POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

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Bundokji
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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Thu May 03, 2018 5:04 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 9:11 pm
No, that's how I've consistently used it on this thread. There is no necessary connection between increasing confrontation and increasing risk. We can of course think of reasons why it might be that way, but we can also think of reasons why it might not. For example, if a person or country is becoming increasingly belligerent and increasing their capacity for harm, failing to confront can increase the likelihood of a bad outcome. Of course, retaliation might be sought; but then again, it might not. There are countries whose violent trajectory was forcibly arrested, and thereafter became peaceful with no attempt at retaliation. It's a comforting theory, but not supported by the evidence.
It is supported by the Buddha. The Buddha said:
Speak not harshly to anyone, for those thus spoken to might retort. Indeed, angry speech hurts, and retaliation may overtake you.
The connection between harsh speech (which is a form of confrontation) and the increased risk of retaliation was highlighted by the Buddha
One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.
Yes, it's a favourite quote of mine, too, but context is everything. To "illuminate" means to reveal moral truth. The policeman who decides not to taser the criminal about to knife me might provide a great deal of illumination for somebody, but he doesn't do me or my family any favours.
No one appointed the US as the policeman of the world. Also a police officer is acting according to the law, while the Trump administration is breaking the law.
Again, whether Trump's actions were legal, popular, or approved of is different from whether they were morally reckless. It could be the case that refraining from action would have led to worse consequences, and therefore would have been morally worse. And in terms of intention, he could have been full of love for those he believed his actions were saving. My point is not that I know that he is in the right, but that we cannot know that he is any more in the wrong than other leaders with different courses of action would be.
Breaking the law is morally reckless as it undermines the law governing the relationship between nations
It depends on the context. Rudeness is often useful in getting the attention of someone who ignores you. That's why police have weapons. It's very rude to shoot or club someone, but if they are resistant to your ad hoc counselling to put down the knife, then the rudeness might be justified. Trump was very rude about Kim Jong-un, and that hasn't, apparently, stopped him from being hailed as the saviour of the region and being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. See my point above about the mental state of those who take action. We just don't know it, so we make do with inferred fantasies. What if the person who authorises force is kind but resolutely determined that peace and justice ultimately prevail, whereas the person who refrains from force is full of fear and simply does not care about the consequences? Again, erecting a maxim of action on either of these scenarios is not realistic.
No one appointed the US to be the policeman of the world. It is too early to know if peace came to the Korean Peninsula
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Sam Vara
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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Sam Vara » Thu May 03, 2018 6:29 am

Bundokji wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 5:04 am

It is supported by the Buddha. The Buddha said:
Speak not harshly to anyone, for those thus spoken to might retort. Indeed, angry speech hurts, and retaliation may overtake you.
The connection between harsh speech (which is a form of confrontation) and the increased risk of retaliation was highlighted by the Buddha
One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.
Indeed. So according to the Buddha, Trump might be overtaken by retaliation. That leaves open the possibility that he might not (i.e. according to what the Buddha said about kamma, he might have spoken without greed, hatred, and delusion); and also has nothing to do with the safety of the people for whom he purports to act. Trump's kamma is his own affair, and I certainly wouldn't want to be in his position. I'm interested in the moral recklessness of an action, and specifically whether the moral recklessness of refraining from acting decisively can be equal or greater to that pertaining to the decisive action. I can think of lots of situations where it is, and our lack of knowledge about international politics makes me think that this could be one of them.
Breaking the law is morally reckless as it undermines the law governing the relationship between nations
Yes, it is better to obey laws than to break them, if only because it tends to undermine the rule of law. But again, it cannot be a decisive factor because I can conceive of many situations where breaking the law is less morally reckless than keeping it. The law is a convention, not morality itself. This is shown by the fact that there are good laws and bad laws.
No one appointed the US to be the policeman of the world. It is too early to know if peace came to the Korean Peninsula
Nobody appointed any policeman of the world, at least one whose power makes the term meaningful. It's a different issue from whether moral recklessness invariably applies to decisive action more than inaction. And it's certainly true that peace prevails in the Korean peninsula at the moment. As I said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I have seen pictures of Koreans crying with joy at the first spoonful.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Thu May 03, 2018 7:03 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 6:29 am
Indeed. So according to the Buddha, Trump might be overtaken by retaliation. That leaves open the possibility that he might not (i.e. according to what the Buddha said about kamma, he might have spoken without greed, hatred, and delusion); and also has nothing to do with the safety of the people for whom he purports to act. Trump's kamma is his own affair, and I certainly wouldn't want to be in his position. I'm interested in the moral recklessness of an action, and specifically whether the moral recklessness of refraining from acting decisively can be equal or greater to that pertaining to the decisive action. I can think of lots of situations where it is, and our lack of knowledge about international politics makes me think that this could be one of them.
Would it be unfair to say that you continue to avoid the issue on hand? Who mentioned intentions here? The verse i quoted highlights the risk inherent to harsh speech (confrontation), it does not address intention.

