Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Discussions regarding actual culture and history of Earth.
Keenir
runic
runic
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue 22 May 2012, 02:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Keenir » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 00:51

Xonen wrote:
Also: the computer can answer me a question when I ask. I can type into Google "how to fix a leaky faucet" and it can give me answers.
Um. I'll admit I don't know much about how it actually works, but I'm almost certain Google, for now, actually just links you to answers that have been written by people. [;)] There are certainly actual AI's that can attempt to answer questions as well, but (perhaps fortunately) they appear not to have become self-aware just yet.
one of the "it came so close to being awesome, and then the writers shot themselves in the foot" episode of Numb3rs involved an AI that SPOILERS
Spoiler:
turned out that, instead of thinking and giving an answer...what it did was look for keywords in what was being said to it (to the AI), and then selected from narrowed choices, and selected from subgroups of those, and the answer from there.
And because of that, was deemed not truly intelligent.

And yet that's how humans think and respond.

Peace Cobbler! (or not)
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
Tanni
greek
greek
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu 12 Aug 2010, 01:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Tanni » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 08:45

elemtilas wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:
elemtilas wrote:For now, and in my opinion, they remain at best clever animals approaching but not yet attaining personhood. I remain open to surprise reversal!
There are the Great Apes too. I've seen how human-like chimpanzees can be.
Stands to reason: they are terribly close relatives after all! Or maybe what you're really seeing is how very chimp-like we can still be? [:D]

Something happened and we became persons -- they have not yet. That may in the end be a good thing. We weren't really very good at recognising or respecting the personhood of other early hominid folks -- they were all killed off!
The word personhood as you use it seems to be rather contrieved to me. My online dictionary gives me two translations for personhood (translated back): 1. the (being a human) and 2. (American) the personality. The comments have (random selection): ''Different cultures have different ways of constructing personhood.'' as a source, ''identity, personal identity, individuality - the distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity; "you can lose your identity when you join the army"'', some posting saying it is ''personal environment'' and "'Personhood' is sometimes preferred when the term "personality" is seen as too closely associated with a trait approach" probably from "Cross-Cultural Psychology" by Berry. The commentor tells us that it's about that in Western tradition, in dayly life, personalities are depicted with features like helpful, irritable, nervous, so that the term is biased. To circumvent the association with features, in the English speaking world, they use the term ''personhood'', especially when non-Western concepts of personality are meant.

So what's what we have and they don't have? Early hominid folks didn't have the Bible, and maybe no notion of personhood or morality at all. Or a different kind of morality helping them to survive in harsh environments.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.
Tanni
greek
greek
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu 12 Aug 2010, 01:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Tanni » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 09:48

elemtilas wrote:
Tanni wrote:
elemtilas wrote:I would take such killings -- war, self defense, abortion, etc -- and call them "understandable killings" or "explainable killings". I understand why a man shoots a burglar breaking into his house; I understand why this country fights against that country and I understand why mothers kill babies and why the law seeks the death penalty. However understandable and however explainable, all those actions are the act of killing, and not in any way an act of love. Therefore, as he says, they are sinful. I may understand or agree with or even engage in one or more those killings if put in that situation; but in doing so, I would not consider doing that act as anything other than a failing to act in a loving manner.
How can you know or understand all this? You cannot love all the people. I wonder if someone ever can truely love their enemies. This christian lore just leads into hypocrisy.
[:)] Perhaps you should try it sometime? Before you tell someone it can not be done?
Do you really understand what goes on in the head of people you do not know or why a state does something? You simply can't!
“Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
“Why should I not hate mine enemies―if I "love" them does that not place me at their mercy?”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
First, this takes way too much energy. (Been there, done that.) Second, you will drown in your hatred, as you find more and more people that are distasteful to you.
What kind of energy? (Where? What?) Maybe your hatred is more energy-consuming than the hatred of others? Your answer looks like the answer of an ideologist seeking for support in physics.
Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Do you think people like him waste their ''energy''?
Have you ever been in a situation where somebody suddenly attacked you? Do you think you have time to make elaborated choices in an surprisedly arising threatening situation, especially when weapons are involved or when there are more than one attacker or both, or if that happens in the void, so only you and the attackers? What's when there is no other way as ''to counter their evil act with our own evil act''? ''... rather than choosing to do no evil act of our own.'' Ever heard of the instinct of self preservation?
I have indeed been in such situations. (Happily, none of them involved imminent death!) I can tell you that one time I was hit at school and chased the attacker through the building, caught him and beat him up. Other times I was bullied but chose the way of non-violent acceptance. The failure to well handle that one situation still stings more than all the other incidents. Those have left no permanent stain.
Being bullied means that you were in a long term process. How long can you ''choose the way of non-violent acceptance'' without getting serious personal damage or your life-chances destroyed? Even and especially non-violent acceptance will destroy you sooner or later. Or it will destroy your family. And it will encourage the bully to go on.
You have been in such situations, just two times. In school? Sorry, there's a life out of school were things can emerge very quickly and can have tremendous consequences. This can even happen in school.
If you are in a dilemma, what do you think is the best way to -- morally -- deal with it? Does it make sense to apply morality to a dilemma? I don't think so! If you act in a dilemma situation, according to your morality, you will be guilty regardless what you're doing. (See it as a moralic system crash!) Here comes fairness into play: In such a situation, it simply isn't fair to apply morality. Or, the other way round, morality isn't fair! But the ones who in this case judge you by moralic standards are hypocrits.
Not at all -- morality applies to every situation where you are involved with another person. Sometimes there is no good answer, and yes, sometimes you find yourself in a lose-lose situation. You simply have to accept that you made best possible decision in that moment and move on.
Is it moral to pollute the water, the air, or to kill herds of animals like the bisons? To focus morality to just persons made all that environmental pollutions possible. See that the nature has a right to exist, too, without everything related and ruled by humans.

''Sometimes, there is no good answer ...'' but you can get punished for not having a ''good answer''.
Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
(BTW, I'm not a Satanist, but I see that there is more wisdom and straightforwardness in the Satanic Bible than in the original Bible)
Wisdom can indeed be found in many places. I read the S.B. many years ago. More often than not, Satan represents the departure from all wisdom.
LaVeyan Satanism is up for a few decades, the church for two millenia. Go through the history and see what desasters the church has caused.
I am not saying it's right to let yourself be killed; I'm not saying it's wrong to kill in self defense. I am saying it is an act of evil to kill; and am recognizing within the act of self defense the nature of that act.
Elemtilas, if you see it that way, then when you slaughter a rabbit, it is an evil deed?
Not at all. Unless the rabbits in question are sophontic beings -- like us humans in their mental, conceptual, spiritual, intellectual capacities. If they are persons, then yes, killing one becomes an evil deed (again, whether or not that deed may be seen as understandable or explainable). Rabbits are not persons, however, therefore morality does not come into play with respect to the rabbit. (If the rabbit is the property of another person -- a pet, for example -- and I kill it, then I shall have committed a (relatively minor) immoral act against the rabbit's owner. In this case, the destruction of property.
What are sophontic beings? I sometimes wonder if humans have said capabilities at all. If you give it a name, it is a person! This notion is faught by many people: That animals are considered merely a property, not a being.
If you suffer from Pertussis and you body's immune system kills the bacteria, it's an evil deed? If you walk along to school, and you step on an ant, and the ant is dead, it's an evil deed? A moralic system like that brought the church lot's of money and was a main reason (paying for the forgiving of sins) why Martin Luther started the reformation. How moralic is a perverted moralic system?
Any perverted moral system can not be moral. And no, the immune system destroying bacteria is not an evil deed. Morality pertains to persons and their relationships between one another; not to things, not to property, not to living beings that are not persons.
How can you recognize a perverted moral system? For me, a moral system is perverted if priest bless weapons or preach to paritcipate in a war, or perform witch hunts, besides others.

From your notion of morality, I would expect that morality applies to all and everything, as things and property have extreme influence on people and their lives, too. Do you think it is a moral deed if your brother takes away the house you live in to terminate the ''society of heirs'', so that you're finally homeless?
I wouldn't equate ''loving'' with ''moral''. You simply can't love everyone.
Fair enough, though I would come much closer to equating the two: if you behave morally, then you are engaging in love; if your attitude towards others is one of love, then you will naturally behave morally towards them. That Golden Rule thing is a key here.
The Golden rule does not say anything about love! Behaving morally can cause tremedous injustice.
You say it is impossible to love everyone: I say stand back and let me try! In any event, I would strongly encourage you to give it a try rather than simply dismiss the notion! Start out simple, with yourself. Expand your circle from there. It takes some effort at the start, to be sure. Begin by not hating anyone in that widening circle; then start a widening circle of love. Once you get over self, it really becomes much easier.
Reminds me on a radio program someone talked about loving your enemies in the way a preacher does, terminating with the statment: ... love your enemies to death!

Elemtilas, I see that you are moralic and love god and other humans. I don't like to struggle with you on that topic. I was very religious, too, as I was a kid, as my grandma was very religious and I loved her very much. But due to various incidents, due to my situation, especially the bullying against me, and the way others e. g. my parents, teachers, peers, even prists dealed with all that, and due to other factors, I had lots of problems with religion and faith for many years, which took away time and what you call energy to lead a normal life. I don't like to go into details here, but things like that can lead you to the verge of ... and there was a trigger for all that religious induced problems, some detail in the speech of an American president. (Don't ask what detail.)

So being too religious and too moral can get you into serious mental and other problems. What you like me to do is some kind of psychological technique. This is something dangerous, especially if you do it without surveillance. You of course can make you feel like you'd love everyone, but this is an illusion. It is one of the spiritual pipe dreams and hypocritical self-deceit Szandor LaVey talkes about. Certain people, especially those who want to be religious, but don't like to be a member of one of the usual confessions, like to do such kind of techniques, and recommend it to others to help them with their mental or spiritual problems. The problem is, that they recommend doing some inner practice which is very blurred and vague, so that you never knew if you're successful. This opens up the possibility that you (your personality) can get lost in it, making you vulnerable to false prophets.
“Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
It is in fact, one of the most natural, and certainly one of the most liberating things you can do. La Vey is correct on this point: repressed hatreds can indeed lead to emotional ailments! These things must be released. Free yourself from hatred first; then work on allowing love to flow through you. And no, love can not be forced; but once allowed to move, it is a flood irresistible and unstoppable!
Here's the example: You tell me to free myself from hatred first, then work on allowing love to flow through me. But you don't say HOW this is done. If I would know how, I wouldn't need you or any other help in doing so. Hatred, as well as love, cannot be controled. And you presuppose that I feel hatred. What when I don't?
La Vey is incorrect on this point: that loving more people diminishes the feelings for your inner circle.
Does La Vey say that? I don't think so. He also doesn't use terms like ''inner circle''.
The opposite is in fact true. It becomes a positive feedback system: as you engage in love towards more and more people outside your inner circle, the feelings magnify and grow incredibly.
Elemtilas, positive feedback systems are extreemly dangerous ones, as they quickly lead into a catastrophy. If you want to have a steady state, and this is necessary for life, you need some controlled negative feedback.
If a person maps out his victim's daily routines, follows him around, finds the best opportunity to kill, has motive and means and plans in place -- this one is a murderer.
This can be someone who's seeking revenge, or could be some secret-service operation.
There can be any number of ancillary factors. What I am getting at is "planned and executed" vs. "unplanned and incidental". It doesn't really change anything if the planning is motivated by (understandable!) revenge or (explainable!) government activity.
Your problem is that you see everything from the end, from the perfected deed itself, disregarding the various processes going on before, the ancillary factors as you call it, barring the fact if it was planned or not. This is the position of someone who seeks to punish someone else or who wants to wield power, but not an aspect of a real loving person who seeks to understand to prevent things going wrong.
In both cases, I wouldn't call that murder, but would like to know more about the background to judge it. It probably would be when there is no serious, justifying reason why somebody does this.
Indeed. I would not call the second one "murder", but certainly the first one is. I find the first one understandable: the desire for revenge is very strong in humans. Terribly powerful. Governments are generally about the most corrupt and morally bankrupt organisations one can imagine. A SS operation may well be explainable, and also understandable, and perhaps in some way be laudable, but these facts really don't change the underlying reality. And yes, more information is better than less: learning the whole story and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances certainly helps with forming a good perspective of the deed, even though the nature of the deed itself is not changed.
Revenge is the negative feedback necessary to keep things within borders. The repetitive nature of bullying is due to the lack of a (legal) negative feedback. If governments are that bad, why wouldn't you call that secret service operations murder?
If a person is at a bar and has been drinking and gets into a fight and lands a lucky blow against his opponent and kills him -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
You could also see that as an accident, especially if alcohol was involved.
Exactly my point! The drunk still puts himself in a place where this is (more) likely to happen, and must bear culpability because he performed actions that directly led to the death of another person.
Yes, iff the drunk put himself in a place where this is more likely to happen. What when the drunk just defends himself because of the attacks of another?
If a person is constantly abused by another over the course of years and finds an opportunity to end the abuse by use of a weapon -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
This is a defense action in a bullying-process, where the action aimes at the termination of that process. A bullying-process is some kind of undeclared war between small groups of individuals or single individuals, where there is (by definition) imbalance of power, intent to cause harm and repetiton. It is just fair to accept the victim having defended himself without coming up with insulting terms like murderer or even killer. Here, there is at least one third party: the society around the bully and the victim. If this society fails to help the victim or to recognice that process and acts accordingly, and in personal knowledge about being bullied, it is highly unfair und amoralic to call a bullied person who finally defended himself in the described way even a killer. Note, this is not a bilateral thingy, but a multilateral. Things only could develope that far because lots of people didn't react, even und especially people claiming to be moralic!
Indeed. As I said, this kind of killing is understandable. Me, I don't think I could really bring myself to convict such a person of a crime, were I on a jury. But the focus here is not on the circumstances -- and we can wallow in circumstances for years and never get anywhere! -- but rather on the action itself, which is the intentional taking of another's life.
What when the victim commits suicide? When he's that desperate and that moralic and that loving to others, that, instead of killing the bully, he kills himself and does a sinful deed, too? Intention to kill, disregarding the circumstances, because that'll never get us anywhere -- barring to the graveyard! Moralic system crash! The focus must be on the circumstances, because circumstances have an extreme influence on how things go on and on how they could have avoided. If you really would be engaged in loving, you would like to find a way to prevent things, to keep your loved ones -- that means everyone -- alive, instead of morally judge -- and maybe punish -- them according to a very simple moralic system.
The difference only appears when the death is accidental or incidental to other factors. If a person is driving along a street and passes a parked truck and another person runs out from behind the truck and is struck and killed -- the driver is neither killer nor murderer. The driver was not the cause of the death.
If there would have been no driver, there would have been no death.
Indeed not! At least not at this particular time in history... That is why this is a true accident, and a tragedy. No immoral action was engaged in by the driver; the driver is not a killer of any kind, to say nothing of being a murderer!
But the driver will most likely suffer from self-reproach for the rest of his life. And that's unfair!
So the driver caused the death by driving the car. If the driver -- for physical and physiological reasons -- never had a chance to avoid the death, how can he be a murderer or a killer?
As I said before, and just now, the driver is neither killer nor murderer. In this case, death was caused more by the running man's inattention than by anything the driver did.
Ok, when you can't avoid it, you're neither a killer nor a murder. Transfer that to the bullying situation, or any other situation where people are forced to do something negative and have no chance to avoid it.
Why did the other person runs out without looking?
Don't know; and as far as the nature of the death goes, not really relevant. There is no evil action here on the part of the driver.
Have you ever asked yourself about the reason/cause of ''the running man's inattention''? Maybe because he flew a bullying situation? What do you think is the bully, then? If you want to be a loving, fair and just person, the reason why he flew is relevant. Especially to the driver of the car, as he gets an explanation why things happened.
“There is nothing inherently sacred about moral codes. Like the wooden idols of long ago, they are the work of human hands, and what man has made, man can destroy!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
This is of course true. We, as a society, have the power and ability to tomorrow allow as moral or disallow as immoral any action we deem changeworthy. This doesn't really alter the fundamental rightness or wrongness of those actions so redefined. All we shall have done is exchange one set of words on a piece of paper for another set.
There is no fundamental rightness or wrongness, everything is in the eye of the beholder.
Semantic because, as above, whether a person plans & carries out the death of another or whether a person falls into a horrible incident that results in another's death, that person was the proximate cause in both instances of a sinful act.
Consider a language where there is no affix for denominating the doer or actor or perpetrator of an action. Would we have a discussion like that?
Answer me this: do the speakers of this language have means other than affixes to describe the agent role, or is there simply no concept of agency whatsoever (and therefore obviously no means to discuss those roles in the language)?
A language entirely without agency marking would be very cumbersome, I think. What I meant was a language without marking the doer or actor or perpetrator on word level. I don't use agens here, because there are some trivial cases of agency, e. g. the breather as someone who breathes.
If the latter, and if we wère those people, then I'd argue that no we probably would not be having this discussion. I might just shrug my shoulders and say "he died? que será será!"

