Outlook on War

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Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 07:47 pm
There are few things in the world that annoy me more than Army advertisements.

I think that war is simply a product of pride, mainly of patriotism. People, no matter how generous or kind or charitable they may be, still have it engraved into their minds that their country of residence is the best one.

Example: My friend made a holocaust joke. I made a 9-11 joke. She gasped and said 'that's horrible!.' I said 'why? more people died in the holocaust.' She replied 'but 9-11 happened to America!!'

In my opinion, all soldiers, no matter what country they are from, are murderers, and in absolutely no way can that be justified as the right thing to do.

9-11 was not an attack on America. It was an attack by humans on other humans. America is not an ideal, it is a landmass. There are no Americans, only people born in America.

WWII was not Germans enslaving Jews and fighting America and other countries. WWII was humans enslaving humans and fighting other humans.

We have to stop thinking in terms of nominal territories. We have to stop thinking of people with different beliefs as different people.

War can be ended. We just have to stop playing.

My thoughts are all over the place, sorry. Thoughts?
 
deepthot
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 09:02 pm
@dharma bum,
Dr. Robert S. Hartman's definition of "war" is "Organized mass-murder in the name of a good cause."

I have seen no definition that improves upon this. It says it all.

We know that 'the pen is mightier than the sword.' And the pen is used to mobilize the population for the madness.

A noble cause is proffered and then the propaganda machines (the mass media) go to work and spread the agitation to arouse the people to sanction or endorse the good cause and unquestionably accept that war will be the means to acheive that noble end, never for a moment suggesting that maybe war will not get us there, or that this war will only be the provocation for a future war.

We may well question: Was World War II a separate war, or just the continuation of World War I ?

Was "Project Iraqi Freedom" - the War on Iraq - still continuing - a separate war, or just the continuation of the Gulf War?

Etc.

If anyone want to challenge the concept that war is craziness; just ask any General with battlefield experience! Every war has 'unforeseen contingencies' = events that were not predicted. Every war has "co-lateral damage", a euphemism for the murder of innocent civilians.

Every (recent, and perhaps not-so-recent, war has old men sending young men to be martyrs.

WHO NEEDS IT !!
 
Aedes
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 09:17 pm
@dharma bum,
dharma_bum;105710 wrote:
We have to stop thinking in terms of nominal territories. We have to stop thinking of people with different beliefs as different people.

War can be ended.
Exactly how might this be accomplished?

It can be easily argued that the human psychosocial makeup will inevitably create war in modern society, because our communal conditions and population right now is far different than during the vast majority of our history as a species. In other words, the human mind did not evolve to be able to handle communities of millions.

Oh, and by the way, yes -- at a certain level the Holocaust (for instance) is humans killing humans. But I can tell you from abundant experience with victims of this event is that they see themselves as Jews who were killed by Germans. Group identity is important to humans, including for survival.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2009 11:27 pm
@dharma bum,
dharma_bum;105710 wrote:


In my opinion, all soldiers, no matter what country they are from, are murderers, and in absolutely no way can that be justified as the right thing to do.


So you are saying that not even the allied response to Nazi aggression, was justified? Stopping genocide? You would rather sit back and do nothing?

dharma_bum;105710 wrote:

9-11 was not an attack on America. It was an attack by humans on other humans. America is not an ideal, it is a landmass. There are no Americans, only people born in America.


OK, how is this example relevant to the point that war is not justifiable?
Please explicate your argument.

dharma_bum;105710 wrote:

WWII was not Germans enslaving Jews and fighting America and other countries. WWII was humans enslaving humans and fighting other humans.


OK, what is your point?

dharma_bum;105710 wrote:

We have to stop thinking in terms of nominal territories. We have to stop thinking of people with different beliefs as different people.

War can be ended. We just have to stop playing.

My thoughts are all over the place, sorry. Thoughts?


If you think that war is not taken seriously enough, I would agree. If it can be justified in some circumstances, knowing those conditions might go a long way.

---------- Post added 11-24-2009 at 10:22 PM ----------

deepthot;105728 wrote:
Dr. Robert S. Hartman's definition of "war" is "Organized mass-murder in the name of a good cause."


Mass murder? Thats a fairly loaded description.

deepthot;105728 wrote:

I have seen no definition that improves upon this. It says it all.


war: fighting that involves various belligerent parties.


deepthot;105728 wrote:

We may well question: Was World War II a separate war, or just the continuation of World War I ?


