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Dec 08, 1996 05:06 PM
by Tom Robertson

Art House <> wrote:

>Tom Robertson:

>>This implies that self-defense is evil, that it is better to let injustice
>>prevail rather than to oppose it, and that competition is not beneficial.  I
>>see the cycle of war and peace as being based on the same principle as the
>>cycle of life and death, life and war being the time for  growth, death and
>>peace being the time for rest.  Competition is necessary for growth.  War is
>>never motivated by killing, but by the benefits of killing.  All of life
>>supports itself by killing.

>It is all so easy, isn't it?  Logic, if one is in danger of getting
>attacked, one has to defend oneself; to defend oneself, one has to
>commit war and violence right back.

I was also referring to how our bodies kill bacteria, how washing bedsheets
kills dust mites, and how breathing kills microbes.  "Ahimsa" is an
impossible dream.

>War may start with a great protection of an
>ideal, but it quickly degrades into a vicious "I'm going to kill my
>enemy."  I am not stating any answers, because it is all very unclear to
>me what the answers are.  However, if more individuals would take the
>initiative to think of other solutions besides war, the world would be a
>much more peaceful world.

As in seemingly every area of life, there are two sides to this question.
Preparing for war both deters war and encourages potential enemies to be
able to defend themselves, also.  As the book of Ecclesiastes says, there is
"a time for war and a time for peace."  I shudder to think of how much worse
this world would be if the most moral country had not also been the most
powerful.  If Japan, Germany, or the Soviet Union had developed the atomic
bomb first, would they have used it with as much restraint as the United
States did?

>As far as "competition being necessary for
>growth", are you talking about competing with oneself, in which one
>tries to do better each time, or are you talking about thinking that you
>are better or can be better than the other guy?

Both.  The greatest value that the most advanced individuals in the history
of humanity have imparted is not their teachings, but their examples.  But
for competition, examples of superiority would have no value.  I doubt if
there would be any meaning to competing with oneself if it were not for
others who are regarded as superior, with whom one can compete.  It is an
abuse of competition that seeks to hurt others rather than to better oneself.

>I would rather think that I can do
>better than I did, or I would rather envision an ideal or envision
>someone I admired, and shoot toward that ideal.

Without others to admire, I doubt if ideals could be envisioned.

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