I kept on saying that risk is not only about the results of the action, but how the avtion is done, something you choose to overlook re-emphasizing that we don't know which mean eventually result in less harm hence its all the same!

Unsurpisingly, this is what the UN secretary general had to say:
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged Donald Trump not to walk away from an international deal designed to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Guterres said there was a real risk of war if the 2015 agreement was not preserved.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43985255
Yes, it is better to obey laws than to break them, if only because it tends to undermine the rule of law. But again, it cannot be a decisive factor because I can conceive of many situations where breaking the law is less morally reckless than keeping it. The law is a convention, not morality itself. This is shown by the fact that there are good laws and bad laws.
When breaking the law becomes the norm rather than the exception, it is a decisive factor. Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement and from international trade deals binding to both the US and its partners, this is in addition to using force without a UN resolution and threatening to withdraw from a deal signed by a demoncraticlly elected president of the US (Obama).

Personally, i fail to see how any of the above as an example of how breaking the law is less morally reckless than keeping it.
Nobody appointed any policeman of the world, at least one whose power makes the term meaningful. It's a different issue from whether moral recklessness invariably applies to decisive action more than inaction. And it's certainly true that peace prevails in the Korean peninsula at the moment. As I said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I have seen pictures of Koreans crying with joy at the first spoonful.
You used the policeman analogy to demonstrate how "decisive" action and the use of force can be justified failing to mention that this does not apply in the case of the US, and when i reminded you that no one appointed the US as the policeman of the world, you came back to tell me that its a different issue from whether recklessness invariably applies to decisive action more than inaction. If this is not avoiding the issue, what is it then if i may ask?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by DooDoot » Thu May 03, 2018 10:07 am

Bundokji wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 5:04 am
It is too early to know if peace came to the Korean Peninsula
Has there been war on the Korean Peninsula. I never heard of a war there since the 1950s? You seem to be debating over a "narrative" that is not even real & may be used to give the war monger Trump a Nobel Peace Prize. Have North Korea harmed any other nation? Have North Korea, since WW2, unleashed countless death squads, coups & wars upon countless nations, resulting in the killing of many millions of people? North Korea may be a kooky country but I personally prefer its foreign policy history to that of the USA. The USA makes war for private corporate interests.
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu May 03, 2018 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sam Vara
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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Sam Vara » Thu May 03, 2018 10:12 am

