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My opinions on this subject are inextricably linked to my pacifism, so I suppose I should start there...

 
First, it is important to understand that I did not decide to become a pacifist. I was not persuaded to the position by evidence or argument. I simply came to a point where I had to acknowledge a truth about myself, namely that whenever I intentionally try to harm someone I end up feeling guilty about it. Unraveling the is/ought knot in the back of my head, I realized that, regardless of what reason might tell me I should believe, I was handicapping myself if I failed to be honest about what I actually believed. And my reactions make it clear that I believe violence to be unjustifiable.
 
On the one hand, my pacifism prevents me from being anyone's enemy, because there is no one I really wish to harm. On the other hand, my pacifism limits my problem-solving options when dealing with those who would act as my enemy. It isn't that I love my enemy, just that I want to keep my commitment to do only right, even if everyone else seems to be doing wrong. 
 
So that's where I am on the subject. I have no scripture that I fall back on and no authority I look to for guidance. I'm just trying to use my conscience as a guide. But we all do things differently, which brings me to some questions for everyone....
 
How do you handle enemies? Why do you do that? Do you think it is the right way to do it? Have you given it much thought?

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My enemies are few, if any, since I retired. I don't handle them as I am unaware of them. I will, however, defend my wife, myself, anyone under my roof, my home and property with vigor and whatever violence I deem necessary to stop the threat. I am licensed to carry concealed firearms and carry 24/7. I have only had to put it to persons head twice in my lifetime and do not look forward to having to do it again. Carrying a firearm has taught me great patience with fools, reduced my road rage and made me very polite. Should I ever have to use my firearm to defend myself, family or property, I can never be seen to have picked a fight or incited others to violence.

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As a woman, and a mother, the only beings that I see as enemies are threats to my children, myself, my husband, our pets, or to others. And to qualify as an enemy, there has to be an immediate threat of violence or harm.

I never, never wish for harm to others without serious provocation. I don't even bother, with minor stuff- gossips and that sort of thing, it's better to just ignore 'em- they almost always hang themselves with their own rope, given time. I have asked for help from other Beings, from time to time, in speeding up that process, but I do not generally use spellwork for direct harm- it's cleaner and simpler to aid them in their own defeat. Even when there have been direct magickal attacks on my household, my husband and I both have simply done a Return To Sender. No sense in making a bad situation worse, or owing debts we aren't willing to pay. ;)

 

Like you, I don't have a guidebook that I follow. I'm not Wiccan, so even the Wiccan Rede doesn't apply. I am my own moral authority.

 

How I respond to threats is dependent on the situation. If someone who is human is physically threatening any of the aforementioned beings (family, friends, furbabies, or even strangers), I have a really odd reaction for a shy person: I get right in their face, as loudly and as attention-drawing-ly as possible. If it is a male human, attacking or threatening a child or woman, I'm twice as loud, and will often try to draw their violence to me, because 1. I know that I can take a hit, and 2. I can really, really draw a crowd if I have to! The sight of a man hitting a screaming blonde gal has a tendency to get things stopped in a hurry, for some reason. :rolleyes: And most of the time, it actually stops that person in their tracks, rather than resulting in being hit. It's a huge surprise- they don't expect it. I don't look like any kind of a warrior-woman.

 

Why do I do it? Because it's effective. Hurting people, especially people who are at an obvious disadvantage, is wrong.

 

I've only had to do it twice. I have only been hit once, while doing this. The woman was able to get away, and the police got the guy who was beating on her- her husband. He only got one hit in, and was subdued by others. I have a surprisingly hard skull. The lump went down within a day. I barely even felt it. ^_^

 

The time that this occurred and I was not hit, was a situation where my child was threatened. I have a feeling that the man involved in that situation read what was in my eyes, and realized that he might not survive the encounter. The police took it from there. 

 

If I can't draw witnesses, and they don't stand down, I will fight. And I will be as dirty and vicious as I can be, especially if it is for my children. At heart, I think all mothers are animals, when it comes to our young. I know for certain that I am. (Probably a were-wolverine, or a badger or something along those lines, LOL! :lol:) This same applies to attack by real animals- dogs, etc. I will use physical force, if needed, and I believe that I would kill to protect my own.

