Would should do?

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Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 09:07 pm
Good day. I've been a long time reader and have been doubly impressed with the knowledge of many of learned individuals who frequent this board. For this reason, I seek some advice on a moral problem I have in my own life. My emotions are running high from it so, I'm trying to sit back and develop a reasonable course of action. I need your help.

I live with a roommate. His name is Philip. A few weeks ago I was told to gather gear and report to the gas chamber on base. I needed a flak jacket, gas mask, and Kevlar. Going to gather my gear, I could not find my Kevlar. I have not been on any deployments in my enlistment. All of my issued and rather expensive gear has been stored away in a wall locker. Now sometimes during the week I leave my wall locker open, as it is a hassle to open and reopen it all the time. Besides I trusted my roommate at the time. I always lock the door to the outside however. During the same period my roommate is madly pawning things off. It is known that a popular vendor buys Kevlar helmets. Being as no one else has access to my room it is only reasonable to assume that he stole it. After the incident he is always makes sure to lock his valuables up and has removed some from the common area in the room, even though he has never done this before. I could go though other facets of his behavior, but all seem to point to his theft of my property. My command has expressed no intent to repay me for the missing Kevlar. I believe any further intent to take this though official means will be fruitless. I so I'm left with no reasonable alternative, other to buy a new Kevlar at the current time. I have no choice because I will be to Iraq in about a month. It seems some sort of action is needed here. All of my ideas seem poor, which is why I need your help. What should I do? Some of my ideas are below.



1. Violent approach- collapsible baton attack with the intent to severely injure

2. Attack on his personal vehicle

3. Karma approach- Take the loss and wish him well. The intent being to bother his conscience and stop him from doing it again.
 
Refus
 
Reply Sat 13 Jan, 2007 06:47 am
@Grapeheads,
I guess if you end up shot in the head, they will regret it for the rest of their lifes. But I wouldn't try that so you may bang his car (actually you may not, but that's a different matter). If at night. When no one sees you. But they will guess it's you. But there's alot of stuff you can do with laxatives. This is what you do, you give him a bottle of something that looks unopened, but there is laxitives in it. For instance a can of cola, make a tiny hole in the bottom, push some laxatives through it, fill with chewing gum, and there you have it. Never learned that in the army, did you?
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 13 Jan, 2007 09:59 am
@Refus,
I completely understand the position you are in because something very similar happened to me years ago. I, however went about it the wrong way so I highly recommend you don't.

Quote:
Please find this very simple code of ethics below:
To bring blessing on yourself, bless your neighbor.
To enrich yourself, enrich your neighbors.
Honor your neighbor and your neighbor will honor you.
To sorely hurt yourself, hurt your neighbor.
He who seeks love will find it by giving it.
The measure of a man's wealth, is the measure of the of the wealth he has given.
To enrich your yourself with many friends, enrich your friends with yourself.
That which you take away from any man, the world will take away from you.
When you take the first step to give yourself to that which you want, it will also take the first step to give itself to you.
Peace and happiness do not come to you from your horizon. They spread from you out to infinity beyond your horizon.
The whole Universe is a mirror which reflects back to you, that which you reflect into it.
Love is like the ascent of a high mountain peak. It comes ever nearer to you as you go ever nearer to it.
Lao Russell's Code of Ethics
I hope you find the above inspiring.

Now, you should handle this matter like a gentleman and none other than that. The toughest thing for anyone to do is to turn the other cheek and go the extra mile. It's easy to react violently and it's even easier to cause damage to him, but this will in no way effect him positively. Remember, for every action is a reaction and it's your next action that will either cause a positive or a negative reaction from Philip. To harm him, you harm yourself. To harm his property you harm you're own. The damage is done, now it's up to you to rise above the situation and lead by example.

Again, this isn't easy... matter of fact, it isn't something that is practiced by the majority because our first and initial reaction is to take his head and mash it into the locker he has stolen from. What would his reaction be then? How would it make you feel? Chances are that he has done other things like this in his life before and the reactions of those he's hurt have been to hurt back. So a negative action and reaction only provides more seeds of negativity... so in essence, he won't learn a lesson, he'll just get worse.

