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War

 
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:28 am
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
that's abstract rhetoric with no bearing on the human experience. Evil may not be "provable" the way that a rock is provable, but who cares, real humans live on earth and not in the hall of ideas.

"Evil" is a judgement that we can rightly apply to a certain spectrum of intentional inhumanity, cruelty, victimization, and infliction of suffering. And if you are willing to give humans credit for making decisions, then you also need to give humans credit for choosing to treat others in a way we deem evil.

Nonsense, even the most cursory look at the history of warfare would refute that. The nature of modern war is simply an extremity of the escalation in army size and armament that has been happening since antiquity. As we developed muskets from swords, then rifles from muskets, then machine guns from rifles, the defensive posture in war became overwhelmingly advantageous. This necessitated much larger armies in order to accomplish offensive tactics. This happened to coincide with the increased size of draftable populations, so starting in the 19th century really with the Napoleonic wars, armies became huge.

You really think the diplomatic issues at play are much different from community conflicts? It's the same stuff. Access to resources, nationalism (formerly known as tribalism), border disputes, and occasionally megalomaniac aggression. The difference between a Hitler and a ruthless warlord is mainly scale.

You cannot contend that evil is unproven and yet assume that justice is.

War doesn't grow. War is a strategy used to accomplish practical ends that are almost always economic and/or nationalistic. Injustice and dishonor are the favorite toys of propagandists to get people to go along with the war. Goebbels needed an audience that bought the injustice and dishonor line. But that's not what the Nazis were actually fighting for.

No. Evil and justice are both moral forms.
Though I hate to agree with Nietzsche, our expression of faith, and religion have led to a devaluation of individual sacrifice... Think of it... When people called each other out for individual combat and each man went knowing some ones head was going to be on some ones mantle before the day was done, then you had a superior individual formed in the very process of working out what justice was... It worked as well for South American farmers, who instead of killing others would line up their own, face to face and start killing the youngest or least valuable members until each side could find the heart to agree on some compromise...

Who is it who knows how to make a deal??? Who is it who has the courage to make a deal in life on their own word without contracts and a lot of legal mumbo jumbo??? I make deals all the time...I bargain at every opportunity... I say what I mean and mean what I say, but I am a throwback.. I have had some fights... I have held up my honor and demanded honor from those around me...There are still places in the world were people are held to account, and our government in thinking they can beat a people or a culture by beating an odd army are fools... They endanger everyone because they are so used to living with out honor that they cannot make a deal with honorable people...

So yes, evil is a form of relationship, and a form with only the meaning we give it; but only our modern systems and our modern forms of government and society make true evil possible, because when one is killed by a machine as armies are, there is no one to honor them or their death... When war became the matching of so many machines of death the humanity went out of it, and the evil went in...
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:42 am
@Fido,
I still have no idea what you are saying..should we have faced hitlers germany or let him get on with war and his killing..please answer simple without quoting some ethereal world of magnificent simplicity.
0 Replies
 
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:46 am
@Catchabula,
Catchabula wrote:
I'm staying out of this by fear of being rhetorical. Just I just cannot say: blood and tears is the question and what is your answer? I thought I had an answer. I have none, anymore...
Answer me this..you are walking home one night and you are attacked by a gang of thieves..should i cross over and confront these gangsters or not ?
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:49 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
No. Evil and justice are both moral forms.
They are moral judgements, not "forms".

Quote:
When people called each other out for individual combat and each man went knowing some ones head was going to be on some ones mantle before the day was done, then you had a superior individual formed in the very process of working out what justice was...
Whatever, and I'm sure in the age of noble antiquity there was never rape, pillage, infanticide.

Take a look at the campaigns of Tamerlane, of Genghis Khan, and of the First Crusade before you wax poetic about noble duels.

Quote:
only our modern systems and our modern forms of government and society make true evil possible, because when one is killed by a machine as armies are, there is no one to honor them or their death
Right, because Genghis Khan's armies honored the hundreds of thousands of dead in Baghdad after they slaughtered the entire population of the city. Because the Crusaders wept after butchering Jewish children in Europe... right... they were waging wars of destruction and annihilation themselves. So what if their tools were different? You think they were incapable of knowing better just because there was no International War Crimes Tribunal?

I mean if antiquity could produce Siddhartha Gautama, Jesus, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, then antiquity could also teach people that mass slaughter is not honorable.

