Why It's Totally Okay To Not Care About Gaza

Posted 1/11/2009 by smartblackboy in Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

I usually don't take on another person's post on this blog.

But this had been building inside me ever since I saw the quote C2toB took from a girls facebook status we both know:

"People who don't pray, inform, protest or care about what is happening in Gaza are complicite with the murder of innocent civilians."

I completely disagree.

In fact I think the more uncomfortable truth is that it is totally okay to not pray, inform, protest, or care about what is happening in Gaza.

Let's go back to the beginning.

We were all originally in a state of nature that we left when we entered into a contract to form civil society.

If you don't understand the previous sentence then please stop reading this post - there is nothing else that I can say that will change your mind from thinking I am just being a huge asshole.

Without going into a huge argument about what it means to be part of a civil society, and what exactly is the extent of the contract we make, lets just agree that there is some form of contract and we exist in some form of civil society.

The problem is that there is a limit to our civil society - namely you are only part of your own nation. And whereas there are many important moral arguments that can be made about individuals and their society; nation states are not individuals.
When nation states interact with each other - morality does not exist.

International relations, is, was, and always will be defined by power.

There is simply no other way.

So when another nation state attacks another nation state for the stregthening of its own people that it has a contract with to protect - no one save God can judge.

And the proper response should be looked at through the prism of how does this war effect American power, influence, and security in the region and at home.

However, do we have a moral obligation to care about the fact that people are dying in a war between two nation-states?

Absolutely not.

Now I will say that there is a difference between two civil societies figthing and a government that is breaking its contract to its people (genocide). In the latter case we do have a moral obligation to care because in this case they are weakening the bonds of civil society itself, which no nation can tolerate (or else we are all in danger of falling back into a state of nature).

However in the case of the former, in the case of a war between two nations, there is no such thing as an innocent civillain. You give up your right to be innocent when you enter your civil society. If you don't like your government you also have the right and responsibility to change it. But you have to bear the burden of your governments decision. It isn't fair but it is reality. (Which is why everyone should be outraged over the failings of the Bush administration, no matter if you supported or opposed Bush, we all have to deal with the consequences. Also this is why we should always do what we can to assist our own government no matter how we personally feel about its leaders. At the end of the day - people who hate America won't care how you voted ).

So, if you decided to watch the NFL playoffs, and you didn't pray, inform, protest, or care about Gaza - that is fine.

It is also great if you do care, pray, inform, or protest about Gaza.

On a personal level, I follow any conflict I become aware of rather closely because war interests me from a political science standpoint. I do pray for those in Gaza because I am religious and believe in the power of prayer.

However I don't believe that anyone who doesn't do this are morally bad people. I don't think Americans have an obligation to care about Gaza, and I definitely believe it is complete bullshit to suggest that a person is complicit in murder because they don't care about a war between two other nation states.

The Cowboys didn't make the playoffs so I'm not watching them this year, but for all of those who did, I hope you enjoyed the game.

4 comment(s) to... “Why It's Totally Okay To Not Care About Gaza”


aiiina said...

you can discuss definitions of 'moral obligation' and 'civil society' until the next ice age, but when a kid (or a few hundred) gets blown to bits over politics (regardless of the "sovereign nation states" involved), giving a shit is a sign of both moral and intellectual well-being. cheers.

smartblackboy said...

Sure. Not caring about children dying might make you heartless and an idiot. However it doesn't make you guilty of murder.

negrodamus said...

I whole-heartedly agree with smartblackboy. In a criminal justice system, someone not caring, not praying, not protesting, etc. will not be prosecuted for a war that they're not involved in. While the events taking place in Gaza are HORRIBLE, we must also remember the vast role that media plays in our society and others. Trust: these types of events aren't new and are going on in many other places. Why not expand the conversation from Gaza to other areas as well? Am I immoral because I'm not hopping on a plane to Niger to protest against child marriages in which the young girl usually ends up dead? No. Let's think more about these issues and critically analyze these things and not be so dogmatic as to blame folks who choose not to inform themselves.

aiiina said...

Haha well, I agree. Being a heartless idiot who's easily pushed to write a backlash article when vaguely guilt-tripped over facebook certainly doesn't make you a murderer.

I just think what you're trying to say here is as unreasonable as what you're seemingly lashing out against.

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