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Author Topic: Hurray For Face Punching!  (Read 6832 times)

BerkaZerka

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Hurray For Face Punching!
« on: September 11, 2015, 07:40:23 am »

Thought this was a really interesting read~

---

Violence is Golden

By Jack Donovan On March 15, 2011
 
A lot of people like to think they are “non-violent.” Generally, people claim to “abhor” the use of violence, and violence is viewed negatively by most folks. Many fail to differentiate between just and unjust violence. Some especially vain, self-righteous types like to think they have risen above the nasty, violent cultures of their ancestors. They say that “violence isn’t the answer.” They say that “violence doesn’t solve anything.”

They’re wrong. Every one of them relies on violence, every single day.

On election day, people from all walks of life line up to cast their ballots, and by doing so, they hope to influence who gets to wield the axe of authority. Those who want to end violence — as if that were possible or even desirable — often seek to disarm their fellow citizens. This does not actually end violence. It merely gives the state mob a monopoly on violence. This makes you “safer,” so long as you don’t piss off the boss.

All governments — left, right or other — are by their very nature coercive. They have to be.

Order demands violence.

A rule not ultimately backed by the threat of violence is merely a suggestion. States rely on laws enforced by men ready to do violence against lawbreakers. Every tax, every code and every licensing requirement demands an escalating progression of penalties that, in the end, must result in the forcible seizure of property or imprisonment by armed men prepared to do violence in the event of resistance or non–compliance. Every time a soccer mom stands up and demands harsher penalties for drunk driving, or selling cigarettes to minors, or owning a pit bull, or not recycling, she is petitioning the state to use force to impose her will. She is no longer asking nicely. The viability of every family law, gun law, zoning law, traffic law, immigration law, import law, export law and financial regulation depends on both the willingness and wherewithal of the group to exact order by force.

When an environmentalist demands that we “save the whales,” he or she is in effect making the argument that saving the whales is so important that it is worth doing harm to humans who harm whales. The peaceful environmentalist is petitioning the leviathan to authorize the use of violence in the interest of protecting leviathans. If state leaders were to agree and express that it was, indeed, important to “save the whales,” but then decline to penalize those who bring harm to whales, or decline to enforce those penalties under threat of violent police or military action, the expressed sentiment would be a meaningless  gesture. Those who wanted to bring harm to whales would feel free to do so, as it is said, with impunity — without punishment.

Without action, words are just words. Without violence, laws are just words.

Violence isn’t the only answer, but it is the final answer.

One can make moral arguments and ethical arguments and appeals to reason, emotion, aesthetics, and compassion. People are certainly moved by these arguments, and when sufficiently persuaded –providing of course that they are not excessively inconvenienced — people often choose to moderate or change their behaviors.

However, the willful submission of many inevitably creates a vulnerability waiting to be exploited by any one person who shrugs off social and ethical norms. If every man lays down his arms and refuses to pick them up, the first man to pick them up can do whatever he wants. Peace can only be maintained without violence so long as everyone sticks to the bargain, and to maintain peace every single person in every successive generation — even after war is long forgotten — must continue to agree to remain peaceful. Forever and ever. No delinquent or upstart may ever ask, “Or Else What?,” because in a truly non-violent society, the best available answer is “Or else we won’t think you’re a very nice person and we’re not going to share with you.” Our troublemaker is free to reply, “I don’t care. I’ll take what I want.”

Violence is the final answer to the question, “Or else what?”

Violence is the gold standard, the reserve that guarantees order. In actuality, it is better than a gold standard, because violence has universal value. Violence transcends the quirks of philosophy, religion, technology and culture. People say that music is a universal language, but a punch in the face hurts the same no matter what language you speak or what kind of music you prefer. If you are trapped in a room with me and I grab a pipe and gesture to strike you with it, no matter who you are, your monkey brain will immediately understand “or else what.”  And thereby, a certain order is achieved.

The practical understanding of violence is as basic to human life and human order as is the idea that fire is hot. You can use it, but you must respect it. You can act against it, and you can sometimes control it, but you can’t just wish it away. Like wildfire, sometimes it is overwhelming and you won’t know it is coming until it is too late. Sometimes it is bigger than you. Ask the Cherokee, the Inca, the Romanovs, the Jews, the Confederates, the barbarians and the Romans. They all know “Or else what.”

The basic acknowledgement that order demands violence is not a revelation, but to some it may seem like one. The very notion may make some people apoplectic, and some will furiously attempt to dispute it with all sorts of convoluted and hypothetical arguments, because it doesn’t sound very “nice.” But something doesn’t need to be “nice” in order for it to be true. Reality doesn’t bend over to accommodate fantasy or sentimentality.

Our complex society relies on proxy violence to the extent that many average people in the private sector can wander through life without really having to understand or think deeply about violence, because we are removed from it. We can afford to perceive it as a distant, abstract problem to be solved through high-minded strategy and social programming. When violence comes knocking, we simply make a call, and the police come to “stop” the violence. Few civilians really take the time to think that what we are essentially doing is paying an armed band protection money to come and do orderly violence on our behalf. When those who would do violence to us are taken peacefully, most of us don’t really make the connection, we don’t even assert to ourselves that the reason a perpetrator allows himself to be arrested is because of the gun the officer’s hip or the implicit understanding that he will eventually be hunted down by more officers who have the authority to kill him if his is deemed a threat. That is, if he is deemed a threat to order.

There are something like two and a half million people incarcerated in the United States. Over ninety percent of them are men. Most of them did not turn themselves in. Most of them don’t try to escape at night because there is someone in a guard tower ready to shoot them. Many are “non-violent” offenders. Soccer moms, accountants, celebrity activists and free range vegans all send in their tax dollars, and by proxy spend billions and billions to feed an armed government that maintains order through violence.

It is when our ordered violence gives way to disordered violence, as in the aftermath of a natural disaster, that we are forced to see how much we rely on those who maintain order through violence.  People loot because they can, and kill because they think they’ll get away with it. Dealing with violence and finding violent men who will protect you from other violent men suddenly becomes a real and pressing concern.

