POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

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

Post by Sam Vara » Wed May 02, 2018 4:31 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 3:26 pm
What I meant is that worldly knowledge is intrinsically fallible ( imperfect), and from the perspective that we have no choice but to rely on it, we are equal.
Agreed. We are all equally human, but different in that in any given situation some people are better at estimating objective risk than others.
Risk as an idea is not value free hence subjective.
Definitions of harm might be subjective, but once they are decided upon, the estimation of risk (i.e. the calculation of probability of those things happening under certain conditions) aspires to objective status in just the same way as the natural sciences.
The examples you provided on irrational fears, while valid, can be a form of false reductionism. We don't only rely on odds and probabilities when we determine what is risky.
Once threats or harms are decided, that's precisely what we do. Anything else is just a poorly-constructed risk analysis which has been corrupted by preferences. Business, the military, and (normally) governments look at risk based on inductive reasoning from past evidence. Obviously, that's not perfect, but it aspires to be.
those who happened to hold positions of power have bigger moral responsibility because they are in control and their decisions affect the majority of people who are not in control but have to deal with the consequences of the decisions of those in power.
Yes, they do. But that's moral responsibility rather than risk assessment.
Again, the potential consequences of extending and olive branch and failing should not be equated with the threatening of using force and confronting nations with nuclear capabilities hoping that they will be deterred. Why? Because the potential damage of each action if things go wrong are completely different.
You can only know that if you have done the relevant risk analysis, which is my original point. Maybe nations with nuclear capabilities are deterred, whereas they won't be appeased. Maybe Trump's assessment of Putin was that he was precisely the type of bully who needs confronting, or he will continue to press home a perceived advantage to the detriment of all concerned. As I said earlier, I don't know. We don't know what the outcomes will be, which is why policy-preferences (and those cheering and booing them from the sidelines) are often driven by emotional response.
One last thing. I would rather be wrong trying to defuse tension than being wrong adding fuel to a fire. This is what people with good intentions do in my opinion.
Of course, but that's just phrasing the options in emotive language, and has nothing to do with the outcome. Nobody sets out to "add fuel to a fire", do they, and disarming or discrediting an oppressive bully can count as "defusing tension", can't it? Is radical surgery adding fuel to a fire, or is it defusing a life-threatening medical emergency? We only know when the patient recovers, or dies.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Wed May 02, 2018 5:22 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:31 pm
Yes, they do. But that's moral responsibility rather than risk assessment.
This is the crux of the matter. You seem to view the two as separable, while i don't. Why i view Trump's actions as immoral? because his risk appetite for confrontation is high and his confrontational policies is affecting people of other nations more than his own people.
You can only know that if you have done the relevant risk analysis, which is my original point. Maybe nations with nuclear capabilities are deterred, whereas they won't be appeased. Maybe Trump's assessment of Putin was that he was precisely the type of bully who needs confronting, or he will continue to press home a perceived advantage to the detriment of all concerned. As I said earlier, I don't know. We don't know what the outcomes will be, which is why policy-preferences (and those cheering and booing them from the sidelines) are often driven by emotional response.
Which brings us back to my original statement: we don't know what the outcome will be, but we can ask the simple and magical question which you seem to be evading: what if his assessment of Putin, North Korea and Iran are wrong? The likelihood of "potential harm" in the form a war between major powers and even the use of nuclear weapons are higher, which is obvious, at least to me! Not too obvious in the case of extending an olive branch though.
Of course, but that's just phrasing the options in emotive language, and has nothing to do with the outcome. Nobody sets out to "add fuel to a fire", do they, and disarming or discrediting an oppressive bully can count as "defusing tension", can't it? Is radical surgery adding fuel to a fire, or is it defusing a life-threatening medical emergency? We only know when the patient recovers, or dies.
The Buddha taught that hatred is not appeased by hatred. I don't see the Buddha's teachings as emotive language.

Yes, these are the options we have under Trump, either the patient recovers or dies which shows the risks inherent to his own ways. People with cooler heads might be able to see that between life and death there are a lot of alternatives which might not be perfect but something we do because we don't live alone in the world.

The moral quality of actions should not be determined only by the outcome but also by how it is done. For example, stealing your money is morally wrong even if the outcome is desirable from my point of view.