From even a historical perspective, this is a misinterpretation.
deepthot;105728 wrote:


If anyone want to challenge the concept that war is craziness; just ask any General with battlefield experience!


What would they all say?

deepthot;105728 wrote:

Every war has 'unforeseen contingencies' = events that were not predicted. Every war has "co-lateral damage", a euphemism for the murder of innocent civilians.


It's a real consequence of war. One that I would weigh heavily.

deepthot;105728 wrote:

Every (recent, and perhaps not-so-recent, war has old men sending young men to be martyrs.

WHO NEEDS IT !!


Soldiers lives should be considered anything but trivial. Same should go for innocent people as well.

How about putting it in a not so loaded way: if war is unnecessary, then it is pointless,
 
deepthot
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 03:49 am
@stew phil,
stew;105740 wrote:
So you are saying that not even the allied response to Nazi aggression, was justified? Stopping genocide? You would rather sit back and do nothing?


Greetings, Stew

You write: "Stopping genocide? You would rather sit back and do nothing?"
Those aren't the only two alternatives
...unless one is only capable of thinking in 'black-or-white', 'either-or', terms.
In Value Science the latter is known, technically, as Systemic-Thinking, and is relatively low in value. (See the Chapter on Dimensions of Value, and also Appendix One in the manual, a link to which is available in the signature.)

stew;105740 wrote:
OK, how is this example relevant to the point that war is not justifiable?
Please explicate your argument.


The topic of this thread is not "the justification of war" or its non-justification. It is for the majority of the human family to look at war from a novel perspective which is being suggested here. I say "novel" for it is rather different from the prevailing perspectives on the subject.


stew;105740 wrote:
OK, what is your point?
His point is given in the very next quotation that you selected, viz., "We have to stop thinking in terms of nominal territories. We have to stop thinking of people with different beliefs as different people." We are one human species, one race - the human race. We have a common interest: which is the sustainability of our species and the cultural advancements it has made. [...the planet will survivie...even if the next war we commit is mostly in outer space (a 'star wars' type of battle, that irradiates most of us into genetic mutants, or hurts us by contaminating our air supply.)]


stew;105740 wrote:
If you think that war is not taken seriously enough, I would agree....

Thank you.

....

stew;105740 wrote:
Mass murder? Thats a fairly loaded description.

It is required for the very reason you mentioned in your last observation that "war is not taken seriously enough." What you call 'loading' is emphasis - being emphatic !! - on the point that every human life (from the point of view of Ethics) is of indefinitely-large value, an infinum, in Lattice Theory, and thus is rather precious.


stew;105740 wrote:
war: fighting that involves various belligerent parties.

Your definition would claim that a bar-room brawl is a "war." Any melee becomes a war under your inadequate definition.

Dr. Hartman's definition captres the essence of it. There is (often manufactured) malice aforethought in a war. The participants are taught to kill, and to first de-humanize their victims by regarding them as "monkeys", "gooks", "scum", "ragheads," etc. This commits ethical fallacies. Ethics ought to be imporatant to members of this Forum, I would venture to say.

Historians have made a good case that The Treaty of Versailles, after World War I, led directly to Hitler's being able to mobilize Germans to wage World War II. It is a persuasive argument they make.

From my point of view each war is a prelude to the next one; it sows the seeds for a future violent conflict by setting an example that "violence is legitimate, and can solve problems" ...which from an Ethical viewpoint is a whopper if there ever was one.


stew;105740 wrote:
Soldiers lives should be considered anything but trivial. Same should go for innocent people as well.


Again, thank you. This shows enlightenment.

As I have written in several posts here, we largely operate from self-interest. There is nothing wrong with that, provided it is enlightened.

Enlightened self-interest is the awareness that what helps you helps me; what hurts you (eventually) hurts me. ...No matter who "you" are.

stew;105740 wrote:
How about putting it in a not so loaded way: if war is unnecessary, then it is pointless,


I agree with you when you say, " if war is unnecessary, then it is pointless". And would add that war, indeed, is a social invention that we are ready to outgrow. We need only become aware of this. The media can spread the word ...IF we demand it of them. First we must care; then we must mobilize for action. Nonviolent Direct Action can serve as an alternative. It starts locally with conflict resolution in the immediate family; then in the neighborhood; then in the city. We need more people to go into the profession of Mediator; and that of Negotiator.
War really is unnecessary.

