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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » The right to harm or take life. What justifies it, in your opinion? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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critter
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 11:44, Dannydoyle wrote:
Killing...wow what a subject. Let me ask a bit of a perspective question. Has anyone ever been in a situation where killing was an option? Seriously. Ever?


I have. I've mentioned my Mom's drunken sociopath ex boyfriend on here before.
After one of the times that he got out of jail he broke into my house and was hiding in the basement. He didn't know that while he was in jail this time I had bought a shotgun. The reason I bought the gun was that when I called the police on him before this he had tried to attack me and I used pepper spray on him, but he was so drunk and high it took him 15 minutes to feel it. So I bought the 12 guage.

So anyway, I came home from school and I saw a Hot Pocket box in the trash. But I had taken the trash out that morning. That's when I just knew he was in the house somewhere.
I got the gun and walked around the house searching and calling out. I went down in the basement and saw a couch pushed out from the wall. As I moved towards the couch he came out with his hands up.
My Mom was coming home at the same time. I wanted to shoot him. I had this feeling in my gut that he would just keep coming back and hurting my Mom. I could have easily plead self-defense. The guy was violating a no-contact order and had a history of violence. Not hard to justify a reasonable fear.
But when my Mom was coming down those stairs I just couldn't do it.
I knew she had pity for him, so I didn't pull the trigger.
Had the option, didn't take it, came to regret that decision many times after I moved out and he showed back up.
Now he's found another woman to terrorize.
And that's why I want to be a forensic psychologist.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Woland
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Gdw,

Of course governments try to infringe our rights . . . that's in their nature. It is up to the citizens to hold their governments accountable, and constantly hold up the mirror of our ideals to the reality of governmental actions.

Winchester94,

Well stated. That pretty much covers it, doesn't it?

critter,

A harrowing experience. If the goblin had his hands up, some would say that he was not an immediate threat to you, and that you oughtn't put him away. However, if based on past experience, that might've been a dodge, you'd certainly have been justified. Most jurisdictions would not have second-guessed you. In states that have formally adopted a "castle law" standard, a homeowner can assume that anyone who breaks into his house, when he is in it, is intent on mayhem. Now in your case, the goblin broke in when you were out, so it isn't quite that clear cut. But in many jurisdictions, the authorities do recognize that there are some people who need killing.

Peace Out.

Woland
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 12:43, Woland wrote:
John,

I was thinking of his remark, (I think it is in "Humanism and Terror" but it might be in "Les aventures de la dialectique") that only the proletariat, in the Marxist-Leninist system, could absorb all other classes, and thus transcend class struggle; outside of that situation, the future of all history appeared to Merleau-Ponty to be an unending class war - quite a dreary prospect. I don't have the exact quotation in front of me. I am no longer as absorbed by phenomenology as I was 30 years ago.

My point is, without the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, without an appeal to inalienable rights which are an endowment of the Creator, and which are not created or destroyed by kings, dictators, or parliaments, government becomes an exercise in tyranny, and there are no restraints on governmental action. The Declaration establishes the purpose of government as the safeguarding of individual human rights which antedate the creation of human government, and remain more important than the wishes of any monarch, mob, or party.

Peace Out.

Woland


So everyone outside of the US or without a document equivalent to the Declaration is engaged in "an exercise in tyranny"? Doubtful though I am of your interpretation of Merleau-Ponty, this seems beyond the pale. Do you really think that Australian political life is "an exercise in tyrrany"? Danish? Swiss?

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Jonathan Townsend
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Woland,

IMHO until one can face ones actions in context of ones beliefs one cannot pass through that moment of self recognition and then move on to use what you call self loathing - and I consider reflecting up on the thoughts and actions of being a childish - to use those feelings as motivation to do better in how one treats oneself and how one perceives (and then treats) others.

I am concerned that self loathing is a member of a family of self debilitating mental tangles or knots - others being narcissism, sociopathy and righteousness.

Ask anyone who's gotten their citizenship here after the long process how much it cost and how much it's worth - and compare that to the sentiments of those who make claims that they are owed something for being outcast and sold by their own people and given citizenship here.

The hand wringing of those who know little and do less than they believe is merely a symptom. It's their giving up responsibility by way of right to actively discuss real issues and instead delegate to those whose interests might not even recognize their existence that worries me.

-J
...to all the coins I've dropped here
critter
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I think it would have flown. He was two feet in front of me, enough time to disarm me before I even percieved the movement, if that was his intent. Hands up are even closer to the barrell.
Plus, the No-Contact order, history of domestic violence, and the fact that even the cops hated him.
He will never recover. AA just gave him more excuses in the name of 'embracing a higher power.' Classical recovery methods don't work on Psychopaths and Sociopaths. Just makes them better manipulators.
He will continue to be a threat to the innocent as long as he is alive and free.
Of course, lifetime committment to a pyschiatric hospital would be my first choice for him, but that's not realistic in this day and age.