Why Putin is an oppressive bully but not Trump? A lot of Americans seem to view him as such

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/03/1 ... ne-tactic/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion ... e37273212/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/201 ... story.html
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 » Wed May 02, 2018 6:52 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:22 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:31 pm
Yes, they do. But that's moral responsibility rather than risk assessment.
This is the crux of the matter. You seem to view the two as separable, while i don't. Why i view Trump's actions as immoral? because his risk appetite for confrontation is high and his confrontational policies is affecting people of other nations more than his own people.
The choice of desired outcome is subject to judgements about morality, whereas we can treat the means of getting there is a purely scientific manner. Ignoring risks is clearly recklessness, and is immoral. But there is no necessary connection between confrontation and risk. What if the risks are higher if we choose not to confront? The judgement as to whether they are higher is a matter of inductive reasoning, not of morality.
Which brings us back to my original statement: we don't know what the outcome will be, but we can ask the simple and magical question which you seem to be evading: what if his assessment of Putin, North Korea and Iran are wrong?
I'm not evading it at all. I'm merely pointing out that if other assessments are wrong, then the consequences can be even worse. What if we fail to take decisive action when doing so would have averted a greater loss of life or increased international instability? What's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Whence the assumption that not taking action is the less risky option? Why is the favoured outcome associated with the risk-averse? I can recall plenty of situations from everyday life when decisive action averted disaster, and I don't know that this is any different. I don't think that anyone here on DW knows it, either. (With the possible exception of Retro, who appears to be part of Trump's inner circle! :jumping: )
The Buddha taught that hatred is not appeased by hatred. I don't see the Buddha's teachings as emotive language.
It's not, but I'm not talking about whether Trump should behave like a practising Buddhist. Part of the massive responsibility as a leader is that he does the things that do not appease hatred. That's part of a much wider debate about the Machiavellian position that our leaders are in. Given that they have picked up the sword, they don't make things better by putting it down again and cultivating metta for those who threaten those they have opted to protect. They might generate their own good kamma in that way, but it might bring great suffering on others.
Yes, these are the options we have under Trump, either the patient recovers or dies which shows the risks inherent to his own ways. People with cooler heads might be able to see that between life and death there are a lot of alternatives which might not be perfect but something we do because we don't live alone in the world.
Again, mutatis mutandis, the same might be said for any conceivable leader. Distancing myself once more from either of them, why would we say the same analogy does not apply to Obama and his policies? We don't know what the outcome would be.
The moral quality of actions should not be determined only by the outcome but also by how it is done. For example, stealing your money is morally wrong even if the outcome is desirable from my point of view.
According to Buddhist ethics, it is the state of mind of the person performing the action. But that's Trump's problem, and again, I have no more access to his state of mind than I do to the information which guides his policy choices. As you say, he ought to be cognisant of the possible consequences of his actions; and as I say, the same applies to any leader and we don't know that Trump was lacking that cognisance and concern.
Why Putin is an oppressive bully but not Trump? A lot of Americans seem to view him as such
I'm sure they do, and he might very well be just that. But that's a different issue to the one of whether his actions in these cases show an unacceptable level of moral recklessness.

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Bundokji » Wed May 02, 2018 8:20 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 6:52 pm
The choice of desired outcome is subject to judgements about morality, whereas we can treat the means of getting there is a purely scientific manner. Ignoring risks is clearly recklessness, and is immoral. But there is no necessary connection between confrontation and risk. What if the risks are higher if we choose not to confront? The judgement as to whether they are higher is a matter of inductive reasoning, not of morality.
You might be misusing the term risk here? Risk does not mean that harm is inevitable, but that it is more likely under certain conditions. Accordingly, there is a necessary connection between confrontation and risk because when you confront, you are reducing the options available to your opponent to either fight or flight. And even if they comply to your demands, they don't do it out of conviction, but out of fear (for the wrong reasons) and the likelihood that they will seek retaliation when the conditions change is higher.

For instance, imagine that you are overly confrontational with your partner, and you manage to get her to do whatever you want. Is this a recipe for a healthy relationship?

