Reading Philosophy

Jun 25, 2006 09:36 # 43155

Hawkeye *** mindlessly drivels...

Why War?

93% | 4

Please allow me to begin by stating that I don't intend for this to develop into a flame war. All opinions are respected her, meaning if you post here, it too must respect and be respected by all participants.

Why war? Why does such a concept exist at all? Some would say it is entirely unnecessary. To them, I say they have not thought much of the subject. In my opinion, everything exists for some reason created by man.

Take a look at the black market, for instance. It encourages crime and would arguably make society a more lawful place without one. Then why do they exist? Black markets exist because of a fundamental lacking of "supply" in supply and demand with typical markets. And as such, the result is that black markets are created in places secluded from the eyes of the government to satisfy the demand for such outlawed goods.

Then by this reasoning, war must have a reason, since it is a product of man. What could that reason be? Two parties have opposing views which cannot be resolved by diplomacy produces a war. That much can be read in a dictionary. However a more important question would be, "Why cannot opposing views be resolved by diplomacy such that thousands would die in war as a consequence?"

One would think that trivial matters of no consequence would not give rise to war, since nothing would be "resolved" at the end of a war. However, history has shown that this is not the case. Entire crusades have been fought over matters of differing opinion of no consequence. Religion is a powerful benefactor in the cause of war, but is it reason enough alone? I argue that it is not.

War has a purpose, and although it is justification enough to claim that war's purpose is to decide who is "right" and who is "wrong" (or dead), I don't think it is reason enough. If someone and his friend had gotten into an argument of trivial matters, would one pull a gun on the other and fire to settle the dispute? I would say not, for the consequences of murder far outway the need to "win" a trivial argument. However, if perhaps one friend would gain inheritance for having killed the other, perhaps that would be reason enough.

Then that begs the question, what other motivations could there have been for the crusades? Consider from the perspective of the pope himself, who declared the holy wars. The muslim religion was creeping its way closer and closer to the heart of the Roman Catholic religion in Rome. Had the pope done nothing, perhaps Europe today would be primarily Muslim. I don't believe people could be forced to convert to a religion. So if that had been the consequence, I think people would be just as relieved that they are Muslim and not some other religion as Catholics in Europe are relived that they are Catholic and not some other religion.

The pope, however, had a distinct interest in maintaining the Catholic religion. Aside from the wealth and extravagance that comes from being the pope of a major religion, one could argue that the pope might have deeply cared for the salvation of his flock. In fact, he might have cared so much, he was willing to see thousands die in order to maintain Christianity throughout Western Europe, and possibly expand this empire further.

The participants in the crusades had much to gain as well. The Knights of Templar gained such tremendous wealth and power from the crusades who were rumored to have started out as one of many noble families fighting in the crusades.

What about war of the 20th century? Wars such as Vietnam War, Gulf War, Korean War, and World Wars I & II were politically based. One could argue the foundation of these wars were the prevention of government architypes ruling the world. Communism was largely regarded in America during the 1960s as the crux of evil and the abomination of the free world in general. However, the purpose behind war must be viewed through the eyes of the person(s) who initiate war rather than the ones who would fight in it.

And, in the 20th century, wars were started by leaders of countries throughout the world. The motivation of war is blanketed in a pattern which the people of a country see as intolerable. To this day, many believe the cause of the civil war in the 1860s was a result of slavery in the south, when in fact it is the means of the government to gain support for war.

Then what is the purpose of war to the leaders of countries? In short, I believe it to be power (or absence of power). For example, Hitler invaded countries not to support a superior way of life in socialism, but rather his thirst for power of controlling other countries. But surely, if Hitler's campaign slogan had been "We go to war so I can have more stuff," I doubt he would have rallied many supporters. And of course, the invaded countries would retaliate. The cause known to the people, of course, is to save their way of life. However, the truth of the matter is that the leader of that country did not want to lose his power and control over that country (or possibly death). And consequently, countries attacking or assisting the aggressor have power to gain or lose as well, and so the entire world is caught up in a gigantic war to fight against who they believe to be advocates of evil when the truth of the matter is that they are pawns in a game of cat and mouse between leaders.

How is this problem resolved? I hope that some day, the entire world shall be united under one banner, but this would never happen unless the leaders of each country felt their way of life was not threatened. Leaders of countries wish to be subordinates of no one. Consequently, to be united in one banner, each leader would have to retain full control of its country. However, at this point, a united banner would simply be a suggestion. The government must reshape itself to not follow the footsteps of a leader, but the footsteps of the entire world. The people of a country would still elect a leader, but it would be a temporary position which would come into dispute every few years.

Issues regarding the neglect of power for a particular leader would be brought to vote in an electoral college fashion, in which the people of each country would vote, and their "elected leader" would vote according to its majority. If the leader is replaced, the already elected vice president (elected on a separate ticket than the president) would come into power until the next election period.

