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Thread: Is there an ethics question here?

  1. #21
    FORT Regular Primetimetommie's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    I have lived near several Amish communities and each community seems to set its own standards when it comes to contact with the "English" in the city. Some of the
    Amish in southern Missouri will ride in someone's car if that person will agree to take them to buy groceries, but they of course will not own their own car. I have seen them shopping in supermarkets, so they are very familiar with the wide variety of goods available, the Amish I observed confined their purchases to bulk staples such as big bags of beans, flour etc. Of course, their contact is limited. I have seen them downtown in some small towns, or at large strip malls or supermarkets--no parking meters in either location.

    That community also provided crews for contractors. The Amish seemed to specialize in roofing, and they were quite a contrast to the non-Amish working with them. The city guys would work stripped to the waist, but no matter how hot, the Amish men did not doff their long-sleeved shirts or hats. They arrive at the job all riding in the back of the contractor's truck. I suppose that there are really strict communities that would refuse to accept rides in trucks or cars, but these Amish seem to have found a practical compromise. As for school, the southern Missouri Amish send their children to school up through grade six. They ride to school on the yellow bus, but do not participate in computer classes, and if the teacher shows a video tape, they turn their backs to the tv screen to avoid watching tv. I was a teacher in one of these schools but that was 25 years ago, so they may have loosened up some...or not.

    In central Missouri there are several communities of Amish that are involved in dairy farming. These groups have also developed some interesting policies. They depend on sale of milk to dairies for income, but ALL milk sold in Missouri must be milked by machine, pumped to large refrigerated holding tanks, and then transported to the dairy in collection tanker trucks that come to the dairy. All of the milk transporting/handling equipment at the farm must meet the same requirements for cleanliness, refrigeration, etc., as the health department sets for the dairies themselves. So the Amish in this area have electricity for their cows and their barns, but their homes are lit by kerosene lanterns.

    Some will operate stores to sell their quality furniture, or arts and crafts, or homemade jams, jellies, bread, etc. These stores also need electricity (and probably a telephone) to operate.

    I try to remain open-minded when I meet the Amish around here, but it is hard to think of them as just another religious group. They do stand out in a crowd! There is one time, however, when it is difficult not to cuss at them--and that is when I crest the top of a hill on a two lane road driving 60+ mph and then--right there in the road is a damn horse-drawn buggy going about 3mph.

  2. #22
    I really didn't know what to expect with this show. I thought that the Amish were going to be close minded to people that they would not normally encounter. Boy was I wrong! The Amish were so open to everything/everyone. The city kids seemed to be the closed minded ones. That just really opened my eyes. I thought that the show was going to put a spin on the Amish to make them look like goofs and if anything it showed that the Amish are open to others and that although they may be naive to many things in the "outside world" they are far from dumb! It seems as though UPN is going to do this show justice, and not put a "Fox" spin that makes the show trashy.

  3. #23
    FORT Fan
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    Nov 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by cherokee59
    Hello all I'm a new member and poster
    I watched the show and heard something that surprised me...
    After Mose' almost drowned and he was explaining it, he used the slang
    " I'm serious as a heart attack"

    For the amish not to have tv or or know anything of the outside world,
    I wander how he knew to use some slang. It threw me for a moment.
    I wandered if they are really amish. They seemed to have adjusted rather to
    quickly. Maybe it's just me...maybe it's just too much Big Brother...
    Thanks for letting me join

    There are Amish where I live in Maryland as well as Lancaster, Pa. The thing to remember is that they are out and about with "regular" people all the time. They see the cars drive by, they have Amish markets all over the place, and if I remember, they are one of the wealthiest religious groups in the country. They are "in" the world, but not "of" it, if that makes sense. With all the tourism around Lancaster, they see regular clothes, they can ride in cars, etc. Each different sect of Amish believe differently. Some have phones in their homes, some have it coming to a shed on their property. Some hardliners don't have phones at all.

    It's not like they're living in caves somewhere and don't know about this stuff, they choose not to live like the rest of us.

  4. #24
    When did Serious as a heart attack become slang, I think it's more of a common expression to describe how serious one is, sort of like if I'm lying I'm flying, sland to me is more like, look that's the "bomb" or things like that.