You are in a position of great opportunity to provide Philip an environment for growth and in doing this, you'll also grow. Anything that happens to you in your life, whether it be your kevlar being stolen or someone punching you in the noggin, there is an opportunity for something very positive to come out of it. It's up to you to make the best of the situation. For everything in life that happens that is negative, there is an equal or greater positive in the same transaction. This isn't just some sort of philosophical insight, this is from experience. The choice is yours my friend. Would you rather invoke negativity or positivity? Come from a position of Love and watch how it all works out. Then when you become an officer you can make him do push-ups.Smile

As for your helmet... If you know the gentlemen that buys these helmets, you may go to him and let him know that your helmet was stolen and sold and that you need a helmet. If he doesn't sell it back to you, turn the other cheek and go and but a new one.

Oh, please don't follow Refus advice. :p LOL. ...

Thank you for coming here and asking our advice. That's a step in the right direction for certain and this means you are thinking rather than reacting. Good for you.

Thank you also for protecting our way of life. Whether we agree with the war or not, we all appreciate that you guys are over there protecting our way of life. We wish you well and America can't wait for the day where we can be at peace and our troops can come home. Thank you!

If you truly cannot afford a helmet and you've risen above the situation at hand, I'm certain we can pull together, in this forum enough donations to provide you a helmet. Just PM me if you need this assistance and we'll get it taken care of.
 
chad3006
 
Reply Sat 13 Jan, 2007 09:31 pm
@Grapeheads,
I've exacted my revenge on the car of a perceived rival. It of course didn't solve the problem and contrary to popular rhetoric it didn't really make me feel any better in the long run. In fact, I look at it now with embarrassment. Logically, you're going to need a new helmet, and only an action to replace it will solve that. As I see it, this situation is about your needs and not Philip's, so do what solves the problem for you and allows you to feel comfortable with yourself and just let it be. If you feel you'll be uncomfortable with yourself if you don't confront him, then do that. If you'll be comfortable just replacing the helmet and moving on, then do that. Either way, you're not the one who created the unhappiness, so don't take it with you, that's Philip's burden. He created it for himself and he's the one who's lost your trust.
 
Electra phil
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 04:31 pm
@chad3006,
It is interesting to me that Justin, you should propose to a person whose living philosophy is an eye for an eye to use the opposite axiom of turning the other cheek. If a person of military standing is participating in answering a call of an eye and or tooth that was taken out at 911, why should he then be required in a "personal instance" to do anything other than what his living philosophy is and that is a belief that violence is a rational choice for resolution?
 
Grapeheads
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 06:39 pm
@Electra phil,
Electra wrote:
It is interesting to me that Justin, you should propose to a person whose living philosophy is an eye for an eye to use the opposite axiom of turning the other cheek. If a person of military standing is participating in answering a call of an eye and or tooth that was taken out at 911, why should he then be required in a "personal instance" to do anything other than what his living philosophy is and that is a belief that violence is a rational choice for resolution?



To set the record straight I did not agree with the war against Iraq, nor many of the actions taken on the "war on terror". I'm an individual who joined the military out of proportioned amounts of gullibility, ignorance, and boredom. I find it mildly insulting that you would assume that violence is my chief means of conflict resolution simply because I'm in the military.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 06:46 pm
@Electra phil,
Electra wrote:
It is interesting to me that Justin, you should propose to a person whose living philosophy is an eye for an eye to use the opposite axiom of turning the other cheek. If a person of military standing is participating in answering a call of an eye and or tooth that was taken out at 911, why should he then be required in a "personal instance" to do anything other than what his living philosophy is and that is a belief that violence is a rational choice for resolution?


Whoa..

I apologize because I do not know this individuals' Living Philosophy. He came into this forum with a question that he had felt compelled to ask. Based on my own philosophy I tried to do my best to respond. Hopefully others would also respond based on their own philosophy and then he would have enough answers to review, so he could make his own decision. I will not try to assume someone else's philosophy and then adjust my response accordingly. My living Philosophy and experience is all I have to offer to anything asked.
 
Electra phil
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 06:55 pm
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
Whoa..

I apologize because I do not know this individuals' Living Philosophy. He came into this forum with a question that he had felt compelled to ask. Based on my own philosophy I tried to do my best to respond. Hopefully others would also respond based on their own philosophy and then he would have enough answers to review, so he could make his own decision. I will not try to assume someone else's philosophy and then adjust my response accordingly. My living Philosophy and experience is all I have to offer to anything asked.


