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I don't even know what buttons I pushed to get here.

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rd95  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Shooting in self-defense

The original argument I was making, in response to your initial comment, is that hyperbole and rhetoric is not appropriate when it comes to conversations of self defense. Our conversation, like many conversations, has naturally drifted from that point and now we're in a new area. Because we're looking at this statement.

    Self defense is not base or selfish.

For the record, I never took that position or at least I never intended to take that position. I even pointed that out up thread. That said though. Self defense is literally base because it involves our instinctual will to live and avoid harm. Self defense is literally selfish because when we defend ourselves physically, we're valuing our life and safety over the life and safety of our attackers.

The morality behind those concepts can be discussed to the point where we'd fill a book, and I can pretty much guarantee that you and I will have conversations down the road that touch these themes, but for now, let's take a break. My week isn't going my way right now and I genuinely like talking to you and I don't want my sour mood to sour our interactions. I hope you understand and aren't frustrated with me.

::Squints Angrily:: You would reduce it to a math problem, wouldn't you?

That aside, I think it's a great illustration as to the perils of vigilantism and at the same time illustrates the need for structured law based on fairness and investigation.

So let me ask you this. Do you think the action and the reaction need to be identical to have the same value? Not necessarily in the whole framing scenario, but in that often the idea of "an eye for an eye" comes to be unreasonable for a whole list of reasons.

I'm hopeful that it happens. I'm worried that it might not change anything though.

    Either way, I know that I didn't answer your original question. That's just my two cents.

I think your two cents says a lot, actually. They feel more like four, or even eight cents. :P

If you're willing to elaborate, I'm curious to hear what holes you're willing to poke into your definition.

I think Justice exists and is more than just morality. I think it creates a desire in each of us to exist in a sense of equilibrium or rightness, because when that equilibrium is missing we feel ill at ease. As a clumsy metaphor, when we're cold we try to find ways to make ourselves warm. With Justice, when we're wronged, we try to find ways to rectify that.

I also happen to think of Justice in terms of a moral absolute that is beyond our perception. In the sense that there is an absolute right and an absolute wrong. Where we struggle comes from the fact that even though it's binary, it's so grainular that in many areas all we see is grey. Partly because the distinctions can be so elusive, but also partly because we don't always have the proper insight.

I think our changing perceptions of what is right and Just has nothing to do with any fluidity of Justice and everything to do with our abilities to see things in better and clearer detail. Justice for us today, in terms of laws for example, might be very different from Justice five hundred years ago, not because Justice changed but because our understanding of ourselves and the world around us has changed.

I'm religious, so that colors my ideas a bit, but I think even in a secular way the above makes some sense.

rd95  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Shooting in self-defense

In my opinion, that's not a question we can ask and find an answer that would satisfy us. Life is immeasurably beyond value. Any loss of life, either by random happenstance or by deliberation, is a tragedy.

rd95  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Shooting in self-defense

    One punch is capable of ending a life. AND

It is not known whether or not this will happen in any situation until it happens. Because of that, it's just another variable in complicated situations full of countless variables.

    A mature adult can typically discern between a genuine life or death threat or a lower grade threat requiring a lower grade response, such as the bodybuilder and the geriatric. AND

The fact that people in the military and law enforcement who are trained and drilled on concepts such as situational awareness and deescalation and they still make mistakes shows that are judgment as human beings is not infallible and that everyday people are more than capable of misreading situations and making mistakes.

    echnology is how we create 'equality' with regards to interpersonal violence. Technology is not yet advanced enough to create a phaser set to stun. Less lethal alternatives to firearms do not give the same kind of power to a small bodied or disabled individual that a real gun in the appropriate caliber does.

This goes back to the whole sliding scale argument. We're back where we started.

    If you see some third outcome when a large person with more muscle attacks a smaller person with less muscle who has not offered them violence, please, share it.

I will not, because you're not having this conversation in good faith. Until you are willing to have conversations without resorting to rhetoric and hyperbole, the two of us cannot converse and maintain civility. I'm not blocking you, but for right now, we're not continuing this conversation because neither of us is getting through to the other and all we're doing is making each other angry and there's no value in that.

    How do you define Justice?

See, that's the fun thing! The answers I got from people were so varied, I wanted to leave the question open and slightly ambiguous. So I guess what I'd ask you is, how would you define it?

Wonderful link by the way. I'm reading it now and thoroughly enjoying it.

rd95  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Shooting in self-defense

Ah. Sorry for the miscommunication then. I saw two separate ideas in your initial statement and while they're related, was addressing them separately.

I think one of the important things for us to notice is, whether we like it or not, there's a sliding scale as to what people consider appropriate use of force in self defense and not all situations are black and white. Unfortunately, they can be very grey. Greyer still is how we go about handling the consequences of our actions. They're very difficult concepts to handle.

    When we have a good definition of consciousness ask that question again. untill you can ask a monkey about it's motivations, you can't ascribe human concepts to evolved behavior.

If we see reflections of concepts such as altruism in animals, which are themselves reflections of concepts such as Justice and Morality, wouldn't that in some ways point to the idea that Justice is a naturally occurring phenomenon?

    An argument in favor of my point. This all occurs in your head.

Is it though? Would you argue then, that our thoughts and feelings aren't real, and therefore unworthy of consideration and potentially inconsequential?

    Depending on your definitions, it can be said that humans label certain actions and behaviors 'Just' and so 'Justice' exists as a set of behaviors we exhibit. Which I think still supports my point. Thought leads to behavior.

In another light of my previous question about thoughts, if behavior is the consequence of thought, where does that leave us?

    This of course all goes out the window if you bring deity into the question, which I explicitly choose to not do.

I think we're doing just fine viewing things from a secular lens. I like your answers by the way. They're making me think.

I'll tell you what, because I feel like I'm being unfair to you by asking so many questions. I'm gonna take the dog for a walk and when I get back, I'll post my thoughts on the matter and you can ask me questions as well.

rd95  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Shooting in self-defense

I never made that claim. I mainly illustrated that use of force in self defense isn't a black and white issue and that appealing to nature as a justification for our behavior is a poor argument to make because as humans we hold ourselves to higher standards.

I've gotten this answer a few times, each from slightly different perspectives. They're all interesting in their own ways.

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