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War - good or bad  
« on: Feb 20th, 2007, 6:53pm »
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Is war ever a good thing?  Why or why not?
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #1 on: Feb 20th, 2007, 9:30pm »
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Depends on who you're asking. Family of fallen soldiers would most probably say its bad, unless they're idealists. Commander of armies would undoubtedly classify the wars they engage in to be 'good'. After all, Charlemagne, Alexander the Great and Napoleon would identify their wars as good, rite ?
 
On the other hand, general sentiment today had been against war..I guess it's ironic that the more people seem to be against war, the more it breaks out around us..
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #2 on: Feb 21st, 2007, 1:22am »
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War may sometimes be unavoidable. If someone else is looking to start a fight, it's not allways a good idea to just roll over. Warmongering regimes aren't typically nice ones. And fighting a war might be better than accepting oppression and genocide.
Starting a war yourself is a more difficult question. Although like before, if a regime is commiting genocide, or other heinous crimes against humanity, a swift war to end it would seem apropriate.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #3 on: Feb 21st, 2007, 6:48pm »
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on Feb 21st, 2007, 1:22am, towr wrote:
Although like before, if a regime is commiting genocide, or other heinous crimes against humanity, a swift war to end it would seem apropriate.

 
How swift is a swift war ?  Tongue
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #4 on: Feb 22nd, 2007, 6:10am »
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Wars between nations are just scaled-up versions of fights between individuals. Whenever they occur, it means someone is behaving badly. However, who and how is a subject of disagreement.
 
We can often say that the nation which started the war is the aggressor and in the wrong. But sometimes the nation may feel that it has no other choice. Some resource vital to its existence or well-being is being withheld by its adversary, and all diplomatic means of resolving the issue have failed. The nation's only choices are to go to war, or to suffer extraordinary deprivation. In such a case, initiating a war may decrease overall suffering.
 
But even then we have to look at the other side. The other nation may be withholding the resource because they see their own national survival dependent on doing so. They may feel there is not enough of the resource in their possession to share with other nations. Losing their own supply would also cause them to undergo extraordinary deprivation.
 
Sound far-fetched? Not really - all wars are fought for economic reasons - though sometimes the economic reasons are jumped up for political reasons (for example, the Falklands/Malvinas war between Argentina and Great Britain or the "Short Victorious war" - as ironically described by one Russian before it started - between Russia and Japan).
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #5 on: Feb 22nd, 2007, 8:11am »
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on Feb 21st, 2007, 6:48pm, JiNbOtAk wrote:
How swift is a swift war ?  Tongue
Depends on the era. 5 years for the second world war was pretty swift imo. But the first golf war was shorter.
And our 80 years war against spain in the 16th century was totally justified. Things just progressed slower then.
« Last Edit: Feb 22nd, 2007, 8:12am by towr » IP Logged

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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #6 on: Feb 22nd, 2007, 9:38am »
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on Feb 22nd, 2007, 6:10am, Icarus wrote:
But sometimes the nation may feel that it has no other choice. Some resource vital to its existence or well-being is being withheld by its adversary, and all diplomatic means of resolving the issue have failed. The nation's only choices are to go to war, or to suffer extraordinary deprivation. In such a case, initiating a war may decrease overall suffering.
 
But even then we have to look at the other side. The other nation may be withholding the resource because they see their own national survival dependent on doing so. They may feel there is not enough of the resource in their possession to share with other nations. Losing their own supply would also cause them to undergo extraordinary deprivation.
 
Sound far-fetched?

Not at all. It sounds like an accurate description of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.
 
We Brits really messed up badly there. Politics is too important to be left to diplomats and politicians.   Wink
 