 

I appreciate your having asked the question- never thought it through like this, before. I hope others will reply- it's an interesting subject! :)

Edited by the Hearthwitch

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10 hours ago, the Hearthwitch said:

As a woman, and a mother, the only beings that I see as enemies are threats to my children, myself, my husband, our pets, or to others. And to qualify as an enemy, there has to be an immediate threat of violence or harm.

I never, never wish for harm to others without serious provocation. I don't even bother, with minor stuff- gossips and that sort of thing, it's better to just ignore 'em- they almost always hang themselves with their own rope, given time. I have asked for help from other Beings, from time to time, in speeding up that process, but I do not generally use spellwork for direct harm- it's cleaner and simpler to aid them in their own defeat. Even when there have been direct magickal attacks on my household, my husband and I both have simply done a Return To Sender. No sense in making a bad situation worse, or owing debts we aren't willing to pay. ;)

 

Like you, I don't have a guidebook that I follow. I'm not Wiccan, so even the Wiccan Rede doesn't apply. I am my own moral authority.

 

How I respond to threats is dependent on the situation. If someone who is human is physically threatening any of the aforementioned beings (family, friends, furbabies, or even strangers), I have a really odd reaction for a shy person: I get right in their face, as loudly and as attention-drawing-ly as possible. If it is a male human, attacking or threatening a child or woman, I'm twice as loud, and will often try to draw their violence to me, because 1. I know that I can take a hit, and 2. I can really, really draw a crowd if I have to! The sight of a man hitting a screaming blonde gal has a tendency to get things stopped in a hurry, for some reason. :rolleyes: And most of the time, it actually stops that person in their tracks, rather than resulting in being hit. It's a huge surprise- they don't expect it. I don't look like any kind of a warrior-woman.

 

Why do I do it? Because it's effective. Hurting people, especially people who are at an obvious disadvantage, is wrong.

 

I've only had to do it twice. I have only been hit once, while doing this. The woman was able to get away, and the police got the guy who was beating on her- her husband. He only got one hit in, and was subdued by others. I have a surprisingly hard skull. The lump went down within a day. I barely even felt it. ^_^

 

The time that this occurred and I was not hit, was a situation where my child was threatened. I have a feeling that the man involved in that situation read what was in my eyes, and realized that he might not survive the encounter. The police took it from there. 

 

If I can't draw witnesses, and they don't stand down, I will fight. And I will be as dirty and vicious as I can be, especially if it is for my children. At heart, I think all mothers are animals, when it comes to our young. I know for certain that I am. (Probably a were-wolverine, or a badger or something along those lines, LOL! :lol:) This same applies to attack by real animals- dogs, etc. I will use physical force, if needed, and I believe that I would kill to protect my own.

 

I appreciate your having asked the question- never thought it through like this, before. I hope others will reply- it's an interesting subject! :)

Much like warding off a bear sometimes. LOL  Sorry, just imagined you that way as soon as I read that.

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5 hours ago, Key said:

Much like warding off a bear sometimes. LOL  Sorry, just imagined you that way as soon as I read that.

 

*Giggle* Exactly! Never thought of it like that, but yeah, I guess you're right! :lol:

 

What about you, Key? How do you deal with enemies? 

Edited by the Hearthwitch

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5 hours ago, Key said:

Much like warding off a bear sometimes. LOL  Sorry, just imagined you that way as soon as I read that.

 

16 hours ago, the Hearthwitch said:

As a woman, and a mother, the only beings that I see as enemies are threats to my children, myself, my husband, our pets, or to others. And to qualify as an enemy, there has to be an immediate threat of violence or harm.

I never, never wish for harm to others without serious provocation. I don't even bother, with minor stuff- gossips and that sort of thing, it's better to just ignore 'em- they almost always hang themselves with their own rope, given time. I have asked for help from other Beings, from time to time, in speeding up that process, but I do not generally use spellwork for direct harm- it's cleaner and simpler to aid them in their own defeat. Even when there have been direct magickal attacks on my household, my husband and I both have simply done a Return To Sender. No sense in making a bad situation worse, or owing debts we aren't willing to pay. ;)

 

Like you, I don't have a guidebook that I follow. I'm not Wiccan, so even the Wiccan Rede doesn't apply. I am my own moral authority.

 

How I respond to threats is dependent on the situation. If someone who is human is physically threatening any of the aforementioned beings (family, friends, furbabies, or even strangers), I have a really odd reaction for a shy person: I get right in their face, as loudly and as attention-drawing-ly as possible. If it is a male human, attacking or threatening a child or woman, I'm twice as loud, and will often try to draw their violence to me, because 1. I know that I can take a hit, and 2. I can really, really draw a crowd if I have to! The sight of a man hitting a screaming blonde gal has a tendency to get things stopped in a hurry, for some reason. :rolleyes: And most of the time, it actually stops that person in their tracks, rather than resulting in being hit. It's a huge surprise- they don't expect it. I don't look like any kind of a warrior-woman.

 

Why do I do it? Because it's effective. Hurting people, especially people who are at an obvious disadvantage, is wrong.

 

I've only had to do it twice. I have only been hit once, while doing this. The woman was able to get away, and the police got the guy who was beating on her- her husband. He only got one hit in, and was subdued by others. I have a surprisingly hard skull. The lump went down within a day. I barely even felt it. ^_^

 

The time that this occurred and I was not hit, was a situation where my child was threatened. I have a feeling that the man involved in that situation read what was in my eyes, and realized that he might not survive the encounter. The police took it from there. 

 

If I can't draw witnesses, and they don't stand down, I will fight. And I will be as dirty and vicious as I can be, especially if it is for my children. At heart, I think all mothers are animals, when it comes to our young. I know for certain that I am. (Probably a were-wolverine, or a badger or something along those lines, LOL! :lol:) This same applies to attack by real animals- dogs, etc. I will use physical force, if needed, and I believe that I would kill to protect my own.

 

I appreciate your having asked the question- never thought it through like this, before. I hope others will reply- it's an interesting subject! :)

I suppose I have a harder stance against those who would do harm against others. I believe that if you can do something about someone harming others - even if it comes to physical action - and you don't take that action, you become an enabler for that person committing the abuse, bullying, etc. 

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4 minutes ago, RevTom said:

 

I suppose I have a harder stance against those who would do harm against others. I believe that if you can do something about someone harming others - even if it comes to physical action - and you don't take that action, you become an enabler for that person committing the abuse, bullying, etc. 

Good on you! I feel the same way! But....Not having a huge amount of upper body strength someone limits one's ability to take a very hard stance, I'm afraid. LOL This is why I tend to just get in the way of threats- I'm no warrior. I know I can't take 'em down (probably), but I can interfere until help arrives.

I'm a meddlesome woman, rather than an Amazon. :P It's a little different for us gals who don't "carry", I guess.

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19 minutes ago, the Hearthwitch said:

Good on you! I feel the same way! But....Not having a huge amount of upper body strength someone limits one's ability to take a very hard stance, I'm afraid. LOL This is why I tend to just get in the way of threats- I'm no warrior. I know I can't take 'em down (probably), but I can interfere until help arrives.

I'm a meddlesome woman, rather than an Amazon. :P It's a little different for us gals who don't "carry", I guess.

Most often, it is to my regret and chagrin that I meet brutality in kind. I often feel guilty afterwards, but I don't think I would do anything differently. I told my son, who was small for his age while in school, that if he got suspended for defending himself to consider it a vacation.

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13 minutes ago, RevTom said:

Most often, it is to my regret and chagrin that I meet brutality in kind. I often feel guilty afterwards, but I don't think I would do anything differently. I told my son, who was small for his age while in school, that if he got suspended for defending himself to consider it a vacation.

Can't say as I blame you, for telling your son that. I wish this wasn't true, but from what I'm seeing, the youngers are mostly being taught by their parents that it's OK to be a bully. Seems to be the case, around here, anyway. :( It's why we're moving my youngest to a different school, in fact.

I do think that sometimes brutality does have to be met with brutality, guilt or no. You, good sir, are exactly the sort of fellow I'm looking around for while I shriek like a harpy, when I see a domestic in progress! ;) Thankfully, there are a lot more of you guys out there than the wife-beaters, LOL! 

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2 hours ago, the Hearthwitch said:

 

*Giggle* Exactly! Never thought of it like that, but yeah, I guess you're right! :lol:

 

What about you, Key? How do you deal with enemies? 

I tend to avoid confrontations. I don't like conflict, so I avoid having enemies. But if I should come across one, I don't try to escalate things unless provoked. And if that happens, watch out, I have a terrible temper!

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11 minutes ago, Key said:

I tend to avoid confrontations. I don't like conflict, so I avoid having enemies. But if I should come across one, I don't try to escalate things unless provoked. And if that happens, watch out, I have a terrible temper!

Sounds like we're all pretty much in the same boat, then! :)

 

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10 minutes ago, Key said:

I tend to avoid confrontations. I don't like conflict, so I avoid having enemies. But if I should come across one, I don't try to escalate things unless provoked. And if that happens, watch out, I have a terrible temper!

Maybe I should clarify. I don't like confrontations: I do not seek out challenges or fighting, but I stand my ground if someone is harassing a person not well suited to defend themselves. As for me. Name calling and other verbal abuse toward me doesn't provoke me unless it is unchecked. physically assaulting me will not turn out well.

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5 hours ago, the Hearthwitch said:

Sounds like we're all pretty much in the same boat, then! :)

 

Let's hope it never tips over. ;)

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On 2/7/2017 at 10:34 AM, mererdog said:

On the one hand, my pacifism prevents me from being anyone's enemy, because there is no one I really wish to harm. On the other hand, my pacifism limits my problem-solving options when dealing with those who would act as my enemy. It isn't that I love my enemy, just that I want to keep my commitment to do only right, even if everyone else seems to be doing wrong. 

 

So that's where I am on the subject. I have no scripture that I fall back on and no authority I look to for guidance. I'm just trying to use my conscience as a guide. But we all do things differently, which brings me to some questions for everyone....

 

How do you handle enemies? Why do you do that? Do you think it is the right way to do it? Have you given it much thought?

 

I am also a pacifist. But I want to clarify that my pacifism is an ethical stance that extends to all living beings and creatures, not just human beings, which also means that my food choices are also aligned to be as detached from violence as best as possible. (Ahimsa.)
At this point, I am unsure what defines an enemy. I have not given the definition for my own self about 'enemy' in its true definition much thought really.

 

I hopefully distinguish well enough between perceived threat, direct threat and indirect threat before making any kinds of decisions. The one that gives me the most trouble is indirect threat. Because of prior experiences, it causes me to be act more preemptively than defensively and has been on my mind a lot recently, as to what is the best way to handle something that comes sideways.

 

As for it being right way to do handle enemies (threats?), hmm.. it's right for me until I'm wrong? If I'm wrong I'll be pushing daisies! 

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8 hours ago, Amulet said:

At this point, I am unsure what defines an enemy.

I consider my enemies to be anyone motivated by a desire to harm me. I don't consider a thief to be my enemy, for example, as the thief is really motivated by a desire to help himself. 

If I'm wrong I'll be pushing daisies!Personally, I believe that self-sacrifice is sometimes the only moral choice. I do not want to die, and that is why I hope for moral courage if faced with the worst possible choices.

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On 8/4/2017 at 6:39 PM, Key said:

Let's hope it never tips over. ;)

I need to work on myself a bit - making sure not to provoke anger from people. Being headstrong is not always a good idea. I resolve to helping keep the boat aright.

Edited by RevTom
wording booboo

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On 8/12/2017 at 11:55 PM, Amulet said:

 

I am also a pacifist. But I want to clarify that my pacifism is an ethical stance that extends to all living beings and creatures, not just human beings, which also means that my food choices are also aligned to be as detached from violence as best as possible. (Ahimsa.)
At this point, I am unsure what defines an enemy. I have not given the definition for my own self about 'enemy' in its true definition much thought really.

 

I hopefully distinguish well enough between perceived threat, direct threat and indirect threat before making any kinds of decisions. The one that gives me the most trouble is indirect threat. Because of prior experiences, it causes me to be act more preemptively than defensively and has been on my mind a lot recently, as to what is the best way to handle something that comes sideways.

 

As for it being right way to do handle enemies (threats?), hmm.. it's right for me until I'm wrong? If I'm wrong I'll be pushing daisies! 

 

On 8/12/2017 at 11:55 PM, Amulet said:

On the one hand, my pacifism prevents me from being anyone's enemy, because there is no one I really wish to harm. On the other hand, my pacifism limits my problem-solving options when dealing with those who would act as my enemy. It isn't that I love my enemy, just that I want to keep my commitment to do only right, even if everyone else seems to be doing wrong. 

 

So that's where I am on the subject. I have no scripture that I fall back on and no authority I look to for guidance. I'm just trying to use my conscience as a guide. But we all do things differently, which brings me to some questions for everyone....

 

How do you handle enemies? Why do you do that? Do you think it is the right way to do it? Have you given it much thought?

I try pacifism in most situations. I think confrontation is most often a lose - lose situation. It is only when it is obvious that pacifism is not going to resolve a situation that I will respond. Like the old adage, it isn't much help to bring a knife to a gunfight. If someone is bent on physical altercation, we are faced with the fight or flight reflex. What is doing right in the light of pacifism going to help if someone is physically harming you or your family? That is when the nice guy is subdued by Billy Badass, and I resort to whatever means is necessary to prevail. I think of it like this also: If the perp in question gets away with physically assaulting someone and I could have prevented it, I am complicit in his future actions against others.

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On 8/17/2017 at 1:00 PM, RevTom said:

Like the old adage, it isn't much help to bring a knife to a gunfight. If someone is bent on physical altercation, we are faced with the fight or flight reflex. What is doing right in the light of pacifism going to help if someone is physically harming you or your family?

Ever watch the original The Magnificent Seven? Whether or not it helps to bring a knife to a gunfight depends entirely on how you use the knife. Nonviolence is the same way.

There are nonviolent solutions to violence. They are sometimes not obvious, usually not easy, and never without risk. Now, you can claim that situations exist where no nonviolent solutions can be effective. But if you didn't try, you don't really know. And even if you did try, you don't really know whether the problem was your plan or your implementation.

 

I do not believe my life or the lives of my family to be more valuable than that of a stranger. As a result, I am willing to risk our lives to protect the life of the stranger. You ask what help pacifism is. The answer is that it protects others from me. This can only make sense if you take as a given that human life has intrinsic value that is unchanged by what a human chooses to do with that life. If you do not believe a mugger has as much value as a doctor, my words will be meaningless to you.

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1 minute ago, mererdog said:

Ever watch the original The Magnificent Seven? Whether or not it helps to bring a knife to a gunfight depends entirely on how you use the knife. Nonviolence is the same way.

There are nonviolent solutions to violence. They are sometimes not obvious, usually not easy, and never without risk. Now, you can claim that situations exist where no nonviolent solutions can be effective. But if you didn't try, you don't really know. And even if you did try, you don't really know whether the problem was your plan or your implementation.

 

I do not believe my life or the lives of my family to be more valuable than that of a stranger. As a result, I am willing to risk our lives to protect the life of the stranger. You ask what help pacifism is. The answer is that it protects others from me. This can only make sense if you take as a given that human life has intrinsic value that is unchanged by what a human chooses to do with that life. If you do not believe a mugger has as much value as a doctor, my words will be meaningless to you.

Well, you are correct in that I do not believe a mugger's life has the same value as a doctor. It may sound harsh, but people make choices. If the choices they make are to cause others harm and they are bent on their path of destruction, then yes, I will meet that affront with all the force necessary to subdue it. 

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8 hours ago, RevTom said:

Well, you are correct in that I do not believe a mugger's life has the same value as a doctor. It may sound harsh, but people make choices. If the choices they make are to cause others harm and they are bent on their path of destruction, then yes, I will meet that affront with all the force necessary to subdue it. 

I concur, RevTom. I have a certain predisposition towards protecting my own, as well. And I do think less, of men who hit women and children. *Shrugs* 

Never claimed to be perfect! ;)

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