Sunday, March 22, 2015

ahiṃsā

My positions regarding might seem inconsistent at times, but "violence" is really a pretty vague term, running a wide gamut.  I can't say that I'm entirely against violence.  I like some violence, like kickboxing.  I tolerate some violence, rioting, and the like.

Other violence though.. I have a very basic line, when it comes to whether I vehemently condemn it out of hand, or not.

Are you trying to kill or maim defenseless people?

I specify killing and maiming, because that goes straight to the severity of the issue.  If you get in a fist-fight, you'd better be hitting someone who's hitting back, but it's not the same as shooting someone.  If we're talking about some lesser violence, breaking shit, disturbing the peace, eh, maybe you have a reason.  We can get into that.  Not necessarily that I'll approve, but I'll think about it.  Maybe not change my stance on an issue over it.

It can get a little more complicated, though, when we define a term like "defenseless."  Others might use the term "innocent," which sounds almost the same.  Just, much more subjective.  I'm just thinking about it in fairly straight-forward terms.  Are we talking about individuals who are otherwise likely to do some maiming or killing, themselves?  I'm really talking about people who are well armed and aggressively combative, but "defenseless" feels close enough.

If we're talking about intent, it gets even trickier, for me.  Does it require said violence to be a goal, or merely the awareness that it will be an outcome?  Broken eggs, collateral damage, and all that.. I have to think about it, but I still come down to that same basic line.  Recklessness is not intent.  This does not mean I'm at all likely to approve, it just means I'll consider it.  That is, you'd better have a damn good reason.  An ethical reason.  A verifiable reason.  A genuinely honest reason.. but, I will consider it.

If you're over that line though, no, there is just no way I'm going to come down on your side.  You can't shoot at people, who aren't shooting at anyone.  If you do, it makes you wrong about pretty much everything.

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