News:

Actually sport it is a narrative

Main Menu

What atheists REALLY think of the ethics of warfare

Started by Zarathustra, December 03, 2008, 11:44:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

karadan

Well, I guess it boils down to whether you are optimistic or pessimistic then :)

We are either violent individuals with peaceful tendencies or we are peaceful individuals with violent tendencies.

Either way I believe humans prefer a peaceful state and will only act violently when provoked or in a fight or flight situation. That doesn't necessarily mean we are inherently violent though.
QuoteI find it mistifying that in this age of information, some people still deny the scientific history of our existence.

Kyuuketsuki

Quote from: "karadan"Either way I believe humans prefer a peaceful state and will only act violently when provoked or in a fight or flight situation. That doesn't necessarily mean we are inherently violent though.

I think it does but more importantly my point was that peace is not the natural state of human cultures ... as such it needs to be actively defended. Pacifists have the right to be pacifists but they do so only because someone else is willing to stand the watch and protect their right to do so.

Kyu
James C. Rocks: UK Tech Portal & Science, Just Science

[size=150]Not Long For This Forum [/size]

Will

Quote from: "Kyuuketsuki"Not trying to be funny but have you noticed the cuckoo's flying through the pretty clouds lately?

I never said it was uncontrollable but it is natural and part of our psychological make-up! Whether you like to admit it or not humans are violent animals, to claim they are not is simply absurd and a denial of evolution. Violence is not something we can simply choose to switch on and off and yes, peace needs to be enforced (why the hell do you think we need laws and a police force to enforce it?) and non-violent pacifism is simply sticking your head in the sand and hoping everything else will go away.

Kyu
Potential for violence exists in everyone, but potential is not the same as saying that violence is a part of our psychological make-up. I keep my violence switched off 24/7. I've not been violent since I took martial arts in my youth. Am I just an exception to your rule? Are all pacifists?

Peace can't be "enforced". Let's look at the most successful peace movement in human history: the movement for Indian independence. Gandhi created a playbook for non-violent resistance that shocked the whole world at the time. India drove out the British without a single gun going off. They turned popular opinion back in the UK, and the fact is that killing people that have done you no harm is inexcusable. Imagine if modern wars happened like this.

The US invades Iraq in 2003, and immediately the Iraqi people host sit-ins and non-violent demonstrations. No US or coalition soldiers die, at all. No IEDs. No "al Qaeda". Just demonstration after demonstration. We start to see a refusal to purchase US goods and services, and no Iraqis will work for foreign oil companies. There is a refusal to join the defense forces that the US is trying to establish, instead establishing their own government and defense force. The US would have left in a month. There would have been no excuse to stay. There were no WMDs after all.

Imagine if Russia didn't fire back after Georgia attacked earlier this year. Suddenly the whole planet is aware that Georgia is the aggressor and trade with Georgia (already a poor state) slows. Western powers refuse to sell them weapons and their military falls into disrepair.

While I am not a fan of religion in the least, the idea of turning the other cheek is quite brilliant and there's precedence for it's success.
I want bad people to look forward to and celebrate the day I die, because if they don't, I'm not living up to my potential.

karadan

Quote from: "Kyuuketsuki"
Quote from: "karadan"Either way I believe humans prefer a peaceful state and will only act violently when provoked or in a fight or flight situation. That doesn't necessarily mean we are inherently violent though.

I think it does but more importantly my point was that peace is not the natural state of human cultures ... as such it needs to be actively defended. Pacifists have the right to be pacifists but they do so only because someone else is willing to stand the watch and protect their right to do so.

Kyu

Yes, peace definitely IS the natural state of ALL cultures. If your statement is true then more than 50% of us (the world population) is and has been at war more than 50% of the time throughout history!!

Yes, there are people in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting right now. There is also a bunch of fighting in Africa. That does not represent the majority of the worlds population. Your context was the individual human, therefore, i need to take all individuals on the planet into context here. By mean average,  99.99% of the world's current population is NOT at war. It has been this way throughout most of history. Therefore, we are not inherently violent.

Violence is just the result of incompatible or maladjusted interelations between groups of humans. There will be a point in the future where we'll have evolved past this completely. It is already being phased out and has been for the last several thousand years.
QuoteI find it mistifying that in this age of information, some people still deny the scientific history of our existence.