« Last Edit: Feb 22nd, 2007, 9:42am by ThudnBlunder » IP Logged

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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #7 on: May 23rd, 2007, 5:51pm »
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War is nature. Everywhere someone is fighting for something whether it is a big promotion, to live, to succeed... it is a mixture of both good and bad an elemental part of nature that has shaped the history of the universe. Everytime we build a house we are fighting against nature in an effort to protect our existance. It is what determines natural selection and allows progress, because without some distruction you wouldn't have the materials to make something new.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #8 on: May 24th, 2007, 12:57am »
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I wouldn't want to call every fight a war.  
War is nonetheless natural; chimps wage war on each other occasional and arguably so do ants, to name but two examples. However, being natural doesn't make something good, nor even necessary. Natural selction tolerates anything that's not so outrageously bad that it prevents you from passing on your genes.
What matters is: can we get on without it and will the world be a better place if we do.
While war does occasionally drive innovation, I don't think it has in itself much merit; not to mention it tends to get the (physically) fittest people in the population killed.  
The problem to me seems that we don't have the choice (at least not at the moment) to go without it. Because it's not something you can unilaterally decide.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #9 on: Jun 6th, 2007, 1:18pm »
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Historically man has made lot of scientific progress in times of war.. under duress its a desparate attempt to outdo others that lead in new things being invented... or maybe even a work of recreation... as for e.g. violin, string instruments were invented during europe's dark era... we got communications,rockets during WW2 .. just few examples..
 
so is war the only thing that would inspire us to invent? If you think in a sort of way if we are luxurious... have no worries we probably wouldn't do anything and will be complacent.. necessity is indeed mother of invention.. so as long as "things" that happend that leads to necessity of getting something done we will see good things coming out of it... along with unavoidable bads..  
the time when we evolve into beings when we don't need to pursue things to outdo others but to better ourselves all the time maybe we can end wars.. and yet somehow I feel we will find something to fight about then also...
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #10 on: Jun 6th, 2007, 1:33pm »
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Amen Sameer. You explained it much better than I did about the whole how it is a necessary evil that forces us to keep moving forward and evolving with nature.  Grin
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #11 on: Jun 6th, 2007, 6:59pm »
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I'm not sure I would call it "necessary". We could easily do without it.
 
Unfortunately, "unavoidable" is a much more apt description.
 
Deprivation and duress have always been the source of innovation. When times are easy, no one puts much effort into change. Why bother, if the "now" is good? But there are other sources of deprivation and duress than war. Business competition, a sort of controlled bloodless (mostly) war, serves as the primary impetus for invention these days.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #12 on: Jun 6th, 2007, 10:22pm »
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on Jun 6th, 2007, 6:59pm, Icarus wrote:

Deprivation and duress have always been the source of innovation. When times are easy, no one puts much effort into change. Why bother, if the "now" is good? But there are other sources of deprivation and duress than war. Business competition, a sort of controlled bloodless (mostly) war, serves as the primary impetus for invention these days.

 
Agreed in this age of capitalism, unequality and globalization, poor countries feel these duress and deprivation. Their development hence is driven b the desire to achieve the "high level" .. this is evident from all the immigration to US... heck I came to US because of that... I don't know if you call that good or bad.. but things also go the other way... where people then are driven by religion, opressive influences, and their morals are brought up differently.. these results in a conflict of interest which if given an obstinate, stubborn person comes to power or becomes and influential force leads to war.. e.g. Hitler.. current socio-economic-political conditional are very fragile and uneven.. most ppl will live through these and find some means of bettering themselves... find ways to advance.. but once in a while someone comes around who is just inclined to destruction... call it an anamoly of nature..
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #13 on: Dec 11th, 2007, 9:25pm »
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Is anybody concerned that war is extremely destructive, for the victor as well as the vanquished?  Therefore, war should be avoided unless the alternatives are all worse?  As modern historians are pointing out, the American Civil war, WWI, WWII, the Korean war, the war on Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, were all tragiclly worse for the United States than prolonged, and failing, negotiations?
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #14 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 1:01am »
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on Dec 11th, 2007, 9:25pm, ecoist wrote:
Is anybody concerned that war is extremely destructive, for the victor as well as the vanquished?
It isn't always. And in the long term, even a lot of destruction may be irrelevant. In fact it may be an impulse for progress.
Just consider the recovery of Japan and Germany, they took off in a big way after WWII. A way that certainly wouldn't be expected from the state they were in immediately after the war. (True, they might have not accomplished the recovery on their own, without outside help, but they did get that)
 
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As modern historians are pointing out, the American Civil war, WWI, WWII, the Korean war, the war on Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, were all tragically worse for the United States than prolonged, and failing, negotiations?
I wonder how they compared the two cases (war vs not-war), since only one actually occurred.
 
I very much doubt the US would have the leading role in the world it does today if not for its civil war, WWI and WWII. While the short-term effects were devastating, the place it gave them in the world is invaluable to them.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #15 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 6:00am »
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on Feb 22nd, 2007, 6:10am, Icarus wrote:
all wars are fought for economic reasons.