A pal once told me a story about an incident recounted by a family friend who was a cop, and I think it gets the point across. A few teenagers were at the mall hanging out, outside a bookstore. They were goofing around and talking with some cops who were hanging around. The cop was a relatively big guy, not someone who you would want to mess around with. One of the kids told the cop that he didn’t see why society needed police.

The cop leaned over and said to the spindly kid, “do you have any doubt in your mind about whether or not I could break your arms and take that book away from you if I felt like it?”

The teenager, obviously shaken by the brutality of the statement, said, “No.”

“That’s why you need cops, kid.”

George Orwell wrote in his “Notes on Nationalism” that, for the pacifist, the truth that, “Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf,” is obvious but impossible to accept.  Much unreason flows from the inability to accept our passive reliance on violence for protection. Escapist fantasies of the John Lennon “Imagine” variety corrupt our ability to see the world as it is, and be honest with ourselves about the naturalness of violence to the human animal. There is no evidence to support the idea that man is an inherently peaceful creature. There is substantial evidence to support the notion that violence has always been a part of human life. Every day, archeologists unearth another primitive skull with damage from weapons or blunt force trauma. The very first legal codes were shockingly grisly. If we feel less threatened today, if we feel as though we live in a non–violent society, it is only because we have ceded so much power over our daily lives to the state. Some call this reason, but we might just as well call it laziness. A dangerous laziness, it would seem, given how little most people say they trust politicians.

Violence doesn’t come from movies or video games or music. Violence comes from people. It’s about time people woke up from their 1960s haze and started being honest about violence again. People are violent, and that’s OK. You can’t legislate it away or talk your way around it. Based on the available evidence, there’s no reason to believe that world peace will ever be achieved, or that violence can ever be “stopped.”

It’s time to quit worrying and learn to love the battle axe. History teaches us that if we don’t, someone else will.

________________

Originally published on Arthur’s Hall of Viking Manliness (now offline), Nov 11, 2010.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 09:53:16 am »

From Wikipedia:
Steven Pinker "the better angels of our nature: why violence has declined

Pinker uses the phrase as a metaphor for four human motivations: empathy, self-control, the "moral sense," and reason: that, he writes, can "orient us away from violence and towards cooperation and altruism."

Pinker presents a large amount of data (and statistical analysis thereof) that, he argues, demonstrate that violence has been in decline over millennia and that the present is probably the most peaceful time in the history of the human species. The decline in violence, he argues, is enormous in magnitude, visible on both long and short time scales, and found in many domains, including military conflict, homicide, genocide, torture, criminal justice, and treatment of children, homosexuals, animals and racial and ethnic minorities. He stresses that "The decline, to be sure, has not been smooth; it has not brought violence down to zero; and it is not guaranteed to continue."<ref name=excerpt>{{cite news |title='The Better Angels of Our Nature' |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/books/review/the-better-angels-of-our-nature.html |first=Steven |last=Pinker |date=October 6, 2011 |work=New York Times |accessdate=March 17, 2015}}</ref>

Pinker argues that the radical declines in violent behavior that he documents do not result from major changes in human biology or cognition. He specifically rejects the view that humans are necessarily violent, and thus have to undergo radical change in order to become more peaceable. However, Pinker also rejects what he regards as the simplistic [[nature versus nurture]] argument, which would imply that the radical change must therefore have come purely from external ("nurture") sources. Instead, he argues: "The way to explain the decline of violence is to identify the changes in our cultural and material milieu that have given our peaceable motives the upper hand."<ref name=excerpt />

Pinker identifies five "historical forces" that have favored "our peaceable motives" and "have driven the multiple declines in violence."<ref name="Steven Pinker 2011"/> They are:
* The Leviathan – the rise of the modern nation-state and judiciary "with a [[monopoly on violence|monopoly on the legitimate use of force]]," which "can defuse the [individual] temptation of exploitative attack, inhibit the impulse for revenge, and circumvent ... self-serving biases."
* Commerce – the rise of "technological progress [allowing] the exchange of goods and services over longer distances and larger groups of trading partners," so that "other people become more valuable alive than dead" and "are less likely to become targets of demonization and dehumanization."
* Feminization – increasing respect for "the interests and values of women."
* Cosmopolitanism – the rise of forces such as literacy, mobility, and mass media, which "can prompt people to take the perspectives of people unlike themselves and to expand their circle of sympathy to embrace them."
* The Escalator of Reason – an "intensifying application of knowledge and rationality to human affairs," which "can force people to recognize the futility of cycles of violence, to ramp down the privileging of their own interests over others', and to reframe violence as a problem to be solved rather than a contest to be won."<ref name="Steven Pinker 2011"/>{{rp|xxvi}}
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 10:18:02 am »

Your article seems to suggest, applying the first one, an increase in violence by proxy.

I find it very hard to believe that the world is any less violent, over all, than it has ever been in the past. I would find it more likely, to be relatively the same by population density as it has always been, with the appearance of being more violent now than in the past, due to the proliferation of instant access to information and current events.

In other words, we see and hear about more violence, that in the past was always there, but might not have reached us.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 10:49:35 am »

Really.

I told my wife about the "why violence has declined" book when it came out, & she expressed dismay/disdain re: the idea of it not being fundamentally obvious that the world is less violent than it used to be.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 10:51:52 am »

Are we like, disagreeing on the definition of "violence?"

Just looking at advertising from 50-75 years ago, it used to be common fact that men hit their wives & kids.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 11:11:06 am »

We also no longer stone adulterers to death.  We make thieves pay a fine rather than chopping off their hands, we don't settle property disputes by fighting each other with weapons.
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 11:38:23 am »

But "we" does not reflect the entire world. The "we" you are talking about, represents a small percentage of the entirety of the world population and is a very small window on it (through rose-colored glasses I might add).

Just because I own a car and have electricity, doesn't mean the rest of the world does too. Just because I live in a nice peaceful neighborhood, doesn't mean Detroit is a nice place to live too.
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 11:47:16 am »

Are we like, disagreeing on the definition of "violence?"

Maybe.

