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9 hours ago, RevTom said:

It may sound harsh, but people make choices. 

That is true. Which is part of the point. The value of a man lies in his potential, as much as in his actuality. This is usually considered patently obvious to everyone when talking about babies or themselves. 

People make choices, and so they are not doomed to stay on the same path. Redemption and reformation happen.

Even the unrepentant and seemingly iredeemable can make one right decision at one key moment that has a bigger positive impact on the world than anything I will ever do. And they can do it for all the wrong reasons or completely on accident.

Tom Paine also reminds that virtue is not hereditary, thus muggers can produce doctors as easily as doctors can produce muggers.

And, of course, many doctors have proven to be pedophiles, rapists, or murderers. Which illustrates nicely the point that when we judge one another we necessarily do so based on limited and faulty information. That is not how I wish to be judged, so I try not to judge others that way. Seems like common courtesy, you know?

Edited by mererdog

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42 minutes ago, the Hearthwitch said:

Never claimed to be perfect!

You should try it. People do not know how to react to it. ;) 

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37 minutes ago, mererdog said:

That is true. Which is part of the point. The value of a man lies in his potential, as much as in his actuality. This is usually considered patently obvious to everyone when talking about babies or themselves. 

People make choices, and so they are not doomed to stay on the same path. Redemption and reformation happen.

Even the unrepentant and seemingly iredeemable can make one right decision at one key moment that has a bigger positive impact on the world than anything I will ever do. And they can do it for all the wrong reasons or completely on accident.

Tom Paine also reminds that virtue is not hereditary, thus muggers can produce doctors as easily as doctors can produce muggers.

And, of course, many doctors have proven to be pedophiles, rapists, or murderers. Which illustrates nicely the point that when we judge one another we necessarily do so based on limited and faulty information. That is not how I wish to be judged, so I try not to judge others that way. Seems like common courtesy, you know?

For me, the courtesy stops when someone forcibly attempts to harm me or someone around me. Then there is no understanding. We will have to understand that neither of us will persuade the other differently on this.

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15 hours ago, mererdog said:

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.

 

How do you help a mugger by willingly becoming his victim? That's like saying your unwilling to let a baby learn to walk because they might fall down and hurt themselves. When a person decides to steal, murder, rape, or harm others, your really not assigning value to their lives by condoning their choices. Your simply tolerating an abusive person because you don't care enough to correct them. Becoming a victim yourself does not make you an advocate of peace, it simply emboldens an abusive person to claim more victims.. jmo

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8 hours ago, RevTom said:

We will have to understand that neither of us will persuade the other differently on this.

The best way to ensure you never succeed is to never try.

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2 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

How do you help a mugger by willingly becoming his victim? That's like saying your unwilling to let a baby learn to walk because they might fall down and hurt themselves. 

It is like saying I am unwilling to punch a baby for crying. The baby's crying causes me harm, but that does not justify me doing harm to the baby. By not being violent, I give the baby the opportunity to grow out of the crying without being saddled with a bunch of unnecessary scarring.

When we respond to violence with violence, we teach that violence should be used to solve problems. That lesson reinforces the preexisting beliefs that led to the original violence, increasing the potential for further violence from that original source.

If noone takes the high road, noone will see the high road as a viable option.

If noone sees the high road as a viable option, noone will take the high road.

Vicious cycles and self-fulfilling prophesies...

Edited by mererdog

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2 hours ago, mererdog said:

It is like saying I am unwilling to punch a baby for crying. The baby's crying causes me harm, but that does not justify me doing harm to the baby. By not being violent, I give the baby the opportunity to grow out of the crying without being saddled with a bunch of unnecessary scarring.

When we respond to violence with violence, we teach that violence should be used to solve problems. That lesson reinforces the preexisting beliefs that led to the original violence, increasing the potential for further violence from that original source.

If noone takes the high road, noone will see the high road as a viable option.

If noone sees the high road as a viable option, noone will take the high road.

Vicious cycles and self-fulfilling prophesies...

While this seems sound, another reality is that for every bully out there, there is another bigger bully. Often a bully is emboldened by the inaction of others, (they lack respect for the high road or just don't see it), but a bully almost always backs down when faced with someone who dares administer them with their own medicine.

Like two rams butting heads, one of them will eventually wear down and leave.

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2 hours ago, Key said:

Often a bully is emboldened by the inaction of others, (they lack respect for the high road or just don't see it), but a bully almost always backs down when faced with someone who dares administer them with their own medicine.

Fear of punishment causes people to avoid punishment. While this can theoretically cause people to avoid doing wrong, what it normally does is cause people to change tactics. The bully who backs down to your face will often stab you in the back. The bully who backs away from a fight often comes back with a gun or a gang. Convince the bully he can not get the best of  you, and you usually just send him in search of a softer target.

 

If these things were not true, prison recidivism rates would be zero, wouldn't they? Once the police stand up to the bully, why does the bully keep victimizing? And why is it not a rarity for this repeat offending to happen, instead of the norm?

Edited by mererdog

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6 hours ago, mererdog said:

The best way to ensure you never succeed is to never try.

Well, I put forth my reasoning for actions, and it is there. It has been a spirited debate, and has tested the waters of perceptions, which is good. We discuss and debate, and respectfully acknowledge differing opinions, and sometimes in light of the discussions, alter our own. Whether we retain our opinions and/or beliefs or change them, the purpose is served, and we are the better for it, IMO. 

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14 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

How do you help a mugger by willingly becoming his victim? That's like saying your unwilling to let a baby learn to walk because they might fall down and hurt themselves. When a person decides to steal, murder, rape, or harm others, your really not assigning value to their lives by condoning their choices. Your simply tolerating an abusive person because you don't care enough to correct them. Becoming a victim yourself does not make you an advocate of peace, it simply emboldens an abusive person to claim more victims.. jmo

Yep. Definitely.

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6 hours ago, mererdog said:

Fear of punishment causes people to avoid punishment. While this can theoretically cause people to avoid doing wrong, what it normally does is cause people to change tactics. The bully who backs down to your face will often stab you in the back. The bully who backs away from a fight often comes back with a gun or a gang. Convince the bully he can not get the best of  you, and you usually just send him in search of a softer target.

 

If these things were not true, prison recidivism rates would be zero, wouldn't they? Once the police stand up to the bully, why does the bully keep victimizing? And why is it not a rarity for this repeat offending to happen, instead of the norm?

 

I'd like to interject something here, and it may not sit well with everyone. 

Some things are hardwired...wrong. If a dog is mad, or vicious, you put it down, to prevent harm. That's harsh, because a mad dog, it's not the dog's fault, right? But the illness will spread (if the dog has rabies), the damage will be done. So, you shoot it. Few people will argue that choice, when faced with that decision.

 

Some people, likewise, are hardwired wrong. I would argue that, for example, the mis-named "sexual predators" are, by and large, hardwired wrong. Child molesters aren't perpetrating a sexual act, so much as an act of violence. Ditto for your rapists, particularly rapist/murderers. The predators themselves often say that this is the only enjoyment that they can experience...so. Hardwired wrong. Pacifism will not work with them.

I would also argue that people who intentionally bully children, beat them, abuse people weaker than themselves (such as the elderly, women, etc.), these people are sometimes hardwired incorrectly, too. And while I can sympathize with rough childhoods, having been abused themselves, etc.? I have also seen people who were...well, not right. Some aren't created by bad circumstances, either. Who had what I can only call true evil, in them. Sociopaths exist, and according to some, there may be as many among the rest of us as 1 in 26. Do we shoot 'em? Well, no. But we don't have to be their punching bags, or their broken toys, either.

 

There are exceptions to pacifism. And the recidivism? For some people, that's just the next chapter in the game, for them.

Edited by the Hearthwitch

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6 hours ago, RevTom said:

Well, I put forth my reasoning for actions, and it is there. It has been a spirited debate, and has tested the waters of perceptions, which is good. We discuss and debate, and respectfully acknowledge differing opinions, and sometimes in light of the discussions, alter our own. Whether we retain our opinions and/or beliefs or change them, the purpose is served, and we are the better for it, IMO. 

This has been a really good thread so far, and I really liked what you said. Thanks, RevTom! :)

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17 hours ago, RevTom said:

Whether we retain our opinions and/or beliefs or change them, the purpose is served, and we are the better for it, IMO. 

I kind of disagree. A decade ago, I would have agreed completely. If we were talking about whether the Beatles are better than the Stones, I would also agree. But this is, quite literally, a life or death issue. Getting this right matters, perhaps more than anything else. I want us both to be right about this issue because I don't want either of us to do wrong, you know? 

I know I often need help seeing the truth. I have managed, in the past, to help others in that way. So I am actively trying to change your mind, and I am actively encouraging you to try to change mine. Not out of disrespect for each others beliefs, but out of respect for each other and a desire that we each have the best life possible. 

 

 

 

If anyone looks closely, they may notice that this is an example of how I prefer to handle enemies. Not that I consider anyone on the forum to be an enemy (other than Murph, of course), but intellectual opposition works as an analogue...

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4 minutes ago, mererdog said:

I kind of disagree. A decade ago, I would have agreed completely. If we were talking about whether the Beatles are better than the Stones, I would also agree. But this is, quite literally, a life or death issue. Getting this right matters, perhaps more than anything else. I want us both to be right about this issue because I don't want either of us to do wrong, you know? 

I know I often need help seeing the truth. I have managed, in the past, to help others in that way. So I am actively trying to change your mind, and I am actively encouraging you to try to change mine. Not out of disrespect for each others beliefs, but out of respect for each other and a desire that we each have the best life possible. 

 

 

 

If anyone looks closely, they may notice that this is an example of how I prefer to handle enemies. Not that I consider anyone on the forum to be an enemy (other than Murph, of course), but intellectual opposition works as an analogue...

I feel that I have exhausted the means at my disposal to argue against pacifism at all costs and have had to resort to pulling out the heavy artillery, so to speak. I am firmly convinced that aggressors have a predisposition to br nonsocial and unreasonable, tending toward psychopathic mentalities. As such the use of reason with them is futile, IMO. I have included here a couple of case studies for your perusal and edification: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/93246/born-to-bully
http://www.businessinsider.com/pope-francis-endorses-use-of-force-against-isis-in-iraq-2014-8

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6 hours ago, mererdog said:

Why not?

Welllll...wish I could give ya a good answer to that. If, say, someone hurt a child, and in a sick way, and there was zero doubt...could I? (Yes.) Would I? (Quite possibly...and if it was one of mine, it shifts to Very Likely.)

So much for pacifism, I guess.

Failed the acid test, LOL! 

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Enemies are essentially teachers.

 

You can block a punch without throwing one in return.

 

All life is of equal value.

We are  all sometimes are forgetful of that. 

It is no less true.   

 

We start dying with our first breath of life.

How we live is more important; THAT we live is less important.

There are FAR worse things than death in life   

 

Disease, gunshot, car accident, thrill seeking....

never waking up from a nap.....death will happen. 

 

Harming as few as possible is the prudent course.

Harming any intentionally harms you

(often more than it harms them.)   

 

You cannot give kindness without receiving it. 

 

You cannot easily undo the self-inflicted damage

to you - - when you intentionally hurt another 

(physically, emotionally, financially, mentally) - YOU 

suffer as much or more - each and every time. 

 

von

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1 hour ago, VonNoble said:

You cannot give kindness without receiving it. 

That has a double meaning, doesn't it?

Just so you know, I've missed you. 

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On 8/24/2017 at 4:02 AM, mererdog said:

It is like saying I am unwilling to punch a baby for crying. The baby's crying causes me harm, but that does not justify me doing harm to the baby. By not being violent, I give the baby the opportunity to grow out of the crying without being saddled with a bunch of unnecessary scarring.

When we respond to violence with violence, we teach that violence should be used to solve problems. That lesson reinforces the preexisting beliefs that led to the original violence, increasing the potential for further violence from that original source.

If noone takes the high road, noone will see the high road as a viable option.

If noone sees the high road as a viable option, noone will take the high road.

Vicious cycles and self-fulfilling prophesies...

 

A baby isn't violent, nor do they intend to hurt, so they simply require patience. Pacifism wouldn't work with someone like Hitler, it would have only of enabled him to kill all the Jews instead of only 6 million.. Pacifism doesn't stop violence because it rewards bad with good, and that's an incentive which promotes more bad. So imo, staying idle to avoid violence is not taking the high road,  its just surrendering to evil, and evil flourishes when its not met with resistance.

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