New lands promise Arcadian vistas and exotic morsels, but also a different moral air that may enchant even the well-intentioned.

A young woman accused of adultery is taken to a piece of waste ground where three men have dug a hole. She is buried waist deep, her torso propping puppet-like from the earth. There is silence as the stony dirt thuds in around her. But minutes later a crowd gathers, hurling insults, and soon the first rock is thrown.

If I offered you a ringside seat to this most repugnant act chances are you would turn me down. Or take me down. And I bet you’re not crazy on boiling animals to death either. But if we scored some lobsters in the Old Harbour at Biarritz, and there was chilled Chenin Blanc on offer, maybe I could twist your arm to drop the delectable crustaceans in a bubbling pot.

You protest. You’ve come to a moral view after deep reflection and have made an inner commitment to hold true. Torture of humans and animals is, and always will be, abhorrent. And if I quipped that your morals could shift just by tripping into the air space of a different room, state or country, you’d laugh. And then I’d submit my first exhibit.

Read the full article from New Philosopher here