Bundokji wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 7:03 am

Would it be unfair to say that you continue to avoid the issue on hand? Who mentioned intentions here? The verse i quoted highlights the risk inherent to harsh speech (confrontation), it does not address intention.
Yes, I think it would indeed be unfair. There is indeed a risk inherent in harsh speech, but my point is that there is a risk inherent in all speech and in remaining silent. The risk is that the situation which you wish to achieve is not thereby achieved. Looking back at my post, I don't think I mentioned intention in my response to your quoting that verse.
I kept on saying that risk is not only about the results of the action, but how the avtion is done, something you choose to overlook re-emphasizing that we don't know which mean eventually result in less harm hence its all the same!
Sorry, this doesn't seem to make grammatical sense, so I'm not sure how to respond. But I will make the point that I see no distinction between an action, and how it is done. If it is done differently, it is a different action. For example, if a leader kills a terrorist, he can do it by means of an assassination, or he can do it by wiping out a city block. Those are different ways how to do it, but these are different actions with a different moral status. In terms of the same action, I can only differentiate between the action itself and the intention behind it.
When breaking the law becomes the norm rather than the exception, it is a decisive factor. Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement and from international trade deals binding to both the US and its partners, this is in addition to using force without a UN resolution and threatening to withdraw from a deal signed by a demoncraticlly elected president of the US (Obama).
Yes, I'm sure Trump is reprehensible, and has done many wrong things. But I'm not here interested in character, or accumulated virtue or vice; more about whether the moral status of acting decisively and harshly is always worse than that of refraining from such action.
Personally, i fail to see how any of the above as an example of how breaking the law is less morally reckless than keeping it.
Yes, but that's because you selected them as illustrative of how breaking the law is more morally reckless. We can trade counter-examples all day, but I'm merely challenging the view that breaking the law is always the more morally reckless or reprehensible course. I'm not saying that it never is; clearly it often is. But there are counter-examples which prove that sometimes it is not, and without the information available to Trump, I don't know whether this is one of them.
You used the policeman analogy to demonstrate how "decisive" action and the use of force can be justified failing to mention that this does not apply in the case of the US, and when i reminded you that no one appointed the US as the policeman of the world, you came back to tell me that its a different issue from whether recklessness invariably applies to decisive action more than inaction. If this is not avoiding the issue, what is it then if i may ask?
You certainly may ask, and the answer is that it is an analogy pushed too far. In my example of being saved by a policeman, his status of being a sworn-in officer of the state is not relevant to the morality of his action. If you like, think of him as a concerned neighbour who hears my screams and then acts decisively to save me from the criminal. In other words, if acting decisively and violently can be the morally preferable course of action under some circumstances, I'll need more convincing that Trump's actions were necessarily morally wrong.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Thu May 03, 2018 10:20 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 10:07 am
Bundokji wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 5:04 am
It is too early to know if peace came to the Korean Peninsula
Has there been war on the Korean Peninsula. I never heard of a war there since the 1950s? You seem to be debating over a "narrative" that is not even real.
There are various degrees of conflict in which a full blown war is one of them. As far as i know, the Korean war in the 1950s and after the ceasefire was not followed by a formal peace agreement between the north and the south.

With the absence of a formal peace treaty/agreement solving the issues between the two countries, any possible future military actions is perceived as a continuation of the war in the 1950s, while if the two countries signed formal agreements, any future military confrontation can be seen as a breach of the agreement between the two sides or it might arise for completely different causes.

What i am trying to say is that while it is correct that no major military confrontation between the two Koreas took place since the 1950s, it is equally accurate to say that there has been no peace between the Korean Peninsula since that time, all in my opinion.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Thu May 03, 2018 11:35 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 10:12 am
Yes, I think it would indeed be unfair. There is indeed a risk inherent in harsh speech, but my point is that there is a risk inherent in all speech and in remaining silent. The risk is that the situation which you wish to achieve is not thereby achieved. Looking back at my post, I don't think I mentioned intention in my response to your quoting that verse.
In your response you mentioned Kamma, and Kamma is "intentional action". You also spoke of his intentions when you said that he might have spoken without greed, hatred, and delusion.

Your emphasis on the fact that there is a risk inherent in all speech/action serves to downplay the fact that kindness and compassion are preferable to harshness and bullying, and that the likelihood of harm being caused by the later is higher than the former.
Sorry, this doesn't seem to make grammatical sense, so I'm not sure how to respond. But I will make the point that I see no distinction between an action, and how it is done. If it is done differently, it is a different action. For example, if a leader kills a terrorist, he can do it by means of an assassination, or he can do it by wiping out a city block. Those are different ways how to do it, but these are different actions with a different moral status. In terms of the same action, I can only differentiate between the action itself and the intention behind it.
Why is it preferable to kill a terrorist by means of assassination than wiping out a city block? While we can't be sure of the exact results of each action, It is reasonable to expect that assassination would cause less harm than wiping a city block! In the same way, it is reasonable to expect that confronting regional and international powers might lead to devastating consequences.

