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Thoughts on war

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  • Thoughts on war

    I came across these thoughts on war awhile back in Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. This remarkable book opens the reader to some dark places in the American psyche (spirit or soul). This is a condensed version of a longer discourse by the character known as the judge. I'd like to share it with you guys and get some of your thoughts on war. The older I get, the more I think the judge may be closer to the truth than we like to admit.

    “It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be. That way and not some other…It endures because young men love it and old men love it in them. Those that fought and those that did not...Men are born for games. Nothing else…War is the ultimate game because war is at last forcing the unity of existence. War is god…Moral law is an invention of mankind for the disenfranchisement of the powerful in favor of the weak. Historical law subverts it at every turn…Decisions of life and death, of what shall be and what shall not, beggar all question of right. In elections of these magnitudes are all lesser ones subsumed, moral, spiritual, natural.”

    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.


    Matthew Arnold

  • #2
    What a book!

    One of my all time favorites. I like to pick this book up a read passages from it. The language is so powerful, almost Biblical.

    Cormac McCarthy's prose so well crafted and yet mysterious in its meaning too at times.

    Words to savour as these head hunters carve a path of bloodshed and butchery in their pursuit of the savages

    As for War it is has been around for a long time, probably since Man first learnt how to use stone tools. Maybe even earlier.

    Will War always be around? I doubt it. Intelligence and technology has the potential to supply the wants of all eventually.

    Unfortunatly that is probably centuries into the future and there will be many more terrible and destructive wars in the meantime.
    http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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    • #3
      Brevet, very thoughtful. Man wants war? No I don't think so. But we are all very eager to have fair play. When we rightly or wrongly perceive this is not the case (OPPORTUNITY) we will go to extremes. We are also very perservering = devastation.
      "You can't change the rules in the middle of the game."
      "Hey, you just made that rule up."


      Heil Dicke Bertha!

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      • #4
        I do not think we will ever see an end to war. The end of war would require everyone to live by the simple rules taught in kindergarten, respect one another and share with one another. That's far too much to expect.
        And we are here as on a darkling plain
        Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
        Where ignorant armies clash by night.


        Matthew Arnold

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        • #5
          Sometimes I think if war possibly being part of some various, unknown cycles population control policy. We as humans definately have it in our blood. The Quote "Moral Law is an invention" is an interesting idea in the sense that the author believes laws created such as the ones in the Geneva convention were written by the fear of rampant killing by Victors in a conflict rather than a code set to govern ones moral convictions, since morals are "Taught" after all.

          I'm not so sure........

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          • #6
            Killing your neighbours was a highly successful evolutionary strategy for most of humankinds development. Even chimpanzees have been observed engaging in chimp genocide! This is why hatred and aggression towards people who are different comes so easily to us. I don't think we need to completely despair though. Humans have learnt to keep a lid on many of our more primal instincts, and I don't see why this should be any different. Though when I read some of the things certain people on this board spout out it is obvious we still have a way to go!

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