Kyuuketsuki

Quote from: "Willravel"Potential for violence exists in everyone, but potential is not the same as saying that violence is a part of our psychological make-up. I keep my violence switched off 24/7. I've not been violent since I took martial arts in my youth. Am I just an exception to your rule? Are all pacifists?

Sure, you have grown up in a culture that is rights based and you have learned not to strike out at others and/or take whatever you see as yours.

Quote from: "Willravel"Peace can't be "enforced". Let's look at the most successful peace movement in human history: the movement for Indian independence. Gandhi created a playbook for non-violent resistance that shocked the whole world at the time. India drove out the British without a single gun going off. They turned popular opinion back in the UK, and the fact is that killing people that have done you no harm is inexcusable. Imagine if modern wars happened like this.

Yes it can and indeed has to be ... if the UK went pacifist (truly and completely) how long do you think it would be before someone looks over at us and says to themselves, that's a nice country, I 'think I'll have that.

As for India, after WW2 Britain was bankrupt (thanks mainly to US lend/lease deals a.k.a. profiteering), despite the size and resources of India and various other territories dominated around the world Britain could no longer afford to maintain sufficient forces to keep them so in actual fact it wasn't so much that Ghandi drove Britain out as Britain simply pulled out. It's also worth pointing out that India has a significant history or violent opposition to British rule prior to Ghandi's peaceful rebellion which would have soured British hearts and minds to continued rule and that there were as part of the "peaceful" Quit India Movement's campaign many acts of civil disobedience including destruction of British owned assets and so on. So to say no gun was fired may be technically correct (I doubt it was literally true) but it is a distorted version of the truth because there was violence and lives were lost.

Quote from: "Willravel"The US invades Iraq in 2003, and immediately the Iraqi people host sit-ins and non-violent demonstrations. No US or coalition soldiers die, at all. No IEDs. No "al Qaeda". Just demonstration after demonstration. We start to see a refusal to purchase US goods and services, and no Iraqis will work for foreign oil companies. There is a refusal to join the defense forces that the US is trying to establish, instead establishing their own government and defense force. The US would have left in a month. There would have been no excuse to stay. There were no WMDs after all.

You're insane ... hundreds of soldiers have died in Iraq and many, many more civilians.

Quote from: "Willravel"Imagine if Russia didn't fire back after Georgia attacked earlier this year. Suddenly the whole planet is aware that Georgia is the aggressor and trade with Georgia (already a poor state) slows. Western powers refuse to sell them weapons and their military falls into disrepair.

And naïve! It hasn't worked in Zimbabwe.

Quote from: "Willravel"While I am not a fan of religion in the least, the idea of turning the other cheek is quite brilliant and there's precedence for it's success.

I give up!

Quote from: "karadan"Yes, peace definitely IS the natural state of ALL cultures. If your statement is true then more than 50% of us (the world population) is and has been at war more than 50% of the time throughout history!!

No it isn't, it's a culturally learned response ... we don't act violently because it makes sense to cooperate (we're pack animals) and because our society teaches us that it is better and of the consequences if we don't. When I say we are a violent species don't misunderstand ... big cats are violent but it doesn't mean they a are violent all the time, possibly not much more than say 5% of the time; eat, defend, sleep with the latter being the majority I guess. When I say we are violent I refer to what we are potentially at base, at our cores ... nothing about that means we can't be better. We are goal seeking, and more to the point goal creating, animals that are capable of figuring the best way to achieve our own aims ... that's what makes us the superior species (at least in our eyes) on the planet. But we are still violent.

Quote from: "karadan"]Yes, there are people in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting right now. There is also a bunch of fighting in Africa. That does not represent the majority of the worlds population. Your context was the individual human, therefore, i need to take all individuals on the planet into context here. By mean average,  99.99% of the world's current population is NOT at war. It has been this way throughout most of history. Therefore, we are not inherently violent.

According To Will there is no violence in Iraq but no, I don't agree anyway ... as I have said we are at our cores, violent animals ... given the right situation all of us will resort to violence in order to survive, we just don't happen to live in those kind of situation but if you look at places where starvation is an issue you will find increased levels of violence because the survival pressure is greater.

Quote from: "karadan"Violence is just the result of incompatible or maladjusted interelations between groups of humans. There will be a point in the future where we'll have evolved past this completely. It is already being phased out and has been for the last several thousand years.

Rubbish! If we cease to have the capacity to fight we will seal our own doom.

