The Warrior Philosophe

juantoo3

....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb
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The Warrior Philosophe​

War is a highly charged, emotional term. Very few among us are truly enamored of war. War engages horrific images of death and destruction. War invokes charges of hatred and oppression. War provokes concepts of misuse of power and brutality, and suffering.

Yet, war is a natural state of being.

While it can be rightly said that our religious and moral guidelines specifically lead us towards peaceful endeavors and co-operative interactions with our fellow humans, it is equally rightfully said that peace is not a natural state for any portion of reality, material or energetic. Peace is static. Stasis is not a normal or natural state of being, down to and including the sub-atomic level. War is not a static condition, war by its nature invokes change, and change is the natural state of being for all material and energetic expression. Nothing in existence remains the same, except change. All lessor expressions of matter and energy are subject to greater expressions of matter and energy. The natural laws such as gravity and the conservation of energy illustrate this conclusively. There cannot be stasis between two bodies of gravity, in time one will overcome the other. There is, and cannot be, stasis between two contrasting expressions of energy, one will overcome the other. The battle between the irresistible force and the immovable object are the natural state of existence for all of reality, originating with the “big bang” itself.

Compromises are evident in nature, certainly planets do not crash headlong into the sun. This is because there are mitigating factors, such as motion and gyroscopy, that serve as an attempt to balance the dance of matter and energy. In the end though, certainly long after we are dust, either the planets will collide with the sun, or the sun will cease to exist and the dance of gravity will no longer be of direct concern in this specific instance. Stasis is not only impossible, but would disrupt the entire process. Peace, in the sense of stasis, is not possible, and is not natural.

If war is to invoke death, then to consider death is to also consider continuation. If we are to believe life began as a simple celled organism (perhaps a single-cell, perhaps not quite “celled”), then that organism required energy to be considered “alive.” That energy had to be acquired somewhere and somehow. Energy had to be taken, captured from some source. Whether that source was solar or geothermal, or perhaps chemical, nonetheless energy had to be captured, converted and utilized by this simple creature.

We are told that in time, simple celled creatures began feeding upon each other. Osmosis, absorption, or some other means, employed the use of consuming one creature for the benefit of another. Few could argue that life does not require life in order to survive. As creatures grew in complexity, the art of feeding became more developed. Fish ate fish. Amphibians ate fish and amphibians. Reptiles ate fish, amphibians and reptiles. And so on. Plants ate sunlight and matter trapped in decayed materials, and made themselves available to other creatures. We call this the “food chain.”

If there is merit to the concept of “collective consciousness” and primordial genetic memory, then war as “eat or be eaten” is our most ancient memory, our most fundamental inherent instinct. While we may attempt to console ourselves that we only eat what we require, nevertheless our actions to provide for our own sustenance necessitate war upon other creatures, who in their own turn have warred on other creatures still. War, in this sense, is an integral part of nature.

War among the animals, including humans, is an ongoing and perpetual state. Greater force envelops and consumes lesser force, greater mass envelops and consumes lesser mass, all in the effort to survive. The question arises as to whether or not this is “right,” when considered in the light of religious and moral philosophy. Denial of the natural inherent state of being of all material and energetic existence cannot confer right or wrong on the matter; it simply is the way things are. If we proceed with the presumption that nature is created, and that nature is “good” (or at least how nature is intended to be), then denial of the natural state cannot confer right or wrong to the issue. Or, more correctly, if any inference can be done, it must be that “war” is “right,” in that as war is the natural state of the creation, and creation is created in the manner it was intended to be, then G-d created war as the natural state of existence for all of nature. And it is good.

It is difficult to see how even “peacefully minded” humans do not war with nature. A human may indeed exist peaceably with other humans, perhaps even all other humans. Yet, the natural portion of the human animal requires war with other creatures, for survival. The food we eat must of necessity require we kill other creatures, whether animal or vegetable. That we personally do the slaughter or not is irrelevant, other creatures die that we may live. This is no different from that of other creatures, who in their own turn must also slaughter in order to survive. To console ourselves believing that we are not committing war against other creatures is to blind ourselves to their perspective. Wolves may indeed live peaceably amongst themselves, but only by waging war upon the lambs that feed them, and feed them well. Lambs likewise may live peaceably amongst themselves, but only by waging war upon fields of grass.

To be sure, “war” as the term has come into accepted modern usage, connotes far more than simply consumption for the sake of survival. War as an art form is thought to have developed about 5 thousand years ago in conjunction with the development of agriculture, metallurgy and walled fortifications. It was here that war most likely began to take the form of slaughter for sport, perhaps with political motivation and instigation. Here is where powerful men wrested with other powerful men for the sake of exerting superiority. Competition was no longer for survival, competition was enacted for its own sake. Later, this would “evolve” into non-mortal combat, such as the Greek Olympiad, for entertainment. But in the beginning of war as an art, the competition was to the death, with the victor taking all, literally.

As society developed beyond the requirements of survival, the concept of consumption expanded beyond food, water, shelter, clothing and fire. Other resources, such as metal and stone, came into play. And tribes came into play, as one tribe exerted force over another, requiring tribute in some form or other. Humans became spoils of war as much as executors of war. Tribes began to vie for dominance over resources, including their respective populations. The victor was free to do with the spoils what seemed fit to do.

