Mercy it origin..

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Dylan phil
 
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 04:00 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Sorry but as a untrained observer of philosophy i was trying to find when the act of mercy on a stranger became a recognisable event.Justice is mentioned and mercy within the family can be seen but it is not mentioned very often in ancient writings.It appears to become more recognisable in the christian tradition more so than in its teachings.Even when it has become recognised, its practice takes us beyond the middle ages and even in Tudor times it has romantic overtones.
It appears an abstract notion am i right?


Honestly, I have no idea as to when mercy would have originated, or where it would have originated. Though, it does not have to be in writing to say it had originated in that time. The first signs of it could have been shown by animals or humans. It could have been shown within the first years of human civilization, etc. It's like asking where/when emotion(et cetera) itself originated.. just can't be shown or proven. Though if you do not mind me asking, what made you want to know where it originated?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 04:13 pm
@Dylan phil,
xris wrote:
I have given it a certain interest but cant find it as acceptable in the sense as we understand mercy.I would say in certain societies it is almost incomprehensible. The Romans could keep a prisoner as a family pet for twenty years then kill them without a moments thought.They would then philosophies on a narrow band of thought that excluded non Romans or slaves as not worthy of consideration, almost blind to their existance.We had the same attitude towards black slaves.A trader would act reasonably to a free white man but think of black slaves as non human, so his philosophy of life would exclude them.
I may be wrong but i have tried to see this concept of mercy as not being confined to narrow philosophical ideas and it is hard to find.


You are missing the point. The Romans understood mercy - but to understand mercy and be merciful at all times are not the same.

I'll leave the absurd historical interpretations and claims alone. Most are just plain wrong.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 08:28 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
Oh my oh my you wont leave it will you? When has slavery been classified as an act of mercy? i have heard some daft notions in my time but this takes the biscuit.Actively searching out those to enslave and castrate, with no care for their life is not merciful.Mercy as a concept, thats what im asking for proof of , not taking in the young or the women into your family to strengthen the tribe.

Well, I don't know about you; but I prefer any form of relationship to no form of relationship...Being dead, or served up as food is not much of a relationship; so slavery is a step up for humanity, even if it would be a step back in time now...Yet; slavery still exists, and it beats starvation... And our burden of debt makes us slaves and robs us of choice in life, and it will eventually cost us all of our rights and liberty... But; this is not the true question is it??? Mercy is just a subject... The real question is whether you are cut out for this philosophy thingy... If you cannot consider the value of anything abstractly, and are always acting upon emotion, then you may well be a moral person, but hardly rational..
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 03:13 am
@Dylan phil,
Dylan wrote:
Honestly, I have no idea as to when mercy would have originated, or where it would have originated. Though, it does not have to be in writing to say it had originated in that time. The first signs of it could have been shown by animals or humans. It could have been shown within the first years of human civilization, etc. It's like asking where/when emotion(et cetera) itself originated.. just can't be shown or proven. Though if you do not mind me asking, what made you want to know where it originated?
My point is, in philosophy or actions the notion of mercy in my view does not occur in ancient history or even in reasonable recent history.When does the animal kingdom show mercy? when did the Romans show mercy.Just two or three examples?I could be wrong I am open to persuasion.

---------- Post added at 04:35 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:13 AM ----------