The united banner would have no leader. Issues will be voted on by the "presidents" of each country, and at any point, a referendum could be created by the people of any country which would cause a worldwide vote on the status of one president if he should neglect his position. This way, the presidents would not be able to pat each other's backs so to speak, and keep themselves in office.

Taxes would be lessened by 2% from each country, and put towards a international tax for the use of the united banner to distribute as they wish.

In the case of war, the participants will be banned for 50 years from the united banner (receiving no benefits which come from it), and all effort will be put towards negating war by all countries under the united banner.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Jun 25, 2006 11:43 # 43156

null throws in his two cents...

Re: Why War?

93% | 4

I hope that some day, the entire world shall be united under one banner,

Heh, can you say UNO? :-)

In my eyes, war is just a big-ass version of a brawl. People beat each other up for various reasons - self-defense, revenge, personal gain, difference of opinions, whatever. It's pretty much the same on a national scale.

I don't have to offer a treatise as profound or far-reaching as yours, but I think the only way to deter war-lusty leaders or people is to place the burden of war on their own shoulders.
It was easy for the Nazi leaders to declare war on countries from the security of their bunkers. It's easy for the US government to wage wars because those people won't have to serve as soldiers, and neither will their friends or family. As long as you control the media you'll never have to worry about being able to drag the masses along and find enough people stupid enough to sacrifice themselves in support of your plans. The leaders who started WWI did so because each of them were certain of their own country's military superiority.
It's always easier to make a risky decision when somebody else has to take the risk for you.

Hence my suggestion: Whoever supports a war - politicians, talk show hosts, people on the street - is to be drafted to serve in that war. No excuses, no "other priorities", absolutely no exceptions. (Well, maybe we can leave the quadriplegics at home)

The problem with this is that there is one easy solution - "don't start a war of aggression" - but those who ignore that rule will also happily ignore any other rule designed to prevent a war.

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

This post was edited by null on Jun 25, 2006.

Jun 26, 2006 00:10 # 43162

MelMel *** replies...

Re: Why War?

?% | 2

In my eyes, war is just a big-ass version of a brawl. People beat each other up for various reasons - self-defense, revenge, personal gain, difference of opinions, whatever. It's pretty much the same on a national scale.

you forgot penis-measuring.

Look at me! I'm a prostitute robot from the future!

Jun 26, 2006 06:53 # 43165

null replies...

Re: Why War?

you forgot penis-measuring.

You noticed! I didn't want to make the list too long, that's why it's missing. Let's just agree that it would fall under "difference of opinion" on whose pipe is bigger :-)

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Jun 27, 2006 12:52 # 43168

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Why War?

?% | 1

Hence my suggestion: Whoever supports a war - politicians, talk show hosts, people on the street - is to be drafted to serve in that war. No excuses, no "other priorities", absolutely no exceptions. (Well, maybe we can leave the quadriplegics at home)

Well what about those ironman days of the general riding to battle with his men? In such cases, they either must have felt they would most certainly win the battle, or they wanted the edge which comes with giving men the moral that their leader fights alongside (although, it was really more like as far back in the battlefield as possible).

There might even be politicians stupid enough to support the cause. Besides, there are always enough admirers in the military of politicians who support the war that would make sure he receives a position very high (thus very low danger).

But you certainly have a point. Would those politicians still push for war if they were the ones risking their necks? I vouche for a gladiator-style arena, in which all problems of the world can be solved. If one country wants to take over another, the leaders of both countries will duke it out to the death in an arena using tridents and nets with a generous helping of starved lions placed in trap doors underneath to come up whenever the politicians would wimp out.

Then why do soldiers fight for that matter? Why would anyone care so much for their country that they would die rather than see their children grow up? I could understand if one was fighting for a better way of life, but in most cases (and I don't intend on offending anyone by saying so), whether you are under the rule of one country or another, your day to day life will most likely change very little.

I understand even less kamikazis. Men deprive their families of a father in exchange for a promise of money given to the family. I doubt the family would have asked for such a thing. In my opinion, no amount of money could replace a father, however in need of money a family might be. And for the men and women they kill as a result of their actions... to their cause, do they really feel it will justify reward in the afterlife to commit so much pain and suffering upon their god's creations?

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Jun 27, 2006 14:30 # 43169

null has an idea...

Re: Why War?

?% | 1

I understand even less kamikazis.

Oooh, Japanese people and their idea of honour. Veery very complicated subject.

Your post gave me this funny idea:
We can't send the whole government to war, because somebody has to govern the country. (This is obviously obvious.)
So how about this: Half of the politicians in support of war will be drafted. If e.g. 100 vote in favour of war, 50 names will be pulled out of a hat. The 'winners' are sent to the front - after all they're politicians because they want to serve their country, right? The other 50 lucky bastards will stay home and govern the country.
Not only would this motivate the decision-makers to find a peaceful solution, it would also create an impression of justice and equality in the eyes of the common soldier who is never asked if he wants to be sent to war. As a side effect, the government people left at home are mostly anti-war and will want to end the war as soon as possible. And let's not forget the entertainment potential if they draw the names on live TV!