Kyu
James C. Rocks: UK Tech Portal & Science, Just Science

[size=150]Not Long For This Forum [/size]

karadan

Quote from: "Kyuuketsuki"
Quote from: "karadan"Yes, peace definitely IS the natural state of ALL cultures. If your statement is true then more than 50% of us (the world population) is and has been at war more than 50% of the time throughout history!!

No it isn't, it's a culturally learned response ... we don't act violently because it makes sense to cooperate (we're pack animals) and because our society teaches us that it is better and of the consequences if we don't. When I say we are a violent species don't misunderstand ... big cats are violent but it doesn't mean they a are violent all the time, possibly not much more than say 5% of the time; eat, defend, sleep with the latter being the majority I guess. When I say we are violent I refer to what we are potentially at base, at our cores ... nothing about that means we can't be better. We are goal seeking, and more to the point goal creating, animals that are capable of figuring the best way to achieve our own aims ... that's what makes us the superior species (at least in our eyes) on the planet. But we are still violent.

According To Will there is no violence in Iraq but no, I don't agree anyway ... as I have said we are at our cores, violent animals ... given the right situation all of us will resort to violence in order to survive, we just don't happen to live in those kind of situation but if you look at places where starvation is an issue you will find increased levels of violence because the survival pressure is greater.

Rubbish! If we cease to have the capacity to fight we will seal our own doom.

 

I don't understand why you think this way. To me, it is rather obvious that the act of fighting over stuff is basically only due to limitations of resources and space. Once we do away with these limitations, there will be nothing left to fight over. I find that a rather simple concept.

You've even admitted that violence us usually the last resort. If that is so, then how can it be a core value?

I've not had to resort to violence since i had a fight at school some 20 years ago. I AM a non-violent person. it is NOT a core value of mine. To be honest, i kind of resent being told that i'm violent (which you are basicaly inferring). I don't know about you, but i know myself and billions of my fellow humans lead a peaceful existence and never resort to violence to solve anything. Because of this, we have evolved past such petty nonsense.

Is it not time you evolved past this too?

I used an example earlier and i'll use it again with a slight adjustment.

Women are all equipped to be prostitutes but they aren't all prostitutes. If there was some bizarre social cataclysm which meant the only way women could earn cash was to become a prostitute, then i think you'd see a hell of a lot of women become prostitutes. That doesn't mean all women are prostitutes at heart! It just means that a situation has forced people to become desparate. I'm sure they'd do everything they can to not be prostitutes, though.

Exactly the same applies with the human ability to do violent things.
QuoteI find it mistifying that in this age of information, some people still deny the scientific history of our existence.

Kyuuketsuki

Quote from: "karadan"I don't understand why you think this way. To me, it is rather obvious that the act of fighting over stuff is basically only due to limitations of resources and space. Once we do away with these limitations, there will be nothing left to fight over. I find that a rather simple concept.

Isn't doing away with resource limitation a rather airy fairy concept? It's not happened yet and if history teaches anything we will expand until we are stopped so we're right back in the resource competition arena again.

Quote from: "karadan"I You've even admitted that violence us usually the last resort. If that is so, then how can it be a core value?

Because it's what we always fall back to! It's what we are even though it's leashed.

Quote from: "karadan"I I've not had to resort to violence since i had a fight at school some 20 years ago. I AM a non-violent person. it is NOT a core value of mine. To be honest, i kind of resent being told that i'm violent (which you are basicaly inferring). I don't know about you, but i know myself and billions of my fellow humans lead a peaceful existence and never resort to violence to solve anything. Because of this, we have evolved past such petty nonsense.

My argument has always been that we, as a species, are violent ... in a survival situation unless you could help the pack (which you may well be able to do in a non-violent fashion, after all we are supposedly intelligent) you would be useless and eventually left to fend for yourself.

I would apologise for telling you, you are an inherently violent creature except that I'm not sorry, I will never be sorry for saying things as they are and if anyone should be resentful it should be me for the guilt trip you just tried to put me on.

I wasn't aware you knew so many people ... oh silly me, you don't!!! Have you actually watched the news lately?

Quote from: "karadan"I Is it not time you evolved past this too?

Is it not time you accepted that evolution is an inherently violent concept and that we are what we have evolved to be?

Quote from: "karadan"I Women are all equipped to be prostitutes but they aren't all prostitutes. If there was some bizarre social cataclysm which meant the only way women could earn cash was to become a prostitute, then i think you'd see a hell of a lot of women become prostitutes. That doesn't mean all women are prostitutes at heart! It just means that a situation has forced people to become desparate. I'm sure they'd do everything they can to not be prostitutes, though.