Quote:
... When war became the matching of so many machines of death the humanity went out of it, and the evil went in...
During the Holocaust Jews died from gassing, shooting, starvation, beating, and disease. Would you say that death from beatings was less evil than death from gassing, because it was mano a mano? Those Nazis in Kielce who bayonetted the babies must have been much more noble, because a blade is more personable and honorable than a machine.

If I seem sarcastic, it's because I cannot fathom the idea that the wanton infliction of suffering was any more noble back when the tools were more primitive.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 12:29 pm
@Icon,
Let me start with the first... If they are judgements and judgement is knowledge as Kant says, and we can only conceive of what we know, as I say (though I may not be alone in this), in what sense are you disagreeing with me???

So you judge some one just or evil... How do you do that without a form/idea of what justice or evil is??? We have form-ulas of correct human behavior based upon our knowledge of good as a generic term; but again, good is a form.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 12:41 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
They are moral judgements, not "forms".

Whatever, and I'm sure in the age of noble antiquity there was never rape, pillage, infanticide.

Take a look at the campaigns of Tamerlane, of Genghis Khan, and of the First Crusade before you wax poetic about noble duels.

Right, because Genghis Khan's armies honored the hundreds of thousands of dead in Baghdad after they slaughtered the entire population of the city. Because the Crusaders wept after butchering Jewish children in Europe... right... they were waging wars of destruction and annihilation themselves. So what if their tools were different? You think they were incapable of knowing better just because there was no International War Crimes Tribunal?

I mean if antiquity could produce Siddhartha Gautama, Jesus, Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, then antiquity could also teach people that mass slaughter is not honorable.

During the Holocaust Jews died from gassing, shooting, starvation, beating, and disease. Would you say that death from beatings was less evil than death from gassing, because it was mano a mano? Those Nazis in Kielce who bayonetted the babies must have been much more noble, because a blade is more personable and honorable than a machine.

If I seem sarcastic, it's because I cannot fathom the idea that the wanton infliction of suffering was any more noble back when the tools were more primitive.

I am not comparing Genghis Khans armies with single combat..Pre world war two the german armour divisions studied his work.. They did the same thing, spread terror, attack with force, hit them where they ain't and drive the population before you... They were as much an army as any modern army and they practiced total war..They were only defeated when they began to be civilized, when they learned that the people were the wealth of the land... Before that, if you had no skill you were dead, so they were like so many warriors only a crude intelligence test that provided the only measure of evolution those people have known...

The machines of death... The death factories are exactly what I am refering to... This modern form of killing is without heart...I turns every person into a number and rebs them out..

It is not that people die that offends me, but that justice does not come out of it, and a better class of humanity does not come out of it... The Romans formed armies and waged war... Does that make them better than all those brave men they killed???Individualism killed those the Romans killed, and the Romans acting as a unit where only the instrament of death.
When the Romans receded, the old way resumed, even after the Franks, and even a long time after the coming of christianity people still settled their scores as individuals...Trial by combat lasted a long time in English history until finally people realized that it was patently unfair for some young man to kill an old man over a lawsuit...
This is certainly a part of all our prehistory, but history has been written by those who could form up for concerted action... We could not have modern society if people behaved as they did in the past, killing for some slight of honor; and yet we have given up on honor completely which makes great dishorable affairs like war inevitable... We need to make an issue of justice, and keep justice within every community, and accept some small conflicts if we will not have large, potentially humanity destroying conflagrations in the future...We can always afford justice and a few incidental killings... We cannot afford war..
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 12:46 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Let me start with the first... If they are judgement and judgement is knowledge as Kant says, and we can only conceive of what we know, as I say (though I may not be alone in this), in what sense are you disagreeing with me???
I do not accept this conception of judgement. Moral judgement is visceral. If you see some horrible act, you don't go through some rational calculus to decide how to judge it. You are instantly capable of rendering a moral judgement even if you've never witnessed or thought of anything like it before.

Quote:
So you judge some one just or evil... How do you do that without a form/idea of what justice or evil is???
Even studies in nonhuman primates have demonstrated severe aversion to violence and to actions that harm unrelated animals. This is innate to us. Why do you think that violence against animals is such a strong predictor of sociopathic behavior? The capacity to render moral judgements is innate. And if we abstract an idea about justice or evil, we will refine that idea if we witness some theretofore unimaginable scenario.

