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Passions in Poetry

Judgment Day

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Huan Yi
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Waukegan


25 posted 11-08-2004 12:18 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

If my experience with the Holocaust was merely the “World At
War” series instead of first hand accounts as well, I still would
have no problem killing Hitler.  Hitler scorned the peaceful.
His hatred, his willingness to exterminate millions of
innocent men women and children who had done no harm
to him or Germans was conscious and deliberate.  He was
without remorse.  And I would kill him.

John
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26 posted 11-08-2004 12:53 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Would you kill him without remorse?
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
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27 posted 11-08-2004 01:10 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Poet deVine,

“The man who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself"

Friedrich Nietzsche

The remorse would be for myself not him.
Even if you avoid "too long", yet you are
changed.

He had millions like you killed all over
Europe.  They did not stop him; he felt
no need to.

John

P.S. Read the poem:  “After Experience Taught Me...”  by W. D. Snodgrass
http://alienoreo.homestead.com/experience.html


[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (11-08-2004 01:54 AM).]

Cloud 9
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28 posted 11-08-2004 12:46 PM       View Profile for Cloud 9   Email Cloud 9   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cloud 9

I could think of a few people!!
(ex-husband)
LOL Just kidding. Have a great day everyone.
Ron
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29 posted 11-08-2004 01:14 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

It seems to me there are multiple issues, based not on the question "Would you kill Hitler?" but on the question "Why would you kill Hitler?"

To stop him from hurting others? Or to pay him back for hurting others?

The first answer leads to issues of qualifications and rights. Does any one person have the right to unilaterally make those kinds of decisions? If so, who is qualified? Lee Harvey Oswald may well have been operating under the same premise. Why should we accept your judgment as superior to his?

The second answer, I think, leads to much simpler issues. Vengeance is no less self-serving than world domination. Killing someone because it makes you feel better is the same as killing someone to feel good. Both are sociopathic.
Stephanos
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30 posted 11-08-2004 04:34 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Perhaps you're right there Ron,


But killing someone to stop them from killing others, out of a moral conviction, is morally superior than doing it just to save your own skin when / if it happens to you.  You have a sturdy case against moral vengeance, but not one iota against moral action.


Stephen.
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31 posted 11-08-2004 05:35 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

You have to be one million percent sure that 'someone' is going to commit that murder before you can kill him first. How can you ever be sure that at the last moment he decides NOT to commit the crime?
Stephanos
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32 posted 11-08-2004 05:39 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I think a serial killer in the middle of a rampage would be one example.  John's example of Hitler, after the concentration camps were in swing, is another.  There is such a thing as catching a fish midstream.  
Huan Yi
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33 posted 11-08-2004 08:34 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Poet deVine

“You have to be one million percent sure that 'someone' is going to commit that murder before you can kill him first. How can you ever be sure that at the last moment he decides NOT to commit the crime?”

This raises another question:  what kind and how valuable
is a love to a loved one that would allow the overwhelming
likelihood, (but not absolute certainty), of his or her murder
rather than risk the killing of an overwhelmingly
likely, but not absolutely certain, assailant  intent on
that murder?

John
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34 posted 11-08-2004 08:58 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Killing to try and stop killing, is killing.  It doesn't stop the next man; it doesn't stop him from most likely having a gun.  The same situation shall happen over and over again.  Until someone has a better mind; or is simply not able to get a gun ever, and instead finds help and ability to grow healthy again.
Ron
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35 posted 11-08-2004 09:05 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But killing someone to stop them from killing others, out of a moral conviction, is morally superior than doing it just to save your own skin when / if it happens to you.

I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with that, Stephen. Not as long as there are people flying airplanes into crowded buildings because of their moral convictions.

Or does the superiority only arise when they're your convictions?

quote:
This raises another question: what kind and how valuable is a love to a loved one that would allow the overwhelming likelihood, (but not absolute certainty), of his or her murder rather than risk the killing of an overwhelmingly likely, but not absolutely certain, assailant  intent on that murder?

I'll tell you want, John. I'll answer that question as long as you agree to abide by my determination. Might be someone has to fire the first round before I'll call them a legitimate threat. Or, alternatively, I might decide you are already enough of a threat to warrant action. You won't really know, though, until I answer. You game?