And I will answer as I did earlier, "Women, as far as nature is concerned, are just breeding machines and men just the tools to feed and protect them ... everything else we have and/or have learned is just icing on the cake."

Quote from: "karadan"Exactly the same applies with the human ability to do violent things.

Non Sequitur.

Kyu
James C. Rocks: UK Tech Portal & Science, Just Science

[size=150]Not Long For This Forum [/size]

BornCrazy

Quote from: "curiosityandthecat"I defer to Mr. Carlin.

QuoteI like to talk a little bit about the war in Persian Gulf, big doings in the Persian Gulf. You know my favorite part of that war? It was the first war we had that was on every channel, even cable. And the war got good ratings too. Well, we like war! We are war like people. We like war because we're good at it.

You know why we're good at it, because we get a lot of practice. This country is only 200 years old and we've already have had ten major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country, so we're good at it. And it's a good thing we are; we're not good at anything else any more, ha? Can't build a descent car, can't make a TV center or a VCR worth a fuck. Don't have steel industry left, can't educate our young people, can't get good health care for our old people, but we can bomb the shit out of your country. HAH? WE CAN BOMB THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR COUNTRY ALL RIGHT!!

ESPECIALLY IF YOUR COUNTRY IS FULL OF BROWN PEOPLE.

Oh we like that, that's our hobby. That's our new job in the world, bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Granada, Libya, Afghanistan, you got some brown people in your country, tell them to watch the fuck out or we'll god damn bomb them.

Well when is the last white people you remember we bombed? You remember the last white, do you remember ANY white people we've ever bombed?

The Germans were the last ones and that's because they were trying to cut in our action. They wanted to dominate the world, bull shit, that's our job, that's our fucking job.

Now we only bomb brown people. Not because they're cutting on our action, just because they're brown. You may have noticed, I don't feel about that war the way we were told, the way we were supposed to feel about that war, the way we were ordered, instructed by the United States government. You see, I tell ya, my mind doesn't work that way, I got this real moron thing I do, it's called thinking. And I'm not a very good American, because I like to form my own opinions. I don't just roll over when I'm told to. The sad thing is most Americans just roll over on command, not me. I have certain rules I live by. First rule is I don't believe anything government tells me, nothing, zero. Nope! And I don't take very seriously media the press in this country, who in the case of Persian Gulf War were nothing more than unpaid employees of the Department of Defense, and who most of the time, MOST OF THE TIME, functions as an unofficial public relations agency for United States Government.

So, I don't listen to them, I don't really believe in my country, and I got to tell you folks I don't get all chocked up about yellow ribbons and American flags. I consider them symbols and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.

Me, I look at war a little bit differently. To me war is a lot of prick waving, ok?

Simple thing that's all it is war is a whole lot of men standing out in a field waving their pricks at one another. Men are insecure about the size of their dicks so they have to kill one another over the idea. That's what all that ass whole, jock bull shit is all about.

That's what all that adolescent, macho, male posturing and strutting in bars and locker rooms is all about. It's called dick fear. Men are terrified that their dicks are inadequate and so they have to compete with one another to feel better about themselves. So, since war is the ultimate competition, basically men are killing each other in order to improve their self esteem.

You don't have to be a historian or a political scientists to see bigger-dick foreign policy at work.

It sounds like this, ìwhat they have bigger dicks? Bomb themî. And of course, the bombs, rockets, and the bullets are all shaped like dicks. It's a subconscious need to project the penis into other people's affairs.

IT'S CALLED, "FUCKING WITH PEOPLE"!!

So, as far as I'm concerned that whole thing in Persian Golf was nothing more than a big prick waving dick fight. In this particular case, Saddam Hussein had questioned the size of George Bush's dick. And George has been called a wimp for so long, wimp rhymes with limpÖ George has been called a wimp for so long that he has to act down his manhood fantasies, by sending other people's children to die.

Even the name Bush is related to genitals without being genitals without being the genitals. A Bush is a sort of passive, secondary sex characteristics.

Now, if his name was George Boner... well, he might have felt better about himself and he wouldn't have had any problems over there anyway.

This whole country has a manhood problem, a big manhood problem in USA. You can tell by the language we use. Language always gives you away. What did we do wrong in Vietnam? We pulled out!

Ahh, not a very manly thing to do, is it? When you're fucking people, you got to stay in there and fuck them good, fuck them all the way, fuck them to death.