 
I beg to differ. There are
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
major reasons for war: power, greed, and beliefs. For example, look at the Crusades. Yes, they did fight to gain fame and power. Yes, they did fight to gain land and riches. But, most importantly, they went into the Middle East to try to retake the holy land, because they believed that the Muslims were corrupting the land where Jesus was born.
« Last Edit: Dec 12th, 2007, 6:18am by Ghost Sniper » IP Logged

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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #16 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 6:41am »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 6:31am, Iceman wrote:

The fact that you are interested in war speaks for itself. How can you sleep at night? Tongue I, myself, being decent, kind, good hearted and disarmedCry, am writing riddles instead of writing about war.

 
I don't think about this all day. However, we did have a big class discussion about this in history the other day.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #17 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 8:00am »
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on Dec 11th, 2007, 9:25pm, ecoist wrote:
Is anybody concerned that war is extremely destructive, for the victor as well as the vanquished?

Yes, war should be avoided if possible. However from an economic standpoint, war can be a terrific boost. WWII and the Great Depression as case in point.
 
on Dec 12th, 2007, 6:00am, Ghost Sniper wrote:

 
I beg to differ. There are
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
major reasons for war: power, greed, and beliefs.

You forget fear and self-preservation. It takes two sides to go to war.
 
My theory is that Mr. Miyagi said it best... "If must fight, win."
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #18 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 10:10am »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 8:00am, ima1trkpny wrote:

You forget fear and self-preservation. It takes two sides to go to war.

 
Well, generally, fear and self-preservation is usually caused by one country declaring war or blockading on another country, and that is usually caused by one of those 3 reasons. When someone goes to war for fear or self-preservation, it's usually a response to someone else attacking, not starting a war.
 
Also notice that I said those are the 3 MAJOR reasons. There are many other reasons for going to war, such as revenge, helping out another country, or to prove that you are the strongest, but it always leads back, somehow, to those three reasons.
 
For self-preservation, it's the belief that you still deserve to rule this country, combined with the fact that you still want power, that makes you go to war. Fear is pretty much the same thing.
« Last Edit: Dec 12th, 2007, 10:14am by Ghost Sniper » IP Logged

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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #19 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 12:31pm »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 10:10am, Ghost Sniper wrote:
For self-preservation, it's the belief that you still deserve to rule this country, combined with the fact that you still want power, that makes you go to war. Fear is pretty much the same thing.

If you want to go down that road, all wars are fought because of belief - belief that war is better than the alternative
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #20 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 2:28pm »
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What you say, towr, saddens me.
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It isn't always. And in the long term, even a lot of destruction may be irrelevant. In fact it may be an impulse for progress.
 
As if so much death and destruction means little to you!  And you seem to espouse an economic fallacy: destruction is an economic good because it stimulates economic growth.
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I wonder how they compared the two cases (war vs not-war), since only one actually occurred.
 
This argument applies equally well to your view that war has good consequences.  What would have happened to Japan had it not attacked Pearl Harbor?  What did the US gain that justified the hundreds of thousands of Americans killed in the Civil War, which gain would not have occured without the Civil War?
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #21 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 3:20pm »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 2:28pm, ecoist wrote:
What you say, towr, saddens me.
Me too; but the world is a cold heartless place Wink
 
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As if so much death and destruction means little to you!
In the grand scheme of things I'm irrelevant. Which is why I typically occupy myself with the small schemes.
 
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And you seem to espouse an economic fallacy: destruction is an economic good because it stimulates economic growth.
It's not a fallacy if it stimulates growth more than it detriments it.
While I'm all for complacency, it does little for advancement or economic growth. Destruction eliminates complacency like nobody's business.
 
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This argument applies equally well to your view that war has good consequences.  What would have happened to Japan had it not attacked Pearl Harbor?
Things would have continued, most likely, in the vein they were going before the war. And that wasn't anywhere fast. But you're right that there is no way to be sure. Well, not until we find alternate universes. Or comparable data.
 
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What did the US gain that justified the hundreds of thousands of Americans killed in the Civil War, which gain would not have occured without the Civil War?
It's not a matter of justifying, though.
 
 
The world might be a much better place if we were all pacifist hunter-gatherers, but it's not exactly progress.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #22 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 4:09pm »
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If destruction is an economic good, why not destroy things on purpose?
 