Quote:
We have formulas of correct human behavior based upon our knowledge of good as a generic term; but again, good is a form.
Again, this ancient form thing. You dismiss the possibility that moral judgements are social and psychological.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:06 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
I do not accept this conception of judgement. Moral judgement is visceral. If you see some horrible act, you don't go through some rational calculus to decide how to judge it. You are instantly capable of rendering a moral judgement even if you've never witnessed or thought of anything like it before.

Even studies in nonhuman primates have demonstrated severe aversion to violence and to actions that harm unrelated animals. This is innate to us. Why do you think that violence against animals is such a strong predictor of sociopathic behavior? The capacity to render moral judgements is innate. And if we abstract an idea about justice or evil, we will refine that idea if we witness some theretofore unimaginable scenario.

Again, this ancient form thing. You dismiss the possibility that moral judgements are social and psychological.

Nonsense...Morality is visceral, but morality comes out of community, and just as some have pointed out; if it is your family being injured you come into it with guns blazing... We know humanity is tortured by our govenment... That fact does not phase us in the least... The Indians took great pleasure in revenge, in cutting up and cooking people bit my bit, and everyone knew that was what awaited them at the hands of their enemies... It is not the act no matter how terrible that makes the visceral connection... It is your relationship with the injured one.. It is your form of relationship...When you consider yourself human, related to all as brothers and sisters, you take offense at all inhumanity...The simple fact is that we are closer to some than to others, and their injury will always be a worse outrage to us...
Moral judgements are a based on a form; but all forms are forms of relationship... What is the underlying relationship that the form structures???
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:14 pm
@Fido,
So your answer is..should we have faced hitler or not?
Catchabula
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:21 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Answer me this..you are walking home one night and you are attacked by a gang of thieves..should i cross over and confront these gangsters or not ?


What do you want to hear? What I'm thinking or do you expect me to do you a favour? The nicest thing would of course be if I acted if I was thinking and then agree with you. But I don't agree with you and I simply refuse to answer when matters are stated this way. This is not the f.. army and I'm not to be ordered around here. So while this is an interesting question that I will consider for myself you won't have an answer. For the moment I indeed prefer the thieves above the saviour and you plead badly for the saviour. I prefer you would save the pygmees. Thanks anyway.
Icon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:30 pm
@Icon,
It seems to me that war, regardless of purpose, is reactionary. you hurt me so I hurt you or you have something I want so I am going to take it. But now days it is even worse. Now days it is, "but this is how it has always been."

There seems to be a form of ignorant hatred towards others which cannot be broken by rationality.



Still, war is good for the economy...
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:32 pm
@Catchabula,
Catchabula wrote:
What do you want to hear? What I'm thinking or do you expect me to do you a favour? The nicest thing would of course be if I acted if I was thinking and then agree with you. But I don't agree with you and I simply refuse to answer when matters are stated this way. This is not the f.. army and I'm not to be ordered around here. So while this is an interesting question that I will consider for myself you won't have an answer. For the moment I indeed prefer the thieves above the saviour and you plead badly for the saviour. I prefer you would save the pygmees. Thanks anyway.
What juvenile attitude..whose ordering you to do anything ? im requesting you answer a direct question without resorting to vague rhetoric. I have met many who claim war is never a choice they would choose but are rewarded with the freedom to make that choice by those who are realistic and make the sacrifice.No one asked you to comment ,you could have sulked away, so dont play the injured pacifist and refuse a direct question or ill assume you cant.Remember you cast the first insult my friend..
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:35 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
It seems to me that war, regardless of purpose, is reactionary. you hurt me so I hurt you or you have something I want so I am going to take it. But now days it is even worse. Now days it is, "but this is how it has always been."

There seems to be a form of ignorant hatred towards others which cannot be broken by rationality.