If we can treat the means of getting the desired outcome by purely scientific manner as you are suggesting, then why some practices such as eugenics are morally wrong?
I'm not evading it at all. I'm merely pointing out that if other assessments are wrong, then the consequences can be even worse. What if we fail to take decisive action when doing so would have averted a greater loss of life or increased international instability? What's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. Whence the assumption that not taking action is the less risky option? Why is the favoured outcome associated with the risk-averse? I can recall plenty of situations from everyday life when decisive action averted disaster, and I don't know that this is any different. I don't think that anyone here on DW knows it, either. (With the possible exception of Retro, who appears to be part of Trump's inner circle! :jumping: )
You seem to insist on reducing the options to what you describe as "decisive action" (which seems to mean escalation and confrontation) and inaction! For instance, why not supporting development projects in these countries (which costs much less than military interventions) is not a better option? Or why not ensuring better services for the millions of refugees who suffered partly due to his governments misadventures in the Middle East?
It's not, but I'm not talking about whether Trump should behave like a practising Buddhist. Part of the massive responsibility as a leader is that he does the things that do not appease hatred. That's part of a much wider debate about the Machiavellian position that our leaders are in. Given that they have picked up the sword, they don't make things better by putting it down again and cultivating metta for those who threaten those they have opted to protect. They might generate their own good kamma in that way, but it might bring great suffering on others.
They indeed do make things better by putting down the sword. The Buddha said:
He, who by good deeds covers the evil he has done, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.
Again, mutatis mutandis, the same might be said for any conceivable leader. Distancing myself once more from either of them, why would we say the same analogy does not apply to Obama and his policies? We don't know what the outcome would be.
Not knowing what the outcome would be does not mean we suspend judgement. There are norms and laws governing human relationships, and breaking these laws undermines the whole system binding humans. Trump's latest strike on Syria (with the help of UK and France) was not supported by a UN resolution and they used force even before the inspection team had the chance to visit the sites in Douma undermining the legitimacy of the international law in the process. The potential withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran when the neutral independent body (the nuclear agency) produced many reports claiming that Iran is sticking to its part of the deal is illegal.

Its worth adding that moral actions are usually materially unbeneficial especially in the short term. When you choose to be generous, you are worse off in material terms. Telling the truth or refusing to lie might cause you harm. Acting according to our whims and desires is the opposite of morality, which is what Trump seems to be doing.
According to Buddhist ethics, it is the state of mind of the person performing the action. But that's Trump's problem, and again, I have no more access to his state of mind than I do to the information which guides his policy choices. As you say, he ought to be cognisant of the possible consequences of his actions; and as I say, the same applies to any leader and we don't know that Trump was lacking that cognisance and concern.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but it is not only the consequences of his actions that matter, but how he does them. For instance, when someone asks you politely to perform a task, would it have the same consequence as if he was rude? You might be surprised if you listen to interviews with the Iranian foreign minister asking him why there is no dialogue between the current US administration and Iran? do you know what was his answer? he said Iran is not against dialogue, but expects the US to approach it with respect and as a sovereign nation.
I'm sure they do, and he might very well be just that. But that's a different issue to the one of whether his actions in these cases show an unacceptable level of moral recklessness.
Usually, being a bully and moral recklessness go hand by hand.
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 » Wed May 02, 2018 9:11 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:20 pm
You might be misusing the term risk here? Risk does not mean that harm is inevitable, but that it is more likely under certain conditions. Accordingly, there is a necessary connection between confrontation and risk because when you confront, you are reducing the options available to your opponent to either fight or flight. And even if they comply to your demands, they don't do it out of conviction, but out of fear (for the wrong reasons) and the likelihood that they will seek retaliation when the conditions change is higher.
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.
For instance, imagine that you are overly confrontational with your partner, and you manage to get her to do whatever you want. Is this a recipe for a healthy relationship?
"Imagine that you are overly compliant with your partner, and she manages to get you to do whatever she wants. Is this, etc..."