Fido wrote:
Well, I don't know about you; but I prefer any form of relationship to no form of relationship...Being dead, or served up as food is not much of a relationship; so slavery is a step up for humanity, even if it would be a step back in time now...Yet; slavery still exists, and it beats starvation... And our burden of debt makes us slaves and robs us of choice in life, and it will eventually cost us all of our rights and liberty... But; this is not the true question is it??? Mercy is just a subject... The real question is whether you are cut out for this philosophy thingy... If you cannot consider the value of anything abstractly, and are always acting upon emotion, then you may well be a moral person, but hardly rational..
You tell me slavery is an act of mercy and then ask me if i can philosophies.Ill ask you to recognise truth before you even put pen to paper.A muslim warrior kills the husband then takes the children as slaves and his wife as a concubine.Before the husbands body is cold he rapes the wife and condemns her to a life of slavery.That is mercy :perplexed:This is an allowance by Mohamed for every warrior that enters into jihad.It is reported and commented on in islamic scriptures so don't deny it.The truth is Muslims like everyone else of the period could not comprehend mercy as we conceive mercy.The crusader would kill child and mother,the muslim kill any who fought him or refused revertion.The attitude of the romans in the arena gives vivid examples of the lack of understanding of the concept.A life time of slavery and castration has not ever been considered a merciful act.Ask the African American what he thinks of your attitude ,face to face.If you cant work that out i dont think you can consider yourself a reasonable human let alone a philosopher.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 06:52 am
@xris,
XRIS...It is you that do not understand the concept, because if you did you would grasp that moral concepts are not concepts at all, and must be taken in context... Freedom today is not what freedom was to the Franks, who styled themselves: The Free... Honor is not today what it was to Agamemnon, or Achilles when he sulked... Justice is never what it was, and never will be again what next it is... All these notions are found in relation to their circumstances, and the characters of those involved with working them out, which is not only the story of our lives, but of all lives... You know; I want you to know something I just read in The Origin of the Family, etc. by Frederick Engles... He mentions the fact that in the tenth century, a major industry in the city of Versailles, was the production Eunuchs to guarde the Harems of Moorish Spain...The thing is, that people will guard their lives and privileges by limiting the population with which they might have to share, and find they are fighting some one who cares not a bit for such rules as they assume, who will beat them by vigor and intelligence and numbers...So, while France was exporting castrated males, they still had the Vikings breathing down their necks, an that threat was hardly lifted by their converson to Christianity...They might have been able to use every man, but the notion os sharing rights or property was beyond them... They would rather lose all than share... And the same thing might be said of Spain... If the Moors had broken down the traditional barriors between Christians, and Jews and Muslims, and spread all the genes around they might have had a stronger and superior society to what was being built up in Europe because of invasions...You have to take the long view...
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 07:13 am
@Fido,
You are diluting the thread.Mercy was a concept but not as we know it , that is my proposal in this thread.Religious teachings either recommend those acts or object to them.I am not interested their views because man moves, faith does not.Maybe the muslim did think they where acting merciful, they cant now but they still have the authority by scriptures.Christians never had the authority to kill but to act mercifully by their scriptures.Define mercy for me Please.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 07:54 am
@xris,
We cannot possible Know moral forms... We all have different, subjective experiences of them, and can arrive at only the most general definition of them, because they are situational... What justice was yesterday does not mean anything... The next time you need to work out justice with some one with the power to deny justice, no predicate, or precident will matter... It is a form of relationship, and one being defined by people all the time, and philosophers can waste their time making laws, or rules, or finding some truth in regard to these forms, but the fact is, no appeal to justice or mercy means anything when people do not want the relationship...There is a reason people settle for less than Justice, or less than mercy, or less that freedom...It is because while they have their lives they have hope that time will right what people have made wrong.... We could demand absolute justice and be dead for the right...How does that help us... It is a thing of measures without a scale... We must weigh it as we can, and as humanity has always done...
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 08:04 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
We cannot possible Know moral forms... We all have different, subjective experiences of them, and can arrive at only the most general definition of them, because they are situational... What justice was yesterday does not mean anything... The next time you need to work out justice with some one with the power to deny justice, no predicate, or precident will matter... It is a form of relationship, and one being defined by people all the time, and philosophers can waste their time making laws, or rules, or finding some truth in regard to these forms, but the fact is, no appeal to justice or mercy means anything when people do not want the relationship...There is a reason people settle for less than Justice, or less than mercy, or less that freedom...It is because while they have their lives they have hope that time will right what people have made wrong.... We could demand absolute justice and be dead for the right...How does that help us... It is a thing of measures without a scale... We must weigh it as we can, and as humanity has always done...
So now we can not define mercy, so why have you been claiming certain actions as merciful? In my opinion we can define mercy, we might disagree but there is a definition.
 