A véry different culture and perspective -- and probably a species -- indeed! Maybe you should work this idea some more?
I'm not in the situation to work that out, as I alluded above.
Last edited by Tanni on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:05, edited 16 times in total.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.
User avatar
Ahzoh
korean
korean
Posts: 5998
Joined: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 01:57
Location: Tom-ʾEzru lit Yat-Vṛḵažu

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Ahzoh » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:00

Hmm, I rather liken Satan to that of Prometheus; both provided something beneficial to humanity, and both were punished by the head god for it...
Image Ӯсцӣ (Onschen) [ CWS ]
Image ʾEšd Yatvṛḵažaẇ (Vrkhazhian) [ WIKI | CWS ]
User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 2837
Joined: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 04:48

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:52

Tanni wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:
elemtilas wrote:For now, and in my opinion, they remain at best clever animals approaching but not yet attaining personhood. I remain open to surprise reversal!
There are the Great Apes too. I've seen how human-like chimpanzees can be.
Stands to reason: they are terribly close relatives after all! Or maybe what you're really seeing is how very chimp-like we can still be? [:D]

Something happened and we became persons -- they have not yet. That may in the end be a good thing. We weren't really very good at recognising or respecting the personhood of other early hominid folks -- they were all killed off!
The word personhood as you use it seems to be rather contrived to me.
[:)] In the end, most things are.

But in the end, you do have a point. I only know with 100% certainty that humans are persons. Everything else is in shadow. Unknown. Possibly unknowable at the present time. Hence my resistance to either option of declaring personhood for elephants and dolphins or denying it entirely. We recognize at the very least that there is a Question -- and that is a big step. We just haven't been able to figure out which way the facts will lead...
My online dictionary gives me two translations for personhood (translated back): 1. the (being a human)
Right, the tautological definition. Always a winner in every dictionary!

My problem with this one is that it, by definition, excludes any other kind, stratum or dimension of personhood. We could very well end up by declaring dolphins are persons, but of a slightly different domain or stratum of personhood than human persons. This definition precludes such things.
and 2. (American) the personality.
I would prefer something closer to, but ultimately moving beyond "Any sentient or socially intelligent being." Any definition that centers on humanity precludes the possibility of accepting other kinds of non-human person.

So what's what we have and they don't have?
That's the $64000 question. I don't think we really have a solid grasp on what it is we even have! To say nothing of what they lack...

One thing certainly, as I've said, is the ability to question and discuss such things. We can also reach out to other kinds and try to find out about them. I am not aware of dolphins or elephants doing either.
Early hominid folks didn't have the Bible, and maybe no notion of personhood or morality at all.
I would agree with that. Such ideas don't just pop into existence. They come from somewhere. Whether that somewhere is within or externally is debatable.
Or a different kind of morality helping them to survive in harsh environments.
This is also probably true. Though we have certainly created for ourselves any number of harsh environments that our distant ancestors could not even have dreamed of!
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sat 15 May 2010, 23:25

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Xonen » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 14:53

elemtilas wrote:
Xonen wrote:But yes, rats do communicate with each other, and they can learn to communicate, to a limited degree, with humans who handle them. But my point is that the ability to communicate is not, IMO, a good criterion for personhood.
However, it ìs how we discuss things like personhood with each other.
True - but a lot of people have never engaged in such discussions, and again, many would have difficulty conceiving of such things in terms us modern-day Westerners would be familiar with. Point being, just because someone's ideas of such things may be utterly alien and incommunicable to us at present, doesn't necessarily mean they're wholly non-existent. Dolphins (and some other animals) have been shown to recognize themselves in a mirror, which probably requires at least some understanding of the self.
To my knowledge, dolphins have not as of yet spoken up regarding their status -- they haven't communicated anything about their accommodations, their work schedules, treat rotations, vacation time, just compensation, aquarium decor. In other words, they haven't yet done anything that really screams "I am a person here!"
Yeah, I doubt these guys had much of a notion of "work schedules" or "just compensation", either:
Spoiler:
Image
Yet again, if being able to imagine having "rights" is required, then - especially historically - a lot of humans wouldn't count.

Tanni wrote: Early hominid folks didn't have the Bible, and maybe no notion of personhood or morality at all.
Most modern humans don't "have" the Bible, at least not in the sense of having read it or following the religion it's associated with. I fail to see why this would have anything at all to do with whether or not they have a concept of morality. Even several species of animals have been shown to have at least a primitive understanding of fairness.
“Why should I not hate mine enemies―if I "love" them does that not place me at their mercy?”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
First, this takes way too much energy. (Been there, done that.) Second, you will drown in your hatred, as you find more and more people that are distasteful to you.
What kind of energy? (Where? What?)
Mental "energy", I assume. So various neurotransmitters in your brain, strictly speaking. But the point, I believe, is that negative emotions cause stress, and constant stress tires you out. Not to mention other potential adverse effects.
Keenir
runic
runic
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue 22 May 2012, 02:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Keenir » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 15:04

Tanni wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
Tanni wrote:
elemtilas wrote:I would take such killings -- war, self defense, abortion, etc -- and call them "understandable killings" or "explainable killings". I understand why a man shoots a burglar breaking into his house; I understand why this country fights against that country and I understand why mothers kill babies and why the law seeks the death penalty. However understandable and however explainable, all those actions are the act of killing, and not in any way an act of love. Therefore, as he says, they are sinful. I may understand or agree with or even engage in one or more those killings if put in that situation; but in doing so, I would not consider doing that act as anything other than a failing to act in a loving manner.
How can you know or understand all this? You cannot love all the people. I wonder if someone ever can truely love their enemies. This christian lore just leads into hypocrisy.
[:)] Perhaps you should try it sometime? Before you tell someone it can not be done?
Do you really understand what goes on in the head of people you do not know or why a state does something? You simply can't!
the point is to try.

its too easy to demonize people as "other" when we don't even try.

Have you ever been in a situation where somebody suddenly attacked you? Do you think you have time to make elaborated choices in an surprisedly arising threatening situation, especially when weapons are involved or when there are more than one attacker or both, or if that happens in the void, so only you and the attackers? What's when there is no other way as ''to counter their evil act with our own evil act''? ''... rather than choosing to do no evil act of our own.'' Ever heard of the instinct of self preservation?
I have indeed been in such situations. (Happily, none of them involved imminent death!) I can tell you that one time I was hit at school and chased the attacker through the building, caught him and beat him up. Other times I was bullied but chose the way of non-violent acceptance. The failure to well handle that one situation still stings more than all the other incidents. Those have left no permanent stain.
Being bullied means that you were in a long term process.
its not always long-term.
How long can you ''choose the way of non-violent acceptance'' without getting serious personal damage or your life-chances destroyed? Even and especially non-violent acceptance will destroy you sooner or later. Or it will destroy your family. And it will encourage the bully to go on.
not always.
sometimes the bully gives up, because there's no challenge, sport, or fun (from her perspective)

and sometimes the bully gets caught picking on that person too often (and thus frequently punished) for it to be worthwhile.
If you are in a dilemma, what do you think is the best way to -- morally -- deal with it? Does it make sense to apply morality to a dilemma? I don't think so! If you act in a dilemma situation, according to your morality, you will be guilty regardless what you're doing. (See it as a moralic system crash!) Here comes fairness into play: In such a situation, it simply isn't fair to apply morality. Or, the other way round, morality isn't fair! But the ones who in this case judge you by moralic standards are hypocrits.
Not at all -- morality applies to every situation where you are involved with another person. Sometimes there is no good answer, and yes, sometimes you find yourself in a lose-lose situation. You simply have to accept that you made best possible decision in that moment and move on.
Is it moral to pollute the water, the air, or to kill herds of animals like the bisons? To focus morality to just persons made all that environmental pollutions possible. See that the nature has a right to exist, too, without everything related and ruled by humans.

''Sometimes, there is no good answer ...'' but you can get punished for not having a ''good answer''.[/quote]

a good answer, or a decent answer, is better than no answer.
LaVeyan Satanism is up for a few decades, the church for two millenia. Go through the history and see what desasters the church has caused.
two millennia?? can you provide a reference or two for that? I know people have been saying for two millennia that Satan has his minions on Earth, but that's usually right before hunting down the latest heretics or launching another pogrom.


What are sophontic beings? I sometimes wonder if humans have said capabilities at all. If you give it a name, it is a person!
I used to name stuffed animals. other people name rocks. are these now people?
How can you recognize a perverted moral system? For me, a moral system is perverted if priest bless weapons or preach to paritcipate in a war, or perform witch hunts, besides others.
humans are weapons. people can and do kill even without knives or guns or ropes or rocks (etc)
The Golden rule does not say anything about love! Behaving morally can cause tremedous injustice.
any behavior (even the refusal to act) can cause tremendous injustice.

It is in fact, one of the most natural, and certainly one of the most liberating things you can do. La Vey is correct on this point: repressed hatreds can indeed lead to emotional ailments! These things must be released. Free yourself from hatred first; then work on allowing love to flow through you. And no, love can not be forced; but once allowed to move, it is a flood irresistible and unstoppable!
Here's the example: You tell me to free myself from hatred first, then work on allowing love to flow through me. But you don't say HOW this is done. If I would know how, I wouldn't need you or any other help in doing so. Hatred, as well as love, cannot be controled.
true...but how you deal with those, CAN be controlled.
And you presuppose that I feel hatred. What when I don't?
that's good.



The opposite is in fact true. It becomes a positive feedback system: as you engage in love towards more and more people outside your inner circle, the feelings magnify and grow incredibly.
Elemtilas, positive feedback systems are extreemly dangerous ones, as they quickly lead into a catastrophy. If you want to have a steady state, and this is necessary for life, you need some controlled negative feedback.[/quote]

positive feedback is dangerous, but negative feedback isn't?

I know over-doing positive reinforcement is dangerous, like when parents over-praise and make a big to-do over each and every little thing a child does...but a parent who gives no positive feedback, is not a good parent.



In both cases, I wouldn't call that murder, but would like to know more about the background to judge it. It probably would be when there is no serious, justifying reason why somebody does this.
Indeed. I would not call the second one "murder", but certainly the first one is. I find the first one understandable: the desire for revenge is very strong in humans. Terribly powerful. Governments are generally about the most corrupt and morally bankrupt organisations one can imagine. A SS operation may well be explainable, and also understandable, and perhaps in some way be laudable, but these facts really don't change the underlying reality. And yes, more information is better than less: learning the whole story and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances certainly helps with forming a good perspective of the deed, even though the nature of the deed itself is not changed.
Revenge is the negative feedback necessary to keep things within borders. The repetitive nature of bullying is due to the lack of a (legal) negative feedback.
not always. sometimes the bully thrives on the challenge of picking on someone the teachers protect.



