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VonNoble   

Dan56,

 

Your example is clear and understandable.   I thank you for it. 

Too, I would note that one need not take up arms to do battle.

Resistance exists without violence too.  

 

 A few years ago, I met a woman (Ruby)then in her 80s who

battled Hitler's evil daily    She never carried a weapon.

She was tortured after capture.  She risked it all.  But never

ever would consider violence in response to violence as a

viable option.   She would argue convincingly that the intel

she provided about the realities of life under Nazi occupation

helped to defeat him as much as any bullets fired.  

(Incidentally I was astounded that this petite, frail woman

I met in a nursing home had done so much to resist evil.)  

Courage is not always a burly, brute force package 

 

Hitler is not the only person who wanted to eliminate Jews.   The violent 

tendencies to eliminate Jews did not go away with the demise of the man

and his army.   The evil of it - is - still VERY active today in the world.  

And it is being met often (and defeated OFTEN) with non-violent means.  

 

Not every battle is a world war.

Not every enemy is group. 

 

I saw a trailer for a recent movie depicted a true story of a pacifist in

battle.  He resisted evil ON the battlefield without the benefit of a

way to defend himself agains bullets.  There is often MORE THAN

ONE right way to a solution. 

 

Ruby offered resistance.  The soldier in the movie offered

resistance.  They did not, however - do so with violence. 

 

Each of us has the right and duty to battle evil. 

Failure to load guns and throw punches does not imply failure to battle. 

There are other weapons.  They are also effective.   

 

Soldiers from both camps (weapons & force ...as well as those who opt 

to fight sans violence)  - - both types doing battle - - will die.  Both will 

die.      Each has to face that death in accordance with his/her moral

beliefs. 

 

They are then, therefore, essentially comrades in battle opting to use

different weapons.   

 

Von


 

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mererdog   
On 8/26/2017 at 0:51 AM, Dan56 said:

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.. 

What allowed Hitler to have power was a German nation that felt justified in using violence against anyone they perceived as enemies. Hitler could kill very few Jews by himself. He needed help to carry out his plans.

Inevitably, evil starves to death on its own, and can only survive by convincing good people to join in. It does this by exploiting two basic human flaws- belief that "We" are more important than "Them," and fear that "They" are going to harm "Us."

While pacifism may not be up to the task of defeating Nazis, societal opposition to the moral prinicples underpinning pacifism is what gives Nazis power in the first place. This simple truth played a big part in leading me to reject my intellectual inclinations toward situational ethics and embrace my instinctive belief in moral absolutism.

The consequences of our actions extend beyond the purpose of our actions. There is little to be gained by winning a battle in a way that makes it impossible to win the war. It is tragic to gain the world by losing your soul. 

To paraphrase a Bible verse, the real threat posed by evil is not the damage it can do to our bodies, but the damage we do to our inner being when we embrace one evil to fight another.

Edited by mererdog

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mererdog   
On 8/25/2017 at 9:50 AM, the Hearthwitch said:

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! 

Would it be fair to say that your response is not about being protective, but about being vengeful? I ask because it looks that way, but looks can be deceiving.

 

Imagine that your dog gets rabies (if you have no dog, you'll need to start by imagining you have a dog) and so you put it down. Now imagine that you run across a news article from a few months back that reads "Rabies cure found. Simple procedure removes all symptoms at any stage of disease." How would this effect you, emotionally? Would you feel that your ignorance of the cure justified your killing the dog, or would you just feel like a murderer?

Edited by mererdog

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13 hours ago, mererdog said:

Would it be fair to say that your response is not about being protective, but about being vengeful? I ask because it looks that way, but looks can be deceiving.

 

Imagine that your dog gets rabies (if you have no dog, you'll need to start by imagining you have a dog) and so you put it down. Now imagine that you run across a news article from a few months back that reads "Rabies cure found. Simple procedure removes all symptoms at any stage of disease." How would this effect you, emotionally? Would you feel that your ignorance of the cure justified your killing the dog, or would you just feel like a murderer?

In answer to your first question: Both. It could easily be vengeful. I can't guarantee that it wouldn't be...someone wiser than myself said that having a child is the first time that their heart lived outside of their own body, and that's dead-on. It changes you. Also, bear in mind that when an adult harms a child, the damage done is usually huge, in proportion to what it would be, adult-to-adult.

We have a dog. If such a thing occurred, I would feel terrible, but not like a murderer. Pet owners have a responsibility, and if their fur-family is at risk of seriously harming or killing other people or their fur family, or spreading a deadly disease, they need to act on the best information that they have available.

