe to fight Nazis or Vietnam to fight communists, we can draft 50-year graduates of Harvard Medical School and mobilze them against swine flu. Even at the risk of their lives."

We don't draft people anymore; haven't in a long time. Whoops!

When someone claims we should "never" do X, regardless of what might be gained, you test that via extreme circumstances. If they balk (by claiming resorting to a Hitler-based example is somehow unfair), they've conceded there's no categorical rule, it's just a matter of line drawing. Then you argue about where to draw the line based on various criteria. What's interesting is the unspoken assumption that terrorists have a right to silence. If they don't, by refusing to divulge whatever information they have, they have tortured themselves (they hold the key to the cell, as it were). It's also odd to assert that we should never torture, no matter who is being tortured, how often, in what way, and with what potential upside, in light of all the other things people don't object to that seem far more problematic than hurting one individual who could avoid the hurt by cooperating (two countries at war, you can bomb the other's soldiers without giving them the opportunity to surrender?). I could go on and on, but the number of ways in which people aren't analyzing things clearly or fairly is tiresome to lay out, particularly where no one seems to want to engage in honest analysis.

Global recession took to the streets for Labour Day.

In Germany, on course for its biggest slump since World War II, Berlin police made 49 arrests as young demonstrators hurled bottles and rocks and set fire to cars and rubbish bins in the early hours.

Around 200 far-right extremists later attacked with sticks and stones a rally organised by trade unions in the western city of Dortmund, as well as police, who dispersed the skinheads with truncheons and took 150 into custody.

Some 484,000 people gathered for peaceful May Day rallies across Germany, unions said, but police were bracing for more pitched battles after nightfall with—and between—far-left and far-right groups.

In Turkey, security forces fired tear gas and water cannon in clashes with hundreds of May Day demonstrators in Istanbul that left dozens of people hurt.

Demonstrators threw rocks and petrol bombs at police and smashed the windows of banks and boutiques in the centre of Turkey’s biggest city. In Ankara, about 100 demonstrators also clashed with police, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Istanbul governor Mehmet Guler said 21 policemen and 20 demonstrators were slightly hurt and 108 mainly young people were arrested in the clashes.

John S.,

Your most recent comment reminds me of the anecdote told about Winston Churchill (but probably a mere urban legend), in which he asked a woman if she'd sleep with him for 10 million pounds. After she said yes, he asked if she'd do it for 1 pound. She angrily asked him what kind of a woman he thought she was, and he replied "that's already been established. We're merely haggling."

Just because there are some extreme instances where otherwise outrageously immoral behavior is justified, or vice versa, doesn't mean that it's merely a matter of drawing lines.

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Hi. I believe the strike in question would be towards otherwise self-proclaimed relativists who, when convenient, buy into the nothing of a single special frame of moral reference.

Thank you very much..

thanks a lot.

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