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Questions (and answers?) > Is it all meant to be?

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message 1: by Carlie (new)

Carlie | 86 comments I am a pacifist. I do not believe that violence is acceptable under any conditions. Even in self defense, because I don't see death as something fearful or to be avoided at any cost, and so preventing your own death by harming another to me is not worth it. I suppose I'd rather die a victim then live a murderer and end up eventually dying anyway.

And so, I am against war. But recently I've been thinking, maybe war is not necessarily a great evil after all. I used to think that "bad" people want to fight and kill others in war. But today, I'm puzzled. However much I dislike war, it seems like it's a natural part of the human condition. And this is like totally screwing with my neural connections.
I should add that these thoughts were strangely inspired by Chopra's intent blog "becoming a unit of peace consciousness" at http://www.intentblog.com/archives/20.... I went there with the full intent of joining but his first words started this strange communication between disparate cells in my brain. "On any given day ... some part of the world has been at war". And he goes on to quantify the number of people who have died in wars. And it got me to thinking....maybe that's okay. Maybe it's meant to be. Maybe we don't have the resources to sustain them and somebody needs to die.
I guess I'm not apalled by the number of dead anymore. Death itself has lost its apall and it has moved on to suffering. I'm more apalled by the number of people who suffer than the number who die. So I suppose I could still be against war because of the suffering? But I was never against war because of the death it causes anyway. I can't really articulate any better why I dislike it other than that it's just not a nice thing to do.
Anyway, back to my main point. Perhaps war is natural. Could it be that it's a normal part of population control? Am I against the inevitable? One of the commenters on the aforementioned blog said "How about since recording history, the world has experienced various degress of war and peace.
Darn if this world is one of duality"

So is that really what it is? We live in a world of contrasts and so must have war to contrast with peace? Time for war and a time for peace makes sense in this duality view. And my opposition seems misplaced. Sure, I could still wish for peace and pray for peace and work for peace but what if it's fruitless or contrary to the natural order?
Tis a puzzlement....



message 2: by Bob (last edited Sep 15, 2010 10:33PM) (new)

Bob Prophet (prophetbob) | 5 comments Books that expand on the topics you mentioned below include:

- "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" by Chris Hedges
- "The Sane Society" by Erich Fromm (followed by his other books)
- "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond
- "The Age of Empathy" by Frans de Waal (fabulous in audiobook format)
- "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein
- Plus books by Joseph Cambell helps to illuminate the "myths" we've created up through the ages

After listening to the audiobook for Deepak Chopra's "The Third Jesus" and reading up on the man online, I'm not personally inclined to follow him any further. His discussions are general and vague, at best, shedding little useful light on discerning our roles in the world today, IMO.

I heard it said once that mankind isn't so much a warring species as we're homicidal. There is a big difference. Homicide usually is committed as a crime of passion, a reaction to perceived wrongdoing where the perpetrator feels anger or righteousness. Wars, on the other hand, are a bureaucratic invention that have evolved to allow soldiers to participate in combat from remote and detached positions, as with aircraft and advanced weaponry. One problem experienced in war is that people oftentimes do NOT wish to fire their weapons; there is no passion to motivate soldiers on an intimate level. Hence why rewards and payments are offered to lure in soldiers (at least in the West), because fighting on principle generally doesn't prove to be enough when soldiers on both sides are defending the interests of higher-ups.

People like to claim we're a warring species, but it's a tricky argument. I'd say it's more accurate to claim we're a manipulative species, where the most manipulative amongst us are skilled at getting the rest of us to rally to their causes.

As for self-defense, as a pacifist you have the right to choose not to fight back. However, I personally uphold anyone's right to self-defense. To be an autonomous human implies the right to defend oneself from destruction from unjust sources. This is an inalienable right.


message 3: by Carlie (new)

Carlie | 86 comments I agree with you on self defense. It's not for me but I don't judge or condemn anyone who feels the need to use it. For myself, defense of others is more of a priority. Specifically, my daughter. Though I would not defend myself, I would defend her to the death. It's that part of my brain i cannot control logically. I know to kill another is wrong, but if her life was in danger, i would have to do the wrong thing.


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