However, there's this, too- there's no way I'd miss an article like that. I often assist others with wildlife rescue work, as well as domestic animal rescue- I can guarantee you, the second something that wonderful happens, I will be ON IT! ;)

 

Mererdog- I have a question for you: do you have any children? That can change your perspective rather a lot. I know it did for me.

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mererdog   
On 8/27/2017 at 8:13 PM, the Hearthwitch said:

Mererdog- I have a question for you: do you have any children? That can change your perspective rather a lot. I know it did for me.

No, I do not have children. My wife and I are also each incapable of having children.

I suppose the important question is whether the change in perspective makes you more able to see the truth or less able to see the truth. Which is a sort of difficult question to figure out, because the things that blind us to the truth usually blind us to the fact that they blind us to the truth.

Strong emotional attachments can be very useful things, but they are also the root cause of a lot of tragedies. Because they have the ability to supress our critical thinking skills, they make us vulnerable to the sort of mistakes in judgement that are routinely exploited by our enemies.

This is not an accusation against you or your arguments here, but a generalized lamentation about the human condition...

 

Going back to my dog analogy, you mention the responsibility to protect your family. You understand that protecting your family and allowing the dog to live are not mutually exclusive propositions? Killing the dog is only one of many options for keeping the family safe. It has the benefit of being simple and fairly foolproof. It has the disadvantage of rendering you incapable of trying other options as you become aware of them. You can't unkill a dog, you know?

Edited by mererdog

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There is often a misunderstanding, sometimes deliberate I think, that other people cannot understand something without being a part of it.  What is human empathy for if not to try to understand the position of others?

I don't have to be a father to understand how a father might respond to his child being threatened.  I don't have to be homosexual to understand how a homosexual person might feel being persecuted by others.  I don't have to be...well, you get the picture I am sure.

The bottom line for me is my own conscience.  I would try my best not to harm another individual, period, because I would feel bad about myself for not having been capable of finding a better alternative.  I don't say I will never harm another person, but I will strive my best not to fail at that.

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7 hours ago, mererdog said:

No, I do not have children. My wife and I are also each incapable of having children.

I suppose the important question is whether the change in perspective makes you more able to see the truth or less able to see the truth. Which is a sort of difficult question to figure out, because the things that blind us to the truth usually blind us to the fact that they blind us to the truth.

Strong emotional attachments can be very useful things, but they are also the root cause of a lot of tragedies. Because they have the ability to supress our critical thinking skills, they make us vulnerable to the sort of mistakes in judgement that are routinely exploited by our enemies.

This is not an accusation against you or your arguments here, but a generalized lamentation about the human condition...

 

Going back to my dog analogy, you mention the responsibility to protect your family. You understand that protecting your family and allowing the dog to live are not mutually exclusive propositions? Killing the dog is only one of many options for keeping the family safe. It has the benefit of being simple and fairly foolproof. It has the disadvantage of rendering you incapable of trying other options as you become aware of them. You can't unkill a dog, you know?

Yes, I understand all of those things. I would still make the same decision, based on my knowledge at the time. It would break my heart, but it's what would have to be done. I don't see my non-human family members as being all that different from my human ones, tbh, so...it's not a matter of that. The strong emotional attachments run deep for all of my family.

 

So, that being said, be aware that this means that I would be asking questions, checking with veterinarians and/or human doctors, and discussing it with a goodly number of people who are in a position to know what's possible and what's not. Based on the best information available, I would do what was necessary to protect people. I would report the case to the County Health Department, because it's a public concern. (Rabies is a problem here, especially this time of the year; someone's cat just dragged in a bat that tested positive, so we're on alert. We also get bubonic plague here.) This would be a concern to far more than just my family.

 

I should think that that's the best use of critical thinking skills, and the best possible decision, given the facts at the time. You can't unkill a dog, it's true. But you can't disengage from greater society, with something like this. It would still be horribly irresponsible not to act on what you have to work with. Even if it breaks a piece of your soul off. (I am NOT going to argue about souls, LOL!)

I don't see it as an accusation. We're good, Mererdog! :)

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12 hours ago, cuchulain said:

There is often a misunderstanding, sometimes deliberate I think, that other people cannot understand something without being a part of it.  What is human empathy for if not to try to understand the position of others?

I don't have to be a father to understand how a father might respond to his child being threatened.  I don't have to be homosexual to understand how a homosexual person might feel being persecuted by others.  I don't have to be...well, you get the picture I am sure.

The bottom line for me is my own conscience.  I would try my best not to harm another individual, period, because I would feel bad about myself for not having been capable of finding a better alternative.  I don't say I will never harm another person, but I will strive my best not to fail at that.