No doubt fledgling expressions of institutional religion played a role, developing it would seem side by side and in conjunction with the development of war. The gods of war seem as common from a point beginning about 5 thousand years ago as the gods of the sun and moon, harvest and death. This would seem to corroborate the intimacy that early civilizations had with war, acknowledging war as an integral part of their lives. Even in the infancy of monotheism, G-d was depicted as a warrior and supporter of warriors.

War inspires greatness from within. War inspires courage, selflessness, camaraderie and a sense of brotherhood. War engages loyalty and devotion. War invokes appreciation and gratitude. Warriors understand these things with a greater intensity than most others. We do not know ourselves without a battle to fight, for it is only in the throes of a battle that we can draw ourselves up to our full potential. That battle may not be with bullets and bombs whizzing by, it may just as well be in fighting what we feel is “the good fight.” We are inspired by challenges to rise above ourselves. When things are going as we desire, we have no challenge to overcome, we grow lax and apathetic. We become “peaceful,” static. Our potential growth becomes stunted.

The warrior tradition has maintained societies and cultures around the world and across recorded history. Even in the passive resistance of some cultures, there is still the underlying motivation of conquest and superiority. In what remains of aboriginal tribal societies, the warrior ethic is promulgated and perpetuated. The warrior is seen as the defender of and provider for the tribe. As extended into modern societies, the warrior ethic is often misunderstood by outsiders who confuse the warrior ethic with politics. War is with us, and ever shall be, so long as we draw breath and require food and shelter for our survival. Let us not confuse the issue, warriors earn our respect.
_________________________

As always, respectful comments are welcome and appreciated. :)
 
Hello Juan,

well written and argued, but how do you resolve the "appeal to nature" fallacy?

Peace

Mark
 
Juan,

With respect

In the name of peace the bountiful healer.

I wonder why you should find the need to write such a thesis on war.

In the intelligence of peace it is beyond comprehension.

- c -
 
Hmmmm...well that pretty well summarizes what we've all been up to as far as mass conflict is concerned the past 5,000 years or so. But what about the matriarchal societies that oversaw the growth of humanity into a worldwide family in the preceeding 94,000 years or so? Oh, I'll admit that there was probably conflict in those times, but it likely wasn't so blatantly and effectively exercised in indiscriminate ways against the guilty and the innocent alike until the rise of patriarchal societies and the city states of the middle east about 6,000 years ago. And don't forget slavery which likely grew apace once organized warfare got up a real head of steam back in the day.

As an aside I've always found it to be interesting that the word "slave" does not appear once in the KJV bible. Ignoring something important doesn't make it untrue, and slavery was endemic to the biblical world, and the modern as well, only it's known as day and sweatshop labor these days.

Look around you at what warfare has grown the human civilizations of the world into. The beginnings of a pretty convincing version of Orwell's 1984 nightmare perhaps?

I found your writing thorough and convincing in a limited sense; but, even though we cannot escape it, because conflict and competiton is an important part of nature, warfare, in the end, is merely an amplification of death. And there's already enough of that around without the inevitable technological enhancements, which, in the end, are only projections of an individual's will and power within hierarchical complex systems with the end purpose of killing other humans.

I keep wanting to repeat what Dr. Robert Oppenheimer said at the trinity nuclear explosion,"I am death, the destroyer of worlds".

flow....:cool:
 
Kindest Regards, Paladin!

It's great to see you back around!

how do you resolve the "appeal to nature" fallacy?

I'm not fully certain I understand what you are getting at. If I understand correctly, then the only way (to "resolve the 'appeal to nature' fallacy") would be to deny the "natural, organic, animal" aspect of being human. As much as our religious philosophies attempt to raise us above this aspect of ourselves, we cannot deny its existence. We are still subject to the cycles of the moon, gravity, and atrophy. No matter how we try to distance ourselves from these aspects of our nature, they are inherent within us. We cannot overcome by denial of the plainly evident, surely. The process of "enlightenment" (in the broadest sense of "spiritual attainment') is specifically to rise above our "fallen" nature. Which is an abstract way to acknowledge the animal aspect of humanity. This is a conflicting consideration from my Christian perspective, in that nature is presumed good, or at the very least how it was intended to be, yet humans are to rise above their natural tendencies because human nature is, or somehow has become, "fallen." A rather curious dichotomy; nature is good, but human nature is not? Else, nature simply is (neither good nor bad), but human nature must somehow be overcome?
 
Kindest Regards, Ciel!

With the utmost in love, respect and sincerity, is the path of apathy and inaction always the *best* path?

I wonder why you should find the need to write such a thesis on war.
Balance, and a reality check. :)
 
Kindest Regards, Flow!

Thank you for the thoughtful response!

what about the matriarchal societies that oversaw the growth of humanity into a worldwide family in the preceeding 94,000 years or so? Oh, I'll admit that there was probably conflict in those times, but it likely wasn't so blatantly and effectively exercised in indiscriminate ways against the guilty and the innocent alike until the rise of patriarchal societies and the city states of the middle east about 6,000 years ago.
Considering we have no way of knowing, this is conjecture. I am beginning to think (well, for the last year or so) that the whole matriarchy/patriarchy thing is a bit...inaccurate. Mothers will always have inordinate influence on their young. It is not until a youngster is of a significant age that a father has *the potential* to have any influence that approaches that of the mother. This is true whether or not the *greater society* is "matriarchal" or "patriarchal." But I digress. If you have any research that can definitively point to this in prehistoric antiquity beyond conjecture by the researcher, I would be most interested.

