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Is Extreme Pacifism Unrealistic?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Gary Childress, Nov 15, 2013.

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Is extreme pacifism unrealistic?

  1. Yes

    11 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
    31.8%
  3. Undecided

    4 vote(s)
    18.2%
  1. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    It's not even "inconvenient". Usually I find "unrealistic to mean" "this method of behavior would produce different results from our current standards of behavior."
     
  2. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    My nomenclature is lacking.

    So tell me, what ends should we pursue? Should we pursue "better humanity" or "increase happiness"... or should we pursue "world peace"?

    Is world peace worth any amount of suffering? Or is a world peace a goal to pursue only because it will lead to better humanity?

    I find the notion of pacifism for pacifism's sake foolish and immoral. Pacifism should be pursued insofar as it leads to a better society and betters humanity (ALL of humanity as a whole). Where it does not, it should not be followed, for the purpose of bettering humanity superimposes the notion of peace.

    You don't seek gun control laws to achieve the goal of gun control. You seek it to prevent gun deaths. If those gun deaths are not prevented with gun control, then you shouldn't be achieving the goal of gun control in the first place. A person who seeks gun control or gun freedom for a purpose other than humanity, or at the cost of humanity, is a morally reprehensible person. And the same is true for a similar pacifist.
     
  3. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    I'm not sure why you're reacting so aggressively. All I'm observing is that ethics is primarily concerned with ends, and means only secondarily, but that you appear to be treating ethics as a question of means, the end of which has already been assumed.
     
  4. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Any aggression should be interpreted as fervor directed at no particular poster, but in general.

    I have indeed assumed the end of "better humanity". But I am merely being negligent in my nomenclature. I am treating pacifism and the concept and discussion of this thread as a question of means. I sprinkle in the word "ethical system" where it fancies me without heed to its more refined proper usage. My bad.
     
  5. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    You can be a pacifist until your enemies decide not to be and attack you. Then you have a choice, be defeated and lose much in life and property or fight back.
     
  6. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Well, presumably most strict pacifists would disagree about the ends. (Or, for that matter, many people who aren't pacifists.) That means you have to separate your critique of means and ends; it's no good arguing that somebody's means aren't appropriate to an end they aren't pursuing.

    Why "until"? What prevents you from being a pacifist after that?
     
  7. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    Unfortunately the conversation hadn't exactly unfolded in the structure I was prepared for. As such, it looks sloppy.

    Should I confront such a pacifist, I would challenge their end as unjust or inappropriate.
     
  8. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    You can still be pacifist as long as you don't mind losing everything (except your pacifist ideology).
     
  9. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    How is that different than just saying "you can be pacifist"?

    I don't know if you can argue that a theory of justice is wrong because it is unjust, because that assumes some prior, somehow-privileged criterion of justice which it must satisfy. It sounds awfully like saying "it's wrong because I don't agree with it".
     
  10. Defiant47

    Defiant47 Peace Sentinel

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    I'm not saying it is wrong because it is unjust. I'm saying it is wrong AND unjust. And yes, it is my opinion on it, since we've gotten so deep now that it is all opinion. It is also my opinion that killing people for selfish gains is wrong and unjust.
     
  11. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    Because some will claim to be pacifist only until push comes to shove.
     
  12. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    But, again, to say that something is "unjust" is to make a claim within the terms of a particular theory of justice, a particular notion of what is just and unjust. But the nature of "justice" is exactly what we're trying to establish, here, so how can we appeal to it? It's circular reasoning.

    (And it has nothing to do with "opinions", which is simply a cop-out.)

    Well, yes. But what bearing does that have on pacifism as such?
     
  13. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    When it's a matter of being attacked individually by someone, for me it comes down to this, in the final analysis: if the only way to save my life is by killing another, I choose not to kill the other. Because to do so, I would have to presume that their life was not worth as much as mine. I can make no such presumption. (And if you knew me in RL you'd agree, I'm sure.)

    This is hardly a rational argument, I know. It's an emotional one. And it's not something I would recommend for any one else.
     
  14. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    Because pacifism by it's definition goes against human nature. It goes against animal nature (self preservation, fight or flight, etc.) How could it not have some bearing on pacifism?
     
  15. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    If a moral imperative exist, it exists independently of instinct. Saying that strict pacifism "goes against human nature" doesn't tell us that it's wrong, or that we shouldn't strive to achieve it, only that doing so is difficult, and I don't think anybody denies that.
     
  16. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    The question was, "Is Extreme Pacifism Unrealistic?" For many people (perhaps most people) is unrealistic. People do tend to be peaceful when things are going well and they have enough to eat. You can easily be a pacifist in a place where things are alright. Once things start to go downhill and people begin starving, their animal instinct kicks in and takes over. At that point they will do just about anything for basic survival.
     
  17. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    That's not true at all.

    Take the taboo against cannibalism for instance. Some people, it is true, will resort to cannibalism when there's simply not enough food to go round. A lot of people simply prefer to die.

    I wouldn't like to suggest that every pacifist-in-a-time-of-plenty would keep to it when the going gets tough. But undoubtedly some would.
     
  18. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Perhaps the problem is the "thinking" that pacifism is the tool to create world peace. When one attempts to force any one to do something, that is aggresion.

    All pacifism does is remove one of the parties because they think that using force is wrong. You associate the lack of force to being morally wrong. That is very authoritarian. Forcing people to do things is also morally wrong, even if it is for their own good.
     
  19. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    As Borachio says, that's demonstrably untrue. There are numerous well-recorded examples of people facing death and failing to descend into animalism. It's not even the case that these examples are always admirable; just recently we had our annual commemoration of several million young men patriotically hurling themselves at machine gun emplacements. Whatever instincts human possess, it's clear enough that we're far from absolutely constrained by them.
     
  20. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    I hope that I could personally decide to avoid animalism in the face of not being able to survive otherwise, especially when it comes to cannibalism (and other abhorrent behavior). There are certainly cases in history when people decided that self-sacrifice was preferable to obeying survival instinct. Let's hope that holds out when things get really bad and lots of people are facing that choice.
     

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