The difference only appears when the death is accidental or incidental to other factors. If a person is driving along a street and passes a parked truck and another person runs out from behind the truck and is struck and killed -- the driver is neither killer nor murderer. The driver was not the cause of the death.
If there would have been no driver, there would have been no death.
Indeed not! At least not at this particular time in history... That is why this is a true accident, and a tragedy. No immoral action was engaged in by the driver; the driver is not a killer of any kind, to say nothing of being a murderer!
But the driver will most likely suffer from self-reproach for the rest of his life. And that's unfair!
insert The Princess Bride quote here. :)

("life is unfair, princess; anyone who says otherwise, is selling something")?

or as I believe The Buddha said, "when I began, I was born. this was my first mistake"
Why did the other person runs out without looking?
Don't know; and as far as the nature of the death goes, not really relevant. There is no evil action here on the part of the driver.
Have you ever asked yourself about the reason/cause of ''the running man's inattention''?
maybe he was running because he was late for work. maybe he simply was running for exercise. maybe he wanted to hurry across the street to get the phone number of the cute man or woman he saw over there.
“There is nothing inherently sacred about moral codes. Like the wooden idols of long ago, they are the work of human hands, and what man has made, man can destroy!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
This is of course true. We, as a society, have the power and ability to tomorrow allow as moral or disallow as immoral any action we deem changeworthy. This doesn't really alter the fundamental rightness or wrongness of those actions so redefined. All we shall have done is exchange one set of words on a piece of paper for another set.
There is no fundamental rightness or wrongness, everything is in the eye of the beholder.
(rhetorical) you DO realize, don't you, just how many atrocities you just offered a justification for? (/rhetorical)
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
Keenir
runic
runic
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue 22 May 2012, 02:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Keenir » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 15:11

elemtilas wrote:That's the $64000 question. I don't think we really have a solid grasp on what it is we even have! To say nothing of what they lack...
rather like "language" and "universe".

(I heard that one university had this question on its exam: 'Define "Universe" and give two examples.')
Xonen wrote:
elemtilas wrote:To my knowledge, dolphins have not as of yet spoken up regarding their status -- they haven't communicated anything about their accommodations, their work schedules, treat rotations, vacation time, just compensation, aquarium decor. In other words, they haven't yet done anything that really screams "I am a person here!"
Yeah, I doubt these guys had much of a notion of "work schedules" or "just compensation", either:
Spoiler:
Image
Yet again, if being able to imagine having "rights" is required, then - especially historically - a lot of humans wouldn't count.
Yes, we treated other humans like shit.

But I notice you focus on the exact examples given, and not on the fact that, even in these shitty periods of human history, we could communicate with each other! Their languages were insulted and mocked, but it was recognized that they had language and culture, however backward it was regarded.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sat 15 May 2010, 23:25

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Xonen » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 22:27

Keenir wrote:
LaVeyan Satanism is up for a few decades, the church for two millenia. Go through the history and see what desasters the church has caused.
two millennia?? can you provide a reference or two for that? I know people have been saying for two millennia that Satan has his minions on Earth, but that's usually right before hunting down the latest heretics or launching another pogrom.
I think the point was that that's how long Christianity has been around, and look at the amount of trouble it's caused. Although I'm sure the Church of Satan would have been at least as disastrous if it had been the majority religion anywhere for that long, so I'm not sure what the actual point of the comparison was supposed to be.
Keenir wrote:
Xonen wrote:
elemtilas wrote:To my knowledge, dolphins have not as of yet spoken up regarding their status -- they haven't communicated anything about their accommodations, their work schedules, treat rotations, vacation time, just compensation, aquarium decor. In other words, they haven't yet done anything that really screams "I am a person here!"
Yeah, I doubt these guys had much of a notion of "work schedules" or "just compensation", either:
Spoiler:
Image
Yet again, if being able to imagine having "rights" is required, then - especially historically - a lot of humans wouldn't count.
Yes, we treated other humans like shit.

But I notice you focus on the exact examples given
Well yes, if those examples are supposed to prove a point I don't think they do, then what else am I supposed to do? [:P]
and not on the fact that, even in these shitty periods of human history, we could communicate with each other!
Yes, but was it always that much more than what we manage with animals? There would probaby have been interpreters involved at some points, but I'm pretty sure a lot of the time the communication was mainly simple commands and gesticulation.
Their languages were insulted and mocked, but it was recognized that they had language and culture, however backward it was regarded.
Language and culture, now we may be getting somewhere. [:)] Yes, those are probably much more developed in humans than in any other animals (although the communication systems of certain birds and cetaceans at least require further study to determine just how complex they can actually get). So the question then becomes, can something with only a rudimentary capacity for language and culture be considered a person? And where do we draw the line between "person" and "non-person"? I'd say it's kind of a grey area with no really objective answers. Of course, we can simply decide that a person has to a member of our species, so non-human animals wouldn't qualify simply because they aren't human, but that's too much of a circular definition to be all that useful, IMO.
User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 2837
Joined: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 04:48

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 23:44

Xonen wrote:
Their languages were insulted and mocked, but it was recognized that they had language and culture, however backward it was regarded.
Language and culture, now we may be getting somewhere. [:)] Yes, those are probably much more developed in humans than in any other animals (although the communication systems of certain birds and cetaceans at least require further study to determine just how complex they can actually get). So the question then becomes, can something with only a rudimentary capacity for language and culture be considered a person? And where do we draw the line between "person" and "non-person"? I'd say it's kind of a grey area with no really objective answers. Of course, we can simply decide that a person has to a member of our species, so non-human animals wouldn't qualify simply because they aren't human, but that's too much of a circular definition to be all that useful, IMO.
Of course such could be considered persons! As I said earlier, there is no reason why "person" must include only beings exactly like us in capacity! There can (and we may eventually discover) different domains or levels of personhood. As for a line -- if you don't mind a very fuzzy line that sometimes wanders here and there, disappears for a while only to resurface somewhere entirely unexpected -- then perhaps one could be drawn! Agreed about the uselessness of the tautological definition.

We had better be careful, though. Sooner or later, some alien rather superior to us is going to come sweeping through here saying, well, you lot can't even recognise the personhood of your own close kin! Why should we bother to respect yours? And then it's so long and thanks for all the fish all over again.
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 2837
Joined: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 04:48

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Mon 22 Jun 2015, 23:59

Xonen wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
Xonen wrote:But yes, rats do communicate with each other, and they can learn to communicate, to a limited degree, with humans who handle them. But my point is that the ability to communicate is not, IMO, a good criterion for personhood.
However, it ìs how we discuss things like personhood with each other.
True - but a lot of people have never engaged in such discussions, and again, many would have difficulty conceiving of such things in terms us modern-day Westerners would be familiar with. Point being, just because someone's ideas of such things may be utterly alien and incommunicable to us at present, doesn't necessarily mean they're wholly non-existent. Dolphins (and some other animals) have been shown to recognize themselves in a mirror, which probably requires at least some understanding of the self.
So very close indeed! So far we have: some level of self recognition; some level of language comprehension; quite a lot of cleverness; etc, etc. The big question still eludes you: have they put all these things -- or enough of these things -- together into that magical package we call "personhood"? I mean, at some point in time in the past there was a group of primates that managed to put it all together and were what we'd clearly recognise as persons whereas a short while before their ancestors had not -- they were clever, may have recognised themselves as individuals, etc. but it just wasn't all there...

I'm still waiting to be amazed, but for the present, I just don't see a significant enough mass of evidence. One thing I don't think has been brought to bear: humans are very good at one thing that is very detrimental, and that is finding patterns in things that have no pattern and assuming that the seen pattern maps to something real or valid. We may very well be deluding ourselves (maybe perhaps assuaging just a tiny bit of collectivly genocidal guilt re that Neanderthal scandal some millennia ago?) into seeing a pattern that simply has no basis in reality. I mean we humanise and anthropomorphise all sorts of things; we should at least consider that we are reading too much into these observed behaviours of dolphins & elephants.
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 2837
Joined: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 04:48

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 04:13

Tanni wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
Tanni wrote: You cannot love all the people. I wonder if someone ever can truely love their enemies. This christian lore just leads into hypocrisy.
[:)] Perhaps you should try it sometime? Before you tell someone it can not be done?
Do you really understand what goes on in the head of people you do not know or why a state does something? You simply can't!
I claim no sure knowledge of either: this can not stop me from striving to engage others lovingly. In other words, your state of mind does not determine someone else's loving approach to you.

“Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
“Why should I not hate mine enemies―if I "love" them does that not place me at their mercy?”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
First, this takes way too much energy. (Been there, done that.) Second, you will drown in your hatred, as you find more and more people that are distasteful to you.
What kind of energy? (Where? What?) Maybe your hatred is more energy-consuming than the hatred of others? Your answer looks like the answer of an ideologist seeking for support in physics.
These kinds of emotions take a toll on one. Hating people, despising people, loathing and fearing people -- all those things become physically detrimental. I am not an ideologist nor do I seek your or anyone else's support. I'm not sure what physics has to do with this.


Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Do you think people like him waste their ''energy''?
La Vey invented his own religion and peddled to others who became his followers. He was a cult leader. He had an agenda to sell. In all honesty, it is a very popular worldview! -- total indulgence, freedom to hate what is hateful, no boundaries, no limitations on your own bad behaviour. Plus free sex -- what a deal! These things were certainly a temptation at one time in my life. Is it a waste of time and energy to always take the easy way out? To lower yourself to the lowest common denominator rather than raising yourself above the gutter? I can only answer for myself: total indulgence, absolute hedonism, reckless and boundaryless behaviour is always appealing to the young and immature; I have since found other things of greater appeal -- the harder course, the narrower way, the road less travelled. It is a challenge to follow the way of Jesus (or Buddha); a challenge that the way of Satan can never fulfill. That way fills one with emptiness and steals all substance.
Being bullied means that you were in a long term process.
The time may be long or short. There are several factors at play there.
How long can you ''choose the way of non-violent acceptance'' without getting serious personal damage or your life-chances destroyed?
It is indeed a long term commitment. Personal damage is a risk -- just ask Dr. King. I find it worth the risk to rise above the merely instinctual life La Vey promotes.
Even and especially non-violent acceptance will destroy you sooner or later. Or it will destroy your family. And it will encourage the bully to go on.
He may, yet he will be denied victory. The bully wants only one thing over you, and that is power; and he wants only one thing from you, and that is fear. Refuse to fear him, deny him the power and he has nothing. Ordinary bullies will give up and move on to a target they can get to cry or beg for mercy. A sociopath or a psychopath -- different matters. They may not stop; but of course, you'll never know if he has such a diagnosis.
You have been in such situations, just two times. In school? Sorry, there's a life out of school were things can emerge very quickly and can have tremendous consequences. This can even happen in school.
Did I say "just two times"? That is your misassumption. Did I agree to divulge my life story to you? I do not. You asked a question and you got the answer -- maybe it is you don't like the choices I have made?
Is it moral to pollute the water, the air, or to kill herds of animals like the bisons? To focus morality to just persons made all that environmental pollutions possible. See that the nature has a right to exist, too, without everything related and ruled by humans.
It is a waste of natural resources and, yes, a sin (against God, against Nature, against fellow Man) to grossly mismanage and wantonly destroy these resources.

So ... of course it's immoral to pollute the air -- someone downwind has to breathe your poison! Of course it's immoral to (wantonly) destroy animal herds -- someone across the plains relies on those herds for food and raw materials!

Or were you expecting me to apply morality to the air itself? To the bison themselves? No -- it is not an act of immorality against the air to light a fire; it is not an act of immorality against the bison itself to hunt and kill it.

Morality applies to people and the relationships one person has with other people. Or are you perhaps thinking that I have no sense of ethics, of common sense, or aesthetic sense, of empathy or of a dozen other sensibilities that can and do indeed inform the rightness and wrongness of our actions, quite apart from the morality we are actually discussing?
LaVeyan Satanism is up for a few decades, the church for two millenia. Go through the history and see what desasters the church has caused.
I am very well aware of the history perpetrated by men in power, typically abusing that power, in the name of the Church and in the name of the God they claim to serve. And, just to make clear, the men in charge of the Catholic Church have, historically, indeed been some of the wickedest of men. Does that mean to you that the moral system they were supposed to be upholding is somehow at fault, or is itself somehow faulty? I would disagree with that: we can see in every political system the corrupting influence of power and authority -- and yes, the C.C. is a political system. We can see in the history of our own times very bad men in positions of power, be it in government, be it in academia, be it in religious domains, that have abused their authority and who have complete disregard for the just laws and moral system they are supposed to be upholding.

What is your point? That, just because Satanism is a relatively minor cult that has never been put to trial the way the Church has that it is in some way superior? I think you will find that Satanist men in authority are no more or less likely to be corrupted by that authority -- but at least they can claim that they are following the teachings of their founder!
What are sophontic beings? I sometimes wonder if humans have said capabilities at all. If you give it a name, it is a person! This notion is faught by many people: That animals are considered merely a property, not a being.
Giving a name to a thing confers nothing on that thing other than that a language-using being has given it a name. I chose "sophont" rather than "person" because there is too much tautologically humanocentric baggage to the word "person".
How can you recognize a perverted moral system? For me, a moral system is perverted if priest bless weapons or preach to paritcipate in a war, or perform witch hunts, besides others.
I wouldn't disagree with you about blessing weapons or exhorting war (and we can see the results of such exhortations coming our way, right now in the form of the Islamic State -- but there certainly have been other examples). I have no problem at all with priests blessing the soldiers and praying for their safety -- Grant peace to Your world, to Your churches, to the clergy, to those in public service, to the armed forces, and to all Your people ... And for all those in public service; permit them, Lord, to serve and govern in peace that through the faithful conduct of their duties we may live peaceful and serene lives in all piety and holiness. I have a big problem with a religious organisation that exhorts violence in all its forms (and thus, rather have a problem with Satanism!)
From your notion of morality, I would expect that morality applies to all and everything,
See above as to what morality applies to -- and also other systems that may or may not also apply to things other than just people.
as things and property have extreme influence on people and their lives, too. Do you think it is a moral deed if your brother takes away the house you live in to terminate the ''society of heirs'', so that you're finally homeless?
I will answer, as I have answered every iteration of this question: if the action touches upon another person, then morality is involved. If that action is unloving, wicked, violent, hateful, abusive or damages that person, then it is immoral.
I wouldn't equate ''loving'' with ''moral''. You simply can't love everyone.
Fair enough, though I would come much closer to equating the two: if you behave morally, then you are engaging in love; if your attitude towards others is one of love, then you will naturally behave morally towards them. That Golden Rule thing is a key here.
The Golden rule does not say anything about love! Behaving morally can cause tremedous injustice.
On the contrary! The G.R. is solidly founded in love! The person who practices the G.R. seeks ever to raise up, improve the lot of, enhance and empower the other person, rather than himself; he never seeks to harm, abuse, damage, insult or destroy another person. And more, it is love in action: notice that the G.R. is not a mere platitude, a tired old bromide that anyone can safely ignore; the very first word of the G.R. is a verb in the imperative mood. It is an injunction and a command to go out and do.