And don't forget slavery which likely grew apace once organized warfare got up a real head of steam back in the day.
Actually, I noted that above. "as one tribe exerted force over another, requiring tribute in some form or other. Humans became spoils of war as much as executors of war. Tribes began to vie for dominance over resources, including their respective populations."

As an aside I've always found it to be interesting that the word "slave" does not appear once in the KJV bible.
According to my Strong's (which is based on the KJV), "slave" is mentioned in Jer. 2:14 and "slaves" is mentioned in Rev. 18:13. Further, the NT book of Philemon was traditionally written by Paul to a slave.

Ignoring something important doesn't make it untrue,
Agreed. In fact, that is a significant point underlying my initial post.

and slavery was endemic to the biblical world, and the modern as well, only it's known as day and sweatshop labor these days.
Why stop there if we are to be truthful to ourselves? What is taxation? What is indebtedness?

Look around you at what warfare has grown the human civilizations of the world into. The beginnings of a pretty convincing version of Orwell's 1984 nightmare perhaps?
No argument from me, I posted a lengthy tome regarding Orwell not long back, I believe is was in a thread about prophets in the Christianity section. Besides, we've grown beyond Orwell at this point, gone beyond what he envisioned.

I found your writing thorough and convincing in a limited sense; but, even though we cannot escape it, because conflict and competiton is an important part of nature, warfare, in the end, is merely an amplification of death. And there's already enough of that around without the inevitable technological enhancements, which, in the end, are only projections of an individual's will and power within hierarchical complex systems with the end purpose of killing other humans.
Therein lies the problem, limited focus. Did I not begin pointing out that the term *war* evokes emotion? Emotion narrows focus, it is inevitable. Under the influence of emotion, a person sees and hears what they want to, and disregards the rest (to borrow from Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle). If one wishes to narrow an understanding of war to modern warfare, then you are correct, and this is to confuse the issue with politics. It does not account for the inescapable reality that you and I and every mother's child wages war everyday of necessity for survival. If you eat; you wage war, and you murder.

I keep wanting to repeat what Dr. Robert Oppenheimer said at the trinity nuclear explosion,"I am death, the destroyer of worlds".
In the sense I am speaking, we all are.

:)
 
Thank you for your extensive commentary on my reply 1,2,3.-

*With respect to pre-patriarchal organization in ancient societies, I do not agree that my emphasis of matriarchical organization amounts to conjecture. There has been extensive Archaeological and Anthropological research in this area in the latter half of the 20th century. Perhaps the best example of such information that is readily available in one volume was written and published in 1989 by the late Marija Gimbutas, with a forward by the late Joseph Campbell. It is titled, The Language of the Goddess. It's not easy to find, but my copy is one of my prized possessions. It is profusely illustrated and tells the prehistory story of matriarchal society; and, how it not only was at the foundations of human life in Africa, but is also extant at the undeniable foundation of western culture.

*What I was getting at here but did not state clearly was how transcontinental warfare, which really began in earnest around the Mediterranean Sea area about 3.000 bce, rapidly enlarged the need for slaves as an economic engine for development of empire. This necessitated long-distance precurement and trade of humans for slave labor purposes and could not be considered merely the "spoils" of successful warfare. At this point in time, slavery took on a life of its own as a societal trade and business institution in most empires, and became less related to the process of warfare per se.
I'll admit to the single Strong's references to slave and slaves in the OT and NT; but, when considering the scope of slavery and slave trade at the time of the ancients, don't you think it unusual that with all the stories we are told in these books that there are only these two, single uses of the word ? And why wouldn't have Jesus condemned it out of hand somewhere in his many verbal utterances on most other aspects of human spirituality ? It's all rather strange to me, and a little too strange to be coincidental.
Oh, and I agree about taxation and indebtedness, but theoretically we have choices when it comes to those. We choose, most of the time, to become indebted to acquire what we believe to be the necessities of life, and unless I'm mistaken we still have a voice in taxation policy through the election process. Whenever I hear people complain about the common person's economic place in the world today I tell them to blame the Dutch since they invented credit and corporations in the middle ages.:D

*I find it really interesting that Orwell's name was really Eric Alan Blair.

*I wasn't trying to split hairs on the scope of warfare, but merely trying to distinguish between automated and directed warfare (let's call it the digital marching of war entities) and random and consequential conflict in natural systems (let's call this the analog dancing of living biomes).

In the case of directed warfare we have systems operated through command and control operations that must be hierarchical. The quality and effeciency of the entire effort is totally dependent upon the decisions made at the top which flow down the chain of command to the grunts in the trenches and in the streets. If this sort of warfare is directed without thought to peripheral damages, then the killing and destruction is greatly amplified unnecessarily, especially when modern technologies are employed. We only need to watch the news from Iraq to see this phenomenon in action, but then, if you're old enough one may recognize parallels to our misfortunes in Vietnam. Upton Sinclair's ,The Jungle, also gives us a keen insight into the industrial version of misdirected warfare.