Dylan phil
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 08:21 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
My point is, in philosophy or actions the notion of mercy in my view does not occur in ancient history or even in reasonable recent history.When does the animal kingdom show mercy? when did the Romans show mercy.Just two or three examples?I could be wrong I am open to persuasion.


Mercy could be something as small as a boss deciding not to fire an employee because his family needed the money. How can you say it didn't occur in ancient history when you have not even seen what happened then? The animal kingdom can show mercy by listening to their owners ie dogs. They are very loyal to their owners and obey rules and commands given to them. By saying "the romans" you are using a extremely broad statement are implying that anyone and everyone roman has not shown any being mercy in their lifetime. Do not judge those who you do not know, and do not think that beings cannot show mercy. They can show it, but only if they have true respect for an individual.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 08:35 am
@Dylan phil,
Dylan wrote:
Mercy could be something as small as a boss deciding not to fire an employee because his family needed the money. How can you say it didn't occur in ancient history when you have not even seen what happened then? The animal kingdom can show mercy by listening to their owners ie dogs. They are very loyal to their owners and obey rules and commands given to them. By saying "the romans" you are using a extremely broad statement are implying that anyone and everyone roman has not shown any being mercy in their lifetime. Do not judge those who you do not know, and do not think that beings cannot show mercy. They can show it, but only if they have true respect for an individual.
A boss keeping his worker on is not mercy its an act of charity but not mercy.A dog acts out the needs of his owner because of the hierarchy of the dogs pack instinct.Show me an act of mercy attributed to a roman, just one,its difficult because Ive tried.Define mercy please, we use the term constantly..
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 08:48 am
@xris,
You know, I've read through this thread twice and marvel at the different directions is gone.

Mercy, in our time and as established, is a quality of lenient or compassionate treatment [1]. There's no large mystery here; no smoke and mirrors and yes, I realize someone's going to want to redefine it (because... well, that's what people do - they bend the world to their view).

xris wrote:
I may be wrong but i have tried to see this concept of mercy as not being confined to narrow philosophical ideas and it is hard to find.


I think you're right, although I don't think the disparity here is not so much that it's confined to a narrow philosophical idea as it is confined to context and intent and perception of some action; it also can illustrate the relationship between actions, intents and/or ostensive purpose. We can't get away from this (and perhaps this is what Fido was trying to interject); that it IS relative to perception, context as well as time and place. If you'd like to test this: Compare how two different people might perceive the same set of actions - I'll bet you can come up with reasonable explanations as to why one person might not see 'X' as Merciful, while another observer legitimately sees it as quite merciful.

xris wrote:
The concept of mercy can be confused with justice or love when reading historical accounts. I could well be totally wrong but it requires investigation.


Yes, it often IS confused with these - no doubt. Whether or not such-and-such a civilization was merficul in its actions can't be judged very well by us except as a way to express how we see the relative amount of 'mercy' of such actions. [INDENT]Does it objectively exist?: No, it's a concept used to describe a perciever's relative evaluation of an action or intent. Like all concepts, it is contingent (like most ideals) on the mind of the perceiver. Show me a fast? Is this cold? Not to me... was he brave or stupid? Is suicide cowardly? She's pretty! So much of the concepts we blithely toss about are dependent on the mind and context of the communicator.

Does history judge the concept differently?: I'm sure some does and much doesn't differ at all. Something judged merciful today is just as likely to be judged barbaric (or reprehensible) tomorrow (or yesterday for that matter).
[/INDENT]If we remember the inextricable relationship between compassion and mercy it might make the concepts I'm trying to communicate, clearer. From the history I've read (and am reading) I see much. But I know - as we all should keep in mind - that this is just the way I have judged.

I hope I've hit close to your mark in the questions you've posed. Thanks
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 08:59 am
@Khethil,
Thanks Khetil..Its not as easy as you first think it might be.Good justice is not mercy because mercy can not act unfairly.It is not doing a favour.I could say when a population decides not to hang murderers it may appear to be a group decision to be merciful but I'm not sure.
You have your finger on the trigger and the target appeals to your conscious,you don't fire is that mercy?
I know what is not mercy but I'm confused what is...
The philosophical attitude towards mercy is even more confusing , all i can ever do is look for signs of mercy and it is damned hard.
Thanks for trying to help me ..Xris
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 12:19 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
So now we can not define mercy, so why have you been claiming certain actions as merciful? In my opinion we can define mercy, we might disagree but there is a definition.

