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Thread: The changing moral culture or war

  1. #1 The changing moral culture or war 
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    You all know that Western armies used to march against each other with lines of men that were mowed down in rows. To us, this is "stupid," but people were not "stupid" then. There is another reason.

    People in society then had pride in it and their nation. They had pride in their own bravery. They did not want a culture of cowerdice. To them, death, was not everything but to be brave was supreme. Even the "enemy" was not much of an enemy as the wars were fought in this gentlemanly way. Both sides had rules that both kept. All through history, civilizations have all had periods when war was conducted in this gentlemenly manner. Later on, they became more ruthless and cowardly.

    Take now, for example, we actually shoot missiles at targets while hidden deep down in the ocean---missiles that often kill civilian women and children. We fly over cities and drop bombs on people. We have some 20,000 nuclear bombs which exist as an implied threat to the whole rest of the world. We keep them ready even though they could wipe out the whole human race several times over.

    I see this as an international collapse of morals and it is visible throughout world affairs and now even deep into family life. We need to build a new socieity that will replace all this, a new civilization, before it is too late.

    charles, http:humanpurpose.simplenet.com


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  3. #2  
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    Sounds like you'd like to see 'hand-to-hand' combat only - A missile is a weapon just like a spear arrow or bullet the marksman is detached from actually sticking in the knife in all these. 'Chivalrous warfare' is a figment of imagination - it simply [mostly] never existed - the victor always claims the high ground - "the vanquished doth not his story tell"


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  4. #3 Re: The changing moral culture or war 
    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    All through history, civilizations have all had periods when war was conducted in this gentlemenly manner. Later on, they became more ruthless and cowardly.
    Please name a time period when warfare was conducted in a 'gentlemenly manner', and we'll mention dozens of examples of ruthlessness and cowardness from that period :wink:

    For example:

    -Alexander the Great's wars: if a town resisted a siege it was likely to be razed to the ground and it's inhabitants murdered.
    -Julius Ceasar's campaigns in Gaul: several towns which insurrected after being defeated earlier were punished by every able bodied man losing his right hand.
    -100 years war (Middle Ages): surrendering infantry was often killed on the spot, only the knights (who would make good money as hostages) recieved the gentlemen's treatment.
    -Spanish oppression of the revolt of the Netherlands: several towns were completely razed when they joined the insurrection, their inhabitants slaughtered (for example Naarden). Others were kept under siege until half the population had starved and resistance died out (not really gentlemen at work either).

    The list is endless :wink:
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  5. #4  
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    Please name a time period when warfare was conducted in a 'gentlemenly manner', and we'll mention dozens of examples of ruthlessness and cowardness from that period
    the christmas football match in no-mans land was quite a gentlemenly thing to do. couldn't see that happening again :wink:
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  6. #5 Re: The changing moral culture or war 
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    [quote="Pendragon"]
    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    All through history, civilizations have all had periods when war was conducted in this gentlemenly manner. Later on, they became more ruthless and cowardly.
    Please name a time period when warfare was conducted in a 'gentlemenly manner', and we'll mention dozens of examples of ruthlessness and cowardness from that period :wink:

    Alright, I will name some periods. Of course, in them will be isolated instances of cruelty which you might bring up, but in human affairs we have to deal with generalizations. And I am not the first or only one who has noted them. Historians have observed how the nature of war changed during their research. Anthropologists even refer to "ritual war".

    Personally, I do not feel war is some sort of an unnatural human abberation. I see war is a natural mammilian phenomenon and the scientific attitude is to study it rather than condemn it. It is called "scientific objectivity."

    In India, the rise of Buddhism transformed wars of slaughter into more like ritual wars. I have already given the example of how Western warfare has changed. Also, look how Islam has changed its methods from warfare to terrorism. This seems to be a world trend now and not a good sign in an age in which the world is loaded up with nuclear bombs!

    charles, http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
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  7. #6 Re: The changing moral culture or war 
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    Alright, I will name some periods. Of course, in them will be isolated instances of cruelty which you might bring up, but in human affairs we have to deal with generalizations. And I am not the first or only one who has noted them. Historians have observed how the nature of war changed during their research. Anthropologists even refer to "ritual war".

    Personally, I do not feel war is some sort of an unnatural human abberation. I see war is a natural mammilian phenomenon and the scientific attitude is to study it rather than condemn it. It is called "scientific objectivity."

    In India, the rise of Buddhism transformed wars of slaughter into more like ritual wars. I have already given the example of how Western warfare has changed. Also, look how Islam has changed its methods from warfare to terrorism. This seems to be a world trend now and not a good sign in an age in which the world is loaded up with nuclear bombs!

    charles, http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
    you forgot to name some periods.
    war is without a doubt natural for humans however its a big stretch to call it a ritual. two sides will go to war for a reason, there is something for one or both sides to gain in there present scenario and thus they will seek it by means of force if nessisary. what is ritualistic about that?
    war is not a thing to be reguarded as honor bound or fought in a gentlemanly manner. it is a highly deadly job given to a nations millitary which practises and trains for such a job to achieve victory with a high degree of efficiancy. in short, killing lots of enemies quickly while maintaining low loss of life amongst your own forces. thats not ritual thats buisness.

    Islam hasn't done anything for war, the extremists who use there religion to justify the murder of civilians.
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    'Terrorism' an odd word that, A state goes to war an individual is a terrorist.

    If I wanted to wage war against my government, even though I would call it a war they would call it a 'terrorist' act - that is they have defined my action as 'designed to strike terror' they are simply using a propaganda trick here, - no I would not want to strike terror, maybe just [in this hypothetical situation] pop off a few politicians - ypu know take over, increase my earning powre as it were.

    Civil wars, should they be re-classified as 'terrorist' actions?

