Business ethics/China

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Mariner, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    I am curious what people here think about the acquiescence of the major search engine companies to China's demands that they censor any content the government deems unacceptable... ?

    For example, a Chinese person searching on Google will be able to learn nothing about the government's killing of pro-democracy advocates in Tiananmen square.

    China has a brutal, repressive regime that certainly may have harmed as many people as Saddam Hussein did. Yet our approach with them is entirely different. We trade with them, we let them buy our treasury bills in huge quantities, to support or cheap mortgages and giant federal deficit, and we're quiet as mice about their ongoing human rights abuses.

    Shouldn't Google and Yahoo just say no? What's the rationale for permitting censorship? Seems so un-American to me, particularly when we just went to war to build a democracy in Iraq.

    Mariner.
     
  2. theHawk
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    theHawk Registered Conservative

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    What would be your solution, oh wise one?
     
  3. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    Mostly, I suspect that if every major search engine refused to provide services to Chinese customers, the pressure would be on their government to permit free speech. It would be embarrassing to them to be left out of the computer age, and would threaten their bottom line.

    Personally, as I've written here many times, I dislike the dysfunctional way we're relying on them to make low-cost goods for us that we buy with home equity loans that they finance. This is an unstable relationship that can't go on forever, as much as Bush might wish it to. Even more, I dislike our shyness about pointing out their human rights abuses. They have ethnically cleansed the Uighar people, for example. We've stood by while they displaced and killed vast numbers of Tibetans. I don't like what it says about us, that we criticize Saddam Hussein's human rights abuses while tolerating China's.

    If we didn't run deficits that required the rest of the world to buy our Treasury bonds, we'd probably have a lot more leverage with them. What kind of superpower can't pay its own bills?

    Mariner.
     
  4. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    It's completely American, they're out to get that dollar!
     
  5. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    I agree that Newton was probably important enough that if he had come out with his heretical thinking he probably wouldn't have been burned at the stake. On the other hand, we shouldn't forget the long history of religions persecuting scientific heretics, which to me is one of the best reasons to support a secular government.

    Newton certainly would have lost social standing, though, which is my point: in a secular society, his religious beliefs would be irrelevant to his scientific work or social standing, which is how I think things should be. The word "secular" does not mean "anti-religious," people!

    Here's the opening paragraph from a paper in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1999, in support of my view:

    "Isaac Newton, Heretic: the strategies of a Nicodemite
    STEPHEN D. SNOBELEN
    ...
    Isaac Newton was a heretic. But like Nicodemus, the secret disciple of Jesus, he never made a public declaration of his private faith – which the orthodox would have deemed extremely radical. He hid his faith so well that scholars are still unravelling his personal beliefs.
     
  6. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    :wtf::wtf::wtf:
     
  7. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    but I can't get the whole paragraph to show up when I post it. I'll try again:

    http://www.isaac-newton.org/

    "...His one-time follower William Whiston attributed his policy of silence to simple, human fear and there must be some truth in this. Every day as a public figure (Lucasian Professor, Warden – then Master – of the Mint, President of the Royal Society) and as the figurehead of British natural philosophy, Newton must have felt the tension of outwardly conforming to the Anglican Church, while inwardly denying much of its faith and practice. He was restricted by heresy laws, religious tests and the formidable opposition of public opinion. "
     
  8. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    Dude, are you in the wrong thread? What are you talking about?
     
  9. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    bizarre happened when I was trying to post that response to a different thread. It wouldn't post properly, and then it showed up on this one.

    Mariner.
     

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