Black People : Should I be a pacifist?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by African_Prince, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm slowly coming to think of myself as a pacifist. The idea has always appealed to me, or at least it has since I became a vegan, but I've always thought that violence was necessary when it is a matter of defense (as most people do). The idea of standing by and watching someone be raped, beaten or killed when employing violence could aid them is still troubling to me but I'm no longer sure that it is ever justifable to use physical force to harm or restrain another human (or sentient, non-human). To be morally consistent, there is no justification in empathizing more with the victim than with the victimizer. I used to argue (at least when I became really interested in ethics, universal ethics, as a philosophy) that this is true but in this case the victim has more of an interest in not being victimized than the victimizer does in being allowed to victimize the victim. This may also be true but the moral actor would still be empathizing *more* with the victim regardless of why (s)he is doing so and this goes against the idea of equal empathy for all, which is morally inconsistent regardless of whose interests outweigh the others.



    I've always said that empathy and empathy alone is the basis of morality. If this is "true", I think the logical conclusion to this idea is moral subjectivism (because empathy is a subjective experience and acts are only immoral based on the preferences of who they affect and not according to some objective, moral authority), moral absolutism (as opposed to moral relativism, some acts are clearly anti-empathetic regardless of whether or not the individual or the culture he/she comes from regard them as being 'immoral' ) and deontology (if empathy alone is the basis of morality then an act isn't justified because it has desirable long or short term consequences, it's justified because the actor empathizes equally with all parties in any given scenario). My logic is flawed so feel free to criticize this. Although many anarchists advocate self-defense, pacificism and anarchism go hand in hand since anarchists criticize the state for using violence and the threat of violence to enforce it's authority.



    If I come out of the closet and embrace the anarcho-pacifist/deontological stance, I have to either a) let my cat go outside and eat fertilized grass that will give her a seizure or face dangerous human/non-human animals who will harm her, FIV, moving vehicles etc. or b) admit that I'm a complete hypocrite for using physical force to restrain her from exercising her self-autonomy. Doing so makes me feel guilty enough but I don't think there's any possible (empathy based) justification for this. Sure, it may decrease suffering in the long run and expand her lifespan but it's paternalistic and it's not my place to make decisions on behalf of other sentient beings, even if those decisions would benefit them. Then again, she doesn't realize the dangers that await her outside, her decision miight be different if she was aware of them but I think this is just me trying to justify my hypocrisy :( .
     
  2. CITIZEN

    CITIZEN Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well,

    While you're thinking pacifism over.....

    GIMME YO WALLET AND CAR KEYS. WAIT A MINUTE...BRING YO CREDIT CARDS AND GET IN THE CAR. WE STOPPING AT THE ATM TOO...


    Sorry. Couldn't help it. Anyway, I see your point. Yet at the same time I feel you are over thinking. Whatever decision you make on this, you will have to live with the consequences. If you fail to act (error of omission?) you may feel guilt, remorse, regret...and you may be legally liable.

    Now, weren't you about to hand over a wallet?
     
  3. Putney Swope

    Putney Swope Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Be wary of European philospohies and analytical methodologies

    that undercut and keep ones natural instincts in a state of flux, for "thier" benefit and your exploitation
     
  4. MRS. LADY

    MRS. LADY Banned MEMBER

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    Ma'at Hotep Br. African Prince



    The meaning of life is to exist, perhaps a pacifist, if you wish
    just an observer
    but that's a little like waiting to be free'd

    Purpose on the other hand
    Is what demands action
    An act of violence in the pursuit of life
    is duty
    Giving birth is violent yet still beautiful
    it yields life
    A violent person tho... only self destructs

    It's always right to stand up for what u beleive is right

    sometimes u gotta b still and just listen to ur heart
    but a pacifist.... u....
    me tinks not!!!

    peace
     
  5. Kamau47

    Kamau47 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The world has enough door mats.
     
  6. Keita Kenyatta

    Keita Kenyatta going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Son, you got problems and one of them happens to be white people. The other is that you stand outside of life looking at it instead of living it. While it is good to be introspective it is not good to be so at the risk of being imbalanced. One can be a good chess player but to sit there and study the board and know that "if you make this move, what will happen....or if you make that move, what will happen." The point is that you have to move...not just think about it or the cause and effect of it....because regardless of the cause and effect of the move, that too will produce more thought processes and more causes and effects. Right now you simply need to stop your B.S. and get to moving!!
     
  7. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm going to contradict myself and re-adopt my previous stance regarding the value of specific interests vs. the general value of the sentient beings who hold these interests. While not using violence in self-defense is morally justifiable, I no longer think that avoiding violence in defense of others is. If I have to punch a rapist in the nose to prevent the rape of a woman, I feel justified in doing so not because the woman is more valuable than the rapist but because her interest in not being raped is greater than his interest in being allowed to rape her. I don't know if my previous criticism of this idea was logical (I change my mind entirely too often) but it feels emotionally right to me. However, in this same scenario, I don't think I would be justified in killing the rapist, although I think the woman would be in the same way that she would be justified in having a late-term abortion that may kill the fetus because she has a right to self-autonomy and this involves protecting her body.
     
  8. MRS. LADY

    MRS. LADY Banned MEMBER

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    that's cool..

    I think ur right now...

    in being not allowed to rape her... the interest of many are served... to the side with any notion of physical death of any of the parties.... but her interest to live free of acts comitted against her being and against her will..... if allowed it is her spirit that suffers, and suffering leads to destruction.... the purpose of such an act as rape in any of it's forms....

    as far as going as deep as abortion .... we shouldn't consider it.... in the simplist terms true love has no understanding of abortion

    if u love life u protect life in all it's forms

    and even death respects life not it's existence but definatly it's purpose because death's real purpose is to change and the purpose of life is to exist because in essence that's what that are always doing

    c i don't c it as u changing ur mind.. ur feelings don't change...they exist and serve their purpose if u allow them to.... i c it as the nature inside u evolving and revolving kinda like death doin it's thing....

    many blessings.
     
  9. Ikoro

    Ikoro Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ain't got time to read none of this right now as I have to jet out.

    I was a pacifist once, perhaps because I was also a vegan. But you know what, there is no correlation between pacifism and logic. Seriously, you'll come to realize that when you one day are out with your lady and confronted by some ignorant whites or self-hating confused brothers.

    Straight talk, my Brother, don't practice VIOLENCE, but exert SELF-DEFENSE.

    It makes you feel better, because it means that you are gaining mastery of Self.

    I see you're using phrases like "morally consistent", dangerous thoughts indeed. If you are an Afrikan Prince, you know well (but perhaps have forgotten) that defending the kingdom is to be correct - not violent.

    One,

    - Ikoro
     
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