Justice is an entirely different matter -- that is a matter of laws, interpretation of laws, custom at law and the whims of juries.
Reminds me on a radio program someone talked about loving your enemies in the way a preacher does, terminating with the statment: ... love your enemies to death!
[:)]
Elemtilas, I see that you are moralic and love god and other humans. I don't like to struggle with you on that topic.
I don't mind. But the real struggle here is not between you and me -- it is, and always has been, between ME and ME and between YOU and YOU. We can only agree or disagree on these things we're talking about; and here we have done both. But in the end analysis, we must both of us choose which path we will tread in the real world. Do we choose paths that will lead through light and down to destruction; or paths that will lead us through darkness and into power?
I was very religious, too, as I was a kid, as my grandma was very religious and I loved her very much.
Well, you've got one up on me, then! I was never religious or terribly pious. I could (and still do) sense the fundamental and pervasive awe surrounding the moment of incarnation during the liturgy; but I've never considered myself a "churched" person.
But due to various incidents, due to my situation, especially the bullying against me, and the way others e. g. my parents, teachers, peers, even priests dealed with all that, and due to other factors, I had lots of problems with religion and faith for many years, which took away time and what you call energy to lead a normal life.
You are certainly in no way alone there! Many (young) people feel let down by those who by rights, by honor and by obligation ought to stand up for kids in such situations as you describe of yourself. I don't, and indeed can not, blame you for finding fault with the religion itself. But I would ask you, and you don't have to answer: is it really a problem with the religion itself, or is it really a problem with people who were in authority at the time and failed to protect you a/o make things right?

I don't know what church you grew up in, but to my knowledge, no Christian church teaches that bullying is right, justified, loving Christian behavior. I do know that the Church is an organisation of people -- imperfect people who are prone to make errors in judgement and to fail to take right action.
I don't like to go into details here, but things like that can lead you to the verge of ... and there was a trigger for all that religious induced problems, some detail in the speech of an American president. (Don't ask what detail.)
I can have no idea to what you are referring here... [:(] But yes, these things can indeed lead one to the verge of... The question then becomes: do I take that leap, or do I work on turning this downward spiral around?
So being too religious and too moral can get you into serious mental and other problems. What you like me to do is some kind of psychological technique. This is something dangerous, especially if you do it without surveillance. You of course can make you feel like you'd love everyone, but this is an illusion. It is one of the spiritual pipe dreams and hypocritical self-deceit Szandor LaVey talkes about.
No doubt. He was unable to overcome that downward spiral and ended up over the verge of... In my experience, love is not a thing that can be forced; neither is it an illusory feeling. LaVey experienced many confusing things early in his life -- a quick perusal of his bio recalls his work in the circus and as a bar musician among people that would for example attend smut shows one day and go to church all spiffed up the next. What a lesson in hypocrisy is that! He fails to comprehend, however, that "going to church" -- i.e., participating in some kind of Christian religious / spiritual life -- is not for perfect people. It is precisely and exactly the smut-show goers, the bar-trolls, the lowlife-nolifes of the world that Jesus explicitly sought out! Remember? He's the one that hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors? Obviously, I am not in the hearts and minds of those people sitting in the church pews -- there were undoubtedly some number of them sitting their hypocritically -- look at me! I go to church every Sunday regular! I have no doubt that many of those people LaVey condemns as hypocrites in fact knew that the life they were leading was a dead-end life (ironically, of complete self-indulgence and hedonism -- the same things he destructively ends up preaching). Maybe they felt powerless against it; maybe they felt the destitution of loneliness -- that no one cared for them. Maybe they were just hoping beyond hope that the minister would get off his pulpit for a moment and touch them, person to person. Who knows?
Certain people, especially those who want to be religious, but don't like to be a member of one of the usual confessions, like to do such kind of techniques, and recommend it to others to help them with their mental or spiritual problems. The problem is, that they recommend doing some inner practice which is very blurred and vague, so that you never knew if you're successful. This opens up the possibility that you (your personality) can get lost in it, making you vulnerable to false prophets.
It is indeed a vèry dangerous thing I am recommending! After all, it is a thing fundamentally transformative! You risk leaving behind the life of mere animal pleasure and simple instinctual reaction. It is a thing that will require you to become aware of your worst self and to thwart your own actions at every moment of every day of your life. I can not claim I accomplished the goal in my own life -- I know and admit to regular failure. This will not stop me from the attempt. With a little grace, perhaps I'll get up a rung or two. I am not recommending you become religious or join a "usual confession".
“Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
He is correct on this point: both love and hate are powerful emotions in the human person. The one liberates and unites; the other enslaves and divides. One raises you up; the other drags you down with chains of iron. Take your pick: love your neighbour / hate your neighbour. They both require effort of will; they are both emptying in nature. More, the former renews your will while the latter wears it down; the former fulfills and satisfies when you empty yourself the most while the latter never fills you with anything but emptiness.

Here's the example: You tell me to free myself from hatred first, then work on allowing love to flow through me. But you don't say HOW this is done. If I would know how, I wouldn't need you or any other help in doing so. Hatred, as well as love, cannot be controled. And you presuppose that I feel hatred. What when I don't?
I apologise if I sounded like I was accusing you of feeling something you don't! Blame English for not having a proper fourth person pronoun!

Start out small: examine yourself and find someone at school or work that really ticks you off. Or if you engage in a little road rage after being ticked off by idiot drivers... First, know that about yourself. Next, observe yourself. Come to know your own reactions -- maybe when someone cuts you off you immediately lay on the horn and liberally flip them the bird? -- maybe you can't abide the way your boss manages staff at work and you work yourself into a lather over each and every failing? Next, whenever you find yourself being triggered -- LET YOURSELF BE TRIGGERED. Don't try to stop yourself yet. Yell at that idiot driver, flip him ten thousand birds! Know the emotions, feel the anger, the tightness in the chest, the rage, examine the wish-dreams of what you might do to all idiot drivers if only you were driving a tank and no cop would ever stop you... Next, bring yourself up from that and take a deep breath. Realise in your mind that this is not a good way of behaving -- it causes you undue stress, it causes you to waste energy thinking and feeling negatively, you can't even do anything about except rage impotently! Then, do that exercise every time: repeat, repeat, repeat! Now that you have evaluated your triggers and responses to those triggers, and now that you have decided to change something, you need a plan: what trigger do you want to work on and how?

Idiot drivers is an easy one: now that you know how you react, and you can pinpoint and conceptualise when it happens, next time, in stead of hollering and flipping the bird, do something different - - ease off the accelerator, back yourself out of the negative situation. Make a break with the negative feeling. Honk the horn, if that'll make you feel better, but don't go in for the other craziness that leads you to hateful & negative thoughts. Do this over and over again for a while. Then, next time, when someone cuts you off, ease back, don't honk your horn at all. Then, say to that person (even though, obviously, he will never hear you) "you're welcome!"

At this point, you have turned away from plunging over the verge of... and have moved away from hateful, negative emotion into the realm of love. We say "you're welcome" to someone who is asking us a favor and is thankful for the kind deed we have done them. Obviously, this person is an idiot driver and is in no way thankful for your kindness. However, in your own heart and your own mind -- the whole point of this struggle! -- you are now taking that road rage power away from the idiot driver and are giving it to yourself. You are taking your negative emotion -- a weapon that you can only aim at yourself -- and are reforging it into power that will touch and affect every person you come in contact with.

Yep -- I don't deny this at all: this whole love thing is the world's biggest Jedi mind trick -- and it's the trick the Jedi works on his own mind! The whole point is to readjust our own attitude to everything else that happens in the world and everyone in it. Start out with that building block, that first corner stone, and keep building up, legowise, until you are, metaphorically, saying "thank you" in every situation where you have discovered hatred, dissatisfaction, ill-intent, or whatever negative feeling you may be having towards other people. This is (one way only!) how to let go of your hatred.

Next stop -- engaging in love. From here on out, things get very much easier! In my experience, it much harder to be rid of hatred than it is to admit love. Nurturing animosity, wallowing in hate -- those things are so easy to do and they consume so many people.

So, what's so easy about loving other people -- you say it's impossible to love everyone, right? What you must understand is that, apart from yourself, there is really only one person in the whole world you actually have to love in this way I'm talking about -- and that is the person right in front of you! The person you are presently engaged with at this moment. It could be a friend, it could be a stranger visiting your town, it could be a homeless guy in a bus shelter, it could be the idiot driver or even your idiot boss at work! Whoever it is, in that moment, is your time to engage in love. Now, this love I'm talking about, this love Jesus demonstrated, is nothing earth shattering, it's nothing any of us can't handle. It's not just holding the door open for an old man -- it's your attitude -- it's knowing and resting your heart in the fact that you are doing this for this man at this present time -- right now, you and he are in a sense connected, united in this moment. It's not throwing a dollar into the bum's can -- it is nothing more than engaging him, saying hi, talking to him a little, listening to his story, even if he rambles, it's seeing if he's got a hat on a cold day, it's reminding him -- and equally importantly you -- that he is a person, a human being and worthy of the dignity of love.

You're probably reading this thinking, golly, this guy is the biggest Christian nut-job I've ever come across! LaVey would probably call that the biggest pile of bull shit he ever had to put shovel to. So, I'll leave it at that. You can at least get a glimpse of one possible process one can use to turn hatred on its head.
Your problem is that you see everything from the end, from the perfected deed itself, disregarding the various processes going on before, the ancillary factors as you call it, barring the fact if it was planned or not. This is the position of someone who seeks to punish someone else or who wants to wield power, but not an aspect of a real loving person who seeks to understand to prevent things going wrong.
End? Beginning? Before the before or after the after? Makes no difference, really. The "processes" are really irrelevant. I neither desire nor hold power: I can only describe to you how I understand the basic morality of different kinds of killing.
Revenge is the negative feedback necessary to keep things within borders.
Revenge leads nowhere but to further acts of vengeance. This is what "honor killings" are all about. Hatfields and McCoys. Sooner or later either everything ends up destroyed or the two sides must come together and end the cycle of vengeance.
The repetitive nature of bullying is due to the lack of a (legal) negative feedback. If governments are that bad, why wouldn't you call that secret service operations murder?
Because it's legal! (Note that "legal" does not equate with "moral".)
The drunk still puts himself in a place where this is (more) likely to happen, and must bear culpability because he performed actions that directly led to the death of another person.
Yes, iff the drunk put himself in a place where this is more likely to happen. What when the drunk just defends himself because of the attacks of another?
In any event, it's not really an "accident" -- the two drunks deliberately put themselves in positions where such an incident is highly likely to occur. They both willingly entered the establishment; they both ordered drink after drink in full knowledge of what will happen when too much alcohol is imbibed. They both drank to excess, knowing that this will mess with their thought processes and modes of response. Certainly it is chance that brought the two pugilists together
just at that most unfortunate of times, but it was no mere "accident" that one ends up dead. A tragedy? Possibly. The scenario didn't involve a drunk "defending himself" against some random attack; as I recall, the scenario was a bar brawl.
If a person is constantly abused by another over the course of years and finds an opportunity to end the abuse by use of a weapon -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
This is a defense action in a bullying-process, where the action aimes at the termination of that process.
Being bullied does not give the victim the right to kill his bully. That's still murder. Now, as I said, perfectly understandable!

As I said, this kind of killing, of an abuser or bully, is understandable. Me, I don't think I could really bring myself to convict such a person of a crime, were I on a jury. But the focus here is not on the circumstances -- and we can wallow in circumstances for years and never get anywhere! -- but rather on the action itself, which is the intentional taking of another's life.
What when the victim commits suicide? When he's that desperate and that moralic and that loving to others, that, instead of killing the bully, he kills himself and does a sinful deed, too?
I do not view suicide as a sin. For me, it is a true tragedy and a symptom of a very sickened, very worn down heart and soul. It is the last most agonised cry for help that will now not come in this world. It is possibly the worst choice of all because the victim has deprived himself of the possibility of healing. It is a very great sadness, even beyond the sadness of a pure accidental death.
Intention to kill, disregarding the circumstances, because that'll never get us anywhere -- barring to the graveyard! Moralic system crash! The focus must be on the circumstances, because circumstances have an extreme influence on how things go on and on how they could have avoided.
I think we're talking at cross purposes here: for the purpose of this discussion, I am focussing on the nature of the act of killing -- not on justifications, not on extraneous circumstances that may or may not lead up to a/o follow from. I think you're losing focus here by now dwelling on "intent" and "circumstance" and how to prevent bad things from happening. I don't necessarily disagree with you regarding these things! The fact remains: killing the bully, regardless of the killer's intentions or state of mind or any other factor, is an immoral act. It brings to an otherwise unnatural & untimely end to a human life. You may not like that human, you may hate him (and therein may well lie some justification for the act); and thus feel that these external emotions change the nature of the act. The murder of a bully or the execution of a murderer or killing in war -- none of these things are moral acts, all of these things are acts of evil.
If you really would be engaged in loving, you would like to find a way to prevent things, to keep your loved ones -- that means everyone -- alive, instead of morally judge -- and maybe punish -- them according to a very simple moralic system.
Naturally so! The person who acts with love never seeks to destroy the life of another person, neither by plot, nor by war, nor "legally" via the justice system.
If a person is driving along a street and passes a parked truck and another person runs out from behind the truck and is struck and killed -- the driver is neither killer nor murderer. The driver was not the cause of the death.
If there would have been no driver, there would have been no death.
Quite. And, therefore, no contrary example against which to compare the intentional killings outlined earlier!
But the driver will most likely suffer from self-reproach for the rest of his life. And that's unfair!
Quite. It is most unfair indeed! Life in this world, the chanciness and whims of fortune, random events and acts of nature -- none of this is, and has never been, "fair".