I lean toward 'violence' and 'threat of violence' falling under the same umbrella in this particular case.
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 12:38:31 pm »

I'm curious what other's think of both pieces/view points.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 01:02:02 pm »

But "we" does not reflect the entire world. The "we" you are talking about, represents a small percentage of the entirety of the world population and is a very small window on it (through rose-colored glasses I might add).

Just because I own a car and have electricity, doesn't mean the rest of the world does too. Just because I live in a nice peaceful neighborhood, doesn't mean Detroit is a nice place to live too.

So, by that logic we haven't technologically advanced at all either?

Also I wanna save this forever because I think it's the first time I've ever been classed as the optimist of an argument.

anyway, my contention is that even though I'm fairly certain you'll get most of this site to agree with you, I'm also fairly certain most historians / sociologists agree with Steven pinker.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 01:06:03 pm by Sethaniel »
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 01:08:34 pm »

Not at all. We are talking Humanity/Human Nature. It can't be held side-to-side with Technology and compared on the same scale.

And perhaps contrary to popular sentiment, I don't think Humans have advanced in humanity at all since the beginning. I think Humans Are all basically the same from recorded history at least.

In my opinion, the idea that civilized society has somehow grown more sophisticated, refined, and "better than those barbarians of the past" over time is laughable.

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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 01:10:21 pm »

...even though I'm fairly certain you'll get most of this site to agree with you, I'm also fairly certain most historians / sociologists agree with Steven pinker.

Damn Seth, you just reduced all of us to the 'unwashed masses' haha!  XD
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Forge

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 01:18:36 pm »

I would generally say that while small scale violence. Ie. Violence on a personal level between people along with institutionalized violence like corporal punishment has indeed starkly declined in the western world.

Acts of violence between spouses and neibours has clearly gone down, however, I would say that is at least partly due to threat of 'violence' from the state.

And sadly in the non western world where social construct and state authority are different I would say violence levels have not gone down in any meaningful way.
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Drakilian

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2015, 02:02:40 pm »

We also no longer stone adulterers to death.  We make thieves pay a fine rather than chopping off their hands, we don't settle property disputes by fighting each other with weapons.

Because if anyone did do any of these (stone adulterers, fight over property), they would be (violently) subdued and then forcefully imprisoned (in the case of the thieves, look at what happens when they don't pay their fines - or if they're caught in the act of stealing something worthwhile.)

And perhaps contrary to popular sentiment, I don't think Humans have advanced in humanity at all since the beginning. I think Humans Are all basically the same from recorded history at least.

I agree whole-heartedly here. It's ridiculous to assume that people have become better or more sophisticated or refined. These are all terms relative to the societies which founded them. They change over time. What we consider to be refined or sophisticated could easily be considered rude or absurd in a thousand years, our culture and beliefs might be considered simplistic, our lives easily classified. That's because this is the way humans deal with history, it sure as hell isn't the way the world works. How can we say that the people of the past were worse than we are when the very meaning of what is good and what is bad changes as time passes?
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Drakilian

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 02:05:09 pm »

Pinker argues that the radical declines in violent behavior

And Pinker is damn right about this. Violent behavior (as in, the average person behaving in a violent manner) has absolutely gone down. The omnipresence of violence in human society, forming the legs upon which our world stands, never will.
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Drakilian

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2015, 02:11:13 pm »

I'm fairly certain you'll get most of this site to agree with you, I'm also fairly certain most historians / sociologists agree with Steven pinker.

That's cool. Doesn't matter, but you know, that's cool.

Don't see what makes a historian or sociologist's (the majority of whom are likely to misinterpret the idea posited as a literal interpretation of violence - much like you - in thinking that the author speaks of constant war or murder, etc.) word any better than your average site member though.
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Tanstaafl

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2015, 02:11:43 pm »

So if I'm reading right, basically Berka's article is saying that while actual violence has declined, the 'threat of violence' (police) is basically in it's stead anyway.

That's not wrong. We've seen several cases in America's history what happens when the police go on strike. Death-rates in today's Baltimore have shot up if I remember correctly.
And, of course, the Middle-East is predominantly a shithole as it's always been :P

I feel like there's a lot more 'soft' people nowadays, what with college students needing their 'trigger warnings' and whatnot, and while I'm not sure how that fits in the discussion, I think that our current culture is different, not 'better' regarding violence or it's prevalence. I mean, TV is much more violent nowadays than it was 50 years ago, but that doesn't mean much either way. Things like teachers hitting their students is just expressed differently nowadays in our culture.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2015, 03:35:02 pm »

That's cool. Doesn't matter, but you know, that's cool.

Don't see what makes a historian or sociologist's (the majority of whom are likely to misinterpret the idea posited as a literal interpretation of violence - much like you - in thinking that the author speaks of constant war or murder, etc.) word any better than your average site member though.

Yep. Just like I said.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2015, 03:47:48 pm »

Damn Seth, you just reduced all of us to the 'unwashed masses' haha!  XD

Oh not at all. You're the farthest thing from it.

You mostly are the strong/elite. Or think you are.

People who are powerful like philosophies that exalt their superiority as the natural order.


(And of course, people who are weak like philosophies that extoll the virtue of equality.)
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2015, 06:16:03 pm »

People who are powerful like philosophies that exalt their superiority as the natural order.

(And of course, people who are weak like philosophies that extoll the virtue of equality.)

This is an interesting thing to consider.
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Morgan_R

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2015, 11:58:50 pm »

I think actual violence is decreasing. The effect isn't equally distributed, obviously, but that doesn't mean it isn't happening.

In general, I think anyone who can't see a significant difference between today and pretty much any historic period... is probably a straight white cis male, frankly. Who is imagining belonging to the upper class of whatever historic society he is imagining living in.


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Drakilian

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2015, 12:01:53 am »

While heavily resisting the urge to edit out that annoying word (cis), I will go on to say:

Have you ignored the entire thread up until this point? It's not about actual violence, it's about the foundation of violence and the threat of it, upon which the base of society is founded on.
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Drakilian

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2015, 12:24:43 am »

By the way, has it ever occured to you just exactly how incredibly demeaning and infuriating it is to have someone constantly say things like "whoever disagrees with me is probably a straight white cis male who is imagining belonging to the upper class of whatever historic society he is imagining living in".

