Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Justification

I often call myself someone who can do anything as long as I can justify it to myself. I think I've said it here a few times and really I still find it to be true. I operate outside regular morals. Though there is such a thing as something that isn't justified. The reasons given are not really enough, or ever would be. One of these things for me is war. I can't really see the justification for war. For example the Iraq war that began in 2001 was "justified" by the September 11th attacks, which were "justified" for reasons I'm not too sure of. I think the given reason was religion. I think I don't want this to turn into a post just about war. Or peace. I have other letters to do that with.

So let's go on to something else. Murder for example. There are plenty of people who have killed for what they believed themselves to be the "right" reasons. I know I said I can do anything as long as I can justify it but really murder isn't one of those things. I could probably kill someone if I felt I had absolutely no choice, if it was kill or be killed, but I wouldn't really think it was right. If someone wronged me, or someone I loved, I wouldn't resort to murder. I'd be pissed sure, but I don't think I'd go that far.

This is one of the things that is a vicious circle. Someone kills someone, then that person is killed, and then someone else is killed, and so on. The death sentence is murder. You say that a person can't kill, but then all of a sudden you can? There are many fates worse than death. For some people death would be a release. Because they are tortured so much by their crimes. Though of course some people are just insane and it won't affect them. These people should just be locked up. Not even the law should be above the law.

Sigh, in the end, I went off topic anyway.

Stealing, there's another good example. You have plenty of people who steal so that they can eat, or live another day. Really that I can understand. I can tell myself "that probably was the right thing to do." If I came across a starving person who tried to rob me, I'd probably do the cliche good guy thing of just giving them money or food after catching them. I'm glad I've never starved so much I have to steal to live, and I hope I never have to find out.

There, I ended back on the right point.

Yay.

47 comments:

  1. Great, thought provoking post Mark. It really is not easy to justify killing somebody in my eyes, usually no matter what the situation is.

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    1. Easy? No. Doable? Possible. I'm not likely to kill out of anger or hatred though.

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  2. Hatred only gives rise to more hatred. It's an endless cycle most people can't break. Be one of the people who can.

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    1. I can break the cycle of hatred don't worry :) Though that is one of the biggest problems in the world today. Too much hate. Hatred begets hatred, and violence begets violence.

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  3. I'd kill to defend myself....maybe!

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    1. Well there are several ways to stop a person without going that far, so hopefully I'd be able to just stop them, and not have to go that far.

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  4. thieves are terrible ppl

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  5. I couldn't ever justify war, whatever the reason.

    Surprisingly (even to myself), I think that the death penalty is justifiable (as a tax payer) because I don't like the idea of a criminal free-loading off other people's hard work. The only problem is if he or she was actually innocent and by the time the case was reopened, they had already been hanged!

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    1. If I had to, if I absolutely had to, I could justify it. We had to stop Hitler for example. I could justify going to war. If I thought that it was the only way to protect someone I cared about, I'd do it.

      I don't like the idea of a criminal free loading either, but that's a human rights issue. I'd also rather have these people alive than dead. I believe in second chances.

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  6. These are big thoughts :-) ... I agree with most everything you say, just don't know if I would be able to kill someone, even if it were in self defence. But who knows... maybe it's there in me somewhere ;-p

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    1. It's in there somewhere. It's called your survival instinct :) It can do anything in order to survive. It's what makes people turn to cannibalism and do other things they never thought they would in order to survive.

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  7. Yeah, people should strive to get along. Sadly we have the technology to make it so no one has to go hungry (but we don't use it) and if people are raised better they're less likely to be criminals (most of the most violent criminals all had the same things happen to them as kids!). We could make hunger and violence a thing of the past! People just need to be better educated to the solutions out there!

    http://youtu.be/4Z9WVZddH9w

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  8. Very well written! They are hard topics to figure out and sometimes until you're put in a particular situation you won't know what you're capable of doing.

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    1. That is also true. There's no telling just what you will and won't do until you find yourself in the situation.

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  9. okay, here's a thought. do you think, that with today's "liberated" society, promiscuity is justifiable? Or the trending dilemma of allowing transgenders to join beauty pageants? O_o (sigh) this world is wack!

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    1. As I have a transgender friend I have to be on their side. Though I will say that I'd prefer if only post ops were in beauty pageants. Once they've become a woman on the outside as well as the inside I see no real issue. Today's "liberated" society is far from liberated still. Promiscuity I can kind of justify. But I still don't like to see it, and if someone touches my daughter I'll make sure it's the last thing they ever touch.

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  10. Wow, some food for thought there. Where do I start?
    Well, being a pacifist I'm totally with you on that war proves nothing, and I don't think I could actually kill someone. As for these people who "beg for money", I'd rather give them food as you don't really know what they are using the money for...drugs, alcohol, etc.
    But you don't know your capabilities until you are actually faced with them.

