Violence is a problem that we as humans, deal with everyday.
Today, it seemsthat we deal with it in just about every aspect of our lives. From childrenscartoons to the nightly news, we are witnesses to its power and harm. A highlydebated argument for the causes of violence are surrounding our homes as well asour government. No matter the causes of violence or for that fact aggressors, wehave a personal responsibility must be taken for violent actions. We are giventhe choice to decide how we each want to live our lives; but before we decide,we must look at the ethical issues that surround our choices. Most humans striveto live a good, pure life.
Violence is one of the few instances that destroysthat good life. It is something that we work towards eliminating. It is definedas an act taken against another being with the intent to do harm. We oftenconsider violence in terms of the physical aggressor, yet violence can surfacein a variety of ways even including self-defense.
Violence is a result ofconflicting interests or unresolvable differences. In most instances, bothparties to he conflict feel that they are right and that their actions arejustified. However, there are other cases in which their is a clear aggressorand victim. Nevertheless, violence is a very complicated and difficult issue. Byits very nature, violence is an act against life. Life, is sacred.
It ischerished, not out of purpose of use, not instrumental, but for the good,intrinsic value of its very being. Violence is instrumental. It is a means to anend. There is no intrinsical goodness in violence.
Violent acts are not good forthe sake of violence itself. A single question that arises out of the argumentof violence and nonviolence, Is violence ever justifiable or acceptable. The twomain types of arguments that arise are the self-defense paradigm and pacifism. The self-defense paradigm accepts violence as a means to protect ones life,or the life of others. This argument interprets life as being intrinsically goodand for instrumental purposes, but accepts lethal results as an unintendedconsequence of defense.
Pacifism argues that violence is never acceptable. Because violence is an instrumental act, it undermines and disrespects humanlife as a cherished entity. Upon first evaluation of these arguments, Ipreferred the self-defense paradigm. I believe I am more of a realist.
I thoughtthat violence was inevitable. No matter the strategy, violence is going to bethe end result. However, by the end of the semester, I have discoveredsomething. The whole purpose of pacifism is to change the fact that violence isinevitable. It is a movement that teaches humans how to deal with the situationsthat inevitably end in violence. It is a way to defend life from aggressivethreats.
The pacifist may never risk killing his opponent, regardless of theconsequences. At all times, they must be respectful and compassionate of life. Ibelieve that I have changed my view because I have a greater understanding ofpacifism. At first, I thought that it was the easy way out. It was the way totake to avoid a situation; no matter the situation, never be violent.
Ithought of issues such as wars or if someone was trying to kill you or yourfamily. How could someone not do anything? It was a weak persons answer tothe argument. Then, out of the blue, it struck me. We are always talking aboutbettering the world, getting rid of violence. Well, we are imitativecreatures. We do what we see.
How are the younger generation of people going tobe nonviolent when all they see is violence. If, we dont start demonstratingnonviolent, peaceful acts, what are they going to imitate? We are presentingself-defense as an excuse. It is justifiable but only if you dont intend tokill the other person. This can be a very risky situation. When defendingyourself or someone else, you are allowed violence as long as you didnt meanto kill the aggressor? What happens when you cant decipher the aggressor?Nothing should be taken away from the self-defense philosophy.
It isunderstandable and ethical. It would be hard not to defend yourself from anattacker, or to help a loved one. But, it just seems to me that in todaysworld, we must reevaluate our morals. Self-defense takes the idea that life isintrinsically good and should never be violated. It adds that life should neverbe violated but in certain cases.
It seems like a double standard. Pacifism is amovement to take a stand against violence. It is giving violent situations achance of reversal. However, the choice of pacifism is a lifelong commitment.
One can not be a part time pacifist or a selective supporter of just wars. Thatis, one can not condemn violence, but when violent becomes a personal situation,find an excuse. The same in just wars. All wars must be unjust, not just some.
Pacifism is a strong moral stand. It is dedication to preserving human life, nomatter the situation. A pacifist would have to take a stand which would notallow him to violently defended himself or others in any situation. Pacifism isdescribed as the higher calling because it witnesses the grandness andbeauty of being alive.
Though the self-defense paradigm is a wonderfularguments, I think it contains a few discrepancies. There should be no excusefor harming another human being. Just because someone else started it, doesntmake it right or O.K.Philosophy