Trump actions could have resulted and continue to be a potential for major wars. Your argument that the lack of hindsight is applicable to all leader does not justify his confrontational/reckless/risky approach.
Yes, I'm sure Trump is reprehensible, and has done many wrong things. But I'm not here interested in character, or accumulated virtue or vice; more about whether the moral status of acting decisively and harshly is always worse than that of refraining from such action.
I did not say that acting decisively and harshly is always worse than refraining from such action, but in the case of Trump, when acting harshly is the norm (rather than the exception) this is a sure sign of moral recklessness.
Yes, but that's because you selected them as illustrative of how breaking the law is more morally reckless. We can trade counter-examples all day, but I'm merely challenging the view that breaking the law is always the more morally reckless or reprehensible course. I'm not saying that it never is; clearly it often is. But there are counter-examples which prove that sometimes it is not, and without the information available to Trump, I don't know whether this is one of them.
Every rule has its own exceptions, but that does not mean a rule does not exist. When the exception becomes the norm, is an indication of moral decay in my opinion.
You certainly may ask, and the answer is that it is an analogy pushed too far. In my example of being saved by a policeman, his status of being a sworn-in officer of the state is not relevant to the morality of his action. If you like, think of him as a concerned neighbour who hears my screams and then acts decisively to save me from the criminal. In other words, if acting decisively and violently can be the morally preferable course of action under some circumstances, I'll need more convincing that Trump's actions were necessarily morally wrong.
Do you think Trump's actions under current circumstances are morally more preferable?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Sam Vara » Thu May 03, 2018 12:49 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 11:35 am

In your response you mentioned Kamma, and Kamma is "intentional action". You also spoke of his intentions when you said that he might have spoken without greed, hatred, and delusion.
Ah, I see. Well, it doesn't materially affect my point either way. As I said, I make a distinction between the action, and the mental state which informs it. We don't know Trump's mental state, whereas we do know what he did. My point is whether what he did is necessarily more morally reprehensible than not doing it. If you think intention or kamma is an important aspect of this, then I'm happy to discuss that, but happy to leave it if not.
Your emphasis on the fact that there is a risk inherent in all speech/action serves to downplay the fact that kindness and compassion are preferable to harshness and bullying, and that the likelihood of harm being caused by the later is higher than the former.
No, it doesn't. My point is not about the moral status of kindness and compassion versus harshness and bullying, but about some forms of harshness being more morally justified than kindness by their ability to avert a greater degree of suffering.
Why is it preferable to kill a terrorist by means of assassination than wiping out a city block? While we can't be sure of the exact results of each action, It is reasonable to expect that assassination would cause less harm than wiping a city block! In the same way, it is reasonable to expect that confronting regional and international powers might lead to devastating consequences.
I'm not sure what you mean by "reasonable" here. It might mean "supportive of an axiom", but it is not a point supported by historical example. Were regional superpowers to be bent upon causing more devastation than would be incurred by the intervention, then according to that particular criterion it would be better to confront.
Trump actions could have resulted and continue to be a potential for major wars. Your argument that the lack of hindsight is applicable to all leader does not justify his confrontational/reckless/risky approach.


Everything a US president does at that level could have resulted in major wars. Including the most pacific appeasement. It hardly needs pointing out that the US is rarely free from military conflict of one sort or another, but I don't see any major wars at the moment. Stating that his confrontational approach is "reckless/risky" does not make it so. The perceived weakness of a non-confrontational approach could be even more "reckless/risky".
I did not say that acting decisively and harshly is always worse than refraining from such action...
Excellent! Then we agree that acting decisively and harshly can sometimes be morally better than not doing so! All you need now is to convince me that Trump's actions are not in that category of decisive harsh actions which are morally better than refraining from them.
...but in the case of Trump, when acting harshly is the norm (rather than the exception) this is a sure sign of moral recklessness.