It simply falls to that person to face that unfairness with what grace and fortitude of heart, mind and soul she may possess. For the rest of us, who are as yet untouched by such stinging unfairnesses, it falls to us to pray for those who are! Pray, send out your good thoughts, whatever you want to call it. Express empathy towards & engage with love those you meet who are so suffering. No power we possess, no technology, no wish, no raging to the uncaring stars will change that death or bring that person back among us. We can only accept the reality.
So the driver caused the death by driving the car. If the driver -- for physical and physiological reasons -- never had a chance to avoid the death, how can he be a murderer or a killer?
As I said before, and just now, the driver is neither killer nor murderer. In this case, death was caused more by the running man's inattention than by anything the driver did.
Ok, when you can't avoid it, you're neither a killer nor a murder.
The death here was entirely accidental: the person did not plan, did not execute plan, was not the agent and did not cause the death.
Transfer that to the bullying situation, or any other situation where people are forced to do something negative and have no chance to avoid it.
The situation is untransferable -- the victim of bullying always has choices! Choices may be difficult, may be odious, may be detrimental to self and others, but there are always choices.
Why did the other person runs out without looking?
Don't know; and as far as the nature of the death goes, not really relevant. There is no evil action here on the part of the driver.
Have you ever asked yourself about the reason/cause of ''the running man's inattention''?
Do you think I didn't consider a dozen different scenarios? Again: you're letting the ephemeral details overshadow the fundamental concept. Does it really matter if the man was dashing across the street to get back to his car before the parking enforcement officer gets to his expired meter? Does it really matter if the man was running across the street to get a fresh batch of donuts? Does it really matter if the man had just stolen a purse from a little old lady and is running to avoid being caught? Does it really matter if the man was running from his screeching wife who just caught him in bed with her sister?

No. None of these things affect the accidental nature of the death; none of these things really change the self-reproach of the driver (although I can understand why some folks might rest easier having run over a criminal in the act!)
Maybe because he flew a bullying situation? What do you think is the bully, then?
What about him? He's no more or less a bully now. The only thing that changes now is that we now no longer have an accidental death -- you've changed the nature of the scenario. We now have someone who is culpable in the death of the running man. In this case, the bully. Surely the bully did not intend to kill the man -- that is not the bully's game. A dead victim and a stonewallingly non-responsive victim are no fun for a bully! So, the bully is not, strictly speaking, a murderer: he did not plan for the man to die; yet his actions directly led to the death of the man. His action in causing the death of the man is evil.
If you want to be a loving, fair and just person, the reason why he flew is relevant. Especially to the driver of the car, as he gets an explanation why things happened.
The reason for the flight is irrelevant -- the agency of the death (the bully) and the proximate cause (the chase) áre most relevant! The choice to run was perhaps ill-advised, given the proximity to traffic in the road; but is understandable, and perhaps laudible on the part of the victim because he is prevented from committing an evil act (killing the bully).

The driver of the car is no more guilty of the death now than before. He does get an understandable, if lamentable explanation for the incident, yes.
“There is nothing inherently sacred about moral codes. Like the wooden idols of long ago, they are the work of human hands, and what man has made, man can destroy!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
This is of course true. We, as a society, have the power and ability to tomorrow allow as moral or disallow as immoral any action we deem changeworthy. This doesn't really alter the fundamental rightness or wrongness of those actions so redefined. All we shall have done is exchange one set of words on a piece of paper for another set.
There is no fundamental rightness or wrongness, everything is in the eye of the beholder.
Ah, yes, the morality of the terminally immoral! I find it perfectly moral for bullies to beat up and chase weak quislings like you. If you are being bullied and decide to run and get yourself hit by a car, well, that's your own damn fault! Good on him, he was doing an admirable job of hating his enemy and quite morally trouncing a weak-chinned, slack-jawed, wuss such as yourself. You're better off dead; and what's more, it's all your fault that the driver of the car now must bear not only the self-reproach that comes from running your silly self over, but also must bear the cost of repairing the body damage your stupid self caused to his car! Frankly, what this country needs is less weak people like you and more strong people like the bully that was chasing you!

Okay: now tell me all about moral relativism and the nonexistence of fundamental right and wrong!
Semantic because, as above, whether a person plans & carries out the death of another or whether a person falls into a horrible incident that results in another's death, that person was the proximate cause in both instances of a sinful act.
Consider a language where there is no affix for denominating the doer or actor or perpetrator of an action. Would we have a discussion like that?
Answer me this: do the speakers of this language have means other than affixes to describe the agent role, or is there simply no concept of agency whatsoever (and therefore obviously no means to discuss those roles in the language)?
A language entirely without agency marking would be very cumbersome, I think. What I meant was a language without marking the doer or actor or perpetrator on word level. I don't use agens here, because there are some trivial cases of agency, e. g. the breather as someone who breathes.
Okay, so a language where the concepts of agency exist, but where no morphology (or I guess syntax?) exists to describe it? I'm not sure such a thing is plausible in a language. I mean, we don't have in English any morphological way to distinguish a verb of the future time from a verb of the present time -- yet we have no trouble at all talking about future events!

I suspect that if we had a language where agency is not marked -- no -er / -or / -ator endings, we'd still have no difficulty talking about who does what and to whom. In stead of saying "John Smith is a murderer"; we might simply say "John Smith killed someone". If that's still too agenty for you, then perhaps "Someone was killed by John Smith" would do better.

It's arguable whether "breather" is a trivial example of agency or not...
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
Keenir
runic
runic
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue 22 May 2012, 02:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Keenir » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 05:22

You have been in such situations, just two times. In school? Sorry, there's a life out of school were things can emerge very quickly and can have tremendous consequences. This can even happen in school.
Did I say "just two times"? That is your misassumption.
I gave two examples; perhaps our posts are conflating?
LaVeyan Satanism is up for a few decades, the church for two millenia. Go through the history and see what desasters the church has caused.
I am very well aware of the history perpetrated by men in power, typically abusing that power, in the name of the Church and in the name of the God they claim to serve. And, just to make clear, the men in charge of the Catholic Church have, historically, indeed been some of the wickedest of men. Does that mean to you that the moral system they were supposed to be upholding is somehow at fault, or is itself somehow faulty? I would disagree with that: we can see in every political system the corrupting influence of power and authority -- and yes, the C.C. is a political system. We can see in the history of our own times very bad men in positions of power, be it in government, be it in academia, be it in religious domains, that have abused their authority and who have complete disregard for the just laws and moral system they are supposed to be upholding.

What is your point? That, just because Satanism is a relatively minor cult that has never been put to trial the way the Church has that it is in some way superior? I think you will find that Satanist men in authority are no more or less likely to be corrupted by that authority -- but at least they can claim that they are following the teachings of their founder!
my bad - I had thought (at the time) that the comparison was between LaVeyan Satanism, and some "church" of Satan.
I don't know what church you grew up in, but to my knowledge, no Christian church teaches that bullying is right, justified, loving Christian behavior. I do know that the Church is an organisation of people -- imperfect people who are prone to make errors in judgement and to fail to take right action.
*nods* power corrupts, is the old saying; sometimes it doesn't even take very much power.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
Tanni
greek
greek
Posts: 741
Joined: Thu 12 Aug 2010, 01:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Tanni » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 12:01

elemtilas wrote:
Tanni wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
Tanni wrote: You cannot love all the people. I wonder if someone ever can truely love their enemies. This christian lore just leads into hypocrisy.
[:)] Perhaps you should try it sometime? Before you tell someone it can not be done?
Do you really understand what goes on in the head of people you do not know or why a state does something? You simply can't!
I claim no sure knowledge of either: this can not stop me from striving to engage others lovingly. In other words, your state of mind does not determine someone else's loving approach to you.
These kinds of emotions take a toll on one. Hating people, despising people, loathing and fearing people -- all those things become physically detrimental. I am not an ideologist nor do I seek your or anyone else's support. I'm not sure what physics has to do with this.
If you talk about energy, you talk about physics. You, of course, can use the concept ''mental energy'' or that like, but then it isn't clear what you refering to. The concepts you list might have physical effects, but it's not clear how these is connected with that blurred notion of mental energy. And these concepts might have negative effects on both, the perpetrator as well as the victim.
Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe dreams!
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
Do you think people like him waste their ''energy''?
La Vey invented his own religion and peddled to others who became his followers. He was a cult leader. He had an agenda to sell.
I think that holds for the leaders of many religions, including Jesus. And sometimes, people were forced into a religion.
In all honesty, it is a very popular worldview! -- total indulgence, freedom to hate what is hateful, no boundaries, no limitations on your own bad behaviour.
I'm not sure if La Vey talked about TOTAL indulgence. The word indulgence implies that you don't go beyond some limits. Mind you, the church was engaged in selling of indulgences, too.

Plus free sex -- what a deal!
Just skimmed over some parts of the Satanic Bible, but I darkly remind that La Vey wrote something about sex with just one partner. So free sex is an option, not a must!
Is it a waste of time and energy to always take the easy way out?
What does this question mean? Have we talked about a ''way'' or ''a way in''?
To lower yourself to the lowest common denominator rather than raising yourself above the gutter? I can only answer for myself: total indulgence, absolute hedonism, reckless and boundaryless behaviour is always appealing to the young and immature;
This looks like the standard argumentation, but that doesn't mean that it is true. And being young does not imply that things like that need to be appealing. Being young does not mean that you behave according to the prejudice of the church and their propaganda. From what I read in the Satanic Bible, I don't see where La Vey advocated all that. It's very likely that you've misunderstood something, mabe due to you being young and immature.
I have since found other things of greater appeal -- the harder course, the narrower way, the road less travelled. It is a challenge to follow the way of Jesus (or Buddha); a challenge that the way of Satan can never fulfill. That way fills one with emptiness and steals all substance.
The hardest way is to follow your own way, isn't it? Those ways defind by Jesus and Buddha must be a beaten path already due to their many followers.
Being bullied means that you were in a long term process.
The time may be long or short. There are several factors at play there.
Bullying requires repetition by definition. This means that the process needs to show some length. It is not a one time harsh schoolyard behaviour. My emphasis on bullying is a long term process is to make clear that bullying is NOT another name for one-time harsh schoolyard behaviour and thus need to be treated differently. In fact, a bullying process can last for years or even decades, even so stalking. In that cases, it is possible not to be aware of that bullying processes.
How long can you ''choose the way of non-violent acceptance'' without getting serious personal damage or your life-chances destroyed?
It is indeed a long term commitment. Personal damage is a risk -- just ask Dr. King. I find it worth the risk to rise above the merely instinctual life La Vey promotes.
I don't see where La Vey promotes a merely instinctical life. LaVeyan Satanism has Dogma and Ritual as well as Commandments, like the church. Instincts are nothing bad, they help you to survive, and therefore it is not good to suppress instincts. If someone tooks a risk, that's his decision, you cannot expect others to take the risks you take. I would consider that immoral.
Even and especially non-violent acceptance will destroy you sooner or later. Or it will destroy your family. And it will encourage the bully to go on.
He may, yet he will be denied victory. The bully wants only one thing over you, and that is power; and he wants only one thing from you, and that is fear. Refuse to fear him, deny him the power and he has nothing. Ordinary bullies will give up and move on to a target they can get to cry or beg for mercy. A sociopath or a psychopath -- different matters. They may not stop; but of course, you'll never know if he has such a diagnosis.
I don't care if he is denied victory. If it has the potential to destroy, it is something you should protect you and your familiy from, if you love your family (La Vey) and if you are a loving being in general (elemtilas). You risk to destroy yourself and your family in order to deny the bully the victory. Odd kind of love!

What you asking the victim to apply is a psychological technique based on a deeper understanding of the situation and the mind of a bully. You can't expect that from school-aged children in general, and you cannot expect that form normal beings as well. And again, psychological techniqes are dangerous, can backfire, and, the bully uses psychological techniques himself (bullying is a psychological technique!), so he has at least a certain -- maybe not very advanced notion -- of what you propose to fight him. So it is very likely that your plan to fight him doesn't work. (I got some ''good advice'' how to deal with those who tease me, but this advice didn't work. The term bullying was not known back then, maybe).
You have been in such situations, just two times. In school? Sorry, there's a life out of school were things can emerge very quickly and can have tremendous consequences. This can even happen in school.
Did I say "just two times"? That is your misassumption. Did I agree to divulge my life story to you? I do not. You asked a question and you got the answer -- maybe it is you don't like the choices I have made?
I asked a rhethorical question.

Is it moral to pollute the water, the air, or to kill herds of animals like the bisons? To focus morality to just persons made all that environmental pollutions possible. See that the nature has a right to exist, too, without everything related and ruled by humans.
It is a waste of natural resources and, yes, a sin (against God, against Nature, against fellow Man) to grossly mismanage and wantonly destroy these resources.

So ... of course it's immoral to pollute the air -- someone downwind has to breathe your poison! Of course it's immoral to (wantonly) destroy animal herds -- someone across the plains relies on those herds for food and raw materials!

Or were you expecting me to apply morality to the air itself? To the bison themselves? No -- it is not an act of immorality against the air to light a fire; it is not an act of immorality against the bison itself to hunt and kill it.