So what's the difference between him and me that he can punch my Mom and I couldn't bring myself to pull that trigger?
Who's the weak one? Him or me?
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
gdw
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 13:53, Woland wrote:
Gdw,

Of course governments try to infringe our rights . . . that's in their nature. It is up to the citizens to hold their governments accountable, and constantly hold up the mirror of our ideals to the reality of governmental actions.
. . .


But who do we hold them accountable to? That is, who, or what, is it that acts as judge when holding the government, or rather those within government, accountable? People who are within government. We rely on the government to be the one's keeping the government in line, or rather, we rely on them to be the one's who enforce our attempts to keep them in line.

"Of course governments try to infringe our rights . . . that's in their nature." Does anything more need to be said?
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 13:56, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 12:43, Woland wrote:
John,

I was thinking of his remark, (I think it is in "Humanism and Terror" but it might be in "Les aventures de la dialectique") that only the proletariat, in the Marxist-Leninist system, could absorb all other classes, and thus transcend class struggle; outside of that situation, the future of all history appeared to Merleau-Ponty to be an unending class war - quite a dreary prospect. I don't have the exact quotation in front of me. I am no longer as absorbed by phenomenology as I was 30 years ago.

My point is, without the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence, without an appeal to inalienable rights which are an endowment of the Creator, and which are not created or destroyed by kings, dictators, or parliaments, government becomes an exercise in tyranny, and there are no restraints on governmental action. The Declaration establishes the purpose of government as the safeguarding of individual human rights which antedate the creation of human government, and remain more important than the wishes of any monarch, mob, or party.

Peace Out.

Woland


So everyone outside of the US or without a document equivalent to the Declaration is engaged in "an exercise in tyranny"? Doubtful though I am of your interpretation of Merleau-Ponty, this seems beyond the pale. Do you really think that Australian political life is "an exercise in tyrrany"? Danish? Swiss?

John


I think he's saying that Australians embrace "the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence."

FWIW, the Australian Constitution was enacted "humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God."
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Jonathan Townsend
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? the Australians respect the rights of the indigenous peoples?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:05, gdw wrote:

"Of course governments try to infringe our rights . . . that's in their nature." Does anything more need to be said?


"Governments" don't make decisions or have natures; people do. Which is one reason I tend to disagree with the position that a markedly better society would emerge from governmentlessness. Take off all the hats you want; the people who were wearing them are still there.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Woland
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John,

You don't need the document to prevent tyranny, although I think it would help . . . you do need the principles. In case you hadn't noticed, tyranny is not rare . . . and in many other cases, the problem is not actual present tyranny, but the potential for tyranny . . .

gdw,

The citizens under a government of divided and enumerated powers, such as the federal government described in the Constitution, can use it against itself to defend themselves from its excesses . . . if they have the will to do so.

Jonathan,

I think I agree with everything in your last message.

critter,

I agree that almost any grand jury in the United States would have returned "no bill" when considering your predicament.

I'm not sure I would consider either you or your attacker on a scale of strength and weakness. But even if I did, I would consider that hitting someone is on a very different level than killing someone. And based on your own account, your decision to spare the goblin's life was motivated by consideration of your Mother's pity for him . . . a very complex situation.

There are some situations we face, for which there is no really good solution.

Peace Out.

Woland


Posted: Oct 23, 2010 2:34pm
----------------------------------
Lobowolf,

Thanks for those insights. I didn't know that about the Australian Constitution, but it makes sense.

Jonathan,

I don't fully accept the "black armband" view of Australian history, but I agree that the Aborigines suffered from certain definite problems after the arrival of Europeans. (They had another set of problems before that, but that is another story . . .)

The fate of hunter-gatherers when confronted by agriculturalists let alone industrialists in the same territory is always the same. There is no culture of hunter-gatherers that has ever survived such contact, intact. That's nothing to be proud of, but that is the way it always has been.

Peace Out.

Woland
Chrystal
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Critter, I see you being the better person. Showing restraint is not a sign of weakness but strength.


Posted: Oct 23, 2010 3:51pm
---------------------------------
I always sometimes think back of my experience and shudder of what could have happened.

Here's my story: I used to go on off beaten paths to walk my dogs off-leash.

At that time I had a smaller size female and a big goofy shaggy male dog whom I called Big Dog. He didn't appear to have a brain in his head but was extremely lovable.

On this day, for the first time, I took along my two year old son. This was unusual as the woods were thick with brush but I had previously seen hundreds of salmon fry in a stream that I wanted to show him. The walk to the stream was a short walk from the main path. I let the dogs run free and they ran ahead of us.

My son and I were engrossed in looking at the fish. Suddenly two men appeared from the thick brush which startled me. From their appearance it looked as if they had been camping out there. They were whispering while looking at us. I instinctively knew I was in trouble and grabbed my sons hand preparing to run but they blocked the small path and smirked. I knew I couldn't outrun them especially carrying a two year old in my arms. They started coming at me. The fight or flee kicked in full gear.

Suddenly we heard crashing, snarling , the brush moved! Leaping directly in front of me was Big Dog and the smaller female following behind him. Big Dog who always had am ambling gait and tongue hanging out had his teeth barred and was doing a prey stalk in front of me. The female stood in front of my little boy. She too had her teeth barred. I will never know how the dogs knew we were in trouble as they were some distance away, and as mentioned previously not one of us had spoken.