    PLot's - The Gunpowder 'plot' - how about "The Gunpowder terrorists?"

    Perhaps 'terrorism' should be confined to those without goals, who really do just want to 'strike terror'.....

    "The bay of Pigs terrorists" - sounds a lot more accurate.

    But I disgress, a chivalrous code in war usually only meant A knight fought against his own kind - taken out of all proportion by victorians who as victors had control of the propaganda machine of their time.

    Which sounds better when written by the victor:

    "We drew pistols and fired, I felt a burning sensation in my right arm, he fell to ground, mortally wounded, I buried him where he lay, said a prayer and moved on."

    or

    "I cuatiously crept up behind him, drew my revolver, aimed carefully at the back of his head and pulled the trigger, another dead adversary, another beer to come."
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  9. #8 Re: The changing moral culture or war 
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Wallaby:

    """you forgot to name some periods.
    war is without a doubt natural for humans however its a big stretch to call it a ritual. two sides will go to war for a reason, there is something for one or both sides to gain in there present scenario and thus they will seek it by means of force if nessisary. what is ritualistic about that?
    war is not a thing to be reguarded as honor bound or fought in a gentlemanly manner. it is a highly deadly job given to a nations millitary which practises and trains for such a job to achieve victory with a high degree of efficiancy. in short, killing lots of enemies quickly while maintaining low loss of life amongst your own forces. thats not ritual thats buisness.

    Islam hasn't done anything for war, the extremists who use there religion to justify the murder of civilians.[/quote]

    I did not make up the word and concept of "ritual war"! The concensus of social scientists is that it is common among smaller less advanced cultures. Where armies in mainstream society marched bravely towards each other is logically a bit similar---as with the other examples I gave..

    I assume you are telling me that war involves killing people because you must think I don't know that!

    And certainly, a close reading of what I wrote would reveal that the way the US and other modern war machines fight is the very opposite of ritualistic and even "sneaky"! We are facing an enemy that is often eager to die. And we fight them behind walls of armor because we are not so strongly motivated. We have driven them into this dangerous state.

    charles , http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
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    I've never known a time when there was more attention to not killing civilians as there is today. There are actual apologies from governments for unintentionally hitting civilian targets. Leaders are subject to trial in international court if they purposely target civilians.

    At the same time there has never been a time when military technology is capable of killing more.

    We have 24 hour news services that are in demand for more and more news. Every hiccup of violence can be reported. I heard a report a few years ago that world is actually more peaceful than it has ever been and, as a percent, humans killed less than ever by violence domestically or by warfare. Big chunks of the world's civilian population...China, India, Indonesia, Russia,South America, Europe, North America, Australia-New Zealand have not been subject to war in decades. Those areas of conflict, theMiddle East, parts of Africa and at that time, the Balkans, had statistically insignificant amount of civilians killed by formal militaries. Nearly all deaths were between domestic groups. 9/11 may be a big killing event but more Americans die of natural causes each day by Noon than died in the attack.
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  11. #10 Re: The changing moral culture or war 
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    Wallaby:

    I did not make up the word and concept of "ritual war"! The concensus of social scientists is that it is common among smaller less advanced cultures. Where armies in mainstream society marched bravely towards each other is logically a bit similar---as with the other examples I gave..

    I assume you are telling me that war involves killing people because you must think I don't know that!

    And certainly, a close reading of what I wrote would reveal that the way the US and other modern war machines fight is the very opposite of ritualistic and even "sneaky"! We are facing an enemy that is often eager to die. And we fight them behind walls of armor because we are not so strongly motivated. We have driven them into this dangerous state.

    charles , http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
    war has never been fought in a ritualistic way it has been fought in the most efficient way that it could be given the technology of the time and the environment in which the war was being fought in. the goals of the war are not to sacrifice each other in the name of a ritual as each war is fought when there is something to gain from victory in it that cannot be accomplished by diplomatic means.
    we don't stand in a field and shoot at each other anymore because with automatic rifles, machine guns, tanks, airsupport, naval support and so many other bits of millitary technology it would be plain stupidity to do so. the modern war machine is not a stupid one.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    Wallaby,

    Why argue with you? You assume people did things differently in the past because they were "stipid"!

    Is that your assessment of history?

    charles
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charles brough
    Wallaby,

    Why argue with you? You assume people did things differently in the past because they were "stipid"!

    Is that your assessment of history?

    charles
    ohh i'm sorry did i say?
    if i did allow me to correct it, they did things the best way they new how to. that is my assesment of history and i'm reasonably sure you would have seen that if you read my freaking post.

    but ok you want to argue this lets hear a point from you. what is ritualistic about war? what is gentlemanly about war? why should a war be fought in such a way? does this go well with the aims of a nations millitary during a war?
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  14. #13  
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    [quote="Jellyologist"]I've never known a time when there was more attention to not killing civilians as there is today.

    You are referring to the officially known policy of the US government. It says one thing and does another. It has gone into Iraq and, as a side effect, resulted in the slaughter of tens of thousands of people by latest count. Should we evade the fact that we are responsible for what happens when we invade a country?

    Don't forget the total destruction of enemy cities, civilians and all, in WW11. We obliterated Dresden Germany, a non-military target---not to mention Hiroshima and Nagisaki.

    Armies that marched into battle with each other mostly did so outside of cities and civilian deaths were small. The Civil War was one of the last such wars.

    You mention violence being less now. That is a fact. Violence of all kinds is far less than it was in the past. I do not see what that has to do with bravery and morals in war, but some 81% die of war, murder and accident in one of the hunting/gathering groups that anthropologists wrote about and what I happen to remember.

    where does the jellyologist quote end?


    charles, http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com
    Brough,
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