Thought so. Does it surprise you terribly that I'm not willing to leave the determination up to you, either?  

Each of us, I think, has to be prepared to make that call for ourselves. Often within the time between two heartbeats.
Huan Yi
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36 posted 11-08-2004 09:42 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

"I'll tell you want, John. I'll answer that question as long as you agree to abide by my determination. Might be someone has to fire the first round before I'll call them a legitimate threat. Or, alternatively, I might decide you are already enough of a threat to warrant action. You won't really know, though, until I answer. You game?"


Yes.


John


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37 posted 11-08-2004 10:01 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Why ask a question only to question the answer? You asked, I answered. Explaining and expounding won't change the answer. Give it up John!!

Stephanos
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38 posted 11-08-2004 10:28 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Stephen:
quote:
But killing someone to stop them from killing others, out of a moral conviction, is morally superior than doing it just to save your own skin when / if it happens to you.

Ron:
quote:
I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with that, Stephen. Not as long as there are people flying airplanes into crowded buildings because of their moral convictions.
Or does the superiority only arise when they're your convictions?


But since when was flying an airplane into a crowded building an example of stopping someone from killing others?!  You always throw up an extreme particular bad example, to deny the general point that there is at least the possibility of good, or at least better examples.  It's a classic false analogy.  Why not stick to John's own example of using arms to stop Hitler?  Probably because the reality of it doesn't easily lend support to your philosophical point?


I think you either need to go ahead and say it was wrong to use arms against Nazi Germany, period,

or quit throwing up Terrorist acts as straw men to make your argument.


Stephen.  
Stephanos
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39 posted 11-08-2004 10:31 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Why ask a question only to question the answer?



Why, I thought that's what philosophy was all about.  


Stephen.
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40 posted 11-08-2004 11:17 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Actually Stephen, perhaps you didn't understand Ron's comment about the planes? The fanatical fundamental Muslim terrorists that hit the towers did believe, heart and soul, that killing Americans would eventually stop Americans from killing Muslims.
That doesn't mean they were right, any more than it means we are right about our expectations, or that either side is more justified.
I find it ridiculous that everyone seems to believe God is on their side. I've never met anyone yet who had a more direct line to God than myself. And I'm not really a firm believer in the entity you call God.
Ron
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41 posted 11-08-2004 11:46 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But since when was flying an airplane into a crowded building an example of stopping someone from killing others?!

They certainly thought it was, Stephen. In their minds, there was a direct correlation between what Israel does and the United States. The terrorists thought they could make a difference and felt morally obligated to do what ever it took to stop the deaths of Muslims. Or did you think they all just woke up one morning and decided to do something evil?

If you prefer to restrict morality to just assassinations, that's fine, too. Why did Booth kill Lincoln, Oswald kill Kennedy, or Ray kill King? Do you think for even a moment that any of them believed they were morally wrong?

As to Hitler, we'll never know for sure in this life, but I have to suspect even he felt he was morally justified in everything he did. For the greater good and all that crap. No, I certainly don't think we had any moral right or duty to kill Hitler because he was a monster. We did have a right to help protect others from his soldiers, however.

Sorry, Stephen, but I don't award people extra bennies for their moral outrage. I just get real worried about what they'll do next.
Stephanos
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42 posted 11-09-2004 12:09 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
The fanatical fundamental Muslim terrorists that hit the towers did believe, heart and soul, that killing Americans would eventually stop Americans from killing Muslims.



Would you care to contrast the Terrorist attacks with military action to stop Hitler who's professed goal was to take over the world, and was killing Jews by the thousands in places like Auschwitz?


It's too easy to deny distinctions.  And recognizing them is a far cry from saying "God is always on our side".


Do you think Hitler should not have been stopped?  No one wants to answer that question.    Everyone wants to keep on asserting that ALL military action whatsoever is always equatable with the most barbarous examples of agression.


Before you pigeonhole me, just know that I don't think we should have gone to Iraq.  I'm not a warmonger.  And I agree with Jesus when he said "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword".  


