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The Morality of Pre-emptive War


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#46    White Crane Feather

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

View Postshrooma, on 21 March 2013 - 09:40 AM, said:


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I agree.
when it comes to killing innocents, raping women, or abusing children, then morality is an universal absolute-
you. do. not. do. it.
and morality is only subjective in the minds of the subhumans who commit the offences that the rest of the world find abhorrent.
as to the question of whether a pre-emptive strike can be morally justified, then yes, it can, provided the justification is a real and present danger, and not an imaginary threat.
after all, who wants to enter an ass-kicking contest with a one-legged man....?
I'm going to play devils advocate here because I do think those things are immoral, but if morality is culturally relative an action can only be judged within the context of its own culture. History shows that morality is indeed culturally realativistic and not absolute. It was perfectly ok for Christian, white settlers to scalp little Indian girls and boys and sell them to the us government at one point in American history. or to own slaves. Even some of our founders had slaves.

In ancient Greece a warrior took his boy lover with him on the war campaign because it was considered not right to take his wife or female slaves incase he lost the battle. ( I don't have a citation for this I'm just remembering this from my philosophical ethics course back in my college days)

In some Muslim cultures it's ok to kill your wife if you want.

There was a desert code in the middle east that often gave you the right to kill another person under certain kinds of infractions.

In many army's you were expected to take young slaves after conquering a city and do with them as you will.

In our culture make permiscuity is almost hailed as studly trait, while in others it's a capital offense.

I have heard of one isolated practice on some remote island that is so vial I cannot even mention it here, yet it's a matter of fact part of their culture.

I wrote a huge paper on female genetal mutilation and it's horrors once, yet in practicing cultures it's considered and honor.  

The list is endless. Human codes of morality vary from culture to culture and from extreme to extreme. Judging another person by the standards of your own culture is silly. You are probably doing something that is vial to them. You may not understand it, but that is the truth of the matter. There is no universal prescriptive morality. Each culture has its own, though with the evolving global culture, it is changing thank goodness.


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#47    DarkHunter

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:01 AM

View Postand then, on 21 March 2013 - 01:28 AM, said:

So if someone raped you or a wife or child, or stole everything you own or slaughtered your loved ones you would not be bothered by this?  You would not feel wronged?  This is the point, not that there is some empirical standard but rather that humans instinctively have a conscience that tells them what is wrong.  I think they call folks lacking that, uh, sociopaths....

I never said I would not feel wronged, I grew up and live in a culture where such things are considered immoral.  It doesn't matter if I feel like those acts wronged me or not, it doesn't change the fact that morality is still relative.  I would also like to point out the stealing thing while it may greatly annoy me I probably wouldn't be that upset, but that is a completely different story.  The whole instinctively have a conscience doesn't work at all in this because I have already showed cultures where acts we consider instinctively wrong are considered an every day part of life.  I also think you misunderstood a part of what I meant when I said I don't care about the darker side of morality being relative, certain things may bother me but that is because of the culture I live in considers them wrong but accepting the truth that morality is relative and all the dark and troubling things it entails does not bother or concern me in the least because I would rather live with a dark and evil truth then live in a nicer lie.

View PostJinxdom, on 21 March 2013 - 03:23 AM, said:

A little thing called consent. Consent isn't relative. Whoever breaks consent first is the one who is morally wrong. How can that be relative?

Consent doesn't work in this either, no one would deny a soldier killing an enemy would be considered morally acceptable but I can guarantee that the combatant did not give his consent to be killed.  That leads to the problem of either consent not being required for all acts which would make it relative, or everything would have an implied consent depending on the culture and situation making it relative anyway.  No matter how one tries to argue it, morality is relative.

I think Seeker79 does a pretty good job of explaining why morality i relative.

I have noticed there are a few people here throwing the term sociopath around like it is some terrible, evil thing.  First while there have been many horrific crimes done by sociopaths there have also been horrific crimes done by non sociopaths so trying to associate sociopaths with evil does not really work.  Also many successful, non violent or evil, people have sociopaths traits because whether people like it or not sociopaths are good at achieving their goals because they don't let things like morality get in their way for things that must be done.

Sorry if this does not make sense, been having a busy week and this is about the 3rd or 4th day I been up for around 20 hours.


#48    and then

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:23 AM

View PostDarkHunter, on 22 March 2013 - 01:01 AM, said:

I never said I would not feel wronged, I grew up and live in a culture where such things are considered immoral.  It doesn't matter if I feel like those acts wronged me or not, it doesn't change the fact that morality is still relative.  I would also like to point out the stealing thing while it may greatly annoy me I probably wouldn't be that upset, but that is a completely different story.  The whole instinctively have a conscience doesn't work at all in this because I have already showed cultures where acts we consider instinctively wrong are considered an every day part of life.  I also think you misunderstood a part of what I meant when I said I don't care about the darker side of morality being relative, certain things may bother me but that is because of the culture I live in considers them wrong but accepting the truth that morality is relative and all the dark and troubling things it entails does not bother or concern me in the least because I would rather live with a dark and evil truth then live in a nicer lie.



Consent doesn't work in this either, no one would deny a soldier killing an enemy would be considered morally acceptable but I can guarantee that the combatant did not give his consent to be killed.  That leads to the problem of either consent not being required for all acts which would make it relative, or everything would have an implied consent depending on the culture and situation making it relative anyway.  No matter how one tries to argue it, morality is relative.

I think Seeker79 does a pretty good job of explaining why morality i relative.

I have noticed there are a few people here throwing the term sociopath around like it is some terrible, evil thing.  First while there have been many horrific crimes done by sociopaths there have also been horrific crimes done by non sociopaths so trying to associate sociopaths with evil does not really work.  Also many successful, non violent or evil, people have sociopaths traits because whether people like it or not sociopaths are good at achieving their goals because they don't let things like morality get in their way for things that must be done.

Sorry if this does not make sense, been having a busy week and this is about the 3rd or 4th day I been up for around 20 hours.
I think we are not communicating.  But I respect your opinion on this, though I would never want to live in a world where that opinion was the only one.  I cannot imagine being at home in a place where rape, murder and theft were casual occurrences that did not trouble a human being.

  Imagination is the power in the turn of a phrase.




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