The arts of diplomacy really have not been tried in a timely fashion, i.e., long before a war is waged.

The Afghans today would welcome us if we came as civilians to construct, to feed and nourish, to build, to teach engineering, etc. If we invade and/or occupy as soldiers, or as armed combatants, in or out of uniform, they feel they must drive us out. They see us as they did the British, the Russians, etc. And we will get nowhere. End war now.
 
HybridPhilosophy
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 04:55 am
@deepthot,
First post, new to forums.
I agree with Aedes.
War is caused by many factors and although warfare has many negative effects on society it also has positives such as technological drive and innovation. Many societies in history have been devoted primarily to martial prowess most namely the Spartans of ancient Greece and the Vikings. Who's war craft brought them great innovation such as seafaring abilities, advancements in metal works, increase in social dependency ect..

So to make such a blanket statement that "all soldiers, no matter what country they are from, are murderers, and in absolutely no way can that be justified as the right thing to do." Seems to me to be ignorant.

Conflict in general although often unpleasant fuels human competition and human progression. Weather it's a conflict of ideas- the mere process of vigorously debating your point of view with another individual advances your abilities.
So be it a mental or physical conflict the outcome can often be beneficial, it being pleasant or not is irrelevant. Conflict is deeply ingrained into humanity and is a great tool for advancement.

However i do agree some wars are not worth the price in human collateral.
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 06:17 am
@HybridPhilosophy,
I am against war in principle but can not find a viable alternative to an aggressive action. The threat of an aggressive response larger than the initial aggression appears to me the only method of control. The problem arises when the aggressor thinks his army is bigger than yours. This results in larger and more active responses and eventually ends in war, rather than posturing. We are base animals who need adequate politicians who can modify our responses.

Could anything have been done in 1939 to stop Hitlers aggression? The fear of a combined action by Russia , the US and other European countries, might just have delayed his attacks on Poland.
 
dharma bum
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 08:49 am
@xris,
Firstly, thanks to everyone for replying Smile

And to those of you who say "calling all soldiers murderers is ignorant," I will admit that I hate the way I worded that sentence, but I still hold it to be true.

To those who say "So fighting the Nazis to stop genocide was a bad thing?" perhaps using WWII was a bad idea, because if a war can be justified, WWII was the most noble cause.

But I still say that yes, it was a bad thing.
Nazis are not bad people. They are people with bad beliefs. Beliefs can be changed.
It is harder to change someone's beliefs than it is to murder him, so most people go for the latter option.

Finally, to those who say "How can war possibly be ended?"
By not seeing my views as outrageous and drastic.

War is unacceptable in a society of our progress. Our scientific prowess is far too advanced to fit our spiritually and philosophically dead society.
If we can go to the moon, build supercomputers, use nuclear power, or find it necessary to have 700 channels, we CAN find an alternative to war.
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 09:16 am
@dharma bum,
A soldier, once and I never considered myself murderous. The fear of killing is no less worrying for many soldiers than getting shot. One in ten soldiers have been found to shoot at the enemies legs or miss altogether. There are killing machines in any army but in general they are not what they are perceived. We are all soldiers when the enemy is knocking on the door and we are all responsible for their actions, in our name.
 
dharma bum
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 09:39 am
@xris,
xris;105837 wrote:
A soldier, once and I never considered myself murderous. The fear of killing is no less worrying for many soldiers than getting shot. One in ten soldiers have been found to shoot at the enemies legs or miss altogether. There are killing machines in any army but in general they are not what they are perceived. We are all soldiers when the enemy is knocking on the door and we are all responsible for their actions, in our name.


Yeah, I really don't mean to give the impression that I dislike soldiers or think they are bad people. That would be highly ignorant.

I think the best way I could put it is that in a civilized society, there should be no need for soldiers, and there should be no politicians to force them into situations where they must kill.
 
xris
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 09:42 am
@dharma bum,
dharma_bum;105844 wrote:
Yeah, I really don't mean to give the impression that I dislike soldiers or think they are bad people. That would be highly ignorant.