I mean for Fark's sakes, you've been the subject of discrimination your entire life, how do you not recognize when you do it yourself? And when you do it so prolifically too?
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Morgan_R

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2015, 02:01:18 am »

It's not about actual violence, it's about the foundation of violence and the threat of it, upon which the base of society is founded on.

Berka seemed to also be suggesting that actual violence was not actually in decline. But possibly I misunderstood.

I don't have the mental or physical energy to really address the original post Berka quoted, unfortunately. It's too bad, it's an interesting topic.


By the way, has it ever occured to you just exactly how incredibly demeaning and infuriating it is to have someone constantly say things like "whoever disagrees with me is probably a straight white cis male who is imagining belonging to the upper class of whatever historic society he is imagining living in".

...I literally can't remember the last time I said anything of the kind. Granted, that could be my terrible memory, but... seriously, when else did I say that?

There are multitudes of subjects on which I have opinions, and people disagree with me, and I do not attribute their disagreement to their straight-white-male-ness. On the subject of 'was history an awesome place to live,' well... that is a subject where it does seem relevant.

I'm sorry that you feel that I'm being discriminatory. For what it's worth, I really don't think there's anything wrong with being straight, white, male, or a combination of the above.

Quote
I mean for Fark's sakes, you've been the subject of discrimination your entire life, how do you not recognize when you do it yourself?

Er... what?

I've been discriminated against... pretty much never?

In general, my perspective on the present vs. history is driven by my appreciation for that lack of discrimination. I mean... I get to wear pants, and nobody bats an eye. I can vote, even when I dislike all of the available options! And my parents would totally want to meet my girlfriend... if I'd just find one already. Oh, and I could legally marry this hypothetical girlfriend! I mean, that's getting really theoretical, but it is nice to have equal rights.

In all seriousness: I am very, very happy that I was born when I was, and I am also profoundly grateful for the people who weren't... and who fought for the rights they didn't have, and won.

...and now I feel bad for derailing the thread instead of addressing anything in the original post. Okay, maybe a few thoughts...

I agreed with significant portions of the OP... except, I suspect, some of the things he is implying, rather than outright saying. And, okay, a few things he's outright saying:

Quote
If we feel less threatened today, if we feel as though we live in a non–violent society, it is only because we have ceded so much power over our daily lives to the state.

I don't think this is true. I think we feel less threatened because we are people who live in areas where there is less actual violence, for complex reasons that have little to do with how much power the state has over us, vs. how much power other historical governments have had. We feel less threatened because there is, in fact, less of a threat.

Quote
People are violent, and that’s OK. You can’t legislate it away or talk your way around it.

All people are potentially capable of violence, and many if not most people have violent urges sometimes, and that's OK. But very few people are violent for no reason, and very few people are incapable of restraining themselves. Human nature may not be subject to change, but how it manifests is highly dependent on culture and circumstances. And those are things which are subject to change.

And the fact that we're never going to eliminate violence doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to try to reduce it.

Quote
It’s time to quit worrying and learn to love the battle axe. History teaches us that if we don’t, someone else will.

...I am honestly not sure what this guy is saying, with this conclusion. We should all stop outsourcing our violence, and arm ourselves with antiquated weapons? Presumably not. Though, you know. Dibs on the longsword. XD
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 02:34:08 am by Morgan_R »
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2015, 07:12:47 am »

No that guys conclusion is pretty clearly "do,unto others before they can do unto you.
history proves that if you're not violent, you'll be destroyed by people who are."

Which is absolute bs.  Civilization is built on the idea of mutual non-aggression. 
You all apparently want to argue that it's built on the threat of violence.

(Also, Berka, my wife says statistically, you're the one who's viewing a small section.  the vast majority of the world is significantly less-violent than 1000 years ago.)

Appeal to authority! XD I know it's a fallacy.

Anyway, not much time to argue.
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2015, 07:48:36 am »

No that guys conclusion is pretty clearly "do,unto others before they can do unto you.
history proves that if you're not violent, you'll be destroyed by people who are."

Which is absolute bs.  Civilization is built on the idea of mutual non-aggression. 
You all apparently want to argue that it's built on the threat of violence.

Interesting, I didn't get the same thing from the conclusion that you did. I would say I got more like this: "history proves that if you're not violent, you'll be taken advantage of by people who are."

And I think that is true. Though someone not violent, can 'hire out' someone who is or is prepared to be (police, armies, etc) to counter the impositions of those who are.

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... the vast majority of the world is significantly less-violent than 1000 years ago...

The problem with this argument is that there is no way to prove this.

First, the world today is too vast to account for everything going on in it everywhere all the time. There is so much violence daily, with a population much larger than ever before to propagate it, that I am 100% convinced that even with areas of complete peace (a fallacy in my opinion) the crap going on in Africa, Middle East, South America, Asia, and undercover in first world countries, is more than sufficiently to dispel an overall reduction in violence.

Second, not having a first-person view of 1000 or more years ago, we are left with an even smaller window of what that world was like (so it can't honestly be compared to our world with any real accuracy). All we have is written record and best-guess, based on the stuff left over from that period. And none of that can be taken as absolute truth, due to history being written/changed by those who won, and the tendency to demonize the opposition.

Anyway, I'm just throwing this all out here for discussion. For me it's not a heated debate or anything.  :)

I'd also add that I feel like I'm ridiculously sad at trying to articulate/express my thoughts and ideas on most matters - so what you're likely to get from me, is disjointed pieces of a whole that slowly come together (with pieces potentially flip/flopping along the way), until I either decide that I've finally said what I meant to say - or give up (more likely).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 07:51:01 am by BerkaZerka »
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2015, 07:50:13 am »

Berka seemed to also be suggesting that actual violence was not actually in decline. But possibly I misunderstood.

Nah, you're correct. I decided to take that position somewhere along the line (though I'm not sure I started out with it haha!).  :)
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2015, 07:55:24 am »

Wait, if your point is that I can't know, then you can't know either? Then there's no point to the discussion.