I would normally agree with you, but not on this one. I'll be honest, Cuchulain- it really is different, for me at least. I had the strength of a number of convictions, some of which I have since done a complete 180 on, before having kids. I was far less concerned with the world at large, and definitely with people in general...very different worldview altogether. I was pretty nihilistic, and had a pretty negative view of the world. Pregnancy, birth, and parenthood changed me emotionally, mentally, and physically. (It did not turn me into a Republican, though, as someone told me it would! LOL)

All joking aside, though, this is one where I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. 

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16 hours ago, the Hearthwitch said:

I would normally agree with you, but not on this one. I'll be honest, Cuchulain- it really is different, for me at least. I had the strength of a number of convictions, some of which I have since done a complete 180 on, before having kids. I was far less concerned with the world at large, and definitely with people in general...very different worldview altogether. I was pretty nihilistic, and had a pretty negative view of the world. Pregnancy, birth, and parenthood changed me emotionally, mentally, and physically. (It did not turn me into a Republican, though, as someone told me it would! LOL)

All joking aside, though, this is one where I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. 

you always may disagree, it does not bother me. you are respectful about it and seem to engage in polite discussion.  i changed nothing about my convictions after kids, so maybe that's unique to the individual.

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On 9/1/2017 at 11:33 AM, cuchulain said:

you always may disagree, it does not bother me. you are respectful about it and seem to engage in polite discussion.  i changed nothing about my convictions after kids, so maybe that's unique to the individual.

Thanks! And you may be right about it being an individual thing- I don't know everything! LOL I think that possibly because there are physical changes that go along with this, for women, that it may not affect most men in the same way, either.

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kokigami   
On 8/31/2017 at 7:21 AM, cuchulain said:

There is often a misunderstanding, sometimes deliberate I think, that other people cannot understand something without being a part of it.  What is human empathy for if not to try to understand the position of others?

I don't have to be a father to understand how a father might respond to his child being threatened.  I don't have to be homosexual to understand how a homosexual person might feel being persecuted by others.  I don't have to be...well, you get the picture I am sure.

The bottom line for me is my own conscience.  I would try my best not to harm another individual, period, because I would feel bad about myself for not having been capable of finding a better alternative.  I don't say I will never harm another person, but I will strive my best not to fail at that.

I think perfect understanding of any other person is impossible, because of differences in experience. However, empathy can make for proximal understanding, which is a good, but imperfect tool. We must acknowlege that it is an imperfect tool to use it well. I can attempt to be empathetic to a homosexual on the subject of persecution, but, as I am not homosexual, that individuals personal response will considerably different than mine. That is not even accounting for all the other differences. So, assuming my empathy gets me more than a tiny bit closer to understanding is going to lead to very unpredictable success rates. I tend to think it works better on less specific issues, and broader generalizations, but I could be wrong..

On 8/31/2017 at 7:35 PM, the Hearthwitch said:

I would normally agree with you, but not on this one. I'll be honest, Cuchulain- it really is different, for me at least. I had the strength of a number of convictions, some of which I have since done a complete 180 on, before having kids. I was far less concerned with the world at large, and definitely with people in general...very different worldview altogether. I was pretty nihilistic, and had a pretty negative view of the world. Pregnancy, birth, and parenthood changed me emotionally, mentally, and physically. (It did not turn me into a Republican, though, as someone told me it would! LOL)

All joking aside, though, this is one where I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. 

It changed the definition of your tribe. The process also bathed your brain in unfamiliar chemicals. That alone could change your world view, as acid has for many people. Human Babies benefit from mothers with strong bonds and there is a lot of evolutionary engineering to achieve that goal.

 

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8 hours ago, kokigami said:

I think perfect understanding of any other person is impossible, because of differences in experience. However, empathy can make for proximal understanding, which is a good, but imperfect tool. We must acknowlege that it is an imperfect tool to use it well. I can attempt to be empathetic to a homosexual on the subject of persecution, but, as I am not homosexual, that individuals personal response will considerably different than mine. That is not even accounting for all the other differences. So, assuming my empathy gets me more than a tiny bit closer to understanding is going to lead to very unpredictable success rates. I tend to think it works better on less specific issues, and broader generalizations, but I could be wrong..

It changed the definition of your tribe. The process also bathed your brain in unfamiliar chemicals. That alone could change your world view, as acid has for many people. Human Babies benefit from mothers with strong bonds and there is a lot of evolutionary engineering to achieve that goal.

 

Absolutely! Having babies is a little bit like taking LSD, only the effects are much longer-lasting. ;)

Thank you for understanding...it may not be a perfect understanding, but it's good enough! Nice to meet you, Kokigami. :)

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