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Post 60

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 12:22pmSanction this postReply
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I KNEW you'd say that, Bob. ;)

Yes, that was merely my speculatios regarding Ditko's decision to leave Spiderman. HOWEVER, it's a speculation based on real differences in content. Ditko's later heroes make no bones about killing a villian or allowing them to die. Spiderman would either try to save the villain or stop other heroes from killing the villain (the extreme example is the MAXIMUM CARNAGE storyline, where Carnage and friends go on a mindless killing spree. When other heroes try to kill them, Spiderman intervenes, which usually allows the villains to escape and kill again.) And when Spiderman is confronted with the choice himself, it's usually involves a mental breakdown on his part. It's almost as if those later stories are a reaction/response to Ditko's later stories. (And don't forget that Rorshach of WATCHMEN was a parody of Ditko's murdering vigilante.)



Post 61

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 12:29pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah, yes, they exist beyond Judeo-Christian ethics, but American heroes/superheroes are specifically, for the most part, secular versions of the Judeo/Christian redeemer archetype (see the book MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SUPERHERO.) I wasn't implying mysticism as much as altruism. In one Superman storyline, for example, Superman reflects on his motives, and concludes that he does what he does simply "because it is right." Superman works on a Kantian based sense of duty and self-sacrifice. (Due to the various writers over the years, the motives have varied, and there was even a very Objectivist-like story, "Must there be a Superman?", where the Man of Steel withdraws his support in order to let mankind grow. But the companies still have to keep him in service to mankind; even that story has Superman withdrawing for the sake of others. When Superman or Spiderman DO decide to quit for their own sake, moral responsibility to others inevitably brings them back. In a socialist society, there's no money in telling stories of hero's who DON'T sacrifice themselves for the sake of the greater good!

Sarah: "As to the analogy, I'm aware of the context, but I don't see any reason why the lack of a personal connection negates the possibility of Batman-Two-face type "mercy."

Like you said, that's a personal choice. But if you can't see any reason, does that mean that someone else SHOULDN'T see the reason why a lack or personal connection would include a sense of mercy towards a dictator? Sarah, what reason, what rational argument would you offer a citizen of a country to extend understanding and mercy to a dictator who would vow to see them destroyed?
Can you offer a reason NOT based on altruism or mystical ethics, Judeo/Christian or otherwise? Why is in a person's best rational self-interest to show "mercy" towards such a person?

(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 10/29, 12:36pm)




Post 62

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 12:38pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,
But if you can't see any reason, does that mean that someone else SHOULDN see the reason why a lack or personal connection would include a sense of mercy towards a dictator?
Not at all, just like someone else shouldn't say that initiation of force means someone's gettin' an ass kickin', regardless of the person initiated against. It's their choice.
Can you offer a reason NOT based on altruism or mystical ethics, Judeo/Christian or otherwise? Why is in a person's best rational self-interest to show "mercy" towards such a person?
As I said earlier, "I see it as a path toward a world in which peace and liberty are not mutually exclusive." I'm not aware of any altruistic or mystic aspects of this view.

Sarah



Post 63

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 12:53pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah: "...someone else shouldn't say that initiation of force means someone's gettin' an ass kickin', regardless of the person initiated against."

SURVIVAL dictates the retalitation to the initiation of force. If force is initiated, it usually means life or death (or some degree in between that, if left to continue, would eventually lead to death). A person can CHOOSE not to retaliate, but if they die as a result, well, they've chosen suicide. Doesn't mean one has to kill at every insult hurled his way, but it does mean to be on guard!

" I'm not aware of any altruistic or mystic aspects of this view."

How about a little idea called "Turning the other cheek"? We only had TWO threads dedicated to it...





Post 64

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 1:00pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,  my own speculation is that Ditko left Marvel due to promises that were made to him and not kept.

And Rorshach wan't "a parody of Ditko's murdering vigilante."  He was Alan Moore's take-off on Ditko's Question. The Question was a "moral avenger" but never a murderer. Though Moore greatly respected Ditko as a comics creator he considered Objectivism "laughable." Hence, Rorshach.

