The comments on the last post have me reflecting on the nature of violence.
The argument that sometimes a measure of violence (or, as I put it, force) is needed in order to preserve peace - and this argument is central to just war theory - could be described by means of this analogy, which does not reflect well on the potential of the argument:
I once saw a woman out shopping with her kids at a toy store. Two of the kids got into an argument about a particular toy. As the argument escalated, the bigger kid hit the smaller kid. The mother, irate, stormed up to the bigger kid, and *SMACK* whacked him good. As she hit her child, she disingenuously shouted, "No! We don't hit!"
A couple of questions for discussion:
1. Is this a good analogy for the argument in question?
Or, to put it another way, is this sufficiently like what nations like the United States do when we threaten aggressive nations with military force?
2. Is there any charitable way to view the actions of the mother?
Or, to put it another way, is there any chance that her hitting her child to make the point that we shouldn't hit will actually succeed?
I'm particularly interested in two types of comments, but of course welcome all comments. The types I am most interested in are:
1. From my philosophic friends: work with the analogy and its correlation or lack of correlation to the arguments made by just war theory.
2. From my friends with children: help us get inside the perspective of the parent who uses force to teach that violence is wrong. Is this purely hypocritical? Is this motivated by frustration or unchecked anger? Or is there possibly some method to the apparent madness?
Well, I've shaped this conversation enough. If you're interested in this sort of thing, leave a comment.
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