Monday, March 3, 2008

On Killing People

Roughly speaking, people have one of four positions regarding the activity of killing people in the name of some communal interest (as against personal vendettas and so on). There are those who regard killing as a fine thing (Nazis, early Communists in may countries where Communism took over whenever that was, Islamists). There are those who are indifferent: they don't see killing as an imperative, but nor do they see any problem. There are many of these. Then you have the people who think killing is bad, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. I'm of this camp, as are many of the people in the democracies, altho their numbers are being eroded in favour of the fourth group, those who regard killing as always wrong, period.

There are gradations within each group, obviously. I'm using a very broad brush, so you don't need to quibble with me.

Any reasonable person would agree the world would be a better place if everyone belonged to the fourth group. The problem - and it's a very serious moral problem - is that until the first two groups empty out, adhering to the fourth group means being complicit in the killings. Try as they may, the fourth groupers have no answer to this; most of the time they merely bury their head in the slime while preaching that the first two groups don't exist, they are merely third groupers who have been so severely wronged that they can't be blamed, only the rest of us can be.

Sermons from people with their mouths full of slime are not pleasant.

None of this is new, nor particularly original. It did however occur to me, earlier today while reading this, that one might add a significant comment to the discussion. For those of you who are Hebraically-challenged, it's a short report from yesterday's funeral of Sergeant Eran Dan-Gur, killed the day before in Gaza. His mother, in her grief, said that his death had been in vain, since "If it could have stopped the rockets, she would have accepted it, but it didn't stop them".

Now look at the sentence again: Sometimes, says a grieving mother, you have to be willing to lay down your life. Protecting your fellow citizens from death, for example, is such a case.

An extraordinarily strong statement, don't you think? Makes one wonder if the preachers of total non-killing would be willing to lay down their lives for anything, or perhaps more important, for anyone.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Lozowick's,

I stumbled upon your post coming from the behated website
Your text raises some questions.
What about all those from the first two groups who pretend to belong to the third group?
What about those from the third group turning into members of the first after years and years of violence?
Aren't those people permanently filling up the first group? And don't most of them still believe just to do the 'necessary evil'?

"Makes one wonder if the preachers of total non-killing would be willing to lay down their lives for anything" Who is this talking ? Darth Vader? You seem to have more respect for those wanting to die for what you would consider the wrong thing than for those who are on your side but refuse to die for whatever ( And quite frankly I think refusing to die AT ALL is a sign of being mentally healthy ).

You claim that the fourth group would be "complicit in the killings". To me that looks like the good old you're-either-with-us-or-against-us
bullshit that always goes with fanatism.

IS there a third group at all? I doubt that.


Albert said...

Hi there

I agree with the text.

I´d like to add something.

The progressive mainstream(left/green/liber-communi-tarian) is situated in the fourth group.
To me(anti-con) it is important that these people find reasons to become active members of the third group without having to accept the value codes we find there right now(Neo-Con-corruption-lobbyism-anti-idealism).
The greens f.ex. have to understand that they have made a certain socio-cultural-economic development to get where they are, development others lack, and so you can´t expect them to embrace your values, even if it seems paradox to fight for peace.


Yaacov said...

Hans -

Ja eben. Jahrhundertelang waren die mesten der Deutschen Angehoerigen der dritten Groupe, bis sie in die Erste rutschten. Nun sind sie (und Sie) in der vierten, und sind ueberzuegt von derer heiligen Richtigkeit.

Lesen Sie die erste Seite meinen Artikel, erwaehnt in dieser Post. Und dann denken Sie danach dass es mein Sohn ist,der derzeit Soldat ist, and dass ich sehr beaengstigt bin, aber auch Stolz. Wenn Sie dass je verstehen koennen werden.