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War and critical thinking… a British perspective
Posted: 28 August 2010 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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For my Humanist comrades,

I’ve always thought that Humanism should be concerned (and involved) with social justice and peace issues as well. War is human destruction, and extremely wasteful of economic resources that could be better spent shoring up the social contract—the economic safety net, health and education.

This article just about fits on one or two pages. Yet it gives in succinct details and raises questions about who is effected by war and why it’s allowed to happen in a democracy. Given the necessary priorities of productivity and a secure society, war should be one of the top humanist concerns. However important reason and critical free thought are, I sometimes think, at least here in the USA, where we feel beleaguered with irrational religious faith exploited to fuel right wing agendas, that we spend too much time on the subject of religion and irrationality. This article is from a British perspective. A much more skeptical society. War is very rarely a rational choice. The condition of humanity is paramount.

Why war? from Britain.

http://www.truth-out.org/our-weird-and-wanton-wars62697

Our Weird and Wanton Wars

Saturday 28 August 2010

by: Jim McCluskey, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Many citizens in Britain are puzzled. Why do we always seem to be at war? How can this come about? What does it mean? At the same time, we seem to think of ourselves as a peaceful nation. In seeking answers, let us list a few notable characteristics of our current wars.

MORE on line:

http://www.truth-out.org/our-weird-and-wanton-wars62697

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Posted: 18 September 2010 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That was an interesting read.
A bit of the obvious… but then when everyone ignores and refuses to mention, or talk about, the obvious -
that does make it special, i guess.

. . . So does this short list give any clues as to why we always seem to be at war? It does seem to hint at how our physical and psychological distance from the carnage helps to sustain our self-belief as a peaceful people.

The final point raises another noteworthy question. How do they (the establishment) get away with it?

Here are a few suggestions.

      * Fear - The twentieth century’s most successful master of propaganda declared, “Naturally the common people don’t want war. But….the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” These are the words, at the Nuremberg Trials, of Hitler’s senior henchman Herman Goering.

No accountability - etc. etc.

Obfuscation - etc. etc.

Change the focus - etc. etc.

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Posted: 18 September 2010 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi,
Yes, it is obvious. And because it seems ignored in free thought and humanist circles, I brought it up.
Thank you for taking the time to read through it. I have a friend who keeps the Herman Goering quote as his sig. on his Yahoo Mail. History repeats itself. Economic stimulus from war making is a negative and will drain away from rather than add to the economy.
—Gary the Grouch

[ Edited: 18 September 2010 08:30 PM by gary100 ]
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Posted: 18 September 2010 08:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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gary100 - 18 September 2010 08:26 PM

Economic stimulus from war making is a negative and will drain away from rather than add to the economy.
—Gary the Grouch

All depends on what side you are on. Bush’s super supporters (Cheney’s jock straps?), like the one’s who held/hold interest in the Carlisle Group, or BlackWater whatever, or Halliburton, etc - shit it has been nothing but gravy train…

As for the rest of the country or economy….  stop jur whin’in.
As for the soldier, hey you enlisted, so what if you didn’t have any other options open, suck it up.

I just heard on the news this evening about some “Faithful” political convention, Gingrich and all - building up the military was one of their major corner stones* - talk about the Christian way.

beating up gays
and women “in trouble” were some others.

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Posted: 19 September 2010 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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ADDENDUM:

When Good People Back Bad Wars
By Michael Moore, MichaelMoore.com
15 September 2010

Never Forget: Bad Wars Aren’t Possible Unless Good People Back Them

... before we get too far away from something we would all just like to forget, will you please allow me to just say something plain and blunt and necessary:

We invaded Iraq because most Americans - including good liberals like Al Franken, Nicholas Kristof & Bill Keller of the New York Times, David Remnick of the New Yorker, the editors of the Atlantic and the New Republic, Harvey Weinstein, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and John Kerry - wanted to. ...

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/266-32/24-when-good-people-back-bad-wars

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Posted: 19 September 2010 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The British perspective on war.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_War

How much land on this planet is under the control of Europeans and how did they get it?

But then there is all this moral introspection about war.  Do some people just not want of face facts? 

psik

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Posted: 19 September 2010 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I agree with you Gary that these are extremely important issues, but I see it a little differently.  I think we should all be involved in a variety of issues as I am, however, I don’t want to dilute the efforts of each of the organizations I belong to by pushing them to spread their focus too broadly. 