Nit-picking Bob :-)




Post 65

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 1:08pmSanction this postReply
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That may be, Bob, but do you think that Ditko would have been able to do some of his harder edged stories at Marvel? (I remember one story of his, with three different endings, that involved just who murdered a delinquint. We see police and social workers trying to save the teens, since "society" was to blame, but in two of the endings, it was the cop and the social worker who did the deed.

And yes, Rorschach was explicity based on the Question, and the Question may have not killed anyone...which doesn't explain Moore's depiction of Rorschach as a psychotic who uses excessive force...Moore was obviously attacking what he saw as a fascist tendency in Ditko/Objectivism (indeed, the whole WATCHMAN series was summed up by the line "Who Watches the Watchmen?".) In Marvel and DC's continuity, it is a Judeo/Christian ethic that watches.

Joe

-Watching the watchers of the Watchmen...


(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 10/29, 1:10pm)




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Post 66

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 1:09pmSanction this postReply
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Look guys, I know you're devoted fans and all. And yes, I like cartoons too. But what the fuck have Spiderman & Batman got to do with the Iranians getting an Atomic-Bomb???

On second thoughts I probably don't want to know.




Post 67

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 1:11pmSanction this postReply
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Robert, if you read the exchange, it was Sarah's introduction of Batman's mercy towards criminals that ignited the spinoff.

And they have everything to do with the issue, in the sense that they are a manifestation of philosophical ideas as morality plays into mainstream media and entertaiment.


(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 10/29, 1:12pm)




Post 68

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 1:45pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,

I seem to recall folks around here getting put off by excessive force shown in Sin City. And note that I put Batman's "mercy" toward criminals in scare quotes. I don't consider his methods of justice to be lenient, even without killing.

The exact point I'm trying to make here is that survival doesn't necessarily dictate retaliation with equal and opposite force. This isn't a question of whether or not to retaliate, but how to retaliate.

Never have I advocated cheek turning and I don't see how you get that out of my comment. Please, please!, don't make this a third thread on the topic.

Sarah



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Post 69

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 2:39pmSanction this postReply
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Post #15 was

Carthaginian peace is what it's called, Marty.

In the name of the elderly holocaust survivors living in Israel, I hope that country launches a devastating preemptive attack on Iran ruining its infrastructure and rendering it incapable

Foreign  policy: Vengeance

It has the virtue of brevity, I'll give ya that. But I hope you wont take it amiss if those you hurt directly and indirectly adopt the same policy. One day the elderly survivors of your devastation will have their pay-back too if they don't get it sooner rather than latter.

Any other bright ideas?
-------------------------------

I expressed the hope (Post #14) that Israel launches a preemptive strike to protect the survivors of one Hitler from the threat of holocaust by an Iranian Hitler. It is not 'Vengeance.' It is 'Defense.' Failure to do so would be insanity.

Those we hurt (Japan and Germany) with two atom bombs, fire bombings, saturation bombings, block busters, etc. did not give us pay-back. They surrendered. On the other hand, the jihadist muslims who would wage eternal war against us do present an argument for a 'Carthaginian' solution.     




Post 70

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 2:46pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah: "As I said earlier, "I see it as a path toward a world in which peace and liberty are not mutually exclusive." I'm not aware of any altruistic or mystic aspects of this view."

I wrote: "How about a little idea called "Turning the other cheek"? We only had TWO threads dedicated to it..."

Sarah: "Never have I advocated cheek turning and I don't see how you get that out of my comment."

I did not say you advocated cheek turning ( I DID ask how you would justify leniency or understanding towards a dictator to the people threatened.) I was making you aware or an altruistic/mystic aspect of that view. But, since Peace and liberty that includes negotiating with terrorists and dictators IS turning the other cheek, in my view, that's how one could see getting that out of your comment.

The point is not to hijack the thread; rather, I believe it's relevant, even if a bit on a tangent. You've stated that you're not against retaliation, but that you do support rehabilitation as an alternative. The question still remains: what argument, without falling back on altruism or mystical ethics, would one convince a threatened person not to retaliate with equal or greater force towards a threat like the one issued by the leader of Iran? Why is the dictator's "education" important to the threatened? How does one "turn" a dictator? For example, can you give me one "former dictator" who's ever seen the error of his ways and turned peacemaker? (The only one I can think of, and doubt whether it's really true, is Khadafi, and if it is true, it was only by the show of retaliation on the behalf of the U.S.).

(And speaking of making "third threads", please stop insinuating that by retaliating, innocents will die. You already made that accusation based on Linz's statement, when he clearly stated that it's the leader and the regime that need to be destroyed, not innocent civilians. You speak of the Jedi and the Dark Side; as someone who knows the argument well, it's pointless to invoke it here. Jedi code is based on eastern religion, and you know how that is going to play out on an Objectivist forum!).



Post 71

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 3:15pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,

Not negotiating with, but not killing either. My argument for giving a damn: responding to destructive force with destructive force is, at best, a temporary solution for creating peace.

No, I'm not aware of any tyrants who've "turned," but given such a situation I can imagine at least two possibilities:

1) As soon as he does anything good he's seen as the greatest hypocrite of all time. To borrow part of Jeff's comment, "Even were the U.S. leaders truly evil men who have done bad, should we defer from encouraging them to do good..." Calling a turned tyrant a hypocrite certainly isn't encouraging him to do good. So, would you encourage a tyrant to turn and do good as compensation for the bad or would you just have him killed?

2) A tyrant turned has the effect of instilling in at least some minds, "Well, if he can [insert any positive thing you want], then I sure as hell can." I'd like to think this would be the outcome, but maybe that's just the hope talking.

I understood Linz to be calling for war, or at least responding in kind to the "declaration of war." Innocents die in war. If he was talking about the deposition of the leader without war, perhaps even capturing him alive, then hell yeah I'm for it. Getting a bad man out of power with minimum bloodshed is what I'd be after. War does not achieve that goal.

As for the Jedi comment, I knew how bringing any of this up would play out on this forum, why not go for broke?

Sarah



Post 72

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 3:37pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah: "1) As soon as he does anything good he's seen as the greatest hypocrite of all time. To borrow part of Jeff's comment, "Even were the U.S. leaders truly evil men who have done bad, should we defer from encouraging them to do good..." Calling a turned tyrant a hypocrite certainly isn't encouraging him to do good. So, would you encourage a tyrant to turn and do good as compensation for the bad or would you just have him killed?"

Ok, this is an interesting argument, one I've never heard before, at least in the case of tyrants. However, there is a reason that a turned tyrant is seen as a hypocrite. It's a matter of context and degree: A person can make mistakes, or commit moral errors. Depending on the extent of the crime or mistake, the person may have to be punished and pay retribution, but there's a possibility of trusting that person again. A reformed thief who is truly sorry would submit to retribution and punishment in order not to be seen as a hypocrite. Trust has to be earned again. There is no blank check.

Now, in the case of a Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, etc.: Could there be any turning back? Could there have been a point where Hitler could say "I'm sorry" to his victims? What kind of retribution could be made? What punishment could fit the crime? I can't think of any. And Hitler had PLENTY of chances, due to the pre-war attempts at appeasement. He knew what he was doing. He truly would have been a hypocrite if after six million murders suddenly did an about face.

Look at Hussein. We did not kill him. We captured him and he is now facing trial. He had an oppurtunity after the first Gulf War to be "educated" and become a model of peace. Now, in custody, he claims that he is the rightful leader of Iraq and that the U.S. is the criminal. REASONABLE MAN? No. Do YOU want to be responsible for "educating" Saddam and teaching him to be a leader of peace? Do you think it possible in his case? Bin Laden's case?

And, if you WERE succesful, how does a tyrant do a 180 without coming off as a hypocrite? How would Hitler say to the world, "sorry, my bad"? Bill Cosby had a saying about grandparents spoiling grandchildren: "They're old people trying to get into heaven now." Even if Hitler or Hussein could be changed, sincerely, they'd have to kill themselves to live with their guilt. No one could look at themselves in the mirror after such a revelation of their moral crimes. Not at that degree.

Darth Vader is a character in a movie based on wishful thinking. In the original trilogy, Vader was a bad guy because they said he was bad. In the prequels, we see why he was a bad guy (especially after murdering the children; how Burger King could have him appear in a commercial as a customer is beyond me.) The prequels nullified the ending of RETURN OF THE JEDI. Luke's compassion for Vader ( like Batman's rel Two-Face) is based on their relationship, turns the other cheek towards his father (he hadn't seen the prequels, I take it). For the audience to do so is true hypocriticism. Nothing but Deathbed conversion.
(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 10/29, 4:06pm)




Post 73

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 3:40pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah: 2) "A tyrant turned has the effect of instilling in at least some minds, "Well, if he can [insert any positive thing you want], then I sure as hell can." I'd like to think this would be the outcome, but maybe that's just the hope talking."

Ah, very Oprah-like.

Sure, someone can do wrong, and be inspired by a reformed tyrant. But do they see what kind of retribution and punishment that tyrant must face? And are they willing to follow in that tyrant's footsteps towards penance? If not, all they will see is another tyrant getting away with murder.

These are still reasons arguing on behalf of the transgressor, not arguments giving the threatened a SELFISH reason to not kill the transgressor. (The "turning to the dark side" is such an argument, but it presses the individual to show restraint out of fear of punishment, not act out of hope of reward.)
(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 10/29, 3:51pm)




Post 74

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 4:20pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,

Yes, Hitler knew what he was doing, but it would only be hypocritical if he said, "I shouldn't do this," and then did it. Saying, after the fact, "I shouldn't have done that," doesn't give him a fresh start, but it's not hypocritical. Saying there can be no turning back is exactly why Anakin became Vadar. As for the punishment, I honestly don't know. I'll have to think about it.

I disagree that these are arguments on behalf of the transgressor. If it improves my world, and I'm doing it for that reason, why isn't it selfish? If, say, building a bridge were to ultimately improve the environment, would you call that a selfless act?

Sarah





Post 75

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 4:32pmSanction this postReply
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I think House is far more on the right of this than the trigerhappys.

In the name of the elderly holocaust survivors living in Israel, I hope that country launches a devastating preemptive attack on Iran
It is not 'Vengeance.' It is 'Defense.'

Well that's more like it then. It needs to be understood that invoking the name of the historically wronged cannot lend justification to violence.

Those we hurt (Japan and Germany) with two atom bombs, fire bombings, saturation bombings, block busters, etc. did not give us pay-back.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the diplomatic ties and fraternity we share with Japan and Germany were not engendered by blowing the bejesus out of their homelands. Talks and gestures of peace squared those relationships over time following WWII. The failed peace plan of Carthaginian devastation of the previous war didn't end all wars, it lead directly to the next war.

I'm going to go out on another limb of the Occam's bathroom accessory variety. Could it be that those spoiling for prompt and lethal devastation on Iran today have read too many comic books? Our generation is removed from the grief and horrors of total war and our consciousness of war is imprinted with fictions of cinema. You guys have no empathy for the ongoing pain, hardship, and injuries suffered in wars and need a girl to remind you. People who welcome all hell breaking loose have yet to meet hell. Am I being unfair?




Post 76

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 4:59pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah, you still haven't said how turning a dictator would improve his victim's life, which all depends on quality of the penance and the retribution.



Post 77

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 5:08pmSanction this postReply
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Rick: "Could it be that those spoiling for prompt and lethal devastation on Iran today have read too many comic books? "

Um, no...wars and retaliation propaganda precede comic books. And I'd argue that comics offer a mixed message regarding this, it's ok to retaliate, but we have to try to make peace with our enemy and rehabilitate them.