This does not so convince me, I'm afraid, because I am talking about a particular action, rather than (as I said a while ago) Trump's character or virtues or general tendencies. He might be reckless in other areas, but it does not mean that his actions in the Middle East (or any specific actions) are morally reckless. Even a wicked person can do good actions, and a lazy person can exert themselves, etc. One might of course not want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt because one has built up a dislike of him, but that is a poor guide to what happens in the real world.
Every rule has its own exceptions, but that does not mean a rule does not exist. When the exception becomes the norm, is an indication of moral decay in my opinion.
Maybe. What is the rule where one believes oneself justified in using force to prevent suffering greater than that which is caused by the force itself?
Do you think Trump's actions under current circumstances are morally more preferable?
I don't know. It's certainly possible that they are, and if they are not optimally preferable, then they might well be morally better than inaction or appeasement. For a moral assessment we either need access to his mental state, or the longer-term consequences, both of which are unavailable to us.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Fri May 04, 2018 2:07 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:49 pm
Ah, I see. Well, it doesn't materially affect my point either way. As I said, I make a distinction between the action, and the mental state which informs it. We don't know Trump's mental state, whereas we do know what he did. My point is whether what he did is necessarily more morally reprehensible than not doing it. If you think intention or kamma is an important aspect of this, then I'm happy to discuss that, but happy to leave it if not.
No, it doesn't. My point is not about the moral status of kindness and compassion versus harshness and bullying, but about some forms of harshness being more morally justified than kindness by their ability to avert a greater degree of suffering.
The moral weight of actions can be evaluated either on the action itself, or based on intention, or both. For example, negligence is a form of moral recklessness even though it is difficult to determine whether negligence can be defined as intentional or not because it is rather related to something we ought to do but we don't, and yet, it is still punishable by law due to its consequences. So considering negligence immoral is not only a moral judgement, but a preventive tool against further negligence, a way to influence people to be more aware of the possible consequences of their actions.

When the US and the UK invaded Iraq in 2003, i don't think their intention was to bring chaos to the region, but the results of their actions was the death of a million innocent Iraqi people. According to your view, if i understand it correctly, they can be seen as morally blameless because:

1- They lacked hindsight
2- Because decisive actions (confrontation and violence) can be the right moral choice in certain circumstances.

It might be an interesting observation that Trump appointed John Bolton as national security advisor who was a strong proponent of the invasion of Iraq (and currently calling for confrontation with Iran). I watched an interview on CNN with him and he continues to deny that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and he described the military operation as a great success, and what went wrong, according to him, was the lack of proper planning of how to manage Iraq after the invasion.

Another recent appointment of Trump is Mike Pompeo, another supporter of decisive action against Iran. When he was asked about the invasion of Iraq by a congress member (Rand Paul) he reduced it to "bad intelligence", and he was smiling when he said that.

The process of investigating intentions is a tricky business. For example, negligence/moral recklessness is not necessarily a direct intention, but a by-product of other intentions/beliefs such as seeing the other as a sub-human! or a feeling of superiority and invincibility?

So, actions or beliefs are interconnected hence we will have to look at the big picture.

The Buddha, on rare occasions, was harsh with some of his disciple when they misrepresented his teachings, and on one particular occasion, he was very harsh (with Devadatta), and this particular story shows the risks inherent to being harsh as it resulted in an assassination attempt against the Buddha. Of course, what the Buddha did to Devadatta was the right moral choice regardless of the consequences, and this conclusion is based on what we know about the Buddha and his teachings, not a mere intellectual bias or fantasy.

It is worth noting that some religions such as Jainism and to a large extent Buddhism put too much emphasis on non-harming as a basis for the whole teachings even though they are not naive enough to fail to see that confrontation and violence can solve some problems in the short term, but the wisdom of these teachings is seeing beyond the immediate and helping humanity to avoid a vicious cycle. When we use violence to reach a desired outcome, it leaves an impression within us that it can be used again in the future (slippery slope) and we end up not knowing how to stop.

Not seeing the danger inherent in the use of violence manifests itself in the excessive use of it, and our reasoning ability becomes a servant to justify why it can be used again and again, then (peace through strength) becomes a shiny slogan to the extent that even Buddhists start to believe in its viability.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Fri May 04, 2018 4:32 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:49 pm
Excellent! Then we agree that acting decisively and harshly can sometimes be morally better than not doing so! All you need now is to convince me that Trump's actions are not in that category of decisive harsh actions which are morally better than refraining from them.


Morally better from which perspective? The US and western perspective is the moral criteria?

If we acknowledge that each country has its own moral norms (which is different from proposing that all moral norms are equal), then the US right to intervene becomes under scrutiny.

Why would a country be allowed to use force (or decisive actions as you describe it) against countries thousands of miles away in the first place? where does that right to intervene (or sense of entitlement) came from?

Please note that the sense of entitlement is stronger when it comes to harsh actions than to soft actions. If your son does something wrong, you might beat him or shout at him, but if your neighbor's son did something wrong, the proper action would be to tell his father, and if his father fails to act, you can go to the police and take legal action. The opposite is not true if you want to use a soft action. You can be nice to your neighbor's son without needing a permission from his father.

