The Netherlands has been criticized recently, in the EU, for being too principled. Our minister of foreign affairs insists on keeping an eye on human rights in Eastern Europe - as a criterion for whether or not a country should expect to become part of the EU at some point. Most other countries feel that if a country wants to be in the EU it should be given hope, in order to prevent them getting closer to Russia - aka political issues.

Of course I agree that Russia has been acting very troublesome recently - but is that enough reason to sidestep the human rights issue?

In other words: how important should ideals be? Should countries take 'the political reality' into account on such issues, or should they accept that human rights are not high on the agenda of countries where democracy is not deeply rooted (yet)?

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Mikhyal: I'm a bit troubled to hear you say that one body should perhaps be given up in a totally spiritual society - for the welfare of the whole. Wouldn't a totally spiritual society as one you describe not instead start with compassion for everybody? I think it more likely that in the ideal society funds and resources would be distributed in such a way that everybody can live well enough. Like in socialism I guess, but then voluntarily. There would hardly be a need to kill anybody off. There really is enough to go around. The reason that right now there doesn't seem to be, is that most people in the western world use way more than they require.
sorry, i mean to explain that if society came to see all as one being, then death would be an illusory notion, and so what would be the ethical implications in regards to ego's used as tools rather then satisfying each ego's desires? in away resources would not need to follow the 20/80 rule, as there wouldnt be an 'i' to want more then anyone else. but if society began to see itself as a collective how would this look?
The example is, of course, extreme, and reminds of me of a problem posed in philosophy classes in Europe in the 1960s. The problem was what would a country do if a nuclear power threated to attack it unless an innocent citizen was executed.

For obvious reasons the question was never raised in any US ethics class of the time that I am aware of. In fact, when our philosophy professor told us about it he was laughing at the obvious absurdity of it being applied to us. (I remember my own laughing response came with the line, "Mommy, why are all those bombers taking off?") But the concept behind the question is valid. No matter how spiritual a society may be, at what point does it cease to be spiritual and deal with the need to be unspiritual?
does choice really exist? or are our choices and actions simply the result of necessary holistic action (like as if there is a need for it to happen)? i mean unless a person sees reason to do otherwise (like maybe they have a point to prove and the cost isnt that great, or perhaps they are unstable) a person will generally 'choose' the best possible action according to their views and conditioning. it could be said that the conditions in the 1930s were so precise that it was inevitable that a hitler would come about and that ww2 would start, and like wise we could imagine that perhaps the conditions in blavatskys time were so perfect that it was inevitable and necessary that there was a blavatsky, to balance out the system. perhaps she understood the need for her struggle and so egotistical desires were not considered, she simply acted in the most natural way, possibly the same story with Besant. perhaps this a discussion for another forum.
Don't forget about the concept of Buddhist "dependent origination" or "mutally arising." Lots of wisdom there!

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