Again, one cannot generalise from a single example. Picking an obvious case does not a maxim make.
You seem to insist on reducing the options to what you describe as "decisive action" (which seems to mean escalation and confrontation) and inaction! For instance, why not supporting development projects in these countries (which costs much less than military interventions) is not a better option? Or why not ensuring better services for the millions of refugees who suffered partly due to his governments misadventures in the Middle East?
Not at all. Some situations require that we back down completely, and some that we intervene aggressively. Most are somewhere in the middle. Development projects seems like a great idea, as does helping refugees.
They indeed do make things better by putting down the sword. The Buddha said:
He, who by good deeds covers the evil he has done, illuminates this world like the moon freed from clouds.
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.
Not knowing what the outcome would be does not mean we suspend judgement. There are norms and laws governing human relationships, and breaking these laws undermines the whole system binding humans. Trump's latest strike on Syria (with the help of UK and France) was not supported by a UN resolution and they used force even before the inspection team had the chance to visit the sites in Douma undermining the legitimacy of the international law in the process. The potential withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran when the neutral independent body (the nuclear agency) produced many reports claiming that Iran is sticking to its part of the deal is illegal.
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.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but it is not only the consequences of his actions that matter, but how he does them. For instance, when someone asks you politely to perform a task, would it have the same consequence as if he was rude?
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.
Usually, being a bully and moral recklessness go hand by hand.
Maybe. I've seen no studies on it; can't derive one of the concepts analytically from the other; can think of umpteen counter-examples; and it doesn't really apply to the rather modest point I am making. But maybe!

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by DooDoot » Thu May 03, 2018 12:32 am

Traveler8 wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:23 pm
Rebels did take over most Sunni areas...
You are posting false ideas that have no logic or evidence behind them, which support international intervention against the Syrian people. If there was really a civil war in Syria then as Buddhists we merely accept this as a phenomena that is unrelated to us and the we cannot influence or control. But now, you are personally making kamma leading to the killing of people because your ideas support the intervention of foreign powers.
Traveler8 wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:23 pm
I hope that you're just trolling here.
It appears it is you that is trolling here because i have not read you make any posts on this forum about Buddhism.
Traveler8 wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:23 pm
You ignore the suffering of millions of people that were forced leave their home as well as most of the Aleppo being destroyed, while posting propaganda videos of people laughing in few quarters that were not destroyed in bombing just because of their ethno-religious makeup.
The Syrian government did not have any intention to destroy Aleppo. You continue to post illogical non-sense that supports international intervention. The facts are it was foreign groups that attacked & looted Aleppo, transporting capital assets to Turkey. Naturally, the response of the Syrian govt caused much damage in Aleppo but this was obviously unavoidable. For example, the Allied bombings of Germany during WW2 resulted in the deaths of many non-Germans; including Jews in concentration camps that starved to death or died from disease. It was obviously not the intention of these Allies to contribute to the deaths of non-Germans. You obviously did not see the many buses used to transport terrorists out of Aleppo & East Ghouta. You obviously did not see the terrorists you appear to support. Very nasty looking characters. :|








Syria's industry body has filed a case in a European court against the Turkish government for allegedly sponsoring terrorism and looting factories in strife-torn Syria, a report said on Monday.

The Syrian Chamber of Industry filed the case in an unspecified European country, and accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of backing armed gangs against the national interest of Syria, pro-regime daily Al-Watan reported.


http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syrias ... port-42284
Traveler8 wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 1:23 pm
May you be well, shalom from lying Salafi Jew.
I am very well because I follow the Buddha-Dhamma. It is not necessary for a supporter of violent Salafism & Judaism to wish a Buddhist well because Buddhism clearly says liberation cannot be found in theistic religions. There is no peace in "Shalom". Please do not post falsehood. I am of Middle-Eastern heritage but have rejected all Abrahamic religions because they are based on untruth (similar to your unsubstantiated posts). This forum has a subforum for discussion of other religions. I know the Old Testament reasonably well. We can make a comparative discussion there of how both Judaism and even Islam are not compatible with Buddhism. As a Buddhist, I have some sympathy for Koranic Islam but the facts that the Companions of Mohamed militarily started an Empire shows Islam is not really a religion a peace; just as the morals of the Torah are merely fake words when compared with the actual reported actions of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, etc. You seem to not be mentally aware that the sons of the Buddha are speakers of truth. We have no interest in superstition about "God" or "Allah" and prophets that preach morals on one hand and make war with the other hand.