Occam

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Posted: 19 September 2010 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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gary100 - 19 September 2010 08:15 AM

We invaded Iraq because most Americans - ... - wanted to. ...

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/266-32/24-when-good-people-back-bad-wars

so sad, but true - they all wanted to believe what they wanted to believe.  Saddam the great threat that was actually thoroughly eviscerated already… we just didn’t want to notice… or to listen to anyone with contradictory evidence.

downer  sick

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Posted: 19 September 2010 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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psikeyhackr - 19 September 2010 10:04 AM

How much land on this planet is under the control of Europeans and how did they get it?

But then there is all this moral introspection about war.  Do some people just not want of face facts? 

What facts? That the invasion was an insane action - while dropping the real ball??? - as time has clearly proven, but alas, guess we should ignore that part of the catastrophe.

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Posted: 20 September 2010 01:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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gary100 - 28 August 2010 09:27 PM

I’ve always thought that Humanism should be concerned (and involved) with social justice and peace issues as well. War is human destruction, and extremely wasteful of economic resources that could be better spent shoring up the social contract—the economic safety net, health and education.

I thought humanism was about evaluating the world, the universe from a humanist perspective not about declaring a given war as just or not.

Keke

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Posted: 20 September 2010 06:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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A part of the foundation of Humanism is naturalism, the empirical evaluation of the world, as Keke put it. But then what? There is also a moral responsibility to each other and the world.  Besides observation, what do we do? —Gary

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Posted: 20 September 2010 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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gary100 - 20 September 2010 06:47 AM

There is also a moral responsibility to each other and the world.  Besides observation, what do we do? —Gary

Is there? Why and what does that have to do with humanism?

Keke

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Posted: 20 September 2010 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Pretty well thought out article IMO. Of course it supports what I already believe is true. I was especially looking for this part.

Wars generate huge profits for individuals and corporations. The people who reap the profits are not the same people who risk their lives and lose their limbs in fighting the wars. The overall organization of those who make the profits is known as the military/industrial complex.

Is it every necessary/justified to go to war? Sometimes IMO. To protect ourselves or protect an ally. However there is always plenty of profit and political power to be made and I think is largely the motivation behind many of them.

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Posted: 04 November 2010 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 20 September 2010 01:53 AM
gary100 - 28 August 2010 09:27 PM

I’ve always thought that Humanism should be concerned (and involved) with social justice and peace issues as well. War is human destruction, and extremely wasteful of economic resources that could be better spent shoring up the social contract—the economic safety net, health and education.

I thought humanism was about evaluating the world, the universe from a humanist perspective not about declaring a given war as just or not.

Keke

I don’t speak here often, and the main reason is because in most of these conversation/threads, I’m not sure whether or not I have something new or valuable to contribute. I find myself learning alot just by reading your posts and then going about my day!

I am a bit curious though concerning Kyuuketsuki’s post. I like to consider myself a Humanist, but I am still relatively new to the concept and movement (I’ve only called myself one for a little over a year). Does anyone have a response to Kyuuketsuki’s post (Humanists and non)? I’m eager to hear other’s thoughts on this subject. Is it outside the scope of humanism to directly engage and speak out on such subjects? Thanks!

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Posted: 04 November 2010 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Kyuuketsuki UK - 20 September 2010 01:53 AM

I thought humanism was about evaluating the world, the universe from a humanist perspective not about declaring a given war as just or not.

Sure, but, you can’t extricate yourself from the world around.

Every value judgment echos in attitudes and deeds.
Why should humanists be exempt from worrying about current war policies and deeds?

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Posted: 04 November 2010 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 04 November 2010 02:34 PM
Kyuuketsuki UK - 20 September 2010 01:53 AM

I thought humanism was about evaluating the world, the universe from a humanist perspective not about declaring a given war as just or not.

Sure, but, you can’t extricate yourself from the world around.

Every value judgment echos in attitudes and deeds.
Why should humanists be exempt from worrying about current war policies and deeds?

It appears that he is just saying that Humanism is only about how we assess and interpret reality, but that it has nothing to do with how we actually respond to the actions of others. If I’m interpreting him correctly, that confuses me, because I thought it was also about how we lived in this world in light of the Humanist philosophy? Did I miss something here?

Like I said before, I’m still relatively new to Humanism, so maybe a more experienced Humanist can enlighten me here?

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Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee -

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