Morality applies to people and the relationships one person has with other people. Or are you perhaps thinking that I have no sense of ethics, of common sense, or aesthetic sense, of empathy or of a dozen other sensibilities that can and do indeed inform the rightness and wrongness of our actions, quite apart from the morality we are actually discussing?
A heard of bisons is not just a resource, but are animals which play a certain role in the biosphere of our planet. They have a right to life on their own. You might hunt some for food, but you shouldn't iradicate them from earth. I don't care if that's a sin or not or if it is moral or not, but it's certainly stupit and wrong. Animists would maybe see the air or a rock or a mountain as having a spirit and would consider polluting or destroying them as immoral. I accept this view. Actually, it is appealing to me. Seeing it like that can help to protect nature. I don't support your concept of morality. Maybe I don't support morality at all.
LaVeyan Satanism is up for a few decades, the church for two millenia. Go through the history and see what desasters the church has caused.
I am very well aware of the history perpetrated by men in power, typically abusing that power, in the name of the Church and in the name of the God they claim to serve. And, just to make clear, the men in charge of the Catholic Church have, historically, indeed been some of the wickedest of men. Does that mean to you that the moral system they were supposed to be upholding is somehow at fault, or is itself somehow faulty? I would disagree with that: we can see in every political system the corrupting influence of power and authority -- and yes, the C.C. is a political system. We can see in the history of our own times very bad men in positions of power, be it in government, be it in academia, be it in religious domains, that have abused their authority and who have complete disregard for the just laws and moral system they are supposed to be upholding.
When somebody preaches morality, you'd expect him keeping it by himself, too, don't you? I even would grant him not to be perfect, and forgive him some mistakes, but what the Church has done is that tremendous injustice and violence, especially the witch hunts, so that one must ask if this faith and the negative impact for that many centuries must be somewhat connected. They used and still use psycho-techniques to get and hold their followers, one of them is punishment in hell, so they seed fear which did backfire at some period in time. A political system is political, it may cause fear, too, but it cannot send your soul to hell.
What are sophontic beings? I sometimes wonder if humans have said capabilities at all. If you give it a name, it is a person! This notion is faught by many people: That animals are considered merely a property, not a being.
Giving a name to a thing confers nothing on that thing other than that a language-using being has given it a name. I chose "sophont" rather than "person" because there is too much tautologically humanocentric baggage to the word "person".
For me, the term person does not necessarily imply being human. If aliens form another planet will show up, this word could get extended to that aliens easily.
How can you recognize a perverted moral system? For me, a moral system is perverted if priest bless weapons or preach to paritcipate in a war, or perform witch hunts, besides others.
I wouldn't disagree with you about blessing weapons or exhorting war (and we can see the results of such exhortations coming our way, right now in the form of the Islamic State -- but there certainly have been other examples). I have no problem at all with priests blessing the soldiers and praying for their safety -- Grant peace to Your world, to Your churches, to the clergy, to those in public service, to the armed forces, and to all Your people ... And for all those in public service; permit them, Lord, to serve and govern in peace that through the faithful conduct of their duties we may live peaceful and serene lives in all piety and holiness. I have a big problem with a religious organisation that exhorts violence in all its forms (and thus, rather have a problem with Satanism!)
I have lots of problems with priests blessing soldiers. For me, morality (at least done the christian way) is some sort of mental violence.
From your notion of morality, I would expect that morality applies to all and everything,
See above as to what morality applies to -- and also other systems that may or may not also apply to things other than just people.
But humans depend on other stuff as well, so why not including it to your ''unconditioned all-humens-including love''.
I wouldn't equate ''loving'' with ''moral''. You simply can't love everyone.
Fair enough, though I would come much closer to equating the two: if you behave morally, then you are engaging in love; if your attitude towards others is one of love, then you will naturally behave morally towards them. That Golden Rule thing is a key here.
The Golden rule does not say anything about love! Behaving morally can cause tremedous injustice.
On the contrary! The G.R. is solidly founded in love! The person who practices the G.R. seeks ever to raise up, improve the lot of, enhance and empower the other person, rather than himself; he never seeks to harm, abuse, damage, insult or destroy another person. And more, it is love in action: notice that the G.R. is not a mere platitude, a tired old bromide that anyone can safely ignore; the very first word of the G.R. is a verb in the imperative mood. It is an injunction and a command to go out and do.

Justice is an entirely different matter -- that is a matter of laws, interpretation of laws, custom at law and the whims of juries.
The Golden rule does not explicitely show the word love. Whether it's founded on love or not is debatable and lies in the eye of the beholder. With your concept of love, even a father spanking his son is an act of love. (To show him the right way.)
Justice is an entirely different matter of what? The Golden Rule? The Love?
Elemtilas, I see that you are moralic and love god and other humans. I don't like to struggle with you on that topic.
I don't mind. But the real struggle here is not between you and me -- it is, and always has been, between ME and ME and between YOU and YOU. We can only agree or disagree on these things we're talking about; and here we have done both. But in the end analysis, we must both of us choose which path we will tread in the real world. Do we choose paths that will lead through light and down to destruction; or paths that will lead us through darkness and into power?
And religion tells you what path to take, despite the desasters it already caused. Maybe it's time to explore where all the other path go, as if you don't you'll never know.
I was very religious, too, as I was a kid, as my grandma was very religious and I loved her very much.
Well, you've got one up on me, then! I was never religious or terribly pious. I could (and still do) sense the fundamental and pervasive awe surrounding the moment of incarnation during the liturgy; but I've never considered myself a "churched" person.
Well, liturgy is made up to evoke that awe. One can see it as manipulation.
But due to various incidents, due to my situation, especially the bullying against me, and the way others e. g. my parents, teachers, peers, even priests dealed with all that, and due to other factors, I had lots of problems with religion and faith for many years, which took away time and what you call energy to lead a normal life.
You are certainly in no way alone there! Many (young) people feel let down by those who by rights, by honor and by obligation ought to stand up for kids in such situations as you describe of yourself. I don't, and indeed can not, blame you for finding fault with the religion itself. But I would ask you, and you don't have to answer: is it really a problem with the religion itself, or is it really a problem with people who were in authority at the time and failed to protect you a/o make things right?
Of course not! You can't separate religion form the people who practice it. But if what you shall believe brings you to the verge of ... then there must be a stop. And it's not only one thing, but many.
I don't know what church you grew up in, but to my knowledge, no Christian church teaches that bullying is right, justified, loving Christian behavior. I do know that the Church is an organisation of people -- imperfect people who are prone to make errors in judgement and to fail to take right action.
I never heard that Christian churches say anything about bullying. The term bullying is around for roughly 20 years now, and it might not have even pervated through to many of the religious (= moralic) leaders and also not to many of their followers. Book Hiob suggests that god himself is a bully. As he is omniscent, he knows about what Hiob thinks about him, so he need not show it up to Satan. Or did god like to brag with Hiobs faith?
So being too religious and too moral can get you into serious mental and other problems. What you like me to do is some kind of psychological technique. This is something dangerous, especially if you do it without surveillance. You of course can make you feel like you'd love everyone, but this is an illusion. It is one of the spiritual pipe dreams and hypocritical self-deceit Szandor LaVey talkes about.
No doubt. He was unable to overcome that downward spiral and ended up over the verge of...
founding a church. And he did. Just what Jesus did. And many other people too in the course of history. And everyone of them drew conclusions from the historical situation he was in.
In my experience, love is not a thing that can be forced; neither is it an illusory feeling.
Who has claimed that love is an illusory feeling. Nobody. The illusion is that you can love everyone. Sounds megalomaniac. Does that love include people who died centuries or millenia ago or who will maybe never born in the future?
LaVey experienced many confusing things early in his life -- a quick perusal of his bio recalls his work in the circus and as a bar musician among people that would for example attend smut shows one day and go to church all spiffed up the next. What a lesson in hypocrisy is that!
He needed to earn a living. Where is the hypocrisy?
He fails to comprehend, however, that "going to church" -- i.e., participating in some kind of Christian religious / spiritual life -- is not for perfect people. It is precisely and exactly the smut-show goers, the bar-trolls, the lowlife-nolifes of the world that Jesus explicitly sought out! Remember?
Granted, you'll easily find followers there. But its the church seeing all that as sin, requireing to confess it, paying for indulgence (from that sins, at least in former times). That's the hypocrasy.
Certain people, especially those who want to be religious, but don't like to be a member of one of the usual confessions, like to do such kind of techniques, and recommend it to others to help them with their mental or spiritual problems. The problem is, that they recommend doing some inner practice which is very blurred and vague, so that you never knew if you're successful. This opens up the possibility that you (your personality) can get lost in it, making you vulnerable to false prophets.
It is indeed a vèry dangerous thing I am recommending! After all, it is a thing fundamentally transformative!
Thing is that I don't like to be transformed! I like myself the way I am!
You risk leaving behind the life of mere animal pleasure and simple instinctual reaction.
??? -- And if so, form a biological point of view, humans are a kind of animal!

And what does it get me? Hypocrisy? Being overly religious? Becoming brainwashed?
It is a thing that will require you to become aware of your worst self and to thwart your own actions at every moment of every day of your life. I can not claim I accomplished the goal in my own life -- I know and admit to regular failure. This will not stop me from the attempt. With a little grace, perhaps I'll get up a rung or two. I am not recommending you become religious or join a "usual confession".
That's exactly what I do not want, to be constantly engaged in reaching some goal you never can reach. This is one of the tricks Christian religion uses to manipulate people.
“Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
He is correct on this point: both love and hate are powerful emotions in the human person. The one liberates and unites; the other enslaves and divides. One raises you up; the other drags you down with chains of iron.
Again, a simple psycho-trick. I don't like to simple chop the world into two pieces and let myself catch in this cage of black and white.
Take your pick: love your neighbour / hate your neighbour. They both require effort of will; they are both emptying in nature. More, the former renews your will while the latter wears it down; the former fulfills and satisfies when you empty yourself the most while the latter never fills you with anything but emptiness.
It is a well-known fact that in large cities, people in one flat don't know their neighbours in the adjacent one. How can I love or hate a neighbour I don't know?
Start out small: examine yourself and find someone at school or work that really ticks you off. Or if you engage in a little road rage after being ticked off by idiot drivers... snip ...

Yep -- I don't deny this at all: this whole love thing is the world's biggest Jedi mind trick -- and it's the trick the Jedi works on his own mind! ...
I really don't like to get an instruction to trick myself. We had a special term for that in elementary school. It (the term) is mildly obszene but it would bring it exactly to the point.
You're probably reading this thinking, golly, this guy is the biggest Christian nut-job I've ever come across! LaVey would probably call that the biggest pile of bull shit he ever had to put shovel to. So, I'll leave it at that. You can at least get a glimpse of one possible process one can use to turn hatred on its head.
Again, the world is not just love and haterd, not even my world. There are lots of other things, and I'm glad for that.
Your problem is that you see everything from the end, from the perfected deed itself, disregarding the various processes going on before, the ancillary factors as you call it, barring the fact if it was planned or not. This is the position of someone who seeks to punish someone else or who wants to wield power, but not an aspect of a real loving person who seeks to understand to prevent things going wrong.
End? Beginning? Before the before or after the after? Makes no difference, really. The "processes" are really irrelevant. I neither desire nor hold power: I can only describe to you how I understand the basic morality of different kinds of killing.
And I simply don't want to see it that way, because its tremendously unfair.
Revenge is the negative feedback necessary to keep things within borders.
Revenge leads nowhere but to further acts of vengeance. This is what "honor killings" are all about. Hatfields and McCoys. Sooner or later either everything ends up destroyed or the two sides must come together and end the cycle of vengeance.
This is the usual lore. I don't agree with that. Revenge terminates with act of taking revenge. If there's revenge for revenge, than it's a new offensive deed. Depending on the circumstances, this perverted kind of revenge (revenge for revenge) can run out of power, when people don't care on the more genealogical distant members of their families. And even family members can hate each other, so that someone would not like to take revenge for the killing of a member.
The repetitive nature of bullying is due to the lack of a (legal) negative feedback. If governments are that bad, why wouldn't you call that secret service operations murder?
Because it's legal! (Note that "legal" does not equate with "moral".)
Yes! And what?
The drunk still puts himself in a place where this is (more) likely to happen, and must bear culpability because he performed actions that directly led to the death of another person.
Yes, iff the drunk put himself in a place where this is more likely to happen. What when the drunk just defends himself because of the attacks of another?
In any event, it's not really an "accident" the two drunks deliberately -- snip
I thought it was only one who was drunk. This discussion leads to nowhere.
If a person is constantly abused by another over the course of years and finds an opportunity to end the abuse by use of a weapon -- that one is a killer, but no murderer.
This is a defense action in a bullying-process, where the action aimes at the termination of that process.
Being bullied does not give the victim the right to kill his bully. That's still murder. Now, as I said, perfectly understandable!
This is your opinion, but not mine! I don't see a sense in the notion of ''understandable murder''.
As I said, this kind of killing, of an abuser or bully, is understandable. Me, I don't think I could really bring myself to convict such a person of a crime, were I on a jury. But the focus here is not on the circumstances -- and we can wallow in circumstances for years and never get anywhere! -- but rather on the action itself, which is the intentional taking of another's life.
What when the victim commits suicide? When he's that desperate and that moralic and that loving to others, that, instead of killing the bully, he kills himself and does a sinful deed, too?
I do not view suicide as a sin. For me, it is a true tragedy and a symptom of a very sickened, very worn down heart and soul. It is the last most agonised cry for help that will now not come in this world. It is possibly the worst choice of all because the victim has deprived himself of the possibility of healing. It is a very great sadness, even beyond the sadness of a pure accidental death.
Moralic people usually do. And exactly that annoyed me very much: if you're bullyed, everybody seeks the guilt in you, the victim, it is never seen that the victim does nothing and the bully starts his actions. The victim is ''treated'' in order to alter him and his attitudet to the bully, but nobody treats or punishes the bully. You should see things less moralic and more realistic.
Intention to kill, disregarding the circumstances, because that'll never get us anywhere -- barring to the graveyard! Moralic system crash! The focus must be on the circumstances, because circumstances have an extreme influence on how things go on and on how they could have avoided.
I think we're talking at cross purposes here: for the purpose of this discussion, I am focussing on the nature of the act of killing -- not on justifications, not on extraneous circumstances that may or may not lead up to a/o follow from. I think you're losing focus here by now dwelling on "intent" and "circumstance" and how to prevent bad things from happening. I don't necessarily disagree with you regarding these things! The fact remains: killing the bully, regardless of the killer's intentions or state of mind or any other factor, is an immoral act. It brings to an otherwise unnatural & untimely end to a human life. You may not like that human, you may hate him (and therein may well lie some justification for the act); and thus feel that these external emotions change the nature of the act. The murder of a bully or the execution of a murderer or killing in war -- none of these things are moral acts, all of these things are acts of evil.
All the guilt to the victim who finally decided to not be a victim any more! Again, I don't care for morality, I think morality is not a good means to conduct life. It is outdated and unfair, as many laws are. You simply can't measure human actions in a complex world with an outdated and unfair moralic system. Instead of orthographic reforms, we should have a moral reform!
If you really would be engaged in loving, you would like to find a way to prevent things, to keep your loved ones -- that means everyone -- alive, instead of morally judge -- and maybe punish -- them according to a very simple moralic system.
Naturally so! The person who acts with love never seeks to destroy the life of another person, neither by plot, nor by war, nor "legally" via the justice system.
Than America does not act with love towands many of its citizens. -- Attention, destroying another person does not necessarily mean to kill him.
If a person is driving along a street and passes a parked truck and another person runs out from behind the truck and is struck and killed -- the driver is neither killer nor murderer. The driver was not the cause of the death.
If there would have been no driver, there would have been no death.
Quite. And, therefore, no contrary example against which to compare the intentional killings outlined earlier!
But the driver will most likely suffer from self-reproach for the rest of his life. And that's unfair!
Quite. It is most unfair indeed! Life in this world, the chanciness and whims of fortune, random events and acts of nature -- none of this is, and has never been, "fair". snip
If life is unfair, humans should seek to circumvent that unfairness of life. Only that's truely human!
So the driver caused the death by driving the car. If the driver -- for physical and physiological reasons -- never had a chance to avoid the death, how can he be a murderer or a killer?
As I said before, and just now, the driver is neither killer nor murderer. In this case, death was caused more by the running man's inattention than by anything the driver did.
Ok, when you can't avoid it, you're neither a killer nor a murder.
The death here was entirely accidental: the person did not plan, did not execute plan, was not the agent and did not cause the death.
Transfer that to the bullying situation, or any other situation where people are forced to do something negative and have no chance to avoid it.
The situation is untransferable -- the victim of bullying always has choices! Choices may be difficult, may be odious, may be detrimental to self and others, but there are always choices.
So better to be detrimental to self (ok, if you like it that way) and to others (very much not ok). This way, you spread out human problems. See that I want to tackle a very delicate problem which is not solvable in your morality by coming up with other criterions on which decisions (maybe about life and death) can be based. You at least should give me a chance, and not presupposing that your morality is the only one in the whole universe for all time and beyond.
Why did the other person runs out without looking?
Don't know; and as far as the nature of the death goes, not really relevant. There is no evil action here on the part of the driver.
Have you ever asked yourself about the reason/cause of ''the running man's inattention''?
Do you think I didn't consider a dozen different scenarios? Again: you're letting the ephemeral details overshadow the fundamental concept. snip
You asked me for coming up with other choices to keep the life and health of the bully. In a bullying situation (an attack), you might have no time for finding other choices. But here, where there's plenty of time, you do not like to consider different szenarios? The details I had in mind are not ephemeral (think you mean irrelevant here).
No. None of these things affect the accidental nature of the death; none of these things really change the self-reproach of the driver (although I can understand why some folks might rest easier having run over a criminal in the act!)
But it would help in avoiding a similar situation, and would maybe help the driver.
Maybe because he flew a bullying situation? What do you think is the bully, then?
What about him? He's no more or less a bully now. The only thing that changes now is that we now no longer have an accidental death -- you've changed the nature of the scenario.
I didn't change it, but you didn't specify the nature of that szenario.
We now have someone who is culpable in the death of the running man. In this case, the bully. Surely the bully did not intend to kill the man -- that is not the bully's game. A dead victim and a stonewallingly non-responsive victim are no fun for a bully! So, the bully is not, strictly speaking, a murderer: he did not plan for the man to die; yet his actions directly led to the death of the man. His action in causing the death of the man is evil.
How could you know the bully's intention? He could want to terminate the game. A cat plays with the mouse before she finally eats it. A bully is a bully by his free will, nobody and nothing forces him to be a bully. The victim never had a real chance not be a victim, everything he does -- as you told me above -- is more or less morally wrong. I adress this disequality, you don't.
If you want to be a loving, fair and just person, the reason why he flew is relevant. Especially to the driver of the car, as he gets an explanation why things happened.
“There is nothing inherently sacred about moral codes. Like the wooden idols of long ago, they are the work of human hands, and what man has made, man can destroy!”
― Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
This is of course true. We, as a society, have the power and ability to tomorrow allow as moral or disallow as immoral any action we deem changeworthy. This doesn't really alter the fundamental rightness or wrongness of those actions so redefined. All we shall have done is exchange one set of words on a piece of paper for another set.
There is no fundamental rightness or wrongness, everything is in the eye of the beholder.
Okay: now tell me all about moral relativism and the nonexistence of fundamental right and wrong!
The measure if fairness, not morality. But that doesn't change that depending from the point of view of the beholder, one and the same thing can be either write or wrong or irrelevant or something else. If Einstein claims that everything is relative, than maybe fairness too.
Semantic because, as above, whether a person plans & carries out the death of another or whether a person falls into a horrible incident that results in another's death, that person was the proximate cause in both instances of a sinful act.
Consider a language where there is no affix for denominating the doer or actor or perpetrator of an action. Would we have a discussion like that?
Answer me this: do the speakers of this language have means other than affixes to describe the agent role, or is there simply no concept of agency whatsoever (and therefore obviously no means to discuss those roles in the language)?
A language entirely without agency marking would be very cumbersome, I think. What I meant was a language without marking the doer or actor or perpetrator on word level. I don't use agens here, because there are some trivial cases of agency, e. g. the breather as someone who breathes.
Okay, so a language where the concepts of agency exist, but where no morphology (or I guess syntax?) exists to describe it? I'm not sure such a thing is plausible in a language. I mean, we don't have in English any morphological way to distinguish a verb of the future time from a verb of the present time -- yet we have no trouble at all talking about future events!

