What did the pacifist say on Facebook for Memorial Day?

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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
1 month ago#11
I'm sympathetic to arguments that in a trolley problem, you should kill somebody in order to lead to fewer net deaths. Real life, on the other hand, is never as clear-cut as a trolley problem. There is substantial uncertainty involved in most life-or-death decisions, especially in matters as large and complicated as war and international affairs. It's entirely possible that waging a given war will lead to fewer net deaths than not doing so, but in practice, there's no way to know this in advance. And if there's even a small chance of your plan backfiring, you're not entitled to do it, because it's human lives you're gambling with.

In the particular case of World War II, there were healthy nonviolent resistance movements in most (all?) occupied countries. Even without an organized resistance movement, the Nazi empire was growing very fast with no end in sight and wasn't even making token efforts to win the hearts and minds of citizens, so it would have quickly collapsed under its own weight. And even if you think violence was necessary, war still wasn't necessary: an assassination attempt against Hitler was likely to eventually succeed, and seeing as the whole Third Reich depended on his personality cult, that would mark the beginning of the end of the Holocaust.

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User Info: HeyDude

HeyDude
1 month ago#12
Your logic is inconsistent and you should feel inconsistent!

User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
1 month ago#13
So, are you going to substantiate that claim, or did you just feel like venting?

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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
1 month ago#14
willis5225 posted...
I guess when you get down to it, there is no ethical bourgeoisie lifestyle.

Take it from the world's foremost authority:

http://i.imgur.com/wi1QIgG.jpg

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User Info: HeyDude

HeyDude
1 month ago#15
I figured I might come back to it later, but now that you're being pithy, I might not!

User Info: HeyDude

HeyDude
1 month ago#16
I'm sympathetic to arguments that in a trolley problem, you should kill somebody in order to lead to fewer net deaths. Real life, on the other hand, is never as clear-cut as a trolley problem.


It doesn't have to be. You're meant to draw principles from the trolley problem. One of them is whether you believe that you are less culpable for bad results if they come from you doing NOTHING, than if they come from you doing SOMETHING. You might be taking it as a matter of course that inaction bears less culpability than action, but that's not uncontroversial.

There is substantial uncertainty involved in most life-or-death decisions, especially in matters as large and complicated as war and international affairs. It's entirely possible that waging a given war will lead to fewer net deaths than not doing so, but in practice, there's no way to know this in advance.


Here's where your assumption that inaction makes you less culpable comes into play. You say there's no way to know in advance, and this makes you assume it is better not to act by waging war, even though you readily admit that war might be the path that results in lower loss of life. In the face of uncertainty, you find it less blameworthy to avoid, but the blame difference comes from the inequality between action and inaction, not between result 1 and result 2. You don't prove out that this is valid.

And if there's even a small chance of your plan backfiring, you're not entitled to do it, because it's human lives you're gambling with.


If there is even a small chance of YOUR plan backfiring, why are you entitled to it then? Your plan is go the diplomatic path, or your plan is isolation, or your plan is X or Y or Z, and your plan could be the one with the worse results. You've already admitted there's a small chance of your plan backfiring, when you said there was no way to know whether war would save more lives than it takes.

In the particular case of World War II, there were healthy nonviolent resistance movements in most (all?) occupied countries. Even without an organized resistance movement, the Nazi empire was growing very fast with no end in sight and wasn't even making token efforts to win the hearts and minds of citizens, so it would have quickly collapsed under its own weight.


Here's where I begin again to agree with you. I AM still a pacifist. Your point here is, there were other plans that had a fine chance of succeeding, including inaction (where it collapses under its own weight). But by your own logic, I don't see how ANY plan is admissible until you're proven out that an inaction makes you less morally culpable. Now, I know that "total inaction" isn't the only alternative to war, but if there is a question "war: yes or no" I think you're saying you automatically consider a "no" better than a "yes" because reasons, even in the face of results that could go either way.

And even if you think violence was necessary, war still wasn't necessary: an assassination attempt against Hitler was likely to eventually succeed, and seeing as the whole Third Reich depended on his personality cult, that would mark the beginning of the end of the Holocaust.


That plan, also, has at least a small chance of backfiring!

User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
1 month ago#17
Really now, capitalization and boldface are both perfectly reasonable ways to emphasize text, but one's enough.

Anyway, back on topic. I do tend to think that, all other things being equal, inaction is more moral (or equally moral) than action. But that general idea is less relevant to the argument I'm making than the more specific idea that violence against people is immoral, and so there needs to be rather special circumstances to excuse an act of violence. I accept the argument that, if you know for certain that an act of violence will result in fewer net deaths, it's moral to commit the act. (It's certainly not mandatory, but it's not immoral, either.) But if you're not certain, it's not acceptable. In a world in which people resort to violence as soon as it seems more likely to do good than harm, conflicts will rapidly escalate to violence, and violent conflicts will be perpetuated by reprisals, preemptive strikes, etc.

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User Info: Jacehan

Jacehan
1 month ago#18
Three other things to consider:

1) You say that internal collapse or assassination would have the same results, but that's not quite true. The war didn't just end the Third Reich - it also had the effect of stamping out Naziism, an inherently violent ideology. (Certainly in Germany, and in most other places - at least for a time, thanks neo-nazis.)

2) Suppose we have three groups: A, B, and C. C is smaller than A and B. All three have different cultures and identities. Group B is working to systematically wipe group C out of existence. Group A chooses to go to war - now members of all 3 groups have died, and more total people have died than were in Group C. Would it be better for an entire group to be eliminated, because it would have cost fewer total lives?

3) The phrase "a fate worse than death" exists for a reason. Sometimes wars are fought to, say, overthrow an oppressive regime or to improve the lives of the people who live there. More lives would be saved by just accepting the regime, but the people involved might say those lives are not worth living. (This is why though it is common in America to view the Vietnam War as a mistake [mostly because we lost], the Vietnamese do not view it that way.)
"To truly live, one must first be born." ~ Evan [aX]
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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
1 month ago#19
(1) That's true.

(2) Sure. I see no sense in trying to preserve groups or identities for their own sake. These things are stupid things to discriminate against people for, but they're not inherently valuable, either. On the contrary: https://www.reddit.com/r/MLPLounge/comments/2gpfza

(3) I might be sympathetic to such an argument regarding the question of suicide, but in this case, the choice is between accepting one's unpleasant fate (or, better, pursuing a nonviolent means of changing it) and killing somebody else. No, you definitely aren't entitled to kill other people because your own life situation is bad.

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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
1 month ago#20
I missed this comment:

HeyDude posted...
I figured I might come back to it later, but now that you're being pithy, I might not!

What's the matter with being pithy? Verbosity isn't a virtue in and of itself, is it?

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Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?
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