In the case of the random and analog dancing of biomes, we have the basis for the interactions of entities within natural living systems. Of course you are right that since we as a species are probably inclined to destroy natural systems in order to continue our survival, we again have choice as to how far we allow these destructive interventions into natural systems to go before ceasing or modifying our activities. This mode of human behavior finally started to catch on in the latter half of the 20th century, and we now can begin to see that our considered and intelligent exploitations of the workings of natural systems is possible and can be profitable for us at the same time. This is the basis for today's impetus to develop renewable energy, sustainable agriculture ,sustainable forestry, sustainable aquaculture, and recycling systems that don't pollute our environments. But then, when one looks at housing development trends in the southwest USA and south Florida...well, you get the picture.
It is also interesting to note that the book of Genesis was written from a dual perspective similar to this. There were those who sought dominion over nature, and those who sought to live in harmony with nature. IMO, the latter version of humanity had the right idea in that it's probably best to not to try to fight and fool with Mother Nature. She tends to always have her way with us all over the long haul. Things really haven't changed all that much and it's dejavu all over again, huh?

flow....:)
 
juantoo3 said:
Kindest Regards, Ciel!

With the utmost in love, respect and sincerity, is the path of apathy and inaction always the *best* path


Apathy and inaction, no. Without the presence of peace in balance, this planet would have dissolved long ago. If you see action and inaction as opposing forces, then see Peace placed in higher vocation as neutral. able to be in constancy. Peace is always waiting in the hope humanity will open to enlightenment.

- c -
 
While I think we certainly need to face the realities and brutality of war and not put our head in the sand, war does not need cheerleading in the name of 'balance.' Juan, I can't help but see some of what you wrote as a glorification and even a justification of war:
juan said:
War inspires greatness from within. War inspires courage, selflessness, camaraderie and a sense of brotherhood. War engages loyalty and devotion. War invokes appreciation and gratitude. Warriors understand these things with a greater intensity than most others. We do not know ourselves without a battle to fight, for it is only in the throes of a battle that we can draw ourselves up to our full potential. That battle may not be with bullets and bombs whizzing by, it may just as well be in fighting what we feel is “the good fight.” We are inspired by challenges to rise above ourselves. When things are going as we desire, we have no challenge to overcome, we grow lax and apathetic. We become “peaceful,” static. Our potential growth becomes stunted.

Perhaps here you were referring to the internal struggle, Jacob on the river bank, or Jihad in the sense of wrestling with one's lower self. But in the context of war between people and nations I must disagree. It may provide a pleasurable testosterone rush for some, but War is Hell.

Would I fight for my family, or for causes that I believe to be just and needed? Yes. But I certainly am not going to feel happy about that unfortunate reality.

luna
 
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juantoo3 said:
Peace is static.
Peace is not static. Peace is simply not violent. Peacetime can be a vigorously active, productive, dynamic time. There is nothing intrinsic to peace that is static.

If war is to invoke death, then to consider death is to also consider continuation.

How comforting.

If we proceed with the presumption that nature is created, and that nature is “good” (or at least how nature is intended to be), then denial of the natural state cannot confer right or wrong to the issue.

If we have peace, how is this not a "natural state" as well? Both war and peace exist for human beings, and one cannot say that one is "natural" and the other is "unnatural".

To console ourselves believing that we are not committing war against other creatures is to blind ourselves to their perspective.

This is an abuse of the concept "war". It is ripping it out of context.

Lambs likewise may live peaceably amongst themselves, but only by waging war upon fields of grass.

And here is the reductio ad absurdum.

War inspires greatness from within. War inspires courage, selflessness, camaraderie and a sense of brotherhood. War engages loyalty and devotion.

War also encourages cruelty, rape, dehumanization of the "enemy", and creates misery and the destruction of human values.

Peace, on the other hand, can inspire greatness from within that is in harmony with human well-being and our full potentials as rational beings. It can inspire all the traits you mentioned, except in the context of a productive and happy life.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 
Kindest Regards, Flow!

Thank you again for your thoughtful response!

*With respect to pre-patriarchal organization in ancient societies, I do not agree that my emphasis of matriarchical organization amounts to conjecture. There has been extensive Archaeological and Anthropological research in this area in the latter half of the 20th century.
I am familiar with a little of it. I simply have trouble seeing where a collection of bone fragments (animal and human), charcoal, tools and implements, fertility artifacts and cave paintings amounts to “matriarchy.” Even considering the finds of injured individuals who were medically healed and buried with respect (as I recall both Neandertal and Cro-Magnon), in no way does this confirm matriarchy.

Perhaps the best example of such information that is readily available in one volume was written and published in 1989 by the late Marija Gimbutas, with a forward by the late Joseph Campbell. It is titled, The Language of the Goddess. It's not easy to find, but my copy is one of my prized possessions. It is profusely illustrated and tells the prehistory story of matriarchal society; and, how it not only was at the foundations of human life in Africa, but is also extant at the undeniable foundation of western culture.
This sounds like an interesting read. I do find it quite telling, that cultures traditionally ascribed by anthropology as being matriarchal, such as Native Americans, European Celts and Native African tribes, have some of the *strongest* and most deeply ingrained warrior ethics of all cultures.