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

This post was edited by null on Jun 27, 2006.

Jun 28, 2006 13:06 # 43176

Hawkeye *** feels excited about...

Re: Why War?

67% | 2

And let's not forget the entertainment potential if they draw the names on live TV!

What an excellent point! Well, that settles it for me. The overwhelming potential for great TV overwhelms morals anyday of the week. All those poor daughters and sons and husbands and wives of those unfortunate politicians chosen to die.. OH THE DRAMA! *Think* of the ratings!

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Jun 28, 2006 18:39 # 43179

Salvial_Ten *** replies...

Re: Why War?

?% | 1

What an excellent point! Well, that settles it for me. The overwhelming potential for great TV overwhelms morals anyday of the week. All those poor daughters and sons and husbands and wives of those unfortunate politicians chosen to die.. OH THE DRAMA! *Think* of the ratings!

And the profits! You can't forget about those! Ratings and profits go hand in hand! *glees all over the place*

Christ, Hawkeye I think you summed up modern American thought in that once sentance than a group of psychologists could in a 1000 page essay.

--Jami

--Jami Yeah, that's gonna sting in the morning.

Jun 28, 2006 20:58 # 43181

null replies...

Re: Why War?

Christ, Hawkeye I think you summed up modern American thought in that once sentance than a group of psychologists could in a 1000 page essay.

I was about to quote the same text and add "Modern society in a nutshell." :-)

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Jun 29, 2006 05:29 # 43191

MelMel *** replies...

Re: Why War?

?% | 1

But why stop there!? I suggest we make a reality television show that is king over all reality tv. while they're being sent to war, they will be locked in a confined space somewhere in iraq, surrounded by cameras and visited only by two personal trainers who will help the two teams of politicans try to lose more weight than the other, oh yeah, and they'll also renovate said confined space... how does this fit in with sending them to war? why, that's quite simple, each week, we the viewer get to vote someone off the island and into the war zone! It's perfect. And hey, even if we dont send em all to war, they'll be forced to learn how to get along and to lose some weight. everyone's a winner!

Look at me! I'm a prostitute robot from the future!

Jun 29, 2006 08:17 # 43199

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Why War?

I've never seen so many reality TV cliches in such a small space of writing.

Props.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Apr 08, 2008 19:00 # 45678

Turings_child *** replies...

Re: Why War?

'War, what is it good for, absolutely nuthin.'

Yeah, war, as the monty python boys once said. 'What a stupid concept.'

BUT

Why does anyone fall out with the neighbour? Why do you have to sell more than the guy next to you? Why does it annoy you sooo much that the guy on the news can't see how wrong he really is? Why have desert tribes fought over a piece of useless sand for generations? We try to fight it guys but it's built in , hardwired, instinctive and sadly it's part of the reason we got this far. Look at the chimps scene in 2001, the tribe who learned to kill first survives. Or to paraphrase an earlier post about genitals, the guy with the biggest tool wins.

That is why War. Nature has made us competitive and aggressive in order that we had a chance to survive. We just applied our intelligence to make war so much worse and our weapons able to kill so many more. Instead of a tribal war involving a few score of participants we can now involve millions and the more intelligent among us know we now have to curb our aggression before we achieve the opposite of surviving.

I thinks therefore I is

Apr 09, 2008 12:04 # 45689

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Why War?

Excellent point, though not only.

War exists because war exists, I would say. What do I mean by that exactly? I mean to say that there is already war and weapons and violence. So in order to protect oneself, ironically, one must also have weapons and inflict violence and yes, be willing to participate in war. I'd like to say humanity has reached the point in which we could all throw our hands up and say, "You know what, this is silly. I'm putting down my weapons and I suggest you do the same." I like to say that, but I can't, and I sincerely doubt it will happen for many centuries to come.

It's like the bully on the playground in elementary school. He's there and he pushes the other kids around, you included. You can do one of three things: Get beaten up, fight back, or be a bully. Nobody wants to get beaten up, so most fight back, which means they have to punch and kick and throw dirt like the bully. You can't fight back by sticking out your tongue or calling him names. Then, as my wife would likely interject, America would be the third option, becoming a bully.

I (perhaps wrongly so), being an American, would like to think that America acts like the proactive kid on the playground which doesn't wait until the bully tries to beat him up, but beats up the bully and tells him to stop messing with the other kids. Ironically, you could argue that makes one a bully, and perhaps that would be accurate, though I hardly think it is wrong if the best interests of all the kids are in mind.

Of course the bully on the playground is not an accurate metaphor. People aren't beaten up. They're killed and lives are destroyed. And unfortunately, whether it be the bully or the proactive kid beating up the bully, people are killed and lives are destroyed. It is never a popular thing to cheer on America, and so the media points out only mishaps and wrongdoings which is rather inevitable for how many ways to screw up there are. And unfortunately, for most, all they hear are the bad things America does, and so they wish America would be like one of the kids that merely fights back but only when the Bully approaches them.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done


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