Well then the question should probably be put to the original poster...

I think a living philosophy is mostly illustrated through what we do, and I am not saying this does not change over time or should or should not be dependent upon circumstance. But it seemed a strange contradiction to ask an ethical question on violent retribution, when this is kind of the modus operandi of the military industrial complex in which he has dedicated himself.



It is just something that showed itself to me as I read this thread.
 
Electra phil
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 06:57 pm
@Grapeheads,
Grapeheads wrote:
To set the record straight I did not agree with the war against Iraq, nor many of the actions taken on the "war on terror". I'm an individual who joined the military out of proportioned amounts of gullibility, ignorance, and boredom. I find it mildly insulting that you would assume that violence is my chief means of conflict resolution simply because I'm in the military.




Grapeheads, Look I am not passing judgement, just making a philosophical observation. You are welcome to become anything you wish whether it is based upon a really great idea, or just simple boredom. You might be only insulted because this is a sore point, but that is not really my fault.

Peace.
 
Grapeheads
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 06:58 pm
@Grapeheads,
From a financial prospective an attack would be misguided. I wouldn't have the resources to cover it up, being as I would be the primary suspect. And more then likely I would be caught and fined, and/or imprisoned. This is of course in addition to the loss of rank and the money that it brings. In the end I would lose more money then the helmet cost. The main motivation for violent attack is undoubtedly to surprise the thief, who had assumed that I was weak/passive and would not counter his advance. The shock value is really what I was after in this case. If that would make me feel vindicated or provide ample punishment to Philip is unknown and perhaps unknowable.

The real personal problem I have with the peaceful method, is it appears to make me out to be a coward, such that I could be walked on and offer no physical resistance. I loathe the way it makes me feel to just forgive as it were, where no forgiveness is warranted.

I feel like I'm in the same shoes as Bishop Myriel, in I always considered his actions good, in forgiving the convict of his sins, and giving him all those valuables, but it always felt foreign, although that word doesn't convey what I feel about it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
BAH! I don't know I could have made such an outrageous spelling error! The title of the topic should read What should I do? Perhaps a moderator can change it in the system since I don't have the ability.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 07:57 pm
@Electra phil,
Electra wrote:
Well then the question should probably be put to the original poster...

I think a living philosophy is mostly illustrated through what we do, and I am not saying this does not change over time or should or should not be dependent upon circumstance. But it seemed a strange contradiction to ask an ethical question on violent retribution, when this is kind of the modus operandi of the military industrial complex in which he has dedicated himself.

It is just something that showed itself to me as I read this thread.


You may be being too philosophical about this. He asked a question for the purpose of getting responses. At least he is interested in knowing what members of this forum would do. In essence, he's asked us to put ourselves in his shoes. I have great respect for our military men and women and even greater respect and admiration for any of them who would come into this philosophy forum for opinions. We all come to a place in our lives where where we have an ethical question. What better place to ask?

Keep thinking Grapeheads! Thanks for asking! Hopefully other will respond and give their opinion. Please let us know how you handle this situation and the results.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 09:13 pm
@Grapeheads,
Grapeheads wrote:
From a financial prospective an attack would be misguided. I wouldn't have the resources to cover it up, being as I would be the primary suspect. And more then likely I would be caught and fined, and/or imprisoned. This is of course in addition to the loss of rank and the money that it brings. In the end I would lose more money then the helmet cost. The main motivation for violent attack is undoubtedly to surprise the thief, who had assumed that I was weak/passive and would not counter his advance. The shock value is really what I was after in this case. If that would make me feel vindicated or provide ample punishment to Philip is unknown and perhaps unknowable.
I agree with you 100% on the above. However, a thief and a liar expect the same reactions they have received in the past.

I was once in a very similar position as you are in and at that time the internet and forums such as this were not available. In the end I made the wrong decision which ended up hurting both of us. I may have physically hurt him but spiritually, I hurt myself much more. There is no vindication in revenge. Besides, weakness and passiveness only pertains to how you view yourself. Screw what everyone else thinks.

