Dream of the Dragon

Tag: demons

Identifying Evil

by Justin

The first step in identifying an evil practice or individual is to define the word itself. I’ll open with the Wikipedia version as it’s as great (not necessarily wholly accurate) an authority these days as anything else:

the intention of causing harm or destruction while threatening or deliberately violating morality. Largely due to the subjectivity of the word morality (which may refer to a society’s moral code, one’s own moral system, relative morality, absolute morality, etc.), there is no agreement about whether evil is a matter of social custom or universally correct principle that overrides custom.

The harm and destruction bit is pretty straight forward – but then you hit the immediate snag of absolute morality and the challenges of identifying (and condemning) evil across great cultural divides. This is a critical issue in W’s glorious legacy of the ‘War on Terror’. Launching missiles at an idea should have seemed like nonsense from the beginning, but 9/11 and its aftermath were the direct product of an ideological schism. So it almost makes sense. And in that administration’s defense, radical and violent fundamentalism has a near intoxicating stench of evil all over it. Read the rest of this entry »

Making Rape More Dangerous

by Justin

This beast speaks for itself: http://www.antirape.co.za/intro.htm. Rather than explaining the way it operates, I suggest getting the info direct from the source – complete with an uncomfortably straight-forward animated gif.

The anti-rape condom is being given out in South Africa right now in an effort to curb the grotesque and effectively unchecked prevalence of sexual assault in the country. In 2002 South Africa ranked second globally for instances of rape followed by arrest with 54,000, though it ranks 26th for overall population – the same site ranks it number one per capita. The United States has nearly double the number of convictions, but ranks 3rd in total population and 9th per capita. What’s worth noting is that in the US we have a broader definition of what constitutes rape, significantly more effective and accessible venues to report sexual assault, and a far less corrupt justice system. It’s worse in South Africa than the numbers suggest.

A 2009 study by South Africa’s Medical Research Council produced more revelatory results after anonymously polling 1738 men: Read the rest of this entry »

Silver Lining

by Justin

New tradition. The onslaught of terrible news, certainly not a new trend but one into which I’m newly tuned, started to murder my morale. So Saturday will feature a unique weekend-review mission: to identify the bright side of the darker stories of the week. These are specific headliners that dragged me down with their revelations of dishonesty and general badness. The weather’s doing its summer dance, people are generally happier, and why should the news do its best to battle that? Answer: because the world is full of reckless, ignorant, and greedy people. But I’ll do what I can to tread the air above the din for at least one day of the week. Here we go.