I suspect that if we had a language where agency is not marked -- no -er / -or / -ator endings, we'd still have no difficulty talking about who does what and to whom. In stead of saying "John Smith is a murderer"; we might simply say "John Smith killed someone". If that's still too agenty for you, then perhaps "Someone was killed by John Smith" would do better.
Saying someone is a murderer is different form saying someone killed someone else. Regardless of the doer status, the word can convey a moralic notion, either the word for the agent or the verb. I want to get rid of that moralic notion. Note that you can insult someone by wrongly label him a murderer or having killed.
Last edited by Tanni on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 14:06, edited 1 time in total.
My neurochemistry has fucked my impulse control, now I'm diagnosed OOD = oppositional opinion disorder, one of the most deadly diseases in totalitarian states, but can be cured in the free world.
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sat 15 May 2010, 23:25

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Xonen » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 14:03

elemtilas wrote:
Xonen wrote:
elemtilas wrote:
Xonen wrote:But yes, rats do communicate with each other, and they can learn to communicate, to a limited degree, with humans who handle them. But my point is that the ability to communicate is not, IMO, a good criterion for personhood.
However, it ìs how we discuss things like personhood with each other.
True - but a lot of people have never engaged in such discussions, and again, many would have difficulty conceiving of such things in terms us modern-day Westerners would be familiar with. Point being, just because someone's ideas of such things may be utterly alien and incommunicable to us at present, doesn't necessarily mean they're wholly non-existent. Dolphins (and some other animals) have been shown to recognize themselves in a mirror, which probably requires at least some understanding of the self.
So very close indeed! So far we have: some level of self recognition; some level of language comprehension; quite a lot of cleverness; etc, etc. The big question still eludes you: have they put all these things -- or enough of these things -- together into that magical package we call "personhood"?
Indeed it does – but my point here is that it seems to elude our whole species! We can't quantify intelligence (especially of species whose senses and communication systems work in radically different ways from ours) well enough to come up with an objective answer to that question.
One thing I don't think has been brought to bear: humans are very good at one thing that is very detrimental, and that is finding patterns in things that have no pattern and assuming that the seen pattern maps to something real or valid. We may very well be deluding ourselves (maybe perhaps assuaging just a tiny bit of collectivly genocidal guilt re that Neanderthal scandal some millennia ago?) into seeing a pattern that simply has no basis in reality. I mean we humanise and anthropomorphise all sorts of things; we should at least consider that we are reading too much into these observed behaviours of dolphins & elephants.
Oh, I've read my pop psychology; I'm well aware that our species is extremely good at deluding itself. [¬.¬] But if there's a risk of anthropomorphizing animals, I'd say there's also a risk of seeing ourselves as more special than we really are. And that's what I'm trying to argue against. There is no fundamental qualitative difference between the way our brains and those of animals work, even if do seem to have some quantitative advantage.
Keenir
runic
runic
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue 22 May 2012, 02:05

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Keenir » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 16:45

In all honesty, it is a very popular worldview! -- total indulgence, freedom to hate what is hateful, no boundaries, no limitations on your own bad behaviour.
I'm not sure if La Vey talked about TOTAL indulgence. The word indulgence implies that you don't go beyond some limits. Mind you, the church was engaged in selling of indulgences, too.
as I said below, i'm not sure you understand what indulgences were. (or a number of other things; my got, is this what its like to watch me try to talk about linguistics and conlangs?)

I have since found other things of greater appeal -- the harder course, the narrower way, the road less travelled. It is a challenge to follow the way of Jesus (or Buddha); a challenge that the way of Satan can never fulfill. That way fills one with emptiness and steals all substance.
The hardest way is to follow your own way, isn't it? Those ways defind by Jesus and Buddha must be a beaten path already due to their many followers.
no, its a community of followers, who can support you if you welcome them to do so; but as the saying goes "nobody can walk your life, but you."

Being bullied means that you were in a long term process.
The time may be long or short. There are several factors at play there.
Bullying requires repetition by definition.
uh-huh. keep telling yourself that.

("oh no, I only hit that kid the one time, i'm not a bully" is a defense I actually heard someone use)
I don't see where La Vey promotes a merely instinctical life. LaVeyan Satanism has Dogma and Ritual as well as Commandments, like the church. Instincts are nothing bad, they help you to survive, and therefore it is not good to suppress instincts.
instinct tells us to eat all the sugary foods we can find - because to instinct, high-sugar foods are rare. instinct doesn't realize that chocolate and other sugars are now highly abundant for us.

Morality applies to people and the relationships one person has with other people. Or are you perhaps thinking that I have no sense of ethics, of common sense, or aesthetic sense, of empathy or of a dozen other sensibilities that can and do indeed inform the rightness and wrongness of our actions, quite apart from the morality we are actually discussing?
A heard of bisons is not just a resource, but are animals which play a certain role in the biosphere of our planet. They have a right to life on their own. You might hunt some for food, but you shouldn't iradicate them from earth. I don't care if that's a sin or not or if it is moral or not, but it's certainly stupit and wrong. Animists would maybe see the air or a rock or a mountain as having a spirit and would consider polluting or destroying them as immoral. I accept this view. Actually, it is appealing to me. Seeing it like that can help to protect nature. I don't support your concept of morality. Maybe I don't support morality at all.
do you support laws?
LaVeyan Satanism is up for a few decades, the church for two millenia. Go through the history and see what desasters the church has caused.
I am very well aware of the history perpetrated by men in power, typically abusing that power, in the name of the Church and in the name of the God they claim to serve. And, just to make clear, the men in charge of the Catholic Church have, historically, indeed been some of the wickedest of men. Does that mean to you that the moral system they were supposed to be upholding is somehow at fault, or is itself somehow faulty? I would disagree with that: we can see in every political system the corrupting influence of power and authority -- and yes, the C.C. is a political system. We can see in the history of our own times very bad men in positions of power, be it in government, be it in academia, be it in religious domains, that have abused their authority and who have complete disregard for the just laws and moral system they are supposed to be upholding.
When somebody preaches morality, you'd expect him keeping it by himself, too, don't you? I even would grant him not to be perfect, and forgive him some mistakes, but what the Church has done is that tremendous injustice and violence, especially the witch hunts, so that one must ask if this faith and the negative impact for that many centuries must be somewhat connected. They used and still use psycho-techniques to get and hold their followers, one of them is punishment in hell, so they seed fear which did backfire at some period in time. A political system is political, it may cause fear, too, but it cannot send your soul to hell.
sure it can. or it can do far worse. (the Inquisition, Stalin's secret police & their prisons, etc)
For me, the term person does not necessarily imply being human. If aliens form another planet will show up, this word could get extended to that aliens easily.
but as that has not yet happened, lets cross the bridge when it does.

How can you recognize a perverted moral system? For me, a moral system is perverted if priest bless weapons or preach to paritcipate in a war, or perform witch hunts, besides others.
not sure you understand the purpose of a witch hunt, but okay.

so, is there any moral system you regard as not having fallen into being perverted?

Elemtilas, I see that you are moralic and love god and other humans. I don't like to struggle with you on that topic.
I don't mind. But the real struggle here is not between you and me -- it is, and always has been, between ME and ME and between YOU and YOU. We can only agree or disagree on these things we're talking about; and here we have done both. But in the end analysis, we must both of us choose which path we will tread in the real world. Do we choose paths that will lead through light and down to destruction; or paths that will lead us through darkness and into power?
And religion tells you what path to take, despite the desasters it already caused. [/quote]

other paths have also been tried, and were even less successful.
I was very religious, too, as I was a kid, as my grandma was very religious and I loved her very much.
Well, you've got one up on me, then! I was never religious or terribly pious. I could (and still do) sense the fundamental and pervasive awe surrounding the moment of incarnation during the liturgy; but I've never considered myself a "churched" person.
Well, liturgy is made up to evoke that awe. One can see it as manipulation.
or inspiration.
You are certainly in no way alone there! Many (young) people feel let down by those who by rights, by honor and by obligation ought to stand up for kids in such situations as you describe of yourself. I don't, and indeed can not, blame you for finding fault with the religion itself. But I would ask you, and you don't have to answer: is it really a problem with the religion itself, or is it really a problem with people who were in authority at the time and failed to protect you a/o make things right?
Of course not! You can't separate religion form the people who practice it.
then how do people separate themselves from religion, if the two are inseparable?

"What do you think of Western Civilization?" "I think it would be a good idea" is a quip oft attributed to M.Gandhi(sp)

I don't know what church you grew up in, but to my knowledge, no Christian church teaches that bullying is right, justified, loving Christian behavior. I do know that the Church is an organisation of people -- imperfect people who are prone to make errors in judgement and to fail to take right action.
I never heard that Christian churches say anything about bullying. The term bullying is around for roughly 20 years now,
well bully for you (oh wait, that was Teddy Roosevelt, former President)

the word's far more than 20 years old. and people have been called bullies for more than 20 years. (otherwise I'd have needed a TARDIS to go to school)

as happens in linguistics, the word has been expanded in recent years, to cover even more options when it comes to persecutatory behaviors.
and it might not have even pervated through to many of the religious (= moralic) leaders and also not to many of their followers. Book Hiob suggests that god himself is a bully. As he is omniscent, he knows about what Hiob thinks about him, so he need not show it up to Satan. Or did god like to brag with Hiobs faith?
?Hiob?
No doubt. He was unable to overcome that downward spiral and ended up over the verge of...
founding a church. And he did. Just what Jesus did. [/quote]

Jesus never founded a church - he was the founder of a movement. his followers founded the churches.
In my experience, love is not a thing that can be forced; neither is it an illusory feeling.
Who has claimed that love is an illusory feeling. Nobody. The illusion is that you can love everyone. Sounds megalomaniac. Does that love include people who died centuries or millenia ago or who will maybe never born in the future?
I cared for and was protective of my nephew before he was born, as well as after he was born.