Based on Philip's actions, you need not punish him or deliver punishment because he's punishing himself. You lose a helmet, he loses much more. No sense in losing with him or lowering yourself to his level. That's a lose-lose scenario so no one wins? If you want to shock him, react in a way he would never expect and in a way that he has never experienced, and in a way that is positive. This could really make him take a good look at his own actions... meanwhile you are leading by example.

Grapeheads wrote:
The real personal problem I have with the peaceful method, is it appears to make me out to be a coward, such that I could be walked on and offer no physical resistance. I loathe the way it makes me feel to just forgive as it were, where no forgiveness is warranted.

I feel like I'm in the same shoes as Bishop Myriel, in I always considered his actions good, in forgiving the convict of his sins, and giving him all those valuables, but it always felt foreign, although that word doesn't convey what I feel about it.

Attacking his personal property or doing something behind his back to cause harm or injury, is what I'd consider cowardly. However, you don't have anything to prove to me, him or us. It takes being the better man to react amicably... and not for his sake, but for yours. This may bring you personal peace about the situation. Having personal peace about things is a level that many don't reach. The best way out is not always the easiest and it's usually the road less traveled.

Maybe the thing to do is confront him one on one and let him know that you know and that you don't appreciate his actions and that you considered all the ways you have of responding. Talk to him face to face and shock him with kindness about it. Show him how not to be a thief and how not to react in violence, maybe he's never seen it... many of us don't. Show him how to be an American Soldier. Not only will this make you feel good when it's over but he'll probably feel good about you. Either way, you win. This is important considering that both of you are members of the same team. It's more important to be able to trust that person with your life... Peace between you, in my opinion is the only positive way to handle this. After it's all said and done, send him to this thread.Smile ... And how can we send our American Soldiers to battle when they are battling amongst themselves...........

Either way Grapeheads, glad you came in here and I'm sure you'll make the decision that's right for you when you are ready to make it. Read what we all say in here but look inside yourself for the ultimate answer.

This is just my opinion.

Grapeheads wrote:
BAH! I don't know I could have made such an outrageous spelling error! The title of the topic should read What should I do? Perhaps a moderator can change it in the system since I don't have the ability.
It's been changed.
 
chad3006
 
Reply Sun 14 Jan, 2007 09:36 pm
@Grapeheads,
Grapeheads wrote:


If you cannot enjoy the peacefulness of a vast garden until you've eliminated all the snakes that live in the bushes, then you'll never know peace.

Forgiveness is for the benefit of the giver, not the receiver.

The conflict comes from your judgement of yourself, not Philip's or the world. The world doesn't know you one way or the other and Philip needed fast money. It has nothing to do with any weakness or cowardess on your part.
 
Electra phil
 
Reply Mon 15 Jan, 2007 07:14 am
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
You may be being too philosophical about this. He asked a question for the purpose of getting responses. At least he is interested in knowing what members of this forum would do. In essence, he's asked us to put ourselves in his shoes. I have great respect for our military men and women and even greater respect and admiration for any of them who would come into this philosophy forum for opinions. We all come to a place in our lives where where we have an ethical question. What better place to ask?

Keep thinking Grapeheads! Thanks for asking! Hopefully other will respond and give their opinion. Please let us know how you handle this situation and the results.


Justin,

Without an attempt to take this thread off course, I feel to say something here. I think that practicing philosophy is rather experimental and while attempting to use some of the fundamental principles of this work, it can manifest in many different ways. If it jumps out at me that there is an incongruent thought or illogical concept contained in the question and I point that out, it does not necessarily mean I am being "too philosophical", which I think might be a stop gap to growth for all. It is also true that what I said is not meant to be challenging or in any way insult anyone.

If we use wisdom and understanding maybe grapeheads deeper considers his personal path and becomes more conscious of his power to choose. He has ended up in a situation that he does not really agree with, because of certain factors--namely a course which because of boredom (he said) he is in this situation. If these factors can be examined a bit, it could lend to his path maybe. Or it could be that he ends up resenting my input. Both are possible outcomes of which I am willing to risk for the sheer purpose of exploration of possibilities. I am unsure that philosophy should be brought to a place of just opinions or advice, but maybe should strive to reach a pinnacle of knowing and acting in reflection.