I think the best way I could put it is that in a civilized society, there should be no need for soldiers, and there should be no politicians to force them into situations where they must kill.
Ide like to sit be warm sea and be waited on by young maidens. We are always dreaming us poor mortals.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 10:34 am
@dharma bum,
dharma_bum;105826 wrote:
Nazis are not bad people. They are people with bad beliefs. Beliefs can be changed.
Find me one example of a prominent Nazi who expressed regret (let alone mortification) after the war and maybe I'll go along with this. I've read a great deal on this subject -- and what's shocking is that after the war, even decades later, expressions of remorse were incredibly uncommon. The most famous example of remorse was by Rudolf Hoess, who was the commandant of Auschwitz -- but his remorse was VERY tongue-in-cheek, because at his execution he apologized for his crime against Poland and not against Jews (even though over 90% of his victims were non-Polish Jews). The other example of remorse was Hans Frank, the governor-general of Poland; I've not read his statement, but his own children felt that it was disingenuous.

Other major Nazis who admitted their involvement, like Eichmann and Stangl and Blobel NEVER expressed any regret or remorse. The majority of ex-Nazis justified it, denied it happened, or claimed to be just following orders and not responsible for their actions.

People are NOT blank slates. They can corrupt themselves past a point of no return. I don't think ex-Nazis could even live if they saw their crimes the way their victims did.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 02:16 pm
@deepthot,
deepthot;105780 wrote:


You write: "Stopping genocide? You would rather sit back and do nothing?"
Those aren't the only two alternatives
...unless one is only capable of thinking in 'black-or-white', 'either-or', terms.
In Value Science the latter is known, technically, as Systemic-Thinking, and is relatively low in value. (See the Chapter on Dimensions of Value, and also Appendix One in the manual, a link to which is available in the signature.)



Well if there are other alternatives, you should at least explicate what those alternatives are. I should also add, it is not fair for me to say that in justified cases for going to war, one is morally obligated to goto war. Given the harms involved, one must weigh the harms to oneself against the benefits, but for those that indeed choose to goto war, for a just cause, they are morally praiseworthy. So didn't mean to imply a strict dilemma.

In short, people do what they can.

deepthot;105780 wrote:

The topic of this thread is not "the justification of war" or its non-justification. It is for the majority of the human family to look at war from a novel perspective which is being suggested here. I say "novel" for it is rather different from the prevailing perspectives on the subject.


The justification or non-justification (both of which are reasons) for war are in my mind, synonymous with one's outlook on war. If we are looking at war as a subject of morality, that is, how one determines the constraints that should be placed on war, it seems to flow from how one morally justifies it, or not.

If one feels that war should be constrained, even in the slightest, you move towards moral constraint. Those constraints require reasons/justification.


deepthot;105780 wrote:

His point is given in the very next quotation that you selected, viz., "We have to stop thinking in terms of nominal territories. We have to stop thinking of people with different beliefs as different people." We are one human species, one race - the human race. We have a common interest: which is the sustainability of our species and the cultural advancements it has made. [...the planet will survivie...even if the next war we commit is mostly in outer space (a 'star wars' type of battle, that irradiates most of us into genetic mutants, or hurts us by contaminating our air supply.)]


No doubt individuals prosecute war. Such prosecution has consequences. It is those consequences that are morally relevant.


deepthot;105780 wrote:

It is required for the very reason you mentioned in your last observation that "war is not taken seriously enough." What you call 'loading' is emphasis - being emphatic !! - on the point that every human life (from the point of view of Ethics) is of indefinitely-large value, an infinum, in Lattice Theory, and thus is rather precious.


War is horrific, but to label all soldiers who partake in war, especially a just war, as murderer's is an incoherent value judgment. Human life is important, and that is precisely the point why going to war against actual murderers is justified. The absolute label you apply, I think, is unfair.

deepthot;105780 wrote:

Your definition would claim that a bar-room brawl is a "war." Any melee becomes a war under your inadequate definition.


On a sufficient level, perhaps it could be. With that said, of course there is no problem in distinguishing different types of war. Take a case like gang-warfare for example. The conduct is similar to notions of international war in many respects, but of course it also differs on a variety of levels, thus making it a distinct type.

But even so, the notion of conflicting belligerent parties in the definition of war, I think is a crucial one.

deepthot;105780 wrote:

Dr. Hartman's definition captres the essence of it. There is (often manufactured) malice aforethought in a war. The participants are taught to kill, and to first de-humanize their victims by regarding them as "monkeys", "gooks", "scum", "ragheads," etc. This commits ethical fallacies. Ethics ought to be imporatant to members of this Forum, I would venture to say.


