I’ve pulled the comments from the PDF thread into this one. My humble request, if you post here, please remember that there are people behind the pseudonyms, anonymous or not.
I think John (Butler) was very smart: he won’t have to change his icon when the blessed US “liberates” Syria, and establishes American business interests there — did you know there are no McDonalds in Syria?! Poor, opressed souls — we must start bombing immediately! hhp
And fcuk those French too, send that poxy statue of liberty back!
Brilliant idea for a thread. Now if only folks could stay on topic!!!
The peace signs are a political statement, yes. But as such they are pretty neutral. I sure as heck hope they’re not neutral. Peace isn’t a likely outcome of wishful thinking. I’m opposed to the war for speciﬁc moral reasons that I suspect diﬀer from those of a lot of other contributors to this thread. For me, whether the Iraqi people are better or worse oﬀ after the war than before is not suﬃcient reason to either support or oppose the war. Likewise, the justiﬁcations put forward by Bush and Blair are largely beside the point. Similarly, Jacques Chirac may be rightly concerned about US hegemony in the Middle East, but that wouldn’t in itself be grounds to oppose the war. Quite simply, this war completely fails to conform to the criteria for a just war that have been laid down, debated and asserted for some 1,600 years, and which I believe provide the only sound moral guidance to the questions of when a war is just and how a just war should be fought. It is on these grounds that the Pope has spoken out against the war, and I believe his reasoning, and that of his theologians, is sound. I’ve read the lectures and essays by some US Catholics who attempt to jerry-rig just war philosophy to ﬁt the circumstances, but I am unconvinced by their contortions. Ironically, as a fellow Catholic, John Butler may have a better appreciation of my opposition to the war than some people ‘on my side’.
Hey! Where are all my previous posts gone to? I hope it’s a technical problem and not censorship! Matha
…this war completely fails to conform to the criteria for a just war that have been laid down, debated and asserted for some 1,600 years, and which I believe provide the only sound moral guidance to the questions of when a war is just and how a just war should be fought But I think the debate is over now, John. The illusion that a state can be run morally and that there is any such thing as international law has been knocked on the head. The US government is in such a powerful position that it can do what it wants. Despite the moral register used by Whitehouse spokesmen, the US government has chosen an amoral path. Its actions are based on ethical decisions about the pros and cons of whatever it happens to be doing at the time. Opposing the invasion and occupation of Iraq (this isn’t a war) with moral arguments is a waste of energy. And I think the Vatican is fully aware of this. Matha
Its actions are based on ethical decisions about the pros and cons of whatever it happens to be doing at the time in other words, they will do whatever they think they can get away with and who, I ask you, is in any position to stop them? M.
Not that I necessarily intend to start reposting to this thread, but I’m wondering: why are so much of its innards missing? At the least it’s suspicious. hhp
Opposing the invasion and occupation of Iraq (this isn’t a war) with moral arguments is a waste of energy. I disagree, because I see the moral argument as the only sound one. The fact is, from purely political arguments I could go either way on the Iraq war: hypocrisy and uncertainty of motive and evidence exist on both sides. To try to maintain a consistent position on purely political grounds is futile, because there is the possibility that the other side is more correct or less incorrect. The just war tradition provides an ethical framework for looking at any conﬂict from a non-political perspective, which is its enduring strength. Even if it were now discovered that Saddam Hussein was hiding a nuclear weapons program in the desert and proof positive was found of his intention to sell or give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist organisations, the US invasion of Iraq still failed to meet the criteria of a just war (ad bello at least; I’m not sure that we have enough information to judge US conduct in bello). The fact that no such evidence is forthcoming is certainly convenient for those opposed to the war. but the moral argument stands whether such evidence is found or not, because such evidence was not in US possession when they launched the war. The US has not chosen an ‘amoral path’: the just war tradition and Catholic morality do not provide for amorality. Shooting without being able to clearly see what the target is is not amoral, it is immoral. Exercising our ability to say that it is immoral, and to explain why it is immoral, is never a waste of energy.
Not bad John Can’t imagine the censors will delete it, unless they have trouble with ad bello and in bello. Got to watch that kinda stuﬀ around here.
The US has not chosen an ‘amoral path’: the just war tradition and Catholic morality do not provide for amorality. So you are saying that the US war machine is operating inside the just war tradition and Catholic morality ? Or that you are interpreting events from that particular perspective? M
Hrant said… when the blessed US “liberates” Syria… . there are no McDonalds in Syria?! Poor, opressed souls — we must start bombing immediately! must you really post this crap, Hrant?