That makes sense right? If your argument is that I can't prove the world is less violent, because historians don't count since they weren't actually there, then you can't possibly know the world is just as violent as ever.  Because you also were not there.  All evidence is anecdotal.

We might as well not have historians, if everyone can just say "well, you couldn't know because you weren't there."

« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 08:00:41 am by Sethaniel »
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2015, 07:57:53 am »

Quote
I'd also add that I feel like I'm ridiculously sad at trying to articulate/express my thoughts and ideas on most matters - so what you're likely to get from me, is disjointed pieces of a whole that slowly come together (with pieces potentially flip/flopping along the way), until I either decide that I've finally said what I meant to say - or give up (more likely).

Haha I feel like this all the time too.
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2015, 07:59:15 am »

Wait, if your point is that I can't know, then you can't know either? We cant have the discussion.

We might as well not have historians, if everyone can just say "well, you couldn't know because you weren't there."

But it makes us feel good to think we know.

Like I said though, we have a tiny window into the past. So there's room for discussion.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2015, 08:01:21 am »

But it makes us feel good to think we know.

Like I said though, we have a tiny window into the past. So there's room for discussion.

No there isn't? Because you've dismissed anything you don't agree with as probably incorrect.
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2015, 08:12:57 am »

Yeah, but up to that point, we had a discussion. And isn't this how most discussions end?
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2015, 08:13:12 am »

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Interesting, I didn't get the same thing from the conclusion that you did. I would say I got more like this: "history proves that if you're not violent, you'll be taken advantage of by people who are."

And I think that is true. Though someone not violent, can 'hire out' someone who is or is prepared to be (police, armies, etc) to counter the impositions of those who are.



Ah. Wife says it's not that the violent win over non-violent.  Historically, it's the violent defeating the still-violent-just-not-as-good-at-it.

(She says it's actually strong vs weak.)
There's not really many historical situations involving actual non-violence.

Gandhi won.  (He wouldn't have in 1290. )

also regarding OP guys last sentence: first wife said "what good will an axe do you? We've got guns."  Then she said the fact that the guy chose the imagery of "battle axe" is indicative of his desire for a romanticized Conan the barbarian style view of history.

Then she got mad at me for wasting our Saturday arguing on the Internet.
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2015, 08:15:53 am »

Yeah, but up to that point, we had a discussion. And isn't this how most discussions end?

 Notice how they don't end with one of us punching the other till they agree.

even if we were in the same location.
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2015, 08:16:15 am »

Then she got mad at me for wasting our Saturday arguing on the Internet.

Hehehe!  ;)
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Sethaniel

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2015, 08:19:26 am »

Yeah,  I'd say most discussions actually end with her telling me to put the iPad down and pay attention to her. XD
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2015, 08:20:21 am »

Notice how they don't end with one of us punching the other till they agree.

even if we were in the same location.

Are there more people worldwide in this scenario, or in the one where they would not even start a discussion, because threat of violence prevents them from even opening their mouth?
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BerkaZerka

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2015, 08:20:57 am »

Yeah,  I'd say most discussions actually end with her telling me to put the iPad down and pay attention to her. XD

Better do as she says!  ;D
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Drakilian

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2015, 01:32:20 pm »

...I literally can't remember the last time I said anything of the kind. Granted, that could be my terrible memory, but... seriously, when else did I say that?

You mean you don't remember literally any of the many gender-related topics you've posted, where at some point you say something demeaning about straight people, white people, males, and a combination of all three, and then engage in an argument with said people like it's some big surprise that they don't like being insulted - or that, gasp, they don't agree with your highly selective views and are clearly bigots for it?

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There are multitudes of subjects on which I have opinions, and people disagree with me, and I do not attribute their disagreement to their straight-white-male-ness. On the subject of 'was history an awesome place to live,' well... that is a subject where it does seem relevant.

There sure are, however your proclivity to eventually mention something like:

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In general, I think anyone who can't see a significant difference between today and pretty much any historic period... is probably a straight white cis male, frankly. Who is imagining belonging to the upper class of whatever historic society he is imagining living in.

Is somewhat hard to ignore.

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I'm sorry that you feel that I'm being discriminatory. For what it's worth, I really don't think there's anything wrong with being straight, white, male, or a combination of the above.

That right there is a bullshit apology, you should know that. Or you do and just don't give a shit.

You're saying you still think i'm wrong for having reacted in this manner and that there was nothing wrong with what you said in the first place. Saying "I'm sorry YOU did something" is just a disguised insult. Have some manners.

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I've been discriminated against... pretty much never?

See, either you're lying to me right now or you've lied literally every single time you've ever mentionned anything about your personal life and experiences with bigots and your own family :p

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On the subject of 'was history an awesome place to live,'

That isn't what's being said at all. It's just saying that there's no difference in the amount of violence present in modern society compared to the amount present in past society.

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We feel less threatened because there is, in fact, less of a threat.

His point is that the reason there is less of a threat to us personally is because of the threat of violence held against those who disagree with the state. Though admittedly this has been present throughout all of history, the difference now being that the state enforces order far more effectively than it did in the past due primarily to technological advancements.

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All people are potentially capable of violence, and many if not most people have violent urges sometimes, and that's OK. But very few people are violent for no reason, and very few people are incapable of restraining themselves. Human nature may not be subject to change, but how it manifests is highly dependent on culture and circumstances. And those are things which are subject to change.

This is a difference of philosophy, whether you believe humans are inherently violent or not. I personally believe we are, which could be an interesting point of debate.

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And the fact that we're never going to eliminate violence doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to try to reduce it.

I think it should, haha. Constant restraint of emotion inevitably leads to some outlet being formed, and in the case of modern society, this outlet is explosive, sudden rage.

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...I am honestly not sure what this guy is saying, with this conclusion. We should all stop outsourcing our violence, and arm ourselves with antiquated weapons? Presumably not. Though, you know. Dibs on the longsword. XD

He's saying that we need to stop pretending violence is a necessarily bad thing, that we need to embrace it as part of our world instead of denying it so frequently.
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Morgan_R

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2015, 05:19:59 pm »

You mean you don't remember literally any of the many gender-related topics you've posted, where at some point you say something demeaning about straight people, white people, males, and a combination of all three, and then engage in an argument with said people like it's some big surprise that they don't like being insulted - or that, gasp, they don't agree with your highly selective views and are clearly bigots for it?

