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Please Add Your Thoughts to This Discussion

edited April 2007 in World
This is a from a blog my friend john started. I realize that it is long, but I would appreciate any thoughts you might have, if you find them worth adding. Take your time. As you will see, John has a long way to go: like most humans, he is not partial to the fact that he is an animal. Is trying to convince him utterly futile? As you will see, he called my description of humans in terms of animals an "analogy". *Sigh*....

JOHN wrote:

Terrorism is Not a war to be fought, won or lost. Anyone can become a terrorist for any reason. There are no uniforms and there are no identified targets. All must be suspected. The world is the battlefield, and we are all soldiers in our own way. When terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre, the Western World needed a point to focus on. Afghanistan was the logical target. Iraq was then invaded, as many were duped in to believing that this too was linked. I do not think it was, but at the same time, I would like to take a moderate stance. There has been talk on this forum of a certain Austrian dictator. He killed many Jews as we all know and was in general a big douche (most sane individuals agree). Let us forget about our supposed biases against or for President Bush and evaluate what Was happening in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, and he murdered many innocent people. Some of these people were probably funny, smart, gorgeous and thrill-seeking. Some of them I am sure liked chocolate and while they may not have had baseball and bubblegum, I am sure some of them knew and loved some good old fashioned clean non-violent fun. I pose the question: What is the difference between one wrong death and one million wrong deaths. Hitler killed more, with vigour, but why is it seen as so much worse?! Were these 'Muslims' not human? *A better question would be were these humans not considered human* They were, and yet many of us humans can't find it in our hearts to give them that. They don't even exist to us in that way, because we cannot identify with them. It is quite simple though. What's the Muslim word for Pamela Anderson? *She's Canadian, but bear with me* Surely it must be Hoda El Merthi! Surely the latter seems foreign, but if you had not seen the word 'elephant' (or seen a real elephant) in your whole entire life you would be quite surprised and scared and curious and doubtful when you visited the circus. We are led to believe that there is something that the American soldiers are fighting and dying for. Well, there is. It is simply a matter of how you evaluate it. There is something that they are dying for; they die for our ignorance, they die for our mistakes: but they also die fighting injustice, and however wrong one may think the context may be, one cannot deny them that. The victims of 9/11 died for the terrorist's ignorance and mistakes. My heart goes out to all those who die have died and will die for their own or someone else's mistakes.

We are all human. I love everyone. Choose Christ; choose Allah; choose Yahweh; choose Buddha; choose fucking Tom Cruise if you really want to. If you would prefer, choose nothing, or don't even be really all that sure. Don't worry, it's cool... I understand. Choose to be politically incorrect just for kicks. The main thing you must choose is the ability to forgive, to be empathetic, to possess positive regard for the known and unknown alike, and to come together in the name of not God, but in the name of Human Unity. In the name of Fraternity, Kinship and an Optimist's Love.

The solution is not simple, and I am not against a real war if required. What is happening? A whole new generation of terrorists is being born. Either nuke the whole place or find another perhaps more sane way of solving the problem.

The reason why I say that Terrorism is not a War to be Fought is because there is no clear end. There is no parade and there is no victory. There can only be defeat. Someone will always harbour ill will to those who have wronged them, their family, their country, their religion in the past. For the sake of the planet, I pray that the general consensus will change. I do not ask for people to re-program themselves, but please, please think. Think of all and nothing and make your decision. For all the misanthropists out there, Fuck You. I believe that we can overcome Terror. It goes beyond odds of winning and bullshit. I have faith that the Human Race will win and have one jolly old parade. I have to. It's what keeps me going. Nothing anyone can say will deter that faith.

Since there is no clear and present danger, the only palpable targets are ideals. We must teach our children to love those who do us wrong. We can hate their guts on the surface, but we must possess an inner love for humanity. There must be something that is sacred; if not, all must be profane. We must first teach ourselves of this grand old idea that texts and texts and texts have written about at great length. We must fight hate. When hate is truly embodied, then so be it, let us strike, but only as a last resort. Only when we have exhausted our relentless skirmishes upon the values that our misguided neighbours hold dear shall we re-visit that war-torn alley. Embrace Peace, Love and Understanding. If that doesn't work, then pick up your guns and defend your sacred justice.

I do not know whether it was Right or Wrong for President Bush to have gone to war, so I hope I have not led you in any false direction. I do know that there is always a point of return, and that however bad a situation is, it isn't a total loss. Find time to laugh and not worry.

