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Jean-Carle Hudon




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: high & strong         Reply with quote

Ah Maurizio,
isn't this the problem? When people are high, whether by wealth or other pharmaceutical means, don't they think that things are owed them because of who they are ? Hasn't this lead to enough problems already, whether the current financial meltdown or the expenditure of borrowed billions for wars no one really understands ? The problem with codes, chivalric or otherwise, is that they end up serving masters with hidden agendas and then the poor fools who have sacrificed everything to serve their codes, or chivalric beliefs, end up as pawns in a game played by people who are not limited by moral codes.
I really don't want to get contentious, nor political, but mixing Mr. Lewis's views of christianity with the current world situation will provoke political overtones which I do believe, will cause problems for our moderators who do their best to keep the discussion on this site to exchanges on weapons, their use and aesthetics, and the continued interest of collectors and people who love using weapons and armor either as reenactors or hobbyists.

Bon coeur et bon bras
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John Gnaegy




PostPosted: Thu 30 Apr, 2009 5:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great topic. I think the heart of this discussion is the judicious application of force. It is has been phrased in many ways but is separate from any specific set of codes, history, or religion. Personal, military, or economic force should always be used responsibly, but determining what is or isn't a responsible action first requires awareness of others as equals deserving respect. Not the respect of adherence to formality, but the knowledge that every life is as important, complex, and unique to the person or thing living it as our lives are to us. That's not pacifism, there are no doubt bad lives being led. This is a crucial concept to ponder for anyone with any interest in weapons of any kind. Actually, I think it's a crucial concept for everyone.
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Fri 01 May, 2009 3:22 am    Post subject: Re: high & strong         Reply with quote

Jean-Carle Hudon wrote:
The problem with codes, chivalric or otherwise, is that they end up serving masters with hidden agendas and then the poor fools who have sacrificed everything to serve their codes, or chivalric beliefs, end up as pawns in a game played by people who are not limited by moral codes.

I think you've really nailed it with that line. No matter what soaring idealistic bit of philosophy inspires your higher self, be it the Tao Te Ching, Sermon on the Mount or whatever, once you try to codify it into a set of rules, you kill it. It literally goes from being a living, dynamic thing to a dead, static thing—consequences immediately follow.

First, people start finding loopholes. Even good people! The letter of the law becomes more important than the spirit of the law and so long as you can ply the waters of sophistry skillfully enough, you can still tell yourself that you're doing what's right. You might even tell yourself that convincingly enough to sleep at night.

From this, as you indicated, we see the rise of those who exploit the system, as well as those who try to serve it in good faith, for their own ends. For example, much is made of the nobility of the Japanese samurai, and how faultlessly loyal they were to their daimyo under the code of Bushido. And that's all well and good, I suppose, but what if the daimyo was a power-hungry sadist, as many leaders throughout history have been? Loyalty is usually a wonderful thing, but everything has a dark side; look no further than the Nuremburg Trials for proof of loyalty’s.

I'm also reminded of Hesse's Siddhartha. Here we see a man who meets the Buddha, recognizes that the Buddha has indeed achieved enlightenment, yet simultaneously realizes that enlightenment cannot be found in following a prepackaged philosophical path; not even the one that the Buddha followed with success. Any discussion of nebulous concepts like honor, duty, justice or whatever, must stress that they lose their essence once frozen in linguistic form. A legal code might be a rough guide to achieving justice in a specific societal setting, but it is not Justice itself.

Of course, one might argue that even a stagnant code is better than living in a Hobbesian state of nature (solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short), but the counterargument could be made that a rigid code of conduct might be just as destructive to a society as pure anarchy (like the Lawful Evil alignment in D&D). And the pendulum swings on and on, ideal balance forever elusive…

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Anthony Riopel




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PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edited to remove controversial content
Be wary the wrath of a patient man.


Last edited by Anthony Riopel on Tue 05 May, 2009 10:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jean-Carle Hudon




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PostPosted: Mon 04 May, 2009 8:17 pm    Post subject: where to start         Reply with quote

Anthony,
I have read your post a few times and I must admit that you worry me. The ease with which you reduce men to wolves or sheepdogs, and the ease with which you declare yourself ready to take a life contradict most of which I know about normal human beings, and I really don't know what this has to do with the interests of those of us who collect swords and other works of art. Have you thought of other places to express your feelings where you might get guidance or feedback ? You raise deep concerns about how one should react in times of crisis and I am not at all conviced that this forum will bring you the answers you need.
Generally speaking, and this might not be your specific case, people who reduce their opponents to animal forms of life are building a case of justification to do away with them. The Nazies made a point of considering many peoples or conditions as subhuman in order to justify their eradication, the negroes in slave societies were considered as chattel, or goods. and discussions took place in order to ascertain whether or not indigenous peoples of the Americas really had souls that should be saved... in all these cases there were people who would qualify other people as being somehow subhuman, so there should be no problem doing away with them, on the contrary,maybe they should get medals for doing away with them...As I said above, this is certainly not the right forum for discussing such issues, especially not in relationship to the writings of CS Lewis, a great idealist, whose work should not be confused with the desire to put a bullet or two in your local crack addict punk convenience store robber.
I am sure that there are real people you can talk to, either in your school or in your family relations who can help you think more profoundly about the questions you raised in your last post. Good luck. JCH