I have feelings for the line of my ancestors and their kin and co-religionists going back over a thousand years, and I have feelings against the people who committed pogroms against them.

He fails to comprehend, however, that "going to church" -- i.e., participating in some kind of Christian religious / spiritual life -- is not for perfect people. It is precisely and exactly the smut-show goers, the bar-trolls, the lowlife-nolifes of the world that Jesus explicitly sought out! Remember?
Granted, you'll easily find followers there. But its the church seeing all that as sin, requireing to confess it, paying for indulgence (from that sins, at least in former times). That's the hypocrasy.
I think you're confusing indulgence and indulgences. despite the pronounciation and spelling, they're not the same.

It is a thing that will require you to become aware of your worst self and to thwart your own actions at every moment of every day of your life. I can not claim I accomplished the goal in my own life -- I know and admit to regular failure. This will not stop me from the attempt. With a little grace, perhaps I'll get up a rung or two. I am not recommending you become religious or join a "usual confession".
That's exactly what I do not want, to be constantly engaged in reaching some goal you never can reach. This is one of the tricks Christian religion uses to manipulate people.
then why bother doing anything? why be good, if you can't ever reach the goal line? why go to work?

Take your pick: love your neighbour / hate your neighbour. They both require effort of will; they are both emptying in nature. More, the former renews your will while the latter wears it down; the former fulfills and satisfies when you empty yourself the most while the latter never fills you with anything but emptiness.
It is a well-known fact that in large cities, people in one flat don't know their neighbours in the adjacent one. How can I love or hate a neighbour I don't know?
try to simply not hate someone, to start with.
Yep -- I don't deny this at all: this whole love thing is the world's biggest Jedi mind trick -- and it's the trick the Jedi works on his own mind! ...
I really don't like to get an instruction to trick myself.
that's how addictions get broken - by tricking or convincing yourself.
Revenge is the negative feedback necessary to keep things within borders.
Revenge leads nowhere but to further acts of vengeance. This is what "honor killings" are all about. Hatfields and McCoys. Sooner or later either everything ends up destroyed or the two sides must come together and end the cycle of vengeance.
This is the usual lore. I don't agree with that. Revenge terminates with act of taking revenge. If there's revenge for revenge, than it's a new offensive deed. Depending on the circumstances, this perverted kind of revenge (revenge for revenge) can run out of power, when people don't care on the more genealogical distant members of their families. And even family members can hate each other, so that someone would not like to take revenge for the killing of a member.
someone once said it well: "he's a bastard, but he's our bastard" - in other words, they don't like him, but they'll avenge his death if he's killed.
Moralic people usually do. And exactly that annoyed me very much: if you're bullyed, everybody seeks the guilt in you, the victim, it is never seen that the victim does nothing and the bully starts his actions. The victim is ''treated'' in order to alter him and his attitudet to the bully, but nobody treats or punishes the bully.
you must have had a very bad grade school, then; pretty much every school in my day, dealt harshly with bullies.
Intention to kill, disregarding the circumstances, because that'll never get us anywhere -- barring to the graveyard! Moralic system crash! The focus must be on the circumstances, because circumstances have an extreme influence on how things go on and on how they could have avoided.
I think we're talking at cross purposes here: for the purpose of this discussion, I am focussing on the nature of the act of killing -- not on justifications, not on extraneous circumstances that may or may not lead up to a/o follow from. I think you're losing focus here by now dwelling on "intent" and "circumstance" and how to prevent bad things from happening. I don't necessarily disagree with you regarding these things! The fact remains: killing the bully, regardless of the killer's intentions or state of mind or any other factor, is an immoral act. It brings to an otherwise unnatural & untimely end to a human life. You may not like that human, you may hate him (and therein may well lie some justification for the act); and thus feel that these external emotions change the nature of the act. The murder of a bully or the execution of a murderer or killing in war -- none of these things are moral acts, all of these things are acts of evil.
All the guilt to the victim who finally decided to not be a victim any more! Again, I don't care for morality, I think morality is not a good means to conduct life. It is outdated and unfair, as many laws are. You simply can't measure human actions in a complex world with an outdated and unfair moralic system. Instead of orthographic reforms, we should have a moral reform![/quote]

but if all moral systems are perverted, there's nothing that can be changed to.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
User avatar
Lambuzhao
earth
earth
Posts: 7172
Joined: Sun 13 May 2012, 01:57

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Lambuzhao » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 17:09

Animal sentience. Human so-called monopoly on intelligence & sentience. The "worth" of itelligence & sentience and self-awareness.

This reminds me of a short story I read years ago. I wish I could remember the author.
I think it was in The Science Fictional Dinosaur Anthology. Google is not helping much.

Anyway, it was about these humans embarking on the first time-travelling experiment. In their travels back in time (to the Mesozoic, if I recall), they meet sentient time-travelling felines. They also meet intelligent/sentient horses (?!), and a couple of other species.

What I took from that story is the following. Whenever we think we humans as a species are "the top of the heap", there are other tops of the heap as well; we just don't know where they are yet.

And the whole hubris of humans being the only species capable of sentience to have developed on Earth's long history. And it's immensely long: billions of years. There have been chances for sentient (not particularly humanoid-looking, mind you) Archaea, Fungi, Coelentrates, Nematodes, Platyhelminthians, Molluscs, Fish (Lobe-Finned, Cartilaginous, and Bony), Crustaceans, Insects, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, and perhaps even other Mammal species to have all evolved, had their "time in the sun" (Is 2 million years enough time?), and then vanished (ravages of time & tides/holocaust/war/disease/zipping off into the reaches of space).

I know some things (sentient horses) might sound absolutely ridiculous, but heck, who are we to judge? The age of the Earth is so unfathomably old, and our whole collective existence as a species is less than half an eyeblink, or a quarter of a sneeze in comparative duration. How many other intelligent species existed during other half-eyeblinks or quarter-sneezes?

We have sent so bleeding few probes out to explore our Moon and Solar System, we would almost not see any signs of their existence, even if they left them. I think their traces would be the subtlest of subtle, if only due to separation by vast expanses of Time.

Geez, I wish I could remember the name of that story. [:S]
User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 2837
Joined: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 04:48

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 20:59

Lambuzhao wrote:Animal sentience. Human so-called monopoly on intelligence & sentience. The "worth" of itelligence & sentience and self-awareness.

This reminds me of a short story I read years ago. I wish I could remember the author.
I think it was in The Science Fictional Dinosaur Anthology. Google is not helping much.
Is it Lackey's Valdemar series by any chance? That seems to have sentient cats and sentient horses -- not sure about dinosaurs and time travel, though!
What I took from that story is the following. Whenever we think we humans as a species are "the top of the heap", there are other tops of the heap as well; we just don't know where they are yet.
True that. And we may never, ever know. There may be ten thousand civilisations our there in the stars, right now, looking up, feeling alone, wondering if there isn't some other similarly sentient -- possibly even nine-tentacled, photosynthetic, meter long flying worms!, after all, what else could sentient persons possibly look like!? -- people out there...

Star Trek gives hope of dashing across the galaxy in no time at all; but until & unless we make vast leaps in science & technology & engineering, we ain't going nowhere notime soon. Everyone else in the universe will be hampered by the same limitations we are, and so they are just as unlikely to get very far. [:'(]
And the whole hubris of humans being the only species capable of sentience to have developed on Earth's long history. And it's immensely long: billions of years. There have been chances for sentient (not particularly humanoid-looking, mind you) Archaea, Fungi, Coelentrates, Nematodes, Platyhelminthians, Molluscs, Fish (Lobe-Finned, Cartilaginous, and Bony), Crustaceans, Insects, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, and perhaps even other Mammal species to have all evolved, had their "time in the sun" (Is 2 million years enough time?), and then vanished (ravages of time & tides/holocaust/war/disease/zipping off into the reaches of space).

I know some things (sentient horses) might sound absolutely ridiculous, but heck, who are we to judge? The age of the Earth is so unfathomably old, and our whole collective existence as a species is less than half an eyeblink, or a quarter of a sneeze in comparative duration. How many other intelligent species existed during other half-eyeblinks or quarter-sneezes?
Right. There is no knowing, of course! Though there are reasonable guesses that may be made.
We have sent so bleeding few probes out to explore our Moon and Solar System, we would almost not see any signs of their existence, even if they left them. I think their traces would be the subtlest of subtle, if only due to separation by vast expanses of Time.

Geez, I wish I could remember the name of that story. [:S]
Sorry I couldn't find it either!
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
User avatar
elemtilas
runic
runic
Posts: 2837
Joined: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 04:48

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by elemtilas » Tue 23 Jun 2015, 21:17

Xonen wrote:
elemtilas wrote:However, it ìs how we discuss things like personhood with each other.
True - but a lot of people have never engaged in such discussions, and again, many would have difficulty conceiving of such things in terms us modern-day Westerners would be familiar with. Point being, just because someone's ideas of such things may be utterly alien and incommunicable to us at present, doesn't necessarily mean they're wholly non-existent. Dolphins (and some other animals) have been shown to recognize themselves in a mirror, which probably requires at least some understanding of the self.
No doubt! But my point is simply that we cán talk about these things, we can work on understanding them, they can work on understanding us, we can focus on each other and learn about these things we had no conception of before. Again, it's a great step to be able to recognise self in the mirror, definitely a step in the right direction. How much of a step, that I think is what needs to be determined. Making the breakthrough between our minds and theirs -- that will be the great leap indeed!
So very close indeed! So far we have: some level of self recognition; some level of language comprehension; quite a lot of cleverness; etc, etc. The big question still eludes you: have they put all these things -- or enough of these things -- together into that magical package we call "personhood"?
Indeed it does – but my point here is that it seems to elude our whole species! We can't quantify intelligence (especially of species whose senses and communication systems work in radically different ways from ours) well enough to come up with an objective answer to that question.
Indeed, it does elude us gnerally! I certainly didn't mean to imply that only you are off the rocker!
I'm well aware that our species is extremely good at deluding itself. [¬.¬] But if there's a risk of anthropomorphizing animals, I'd say there's also a risk of seeing ourselves as more special than we really are. And that's what I'm trying to argue against. There is no fundamental qualitative difference between the way our brains and those of animals work, even if do seem to have some quantitative advantage.
Point taken -- at least for my part, while I agree that there is risk in overemphasising our own specialness, at least we have evidence for it! I also think there are risks in overemphasizing animals' specialness especially when evidence is lacking. Everywhere you turn on Earth, there is evidence of humanity's intelligence & handiwork from ancient fire pits to modern nuclear waste sump sites and a distinct lack of that for every other kind of animal.
Image

If we stuff the whole chicken back into the egg, will all our problems go away? --- Wandalf of Angera
User avatar
Xonen
moderator
moderator
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sat 15 May 2010, 23:25

Re: Why do soldiers risk their lives in wars?

Post by Xonen » Wed 24 Jun 2015, 22:00

elemtilas wrote:
Xonen wrote:
elemtilas wrote:However, it ìs how we discuss things like personhood with each other.
True - but a lot of people have never engaged in such discussions, and again, many would have difficulty conceiving of such things in terms us modern-day Westerners would be familiar with. Point being, just because someone's ideas of such things may be utterly alien and incommunicable to us at present, doesn't necessarily mean they're wholly non-existent. Dolphins (and some other animals) have been shown to recognize themselves in a mirror, which probably requires at least some understanding of the self.
No doubt! But my point is simply that we cán talk about these things, we can work on understanding them, they can work on understanding us, we can focus on each other and learn about these things we had no conception of before.
To some degree. At the same time, though, we are incredibly resistant towards actually accepting any new ideas. [¬.¬] We're not as smart as a species as we like to think.
I'm well aware that our species is extremely good at deluding itself. [¬.¬] But if there's a risk of anthropomorphizing animals, I'd say there's also a risk of seeing ourselves as more special than we really are. And that's what I'm trying to argue against. There is no fundamental qualitative difference between the way our brains and those of animals work, even if do seem to have some quantitative advantage.
Point taken -- at least for my part, while I agree that there is risk in overemphasising our own specialness, at least we have evidence for it! I also think there are risks in overemphasizing animals' specialness especially when evidence is lacking.
I haven't said anything about animals being "special", quite the opposite. And there's plenty of evidence that they can be quite intelligent, it's just a matter of what conclusions to draw from it. I'd say we cannot know exactly how animals perceive themselves (except for the ones that are able to tell us something about it; then it becomes a question of whether or not we believe them), so you can't make any absolute pronouncements on that subject, either.
Everywhere you turn on Earth, there is evidence of humanity's intelligence & handiwork from ancient fire pits to modern nuclear waste sump sites and a distinct lack of that for every other kind of animal.
Absence of evidence isn't necessarily evidence of absence. The fact that dolphins don't build fires might be because they're too dumb, but it might also be at least partially because they have flippers for hands and live in an environment that's slightly too damp most of the time for fire to be of much use. [;)]

As for nuclear waste dump sites, those are, you know, a fairly recent invention. Humans were certainly persons before they were invented, and even tens if not hundreds of thousands of years earlier. Our runaway cultural evolution only really started with the agricultural revolution, and it's been gaining speed exponentially for the last couple of centuries - but our brains are physically still pretty much the same as they were a hundred thousand years ago.

Our ability to build fires and nuclear waste dump sites is a result of a combination of intelligence, exceptionally nimble fingers, and favorable circumstances - not of intelligence alone. Still, I'm not claiming that any other animal is as intelligent as we are. Just that the possibility that some of them might be intelligent enough to qualify as "persons" cannot be ruled out. At least not without adopting a definition of "person" that would seem to disqualify at least some humans.
Post Reply