  5. #25
    At the start Reece said he hated people who werent tolerant of somebody different. Then he was the worse one when the Amish arrived. There all bad that way but maybe they will change.

  6. #26
    FORT Fogey candor's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Candybar
    This show is not a sociology experiment, there are no academic ethical human experimentation controls govenrnng the show.
    I think the same could be said for all reality shows, but I understand your point. The Amish seem more innocent than the typical participant, which makes us want to protect them (and slap those city folk for making fun of Mose!)
    But in the bigger picture, they're also giving millions of viewers insight into a religion and lifestyle that few people understand. That alone is worthwhile, since knowledge and bigotry are natural enemies.
    "Totalitarianism demands, in fact, the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth." George Orwell

  7. #27
    There can't be any doubt at all that the English (a.k.a. city) kids came off looking a thousand times worse that the Amish kids. The English people all looked shallow, intolerant and downright rude.

    I live in northeast Ohio near western PA and there are a lot of Amish, and I've had a fairly good deal of contact with them. My stepbrother is married to a former Amish girl. I greatly admire everything about them, and was concerned (still am, since the show just started) that they would edit it all to make the Amish look as dorky and stupid as possible. So far, I think they come off smelling like roses.

    And to everyone who thinks that Amish kids wouldn't know phrases like serious as a heart attack - oh, yes they do!!! As soon as they hit 16-18 and start rumspringa, they go out, date, see movies, watch battery-powered or generator run TV (depends on each group's rules, etc.) - and trust me, some have WAY wilder parties than I ever dreampt of as a teen!!!! Just because they're Amish doesn't mean they don't like fun!


  8. #28
    Also, if you want to see the side of Rumspringa that may answer some questions, I recommend "Devil's Playground". It mainly shows the rise and fall of a few Amish teens but gave me a bit more understanding of Rumspringa.

  9. #29
    My main ethical concern for the Amish kids is not what is going to happen to them inside the house, (I think they can handle a few city kids), but how savvy they are about the media and how this show will end up affecting their lives. When the show first aired, the last names of the Amish kids were not revealed, (I believe to protect and out of respect for the families), but already most of the last names have been published in the media. If the show does well, I worry the media will make an effort to find information, and dirt, on the Amish kids.
    When I see how reality show contestants can be treated poorly by the media, and even us, I tell myself, "they knew what they were getting into." I'm not sure the same can be said for these kids.
    I guess time will tell.

  10. #30
    FORT Regular wadahoot's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Indiana, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by mrdobolina
    Not to be confused with BobDobolina....even though my name IS Bob....
    Bob, you're signature line made my day! I've been chuckling for 10 minutes and now, of course, can't quit saying, "Mr. Dobolina? Mr. Bob Dobolina?"

    I wanted to point out that Miram's bio on the http://www.upn.com/shows/amish_in_the_city/ says that she has been a waitress and maid - a lot of 'English' contact. Ruth's says she has been a factory worker, however it doesn't expound on this to say if it was an 'English' factory, or perhaps something like an Amish furniture factory. All of the guys have been construction workers, and depending on the job locations, they could have a lot of 'outside' contact.

    We live in Indianapolis, and about 10 years ago, my Mom had a house built in a new subdivision. Hers was one of the few that was framed by the Mennonites (I believe they are a bit more relaxed but along the same lines as Amish). Her house has had, by far, the fewest structural difficulties and was put up in 1/2 the time of the other homes! These folks know how to work, and work well!

    I, too, have been quite disappointed in the 'city kids' behavior, especially in the opening scenes. I have a 15 year old son, and have been delighted to see the disgusted look on his face as he's watched his (almost) peers interact with the Amish kids!
    I would like to point out one thing, that I hope is true! Many times, when people are put in an uncomfortable situation, they act very differently when they are in a group, compared to if they are alone or with a few trusted friends. It can turn into 'wolf-pack' behavior (the most notable example being the http://perso.wanadoo.fr/centralparkattacks/NYD.html When spurred on by others, we human can sink to low levels, and I hope that is what happened to the city kids; I truly hope that they have better manners in 'real' life!

    Lastly, I wanted to compliment you all on such good conversation! It is refreshing to be able to discuss serious topics with interesting, diverse folks!
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