I think Mr. Hudson is saying that according to (Catholic) Christianity, there’s no such thing as an amoral war. There is just war, and immoral war; the US has not made the case for a just war, and their actions are immoral. I agree with him completely, and I am impressed by the strong moral stance that the Catholic church (and some, but not all, Protestant denominations) have taken. If one had no moral standard and judged war simply by “the results”, every victor would be right and every tyrant just. Paul
I think Mr. Hudson is saying that according to (Catholic) Christianity, there’s no such thing as an amoral war. That’s what I thought. But if you’re not a Catholic or a devout Catholic or a Christian, what then? What do you call a war that is judged to be evil, good, just, immoral, liberating, mercenary etc depending on whatever country or culture or church the spectator happens to be in? If one had no moral standard and judged war simply by “the results”, every victor would be right and every tyrant just. Every victor is right in his own country and in his own history books. And who decides who the tryants are anyway? The Catholic Church? The Chinese Government? Jerry Springer? M.
That’s what I thought. But if you’re not a Catholic or a devout Catholic or a Christian, what then? What do you call a war that is judged to be evil, good, just, immoral, liberating, mercenary etc depending on whatever country or culture or church the spectator happens to be in? The just war tradition happens to be have been developed within the context of Catholic ethics, beginning with St Augustine, but I think a case could be made by agnostics, people of other faiths, and even atheists that the tradition stands outside that context. Succinctly, one could say that the just war tradition is necessary for Christians, but Christianity is not necessary to the just war tradition. The idea of a just war, the ad bello conditions for such a war and the in bello conduct during such a war, can be deﬁned independently of speciﬁcally Catholic or Christian ethics (although orthodox Christians would point out that this is because natural law is part of a divinely created order). The idea that a defensive war is just while an aggresive war is not does not require a belief in a deity, a saviour, the resurrection, the real presence of the eucharist, or any other Catholic doctrine. On the other hand, I do believe that ethics divorced from religion have a tendency to become very shaky and may slip into the kind of relativism you describe.
Quote: “On the other hand, I do believe that ethics divorced from religion have a tendency to become very shaky and may slip into the kind of relativism you describe.” A funny thing about ethics derived from religions is that are appeals to moral authorities—gods—which their very existence is questionable. Myths aren’t very strong foundations.
[ A few moderator comments ] _ Regarding Matha’s post on April 27th regarding missing posts. As you know, that was the day the forums went down. I am not sure what happened to those posts. You’re welcome to re-submit them. _ Regarding Hrant’s question about this thread asking “why are so much of its innards missing?” I’m not sure if you’re referring to any speciﬁc posts or just the way it reads altogether. Any posts here would have (or at least should have) been automatically sent by the system as emails to those who subscribe to this thread via email. If you know of any such posts, send them to me and I’ll stitch them back into this thread in chronological order. If you’re referring to the ‘cut and paste’ nature of the ﬁrst several posts here, I admit this got a little messy trying to move these posts from another thread to this one. In hindsight, this may not have been the ideal way to handle it—at the time, I couldn’t think of anything better. Your suggestions are welcome. _ Regarding censorship. To be clear, we have not deleted any posts from this thread. For the record, in the past we have only deleted posts that were direct personal attacks toward other individual participants in these boards. Our aim is to keep it civil and constructive. Aside from that, the board software uses a potty-mouth ﬁlter that changes most explicit words into red bullets. (Except where extremely creative pangrams are involved.) [ Carry on ]
»the just war tradition is necessary for Christians No. The just war tradition is only necessary for christians who are trying to worm out of following the teachings of christ. Nowhere in the christian bible does it say ‘don’t kill people — oh…unless you can convince yourself that its in a just cause’ You have to make a choice: 1.Justify killing under certain circumstances OR 2.Be a christian You can’t have both without also having 3.Hypocrisy This isn’t meant to be a personal attack on anyone — we are all hypocrits in our own ways — but it does further our understanding of the world if we recognise a hypocritical philosophical position for what it is, which is what we have when christians defend killing as just.
> I’m not sure if you’re referring to any speciﬁc posts This page is showing 16 messages from the start until April 26, while my mailbox shows 55… hhp
Succinctly, one could say that the just war tradition is necessary for Christians, but Christianity is not necessary to the just war tradition. This makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, I do believe that ethics divorced from religion have a tendency to become very shaky and may slip into the kind of relativism you describe I think that this is what I was trying (in my awkward way) to say in the ﬁrst place. But I would go further and argue that, in my humble opinion, the practically limitless number of religions and interpretations of the same religions possible must lead to the same sort of relativism. Ethics not divorced from religion are as relative as anything else on this planet. M.