*What I was getting at here but did not state clearly was how transcontinental warfare, which really began in earnest around the Mediterranean Sea area about 3.000 bce, rapidly enlarged the need for slaves as an economic engine for development of empire. This necessitated long-distance precurement and trade of humans for slave labor purposes and could not be considered merely the "spoils" of successful warfare. At this point in time, slavery took on a life of its own as a societal trade and business institution in most empires, and became less related to the process of warfare per se.
Certainly, but is this not putting the cart before the horse? My essay is on the inherent nature of war to the human psyche and human nature, and even nature as a whole. I have not digressed into an exposé on slavery, nor do I wish to here. Slavery is beside the point. I do not see any corollary beyond the physical history and incidental association with warfare. I fail to see how we hold an inherent intuition of slavery to our beliefs within our minds, particularly those among us who have the independent wherewithal to participate in a forum such as this.

I'll admit to the single Strong's references to slave and slaves in the OT and NT; but, when considering the scope of slavery and slave trade at the time of the ancients, don't you think it unusual that with all the stories we are told in these books that there are only these two, single uses of the word ?
Ah, semantics…Did you happen to notice how many times the word “servant” and its variants (incl. “bondage, bondmaid, bondsman”) are used in the Bible, and the context in which they are used? My Strong’s lists almost 4 pages of references. Even if one were to consider that *some* of these references are paid “employees” (“a workman is worthy of his hire…”), even so a substantial portion of these references are no doubt unpaid “slaves.” Now, considering A: the KJV is written in the vernacular of Elizabethan English, and B: sometimes it is simply not considered polite to call a thing by its vulgar term in polite company, then I must presume that “servant” is a polite term for slave. Particularly with passages such as “being sold into bondage.” One need only look to Genesis 37:27 (where Joseph is “sold to the Ishmaelites”) to see that slavery as an enterprise was already underway in the Middle East circa 4500 years ago +/-. To wit, the importance (and more importantly, the relevance) of slavery in and to the OT and NT of the Bible are readily apparent to someone who has actually read it, and not so apparent to someone with a PC axe to grind. In short, I greatly value your scholarship in the many threads I have seen you contribute to. However, you are way off base with this one, and a quick cursory study will show just what I am talking about.

And why wouldn't have Jesus condemned it out of hand somewhere in his many verbal utterances on most other aspects of human spirituality ? It's all rather strange to me, and a little too strange to be coincidental.
What is strange? Jesus not accepting your beliefs? Who is the teacher, I wonder? Do we fashion a god in our own image while we are at it? (This comes across more sarcastic than it is meant, but my point stands)

Oh, and I agree about taxation and indebtedness, but theoretically we have choices when it comes to those. We choose, most of the time, to become indebted to acquire what we believe to be the necessities of life, and unless I'm mistaken we still have a voice in taxation policy through the election process. Whenever I hear people complain about the common person's economic place in the world today I tell them to blame the Dutch since they invented credit and corporations in the middle ages.
Ah yes, theoretically. The practical reality is always so different from theory. Actually, credit (usury) was taking place long before the time of Jesus. Seems I recall bills of credit among the cuneiform tablets found in Sumeria, way before the Dutch ever existed.

*I find it really interesting that Orwell's name was really Eric Alan Blair.
I didn’t know that, thanks.

*I wasn't trying to split hairs on the scope of warfare, but merely trying to distinguish between automated and directed warfare (let's call it the digital marching of war entities) and random and consequential conflict in natural systems (let's call this the analog dancing of living biomes).
Now we’re headed back into focus. Digital and analog, OK, I’m with you…

In the case of directed warfare we have systems operated through command and control operations that must be hierarchical. The quality and effeciency of the entire effort is totally dependent upon the decisions made at the top which flow down the chain of command to the grunts in the trenches and in the streets.
Do we not lead, or follow, ourselves? Put another way, as Henley said in Invictus; “I am the master of my fate, I am the Captain of my soul.”

If this sort of warfare is directed without thought to peripheral damages, then the killing and destruction is greatly amplified unnecessarily, especially when modern technologies are employed. We only need to watch the news from Iraq to see this phenomenon in action, but then, if you're old enough one may recognize parallels to our misfortunes in Vietnam. Upton Sinclair's ,The Jungle, also gives us a keen insight into the industrial version of misdirected warfare.
Ah, the temptation to break my oath. I will not discuss the current goings on, a promise I made to myself when I came here over two years ago. I spent a year on another forum in the time leading up to Iraq playing Devil’s Advocate. Always the same old tired arguments, the bumper sticker rationales, the mindless and thoughtless ten-second sound bites and no original thinking. Ahhh, what’s a person to do?

I will state this emphatically, as I have already posted a thread long ago that points to how the current hostilities ***are*** being waged by the terms of “Just War.”