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Christopher Lee




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PostPosted: Tue 05 May, 2009 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony,
I think Jean-Carle covered many of my same concerns but i would just like to say that i find your comments regarding women and gender particularly appaling and somewhat neolithic. In previous posts have made my feelings clear regarding the fantasy of chivalry and people's desire to live what they deem to be a good life. However as far as i'm aware any "modern" conception of chivalry does not entail patronising women's physical capabilities and regarding them still as the "weaker sex", in need of protection by the manly, quiet warrior's that seem to want to set themselves up as their guardians. Your division of society into wolves, sheepdog's and sheep is just offensive and quite limited in its outlook; essentially you suggest society consists of predators and prey and only they faithful sheepdogs are there to protect the flock? This has nothing to do with anything C.S. Lewis wrote about and indeed harks back to the patronising and paternalistic attitudes of the past where the elites regarded themselves as the self appointed (or god appointed) protectors of the weak, but did precious little to protect them from their own expoitation. As for the glorification of the use of force (violence), this doesn't even need to be commented upon. As Jean-Carle suggests, you should perhaps seek out persons to discuss your concerns with.
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Colt Reeves




PostPosted: Tue 05 May, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

He does have some points though. I'm not in agreement with the wanting to kill, protect anyone you preceive as weak, gender roles, etc, but some of his arguments make sense to me.

1. A lot of people do come along with the attitude that the world owes them something, but in the end, the only rights a person truely has are those others give to them.
2. We make movies and such glorifying violence (We're all on these forums because we have an interest in weapons intended to kill people after all...) and depicting people stepping up to fight to save lives and whatnot, but when someone does it in real life they are often thought of as monsters. My brother calls me a killer and my daddy calls me a vet...
3. Treating women and men as exactly the same doesn't work because they ARE different, not matter how the PC movement tries to tell you otherwise. Furthermore, I seriously doubt if there is anyone at all in the world that can actually treat them the same. There are just too many biological and social factors in play. That being said, I don't agree with set gender roles. They exist because people have put them there. Sure, they were aided greatly by good old Mother Nature in many ways, but they are by no means carved in stone.


And it occurs to me this is heading off-topic....
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Ed Toton




PostPosted: Wed 13 May, 2009 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Colt Reeves wrote:
He does have some points though. I'm not in agreement with the wanting to kill, protect anyone you preceive as weak, gender roles, etc, but some of his arguments make sense to me.

1. A lot of people do come along with the attitude that the world owes them something, but in the end, the only rights a person truely has are those others give to them.
2. We make movies and such glorifying violence (We're all on these forums because we have an interest in weapons intended to kill people after all...) and depicting people stepping up to fight to save lives and whatnot, but when someone does it in real life they are often thought of as monsters. My brother calls me a killer and my daddy calls me a vet...
3. Treating women and men as exactly the same doesn't work because they ARE different, not matter how the PC movement tries to tell you otherwise. Furthermore, I seriously doubt if there is anyone at all in the world that can actually treat them the same. There are just too many biological and social factors in play. That being said, I don't agree with set gender roles. They exist because people have put them there. Sure, they were aided greatly by good old Mother Nature in many ways, but they are by no means carved in stone.


And it occurs to me this is heading off-topic....


Perhaps the topic is wandering, but if Chivalry in a modern sense is being discussed, particularly with an understanding of historical chivalry, it can't be completely separated from violence. It was originally a warrior ethos, after all.

I didn't see his comments, they had already been removed by the time I came back to this thread. But I do want to make a few observations.

Regarding your point #1, yes it's true that many people today have an entitlement mentality, and there's been a significant erosion of personal responsibility. However, I think by definition, a right is innate. Rights are not privileges. I take more of the viewpoint that the US Constitution was framed in, that a wide range of rights are yours, because you're a free individual. The only point in enumerating them is to restrict the government from infringing them.

2. There has been a large cultural shift within the last century, that is true. People who would step up and be heroes are seen as vigilantes. People expect to be protected and saved by people who do such things in a professional capacity (police, fire department, EMT, military, etc), and there's this expectation that everyone else is unqualified to do good deeds, no matter the circumstances, unless those good deeds are PC and non-violent.

3. Men and women are certainly different, but are deserving of the same level or respect, rights, and privileges. Being chivalrous does not automatically mean that you see women as weaker and in need of aid.

-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
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