I don't believe that I have ever said anything demeaning about straight people, white people, or males, on the basis of their straightness, whiteness, or maleness. And I don't believe that I have ever called anyone I was arguing with a bigot for disagreeing with me.

If someone has a particular perspective I disagree with, and I think that perspective is, in part, due to their having a particular gender and/or orientation, I don't think it's demeaning to point out that those might be relevant.


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That right there is a bullshit apology, you should know that.

It was not an attempt at an apology. :P

It wasn't intended as an insult, either. I am sorry that you feel that way, insofar as it makes me somewhat unhappy that you do. Both because I don't want to be a cause of negative emotions in anyone, and because I am a bit unsettled by your apparent contempt for me. Because I generally respect and like you, actually, and often agree with you on other subjects.

That said: I do not think that I am being discriminatory. I am not discounting your opinion because you are a straight white male. I'm saying that being a straight white male has shaped your opinion... with the implication that if you considered the perspectives of people outside that demographic, you might reconsider that opinion.

Because from my perspective, and the perspectives of many other people, the difference between "today" and "a hundred years ago" is very, very clear.

(And yes, I am aware that there are many people who are not actually benefiting from living today, vs. a hundred years ago. Give it another hundred years, and hopefully that will no longer be true.)


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See, either you're lying to me right now or you've lied literally every single time you've ever mentionned anything about your personal life and experiences with bigots and your own family :p

As I am not in the habit of lying, there is presumably a third explanation. :P

I don't know what you're remembering. I suspect it is not exactly the same thing as what I said, human memory being fallible. Also, I suspect you are categorizing things as "discrimination" that I would not.

Long story short: My issues with being gay were 99% internalized homophobia. Arguably, I grew up in a discriminatory culture, and was thus discriminated against indirectly, by people who did not realize they were doing it. But once I came out, I had basically zero issues.

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That isn't what's being said at all. It's just saying that there's no difference in the amount of violence present in modern society compared to the amount present in past society.

The main statement that I was addressing was Berka's:

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I don't think Humans have advanced in humanity at all since the beginning. I think Humans Are all basically the same from recorded history at least. In my opinion, the idea that civilized society has somehow grown more sophisticated, refined, and "better than those barbarians of the past" over time is laughable.

And yeah, on rereading, it's probably more of an argument that modern society is not-awesome than that history is awesome, so that was poorly worded on my part. But I do feel that this went beyond commentary on violence into a sweeping statement of "civilized society has not actually improved."

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I think it should, haha. Constant restraint of emotion inevitably leads to some outlet being formed, and in the case of modern society, this outlet is explosive, sudden rage.

...interesting.

I think if you practice restraint, you get better at restraint. (I'm helping to raise a preschooler, and this is the logic by which we have been teaching the kid not to hit people.)

I think if you commit violence against someone, they are likely to be violent in return. (This is the logic by which we do not spank the kid.)

I do agree that acknowledging our impulses towards violence, and providing outlets for them, is a good thing. (This is the logic by which the kid gets to (eventually) go to sword class, and hit other kids with foam swords. XD)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 05:25:44 pm by Morgan_R »
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killa_robot

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2015, 06:55:47 pm »

I think actual violence is decreasing. The effect isn't equally distributed, obviously, but that doesn't mean it isn't happening.

In general, I think anyone who can't see a significant difference between today and pretty much any historic period... is probably a straight white cis male, frankly. Who is imagining belonging to the upper class of whatever historic society he is imagining living in.

I mean... all things considered you're statistically right. Just looking at this site, the majority of us are "cis" white males. Though I in no way think I belong to the upper class.

Interesting, I didn't get the same thing from the conclusion that you did. I would say I got more like this: "history proves that if you're not violent, you'll be taken advantage of by people who are."

And I think that is true. Though someone not violent, can 'hire out' someone who is or is prepared to be (police, armies, etc) to counter the impositions of those who are.

It's not violence that you need, it's power. If a 300 pound body builder walks into a room, he doesn't need to throw someone through a wall for the rest of the room to know not to Fark with him. It's the same reason I can walk around town at night, but would never recommend a woman of my age to do the same.

Right now the "State" contains a sufficient amount (or at least, the illusion of a sufficient amount) of power to deter most reasonable people from violence. That's why most convicts are unanimously morons. The only people left in our society that are violent are those who are just idiots, or those influenced by drugs/heavy emotions. A far cry away from hundreds of years ago where you'd beat someone over the head just because you like something they have or they pissed you off.
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Morgan_R

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2015, 01:48:56 am »

Quote
In general, I think anyone who can't see a significant difference between today and pretty much any historic period... is probably a straight white cis male, frankly.

I would just like to say: I talked with my token straight white cis male friend*... and he agrees with my previous statement. I believe his exact response was: "Obviously."

However, as I expressed to him, I do regret making this statement, in the form that I did.

I feel that my underlying point was a legitimate one, and as such, my statement was theoretically inoffensive.

And I sincerely do not think that being straight, or white, or cis, or male, or all of the above, is in any way an inferior thing to be, compared to the opposites of those things. Or anything else in the human spectrum. Nor do I believe that viewing things from a particular perspective, and therefore giving less consideration to perspectives other than one's own, is some sort of grievous sin. I think it is, in fact, a thing that everyone does.

Which is to say: I sincerely intended no offense.

Nonetheless. People were offended. And I apologize.

I was tired, and frustrated, and I wrote somewhat carelessly. I didn't think terribly hard about exactly how my statement would seem, to someone on the receiving side of it. I apologize for that lack of consideration, and I'm sincerely sorry to have caused offense. I will try to be more careful of how I express myself, in the future.