Imagine you visit a Muslim country which has different norms and morality than yours, and you witnessed some actions that contradicts with your own belief system, would it be morally correct to impose your own morality on others using force? So the criteria should be the moral norms of where the action is taking place, not the moral package you bring with you from the UK.

However, the world is more complex than that, and countries have interests. When a country feels that its interests are being threatened, there are the UN and the security council, and those legal institutions are the proper channels to solve international disputes.

Every country in which Trump is threatening to have "decisive actions" are suffering due to previous interventions (or decisive actions) by the US in the past. In Korea, the US took part in the war in the 1950s. In Syria, the US support of terrorists groups prolonged the war there. Look at Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Yemen. In every country where they intervened, they brought death and destruction. That would ring a bell to anyone with a minimum sense of moral responsibility, and yet, more intervening and use of force is the answer, so they claim.

Due to racism in Europe during the second world war, the Jewish people had to immigrate to the Middle East to save their lives, which resulted in a conflict between the Arab aboriginals and the Jewish immigrants. The UK, at that time, promised the Jews a land they don't own, and Trump recently, is moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in a complete disregard too how the Palestinians would feel about it and a continuation of the same old western policies of giving what they don't own.

And yet, the status quo, while far from perfect, is bearable to a lot of people, but Trump and the current US administration wont let people alone. More confrontations (or decisive actions) are needed to make the world perfect according to their whims and desires.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Kamran » Fri May 04, 2018 5:53 am

:goodpost:
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by DooDoot » Fri May 04, 2018 6:20 am

Bundokji wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 2:07 am
When the US and the UK invaded Iraq in 2003, i don't think their intention was to bring chaos to the region...
My impression is the US leaders clearly knew it would result in chaos (per 1st video). The whole agenda appears to bring chaos to those nations (per 2nd video); given that has been the result. The same method was used for each recent country. I have seen the videos for both the Libyan & Syrian "uprisings". Each was the same. Orchestrated demonstrations in border towns (Benghazi & Darrah) and then snipers started shooting at the police, yet the Western media said it was police shooting demonstrators. Same recently in Iran. Some protests in border towns. The CIA manufactured "humanitarian crisis" for the purpose of intervention but when the real humanitarian crisis occurs they completely ignore the situation (such as post 2008 Iraq & post 2011 Libya). At least for me, the degree of evil is often too difficult to mentally accommodate. The evil is unimaginable; which includes the evil that did 9/11.






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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Sam Vara » Fri May 04, 2018 6:42 am

Bundokji wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 2:07 am

The moral weight of actions can be evaluated either on the action itself, or based on intention, or both. For example, negligence is a form of moral recklessness even though it is difficult to determine whether negligence can be defined as intentional or not because it is rather related to something we ought to do but we don't, and yet, it is still punishable by law due to its consequences. So considering negligence immoral is not only a moral judgement, but a preventive tool against further negligence, a way to influence people to be more aware of the possible consequences of their actions.
Of course. Negligence is recognised as blameworthy in any system of Western ethics that I know of, and (as Richard Gombrich points out) is no less so within the Buddha's teaching. Without knowing what the actor in question knew, however, we cannot make an accurate judgement as to whether their actions were negligent compared to another course of action. There is no necessary connection between negligence and forceful action, any more than there is between negligence and restraint or appeasement.
When the US and the UK invaded Iraq in 2003, i don't think their intention was to bring chaos to the region, but the results of their actions was the death of a million innocent Iraqi people. According to your view, if i understand it correctly, they can be seen as morally blameless because:

1- They lacked hindsight
2- Because decisive actions (confrontation and violence) can be the right moral choice in certain circumstances.
Then you haven't understod correctly. I consider the 2003 invasion of Iraq to have been an appalling catastrophe, and possibly the worst misjudgement the UK government has made in my lifetime (I was born just after the Suez crisis!). I would be interested to know how you could derive this view from anything I have said. (I am generally interested in how debates on the internet can facilitate such misunderstandings).
It is worth noting that some religions such as Jainism and to a large extent Buddhism put too much emphasis on non-harming as a basis for the whole teachings even though they are not naive enough to fail to see that confrontation and violence can solve some problems in the short term, but the wisdom of these teachings is seeing beyond the immediate and helping humanity to avoid a vicious cycle. When we use violence to reach a desired outcome, it leaves an impression within us that it can be used again in the future (slippery slope) and we end up not knowing how to stop./quote]