“The moral requirements of ius in bello are that a use of armed force be discriminate and proportionate. For ius ad bellum, the requirements are that the resort to force (1) have a just cause, (2) be authorized be a competent authority, (3) be motivated by a right intention, and (4) pass four prudential tests: it must (a) be expected to produce a preponderance of good over evil, (b) have a reasonable hope of success, (c) be a last resort, and (d) have peace as its expected outcome.” -James Turner Johnson, http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.1998/pub_detail.asp,
from a reference on Wikipedia: Just War theory,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war

A person is liable to reach their own conclusions, but considering there exist persons with no qualms about turning Iraq into a glass parking lot (with further consideration that we have the means at our disposal to do so!), I think all of the points that satisfy St. Augustine’s (with furtherance by Thomas Acquinas) “Just War” principles are being held to, to a far greater degree than any hostilities up to and including Viet Nam. In short, NO COMPARISON.

I have no more to say to this issue.

In the case of the random and analog dancing of biomes, we have the basis for the interactions of entities within natural living systems. Of course you are right that since we as a species are probably inclined to destroy natural systems in order to continue our survival, we again have choice as to how far we allow these destructive interventions into natural systems to go before ceasing or modifying our activities. This mode of human behavior finally started to catch on in the latter half of the 20th century,
Well, yes, but we have had these “choices” from time immemorial. It was our choice to hunt the Mammoth to extinction. It was our choice to settle and domesticate animals and plants. It is our choices that led to introductions of invasive foreign species. It is our choices to selectively breed and hybridize. The “killer bee” is one of our choices. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is the result of our choices.

and we now can begin to see that our considered and intelligent exploitations of the workings of natural systems is possible and can be profitable for us at the same time.
If by this you are meaning the scientific method applied to the natural systems in an effort to stimulate those systems into atypical production, then yes, and it has been “officially” going on for a couple of hundred years, at least since Gregor Johann Mendel.

This is the basis for today's impetus to develop renewable energy, sustainable agriculture ,sustainable forestry, sustainable aquaculture, and recycling systems that don't pollute our environments.
Well, yes and no. Applied science is about manipulation (fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, etc, “better living through modern chemistry”). The “renewables” movement is a distinct backlash against the abuses and perversions of applied science. Though it likely has a foundation beginning prior to Rachel Carson, it was her seminal work “Silent Spring” that gave impetus to the “back-to-the-land” movement. The most visible effort (and one to be applauded in my opinion) is the long running magazine “Mother Earth News.” If anything though, the back to the land movement has less to do with modern science as it does have sympathetic ethics common to certain Pagan, Buddhist and Aboriginal (Shamanic) cultural outlooks. I.E.: “live *with* nature, instead of manipulating nature.”

But then, when one looks at housing development trends in the southwest USA and south Florida...well, you get the picture.
Actually, no I don’t get the picture. Do you have a better solution? Perhaps a Malthusian one? Perhaps retroactive abortion? Soylent Green, anyone?

It is also interesting to note that the book of Genesis was written from a dual perspective similar to this. There were those who sought dominion over nature, and those who sought to live in harmony with nature. IMO, the latter version of humanity had the right idea in that it's probably best to not to try to fight and fool with Mother Nature. She tends to always have her way with us all over the long haul. Things really haven't changed all that much and it's dejavu all over again, huh?
There’s nothing new under the sun, eh? :D

Thanks again, I look forward to your response.
 
Kindest Regards, Ciel!

Thank you, very much!
Ciel said:
Apathy and inaction, no. Without the presence of peace in balance, this planet would have dissolved long ago. If you see action and inaction as opposing forces, then see Peace placed in higher vocation as neutral. able to be in constancy.
If peace is balance, which I can see the possibility, then that balance must include war as I have described. I suppose then that peace must co-exist with the flux of war. To have one and not the other is to be unbalanced.

Peace is always waiting in the hope humanity will open to enlightenment.
Respectfully...what is enlightenment? I had thought it to be seeing things as they really are; not as we wish them to be, not filtered through our preferences, not painting G-d in our own image.
 
Kindest Regards, Luna!
lunamoth said:
While I think we certainly need to face the realities and brutality of war and not put our head in the sand, war does not need cheerleading in the name of 'balance.'
I am not cheerleading, I am opening eyes to harsh reality. Besides, there is an opposed "cheerleading" thread, that incidentally in my view seems for the most part (*with the glaring exception of Ciel's posts*) to express vociferously the warrior ethic! Gotta love them people who use forceful tactics to promote peace... :D ! They only prove my point.

Juan, I can't help but see some of what you wrote as a glorification and even a justification of war:
Luna, I love you as as sister, you know that. Have you so quickly forgotten the old threads? I just posted the references, and I bumped the threads.

Perhaps here you were referring to the internal struggle, Jacob on the river bank, or Jihad in the sense of wrestling with one's lower self. But in the context of war between people and nations I must disagree. It may provide a pleasurable testosterone rush for some, but War is Hell.
Would you deny combat wounded veteran's their own personal experiences? Or their valor in battle? Would you deny the freedoms you are comfortable enjoying at their expense? Would you deny the lines and rows of grave markers in Arlington or Normandy? War IS Hell, and ALL of us carry a little piece of that. Denial does not change that fact.

Would I fight for my family, or for causes that I believe to be just and needed? Yes. But I certainly am not going to feel happy about that unfortunate reality.
It is a rare and psychologically sick individual, who DOES feel happy about fighting for anything. The question is, do you rise to the occasion when it is necessary? Would you kill to fill your belly? Would you kill to fill your child's belly? I posit that you would, and do, EVERYDAY. So would, and do, I, and everyone else.
 
