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Deskpoet's Journal: Musings after a day with lunch with the guys 5

Journal by Deskpoet

Today was the first time I came close to actually expressing my political views in a work-derived environment. (Yes, I've always been an Anonymous Coward at heart.)

I didn't actually say anything overtly political; I confined my comments to a simple universal that stopped the conversation in its tracks: the problem with war is that it's rarely those "responsible" for the war to die as a result of the conflict; it's generally the soldier on the field or the citizen in the home who gets it.

Death should not be visited on any individual for any political or social reason. That our species does it so often for so many self-justified "reasons" clearly points up that we are not worthy of the gift of intelligence, if our manifestation of it can truly be called a gift. "Intelligence" has turned out to be just another evolutionary adaptation that has facilitated the killer within us as much as the artist, and if we weren't such horny monkeys, our thanatonic urge would certainly have allowed our flawed strain to fade into time by now, replaced by a species truly worthy of the "gift". Perhaps the dolphin?

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Musings after a day with lunch with the guys

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  • Death should not be visited on any individual for any political or social reason.

    I'm curious how sure of this you are. Do you really mean `any' at all? For example, if someone is attacking me, and the only way I have to defend myself is to `visit death upon' my attacker, should I not do so?

    And if I can defend myself this way, can I defend my children that way, as they cannot defend themselves?

    And if we've resolved that we don't break the basic principle when we delegate this defense, why can I not hire someone to defend me, just as my children rely on me to defend them?

    And since we clearly don't want to rule that only those who can afford bodyguards should be defended, is it not reasonable that we get together as a society and delegate our defense to those members of society who volunteer for the job?

    And if we agree so far, have we not reached the point of accepting that an all-volunteer army (like that of the US) fighting wars of national defense (like the current one) is not unacceptable at all?

    • Yes, I'm sure.

      It remains to be proven that the "only way I have to defend myself is to `visit death upon' my attacker." Nothing is absolute, but the logical house of cards you've built on extreme and exact circumstances in the personal sphere doesn't illustrate anything beyond its context.

      The willingness to shirk the dirty work of death-dealing to "delegates" betrays totalitarian leanings, if nothing else. Apparently, your allegiance to state is so engrained that you cannot see beyond the barrel of your delegates' rifles.....

      As for the "war" that is being fought, it is a manufactured spectacle whose real purpose is to realize the communist-fascist dreams of the 20th century: a total, all-encompassing and all-powerful State.

      I realize this message is a bit bombastic, but I wanted to underscore the fundamental differences between our viewpoints. It's very unlikely that we have any common ground, and I have no interest in converting you or being converted. We can agree to disagree if you like...

      • It remains to be proven that the "only way I have to defend myself is to `visit death upon' my attacker."

        Surely you do not deny that this is sometimes the case, do you? Is it not the case that when under attack by someone who wishes to kill you, self-defense is not only an option, but a basic human right?

        The willingness to shirk the dirty work of death-dealing to "delegates" betrays totalitarian leanings, if nothing else.

        Not in the least. It reflects the basic tit-for-tat we exercise in all aspects of human society. I don't grow my own wheat in the back yard, because doing so would leave me no time for other activities. I don't mill my own wheat into flour, for the same reason. I didn't manufacture the computer I am typing this message on. None of these delegations are the least bit `totalitarian' in nature. Why would it show such a nature if I similarly delegate protecting my house at night from those who would kill me?

        As for the "war" that is being fought, it is a manufactured spectacle whose real purpose is to realize the communist-fascist dreams of the 20th century: a total, all-encompassing and all-powerful State.

        Assertion is not demonstration. Before you succeed in convincing anyone of this, you will have to explain why the more obvious explanation is not correct: that this war is being fought to prevent a repeat of what I saw in downtown Manhattan on the morning of September 11 -- a repeat which with the aid of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, could be much deadlier than the WTC and Pentagon attacks.

        I realize this message is a bit bombastic, but I wanted to underscore the fundamental differences between our viewpoints.

        I must admit, I'm much more fascinated by our difference in methods. You seem to feel that throwing around catchwords such as `totalitarian leanings' or `communist-fascist dreams' is a stand-in for rational exposition of opposing positions and civil debate. This is a shame.

        • Ok, I swore to myself that I wouldn't get sucked in here, but I find myself compelled just this once more.

          I must admit, I'm much more fascinated by our difference in methods. You seem to feel that throwing around catchwords such as `totalitarian leanings' or `communist-fascist dreams' is a stand-in for rational exposition of opposing positions and civil debate. This is a shame.

          Please spare me the finger-wagging and the false concern for "debate". You're not interested in debate, any more than *I* am. Since I don't know you outside of your persona here, I can make only guesses as to what are your real motivations for your postings, but from the general tone of them, it strikes me as though you are seeking "mental jousting" in areas that you feel you can "win", in some puerile attempt to inflate your own ego.

          I grew tired of games such as these on the BBS circuit 15 years ago. They're really not at all new, and the ways they're played haven't changed much (USENET is a great example of this.) You know, as well as I, that all of this "debate" stuff is meaningless unless both parties approach the endeavor with honest, verifiable, intentions; if that precondition is not met, all that follows is sophistry, or what these forums are really about, opinion-slinging. (Yes, one should be able to explain the reasoning behind the opinions they hold, but that's the primary attraction of these forums--I don't have to "play" if I don't want to.)

          Assuming your crusader mentality is genuine, you might want to re-consider these ideological missionary attempts. You're not winning the hearts and minds of your "vanquished" foes.

          Incidently, and for the record, the reason *I* post here is I sometimes feel strongly about an issue, and I speak my truth so that others--generally people like yourself--can know that their reality tapes aren't the only ones being played in Consciousness. FWIW.

          • A couple of problems with what you say here:

            First off, far from seeking to `[win] the hearts and minds of ... "vanquished" foes.', I would like to point out that I would never have seen your posting here if you hadn't taken the trouble to click `foe' next to my name. I routinely take the time to read all new journal entries by people who enter themselves as `friends' or `foes' of my position.

            Secondly, you had the option to select `disable comments' when you put together your journal entry. Did you really think that people on slashdot (of all places) don't post comments on stories they disagree with? Really?

            On to the larger issue, contrary to your claims here, we here in the West have a long and established tradition of settling our differences through reasoned debate and civil discourse. I would argue that in attempting to replace such civil discourse with the type of name-calling you engage in here, you are doing a serious disservice both to slashdot's user community and to the tradition of civil discourse in general. Why do you assume that your right to free speech encompasses a right to not have people civilly disagree with what you have said?

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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