Stay in there and keep fucking them until they're all dead.

We left a few women and children in Vietnam and we haven't felt good about ourselves since. That's why in Persian Gulf, George Bush said, "this will not be another Vietnam". He actually used these words he said, "This time we're going all the way". Imagine an American president using the sexual slang of a thirteen year old to explain his foreign policy!

If you want to know what happened in Persian Gulf just remember the names of two men who were running that war, Dick Chaney and Colin Powel. Somebody got fucked in the...

A military will be necessary for as long as we are emotional beings. Any militaristic offensive can be traced back to either greed or fear.
Dude, don't make serious opinions based on jokes. Jorge Carlin is a funny guy but I'm sure he's not completely serious when he writes jokes. Like when he said that his immune system is the shit because he used to swim in raw sewage, it won't really equip your immune system with anti tank missiles.

Anyway, enough preaching.
I voted for war being necessary but annoying. I was also inclined for the only self-defense option but I don't think destroying weapons of mass destruction wouldn't qualify as self-defense in the sense that we weren't attacked when we went after Saddam.
War sucks, but where would the world be without wars. We don't live in the Garden of Eden and people will always have conflicts.
In today's world we will always have nearly insane radicals whose soul purpose in life will be to enforce their ideas on people of conflicting interests (look at suicide bombers).

But then again, what do I know. I'm just a teenager with a GED.

karadan

Quote from: "Kyuuketsuki"
Quote from: "karadan"I don't understand why you think this way. To me, it is rather obvious that the act of fighting over stuff is basically only due to limitations of resources and space. Once we do away with these limitations, there will be nothing left to fight over. I find that a rather simple concept.

Isn't doing away with resource limitation a rather airy fairy concept? It's not happened yet and if history teaches anything we will expand until we are stopped so we're right back in the resource competition arena again.

Kyu

You obviously haven't heard of Fusion energy, or the International space station or the dozens of probes sent to Mars (including all the future scheduled ones) plus the proposed manned flights to Mars. Also, don't forget the Chinese have started their own little race to get to the moon. If those projects are not precursors to infinitely abundant energy and resources, then i do not know what is...

As for the rest of your argument. I simply disagree. It depends which way you look at it. You are abviously a natural pessimist. I am an optimist. We won't be able to agree on this so this is where i'm going to leave it.
QuoteI find it mistifying that in this age of information, some people still deny the scientific history of our existence.

Kyuuketsuki

Quote from: "karadan"You obviously haven't heard of Fusion energy

I have and my understanding is that despite scientific optimism dating back decades FE has still not been practically implemented. It's also worth noting that energy is not the only resource that humans require.

The rest of your post focusses on possibilities which is great but still largely pie in the sky at the moment especially since there is nothing to say we wont simply expand to meet the limits of other resources as we move out (the first obvious barrier being the limits of the solar system). Actually no, I'm a natural optimist but I have learned to be a realist ... I base my optimism on what the evidence indicates we are and what I'd like us to achieve, not on some fairy tale view of the human race.

Yes we disagree but I already knew that :)

Kyu
James C. Rocks: UK Tech Portal & Science, Just Science

[size=150]Not Long For This Forum [/size]

AnnaM

The modern nation-state military is, like all managerial bureaucracies, contrary to all organic individuals and groups.  I support formal and informal militias, composed of citizens armed at their own expense.
"Liberty and equality are in essence contradictory." - Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Asmodean

I voted total pacifist but I'm not - not really. I'm against any form of organised military, as it is nothing but a giant waste of resources. In my perfect world, the military would consist of mercs, hired at need OR of people doing something productive besides training for war.

As for violence, there are forms of violence I tend to defend and other forms that I tend to abhor. As a general rule though, I claim the path of indifference.  :borg:
Quote from: Ecurb Noselrub on July 25, 2013, 08:18:52 PM
In Asmo's grey lump,
wrath and dark clouds gather force.
Luxembourg trembles.

AnnaM

Quote from: "Asmodean"I voted total pacifist but I'm not - not really. I'm against any form of organised military, as it is nothing but a giant waste of resources. In my perfect world, the military would consist of mercs, hired at need OR of people doing something productive besides training for war.

As for violence, there are forms of violence I tend to defend and other forms that I tend to abhor. As a general rule though, I claim the path of indifference.  :borg:
I am amicable to mercenaries.  They are a proven system.
"Liberty and equality are in essence contradictory." - Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn