Nonviolence

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Matt Smith
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November 6th, 2006 at 01:54pm
Nonviolence (or non-violence) is a moral philosophy that rejects the use of violence in efforts to attain social or political change.

Nonviolence has existed in some form for over 2,000 years. In the Sermon on the Mount, in the New Testament (Matthew- I think its chapter 5) Jesus urged his followers to love their enemies and not bring them to any harm. He even taught that simply thinking bad thoughts about them was as bad as commiting an act of violence.

Gandhi was another advocate of Nonviolence ("An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind"Wink. During the second world war he advised civillans to allow themselves to be slaughtered, rather than use violence towards their captors. This of course, requires a huge amount of courage and faith, which not everybody posesses.

In common terms, Nonviolence is the rejection of all violence. I agree with this philosophy because I am a brainwashed Liberal. Haha, kidding.
Seriously, I am a follower of the Nonviolence philosophy because I believe violence in any way, shape or form is un-necessary. Just because other people do it, doesn't make it right for me and fighting violence with violence breeds even more death and destruction.

And now, the question. What are your beliefs, thoughs and opinions on the Nonviolence philosophy?
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November 6th, 2006 at 02:12pm
Bloodraine:
What are your beliefs, thoughs and opinions on the Nonviolence philosophy?
´
...Makes the word better? tehe
Kurtni
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November 6th, 2006 at 06:51pm
Idealistically, I think its an amazing concept, a world where violence isn't needed and everything is peaceful, but sadly that world doesnt exist.

I think on an individual basis, non violence is a great moral. However, with the way society is, violence is at times unavoidable. Think of world war two, because of the actions of others, much of the world had to become involved in violent measuers to liberate people. In that instance, I support the actions taken, it was needed. Allowing yourself to be slaughtered accomplished absolutely nothing, aside from making it that much easier for an oppresive ruler to take over.
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November 7th, 2006 at 11:30am
To be perfectly honest, I don't think it's even ideal. I think it's not the way a healthy society is formed. You have to balence everything that comes with a community of people. Violence is a part of human nature and is something which is difficult to live without.
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November 7th, 2006 at 11:59am
Anji:
To be perfectly honest, I don't think it's even ideal. I think it's not the way a healthy society is formed. You have to balence everything that comes with a community of people. Violence is a part of human nature and is something which is difficult to live without.

Personally?
I don't think violence is part of my nature. I can't hit people, can't hurt people, can't kill people. I doubt I have that capability. I don't want to be capable of that. So I guess you simply couldn't say it was part of my nature.
Would you say a 'healthy' society could be built upon bloodshed and violence?. I don't see that happening.
Dita.Von.Teese.:
Allowing yourself to be slaughtered accomplished absolutely nothing, aside from making it that much easier for an oppresive ruler to take over.

It might not accomplish anything, but what does trying to fight back achieve?. In fact, what does murder actually achieve, anyway?
Something in my conscience tells me that I'd rather be killed than kill myself. Maybe you'd call it weakness, but i'd rather lay down and be shot than die trying to hurt other people. I actually think the former takes more courage. But thats just a personal opinion, I know where you got yours and 99% of people follow that and I'm okay with it.
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November 7th, 2006 at 12:02pm
Bloodraine:
Anji:
To be perfectly honest, I don't think it's even ideal. I think it's not the way a healthy society is formed. You have to balence everything that comes with a community of people. Violence is a part of human nature and is something which is difficult to live without.

Personally?
I don't think violence is part of my nature. I can't hit people, can't hurt people, can't kill people. I doubt I have that capability. I don't want to be capable of that. So I guess you simply couldn't say it was part of my nature.
Would you say a 'healthy' society could be built upon bloodshed and violence?. I don't see that happening.
Dita.Von.Teese.:
Allowing yourself to be slaughtered accomplished absolutely nothing, aside from making it that much easier for an oppresive ruler to take over.

It might not accomplish anything, but what does trying to fight back achieve?. In fact, what does murder actually achieve, anyway?
Something in my conscience tells me that I'd rather be killed than kill myself. Maybe you'd call it weakness, but i'd rather lay down and be shot than die trying to hurt other people. I actually think the former takes more courage. But thats just a personal opinion, I know where you got yours and 99% of people follow that and I'm okay with it.
If you think about the basics, we kill to survive. We hunt animals, and there is no non-violent way to do that, so yes, violence is neccessary.
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November 7th, 2006 at 01:24pm
Let's take nature as our example. In any pack of wild animals, who have no concept of society comparable to ours and know only what is instinct. There will always be an alpha male and there will always be others trying for that position, via violence and intimidation.

If there was no violence or intimidation, there would be no competition and I believe that competiton is the basis of all evolution. Which is why I believe that the human race will never significantly evolve again but that's another can of worms.

Without the competition set in by the use of violence there would be no need for change or revolution. If there was no violence we would be happy, living within the borders of our own country seeing as we would have conquered no great empires and civilization would have stopped growing thousands of years ago.

"Maybe you'd call it weakness, but i'd rather lay down and be shot than die trying to hurt other people. I actually think the former takes more courage."

I find this interesting. I would not like to die trying hurt other people, and I avoid physical violence but if I was in a life or death situation I would happily go down swinging.

Interesting points about Ghandi, but as somebody with an active interest in philosophy it strikes that philosophers are rembered for what they say, not what they do. Don't take this as me accusing Ghandi of being a womanising, AK47 toting crack addict but it's a fair point.

The reason why More's utopia has never been realised is because it wouldn't last a minute in today's world. Nonviolence is a great idea but would require something truly exceptional to be executed well.
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November 7th, 2006 at 01:54pm
Violence may be in our nature, you say.
What would you define 'nature' as?. Primative, preimeval instincts, perhaps?, the way we lived thousands of years ago?. The way wild animals live?. In that case...
Plastic surgery is not in our nature.
Hair dye and cosmetics are not in our nature.
Heart transplants are not in our nature.
Vegetarainism is not in our nature.
According to many people, homosexuality is not in our nature.
Let me put you this question; what defines our nature?. I mean, we violate it often enough when it suits us. Is it so bad to go against our nature, as we so often do in modern society?.

On the point of civilisation.. well, that may all be very correct and relevant, but I don't believe we've invented a time machine yet. Past is past, we can't very well do anything about it. I'm rather sick of all the violence in the world right now.

Robbie:
"Maybe you'd call it weakness, but i'd rather lay down and be shot than die trying to hurt other people. I actually think the former takes more courage."

I find this interesting. I would not like to die trying hurt other people, and I avoid physical violence but if I was in a life or death situation I would happily go down swinging.

If you're in a life or death situation, I would say fear was the driving point behind many of your actions. Nobody wants to die, do they?. People try and preserve their lives out of fear of death. And when that comes to killing other people?. Well I say that killing is never okay. No matter what. I think it takes infinitely more courage to say "Okay, i'm going to die, I won't try fighting this" then get scared and start using violence to save your own skin.
Robbie
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November 7th, 2006 at 02:28pm
Another of my beliefs is that one man being able to collect enough food and resources not only to feed himself but to allow other people to develop technology, write great books and make history is the bedrock of civilization and society.

This is what seperates us from animals, and provides the foundation for everything you mentioned. Plastic surgery was actually intended for fighter pilots who had been disfigured beyond recognition while exiting flaming planes, coincidentally. I was not directly comparing us to pack animals, I was using the analogy of a pack to illustrate my point.

Nature is a strange idea. Here's my theory. There is human nature, also known as instinct. This is what most of us would do most of the time when logical thought and instruction escapes us.

Human nature is there from birth, but individual nature is instilled in us through enviroment, life events and possibly biological effects. It's not something I know much about but chemicals in your body can change your process of thought, perhaps we can inherit whatever changes our individual nature the same way we inherit height or hair colour.

My head's a bit patchy this evening so I'm not even going to try to structure my arguments properly, but I hope you get the idea. 'Nature' isn't one single thing. We do have a unifying nature but we have each broken parts of it in our own way.

I also think I've contradicted myself quite a bit. Rolling Eyes .
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November 7th, 2006 at 03:54pm
Dita.Von.Teese.:
Idealistically, I think its an amazing concept, a world where violence isn't needed and everything is peaceful, but sadly that world doesnt exist.

I think on an individual basis, non violence is a great moral. However, with the way society is, violence is at times unavoidable. Think of world war two, because of the actions of others, much of the world had to become involved in violent measuers to liberate people. In that instance, I support the actions taken, it was needed. Allowing yourself to be slaughtered accomplished absolutely nothing, aside from making it that much easier for an oppresive ruler to take over.
Ditto. Just the thing I would say. Very Happy
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November 7th, 2006 at 03:58pm
Dita.Von.Teese.:
Idealistically, I think its an amazing concept, a world where violence isn't needed and everything is peaceful, but sadly that world doesnt exist.

I think on an individual basis, non violence is a great moral. However, with the way society is, violence is at times unavoidable. Think of world war two, because of the actions of others, much of the world had to become involved in violent measuers to liberate people. In that instance, I support the actions taken, it was needed. Allowing yourself to be slaughtered accomplished absolutely nothing, aside from making it that much easier for an oppresive ruler to take over.
you took the words out of my mouth...and then corrected them and made them sound good and make sense and all that jazz

and yes, if you're a pushover in politics you die and your ideas are wasted because you're dead

it looks good on paper, but it is so amazingly impossible (in the U.S. it works very well in Canadia and that is why I have such respect for those people. It works in many parts of the world. For the U.S. hells no
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November 7th, 2006 at 05:53pm
Bloodraine:

It might not accomplish anything, but what does trying to fight back achieve?. In fact, what does murder actually achieve, anyway?
Something in my conscience tells me that I'd rather be killed than kill myself. Maybe you'd call it weakness, but i'd rather lay down and be shot than die trying to hurt other people. I actually think the former takes more courage. But thats just a personal opinion, I know where you got yours and 99% of people follow that and I'm okay with it.

Well, since I used world war 2 as my first example, I'll continue with it. Fighting back in that case achieved the liberation of an oppressed population, and the fall of a dictator. By not standing up for those people, and not fighting back, we would have allowed even more innocent people to be slaughtered and an evil leader to gain control. I don't think allowing that to happen takes any courage at all.

I am in no way saying violence is the perfect answer, I don't think it is. It's far from it. But, anyone who thinks society is perfect is wrong. Which means that all situations can not be handeled in a perfect manner. In the case of world war two, Nazi morals were one of the imperfections. Had they not existed, violent measuers wouldnt have been needed, but those views did exist. They used violence, and we had no other option, aside from allowing it to happen, and spead, and even more violence to happen. If you think that using violence was wrong there, how do you suggest that situation should have been handeled?
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November 7th, 2006 at 07:23pm
Robbie:
Let's take nature as our example. In any pack of wild animals, who have no concept of society comparable to ours and know only what is instinct. There will always be an alpha male and there will always be others trying for that position, via violence and intimidation.


This is off topic but I just have too. Not all packs of wild animals have alpha males. Hyenas have an alpha female running the show and other animal that lives in packs have both. Sorry, everyone. I felt the need to correct.



Anyway, back on topic. The best thing would of course be a non violent society, but that seems to me as a utopia. There are a lot of great concepts and ideas about what our society should look like and yet there are still so many problems and errors. Unfortunately it’s human to make mistakes. Humans do not have to use violence since we have the brain capacity that we do. We can make choices. But that is also the problem. To not use or not to use violence is a choice. I guess everyone makes a bad choice every now and then, and some makes them more frequently.

And for the argument about violence being followed by progress in some cases, well, it isn't good enough. You think that we wouldn’t have developed without such things as our wars. But humans are curious and creative by nature and there would always be things that make us come up with solutions (such as epidemics for example). Perhaps things would go slower but wouldn’t it be worth it?
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November 7th, 2006 at 07:45pm
What's in a name?:
Robbie:
Let's take nature as our example. In any pack of wild animals, who have no concept of society comparable to ours and know only what is instinct. There will always be an alpha male and there will always be others trying for that position, via violence and intimidation.


This is off topic but I just have too. Not all packs of wild animals have alpha males. Hyenas have an alpha female running the show and other animal that lives in packs have both. Sorry, everyone. I felt the need to correct.



Anyway, back on topic. The best thing would of course be a non violent society, but that seems to me as a utopia. There are a lot of great concepts and ideas about what our society should look like and yet there are still so many problems and errors. Unfortunately it’s human to make mistakes. Humans do not have to use violence since we have the brain capacity that we do. We can make choices. But that is also the problem. To not use or not to use violence is a choice. I guess everyone makes a bad choice every now and then, and some makes them more frequently.

And for the argument about violence being followed by progress in some cases, well, it isn't good enough. You think that we wouldn’t have developed without such things as our wars. But humans are curious and creative by nature and there would always be things that make us come up with solutions (such as epidemics for example). Perhaps things would go slower but wouldn’t it be worth it?

Well, WW2 seems to be the popular example, explain to me how if violent actions hadn't been taken, we would have made progress. The only thing that would have progressed with the Nazi oppression, and thats progress in the opposite direction.
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November 8th, 2006 at 05:30pm
Dita.Von.Teese.:
Bloodraine:

It might not accomplish anything, but what does trying to fight back achieve?. In fact, what does murder actually achieve, anyway?
Something in my conscience tells me that I'd rather be killed than kill myself. Maybe you'd call it weakness, but i'd rather lay down and be shot than die trying to hurt other people. I actually think the former takes more courage. But thats just a personal opinion, I know where you got yours and 99% of people follow that and I'm okay with it.

Well, since I used world war 2 as my first example, I'll continue with it. Fighting back in that case achieved the liberation of an oppressed population, and the fall of a dictator. By not standing up for those people, and not fighting back, we would have allowed even more innocent people to be slaughtered and an evil leader to gain control. I don't think allowing that to happen takes any courage at all.

I am in no way saying violence is the perfect answer, I don't think it is. It's far from it. But, anyone who thinks society is perfect is wrong. Which means that all situations can not be handeled in a perfect manner. In the case of world war two, Nazi morals were one of the imperfections. Had they not existed, violent measuers wouldnt have been needed, but those views did exist. They used violence, and we had no other option, aside from allowing it to happen, and spead, and even more violence to happen. If you think that using violence was wrong there, how do you suggest that situation should have been handeled?

If I was alive in Nazi germany, how would I have handled it?
I would have done this:
"I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. If these gentlemen (Hitler, Mussolini) choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them."- Ghandi

Nowhere does it say do nothing. Vacate your homes and help other people to do that, but do not use violence in doing this. What can anyone do in the face of such reckless hate?. Stand and fight, cause more death, more pain, more evil through violence?. Or die for something you believe in, and die refusing to owe allegiance to your enemies. That, to me, takes an enormous amount of courage.

Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. Courage is someone who believes in something, and sees it through no matter what. Its where you're beaten before you begin but you begin anyway, and never back down.

Because believe me, I know i'm beaten and I haven't even begun with this very debate. I know 99% of people will think nonviolence is prissy liberal bullshit and weakness, cowardice and pathetic in the extreme. I don't think that. Nonviolence, to me, is about restraint, respect and determination. I know not everyone is built for believing in Nonviolence, and thats okay. Even Ghandi said that not everyone has the faith, courage for that. But if even one more human decides to lay down their rifle and refuse to cause any more suffering through violence, then something huge has been achieved.
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November 9th, 2006 at 09:33am
Dita.Von.Teese.:
What's in a name?:
Robbie:
Let's take nature as our example. In any pack of wild animals, who have no concept of society comparable to ours and know only what is instinct. There will always be an alpha male and there will always be others trying for that position, via violence and intimidation.


This is off topic but I just have too. Not all packs of wild animals have alpha males. Hyenas have an alpha female running the show and other animal that lives in packs have both. Sorry, everyone. I felt the need to correct.



Anyway, back on topic. The best thing would of course be a non violent society, but that seems to me as a utopia. There are a lot of great concepts and ideas about what our society should look like and yet there are still so many problems and errors. Unfortunately it’s human to make mistakes. Humans do not have to use violence since we have the brain capacity that we do. We can make choices. But that is also the problem. To not use or not to use violence is a choice. I guess everyone makes a bad choice every now and then, and some makes them more frequently.

And for the argument about violence being followed by progress in some cases, well, it isn't good enough. You think that we wouldn’t have developed without such things as our wars. But humans are curious and creative by nature and there would always be things that make us come up with solutions (such as epidemics for example). Perhaps things would go slower but wouldn’t it be worth it?

Well, WW2 seems to be the popular example, explain to me how if violent actions hadn't been taken, we would have made progress. The only thing that would have progressed with the Nazi oppression, and thats progress in the opposite direction.

You got me wrong. Yes, in that case I would have to agree with you. But what I meant was to have no wars at all. I meant that progress still would be made even if no wars ever were fought.
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November 10th, 2006 at 01:14pm
I have the need to point out that Using Nazi Oppression as an example for use of violence is an extreme and should be regarded as one.

But I also have to point out that in fact about a year prior to WW2 kicking off. England, France and the rest of the world were given a chance to stop the war happening and they could have resolved the issue using very little force. Hitlers first attack was on the rhine land when he had very little power and no resources or army. If we had taken notice then.

a world war and genocide would have been little more than a minor dispute. so there is always a less violent way.

I have more to say on the gandhi issue but my keyboard is being a bitch.
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November 11th, 2006 at 09:23am
NeoSteph:
I have the need to point out that Using Nazi Oppression as an example for use of violence is an extreme and should be regarded as one.

But I also have to point out that in fact about a year prior to WW2 kicking off. England, France and the rest of the world were given a chance to stop the war happening and they could have resolved the issue using very little force. Hitlers first attack was on the rhine land when he had very little power and no resources or army. If we had taken notice then.

a world war and genocide would have been little more than a minor dispute. so there is always a less violent way.

I have more to say on the gandhi issue but my keyboard is being a bitch.

It is an extreme example, and I think violence should only be used in extreme issues such as that, when other options don't exist.
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November 13th, 2006 at 12:12pm
violence will never be a thing of the past because some one will always start fights and bar bralls, and violence does solve some things, but its a last resort.
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