"You guys have no empathy for the ongoing pain, hardship, and injuries suffered in wars and need a girl to remind you. People who welcome all hell breaking loose have yet to meet hell. Am I being unfair?"

Well, I've been waiting for SOMEONE to bring up empathy as an argument, at least. Empathy is a powerful motivating factor in one's response (i.e., Batman's attempts to rehab a friend). I don't see what Sarah's sex has to do with the argument, we're arguing principles, not gender roles (unless you're claiming that women are inherently more empathetic). The question is, do people like Hitler and Bin Laden and Hussein merit empathy? The farther the personal relation from the dictator, the less empathy you're going to find (I am not empathising with the leader of Iran, does that mean I'm not in touch with my feminine side?)

And I think you're being unfair, or at least irrelevant, by bring in the personal experiences of the so called "trigger-happy" camp, claiming that all hell breaking loose is welcomed. Just the opposite, "all hell breaking loose" is PRECISELY what is hoped will be prevented by terrorists.





Post 78

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 5:56pmSanction this postReply
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Mr Joe,-

What I'm risking to suggest is that comic book wars are being mistaken for reality. All Quiet On The Western Front was a pretty good book though and I'd like you to ask yourself if you're down with the pathos of that story even as you ask for more war. Talking about Batman and Star Wars in a serious thread like this isn't helping me doubt that this has some of the character of a game of paintball to your mind.

  I don't see what Sarah's sex has to do with the argument, we're arguing principles, not gender roles (unless you're claiming that women are inherently more empathetic).

I am, just in passing, saying that women are more empathetic. It's not part of my argument so much as I'm suggesting you're not counting the full costs of what you'd have unleashed upon the world.

 The question is, do people like Hitler and Bin Laden and Hussein merit empathy?

No Joe, the question is do the ruined and maimed lives of men and woman, young and old, merit empathy? The point I risk making, with all due respect, is that you and your lot fail to assign sufficient gravity to the course of action proposed. You make it so easily and seem to revel in it like you're playing Rambo with gladness in your heart.

 And I think you're being unfair, or at least irrelevant, by bring in the personal experiences of the so called "trigger-happy" camp, claiming that all hell breaking loose is welcomed.

I hope so, I doubt it, but I hope I am being unfair. Maybe you wouldn't object to saying a few words about what disease, starvation, poverty, sorrow, economic and social recoil you're willing to accept to give your plans effect. Surprise me by meeting my challenge with your male empathy.




Post 79

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - 6:47pmSanction this postReply
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Rick: "Talking about Batman and Star Wars in a serious thread like this isn't helping me doubt that this has some of the character of a game of paintball to your mind.:

Uh, Rick, it was the "empathetic female" who brought comics into this discussion. I'm just playing out her own theory.

Me: " The question is, do people like Hitler and Bin Laden and Hussein merit empathy?"

Rick:"No Joe, the question is do the ruined and maimed lives of men and woman, young and old, merit empathy?

You answer my question and I'll answer yours.

Rick: "The point I risk making, with all due respect, is that you and your lot fail to assign sufficient gravity to the course of action proposed. You make it so easily and seem to revel in it like you're playing Rambo with gladness in your heart."

First of all, please don't lump me in with a "lot." (What is my lot? ).
I do NOT "fail" to assign "sufficient gravity." I did not specify any one specific military strategy. I said if a murderous regime explicitly said that he wants to see a country destroyed and has or is trying to obtain the means to do so, then that regime should be taken out. I did not say it was easy, I know the risks involved of killing innocent people. (This has been beat to death a thousand times on every objectivist forum). I am NOT advocating Rambo style tactics, THAT is a cartoon. Gladness? I'd rather be playing music. I advocate doing what has to be done to stop the initiation of force, plain and simple.
(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 10/29, 6:56pm)




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