Still, war is good for the economy...
War is a disaster, it kills it maims, creates decades of fear the scars last for generations.Brave young men leave and shattered wrecks return it should be avoided by all means.
0 Replies
 
Icon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 01:46 pm
@Catchabula,
Catchabula wrote:
What do you want to hear? What I'm thinking or do you expect me to do you a favour? The nicest thing would of course be if I acted if I was thinking and then agree with you. But I don't agree with you and I simply refuse to answer when matters are stated this way. This is not the f.. army and I'm not to be ordered around here. So while this is an interesting question that I will consider for myself you won't have an answer. For the moment I indeed prefer the thieves above the saviour and you plead badly for the saviour. I prefer you would save the pygmees. Thanks anyway.


xris wrote:
What juvenile attitude..whose ordering you to do anything ? im requesting you answer a direct question without resorting to vague rhetoric. I have met many who claim war is never a choice they would choose but are rewarded with the freedom to make that choice by those who are realistic and make the sacrifice.No one asked you to comment ,you could have sulked away, so dont play the injured pacifist and refuse a direct question or ill assume you cant.Remember you cast the first insult my friend..



You are both kind of funny. Where Catchabula is worried about his words being used against him, xris is setting up the typical philosophers trap in which he uses subjectivism against the poster.

Both of you have very valid points but they are different in approach. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a major difference between war and a local mugging.

War is the wager of thousands of lives where as a loacl mugging is usually only a wager of a few possessions. Xris, I could just as easily ask if the national gaurd should be called to arms because you were getting mugged?

Catchabula, would you let thousands die only to avoid conflict? But when people are dying conflict already exists. Blood is already being shed. It is like a wild fire. Sometimes, the only way to stop it is to remove the oxygen from the air. To fight fire with fire.

Diplomacy is always attempted and usually fails. This may say something about mankinds ability to rationalize and talk things out but it is only when diplomacy fails that nations go to war for some unreconcialable (sp?) differences.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 02:34 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
You are both kind of funny. Where Catchabula is worried about his words being used against him, xris is setting up the typical philosophers trap in which he uses subjectivism against the poster.

Both of you have very valid points but they are different in approach. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a major difference between war and a local mugging.

War is the wager of thousands of lives where as a loacl mugging is usually only a wager of a few possessions. Xris, I could just as easily ask if the national gaurd should be called to arms because you were getting mugged?

Catchabula, would you let thousands die only to avoid conflict? But when people are dying conflict already exists. Blood is already being shed. It is like a wild fire. Sometimes, the only way to stop it is to remove the oxygen from the air. To fight fire with fire.

Diplomacy is always attempted and usually fails. This may say something about mankinds ability to rationalize and talk things out but it is only when diplomacy fails that nations go to war for some unreconcialable (sp?) differences.
Sorry but the principles are the same a bully needs to be stopped some by the police some by rational dialogue but some by war.Its not something i would encourage or cherish just a fact of this imperfect existance.
Icon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 02:49 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Sorry but the principles are the same a bully needs to be stopped some by the police some by rational dialogue but some by war.Its not something i would encourage or cherish just a fact of this imperfect existance.

And when does it end?
xris
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 03:01 pm
@Icon,
Icon wrote:
And when does it end?
When mankind ends.Im not an optimist on this subject or humanity.
0 Replies
 
Catchabula
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 04:28 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
What juvenile attitude..whose ordering you to do anything ? im requesting you answer a direct question without resorting to vague rhetoric. I have met many who claim war is never a choice they would choose but are rewarded with the freedom to make that choice by those who are realistic and make the sacrifice.No one asked you to comment ,you could have sulked away, so dont play the injured pacifist and refuse a direct question or ill assume you cant.Remember you cast the first insult my friend..


Ok, a few answers, because I like this game. Bad answers do not seem to exist in philosophy. Of course that is bull; everynody knows the difference between good and bad answers. The good answers are mine. the bad answers are those I don't agree with. They are poor reasoning, irrational, irrelevant etc. Even a superficial analysis will proove that. Time to give some bad answers then:

-Xris, you are not my friend, this is rhetoric! I have no friends here and I hardly care. Don't abuse the word "friend" or I'll cast some more insults. And if you're in the army, you can never be my friend, you are my enemy. You associate with an institution that I simply loathe. But this is not a big problem, I hate the army but so what? Just declare me insane, it has often been done before. Besides I will not fight you, I always refuse to fight; you know the kinda yeller I am. For those who are more of an outsider in this matter, I'm a Moral Objector. I wonder if there are more around?

