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Old 10-27-2005, 11:54 PM   #46
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The problem is that the concept of a world without unfair violence is utopian, it is virtuous to hope for a world without violence and universal human rights but there are always individuals and governments that will rob individual rights and commit violent acts. I think that under certain circumstances inaction can be as bad or often worse than action.

It is also tied up with the concept of sovereignty ~ can a government forfeit sovereignty through gross abuse of its citizens? What level does it take for that to occur.

Does the concept of just war extend into the age of genocide, rogue states and terrorism?
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Old 10-27-2005, 11:57 PM   #47
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Originally posted by anitram
Re: what the Hebrew texts say...as Christians, are we obligated to follow Mosaic Law to the letter or do we take the teachings of Jesus to supersede it? I heard an interesting lecture about this very issue years ago.
If you are to follow the logic of St. Paul, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament, and subsequently voided all of its authority.

If you are to follow the logic of St. Peter and St. James, you could not be Christian without following the entirety of Mosaic Law.

As I see it, the Ten Commandments are as null and void as the rest of the Mosaic Law. Any teaching they might have had are covered in Jesus' commandment to love one another. People who cling to some or all aspects of Mosaic Law in Christianity are merely looking for excuses to judge and hate segments of their fellow mankind.

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Old 10-28-2005, 12:45 AM   #48
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers


To anyone and everyone. To yourself. To your God. To the families of people who get killed. To the electorate perhaps. Straying this into a Christian debate about the interpretation of lines of scripture doesn't interest me, in that regard I'm happy with 'based on what you believe', but also in more earthly ways, I mean, at what point is it justifiable to send a nation to war - with all that involves, and ALL you have to answer to in regards to that. Anytime you are essentially ordering death, you are answering to, well, everything, and you'd better have a fucking good reason.
So, who do you answer to? If anyone and everyone, you can never act without getting universal permission.
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Old 10-28-2005, 03:08 AM   #49
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Originally posted by nbcrusader

So, who do you answer to? If anyone and everyone, you can never act without getting universal permission.
Yep. That's what I meant. A permission slip from every single person on the face of the earth. Please remember that I am not talking about a response to an act of aggression. Country A attacks Country B. The leader of Country B in that case is answering to the people who elected him/her and trust that he/she will defend them. Easy choice. But what about the leader of Country A? Who do they answer to? If the answer is "Nobody" then that is probably why they thought it was justifiable to do it in the first place. If they feel they have to answer to the families, to the population, to their God, to their own morals and beliefs, to the themselves, then I can't see how they can justify it at all.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:57 AM   #50
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If a burgalar broke into my home I would be justified in using reasonable force against them.

If a man was beating a woman to death on the street I think that it would be right to intervene with physical violence.
I agree, but that´s a clear defense, and has nothing to do with war. Like I said, the most inhumane and cruel violence is war. And our governments are very quick on labeling something as defense, when it is not.

Also, considering your example, governments are not intervening to help the women beaten to death, this would be a side effect. You are maybe nice enough to do it for free, but politicians/ countries aren´t. Governments intervene because the man has gold and diamonds in his pockets, and in return for help, the woman shall gladly hand all the precious stuff over to the government who helped her. Also, governments will not accuse the enemy (man) and see that he gets a fair trial for what he has done (beating up the woman), but they´ll put the man into a camp where he´s tortured. Also, governments will only help the woman to stand on her own feet if she pays 30%, or shall we say 70%, of her future profits. Also, don´t forget that by using a machine gun to "defend" the woman, you have not just saved her, but blew up a schoolbus that was passing by. You have killed five children, but you justify it, because thats collateral damage and your cause was just and noble.





You also haven´t replied to this part of my post.. I repeat:

Who are you (anyone) to justify 10,000 homeless people, crippled children, women who lose their husband, soldiers hanging themselves because they can´t take the pain no more? You can´t justify a war and ignore this.
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:17 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I think that under certain circumstances inaction can be as bad or often worse than action.
I agree, however I have the feeling you miss my point. Inaction can be as bad as action - and arguably action can also be worse than inaction - but this doesn´t mean violent action (that creates new violence) is justified.

A world with less violence is not utopian. I´m not talking about a world without violence. Also killing a chicken to eat it is not justified per se, and still we do it and will continue to do so when all wars have ended.

Thousand years ago, people didnt have all the ABC weaponry we have now, and arguably the threats of violence were not at the level of this century. Medieval age may have been bad esp. in Europe, but no one was threatened that at some point the whole planet would blow up.

People don´t need war. People never needed war. Economy, certain industries, like the steel industry - it can´t be emphasized often enough that Hitler would never have had any chance to rise in 1933, had he not been supported by the German steel industry - needs it, politicians need it, generals need it.

To the public, buying more weapons is sold as being more security, more defense, but to anyone with a clear head more weapons means more war, more aggression.