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Mark Twain

I have learned to care, and I try not to be sick about it all. I just wanted to share my sometimes-moderate stance on this situation and I thank those who took the time to read this mountain from the top.

I know that we are living in a real world, and some or a lot or all of what I just said might be heavily or only applicable to some distant or never-existent Utopia.

Alas,

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -Mohandas Gandhi.

Sincerely,

John.



KAYMAN wrote:

I find it discomforting that people love life so much they'll kill each other for it, both sides believing that their lives and values are better than the others' lives and values. For in the end, whichever side was the 'most' right and rational will always prevail, because prevalence is the basis for rightness and rationality. That must be the ultimate optimistic standpoint: that whatever happens, things will turn out right, because most people will believe they were right. And it's true, because as soon as everything seems wrong, the system is overthrown, and a new one is created. The 'just' and 'unjust' are largely things that can only apply in retrospect, through the bias of history books. If Hitler won the war, we would all think the allies were bad. Terrorists are merely revolutionaries, and throughout history there have been many 'good' ones. Jesus, Guy Fawkes, Che Guevara,
Martin Luther King, Gandhi--they were all terrorists during their times; now they're heroes.

So who knows who to cheer for? In the end, whoever wins will be right. Maybe we should be cheering both sides on.



JOHN wrote:

heh. I beg to differ: what is seen and believed as rational and good is shaped by far more than simply who has prevailed historically. I personally am for gay marriage, but the majority of Americans are not. To say that history has been written and spun by the winners is one thing, but present and future choice is never solely determined externally. Obviously there are grey areas, but it's foolish to say that killing someone because of the colour of their skin is deemed as wrong because of a few white men with funny white wigs decided that they'd fight over it. Of course there are some good things in the world, and they need to be fought for if they are cherished. I don't believe in utter subjectivity. I don't think any sane person Would think that the Allies were bad, unless they were forced to believe so.

Of course, if Hitler had won, we all would be brainwashed *it's funny, cause he wasn't blonde haired or blue eyed... I guess the rules didn't apply*. But why do you think people wanted to overthrow hitler in the first place?? They opted for sanity and they decided to do what was right in their eyes, and let's face it, in reality's eyes. It is foolish to say that nothing can be measured and that black is white if you want it to be. Things are what they are and although rightness and rationality are by nature more subjective, I am far from believing that hitler had any sort of "morals" whatsoever. There is quite a difference between lunacy and morality.

But who decides what is right? I guess that's the real question... but really, it isn't quite a question as much as it is a general curiosity. No one Decides what is right or wrong, things are right or wrong according to society as a whole. I am glad that most people are not psychotic monsters who wish ill will to those who are different. I think most people are good because that's the only way they really can live. Chaos and injustice is easy, yes, but very scary and far more unknown nowadays. It is impractical to give in to tyrants like Hitler, because people enjoy and need and want comfort. When true tyrants like him come along who threaten people’s comfort, they will die for the comfort of the future and present alike. Comfort can also be translated in to love and/or decency.




KAYMAN wrote:

Lunacy, for one, is just a convenient general legal term to describe a mental condition of a minority. If everyone were schizophrenic, then the non-schizo minority would be the lunatics. If Hitler was a lunatic, and the German not necessarily agreed with him, but created the same effect by obeying him, then anyone in Germany who didn’t was crazy--and they were, because they got killed for disobeying. This idea that whatever prevails will be considered rational (if it isn’t, it will be overthrown until people decide, at least for a while, that it’s rational) is simply a rephrasing of the democratic ideal that you uphold, and more importantly, the underlying principle for human survival. Indeed, if humans could not be empathetic to other subjectivities, and decide on some general reality through which to communicate, then we would never have survived.

But no matter what that general reality [koinos kosmos] is, no matter what that unifying idea of the universe is, whether be it religion, social values, or general interests, and whether the religion be Muslim radicalism or Bush’s Catholicism-injected politics, whether the social values be Canadian gay rights or Nazi anti-Semitism, whether the general interests be playing guitar or shooting ducks, all of these “ideas” work to do the same thing: bring people together, unify them with the same purposes and beliefs. These social groups promote individual survival, but you are hardly able to choose which one you become a part of.