But why should I believe that war is ALWAYS unjust?  Even if I feel that I could never kill a man with arms ... even if I have a personal conviction of the futility of war to ultimately solve the problems?  I think God created national authorities, Kings, Presidents, Generals, etc ... and gave them the power of the sword for a reason.  They can wield it justly or unjustly.  That's my only point.


quote:
I've never met anyone yet who had a more direct line to God than myself. And I'm not really a firm believer in the entity you call God.



Don't really know what to make of this.

What then is the entity that YOU call God?


How can you have a direct line to God, if you don't believe in him?  


Stephen
Stephanos
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43 posted 11-09-2004 12:20 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
As to Hitler, we'll never know for sure in this life, but I have to suspect even he felt he was morally justified in everything he did. For the greater good and all that crap. No, I certainly don't think we had any moral right or duty to kill Hitler because he was a monster. We did have a right to help protect others from his soldiers, however.


And just how might have that been done without killing someone?  Why do you draw such a sudden distinction between Hitler and his soldiers?  Because I was referring to Hitler, of course, and your response is a smokescreen.  You're still avoiding the question.  Protecting someone from his soldiers usually means to kill his soldiers, or at least some of them.  


quote:
Sorry, Stephen, but I don't award people extra bennies for their moral outrage. I just get real worried about what they'll do next.



There's much gone wrong in the world because of an anemic LACK of moral outrage as well.  

And you don't have to worry about me Ron.  I tend to pray, not to take up arms.


Stephen.

Huan Yi
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44 posted 11-09-2004 12:22 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

“We did have a right to help protect others from his soldiers, however.”

How and why was there a right?  These others were an
ocean away and unrelated.  The soldiers were equally far and posed
no imminent threat.  What right justified actions as
might and did cause deaths among them?

Protect the king, kill the pawns?

John

Ron
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45 posted 11-09-2004 10:31 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And just how might have that been done without killing someone? Why do you draw such a sudden distinction between Hitler and his soldiers?

I think you misunderstand my intent, Stephen. I'm not arguing the sanctity of life, but the futility of playing god. Killing to prevent great harm is a huge step, but I recognize it is sometimes a necessary step. Killing as pay back for great harm is neither necessary nor wise. The great difference between the two seems to be in knowing when you're done.

Killing Hitler to stop his soldiers is "potentially" justifiable. Killing Hitler because he was a monster isn't.

quote:
How and why was there a right? These others were an ocean away and unrelated.

I have one sister, John, living eight miles from my house, and another living 2,500 miles from my house. I have a friend across the street I see every day and another in California I haven't seen in seven years. There are charities I support who help people I've never met and never will meet.

What was your question again?  
hush
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46 posted 11-09-2004 01:37 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I'm so confused. I thought this was a thread about telling people to kill themselves.

And, no, I would never tell somebody to do that, because I had somebody say that to me once, and I don't think there's anything more horrible to hear than "You're worthless and you make my life miserable, so why don't you just kill yourself?"

I take it back. I just might say the very same to the person who said that to me, if I ever ran into that person again. And Brad's got a point... we don't always do what's moral. We could at least admit to being imperfect, instead of justifying it.

Telling a person to commit suicide is never a right thing to do. Neither is killing someone, and I don't care if it's murder, war, or self-defense- it's never right. Justifiable at times, but never right. And I don't think I ever would, but let's see- a few years down the road, if I had a young daughter and found out that she was being molested... I don't know. I just don't know.

Ron's right- moral outrage is a terribly dangerous thing... actually, any kind of outrage is.
Huan Yi
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47 posted 11-09-2004 01:38 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Ron,

"The soldiers were equally far and posed
no imminent threat.  What right justified actions as
might and did cause deaths among them?"

John

Stephanos
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48 posted 11-09-2004 04:24 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Killing to prevent great harm is a huge step, but I recognize it is sometimes a necessary step. Killing as pay back for great harm is neither necessary nor wise.



And moral considerations are not limited to "killing as pay back for great harm".  There's a good argument to be made that that's actually a morally inferior choice.  Maybe we agree more than we disagree here?


Stephen.
 
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