Poll: Is War Okay?
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Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
09-26-2009, 07:58 PM
Post: #1
Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
How far would you take Pacifism?

I think War is wrong no matter what the circumstances. I will only fight to protect myself or some one else from another person. If I do fight I never aim to kill my opponent but render them unable to hurt themselves or any one else.

So I'm a pacifist unless another person becomes threating to me or another person.

But to me, all War begets is more War, because a War can't be fought with my kind of Philosophy. People die on battlefields.
Death in battle leads to Hate and Mistrust.

If the world were a perfect place disputes could be solved in Martial Arts Tournaments.
But of course I doubt a dream like that could ever happen.

I fear the Earth will be torn asunder by the Fear that people have.
Fear is what drives mistrust and hate. People need to learn to over come their fears.

I know a person who developed a split personality and by some kind of miracle he doesn't have it any more, because the reason it was caused to begin with was his Fear of Himself. I helped him overcome those fears and I take no credit for his recovery because it was his choice to get well.

"Hidden underneath the stoned cold surface of every Pious Person lays buried a Kinky Pervert, Stop bringing shovels, Where not digging!"-Azrael
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09-27-2009, 11:00 AM (This post was last modified: 09-27-2009 11:01 AM by MerryAtheist.)
Post: #2
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
War is an evil of humanity, but it is sometimes a necessary evil.

Wouldn't it have been marvelous if the American colonies had been able to form their own nation apart from England simply by winning a softball game (though for something that important it would need to be more than one game, perhaps a series). But since conflict resolution via softball was not an option then (or, sadly, now), war was the only means to achieve independence.

Similarly, I wish the United States had been able to resolve the issue of slavery and federalism by simply holding a Battle of the Bands, but that just wasn't in the cards. War (and a very costly war it was) was the only solution.

I don't think war is the best solution. It's a terrible solution. But sometimes it is the ONLY solution. To categorically say "war is wrong no matter what and I will never support it", while a noble sentiment, is really no more than a pre-emptive surrender to oppression and injustice.

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09-27-2009, 04:06 PM
Post: #3
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
(09-26-2009 07:58 PM)Azrael17 Wrote:  So I'm a pacifist unless another person becomes threating to me or another person.

This is basically the justification for WW2.

Arguing for pacifism is like arguing for communism; it's a nice idea, but forgets one simple thing. Human nature. I'll even be sexist here, as it's more male nature that wants to dominate and have territory, power etc.
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09-28-2009, 12:59 AM
Post: #4
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
Pacifism is the ideal. Like all ideals, practicality must mitigate it. You strive to be idealistic as much as possible, while making the necessary compromises to survive in this world.

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09-28-2009, 07:26 AM
Post: #5
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
Different people have different ideals though. Alexander the Great's ideal was power, thus he conquered. Hitler's ideal wasn't pacifism. Everyone argues for their ideal, hence conflict.
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09-28-2009, 11:23 AM (This post was last modified: 09-28-2009 11:49 AM by Parousia.)
Post: #6
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
(09-28-2009 12:59 AM)GTseng3 Wrote:  Pacifism is the ideal. Like all ideals, practicality must mitigate it. You strive to be idealistic as much as possible, while making the necessary compromises to survive in this world.

One could argue that the preservation of one's own culture/nationality/religion/whatever is the ideal and this is best done by eliminating competition for resources from other 'whatevers'. But history has shown that such belief systems tend to self destruct. The most obvious way is by causing alliances against them to appear as was the case with Nazi Germany.

There is also another more subtle way. An ideology with enough emotional power to override the recognition of humanity in those not part of the 'superior group' tends to suffer from positive feedback. The leaders tend to lose recognition of the humanity of their own people. Dictatorship results, of an increasingly brutal sort. This is not healthy for a society and in the long run tends to seriously impair survivability rather than enhance it.

Studies of all of the great apes, including ourselves, show that both competition and cooperation are built into our societies and our genes. But we stand out among the apes in having this incredible brain. This has led to new and improved ways of offing each other. But it also allows advanced concepts like the realization that unconstrained conflict could leave the protagonist better than the opposition in a relative way but considerably worse off in an absolute sense. Competition and cooperation are both normal. The trick is to find the balance that leaves us all better off than we started.

*puts soapbox back under bed*
Ironic aside: the ad after the first post is for a Master of Arts in Military History.
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09-28-2009, 01:32 PM
Post: #7
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
The question is whether we will allow our genetic instincts to control our destinies, thus casting us onto the waters of pure, cruel evolution which doesn't really care about our survival so much as it cares about the survival of everything, or are we going to use our giant brains to take evolution into our own hands and chart a better, guided course.

Can we find outlets for our necessary genetic competition that does not actually harm our competitor, thus harming the species? Can we accept that we will continue to evolve as a species and adapt to our environment? Can we then take that to the next step, creating the environment that we most wish to adapt to?

Evolution and nature cares nothing for the survival of the human race. There are two ways to accept that truth. The first way is the nihilist's way, believing that all is pointless and that humanity is, ultimately, simply an evolutionary adaptation, just another cog in an unfeeling machine. The second way is the idealist's way, understanding that while evolution is a natural process that cares nothing for our survival, we can care for our own survival. We can think not years, but hundreds of generations into the future, and begin planning the long-term sustainability of the human race, and our civilization.

Nature has not given us a purpose. This does not mean that we cannot manufacture one, and that this purpose will be just as true, and just as meaningful, as any hypothetical "divine purpose".

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09-28-2009, 04:43 PM
Post: #8
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
The second part of what you are saying is the interesting bit, I think, GT. Homo sapien sapien can basically decide its own next evolutionary step, by choosing the route of pacifism. This takes us above other mammals, let alone animals, in survival instincts. However, sadly I still think this is to have too much faith in humanity. The Jeremy Kyle show over here demonstrates this; as far as I'm aware, Jerry Springer is the nearest you have in the States. Funny TV, but also shows (sadly) the range in our species - we ain't that different from our nearest primate relatives.
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09-28-2009, 05:49 PM
Post: #9
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
People always seem to think that we need to get smarter in order to get better. But we don't. What we need to do is train our stupidity in new, healthier ways. Instead of, say, hooking someone of average intelligence from a very young age on a particular political and religious ideology, why not hook them on the concept of verifying sources and challenging with rational statements.

Yes, being intelligent allows you to do this more effectively, but it's not necessary. Someone with average intelligence could do this, with the right training and practice.

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09-28-2009, 09:34 PM
Post: #10
RE: Pacifism, Do you think War is ok? Or Do you think War is Wrong?
I tend to believe that the only real long-term solution to war is free trade. I read somewhere something to the effect that "if goods do not cross borders, armies eventually will; and if goods do cross borders, armies will not" (wish I could remember who said/wrote that).

In many of the smallest and most primitive cultures, xenophobia is conquered through highly ritualized trade. In some respects, religion is the most basic of trading systems: I will give to you, Divine Unknown, this sacrifice, and in return you will give me happiness, peace, a healthy family, etc.

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