Does it? Might the effects not rather shock us and make us resolve not to use it again? It's for this reason that I have tried to rely on History and Ethics, rather than pop psychology. Were "violence breeds violence" to be significantly true, it would lead to a form of abderitism at best, or perpetual conflict at worst.
Not seeing the danger inherent in the use of violence manifests itself in the excessive use of it, and our reasoning ability becomes a servant to justify why it can be used again and again, then (peace through strength) becomes a shiny slogan to the extent that even Buddhists start to believe in its viability.
Of course, not seeing the danger in the use of anything can lead us into it's over-use. But this is, I'm afraid, a form of question-begging. Once we have decided on what excessive use is, we can then say that the perpetrator failed to see the dangers inherent in it. But given that violence is accepted as being occasionally necessary, how do we determine what counts as excessive use?

Family duties call, so I'll deal with your other post about moral relativism later this morning.

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Bundokji
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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Fri May 04, 2018 7:41 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 6:42 am
Of course. Negligence is recognised as blameworthy in any system of Western ethics that I know of, and (as Richard Gombrich points out) is no less so within the Buddha's teaching. Without knowing what the actor in question knew, however, we cannot make an accurate judgement as to whether their actions were negligent compared to another course of action. There is no necessary connection between negligence and forceful action, any more than there is between negligence and restraint or appeasement.
You might be overlooking the fact that almost in all moral systems, we don't treat the use of force in the same way we treat soft actions. For example, giving a reward begs less investigation than punishment because the consequence of each action is not the same. Legal proceedings might take years to prove someone is guilty to avoid injustice. Recognizing the potential pain which might result from harshness, we give the other "the benefit of the doubt" or in legal terms, we say "innocent until proven guilty". In brief, when there is uncertainty, sane people choose to be wrong while merciful than being wrong while harsh.

Your attempt to equate the two by saying " There is no necessary connection between negligence and forceful action, any more than there is between negligence and restraint or appeasement" is futile in my opinion.

If Trump wants to use confrontation and force, he owes the public a proper justification. He should give evidence that Assad used Chemical weapons against his own people which he failed to do, and he needs to prove that Iran violated the nuclear deal if he wants to withdraw from it and impose sanctions. Unless he does that, his actions cannot be morally justified.
Then you haven't understod correctly. I consider the 2003 invasion of Iraq to have been an appalling catastrophe, and possibly the worst misjudgement the UK government has made in my lifetime (I was born just after the Suez crisis!). I would be interested to know how you could derive this view from anything I have said. (I am generally interested in how debates on the internet can facilitate such misunderstandings).
You claimed that i have not understood you correctly, so please help me to understand you better. First, where did i even mention your personal beliefs about the way in Iraq? What i did is to show that your approach to this discussion so far can be used to justify any morally reckless action including the war in Iraq. Not only that, i summarized your criteria in two points and clearly showed how it can be used to justify the war in Iraq. I did not say you support the war in Iraq.

More generally, your approach which is suspending judgement unless we know exactly what Trump knew to determine how morally justified his confrontational approach is can result in catastrophes. We, the people of the world, should wait until the shit hits the fan and bury our heads in the sand because we don't know exactly what Trump knew. If he knew something we don't know, he has the moral obligation to let the rest of the world know what he knows. Until he does that, his confrontational approach cannot be morally justified.
Does it? Might the effects not rather shock us and make us resolve not to use it again? It's for this reason that I have tried to rely on History and Ethics, rather than pop psychology. Were "violence breeds violence" to be significantly true, it would lead to a form of abderitism at best, or perpetual conflict at worst.
This is akin to recommending someone to quit smoking after he gets cancer.
Of course, not seeing the danger in the use of anything can lead us into it's over-use. But this is, I'm afraid, a form of question-begging. Once we have decided on what excessive use is, we can then say that the perpetrator failed to see the dangers inherent in it. But given that violence is accepted as being occasionally necessary, how do we determine what counts as excessive use?
How do you define moderation? Can you name one policy where Trump has not been confrontational both internally and with the rest of the world?
Family duties call, so I'll deal with your other post about moral relativism later this morning.
No worries, but i am waiting to see where did i propose moral relativism?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Sam Vara » Fri May 04, 2018 10:19 am

Bundokji wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 4:32 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 12:49 pm
Excellent! Then we agree that acting decisively and harshly can sometimes be morally better than not doing so! All you need now is to convince me that Trump's actions are not in that category of decisive harsh actions which are morally better than refraining from them.