Because we can judge from experience what is merciful, but ultimately we can give no certain weight to it, since mercy one day might be folishness a day later, and again be mercy the day after.... We have to be careful judging others in other times since we have all come out of carnage, and only hope to avoid that carnage as the future of all mankind...
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 01:26 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Because we can judge from experience what is merciful, but ultimately we can give no certain weight to it, since mercy one day might be folishness a day later, and again be mercy the day after.... We have to be careful judging others in other times since we have all come out of carnage, and only hope to avoid that carnage as the future of all mankind...
I dont judge them, i comment on them. I can never say what my ancestors did was right judged against my ethics of today.What happens today i can help change , what happened yesterday is only a tool to judge today's opinions.
Mercy has to be something we admire not judge.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 24 Apr, 2009 06:48 pm
@xris,
xris wrote:
I dont judge them, i comment on them. I can never say what my ancestors did was right judged against my ethics of today.What happens today i can help change , what happened yesterday is only a tool to judge today's opinions.
Mercy has to be something we admire not judge.

Give it a rest... We always judge... Did not Kant saay that knowledge was judgement??? But we cannot change the behavior of people in the past in the light of today' judgement; and yet, we can change our own...That is why we look at the past; for a lesson...
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2009 04:10 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Give it a rest... We always judge... Did not Kant saay that knowledge was judgement??? But we cannot change the behavior of people in the past in the light of today' judgement; and yet, we can change our own...That is why we look at the past; for a lesson...
I think its you that needs a rest,you judged the past mistakes of Islam as commendable in respect of slavery, i was forced to point out that slavery is a modern problem not historic.
If you want to accept others views as gospel that's your prerogative but not mine.I judge past events by my modern standards but not in the context of historic events.I would say my comments on Attila would be less judgemental than my opinions on Hitler.I can excuse Attila a lot more than Hitler.If you find a modern event that was assisted by knowledge of the past ide be really interested, we observe we hardly ever learn.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2009 07:01 am
@xris,
Speak for yourself...I learn from the past all the time... It is important to realize that slaves, eunuch, and mercenaries all go together in history, and represent a general decline... It has a meaning of unequal access to resources, and a class division which really means a general weakness in society, while individual access to women as a resource means genes are being concentrated and genetic diversity is being denied... Mercenaries can some times defend the wealth of the privilaged from the general population, but they are useless against invasion... You need a whole population able and willing to fight to defend any territory for its succesful defense...

It is a mistake we make...First a qhole generation has been denied the experience and excercise of hunting, but having nothing to defend, our whole military population is so many mercenaries... As the torture debate shows, it is this harrassed and basically dispossessed population, and not the military, which howls for blood, and supports torture... They have no education, have not seen the world, live in fear of strangers, and fear every change of the weather as one portending a storm which will sweep their meager existence away... It is the perfect climate for hate.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 25 Apr, 2009 07:06 am
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Speak for yourself...I learn from the past all the time... It is important to realize that slaves, eunuch, and mercenaries all go together in history, and represent a general decline... It has a meaning of unequal access to resources, and a class division which really means a general weakness in society, while individual access to women as a resource means genes are being concentrated and genetic diversity is being denied... Mercenaries can some times defend the wealth of the privilaged from the general population, but they are useless against invasion... You need a whole population able and willing to fight to defend any territory for its succesful defense...

It is a mistake we make...First a qhole generation has been denied the experience and excercise of hunting, but having nothing to defend, our whole military population is so many mercenaries... As the torture debate shows, it is this harrassed and basically dispossessed population, and not the military, which howls for blood, and supports torture... They have no education, have not seen the world, live in fear of strangers, and fear every change of the weather as one portending a storm which will sweep their meager existence away... It is the perfect climate for hate.
If i knew what you was on about ide reply..
 
 

 
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