A free market only "destroys things" by replacing them with better things.  Dvds destroy video cassettes because dvds are so much better.  If video cassettes had been destroyed in hopes of something better filling the gap, the destroyers would be jailed and consumers would have to retire their vcrs.  Moreover, time, energy, and money that would be spent on family vacations, or reducing debt, would be redirected to replace the destroyed video cassettes.
 
You needn't worry about "complacency", towr.  The profit motive ensures that there will always be creative entrepreneurs searching for new ways to make a buck!  What do you think inspired FedEx, Microsoft, the cell phone, and the iphone?
 
Your worry is better placed railing against government interventions in the market, worse, government sucking the market dry to fund disastrous wars!
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #23 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 8:11pm »
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on Dec 12th, 2007, 2:28pm, ecoist wrote:

  What did the US gain that justified the hundreds of thousands of Americans killed in the Civil War, which gain would not have occured without the Civil War?

The trick there is that the U.S. was an experiment in democracy, and in the interest of preserving it, Lincoln couldn't allow the south to separate.  
 
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If destruction is an economic good, why not destroy things on purpose?

They do. In an effort to keep supply and demand steady, surplus is either kept off the market or destroyed (such as farming products) to keep the prices steady for the goods.  
 
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A free market only "destroys things" by replacing them with better things.  Dvds destroy video cassettes because dvds are so much better.  If video cassettes had been destroyed in hopes of something better filling the gap, the destroyers would be jailed and consumers would have to retire their vcrs.  Moreover, time, energy, and money that would be spent on family vacations, or reducing debt, would be redirected to replace the destroyed video cassettes.

Ah, but even here we have a sort of war. Let's say your entire collection of home movies, etc is all on video cassettes and you are perfectly content continuing on with that system because it is adequate to your needs. But with the way the producers set it up is to phase out compatable technology effectively forcing the consumer to spend money updating so as to be able to keep their recordings in a format that the consumer can use that they could otherwise employ if it weren't for the need to continually update built in to keep steady business for the companies.
 
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Your worry is better placed railing against government interventions in the market, worse, government sucking the market dry to fund disastrous wars!

You may complain all you want about it now when you don't need the government to protect you, but if ever you should find that you need some protecting I would bet my life your tune will change. The problem is that ideally, war would not exist. Humans would all be perfect and never lose their tempers or display anyone of the passions that are the driving force behind wars. However that is unrealistic and until we have perfect (but very boring) people, wars are inevitable.
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Re: War - good or bad  
« Reply #24 on: Dec 12th, 2007, 9:23pm »
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I am shocked by your incredible lack of understanding!  Though I feel ill-equiped to clear things up for you, I will make one last try.
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The trick there is that the U.S. was an experiment in democracy, and in the interest of preserving it, Lincoln couldn't allow the south to separate.

One of the great ideas of the founders of America, trying to eliminate possible government tyranny, was to give the states the right of secession.  The individual states could then be multiple laboratories in designing good government and a strong check on federal abuse of power!  Lincoln destroyed that great idea!
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They do. In an effort to keep supply and demand steady, surplus is either kept off the market or destroyed (such as farming products) to keep the prices steady for the goods.

"Keep supply and demand steady"?  What the hell does that mean?
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Ah, but even here we have a sort of war. Let's say your entire collection of home movies, etc is all on video cassettes and you are perfectly content continuing on with that system because it is adequate to your needs. But with the way the producers set it up is to phase out compatable technology effectively forcing the consumer to spend money updating so as to be able to keep their recordings in a format that the consumer can use that they could otherwise employ if it weren't for the need to continually update built in to keep steady business for the companies.

You seem to be saying that consumers are victims of businesses.  Have you forgotten the consumer revolt over "new coke"?  Unless government intervenes, the consumer is king!
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You may complain all you want about it now when you don't need the government to protect you, but if ever you should find that you need some protecting I would bet my life your tune will change. The problem is that ideally, war would not exist. Humans would all be perfect and never lose their tempers or display anyone of the passions that are the driving force behind wars. However that is unrealistic and until we have perfect (but very boring) people, wars are inevitable.

You forget that our beloved nation began after a war of independence, fought successfully without a government!  You also forget that wars are diminishing in frequency and severity as a means to settle disputes.  So, also, are things improving on a smaller scale.  Arbitration is increasingly replacing expensive law suits through our court system.  War is not inevitable!  Like other tools of the dark ages, war is being replaced by negotiation (no thanks to Bush!)!
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