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    1. Like you said you don't know what you're capable of until actually faced with it. There are plenty of soldiers who despite everything freeze and can't actually kill anyone. I agree as well that it's better to offer food and shelter instead of money, unless the person is clean. Not everyone after money is going to use it for drugs :)

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  11. If I'm homeless, and I 'steal' a home by reclaiming it, is that wrong? What if the 'home' is just some bank owned trap that they keep putting people in over their heads with some sort of insane payment arrangement that they can't keep? Occupy foreclosures seems like a good extension of stealing to live.

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    1. If the house is empty then I don't see a problem with it. Everyone has the right to shelter, and security. It's one of the reasons we have squatters rights. Banks are pretty much all evil.

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  12. I feel inclined to make an input on this post.

    Moral philosophy is useless, as everything depends on the circumstances and the situation. There is no way to scientifically prove that some certain way universally is the right way to act. The "greatest happiness principle" of Utilitarianism could be referred to here, but if a society follows that, wouldn't it be a tyranny of the majority? Killing a man may be wrong, but is it still wrong if killing him may save a million innocent lives?

    In my opinion people are too obsessed with the words "right" and "wrong" when they discuss morals. This may sound a bit cynical, but I don't think there is any objective "right" way to act in any situation. There are just "different" ways. Whether or not you consider one or the other way "right" is entirely subjective.

    That said, I too think about what can be interpreted as "right" and "wrong" at times. However, I focus more on avoiding the things that are "wrong" than doing the things that are "right".

    I also think people have a hard time asking themselves the right questions when it comes to matters of morality. For example, a girl in a class of mine held a presentation about a historical person who was married many times. He had remarried after the deaths of his previous wives. At the end of her presentation, the girl asked the class if we thought it was "the right thing to remarry after his wives had died". I feel a bit like an asshole for it, but I remarked to her that she should be asking a completely different question: Whether or not it was wrong to do so.

    Look at me ramble. I guess I'll shut up now.

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    1. Moral philosophy is pointless. That was one of the points of this post. That I'm not thinking about what is right and wrong, just what I could and couldn't do. Though I guess I did end up talking about right and wrong. Still I see those differently to other people. There are plenty of dilemmas such as is it right to kill one to save many. I wouldn't know the answer until I was thrown in to that situation really. I don't think that was an arseholy thing to do. I think you had the right question. There are too many people asking the wrong questions. No it wasn't wrong for a guy to remarry, I don't have a problem with that.

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  13. War should always be a last resort. Like you noted, there is no justification for war other than when our livelihood is at stake. My friend who recently returned from Afghanistan said he would never vote for a president who even mentions the possibility of an impending war.

    As for the stealing. I usually just sing to myself that song by Cage the Elephant, "Ain't No Rest for The Wicked."

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    1. Good for your friend :) It should only be done in extreme circumstances. I guess it's too much to hope for universal peace really though. Your friend needs Ron Paul, who is going to end wars, not start them. He's not going to end them with nuclear assaults either.

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  14. Great post. It's one of those posts that you read and even though it end, give rise to a bunch of new thoughts.

    I've been stolen from and let me tell you, it sucked so much. It's hard from this end to imagine ever being on the other end- desperate enough to steal. I only have the limited view of my experience, and that tells me that I could never steal from another person.

    But. As you say, I've probably never been hungry enough or in enough need.

    Big thoughts indeed.

    Lor

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    1. I used to make posts like that all the time. I was quite proud of myself during those days. I've been stolen from too, and it was God awful. But I was robbed by people who had no need to do it. If some starving beggar tried to rob me, I'd probably be a bit more considerate.

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  15. Aaah, I don't even want to get started on the death penalty, I have argued about it and why I support it in certain cases way too many times.

    I will say, though, that I don't necessarily agree with the stealing aspect completely. The problem is, some of these homeless or hungry people have brought it upon themselves, and it is their fault and theirs only that they ended up being useless dumps. Mind you, not all homeless/hungry people are like this, and those who have just been dealt a rough blow by life or society deserve help first, and then the others should be given a second chance. I guess it all just depends, but idk.

    I think what I'm trying to say that society should be helping these people back onto their feet so they won't be forced to steal, therefore eliminating that possibility. Also, back to the murder and war, if as a world society we rose above these things and stopped almost promoting hate and violence all the time, perhaps they would stopped. However, it seems someone out there is always willing to do the wrong thing just for the hell of it, bummer.

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    1. Even if they got themselves in to that mess, they still need help to get out of it. I don't think we should prioritize helping people unless it's an accident, where the person who is in the most need is helped first. Though you also can't help people who don't want it, and there is too much stubborn pride out there. I should know, I have a lot of it.

      I don't think we promote violence that much, but there probably is a lot of possibly unintentional promote of hate and persecution.

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  16. This is some really thought provoking stuff Mark. Do you think it's still justified to steal, if the person being robbed won't have enough money/food to eat that day? It's kind of similar to the kill or be killed scenario you proposed. Lets say too that out of the 2 people in the scenario, whoever doesn't eat that day dies. I'm not too sure myself, but I'd love to hear what you think about it.