-The army is not there to protect or to save us, and there's nothing noble about the army. Each army in each country is just a weapon in the hands of the powerful and is only there for internal and external repression. When Bush' army went to Iraq it was also presented as crossing the road and saving the victim from the thieves. It happened nicely that Saddam was a crook, but as usual it was just one crook replacing the other. It was a war as usual, conquest and occupation, lies and deception, horror and cruelty. The army has all kinds of weapons and in a war many are killed or mutilated. There were many children killed, while they were playing with their wooden gun. But of course that's the most utter riculous rhetoric argument one can think of, the most demagogical of examples. So what, they are dead, and often in a horrible way. Why can't I be more rational now??

-The real rhetoric is not the naive plea to get rid of all armies, this is in fact the only effective and logical solution. The real rhetoric, the immoral irrational disgusting rhetoric, is that of an army stating itself as a necessity for safety, for the defence of freedom or for rescuing the weak or whatever, while in fact it is just an instrument of violence and terror. Think away the armies and war will be impossible, or at least considerably hampered. Leave it in place for whatever "realistic" reason and there will be war, always, thanks to the existence of armies. "Our" armies were never better than those of Nazi-Germany, no war is ever better than another, there are only opposite interests, empty words, vile politicians, pain and bloodshed. There may be a few who resist war, before, during it and afterwards. The sergeant will handle them.

-The Hitler case is a propagandistic fallacy. I will never justify fascism but I will also not use it for justifying my own interests or power play. If it is not Hitler it will be the Red Menace, or the Yellow Hordes. "Hitler" had become the archetypical enemy, like Goldstein in 1984; Big Brother can not stay in place, if there is not an artificial enemy around. The myth of the enemy must be sustained, and Hitler is an easy target. The army is not there to fight the enemy but the enemy is created to keep the army in place. The jews were indeed the victims of the nazis, but there was also Dresden and Hiroshima, and many big and small atrocities that the history of the winner has forgotten. In a war nobody is innocent and there is no good side, unless the one that you are on, having lost your mind and soul. What is good can never be defended by armies, because what is good goes to bits in the hands of those who choose to be killers. Good is refusal of that tragedy without compromise, and you are always shot for it. Even in this place...

-The army (I was there once) is about the most disgusting institution mankind has ever devised. It is a brooding-place for fascists and aggressive idiots, and they have weapons too. Nice young people who could have been gentle, meek and wise (in time) are brainwashed with an ambigious and immoral ideology, identifying the refusal to fight with weakness, thinking with a vice and love with a joke. Get rid of the army and the world will be a better place, and taxes will decrease too. That is not dreaming, this is rational and effective, and declaring this a dream is part of the affirmation of the immoral ideology in which armies can exist. Protect us? They protect nobody except themselves, being the embodiement of hypocrisy and immorality. Ok, kill me then, there will be more fools around...

This is "just" an emotional reaction and not a profound analysis of the nature of man, as has been done before. I'm just stuck with Abu Ghraib, and with some pictures. It's all so easily to refute, yet it is my profoundest belief. Go on refuting, philosophy is a traitor here; I'm sick with it all, I prefer my heart. There is analysis and there's taking a stand. I declare myself against armies, against war, against weapons, against the insane mentality that enables it all. Yes, a bad answer! Bad, bad, bad...!
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 05:32 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
So your answer is..should we have faced hitler or not?

We have to do wha we have to do within the forms we have; but that does not mean we should think of war as unavoidable... We may not be able to change ouur behavior within the form... A chess move dictates another; but we can change the game. We have to realize we have had forms that have worked better... Change the form since it is the only way we can change our behavior...

Icon wrote:
It seems to me that war, regardless of purpose, is reactionary. you hurt me so I hurt you or you have something I want so I am going to take it. But now days it is even worse. Now days it is, "but this is how it has always been."

There seems to be a form of ignorant hatred towards others which cannot be broken by rationality.



Still, war is good for the economy...

It is normal to see others as objects and so make them objects by killing them... What is normal is not always rational...And, it is lousy for the economy...What it does is feed a lot of public money to r and d, and it breaks the treasury, and it will injure anyone on any kind of a fixed income because it causes inflation.... The waste of resources has become more than we can bear, and it injures the environment whhich ultimately injures every economy... Successful economies avoid war at all cost, like Henry No. 7 in England... Failures like Henry the eight follow war into ruin...
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 13 Jan, 2009 06:14 pm
@Icon,
Catchabula,

Your post really spoke to me; you are articulated the thoughts I currently have very well. This level-headed perspective is what I advocate as much as possible. Thanks for your contribution,

Your FRIEND :a-ok:,

Zetherin
 

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