In reality, a country with borders is an utopian construction. It may be very real in this world, but in reality, all animals can only laugh their ass off at men who need a passport to travel from country to country, borders their leaders and kings have created, because they couldn´t get enough, borders that are now in the minds of the people. This is why a war can start. If people were intelligent enough to say "This land is not mine because I haven´t created it", there wouldn´t be any reason to fight wars.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:06 AM   #52
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Quote:
Inaction can be as bad as action - and arguably action can also be worse than inaction - but this doesn´t mean violent action (that creates new violence) is justified.
Do you think that action can ever be better than inaction?

Quote:
To the public, buying more weapons is sold as being more security, more defense, but to anyone with a clear head more weapons means more war, more aggression.
I disagree with your premise, having more weapons or more accurately better weapons is a great way to prevent war, I think the concept of detterence is sound when dealing with most foes and it has effectively prevented the Cold War ever becoming truly hot (apart from ongoing proxy wars), the calculus of it goes out the window when you are dealing with religious minded zealots.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:28 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Do you think that action can ever be better than inaction?

I disagree with your premise, having more weapons or more accurately better weapons is a great way to prevent war, I think the concept of detterence is sound when dealing with most foes and it has effectively prevented the Cold War ever becoming truly hot (apart from ongoing proxy wars), the calculus of it goes out the window when you are dealing with religious minded zealots.
I know your point of view. First reply to my question, then I´ll reply to yours.

If there were no weapons at all, there couldn´t be any wars. The more weapons there are, the more wars can be fought. Like I said, I am seeing the whole complex issue not from your "realistik" point of view. My reality is different from yours. I do not accept the reality you are talking about as given.

"having more weapons or more accurately better weapons is a great way to prevent war" - only if you never use them.

Examples like the Cold War.. tsah, if all the money that went into that defense would have gone into eradicating poverty, what would our planet look like today. I dare say, less extremists, little terrorism and fewer wars.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:53 AM   #54
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If all that money was spent "erradicating poverty" I think that a good portion of the world would probably be ensalved today and a belligerent party would have risen to take advantage of the situation. The USSR was dangerously expansionist, if it faced no threat to its ambition it could have used brute force to subjegate a good portion of the world, there could have been more suffering as a result, so they were fought indirectly and power plays ensued ultimately creating the world we live in today, a world that is filled with a lot of suffering and poverty to be sure but by no means the worst of all world.

A leader must conduct their foreign affairs in a manner that is consistent with their own nations interests first and secondary concerns afterwards, there are times when to pursue the national interest, the greater good, sacrifices are made and these are inevitably made by the citizens of that country.

Quote:
Who are you (anyone) to justify 10,000 homeless people, crippled children, women who lose their husband, soldiers hanging themselves because they can´t take the pain no more? You can´t justify a war and ignore this.
I agree, people suffer in war, people suffer for a long time after the war is over. I think/hope that any leader who makes that choice does/would so in the hope that the suffering caused by that decision is going to mean less suffering in the long term. I think that on those grounds a decicion of action. By the same token a concious decision of non involvement can be taken with the acceptance of those concequences.

In some ways it does not matter what choice is made because there will always be negative concequences for people regardless of what is done. It is weighing up the costs of an action and making a decision.

If we lived in a world where such principled selfless defence of human rights really existed then I think there would be an strongly backed intervention to protect the people of Darfur, but sadly that is not going to happen because the nations of the world have decided that steady energy resources trumps humanitarian concerns.

War being justified, just or a form of justice. I agree that war can never deliver justice as it inflicts violence upon innocent parties, but I think it can be justified when there is an act of agression or a mounting threat.

Simply put, 10,000 lives and many more ruined in the short term is balanced against the lives saved in the long term from facing down a growing threat.
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:07 AM   #55
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The thread question about War being Justified...

Yes
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:05 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer

Do you think that action can ever be better than inaction?

Yes.

Quote:

If all that money was spent "erradicating poverty" I think that a good portion of the world would probably be ensalved today and a belligerent party would have risen to take advantage of the situation.

I don´t know how you connect eradicating poverty with enslavement. What does eradicating poverty have to do with the USSR and the example you mentioned? I am talking about water access, hospitals, meds, education, etc. - if just a portion of what had been invested in "defense" would have gone to basic human needs, directly to the people who live on less than a $ or 2 / day, this would have made a difference. Apart from all those people living in slums and suffering while we are cynically justifying the expenses for the newest smart bombs, the extremist groups find fine breeding ground in poverty and no education.

Quote:

I agree, people suffer in war, people suffer for a long time after the war is over.
Thats what I´m talking about - that´s why you can only say it is inevitable, as I said. Action can be better than inaction, but only if you can guarantee that no one else suffers.

Quote:

I think/hope that any leader who makes that choice does/would so in the hope that the suffering caused by that decision is going to mean less suffering in the long term.
Nice wish, but has nothing to do with reality. Show me a politician who thinks about the suffering of others before of filling his own pockets and I´ll show you a pink donkey.