As I've said, the value judgment Hartman implies in his definition is not only arbitrary, but objectively wrong as well, as I have mentioned above.

The training of soldiers to instill combat motivation, indeed, has many moral implications. But even if soldiers were completely brainwashed (which of course many aren't e.g. cases of conscientious objectors), it does not follow they are mass murders. They may hold morally questionable stereotypes, but that does not mean they are murderers.

deepthot;105780 wrote:

Historians have made a good case that The Treaty of Versailles, after World War I, led directly to Hitler's being able to mobilize Germans to wage World War II. It is a persuasive argument they make.


I am just not quite sure what connection you are trying to make. Of course from a historical point of view, there are relevant historical circumstances that lead to the breakout of WWII. But from a moral point of view, what are you trying to say?

deepthot;105780 wrote:

From my point of view each war is a prelude to the next one; it sows the seeds for a future violent conflict by setting an example that "violence is legitimate, and can solve problems" ...which from an Ethical viewpoint is a whopper if there ever was one.


Ok so I take it this is your argument. You seem to argue war only perpetuates itself, and only for unjust reasons. Well in some cases it definitely is the case. But in others, I would disagree. You forget that going to war, requires reasons for going to war. It is primarily those reasons that I am disputing, and which you are as well.

The only difference is, you think all reasons for going to war are morally condemnable, whereas I argue that in some cases the reasons to goto war are morally permissible e.g. stopping genocide.





deepthot;105780 wrote:

I agree with you when you say, " if war is unnecessary, then it is pointless". And would add that war, indeed, is a social invention that we are ready to outgrow. We need only become aware of this. The media can spread the word ...IF we demand it of them. First we must care; then we must mobilize for action. Nonviolent Direct Action can serve as an alternative. It starts locally with conflict resolution in the immediate family; then in the neighborhood; then in the city. We need more people to go into the profession of Mediator; and that of Negotiator.
War really is unnecessary.


If the world was perfect, then you be right. But far from it, the world is not perfect, and acts if immorality on a grand scale will happen. Perhaps Just War theory is a response to those cases of immoral war, and a theory which hopes the influence our normative values of what it means for a war to be just in the first place. So until immorality vanishes all together, if war is to be constrained, we need to know those conditions.


deepthot;105780 wrote:

The Afghans today would welcome us if we came as civilians to construct, to feed and nourish, to build, to teach engineering, etc. If we invade and/or occupy as soldiers, or as armed combatants, in or out of uniform, they feel they must drive us out. They see us as they did the British, the Russians, etc. And we will get nowhere. End war now.


I am sure that not all afghans would have appreciated that. I can guarantee that the Taliban would have had a hay day with humanitarian workers.

Still, you are simplifying quite a complex issue. The question is, who is in the just? I think that is still up for debate. Further, concerns regarding the conduct of war e.g. a-symmetric warfare is also a relevant consideration into why the war is perhaps, self defeating.
 
deepthot
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 04:15 pm
@HybridPhilosophy,
Greetings HybridPhilosophy !

Welcome to our Forum on Ethics.

HybridPhilosophy;105784 wrote:
First post, new to forums.
I agree with Aedes.
.... Many societies in history have been devoted primarily to martial prowess most namely the Spartans of ancient Greece and the Vikings.


Yes, and where is Sparta,, the City-State and the culture, today? And where is the Viking culture today? ...extinct.

It didn't help them much to engage in warfare.

HybridPhilosophy;105784 wrote:
To make the statement "all soldiers, no matter what country they are from, are murderers" is ignorant...


You will notice that my definition of war does not do this ...it avoids that. It talks about the institution itself - and recognizes its craziness.


HybridPhilosophy;105784 wrote:
Conflict in general although often unpleasant fuels human competition and human progression. ...

No one here has opposed "conflict." I agree it is inevitable. But violence, my friend, is NOT beneficial to the recipient of it. If his thinking is unenlightened, he will often brood about getting revenge, and one day may actually wreak vengeance.

HybridPhilosophy;105784 wrote:
However i do agree some wars are not worth the price in human collateral.


That's a start... Some day you may come to see that not merely "some" but "all" are fundamentally unethical - and to be ethical will be of vital importance for you.