Kindest Regards, Eudaimonist, and welcome to CR!

Thank you for your thoughts!
Eudaimonist said:
Peace is not static.
What do you envisage as "peace?" Then I can see if there is truly dynamic flux and "non-war" at work.

Peace is simply not violent.
I can grant you this. War, in the sense of opposition, need not be violent either.

Peacetime can be a vigorously active, productive, dynamic time.
Historically I can think of no peacetime that compared in vigor, activity, productivity and dynamism for the participants in even the most modest war.

There is nothing intrinsic to peace that is static.
Sure there is. Everything about peace points to status quo, contentment with how things are and the desire for it to ever continue just as it is. Puppies and kittens and teddybears and butterflies and meadows full of flowers. How can that be any more static?

How comforting.
For our bellies, it is quite comforting.

If we have peace, how is this not a "natural state" as well? Both war and peace exist for human beings, and one cannot say that one is "natural" and the other is "unnatural".
OK, good point, it coincides with Ciel's point about balance. So then, if war is the natural balance to peace, then both are required, ergo both are "good."

This is an abuse of the concept "war". It is ripping it out of context.
To a blinded eye perhaps. It is not out of context, it is actually putting the matter into a greater focus. BIG picture, if you will, rather than narrow focus.

I don't like it any more than the rest of you. The difference being trying see it for what it really is, rather than manufacturing a reality and passing it off to others as "real" and "true."

And here is the reductio ad absurdum.
From the point of view of the eater, I can see you saying this. How about from the point of view of the eaten? Of course, that is not likely a concern, at least until one becomes worm food.

War also encourages cruelty, rape, dehumanization of the "enemy", and creates misery and the destruction of human values.
Have you seen me deny this? Of course, war is not necessary *at all* for any and all of these. There are vast examples of cruelty in peacetime. There is rape in peacetime. There is dehumanization in the form of prejudice and discrimination (sometimes even systemic legally) in peacetime. There continues to be untold misery and suffering in peacetime. There is gross destruction of human values in peacetime. So, the point is???

Peace, on the other hand, can inspire greatness from within that is in harmony with human well-being and our full potentials as rational beings. It can inspire all the traits you mentioned, except in the context of a productive and happy life.
Not with the urgency that war brings upon a person. There is no real comparison. Peace is for cattle, those that prefer to be led about by the nose.

*Footnote to Ciel:
I forgot to mention, another reason for beginning this thread is that I figured it would provoke conversation. So far it seems to be working. :D
 
juantoo3 said:
What do you envisage as "peace?" Then I can see if there is truly dynamic flux and "non-war" at work.

Sending men to the Moon might be a specific example of a peacetime activity. Doing something productive with one's time. Solving problems. Meeting new people. Having new experiences. Life is an adventure, and there is much one can do without shooting at people.

War, in the sense of opposition, need not be violent either.

War, in the sense of opposition, is no longer war, but merely opposition. We don't kill each other in the mere sense of "opposition".

When I speak of war, I'm talking about the organized killing of human beings.

I oppose the disorganized killing or hurting of people (as in crime) as well.

Historically I can think of no peacetime that compared in vigor, activity, productivity and dynamism for the participants in even the most modest war.

The computer industry and technologies developed enormously quickly without the need for war. I doubt that war would have helped.

Sure there is. Everything about peace points to status quo, contentment with how things are and the desire for it to ever continue just as it is. Puppies and kittens and teddybears and butterflies and meadows full of flowers. How can that be any more static?

Peace does not imply contentment. People are rarely contented even in peacetime. There is more to do with one's life without threats to one's life than run through the meadows.

For our bellies, it is quite comforting.

Unless there are food shortages, which are not uncommon in wartime.

OK, good point, it coincides with Ciel's point about balance. So then, if war is the natural balance to peace, then both are required, ergo both are "good."

I'm not saying that war "is the natural balance to peace". I'm saying that war is no more or less "natural" than peace. I think that war is something the world would be much better without. Perhaps there would still be "opposition" of one sort or another in peacetime (as we oppose each other philosophically), but if violence is removed from the equation, that's okay.

From the point of view of the eater, I can see you saying this. How about from the point of view of the eaten? Of course, that is not likely a concern, at least until one becomes worm food.

Yes, and in war (that is, the organized killing of people) that's what will happen to many.

Have you seen me deny this? Of course, war is not necessary *at all* for any and all of these. There are vast examples of cruelty in peacetime. There is rape in peacetime. There is dehumanization in the form of prejudice and discrimination (sometimes even systemic legally) in peacetime. There continues to be untold misery and suffering in peacetime. There is gross destruction of human values in peacetime. So, the point is???

The point is that war only adds more destruction. War only makes things worse.

Not with the urgency that war brings upon a person. There is no real comparison. Peace is for cattle, those that prefer to be led about by the nose.

Peace is for people who have productive things they'd like to do with their lives that they wouldn't be able to do if they are being shot at or bombed.

War is for followers who wish to be led by the nose by leaders -- to obey, to kill, to suffer, to die.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 
juantoo3 said:
...is the path of apathy and inaction always the *best* path?...
surely it is the harder path, not apathy and inaction, but deciding not to fight, not to resist, to attain stillness.