The men backed slowly away and left the area. The dogs turned back into the lovable goofy dogs that I knew.

I still get the shakes when I think back of that day. The weird thing was throughout it all not a word was spoken but I'm 100% sure what the intentions were but not sure if the target was me or my son. Alone I might have been frozen with fear but I also had the mother bear instinct. I'm glad I never had to act upon my thoughts.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:04, critter wrote

So what's the difference between him and me that he can punch my Mom and I couldn't bring myself to pull that trigger?
Who's the weak one? Him or me?

Never confuse finding a way to not take a life with weakness. Never make a moral equivalence between the cowardly actions of a drunk and your reasoned response. I for one salute your bravery.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
gdw
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:27, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:05, gdw wrote:

"Of course governments try to infringe our rights . . . that's in their nature." Does anything more need to be said?

"Governments" don't make decisions or have natures; people do. Which is one reason I tend to disagree with the position that a markedly better society would emerge from governmentlessness. Take off all the hats you want; the people who were wearing them are still there.


Absolutely. But if we get rid of the "hats" then they would not be put in positions of power for them to abuse.


Posted: Oct 23, 2010 4:12pm
---------------------------------
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 16:00, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:04, critter wrote

So what's the difference between him and me that he can punch my Mom and I couldn't bring myself to pull that trigger?
Who's the weak one? Him or me?


Never confuse finding a way to not take a life with weakness. Never make a moral equivalence between the cowardly actions of a drunk and your reasoned response. I for one salute your bravery.

I gotta completely agree with Danny here.
Someone cowardly beating on someone is nothing compared to the strength of standing up to him and not lowering to his level of bull ****.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Dannydoyle
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The world has become tough to read when bravery and cowardice and strength and weakness are so juxtaposed.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
landmark
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:27, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:05, gdw wrote:

"Of course governments try to infringe our rights . . . that's in their nature." Does anything more need to be said?


"Governments" don't make decisions or have natures; people do. Which is one reason I tend to disagree with the position that a markedly better society would emerge from governmentlessness. Take off all the hats you want; the people who were wearing them are still there.

But context and structure are all important in influencing decisions, as the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments have shown all too clearly. Whether the governmentless versions would be better or worse is open to question, but certainly not predictable.
gdw
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Quote:
On 2010-10-23 16:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
The world has become tough to read when bravery and cowardice and strength and weakness are so juxtaposed.

Kinda makes it hard to know when someone's telling you the truth, or just being a bully. Or maybe they really believe what they are saying.


Posted: Oct 23, 2010 5:19pm
--------------------------------
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 16:59, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:27, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-10-23 14:05, gdw wrote:

"Of course governments try to infringe our rights . . . that's in their nature." Does anything more need to be said?

"Governments" don't make decisions or have natures; people do. Which is one reason I tend to disagree with the position that a markedly better society would emerge from governmentlessness. Take off all the hats you want; the people who were wearing them are still there.

But context and structure are all important in influencing decisions, as the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments have shown all too clearly. Whether the governmentless versions would be better or worse is open to question, but certainly not predictable.

Very true. It's a lot easier to make some decisions the further you are removed from the direct action.
It can be easier to order a hit than to pull a trigger.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
critter
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Thank you. I sure hope y'all are right.
I am worried that he may beat some poor woman to death though.
If he does that and I know that I had the chance to stop him...
Well, if ifs had buts or something like that...
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Woland
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Chrystal,

What good dogs! Thanks for sharing that excellent story. It appealed to me on many levels.

Even a relatively small dog can discourage most human attackers.


critter,

There are more than a few other people involved in your story, namely the authorities as we call them, who have had plenty of opportunities to stop this guy.

As a civilian, you are not responsible for his future actions. You defended yourself, and your Mother, when it was necessary to do so.

Let's just hope that the next people confronted with his violence will be able to do the same.


Peace Out.

Woland
Chrystal
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Thanks Woland! I realized the female (Shaggy) I spoke of in my story is same one in my avatar. So while she isn't quite tiny, Big Dog was 3 times her size. Thanks for commenting on my story even with all my typos.

Critter, I found it interesting that both of us found ourselves in situations where we were protecting loved ones. Your mother and in my case, my child.
My normally friendly dogs were doing the same thing..protecting a member of the pack, which is based on instinct.

It had me thinking: that although they say self preservation is a basic instinct I think the instinct of protecting " a member of the pack" may be stronger?
What do people think? It goes back to the question of could we harm another person and what circumstances would have to exist for it to be okay? Or is it ever okay regardless of the circumstance?
Hawkan
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Only about 4% of us have the mental ability, or are "disposed" in such a way to be able to kill another human being (did that make sense? English is not my native language). Killing within one´s own species are very rare, also in nature.

Studies from wars show that very few soldiers actually shoot at another human, no matter what the circumstances. It has nothing to do with being good or bad.

Hĺkan
:wavey:
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