In summary, the Syrian violence is an international intervention that is contrary to Buddhist moral law and the norms of International Law. As non-Syrians, we should support the rule of International Law and self-determination of nations. Our only business with Syria is to ensure we do not get immorally involved in Syria. Assad runs a secular & pluralistic state in Syria and this a Buddhist should support rather than support a Saudi Salafi Dictatorship. Salafi is clearly something very evil, even from the perspective of authentic Islam. :smile:





Buddhism does not teach all people are "human". In Buddhism, people are viewed with minds dwelling in different realms; such as the human realm, benevolent godly realm (deva), violent godly realm (asura), hungry ghost world, animal kingdom & hell. Those people that devour other people without mercy fall into the animal realm and are destined for hell. The violence of Salafism appears to fall into the "animal realm" in Buddhism. Did you fail to notice the beheadings the so-called rebel groups did in Syria & Iraq and the random executions of people? Have you not simply typed "Syria beheadings" into Google and looked at the images? If those murderers in the video are doing the right thing, why do they wear masks? :roll:


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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by Kamran » Thu May 03, 2018 1:32 am

Bundokji wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 7:05 pm
Kamran wrote:
Tue May 01, 2018 6:33 pm

US soldier killed in Afghanistan today.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40232491

Iran can force Americans to send more soldiers to Afghanistan whenever it wants to.

Wasn't it Che Guevara that said defeat the Americans by creating many Vietnams?
Iran is a major regional power and can do a lot of damage if they push it too much. However, Iran has its own problems, its currency depreciated a lot recently, the unemployment rate it high in a relatively young and ambitious population. Also there are reports that there is a lot of disease among Iranian people in relation to the wealth of the country being spent supporting Iran's proxies. Today i encountered a report on Aljazeera estimating the cost of the Iranian presence in Syria and supplying the Assad regime with weapons to be between 6 and 20 billion dollars a year.

One powerful tool other than destabilizing the region Iran might use in the case of war is the closure of the strait of Hormuz. This would send the price of oil to unprecedented levels.

In my short life time, i witnessed many wars in the Middle East, not directly, but the effects of them were obvious where i live. This coming war, if it does happen, will be the ugliest. In wars, there are no winners.
Yes, Iran has deterrence capability which why Israeli/US have never attacked them and all their military and intelligence advisers support the Nuclear deal.

Iran has problems with inequality, but the economy is growing strong, and the government actually spends ver small amount of money on military budget something like $10 billion total for army, navy, everything ( 3.9 % of GDP compared to 11% in Saudi, for instance ). Iran spends the same on defense as Norway, I think.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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Re: POMPEO is in Saudi Today: his interesting message

Post by DooDoot » Thu May 03, 2018 1:42 am

Kamran wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 1:32 am
Iran has problems with inequality
What are these problems? Thanks

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

Post by Kamran » Thu May 03, 2018 2:57 am

Here's an article if you are interested. Its by an Iranian economist and he provides the info in English that I am aware on his website.

https://djavadsalehi.com/2018/01/15/doe ... nequality/

The middle class is about 40% in Iran and the best option is a stable country where the middle class can continue to grow until they are the majority.

However, Trump thinks he can scare the Iranian rulers.

The twenty or so core revolutionaries that are basically in control have all been tortured under the Shah, faced many assassination attempts, etc.

That is, they don't get scared, and they live according to only one rule:

Never give up power until death.
"Silence gives answers"

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

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

Post by DooDoot » Thu May 03, 2018 3:08 am

OK, thanks. So when someone posted about Iranian protests, it appears it was "Communists" protesting. Unfortunately, modern methods of corporatism result in economic growth going to the top, such as in the USA, where it is estimated 95% of the post-GFC economic recovery has gone to the top 5%. The government certainly has a role in regulation & taxation, which has now failed in most Western countries. Obviously, the USA, which has probably far worse economic inequality, cannot help Iran here.
Inclusive growth is what international organizations recommend these days, and it hard to argue otherwise. Economic growth is better when rich and poor equally benefit. Better still, is pro-poor growth, the type that lifts poor people’s incomes more than the rest. The recent unrest in Iranian cities makes this question timely: was Iran’s recent economic growth following the implementation of the nuclear deal unequal, inclusive, or pro-poor? Clearly, low-income youth who staged the protests believe that growth has not been inclusive. Can data verify their sentiments? It turns out they do. More specifically, the economic growth of 2016, which is the main fruit of Rouhani’s international and domestic policies, does not seem to have reached all social classes equally.

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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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Bundokji
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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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DooDoot
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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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