Seems to me tis always easier to simply swing back than negotiate or discuss. There are many other paths to brotherhood, passion, ingenuity than war...might be the easier way...but not the only way.
 
Kindest Regards, Eudaimonist!

Thank you for your response!
Eudaimonist said:
Sending men to the Moon might be a specific example of a peacetime activity.
The "space race" was a direct response to the Russians re: the Cold WAR. The whole industry was tied together with spy satellites and ICBM's by the MILITARY. Notice that by far the preponderance of all astronauts/cosmonauts are military? Coincidental? (*Not!*)

Doing something productive with one's time. Solving problems. Meeting new people. Having new experiences.
One can only have these experiences in peacetime?

Life is an adventure,
Yes, it is, especially if one is not too busy lulling about in a flower covered meadow holding a teddy bear.

War, in the sense of opposition, is no longer war, but merely opposition. We don't kill each other in the mere sense of "opposition".
War holds a greater contextual meaning than what is provided for here. This places an inordinate narrow focus on the issue in an effort to change the context and meaning. This is a narrow definition, I have presented a much broader (open minded) definition.

When I speak of war, I'm talking about the organized killing of human beings.
I appreciate this. However, the essay is mine. One cannot impose their definition when one is pretty explicitly laid out. Emotions are beginning to cloud the issue, just as I predicted.

I oppose the disorganized killing or hurting of people (as in crime) as well.
I do not approve of such things, yet we lie to ourselves if we teach others that they do not happen. Haven't run the numbers, but it would not surprise me in the least if far more people died of crime during peacetime than ever died in war. Certainly, more people die in the US of traffic accidents and tobacco every month than died in the whole of the Viet Nam war.

The computer industry and technologies developed enormously quickly without the need for war. I doubt that war would have helped.
Ummm, source please? Having been in the military, I can state unequivicably that computers were developed specifically because of the military and military use. Vacuum tubes, radios, radar, integrated circuits, all brought about courtesy of "the military industrial complex." Look it up, I ain't leg pullin'.

Peace does not imply contentment. People are rarely contented even in peacetime. There is more to do with one's life without threats to one's life than run through the meadows.
Peace not to do with contentment? OK, this is the first I have heard this. What is peace then?

Unless there are food shortages, which are not uncommon in wartime.
True. Yet we cannot superimpose a narrowed definition for the sake of overturning my presentation. This had to do with filling one's belly when one is hungry. The question becomes, does one have the intestinal fortitude to look one's meal in the eye before it dies? Or does one let someone else slaughter it for one, so one can maintain a clean conscience? That ever-so-preferable state wherein one can be guilty, and not suffer guilt?

I'm saying that war is no more or less "natural" than peace. I think that war is something the world would be much better without. Perhaps there would still be "opposition" of one sort or another in peacetime (as we oppose each other philosophically), but if violence is removed from the equation, that's okay.
This is a wonderful sentiment, one I can agree with at a surface level. It still ignores and evades my underlying premise. How does one go about removing violence from the slaughter of tonight's supper?

Yes, and in war (that is, the organized killing of people) that's what will happen to many.
What about the organized killing of the cows that become Micky D's hamburgers? What about the organized killing of pigs? What about the organized killing of fish, rabbits, dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys, geese, quail, pheasant, and every other creature slaughtered for consumption around the globe. Let us not end there, what of every form of plant life that is slaughtered? That happens *every day* without cease. No, to narrow the focus of war to simply humans killing humans is far too narrow focused. Not when humans war upon nature DAILY.

The point is that war only adds more destruction. War only makes things worse.
Yes. Now, are we discussing the human war against nature, or are we still focused on human to human interaction? If we are still narrowly focused, then we will be at cross purposes and talking past each other.

Peace is for people who have productive things they'd like to do with their lives that they wouldn't be able to do if they are being shot at or bombed.
It would be interesting to hear one tell that to one's supper tonight.

War is for followers who wish to be led by the nose by leaders -- to obey, to kill, to suffer, to die.
Here I will entertain the narrow vision of the definition of war, and say "Thank G-d for them!"

Thank you. Thank you, men and women in uniform, for the selfless service you render to this nation, and render to all of us unworthy people. I cannot thank you enough for your selfless sacrifice! I applaude our brave warriors!
 
Kindest Regards, wil!

wil said:
surely it is the harder path, not apathy and inaction, but deciding not to fight, not to resist, to attain stillness.

Seems to me tis always easier to simply swing back than negotiate or discuss. There are many other paths to brotherhood, passion, ingenuity than war...might be the easier way...but not the only way.
Actually, I do not disagree with you. This is a very astute and salient point. There are moments for inaction, stillness, quiet and reservation. Yes, I agree.

I have trouble with the always part. There are moments, there are times, when action is necessary, stillness must motivate, quiet must be set aside, and reservations are no longer possible. It is in these moments one must do. Whether that is being responsible, mentally and / or physically for providing supper, or being proactive to insure one's family's survival, or "hunting" down a threat to society, those moments come, and we must be ready to act in them and on them. And especially not give grief to those who do so on our behalf.
 
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