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    1. If you steal from someone who is in a bad situation themselves then it makes you a complete moron. One of my favourite heroes is Robin Hood because he stole from the rich and gave to the poor. I think if there were two people where whoever didn't eat died, then hopefully they could split their food and both live. If however they couldn't, and it really was one or the other, then it's not my place to suggest who should live or die.

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    2. Well that makes sense to me, I'd have to agree. Thanks for the response!

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  17. I could justify war. Very, very, very few of them, but since some men have been beasts throughout history, sometimes you have to resort to...the last resort. If I wake up to see a couple of tanks in my backyard, I'd probably have a problem with that.
    Kinda fuzzy on Afghanistan. Way fuzzy on Iraq. Don't see the justification of either of those.

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    1. Well like I said a bit up there, I think there are people we have to stop, people like Hitler. I can see why we do it sometimes, but I don't like that innocent civilians are killed. If war isn't totally done away with, can we at least do away with bombs? There's probably enough places out there to have as designated war zones where only the people who want to fight can fight and no one can get hurt who isn't part of the fight. If Saddam had W.M.D's I could almost say that's worth going in to Iraq for but America has them, and so does Britain.

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  18. Humans have the unique and distinct ability to justify any and all behavior even while pointing at others and shouting how wrong they are for doing the same thing. It's important to have standards of some sort or we would be nothing more thank pack animals running wild, taking what we want, forcing ourselves on each other and killing for the smallest infraction. Still... even with the society rules and standards we have given to our lives there is that sparkles in the eyes of all of us that shows that we will do what we want so long as we can get away with it. I am certainly one of them. Much of what I do not do is simply because I fear repercussions... the disappointment of my friends and family, being an outcast, fines and jail time... and then my own list of things I just wouldn't do. No, I wouldn't murder anyone but I would defend myself and if I had to defend myself to the death, I would. On the other hand, how can I actually say I would never murder... what if someone came in and took the lives of my loved ones? I can say I wouldn't... but do I really know? Good topic. :)

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    1. I hate hypocrisy, but I know I'm guilty of it too. You really don't know what you'll do until you find yourself in that situation. I really would like to think I'd be Batman-ish. Even after everyone he's killed and everything he's done, Batman still restrains himself and refuses to kill Joker. Though of course that is just a comic book, and not really comparable to real life :) I don't have too much fear of repercussions, and the problem with things like the police and jail is that a lot of people don't. They also don't have my moralistic integrity either though.

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  19. The Iraq War wasn't justified by anything in the end. No WMDs, no point in being there. Had virtually NOTHING to do with 9/11. Maybe you're confusing it with Afghanistan.

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    1. Possibly. Afghanistan was pretty much all 9/11. Iraq was mostly oil. I mean W.M.D's. At least there was actually oil I guess. Plus I suppose it couldn't hurt to take out Saddam, if he was any kind of viable threat. Certainly seemed he wasn't. If anything the place seems worse now he's gone.

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  20. there's this saying, "the end does not justify the mean", what's the difference when I say, The mean does not justify the end..are they the same? haha..

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    1. I think the end can sometimes justify the means. It depends both what the means and the end was. The difference with the means not justifying the end is where if you do something considered good, to wholly do something evil. I suppose an example would be if you saved an evil person's life, and they went on to do evil.

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  21. wow. you explain well than our English teacher Mark. kudos! hehe..thanks! ^_^

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  22. I thought I left a really good comment here yesterday, but its not hear... damn it! DAMN YOU BLOGGER GLITCHES!!

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  23. At the rare times my head is completely cleared out, it is difficult to grasp how human beings have to get to the extreme measures of actually resorting to war to solve problems. Mental illness is the only explanation...at least on one side. I mean, perhaps one side is sane... if someone flat out attacks you, obviously you have to defend yourself. The sad fact though, is if the majority of people on earth would just act decent and expect decency from others, most of the world's problems could be solved. It is the tendency of these crazy humans to want more and more and more for themselves, instead of just having the sanity to say, "Ok. I have a gorillion dollars. That's enough. I should probably share with my less fortunate brothers and sisters here."

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    1. I think you should adopt that attitude before you have a gorrillion, maybe at about a few hundred thousand. When you have so much money you can't even see how much you spend because it makes such a small impact, you should consider giving some. My biggest problem with war really is innocent civilian casualties. If people really want to get themselves killed then turn a part of the world in to a designated battle zone, don't make it a place where civilians are.

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  24. I prefer an explanation over a justification. I may not agree with someone's justification. Those that oppose gay marriage justify it through religion, so I'll never 'get it.' But if I find something to explain their rationale, then I can accept it without having to agree with it.

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    1. Well I think that an explanation and a justification are rather similar. A justification is an explanation that makes you think "Yeah, I agree, keep doing what you're doing." whereas an explanation, well, explains their actions, without necessarily making you agree with their choices and actions.

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