*and by 'token friend' I actually mean: my best friend, and possibly the best person I know.
And I'm not just saying that because he usually agrees with me. ;P
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015, 02:11:02 am by Morgan_R »
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King Playa

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2015, 02:05:38 am »

Remember kids, pacifism only works if everyone is a pacifist.
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killa_robot

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2015, 06:23:53 pm »

I would just like to say: I talked with my token straight white cis male friend*... and he agrees with my previous statement. I believe his exact response was: "Obviously."

However, as I expressed to him, I do regret making this statement, in the form that I did.

I feel that my underlying point was a legitimate one, and as such, my statement was theoretically inoffensive.

And I sincerely do not think that being straight, or white, or cis, or male, or all of the above, is in any way an inferior thing to be, compared to the opposites of those things. Or anything else in the human spectrum. Nor do I believe that viewing things from a particular perspective, and therefore giving less consideration to perspectives other than one's own, is some sort of grievous sin. I think it is, in fact, a thing that everyone does.

Which is to say: I sincerely intended no offense.

Nonetheless. People were offended. And I apologize.

I was tired, and frustrated, and I wrote somewhat carelessly. I didn't think terribly hard about exactly how my statement would seem, to someone on the receiving side of it. I apologize for that lack of consideration, and I'm sincerely sorry to have caused offense. I will try to be more careful of how I express myself, in the future.


*and by 'token friend' I actually mean: my best friend, and possibly the best person I know.
And I'm not just saying that because he usually agrees with me. ;P


You mean your best friend, the person who is likely incredibly sympathetic towards you and who agrees with you often, agreed with you? Well, now that is shocking, but obviously because he's a white cis male that totally adds to the legitimacy of your defence, right?

"Nor do I believe that viewing things from a particular perspective, and therefore giving less consideration to perspectives other than one's own, is some sort of grievous sin."

That's pretty much the source of a lot wrong with the world, and it likely means you lack empathy, lol.
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Morgan_R

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2015, 08:04:55 pm »

Well, now that is shocking, but obviously because he's a white cis male that totally adds to the legitimacy of your defence, right?

I kind of thought that my use of the phrase "token straight white cis male friend," might provide a clue as to whether I was seriously offering an argument of the form "but I have [insert minority here] friends!"

I was somewhat amused by the coincidence that my literal best friend is one of the people I was supposedly displaying bigotry against. But, as you will note if you read my post in its entirety, I made exactly zero arguments on the basis that 'my friend agrees with me.' My reference to his agreement, while factual, was mainly intended as a tongue-in-cheek sort of ice-breaker for my apology.


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"Nor do I believe that viewing things from a particular perspective, and therefore giving less consideration to perspectives other than one's own, is some sort of grievous sin."

That's pretty much the source of a lot wrong with the world, and it likely means you lack empathy, lol.

...it's a lovely glass house you have there. Maybe you have better things to do than throw stones?

There are things that I sincerely respect you for, Killa. But "considering other people's perspectives" and/or "empathy" are not on that list.
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killa_robot

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2015, 08:46:29 pm »

Okay, but you've said you think it's okay to value the opinion of your literal best friend less because he's a white CIS male. Or is this friend of yours an exception?

I don't value people's opinions less based on who they are. I'll certainly value them less if I feel they're biased, or poorly thought out, or just plain wrong though.
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Morgan_R

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2015, 09:16:31 pm »

Okay, but you've said you think it's okay to value the opinion of your literal best friend less because he's a white CIS male. Or is this friend of yours an exception?

...I said what?

Exactly what? In what context?


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I don't value people's opinions less based on who they are. I'll certainly value them less if I feel they're biased, or poorly thought out, or just plain wrong though.

I'm sure. I'm also sure that your perspective affects how you evaluate other peoples' perspectives, when you are determining whether you believe that they are biased or otherwise incorrect. Again: I do not say this as a reflection on you. I believe this to be human nature.

We will always see things from our own particular perspectives. We can strive to consider the perspectives of others. We can and we should. But if we start with the assumption that of course we consider everyone else's opinion just as well as we consider our own... well, I don't think we'll get as far as we could.

Empathy is a really significant component of human interaction. But it's not a Vulcan mind meld. ;P
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killa_robot

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2015, 10:00:50 pm »

...I said what?

Exactly what? In what context?

Nor do I believe that viewing things from a particular perspective, and therefore giving less consideration to perspectives other than one's own, is some sort of grievous sin. I think it is, in fact, a thing that everyone does.

Unless you're saying you simply don't think of things from other people's perspectives, what I'm reading here is you value people's opinions different based on their perspective. You also dismissed Drak's argument pretty hard before by saying he likely felt that way because he was a CIS white male. Gender and race were not mentioned until you brought it up, prompting his anger.

I still think he shouldn't have deleted his big rant post though (did you end up seeing it?).

I'm sure. I'm also sure that your perspective affects how you evaluate other peoples' perspectives, when you are determining whether you believe that they are biased or otherwise incorrect. Again: I do not say this as a reflection on you. I believe this to be human nature.

Okay. But why did it matter to you if Drak's opinion was based on his whiteness or maleness? You only would have brought it up if you felt it was relevant, and since you were arguing against him, those natural conclusion is that you felt it lowered the value of his opinion.

Only alternative I can think of is that you're just so obsessed with gender and race you felt the need to bring it up. Which honestly could be it, as you do bring up the topic pretty often.

Unless you feel there's a third reason that I missed?

We will always see things from our own particular perspectives. We can strive to consider the perspectives of others. We can and we should. But if we start with the assumption that of course we consider everyone else's opinion just as well as we consider our own... well, I don't think we'll get as far as we could.

Empathy is a really significant component of human interaction. But it's not a Vulcan mind meld. ;P

See, just like that. You don't consider their perspective, you consider their POTENTIAL perspective. I can say this as a fact because being a white male COULD shape someone to have a certain perspective, but that doesn't mean it will. A person's perspective is based off of their knowledge and experience, which while it could be influenced (and likely is) by their gender and race, that doesn't make it true enough to judge them solely based on those two traits.
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Morgan_R

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2015, 01:44:42 am »

Nor do I believe that viewing things from a particular perspective, and therefore giving less consideration to perspectives other than one's own, is some sort of grievous sin. I think it is, in fact, a thing that everyone does.