Obviously these groups frequently conflict, and indeed, unless we were globalized, unified as one consciousness, under one purpose (‘peace on earth’), then there will always be conflict. And conflict is good: we like diversity--but with it, we must accept the price. Is everyone equal, or is everyone unique? Surely it is the latter, but in that case, if you believe in free individualistic belief, you must also believe in endless conflict. Conflict is the driving force, and it seems to me that the “right” and “wrong”, “justice” and “injustice” of it are arbitrary terms--terms simply necessary for reassuring oneself that one is right. And since everyone believes they’re right--that’s one of those self-proving logical assurances--they will fight each other: but they can’t all be right, can they?

Yet they will all judge themselves right and the others wrong because their survival demands it, that is what is at hand. They are fighting each other for their right to live they way they want to. Seemingly paradoxically, they are KILLING each other for life. And they mourn death because their survival-driven-programmed brain demands that a human corpse disgusts them, so as to avert them from killing their own kind, and to warn them that predators are nearby. Yet at the same time, they will kill if their own survival, or the survival of their society demands it.



JOHN wrote:

I’m not talking linguistic semantics here; they don’t quite apply. Even if everyone decided to rename the colour Red to Turto, that colour would still be the Red that we know. One can hardly affirm that lunacy does not exist as a general construct as opposed to some point of view perspective. We label Megalomaniacs who use prejudice and injustice as lunatics because that is what they Are. Even if everyone in the world were schizophrenic or had some other sort of mental illness, the one person who didn’t have schizophrenia would still of course be mentally stable (perhaps not ‘normal’).

“Bringing people together” is what people need to stop forcing upon the world in a negative way. I agree that religion, etc, is designed to unify, but often this is used negatively. A more positive (perhaps-passive) approach must be used (unless of course there is a metaphorical gun in your face). My thinking is that there might as well not be religion if it’s going to be crammed down your throat.

Your humans as animals analogy is interesting, but far from what is true. The analogy itself is just as simplistic as the subject it seeks to criticize. Of course survival demands disgust, but my human decency is Not based on survival. War is not a very nice occurrence, but it is a necessary price when freedom is at stake. These are not just words I am using; freedom exists, and it’s a great thing when used properly (for improper use of freedom, see the current Iraq War).

Conflict is inevitable, but injustice doesn’t have to be. There are negative and positive forms of conflict. I’m all for the positive conflicts (diversity, etc.), but I do not think that negative conflict (war, prejudice) is a Necessary price. Of course, it always has been, so I can’t really use solid examples to prove that point, but that’s where my faith comes in. Of course everyone thinks that they are right, but it surely does not mean that everyone is, since that would be impossible if one were to believe in a universal set of laws.

Comments

  • Hi folks. I was just reading the 'The Huge Entity: 8 reasons why you don't exist' again (what a great piece). And, well, I decided to take a moment to tool other sections of the site and, obviously, I just landed here. And, 'wow' -- I just had to say what an interesting discussion this is to me. Practically all of it, I have to say, is very well rounded, very carefully thought out... and I am very impressed with the respective manner which seems to resonate through the entire discussion. At any rate, I don't believe that there is much that I can add to it (that is, along the same lines). However, I would enjoy an attempt to possibly annoy John.

    Actually, John, I jest. It would never be my direct intent to precisely annoy you, or any stranger. In fact, I find the real possibility of doing so an undesirable result. And if you are receptive to know even more truth, then I would have you know that I think that your arguments (if you should even be bothered to admit they are arguments) are very defensible; very valid indeed. And I complement you. However, as you already undoubtedly know, a valid argument itself isn't an argument that necessitates actual truth, or true points. The points which I, myself, don’t specifically find true pertain to your comments on 'the war' -- only all imperative points, actually. It is my humble wish to update you with some info and hit you with some rhetoric that I trust you will enjoy.

    Are you interested in a good discussion? I don't waste people's time with the senseless OR mundane, I promise. please contact me (too much to relay) [email protected]

    Oh, and who here can do without YouTube?? See you, folks! -
    John C

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F06CqWTVBcg
  • Thanks for the response, astrocreep. I've passed on you message to John; I expect him to contact you shortly.
  • Well we're obviously all 'animals' in a certain way, but you've used this in a demeaning (and somewhat misleading) way, and because of this, to me, it became an analogy.

    People mourn death because they become emotionally attached to family members and friends (in short, people who they can relate to). Most people are apathetic to the countless death tolls in Baghdad, which suggests that mourning is not survival driven at all.

    We have all evolved through evolution, but that doesn't mean that there aren't vast differences between humans and 'animals'. I guess what I am trying to get at is that humans are animals, but they are not altogether animalistic.
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