---------- Post added 11-25-2009 at 04:46 PM ----------

Aedes;105733 wrote:
Exactly how might this be accomplished?
I


Here is a link to get you started on this quest:
The Peace Alliance - Campaign for a Department of Peace and Youth PROMISE Act - Home Page
The (gradual) evolution toward ending war will be accomplished when you join up. Others are joining all the time.

Here are some others:
The search for common ground
Basic Facts About Conflict | Resources | Search for Common Ground


National Peace Academy - Home



The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace:
[URL]http://www.mfp-dop.org/
[/SIZE]


[/URL]


On the influence that words have:
Read the Handbook


Hope this helps....
 
stew phil
 
Reply Wed 25 Nov, 2009 07:48 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;105864 wrote:
Find me one example of a prominent Nazi who expressed regret (let alone mortification) after the war and maybe I'll go along with this. I've read a great deal on this subject -- and what's shocking is that after the war, even decades later, expressions of remorse were incredibly uncommon. The most famous example of remorse was by Rudolf Hoess, who was the commandant of Auschwitz -- but his remorse was VERY tongue-in-cheek, because at his execution he apologized for his crime against Poland and not against Jews (even though over 90% of his victims were non-Polish Jews). The other example of remorse was Hans Frank, the governor-general of Poland; I've not read his statement, but his own children felt that it was disingenuous.

Other major Nazis who admitted their involvement, like Eichmann and Stangl and Blobel NEVER expressed any regret or remorse. The majority of ex-Nazis justified it, denied it happened, or claimed to be just following orders and not responsible for their actions.



Really? Wow. I guess it is nothing to be surprised about, but it is definitely relevant to a recent discussion with some peers. They challenged the function of war tribunals being an effective deterrent for leaders not to pursue war versus the enhanced social functioning of truth reconciliation committees.

I don't why I didn't even think about it but if leaders assume no responsibility whatsoever, how is that in practical terms, any better than retributive justice in war tribunals?

Thanks, I will look further into your examples now.
 
HybridPhilosophy
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 03:55 am
@deepthot,
deepthot;105922 wrote:

Yes, and where is Sparta,, the City-State and the culture, today? And where is the Viking culture today? ...extinct.

It didn't help them much to engage in warfare.
Quote:
If we can go to the moon, build supercomputers, use nuclear power, or find it necessary to have 700 channels, we CAN find an alternative to war.
The rocket engine was designed by Nazi's during the second world war for the purpose of defeating the allies.
The original technology that modern computers where designed on where built in the second world war for the war effort before that analog computer where considered to be state of the art and computing technology is also responsible for "700 channels", why one would want to watch so much tv is a different mater...

Quote:
But violence, my friend, is NOT beneficial to the recipient of it. If his thinking is unenlightened, he will often brood about getting revenge, and one day may actually wreak vengeance.
This i could not disagree with more. Physical violence very often has a beneficial effect to someone's metal state. Often being physically assaulted can have the effect of removing ones ego and regularly being put into stressful physical situations where your forced to defend yourself can teach young men especially to have a more calm and assertive nature and get rid of many of the innate insecurities regarding young men's masculinity that plenty of young men suffer from in modern western society.
The majority of the time the injuries are superficial and cosmetic, however I agree that once weapons are involved the individual conflict has escalated to a point where it in most cases would be more beneficial for both parties not to continue.

Thank you for your greetings.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 09:10 am
@stew phil,
stew;105965 wrote:
if leaders assume no responsibility whatsoever, how is that in practical terms, any better than retributive justice in war tribunals?
I think it helps in a few respects, even if the leader is indignant and defiant (like Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein).

1) It's a major catharsis and reassurance to the victims and to the world that the world community considers this a grave crime, and that humans (as opposed to circumstances) are to be held responsible

2) It reminds leaders in power that they will never be immune from their actions. Some may get away with it, but some (like Charles Taylor, like Fujimori, like Saddam Hussein) can't escape forever.

3) You can't punish every functionary in a genocide. So you have to punish the ones issuing the orders. To execute every person who was in some way actively responsible for the Holocaust, even if just by calling out Jews, would be a genocide unto itself.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 02:02 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;106080 wrote:
I think it helps in a few respects, even if the leader is indignant and defiant (like Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein).