Unless you're saying you simply don't think of things from other people's perspectives, what I'm reading here is you value people's opinions different based on their perspective.

...I have apparently expressed myself poorly, because I mean neither of those things. >_<

Let me try again.

I think everyone has a particular perspective, and everyone's perspective is different. Your perspective is shaped by your experiences, and those experiences are affected by things like your race and gender. And by many other things, to be clear! Any given individual's perspective is unique, even as it also has certain commonalities with other people's perspectives.

So, of course, I never said anything like 'I think all straight white cis males believe X.' (I'm not convinced there would be any possible value for X in that statement.)

What I said was: 'I think people who believe X are likely to be straight white cis males.' (Where X = "the present is no different than the past." To put it concisely.)

What I was attempting to imply, was that those particular straight white cis males, who believed X, had perhaps failed to consider the perspectives of people outside their particular demographic.

My implication was not, as some people seemed to feel, 'straight white cis males are jerks who should shut up.'

I did, however, indirectly accuse Berka and Drak of not really considering perspectives besides their own, in making the argument(s) that they made.

So, I wanted to highlight the fact that I thought this was a pretty normal thing to do, and not some terrible sin that they needed to somehow atone for. Because I think that it can be difficult to properly consider someone else's perspective, or to even realize that it's something you need to stop and think about. (See also: This thread.)


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But why did it matter to you if Drak's opinion was based on his whiteness or maleness? You only would have brought it up if you felt it was relevant, and since you were arguing against him, those natural conclusion is that you felt it lowered the value of his opinion.

Thank you for asking. Very sincerely: Thank you for asking, and not assuming. Because yes, I brought it up because I felt it was relevant... but your hypothetical 'natural conclusion' is definitely not what I meant.

So, thank you for giving me a second chance to try to explain my perspective, because I seem to be very bad at that lately, and I'd really like to try again.

So. I would summarize what Berka and Drak seemed to be saying as something like this:

"Culturally, we have not actually improved. The present is not better than the past."

(I do not think they were making the same exact point as each other in the first place, to be clear. But this seems to me to be a fairly good approximation of the commonalities in their opinions. They may very well disagree, and I would be happy to hear their clarification on their beliefs with respect to cultural progress, or the lack thereof.)

In response, I should have said something more like this:

I think we are considering this subject from very different perspectives.

As someone who is straight, your sexuality was never considered a mental illness, to be treated with aversion therapy. So it probably doesn't mean as much to you, that these days a gay couple can actually get married... and that most people in our culture approve of this state of affairs.

As someone who is white, your ancestors were never considered to be less than fully human, in the eyes of the law and of their legal owners. So it probably doesn't mean as much to you, that our culture has abolished slavery.

As someone who is cis, you've never had to deal with people insisting that your anatomy defines you, while dealing with your own dysphoria with regards to that anatomy. So it may not mean as much anything to you, that we living in a time when being trans is increasingly understood, scientifically and culturally.

As someone who is male, people like you have been able to vote for as long as there's been democracy. So it probably doesn't mean as much to you, that women can vote now too. Or that women can work in virtually any field, and that our culture actively encourages this equality.

Perhaps from your perspective, it seems like our culture has not actually changed that much.

From my perspective, and from many people's perspectives: Things have changed. Things have changed profoundly.

I'm not sure you can imagine my profound gratitude, for lack of a better word, for being born where and especially when I was. I don't actually ascribe the timing of my birth to anything but chance. But I don't know how else to talk about my feeling about the fact that my life could have been terrible, and, in fact, my life is actually awesome.

And when you talk about history being equivalent to the present, I can't help but think about what things were like, for many people.

Imagine being gay, and not knowing it, until the moment in which you first feel attracted to someone... and you realize that you will never lead a normal life. And your choices are celibacy, or a furtive pursuit of a desire you know to be wrong, and punishable by damnation.

Imagine being a woman, with no real options in life, besides 'marry someone you have little in common with, have sex you may or may not enjoy, get pregnant, hopefully don't die in agonizing childbirth, and then take care of the child... who may or may not survive to adulthood.' Repeat steps 2 through 5, perhaps as many as a dozen times.

Imagine being a slave. Imagine knowing that you are property, and that your children will be property. Imagine that the daily injustice and misery of your life, and the lives of everyone you love, is perfectly legal, and that you have no recourse of any kind.

Speaking for myself, I don't think I can truly understand what any of these things would have actually been like. But I do think I've probably spent more time contemplating the first two than you have, for obvious reasons.

Now, to be clear, I do realize that there were many ways in which many people, and specifically people who were straight, white, and male, were also miserable, throughout human history. I don't actually think that history was a very nice place for anyone, generally speaking.

And I am also aware that there are still a great many ways in which a great many people are miserable, in the present day.

But I think it is actually somewhat unprecedented, that so many people are not miserable. That we have made so many changes, so quickly, and that things are continuing to change. I may be an optimist, but I think that things are actually starting to get better for people in general. I know we have a long way to go, and I'm not trying to ignore that... but I think you do humanity a disservice, if you ignore our collective progress.


...and if you read all of this, thank you for your time and attention, regardless of whether you end up agreeing with any of it. Sorry I couldn't be more concise. And I apologize for any typos, or, gods forbid, any epic-level failure in communicating my point. Hopefully spending some actual time on it will turn out to have helped on that front. Regardless... I need to go to bed more than I need to proofread this yet again. Thanks again for hearing me out.

TL;DR: History was a crappy place to live. The world is a now better place, for a lot of people. Let's keep making it better.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 02:17:21 am by Morgan_R »
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killa_robot

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Re: Hurray For Face Punching!
« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2015, 11:00:03 am »

I think you may have misunderstood drak and berka from the start. Neither claimed nothing had changed for anyone. I dont think anyone can deny its a great time for people who are gay, or a minority, to be alive, comparatively speaking.

What they were saying is that society is built on violence/the threat of violence, and that even if real violence is down, that doesnt mean the threat is any less real (which i disagree with).

No one was saying everything is the same as its always been for everyone, which is what im lead to believe you were thinking.
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