[Buddha-l] Ethical Dilemmas

Joy Vriens joy.vriens at gmail.com
Sun Jun 13 05:56:54 MDT 2010

Dear Dan,

> That was a description, not an argument. Comparing the US judicial and
> penal
> system to Aztec sacrifice -- I realize that sort of delusional demonization
> is popular in many quarters these days, but it is indeed the sort of
> conflational demagoguery that clouds the waters rather clarifying anything.
Nothing I say or write I consider as a description. I am not that mad.
My intention was therefore not to compare democratic judicial systems to
Aztec measures for maintaining social peace and order, but to suggest that
the differences between those bloody barbarians and ourselves may not
be that big and to give the friendly advice that before solemnly making that
sort of statement, one should first check whether one's fly isn't open. I
was aiming at all the Western judicial systems I am aware of, but the US do
still have the particularity of the death penalty. Any system that isn't
infallible itself, doesn't have the right to impose punishment that is
definite and can't be made undone. It thereby makes itself into an
illegitimate judicial system as far as I am concerned.

I watched the interview of Putin by a French journalist asking the
traditional questions about human rights. Putin answers that it's an old
European tradition to impose their rules and their standards and kindly
reminds the journalist of the Colonialist era and points out violations of
human rights exist everywhere, mentioning by the by the problem of French
Putin's defying sitting posture).

"Il faut d'abord balayer devant sa porte" he seems to say to the French.

I have worked for years as court translator and have seen the French
judicial system and prisons from within. You can't imagine the gaps between
theory and practice. Sacrifice is a word that will spontaneously spring to
mind at one point or another. Again I am not saying this out of some sort of
righteousness. I don't know the US judicial system from within, so I take
you on your word when you say this is NOT the ethos, both in theory and

 Again, the underlying issue in all this would be innocence and guilt and

> instruments by which that can be determined. The US legal system's motto
> is:
> Innocent until proven guilty. The actual practice may not always live up to
> that, but that is the express ideal.
"The US legal system's motto is: Innocent until proven guilty."
Great motto, we have the same one here. Sarkozy has also adopted the
American system of the possibility to plead guilty, offering more clemency
in exchange for less hassle. Does a guilty plea *prove*
anything? Considering a guilty plea the equivalent of proof, opens the
possibility that someone may plead guilty not totally out of their own
free will. And that immediately evokes in my poor oversensitive imagination
images of the Spanish inquisition. The Spanish inquisition? you may reply,
yes the Spanish Inquisition


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