The just war tradition is only necessary for christians who are trying to worm out of following the teachings of Christ. Absolute, radical paciﬁsm has always been an extreme minority position within Christianity, typiﬁed by, for example, the Quakers. I don’t see any hypocrisy in asserting that those who seek and make peace are blessed while at the same time acknowledging that it is just to defend oneself or one’s neighbour against violent aggression. It is possible, of course, to point to all sorts of abuses of the just war tradition, i.e. to attempts to justify aggressive wars undertaken for self-serving motives, but this does not undermine the legitimacy of the tradition.
A funny thing about ethics derived from religions is that are appeals to moral authorities—gods—which their very existence is questionable. Myths aren’t very strong foundations. I can’t speak for other religions, but as a Catholic I don’t appeal to a moral authority for ethics. The orthodox Catholic teaching has always been that ethics derive from natural law, which is the objective character of created reality knowable by the human intellect. This objective reality is the creation of God, but direct appeal to God as moral authority is not necessary to know what is right or wrong: morality is built into the universe and into our own nature.
Hey, at least I’m not anonymous, and I form complete sentences. Oh, and I’m not a Yank — that’s the most important thing. Plus I don’t use an icon to present my political views UNDERHANDEDLY. > The downside of Create Outlines is that there is no hinting. A bigger problem is that -at least for a properly shown text face- the ﬁlesize gets huge. hhp
Hrant said… Plus I don’t use an icon to present my political views UNDERHANDEDLY. just to ﬂaunt that terribly sexy picture of yourself. sorry, all, that’s my last waste-of-space response to Hrant.
Hey, like I’ve said, in 34 years that’s my only semi-decent picture. hhp
[ Moderator Comment: Due to forum software limitations, this post cannot be copied and pieced apart to acommodate the two topics. John, you’re encouraged to re-post your thoughts on PDFs to the PDF thread.] I’d have to agree, Mark. I also suspect that most pirated fonts are ﬁrst stolen from their original licensees—an intern at a design ﬁrm walking oﬀ with a CDR full of fonts that the company paid $$$ to license. There’s one thing even better than PDF, though: printed specimens. Most of the more established font vendors will send you printed specimens if you ask for them. … Hrant, I do not understand how changing my icon to reﬂect my own political position is any more “underhanded” than the rest of yooz putting peace signs on yours, a trend which I believe was started at the suggestion of one of the moderators. Not keen on conﬂating “peace” with complacency, I was inclined to disagree. You seem to be the only person who has a problem with it. Please, if you want to get into this, start a thread dedicated to the War in General Discussions. No one is stopping you from doing that. As they say, “anything goes.” It would be nice, though, if we could keep this discussion about PDF and not something else.
> …. > … you seem to be the only person … > …. Believe whatever bull allows you to sleep at nights. hhp
John (Butler), While I’ll rant at Hrant with the best of them it was you that made the ﬁrst political statement in this thread — with that ridiculous ﬂag. I know you’re not stupid, but bombing people on the other side of the world who actually pose no risk to you is not liberation, it’s aggression. Your government, and my own for that matter, couldn’t even stick to a line about why they proposed what they eventually did: WMDs, ties to al-Queda, axis of evil, freedom for oppressed Iraqis? Let’s have a look at those WMDs shall we: USA, only country in the world ever to deploy a nuclear weapon: did a pretty good job in Vietnam carpet bombing with B-52s and deploying chemical weapons (Agent Orange — for which the Vietnamese ae still paying dearly 30 years later). World order: oh yeah, dropped out of the Kyoto agreement, won’t join the rest of the world in forming an international criminal court, big business lobbying against the WHO, won’t pay its UN subscriptions… War crimes: ignores responsibilities to civilians in occupation of Iraq, bombs fcuk out of the infrastructure and awards contracts for reconstruction to bidders from the US only, ships 600 alledged combatants oﬀ to Guantanamo Bay without recourse to law, in contravention of the Geneva Convention (which covers guerilla combatants despite what the US thinks), some of those held in Guantanamo Bay are children, under the age of 16, whom the US is so embarrassed by that it won’t even give full details of their ages and who will be held until hell freezes over — or someone liberates the US from its current tyrannical government. So, fcuk your ﬂag.
Oh, and still enforcing a blockade against Cuba after nearly 50 years (hey, you guys don’t bear a grudge do you?) when free trade with Cuba would have swept Castro away in a velvet revolution decades ago.