For instance, again I see an illogical duality emerging here. You advise to turn the other cheek, which I think to mean that you often use Christian doctrine in which to base your choices (not sure, you tell me). But on the other hand, you say that you support the troops. This to me is again illogical. Do you see what I mean? It seems to me that at some point we become singular in purpose with all our thoughts, actions, belief, direction of energies, etc.

I am not wanting to annoy people in this thread with this line of thought, so we can just go back to offerring opinions and ignore this idea as it emerges. But I did want to share it here with you, where it seems applicable and showed itself to me.

Peace, in its ultimate sense is a reconciliation of opposites. Lack of discord, whose opposite is therefore harmony. If we are divided in our thoughts, feelings, emotions, unconscious, conscious life, and each one is in discord to the other, then it is not true peace in my thinking. And this thread is ultimately about the ideal of peace or war and so therefore my thinking.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my view.
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 15 Jan, 2007 10:51 am
@Grapeheads,
For the record. I've stated my opinion on the question asked. If my response seems to be of the Christian doctrine to some of you, so-be-it.

Whether it be Christian, Buddhism, Catholic, Muslim, Lutheran or any other Religion, it makes no difference to me. My living Philosophy is in the here and now and not tied to any one religion or doctrine... all they've done is separate us. I make no claims to any of them. My doctrine is the the doctrine I find within myself based on the sum of everything I know and my experiences.

When I refer to supporting the troops I am referring to those men and women who are a part of Our Military. Whether I agree with the war or not makes no difference. The fact is Our Troops are over there whether they want to be or not, and they need our support. Take all the disagreements out of it, Our Troops need Our Support. Neither I, nor they can change the fact that we are at war and it wasn't a troop who made that decision. Therefore, supporting those men and women who are putting their lives on the line (willingly or not), does not mean that I support the violence or the war. It's a very tough situation and there are some very tough decisions being made, I'm just glad that burden isn't on my shoulders.

Maybe we should open a threaded discussion on the war in Philosophy of Politics. It could get very interesting.
 
Grapeheads
 
Reply Sun 4 Feb, 2007 10:33 am
@Electra phil,
I did have some great chances to take some of his gear and trash it. But I decided not to. I went ahead I bought a kevlar on Ebay fairly cheap. I don't know if I made the right decision but at least it is over.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sun 4 Feb, 2007 01:49 pm
@Grapeheads,
Thank you for the update. I'm am sure what you are feeling right now is much better than the feeling you'd have had if you had decided to harm him or his property.

Glad to hear everything worked and and please do come back here to this forum and let us all know how you are doing and feel free to jump in any of the discussions.
 
Demen Tolden
 
Reply Sat 24 Feb, 2007 05:19 am
@Justin,
I havn't done much posting, only a lot of reading and thinking, but this was really the first post I read here about three weeks ago or so. I would let this thread go and not post except I think that this is an important question of how we approach our difficult problems.

When I read this three weeks ago my answer was easy. Solve the problem with a clear objective, a warm smile, and a cold emotionless heart. You must know your objective to know that you are doing what needs to be done and not just serving your emotions. If you let your emotions run rampant you are bound to do something stupid. To make the best of this difficult situation treat others with compasionate demenor. Solving your difficult people problems in this way will usually produce the best posible outcomes, or outcomes that best serve your objective.

Sometimes ideas take time to develop. Sometimes we can be so set in our ways that it takes time and reflection to come to an understanding. In the last three weeks I've reflected on my own life and the anger I carry with me over my own story of being betrayed by someone I trusted... but this anger it is a distructful, hurtful burden to carry for any length of time as is any negativity of any kind, and I'm tired and exausted from carrying my own.

[Some things make more sense if you view all people as one. I am the father, the mother, the child. You are my brother, my sister, my son, daughter, and parent. I am you, you are me. When I wound you, I wound myself. When I hate you, I hurt myself.]

Treating problems using consequentialism might give us the the best logical outcomes, but humans are not the logical creatures we aspire to be. To be human is to love, rage, hope, fear, hate, and to make mistakes. Maybe before we come up with a solution we should first make peace with this theory of humanity.

... ugh... its late and im too tired to write any more...
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Sat 24 Feb, 2007 04:39 pm
@Grapeheads,
If you cannot get your kevlar back, why do anything?
 
Refus
 
Reply Wed 28 Feb, 2007 12:26 pm
@Grapeheads,
How do we prevent damage?
 
 

 
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