Morally better from which perspective? The US and western perspective is the moral criteria?
I don't think perspectives have much of a role to play here. If we agree that acting decisively and harshly can sometimes be morally better than not doing so, then we have already escaped from moral relativism. If you think that there is a "perspective" in which the above does not apply (i.e. that there are some perspectives within which acting decisively and harshly are never the better option) then you need to explain what that perspective is.
You might be overlooking the fact that almost in all moral systems, we don't treat the use of force in the same way we treat soft actions. For example, giving a reward begs less investigation than punishment because the consequence of each action is not the same.
No, I'm not overlooking that fact. I'm not accepting the point that giving rewards "begs less investigation", though, because in all the ethical systems we have touched upon - and the legal systems with which I am familiar - it is not true. Rewarding bad behaviour is universally condemned in Utilitarianism, deontological theories, and virtue ethics. In that category falls bribery, incitement, conspiracy, corruption, and all forms of encouragement or permitting of others to do otherwise avoidable evil.
Your attempt to equate the two by saying " There is no necessary connection between negligence and forceful action, any more than there is between negligence and restraint or appeasement" is futile in my opinion.
Well, opinions are fine, but it would be better to show the futility. One cannot analytically derive the concept of negligence from force, any more than one can derive it from restraint or appeasement.
If Trump wants to use confrontation and force, he owes the public a proper justification. He should give evidence that Assad used Chemical weapons against his own people which he failed to do, and he needs to prove that Iran violated the nuclear deal if he wants to withdraw from it and impose sanctions. Unless he does that, his actions cannot be morally justified.
I agree that he does owe the public a proper justification. But that's another, different ethical question about what leaders should do. There are some things that countries need to keep secret. Diplomacy and warfare are all about not revealing one's plans beforehand, and indeed both activities would become self-defeating if that were not so. We may know later whether he was justified or not. Keeping actions secret is not in itself sufficient reason for them not being ethically justified. Examples on demand.
You claimed that i have not understood you correctly, so please help me to understand you better.
Sure. Your point was:
When the US and the UK invaded Iraq in 2003, i don't think their intention was to bring chaos to the region, but the results of their actions was the death of a million innocent Iraqi people. According to your view, if i understand it correctly, they can be seen as morally blameless because:

1- They lacked hindsight
2- Because decisive actions (confrontation and violence) can be the right moral choice in certain circumstances.
The two numbered points cannot be derived from anything I have said. I have not said that actions can be considered morally blameless because of a lack of hindsight. Nor have I said that the Iraq invasion could be seen as morally blameless because decisive actions can be the right moral choice in certain circumstances. If they could have been derived from what I have said, then (assuming of course that I mean what I said) then it follows that I would have thought the invasion to have been morally blameless.
More generally, your approach which is suspending judgement unless we know exactly what Trump knew to determine how morally justified his confrontational approach is can result in catastrophes.


No, it can't. You or I passing judgement upon Trump is hardly likely to cause or avert catastrophes. This is a theoretical discussion on the internet! I think Trump will do what he wants to do, regardless. Passing moral judgement is an interesting exercise, but irrelevant to the outcome.
This is akin to recommending someone to quit smoking after he gets cancer.
It is, and with the same justification we could change the analogy and say that failing to take action is like refusing to eat, because foodstuffs have been linked to diseases. That's why I'm steering clear of using pop psychology to generate axioms. Everything can be challenged by a counter-example.
How do you define moderation?
I don't, because I'm just showing you that your point is a form of question-begging. It has little to do with my original point.
No worries, but i am waiting to see where did i propose moral relativism?
It looked like it from first glance, but it's difficult to tell whether your point about "perspectives" relates to ethics or not. Either way, I think I have dealt with it adequately above in the sense that our agreement that decisive harsh action can sometimes be justified ethically presupposes at least one point of ethical universalism.

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