Quote:

In some ways it does not matter what choice is made because there will always be negative concequences for people regardless of what is done. It is weighing up the costs of an action and making a decision.
I disagree, it does matter - there are lots of possibilities of peace preservation instead of declaring war.

Quote:

If we lived in a world where such principled selfless defence of human rights really existed then I think there would be an strongly backed intervention to protect the people of Darfur, but sadly that is not going to happen because the nations of the world have decided that steady energy resources trumps humanitarian concerns.
Agreed. Thats a case where action is necessary, but this would be a peace intervention instead of declaring war. That´s a big difference. I don´t think that would include bombing cities or napalm or 10,000s of civilians dying. Peace preservation has very different principles.

Quote:

War being justified, just or a form of justice. I agree that war can never deliver justice as it inflicts violence upon innocent parties,
but I think it can be justified when there is an act of agression or a mounting threat.

Nope @ the "but". War can never deliver justice. It inflicts violence upon innocent parties. Same if we go back to our example of violence in families. If there is an act of aggression or a mounting threat in a personal relationship, some use violence. Others preserve peace. To take action may be inevitable, but that does not include a "justified form of inflicted violence".

Quote:

Simply put, 10,000 lives and many more ruined in the short term is balanced against the lives saved in the long term from facing down a growing threat.
Thats a decision that should not be left to men. It is cruel to balance lives against lives. No God and furthermore no living being gave anyone the right to do this and it is not just. There is no justice whatsoever in this.



There is no justice in this world. It would be about time that mankind realizes what they have done to this planet. There is only justice in love.
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:57 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
If they feel they have to answer to the families, to the population, to their God, to their own morals and beliefs, to the themselves, then I can't see how they can justify it at all.
Really, all you are saying is that the action cannot be justified to you.

And, if the measuring stick is families or population, then if you have a resolution pass, or find a majority support the action, do you not then have a justification for the action?
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:58 AM   #58
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You said
Quote:
if all the money that went into that defense would have gone into eradicating poverty, what would our planet look like today. I dare say, less extremists, little terrorism and fewer wars.
A logical conclusion is that there would be no military at all because all the money would have been devoted to erradicating poverty. If that was the case and it was only the western allies surrendering millitary spending to give "for the good of the world" then their weakness would be taken advantage of and the entire world would be worse off as a result.

I also think that if that was the case we would live in a state of peace, there would be no wars and there would not be as many threats to the world, the price of this would be freedoms that are only sustained because they are at times protected by brute force. Which I may also add is often a danger to the very freedoms that should be protected.
Quote:
Action can be better than inaction, but only if you can guarantee that no one else suffers.
I disagree, other people may suffer as a result of action but if you have fewer people suffering then it may be less bad.
Quote:
Nope @ the "but". War can never deliver justice. It inflicts violence upon innocent parties. Same if we go back to our example of violence in families. If there is an act of aggression or a mounting threat in a personal relationship, some use violence. Others preserve peace. To take action may be inevitable, but that does not include a "justified form of inflicted violence".
Violence will be inflicted upon innocent parties regardless in those situations, the leader has a duty to protect his citizens from harm, it is not analogous to personal relationships, It may be very un-Christian to fight and in the process kill in order to protect your own citizens but that in itself should not have bearing upon the decisions.
Quote:
Thats a decision that should not be left to men. It is cruel to balance lives against lives. No God and furthermore no living being gave anyone the right to do this and it is not just. There is no justice whatsoever in this.
All that we have in this world is men, there is no divine authority to give us morals and I never said that those decisions were any form of justice (in fact I stated the exact opposite). I think there is a difference between justified action which infers legitmate reason and motivation and justice which is more arbitrary.
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Old 10-28-2005, 10:18 AM   #59
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Originally posted by melon



As I see it, the Ten Commandments are as null and void as the rest of the Mosaic Law. Any teaching they might have had are covered in Jesus' commandment to love one another. People who cling to some or all aspects of Mosaic Law in Christianity are merely looking for excuses to judge and hate segments of their fellow mankind.

I agree.
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Old 10-28-2005, 11:24 AM   #60
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It may be very un-Christian to fight and in the process kill in order to protect your own citizens but that in itself should not have bearing upon the decisions.

All that we have in this world is men, there is no divine authority to give us morals
I don´t know if you are Christian, I figure not. I don´t mean that a Christian has better opinions or anything,.. just:

Whew, when you follow the life of Jesus or read the Bible, and then hear things such as: "that in itself should not have bearing upon the decisions" - well, the Messiah the Christians believed in, clearly stated it different. There were interesting numbers posted before by another poster, implying that Christians refused military service for 300 years. If only all Christians had his virtue!

It is not true that all we have in this world is men. It is typically short-sighted of our race to be arrogant enough (not you, mankind in general) to forget animals, plants and all the mysteries of creation. This place belongs to them too, not only to us.

And I disagree again: for I believe in a divine authority giving us morals.
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