1) It's a major catharsis and reassurance to the victims and to the world that the world community considers this a grave crime, and that humans (as opposed to circumstances) are to be held responsible

2) It reminds leaders in power that they will never be immune from their actions. Some may get away with it, but some (like Charles Taylor, like Fujimori, like Saddam Hussein) can't escape forever.

3) You can't punish every functionary in a genocide. So you have to punish the ones issuing the orders. To execute every person who was in some way actively responsible for the Holocaust, even if just by calling out Jews, would be a genocide unto itself.


Agreed (I think). The way I am interpreting what you are saying is that retributive justice still has a it's place, especially when truth reconciliation committees are impotent to those who refuse to take responsibility. If I am wrong, just let me know.

Your points are pretty much the same ones I made to my peers. Though I think truth reconciliation committees are important and do provide a functional way for societies to deal with the crimes of war (e.g let those who were responsible in any way for unjust actions to admit their guilt and responsibility to those affected), I do not think truth reconciliation committees alone do a sufficient job. Though prosecuting the leaders responsible for crimes of aggression is in the legal sense a very difficult thing to do at the present moment, I do not think the project should be abandoned, all together.

---------- Post added 11-26-2009 at 12:11 PM ----------

HybridPhilosophy;106052 wrote:


This i could not disagree with more. Physical violence very often has a beneficial effect to someone's metal state. Often being physically assaulted can have the effect of removing ones ego and regularly being put into stressful physical situations where your forced to defend yourself can teach young men especially to have a more calm and assertive nature and get rid of many of the innate insecurities regarding young men's masculinity that plenty of young men suffer from in modern western society.


Do you think such egoistic concerns provide sufficient moral justification, when applied to different cases of war? Take those involved in perpetuating genocide e.g Hutus salughter of Tutsis. Should the Hutu's be justified for such slaughter on the grounds that such killing had beneficial effects to their mental states? Even if it does teach things about ones own beliefs and attitudes? What about those killed? Shouldn't their interests matter too?

I guess what I am trying to push you on, is whether egoistic concerns about one's own mental states/mental life is sufficient to morally justify violence. Perhaps there are other reasons?
 
dharma bum
 
Reply Thu 26 Nov, 2009 06:37 pm
@HybridPhilosophy,
HybridPhilosophy;106052 wrote:

This i could not disagree with more. Physical violence very often has a beneficial effect to someone's metal state. Often being physically assaulted can have the effect of removing ones ego and regularly being put into stressful physical situations where your forced to defend yourself can teach young men especially to have a more calm and assertive nature and get rid of many of the innate insecurities regarding young men's masculinity that plenty of young men suffer from in modern western society.
The majority of the time the injuries are superficial and cosmetic, however I agree that once weapons are involved the individual conflict has escalated to a point where it in most cases would be more beneficial for both parties not to continue.


I must say, I do agree with this. But to me, there's a HUGE difference between violence for the sake of instinctual self-improvement, and violence for the sake of killing, pride, and ego.

There are few things in life more ego-destroying than being in a fist-fight. As long as nobody gets seriously injured, and as long as it's not done out of anger or contempt, I see few things wrong with fighting.

War, on the other hand, is a completely different game.
 
stew phil
 
Reply Fri 27 Nov, 2009 03:58 pm
@dharma bum,
dharma_bum;106186 wrote:
I must say, I do agree with this. But to me, there's a HUGE difference between violence for the sake of instinctual self-improvement, and violence for the sake of killing, pride, and ego.


I don't understand the distinction you are making. How do you define "instinctual self improvement?"

Further, does is that distinct, from egoistic concerns? If an act of violence, as you attempt to distinguish, is not primarily acted on out of self-interest, what then, accounts for this difference?

In addition, how this difference account for the moral justification of a violent act? If so, tell me how.




dharma_bum;106186 wrote:

There are few things in life more ego-destroying than being in a fist-fight. As long as nobody gets seriously injured, and as long as it's not done out of anger or contempt, I see few things wrong with fighting.

War, on the other hand, is a completely different game.


Really? So I could punch you in the face, just to see what your facial expression would be like? I don't see how any conditions you lay out have been violated. And if such is the case, would that make it a morally right act? Are your conditions sufficient for me to justify punching anyone in the face for the same reasons?

I'm curious, what accounts for war being "a completely different game?"
 
 

 
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